Trips and Itineraries for Premlakha
Top Places To Visit in Premlakha 126 Spots
Tsomgo Lake (Changu Lake)
Tsomgo Lake is situated 38 km from Gangtok and at an elevation of 12,400 ft, the ethereally excellent Tsomgo lake is an absolute necessity on each visitors agenda. A twisting street through rough mountain landscape and sharp cliffs takes you to Tsomgo, which implies source of the water in Bhutia dialect. It is heared that in past times, Buddhist ministers would study over the water's shade of the lake to figure the future. The lake is likewise of extraordinary importance for the Jhakris of Sikkim who assemble here every year on Guru Purnima. For the visitor, a visit to the lake offers a glorious excursion. Rides on colourfully designed yaks and donkeys are offered at the lake site, which additionally has a variety of food stalls serving snacks and drinks. Snowboots and gumboots can be rented here. Tsomgo lake is open for both Indian and outside nationals, however international guests must be in a gathering of two or more and need to apply for a guests license through an authorised travel organization.
Travelling 16 km downhill, we arrived at the famous Changu Lake or Lake Tsomgo. This lake was half frozen which was unusual in the month of December. At 12000 ft, big Yaks, hot Maggi, Thupka and amazing snapshots standing on the strong icicles of the Lake made the journey memorable. At 6 pm we reached back from where we had started in the morning. We again set out for new travel operator to take us to North Sikkim especially Gurudongmar Lake.
Next day morning after having breakfast we started around 10 am. 1st we went to Baba mandir. Located between Nathula and Jelepla pass at an altitude of 13,123 ft and about 52kms from Gangtok, Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple is popularly known as Baba Mandir. One usually covers this temple along with a visit to Tsomgo Lake or Nathula Pass.We could not enjoy that much in Baba mandir because it was raining heavily . After that we left for Tsomgo Lake and did Yak riding , I couldn’t ride because i was afraid a little bit.Then we left for Gangtok again ,we reached there at around 4 pm . Then we went to MG MARG : The heart of Gangtok city at around 6 pm . We did a little food tour tried out some amazing local Cuisines .Tried to interact with some local people as they are really friendly. Then we sat there for an hour trying to enjoy the weather of Sikkim for the last night . No doubt it was a tiring journey but it was really beautiful.
CHANGU LAKE OR TSOMGO LAKENext stop was Changu Lake, It’s a splendid lake surrounded by the mountains at nearby altitude of 12000 ft . The scenic is picture perfect, so eyefull. In winters it’s almost covered in snow. I could still feel the chilly winds, my shivering legs.Somehow I managed to get out of the car; as I don’t want to miss the "Yak Ride". Dad and I really enjoyed the ride, while mom was scared to the hell....... hahaha.
As we started returning from Nathula to Changu Lake (also known as Tsomogo Lake), it started raining heavily with hailstorms. Somehow, we managed to witness the beauty of Changu Lake and stopped nearby to have steamy momos. The temperature has dropped to 4◦C now with severe wind flow, giving you the experience of temperature in minus. Our local driver himself told that he is experiencing this much of cold first time in this year after winters.
Pristine frozen Tsomgo LakeTsomgo Lake or Changu Lake is one of the highest frozen lakes in the world. In Bhutiya language, its name suggest the source of Lakes. Changu Lake is very close to Indo-Tibetan border. It is the paradise for photography lover and will test every photographer to click the best of it. That's why I love this place a lot. To know more just check it out.
After Nathula Pass, I approached to Baba Mandir. Where everyone was busy going to cafeteria and buying some stuff and of course visiting the temple, I spent my time by just gazing our national flag. And I was just gazing.....just gazing. My purpose of visiting Sikkim was fulfilled when I saw this beautiful and silent lake which was surrounded by mountains. It was Tsomgo lake.
We shopped for some essential snow jackets and woolens at Gangtok that evening, and I with all vigor was ready to leave the next day. We drove through the Tsongmo Lake, and I experienced my second snow! We played in the snow, made snow angels, and admired the frozen lake in the month of April and savored maggi and momos. The journey after this was out of a postcard. Mountains of snow, and your car cutting through the sharp hair-pin turns, cluster of houses and army camps, smiling faces and the warmest people.We were two girls travelling alone, with no network and no mobile connectivity, yet we always felt at home and welcome. Zuluk is a small village on the silk route, and it takes 32 sharp hair-pin turns to reach there. But that little village is the best place to find your calm. It is home to a few homestay’s where the host’s make you feel a part of their family. Their friends and family came that evening, and we had conversations of everything under the sun. From the grandmother to the kids, I never felt so satisfied sharing my stories and hearing theirs. We spent two days there, and got back to gangtok with stories and smiles.The next day we were at leisure at Gangtok. In gangtok one must try the bakery food at baker’s café, and fried momos. Every little café and restaurant at MG market has scrumptious food. It is the little impromptu adventures that shape your travel and makes you come face to what you are, and what you want. somewhere about 13,000 ft above sea level
Asthetically astounding, the Tsomgo lake is necklaced by a kraal that is lined by the Bhutanese flags, the roadside driveway stationed with beautifully dressed yaks. You can walk through the bridge instrumented with the prayer wheels and bells, to the mountain side of the lake, that welcomes snow to settle. The terrain is majestic, instilling the power of the greater forces.
On the way to Nathula is Tsomgo lake or Changu lake (in local language), a high altitude lake with it's crystal clear water, reflecting the human and the divine. A serene place and a photographer's paradise, Tsomgo offers so much to do.
A sip of whisky and you are ready for a yak ride around the frozen lake of Changu. Under the scrutiny of the BSF the hard rock ice beauty is lapped by the snow covered mountains. The lake is about 1 km. Long, oval in shape, 15 meters deep and is considered sacred by the local people. It is also a home of brahminy ducks. It's cool, placid water harmonizes with the scenic beauty around. A small temple of lord Siva is constructed on the lakeside . This placid lake remains frozen during the winter months up to mid-May.
The Nathula merges the Indian state of Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region. The pass is situated, at 4,310 m above sea level, forms as a piece of a branch of the old Silk Road. Nathu signifies "listening ears" and La signifies "go" in Tibetan. On the Indian side, the pass is 54 km (34 mi) east of Gangtok, the capital of Indian state of Sikkim. Just natives of India can visit the pass, but only after successfull permit from the administration of Gangtok. Nathu La is one of the two open trading border posts in the middle of China and India.The others being Shipkila in Himachal Pradesh and Lipulekh in Nepal. Sealed by India after the 1962 Sino-Indian War, Nathu La was re-opened in 2006 after various trade understandings. The Chinese government is wanting to extend its rail administration to Yadong, barely a couple of kilometers from Nathu La.
This was the day I had been looking forward to since the start of the trip. We were going to Nathu-La pass today! Nathu- La is a pass, about 52 Kms from Gangtok, that connects India to China. At the hight of 4,310 meters above sea level, the pass forms a part of an offshoot of the ancient Silk Route. It is one of the highest drive roads in the world. The drive itself is extremely beautiful (though a little bumpy), with a beautiful view of the snow covered mountains and a waterfall at every nook and corner. Apart from the pass, there is the beautiful Changu lake that’ll leave you spellbound. There is also the Baba Harbajan Singh temple, which has a very interesting story to it too. As it is extremely cold and windy there throughout the year, I would hight recommend warm clothing and lots of layers. Also, as there is snow, please ensure you wear suitable footwear. Nathu- La was definitely one of the highlights of my trips. Its just nature at its best. A trip to Nathu-La from Gangtok takes up an entire day. If you leave in the morning, you will only get back by 5 P.M, if not later, depending on the traffic. After we got back we decided to get some traditional Tibetan dinner at Taste of Tibet and then headed to the popular Pub 25 for a few drinks post which we headed back to our hotel.
We started for Nathu La at 9 a.m. and were lucky enough not to face any deadlock due to landslides which is very common in this route and takes hours before the roads are clear. At a height of 14000 ft, barbed wire, Chinese and Indian soldiers and lack of oxygen were the distinctive features visible at Nathu La tourist point. We even got certificates as a souvenir for visiting this place. Salute to the army soldiers to stay vigilant at such extreme conditions.
4. Snow Lover- Gateway to Blissful Snow!Have never seen snow before then Sikkim is the right destination for you. It can be experienced in Nathula Pass and Tsomga Lake also known as Changhu Lake. The view of snow will mesmerize you and leave you spell bound. It can be called as Kashmir of Northeast India. Image courtesy google below:
Everything was according to plan till we reached Nathula pass.
Feeling the wind in my hair on a 60-km downhill ride to GangtokNathula Pass - Gangtok (12, 500 ft - 5400ft).Distance: 59.5 kmWith sore posteriors and soaring spirits, the last day of cycling was something we were really excited about. After an almost 100-km uphill ride in the last few days, today was all about a comfortable 60-km downhill ride from Nathula to Gangtok.Traversing through the winding roads, waving to the army men on the way who were almost surprised to see the squad on wheels at this altitude. It was also the day I met a friend of mine, who was posted at one of the army camps near Tsomgo Lake. We were greeted with warm apple juice and pakodas by the men in uniforms. Needless to say, the army always lives up to the culture of hospitality they are known for.We also had to manoeuvre our bikes through the long traffic jam due to a landslide and move past all the vehicles stuck below Tsomgo Lake. We had descended quite a bit and the Bengali tourists at Tsomgo Lake stopped us multiple times for quick selfies and at times borrowed our cycles to get themselves clicked. Did we mind? Of course.All this while, we were racing with the dark clouds above us and the sole aim was to reach Gangtok before it would rain. Luckily, we skipped any sort of havoc on the final day and when we reached the city, it was bright and sunny. The kids coming back from school, the sound of whizzing vehicles and the fluttering prayer flags in the outskirts of the city, it all felt like coming back to the life we took a break from.
We were asked to reach the taxi stand at 8 AM,The journey to Nathula pass was to be started early morning cause there were more view points to see. But the driver was the only person who came late, we almost waited for an hour and then the journey began a 16 seater vehicle with two newly wedded couple,a family with 7 members,me and my friend,the driver,his helper and a solo backpacker ( the most interesting guy i met on this trip) this guy is professionally a teacher and a Pilgrim by passion,we shared our travelling experiences,he is the only guy i found with the same frequency of travelling as mine,he told me his dream is to visit all the 51 Shaktipeeths and his name is Genie,yes Genie- as i told you we both share same frequencies and may be as a matter of fact we don't like to travel with our original names so we didn't share our original names instead we call each other by the name we prefer he likes to call himself Genie and i love the name Vagabond,its been almost 5 months to this trip and still we are in touch,i must say i met a great guy. (couldn't get his picture cause we were busy enjoying)And our journey began,after driving for an hour we entered the scenic beauty of Sikkim something which is not possible to describe in words. We started driving towards the hill top where the Nathula pass is situated surrounded with the army base camps,we stopped at two places before reaching the pass,one where the driver took the permission from the army camps and the other where we had to eat our breakfast,do keep in mind to fill yourself with a little of food before reaching Nathula pass and ensure to carry a warm jacket with you as it is to too cold up there,the temperature at that time was 5 degree C,and i guess your driver will guide you few things. The view from Nathula was amazing we went up the hill and met two Chinese soldiers one of them was very friendly but the other one was not even ready to shake hands,reason nobody knows. We spent around half an hour there, then on our way back we got our certificate which shows that we have visited Nathula pass situated at 14000 ft from sea level which is half of the height of Mt. Everest.
We were asked to reach the taxi stand at 8 AM,The journey to Nathula pass was to be started early morning cause there were more view points to see. But the driver was the only person who came late, we almost waited for an hour and then the journey began a 16 seater vehicle with two newly wedded couple,a family with 7 members,me and my friend,the driver,his helper and a solo backpacker ( the most interesting guy i met on this trip) this guy is professionally a teacher and a Pilgrim by passion,we shared our travelling experiences,he is the only guy i found with the same frequency of travelling as mine,he told me his dream is to visit all the 51 Shaktipeeths and his name is Genie,yes Genie- as i told you we both share same frequencies and may be as a matter of fact we don't like to travel with our original names so we didn't share our original names instead we call each other by the name we prefer he likes to call himself Genie and i love the name Vagabond,its been almost 5 months to this trip and still we are in touch, i must say i met a great guy.And our journey began,after driving for an hour we entered the scenic beauty of Sikkim something which is not possible to describe in words. We started driving towards the hill top where the Nathula pass is situated surrounded with the army base camps,we stopped at two places before reaching the pass,one where the driver took the permission from the army camps and the other where we had to eat our breakfast,do keep in mind to fill yourself with a little of food before reaching Nathula pass and ensure to carry a warm jacket with you as it is to too cold up there,the temperature at that time was 5 degree C,and i guess your driver will guide you few things. The view from Nathula was amazing we went up the hill and met two Chinese soldiers one of them was very friendly but the other one was not even ready to shake hands,reason nobody knows. We spent around half an hour there, then on our way back we got our certificate which shows that we have visited Nathula pass situated at 14000 ft from sea level which is half of the height of Mt. Everest.
Nathula Pass is one destination wherein incredible India tours can turn into an international one. This trade link between China and India is located at the height of 14,140 feet above sea level.Best Time To Visit: JuneOther Things To Do: Baba Mandir and Tsomgo Lake. 9. Revel in Luxury at Udaipur, Rajasthan
This pass is a Indochina border , the soldiers there are kind enough to answer questions we ask them . Photography is strictly not allowed but you can click pictures from the parking like we did.Road trip from Gangtok to DarjeelingDay 4There are a lot of options to do on this route like water rafting or visiting Lamahata a botanical garden , we have to skip both because of time constraint and we chose to visit Rumtek instead.Rumtek Monestary
Nathula Pass,East Sikkim-The Nathula pass at an altitude of about 14,400 feet above sea level is the Indo China border in Sikkim.The altitude makes it hard for people with breathing problems out here.There is a Cafe on the way to the border and China is clearly visible from the border and there is a restriction on cameras and mobile phone's in the border(ie photos and videos are not allowed to be shot).There are no homestays or hotels out here so you cannot halt for a night out here.There is not much out here but the fact that it is the Indo-China border makes it very precious and tourists cannot afford miss this in their Sikkim Trip.
I was completely lost in the beauty of the view and then the taxi stopped, people got down and I was confused that where did I reach. My hands and lips got numb, my each and every part of the body was being tested by the coldness. All I had was that one jacket, which I was wearing, no gloves or caps. A person came up to me and said that "Son, be careful. Don't let the excitement kill you. It's -5, the oxygen level is also quite low. So be careful."When my body was being tested that was the time I noticed these two soldiers standing tall, unmoved, unaffected and I realized that I have reached Nathula pass. I felt inspired, I felt motivated and proud. The slogans 'Jai Hind' and 'Bharat Maata ki jai' came right from the heart and was not forced. The soldiers guarding the border explained me how they have to survive in difficult conditions. How can I describe this feeling of pride of being an Indian, it is meant not to be told but rather to be felt.
Third day we went Nathula pass. It`s a very awesome place to visit. Sight scene was awesome in this trip. Some snow was also there in the hills of Nathu La way. Changu lake looked very beautiful due to snowy hills around. Also visited Baba mandir nearby nathula.
Trip to Nathula Pass one of the highest peaks in India makes you feel adventurous. A night walk at MG market makes you feel refreshed.This trip is full of adventure,spectacular views and joy.This trip never failed to impress me. Every day of this trip was exciting and new. Sikkim is a place to be visited atleast once in your lifetime. At the end of the trip all I thought was about coming back again and spend more days.A new kind of energy was brought into the life after the trip.
Last day in Gangtok and I started early for Nathula Pass on the Indo-China border. It was the single-best road trip I have ever made as we navigated through treacherous roads that, literally had us driving through the clouds. The driver was a pleasant guy who drove carefully and slowly, while regaling me with local folklore and stories of his own life. We arrived at Nathula at 14000 feet in about 3 hours. Temperatures were close to 0 degrees and oxygen was scarce which left me huffing and panting while regretting the fact that I never thought to bring actual warm clothes. Since this was the first time I had visited a border, the whole experience of standing just a foot away from China was surreal. On the other side one can see the towering snow-clad peaks of Tibet pockmarked by Chinese observation posts. But unlike the Indian side which was teeming with tourists there was hardly any movement on that side. Having collected my visitation certificate and paid my respects to the war memorial, we visited the Baba Harbhajan Singh Mandir, dedicated to an army man who was martyred in the border skirmish. Set beside a glacial lake which, in one of the best images of the trip, had clouds caressing the surface, the temple is maintained by the army who believe the spirit of the Baba keeps them safe and protects them. We also stopped at the Changu Lake on our way back which was a very scenic lake with yaks in beautifully colored garb. I was back in Gangtok by 4 pm, having started at 7 am and bid adieu to the place the next morning.
1.NATHULA PASSNathula Pass,is a pass in the Indo-China border region in the Himalyas and is situated at an altitude of 14,450 feet and is located around 56km from gangtok.Fllanked by mountain on one side and the Tsongmo Lake on the other side,the pass was a beautiful destination in it's own.We started early to visit the Shrine of Baba Harbhajan shrine.There is a very interesting story behind this,which you can read here :http://www.sikkimsilkroute.com/baba-mandir/TIP:1.Nathula Pass is only open for the citizens of India,after obtaining the required permit.The permit can be arranged by the travel agency or by some of the hotels. Identity proof and 2 passport size photographs are required,and cost per person is Rs 200. For unorganized souls like me,who forget to carry their photographs,there are plenty of shops in MK marg which provide instant photos.Also it is best to get the pass well in advance.2.Do not shoot photographs in the restricted area,near the border.Or they (the Chinese) will shoot you.
Located at an altitude of 14,140 feet and 52kms from Gangtok, Nathula Pass was the place through which the famous Silk Route used to operate until 1962. This used to be a trade route between India and Tibet. Lines of mules used to carry silk, gold and many other items from Tibet to India and take daily essentials back to Tibet. The fenced Indo-China border is also few meters away and you can see both Indian and Chinese soldiers guarding the border. The guards are friendly. A stairway leads to the border. There is no 'no mans land' here. Even today, mails are delivered across the border on certain days of the week. There is an engraved stone here called Nehru Stone which marks the visit of former Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru who visited in 1958. CAUTION:Because of the high altitude at Nathula, oxygen level in the air is quite low. Few (adults or children) can face breathing problems at Nathula.
Nathula Pass - India China Border At 14000 Feet, Gangtok. Nathu La is a mountain pass in the Himalayas. Connecting the Indian state of Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region, the pass, at 4,310 m above mean sea level, forms a part of an offshoot of the ancient Silk Road. Border area and roads have been brilliantly maintained by the Indian Army.
The Indo-chinese border and the way to Kailash-Mansarovar. Also, an important place for the ancient silk route.
54 kms east of Sikkim stands the famous Nathula Pass at 14,140 ft above sea level on Indo-China boarder. There are no permanent human settlement in the area and one will find blinding snow and thick fog on both the sides of the road. 5 mins from the Nathula gate and you reach the stone walled passageway that lines the not land mined part of the boarder. On one side few Indian Soldiers were smiling after seeing me struggling with the knee length snow and spine chilling wind (one humble soldier offered me his green cap) on the other side were the Chinese flags reflecting their dominance over the Tibet autonomous region.
Its a border for Trade route between India & China. STill its worth a visit since it is located around 56 kms from Gangtok at an altitude of 14450 ft, the road to Nathula passes through the Tsomgo lake. It is one of the highest motorable roads in the world and is richly surrounded by alpine flora. On a clear day you can even see the road winding down the Chumbi valley. Tourists are allowed to go close to the international border from where you can see Chinese soldiers on the other side of the barbed wire. Nathula is open for Indian nationals on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sundays. The visitors have to get the permit to visit the place by applying to the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department through a registered and recognised Travel Agency. Foreign nationals are not allowed to visit Nathula. Photography is strictly prohibited.
Nathula Pass was a major corridor of passage between India and China..an altitude of 14,450 ft, the road to Nathula passes through the Tsomgo lake. It is one of the highest motorable roads in the world and is richly surrounded by alpine flora. Tourists are allowed to go close to the international border from where you can see Chinese soldiers on the other side of the barbed wire.The only one authorised road between India and china..
The Nathu La is situated at a altitude of 14140 feet and is 52 km from Gangtok. Remember studying history in the junior classes where we had been taught about the Silk route. This is the place from which the Silk route operated where trade between Tibet and India took place. On your way to the site, you will encounter an ATM. Since the altitude is so high and it is difficult to find any resources available, yet a place called Thegu has the ATM facility which is the highest point in the world. One nedds speical permit to visit this place and only Indians are allowed here. The oxygen level in this height is very low so one can carry cylinders along with them which costs around 4k to 5k.
Located 14,000 ft above the sea level Nathu La is the Indo China border. It is one place which just should not be missed on trip to Sikkim. The journey is long and treacherous but the views and sights make up for the discomfort. In winters there is heavy snow fall but if lucky enough you might just witness a milder version the rest of the year. One is filled with a sense of pride watching the Indian Army camps scattered about on the way. Once reaching the destination, the civilians are not allowed to go to the actual border which is nothing but a barbed wire. Rather they are just made to see the border from a distance. But if pulled a few strings, one could go up till the border and even get photographed with the Chinese soldiers from across the border who actually enjoy getting photographed.
Day 3 was spent on Nathu La, Baba Harbhajan Singh Mandir and Tsomgo lake. The difficult journey to Nathu La only enhanced the thrill of watching over the border into China. Baba Harbhajan Singh mandir was built as a tribute to a soldier of the Indian Army, who died near the place where the temple is built. Tsomgo lake is located at an altitude of 12,400 ft. It is sacred to the locals, and is extremely well maintained and clean. Cradled amongst the mountains, it is definitely a sight to behold.
Nathula is a place for those who can take heights. Situated at over 14,000 feet, this Indo-China border is a good place to visit for its different kind of geography. to visit Nathula, it is a good idea to first change base to Gangtok, capital of Sikkim, for Nathula is around two hours from Gangtok. and while you are at it, you could visit the capital too.
The next day I set out for Nathu La. The feeling was heavenly seeing our National flag at one end and Chinese one at the opposite end. The pass had a cool cafe for tourist owned by Indian Army. There is a war memorial near the border and climbing further high, I was standing right on the border. Behind me it was the international fence and beyond that the Chinese conference hall. If I had moved a feet ahead I would have been inside China... of course behind the bars thereafter.. The situation was amazing,, surrounded with fog, chill breeze at Sino border.
Nathu La, the border crossing between India and China, is around 56km from Gangtok. Things to remember before visiting Nathu La. 1. It is open to Indian nationals on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sundays. 2. The visitors have to get the permit to visit the place by applying to the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department through a registered and recognized Travel Agency. 3. Foreign nationals are not allowed to visit Nathula. 4. Photography is strictly prohibited here. Even then, this spot is a must-see for those allowed to visit.
Four hours away from Gangtok, lies the kingdom of snow i.e. the Nathula Border-the famous gateway on the silk route on the Indo-China Border. After a slow and steep drive through the mountains-which change their colour from a sumptuous green to a barren black to a snowy white, one reaches the Nathula border-along with many tourists who regularly throng this major attraction in Gangtok. On the to Nathula, lies the Tsomgo Lake- an un-rippled glass sheet in which the snowy mountains silently admire their own reflections. To beat the cold, duck into the café run by the army and treat yourself to coffee and chocolate. At Tsomgo, treat yourself to hot noodles at many of the small eateries dotting its banks.
Tsomgo Lake is a two-hour drive from Gangtok on the Gangtok-Nathula highway. About a kilometre-long and 50 metres deep, Tsomgo Lake is popular as a tourist attraction and a holy site as well. It’s encircled by lush green landscapes on all sides.Baba Mandir (new)It is built because original Baba Harbhajan Mandir is not open for visitors due to some permission issue.Ganju Lama museum
This morning, after breakfast, proceed for an excursion to Tshangu Lake. The cool water of the lake is perfectly attuned with the scenic beauty around. You can enjoy a yak ride around the lake on your own. Note: In case if Tshangu Lake is closed due to landslide or other reason than an alternate sightseeing will be provided. The rest of the day is at leisure for various independent activities. Overnight in Gangtok. (B, D)
Tsomgo Lake has always attracted tourists with its magical charm of flawless Lake and picturesque snow capped mountains. In Bhutia language, Tsomgo means 'source of Lakes'. If you are a photographer, you can't miss Changu Lake. Changu Lake - hypnotic glacial Lake encircled in icy mountains offering you a stunner at an altitude of 12,000ft. It has crystal clear water with the reflection of icy mountains is a year round attraction. It took us 3 hours long bumpy - eye catching journey from Gangtok as it drives through various waterfalls. In addition it is very close to Indo-China border therefore, we had to obtained a tourist's permit from police check-point.
These exotic places provides perfect challenge to test our photographic skills and learn more skills. After all choosing some of my favorite photographs out of those that I had clicked on this trip will surely leave you with the glimpse of this tranquil trip.
Situated at an altitude of 12,300 ft, the Tsongmo Lake was a white wonderland. The lake was completely frozen and locals were offering yak rides to excited kids and lazy adults. The lake was covered with such a thick layer of ice that one could easily walk over it, but Tsongmo is the holiest lake of Sikkim and even attempting to step on it would be blasphemous.
Tsongmo lake(Changu lake),East Sikkim-The Tsongmo lake or Changu lake,a heavenly glacial body resting at an altitude of about 12,400 feet lies in the district of East Sikkim.Tsomgo can be visited on the way to Nathula Pass.The Tsongmo lake freezes during extreme cold weather and becomes a complete frozen water body.The lake is related to various myths and is considered as a sacred water body by the Sikkimese people.Rides on colourfully decorated yaks and mules are offered at the lake site, which also has a variety of eating stalls serving snacks and beverages.There are hotels and homestays near the lake itself.This route though needs a permit from the Permit office in Gangtok or Rangli.This heavenly glacial is a must visit place for the tourists.
The next day we rose up early and we were to visit East Sikkim. Climbing the flight of steps from our homestay to M.G Marg was a task all throughout our stay there. Sometimes we had to do this twice or thrice a day. That day we had to do it the first thing in the morning without breakfast. We got back together with the same couple from before for one more trip. The route leads to Changgu Lake or Tsomgo Lake, beyond which only Indians are permitted to visit the trading border with China called the Nathu La Pass.At the lake we got to ride a yak around the lake and felt like it would take us on the ancient silk route to China. Talking to the local Yak herders they explained how they take care of their yaks. Until then, all I knew was that Y stood for yak and nothing more. While we were there we experienced hail for the first time. Small goblets of whites rain drops fell around the lake.We spent the time taking pictures and talking to people we met there. The grey view of the almost frozen cold water of the lake will send a chill up your spine. We had a good round of snow ball fights with each other before returning back on the road. The weather was turning really bad after the hail and had to return to Gangtok before the roads closed and to avoid getting stranded there in case of new landslides.
The first half of the trip had been great with the visit to Tsomgo Lake stealing the limelight. It was time to move from Gangtok to Tinchuley.We had our stay planned in Gurung Guest House in Tinchuley. After hours of R&D and reviewing the reviews on Tripadvisor and Tripoto, I zeroed in on this place. What kind of place did I expect it to be? Well I expected a nature farm. A farm with all kinds of animals residing alongside. A farm with minimum number of humans around. And a room with a spectacular view of the valley. Too much to ask for? Well your demands are not met until you make one. And this time I got lucky with all of them.The culture of home stays is catching up in India. And that is for a good reason. New places to visit. Sceneries. Local cuisine. And a host who makes sure you feel like home. That is my idea of an ideal vacation with the family.-----Animal FarmThe first thing that I do when I land at a new place – Scan the area to see if I can find any other species to play with. The usual protocol was followed and I had already fell in love with the place. The place was colonized by Bhutia dogs, cats and goats – many generations of the same family were living together. The grandfather dog, called Messi, was the unofficial guide of the place who lead the guests to the nearby Sunrise point. The kids were too busy playing to learn all these tricks and just followed the senior wherever he went. FoodWhy does the home food taste so good? This place is an absolute delight if you love food (which 99.99% people in this world do). The smell of Chicken Curry and Fried Fish. The home made Red Chilly to set your nose on fire. Delightful snacks prepared in a home made oil. King size chapatis and rice flooded with ghee (again home made). Yumm Yumm Yumm !!!HospitalityThey won’t let you miss your food. They won’t let you miss the sunshine and the morning tea. They will deliver your favorite wine to your room. And they will stuff with you more food even if you are already full. As it is when you are visiting your relatives, a customary “extra chhapati” and “rice” is of utmost important.My first visit to North East and I fell in love with the humans there. Everyone is happy. And a happy person is always a good personThe Hamlet and the Bike rideI rented a mountain bike to explore the area. On the day of Holi. The surroundings were full with colors, small shop owners joining the kids on the street to contribute their share of Gulaal. The tea gardens in their full bloom. Blue sky disappearing the backdrop of Kanchenjunga. Tinchuley is a beautiful place to be with yourself.
The day was cloudy along with chill breeze. Today's program was simple. Only two destinations :- Nathula and Tsogo lake. The scheduled departure of my cab was at 0730 hrs. I reached the taxi stand by 0715 hrs. The whole stand was crowded with people eagerly waiting for their cabs to Nathula. The journey started around 0745 hrs and like I guessed, the journey was adventurous. The roads taking its turn at the edge of the narrow mountain passes. Often we were crossing the army convey. The courageous hard work of BRO can be felt on the roads they constructed. The repair work was under progress. After a breathtaking journey my driver stopped the cab near a tea stall. Actually I can call it a mini one stop point for all problems than a tea stall. The shop was having a variety of menu from medicine, liquor to jackets, fur coats. After an hour and half journey from there I finally spotted a board telling "you are under direct surveillance of Chinese army". It was a special feeling, beyond expressing in words. Soon Nathula welcomed me with mist and fog. The feeling was heavenly seeing our National flag at one end and Chinese one at the opposite end. The pass had a cool cafe for tourist owned by Indian Army. There is a war memorial near the border and climbing further high, I was standing right on the border. Behind me it was the international fence and beyond that the Chinese conference hall. If I had moved a feet ahead I would have been inside China... of course behind the bars thereafter.. The situation was amazing,, surrounded with fog, chill breeze at Sino border. The gate to China recollected my memories of Wagha Border. On specified days trucks from both countries cross this border gate for trade purpose. After spending a quality hour and half there I proceeded to Harbajan Singh Mandir. It was all about an Indian soldier who is still protecting the soldiers guarding the border even after his death. It was getting late stated my driver. So without any delay I headed to Tsogo lake. Earlier in the day the lake was clear and there was no crowd. Now the atmosphere changed totally. . It was crowded and the whole lake was covered with fog. People were enjoying the Yak ride and clicking photos with the fancy dressed yaks. The climate was pleasant and I enjoyed a lot. By 1700 hrs I reached Gangtok and as usual I started roaming on M.G Road. Suddenly a unexpected surprise struck me. While I was walking on the street I met one of my school days friend, Souvik. What a way to meet him after a gap of 10 years. It was one of my evergreen unforgettable movement in the trip. DAY 4: Namchi, THEMI, Ravangla
Day 4: After breakfast, we went to Tsongmo (Changu) Lake, Nathula Pass and Baba Mandir. You need to make prior booking for this trip, as you would need Permits to visit Nathula Pass.After returning, we spent the evening at the ever colourful M G Marg.Day 5: After breakfast we started for a 3 Days 2 Nights trip to North Sikkim (Covering Lachung, Lachen, Gurudongmar and Youmthang Valley). We started from Gangtok in the morning by Car and reached Lachen by Evening. Stayed overnight at a Lodge in Lachen.
One of my favourite aspects of the trip was the visit to Tsongmo Lake or Changu Lake. The original plan was to go to Nathu La but a week's worth of snow can play spoilsport to the best laid plans. We could only go up to the lake, which is about 10-15km short of the pass. The lake itself is at 12,400ft and it quite a sight. We had to trudge through quite a bit of snow, politely refusing yak rides to get to the half frozen lake. I had to trudge along even further to leave behind the horde of loud Bengali tourists. I eventually went around the bend and reached an isolated stretch where the snow was undisturbed, the noise was far away and the mountains were serenely reflected on the glazed surface of the lake. I might have gone further if I wasn't scared of sinking into the snow. I spent some time on that isolated spot, taking pictures and just breathing it all in till my dad found me and called me back for some warm grub. Maggi, momos and snow. Yes, life is good.
The serenity of the place left me awestruck. I found myself wishing that I could belong here till my last conscious breath but my final destination awaited not far away, the peaceful Tsongmo Lake.Close to evening, we jerked to a halt by her turquoise water, just in the first pages of another December freeze. Her otherwise placid life blood reflected the rugged surroundings which glowed in the sixth hue by the fainting rays of a parting sun. The surrounding hills cloaked in the soft quilt of snow served only to enhance the spell cast by this beautiful lake. Every gift of a moment I spent there, breathing in this dreamlike depiction; I uncontrollably strolled along her white banks, too reluctant to leave as the sun slowly slipped behind the peaks.“I will return, to you, a pure manifestation of kind and unkind peace, where life stays eternally frozen in beauty, forever, till the world decides to end.”This trip was first published on https://fernwehgypsy.wordpress.com/.
The lake is thousands of feet above up the sea level , a stretch of frozen lake was just mesmerizing to eyes , the beauty whicth you wish to fall for infinite times and i was just transfixed, with small stalls around, offerings you differ array of things and yaks for a little short ride, that place just hold you there with such force.what enthralls you more is a sudden snow fall , in such steep roads where clouds are touching mountains , and mountains linking roads. These routes are known for sudden landslides and rainfall, and that's exactly the beauty of the place with such trepidation and fear we just set off. This just enlivens you. That ride ended up with a savour of local tea, Temi tea, which is quiet popular among the locals.
Nonetheless, hoping for a little sunshine the next day, we made arrangements with a local tour operator (who also looked after the permits; yes, you will need one) for a shared jeep to NathuLa and back, a total of Rs. 800 per person. The guy promised to fully refund it in case the trip couldn’t be commenced at all, or half of it in case it could only be managed till Tsongmo Lake (weather permitting of course) which turned out to be the case. And at around 8 in morning, we started out, amid dashes of sunshine which, disappointingly, turned to shades of grey a few kilometres before Tsongmo.Some 3 hours after starting out from Gangtok (including an half an hour break for a hot maggi and a cup of tea) we reached Tsongmo Lake. Located some odd 35 km from Gangtok, Tsongmo Lake (also known as Changu Lake) is one of those rare liquid gems that India proudly wears on its fingers. This glacial lake, sitting quietly at an altitude of approximately 12,000 ft above the sea level, fills in from the melting snow of the adjoining mountains and offers different shades in different seasons. It remains frozen during the winters, and the roads leading up to it, though a sheer delight to drive through because of the oh-so-stunning views are extremely rough and patchy at a few stretches. Even though the scenery up top was a sheer delight, the experience was partly ruined by hordes of people and yaks and yak-faeces.The weather, as expected, looked gloomier than ever and had apparently caught our driver’s attention. We were asked to return to the jeep within one and a half or two as, according to him, it might start to snow hard by then. And in an exact one and a half hour, a snowflake landed on my palm, a few minutes after which came the blizzard and Nathula went out the window as well, because we were back in the jeep heading back to Gangtok amidst snow, rain, crackling thunder, and slithery roads. As promised, half of what we had paid was refunded. In spite of us messing up the whole schedule from the very outset, and the rest taken care of by the weather, it was a trip worth taking and teasing with, all the more reason for a quick return to this wondrously mystic landscape. We will be back, for the affair with the mountains must go on!
Located at 12,000ft above sea level, Tsongo is not too far from Gangtok, which makes it a beautiful getaway to the hills for locals and tourists alike. But this high altitude lake in the north-eastern part of India has a unique and fascinating characteristic, which makes it important in both Buddhism and Hinduism. Due to natural reasons, the lake takes different colours during different seasons, and Buddhist monks prognosticate after studying the changing colours of the lake.
The beautiful Tsongmo Lake is situated 38 km from Gangtok and at an altitude of 12,400 ft.The lake derives its water from the melting snows of the mountains surrounding the lake. Of legendary beauty, the lake looks different at different seasons. In winter the placid lake remains frozen with the area around it covered in snow while in late spring the profusion of flowers in bloom adds a riot of colours around the lake. For the tourist a visit to the lake offers a wonderful outing. Rides on colourfully decorated yaks and mules are offered at the lake site, which also has a variety of eating stalls serving snacks and beverages. Snowboots and gumboots can be hired here.
Located at a staggering altitude of 12,300 feet, Tsongmo or Changu Lake is undoubtedly one of the prettiest attractions in Sikkim. The name of this glacial lake roughly translates into "source of water" and it transforms into a glorious snowfield during winters. Spring on the other hand is a different story altogether as alpine flowers paint the landscape in an array of colours. When in Tsongmo, yak rides are imperative.
This Lake is on the way of Nathula pass located 12 kms away from Nathula. Awesome views must be observed at this place and must do Yak ride here. We visited this place in starting days of December, at this time lake is not frozen but in January this lake freeze. Must see
Our journey to Tsomgo was one of the best I’ve ever been on. The beauty on our way up to the lake was astounding. It was unfortunate that we went on days when Nathula Pass was closed; else we had planned to make a trip to the Indo-Chinese border. We also skipped a 2 day trip to North Sikkim due to paucity of time.
I headed to Tsogo lake. Earlier in the day the lake was clear and there was no crowd. Now the atmosphere changed totally. . It was crowded and the whole lake was covered with fog. People were enjoying the Yak ride and clicking photos with the fancy dressed yaks. The climate was pleasant and I enjoyed a lot. By 1700 hrs I reached Gangtok and as usual I started roaming on M.G Road. Suddenly a unexpected surprise struck me. While I was walking on the street I met one of my school days friend, Souvik. What a way to meet him after a gap of 10 years. It was one of my evergreen unforgettable movement in the trip
The Rumtek Monastery also noted as the Dharmachakra Center, is a gompa situated in the Indian state of Sikkim close to the capital Gangtok. It is a point of convergence for the sectarian pressures inside of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism that portray the Karmapa controversy. Initially constructed under the course of Changchub Dorje, twelfth Karmapa Lama in the mid-1700s, Rumtek served as the fundamental seat of the Karma Kagyu heredity in Sikkim for quite a while. The religious community is at present the biggest in Sikkim. It is home to the group of monks and where they perform the customs and practices of the Karma Kagyu ancestry. A stupa made of gold contains the relics of the sixteenth Karmapa. Inverse to that building is a school, Karma Shri Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies. The Rumtek Monastery is highlighted in the 2014 Indian mystery thriller novel, The emperor's riddles by Satyarth Nayak.
RUMTEK MONASTERYGangtok being influenced by "Buddhism", is a place of Monasteries; Rumtek being the most famous and Largest Monastery in Gangtok, it’s house to hundreds of Monks. Number of "Prayer Wheels" were arranged up to the Monastery, we spun them as we moved up to the monastery. I somehow managed to get clicked with three little Monks; they were quite shy and composed to themselves.
Located in eastern Sikkim, India, at an altitude of about 1547m above sea level, Rumtek Monastery or the Dharma Chakra Centre is one of the most important centers of Kagyu lineage of Buddhism, after Tibet. The monastery is a replica of the Kagyu headquarters in Tibet and it is the seat of His holiness Gyalwa Karmapa, the 16th Karmapa, the charismatic leader of the Karma Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism. It was originally built by the 9th Karmapa but was rebuilt by the 16th Karmapa as it was in ruins when he arrived here after fleeing Tibet. The monastery is also an important education and spiritual centre. The architectural design and layout follows a traditional Buddhist template, which is followed by many other Indian Buddhist monasteries since then. The complex comprises of a shrine-temple, monastery, retreat center, monastic college (Shedra), nun's hostel, Stupas and many other community administration centers and also other religious institutions. It is the largest monastery in Sikkim. There is a Golden Stupa which contains the relics of the 16th Karmapa.
I was amazed to see how beautiful the architecture of the monastery was. The hymns played there make the whole environment spiritual. One has to walk up a little, I see a smile on trekkers' faces now !!, to reach the monastery. Indian nationals shall have to show their photo ID cards. Foreign nationals need a permit which is made at the entry gate. There is Nalanda Institute just beside the monastery which is also worth visiting.
Our next spot was the largest monastery in Gangtok - the Rumtek Monastery. I feel the Google and Wikipedia can give detailed information about this monastery as far as their history,tradition, culture and the lineage of Buddhism followed here is concerned, rather that me trying to describe it. If you enjoy art and architecture, the monastery has to offer several beautiful and intricate Buddhist paintings to appreciate and forever cherish in memories. By evening, we were back in Gangtok and after some shopping in the local Lal Bazaar we had our dinner there itself. Thus came to end our one of the most memorable trips so far...
This was my first visit to a monastery . And to visit this monastery gave me such peace and self content that I felt so close to nature . When we arrived evening prayers were coming to a close as we hurried to visit the sacred temple . Small wooden floored room overlooked a closed glass paned room that held a huge throne made of gold and precious stones .
Rumtek Monastery, also called the Dharmachakra Centre, is a gompa located in the Indian state of Sikkim near the capital Gangtok.
Day 4 was spent on places of interest near Gangtok, and Rumtek monastery was our first stop. It is one of the main centers of Buddhist spirituality, and gave us an amazing opportunity to observe and interact with Buddhist monks. From there we made our way to another monastery, Ranka monastery, which also had a school of Buddhist learning nearby.
The Rumtek Monastery was situated at a distance of 26 km from Gangtok. At about 10 am I reached Rumtek. It was a peaceful area guarded by CISF. My driver briefed me about this Monastery. He told this is the costliest Monastery in Sikkim because the idol of Lord Buddha is furnished with gold. The indoor painting was magnificent. I was feeling like I was in another world surrounded with pin drop silence, birds humming and mountains all around.
Ruktek is popularly called the Dharmachakra Centre, and is a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery near the capital, Gangtok. Rumtek is a famous monastery all over the world, especially among the Tibetan Buddhists. The luxuriously sprawling green landscape, brilliant weather, smiling people, and traditions that touch the conscience are among the few things you'll cherish here.
Banjhakri Water Falls
Banjhakri falls is a remarkable touristy spot in Sikkim. There is very popular story behind this spot and its name. The word "Banjhakri" means woodland shaman, now if we separate it further "Boycott" implies primitive and "Jhakri" implies shaman. Shaman is a priest among specific people of northern Asia, viewed as one with recuperating and supernatural forces who can impact the spirits and achieve good and evil. Furthermore, it is these Shamanistic practices that are delineated by means of the dolls in this amusement park. Some of these portray customs, some recuperating ceremonies and others the start process in the life of a shaman. All these are entirely fascinating as is the waterfall that thunders down from a height of say 70 feet. Few facilities have been built for the visitors to go closer to the waterfall and take a shower.This a ideal place for kids to enjoy and is also best for family hangouts.
Post breakfast we proceed towards it . It is one of the biggest park and has a beautiful waterfall in it.Entry Fee 50/- per person
Surrounded by beautiful gardens , it is a picnic spot where you will go crazy clicking pictures and admiring the beauty of the waterfall.Paragliding over Gangtok cityIf you are an adrenaline junkie like me , it is an experience of the lifetime . It will cost you 2500 rs and 500 extra for videoDo Drul ChortenIt is the popular Stupa built by Rinpoche , a Tibetan Buddhist , it is surrounded by 108 prayer wheels . Road trip from Gangtok to Nathula passDay 3The route from Gangtok to Nathula pass is awesome but if you get car sick easily then don’t forget to take a tablet prior.Changu Lake ( Tsomgo Lake)
MG Marg Market
"M. G. Marg otherwise called Mahatma Gandhi Road or MG Road is a street which is viewed as the town focal point of Gangtok. The street and the territory around it has changed throughout the years. It is currently more like a long extend of open shopping center or lane square where local people and visitors take recreation walk or simply sit and unwind on one of the numerous seats laid along the center and both sides of the street to absorb the vibe. The whole range is free of trash, smoke ,vehicle and any other mode of transportation. It's a ""Person on foot"" zone and vehicles are not permitted on this 1 kilometer stretch of the street. In line with government's green activity, all structures on both sides of this street are painted with green colour. The Statue of Unity overlooks MG Marg. The statue includes the figures of Bhutia Chieftain Khye Bumsa, the Lepcha pioneer Thetong Tek and his wife Ngo-Kong-ngol. Shops in MG Marg are open from 8am to 7pm. "
Take a hotel in the vicinity of M.G. Marg since this is the most beautiful place to stay and has the best dining options. Do check if the hotel has hot water facility since it is a common problem. Book a cab for Nathu La and Baba Sahib Mandir for the next day. The drivers need permit since it is in a close proximity of China border and only a limited number of cars are allowed.
8) M.G Marg MarketThis a compulsory visit . If you came to Gangtok and never visited this, your tour will remain incomplete. It is the heart of Gangtok. Here you will get everything. It is the most cleanest market in India. It is very clean and in evening it itself a beauty. Very nice to sit in evening. An unforgettable place.You can try some varieties of street foods from here like at The Roll House, Taste of Tibet and much more..
Gangtok’s nightlifeAs the sun sets behind the mountains happy time come along MG Marg, Gangtok's Social hub. Tapri's, endless variety of juicy momos stalls, lounge bars come alive. What may surprise is the cleanliness around this area, its in fact one of the cleanest cities of the country and is even Spit & Litter free zone and it is really :). Dine, Dance, Drink the night away. Do try the local beers (tongba, chhang) available here in bamboo mugs it would be worth a experience.Finding YourselfGive yourself some time of peace and calmness away from the daily hectic life of cities we live in; Meditate in an ancient Buddhist gompa, visit the many monasteries this place has to offer. Don't forget to light a butter lamp for peace, love and whatever other reason you want to when you visit monastery :P
I started my exploration with M.G Road Gangtok. It was similar to all Mall Road in every hill station. But the uniqueness of this place is about its cleanliness,100% litter free zone and cool architecture. Locals say "our Chief Minister has made M.G Road as beautiful as a street in Singapore". Having my dinner at 'Rasoi', I concluded my day's walk and headed back to my hotel.
Hotels and Homestays in Premlakha 306 Hotels
Weekend Getaways from Premlakha
62 Kms from Premlakha
Best time to visit - October- April
Often called as the "Queen of all Hill Stations", this is one of the most popular in the whole world. This place is wrapped by everything beautiful nature has blessed the Earth with. Darjeeling is located in the lap of the Mountain Kanchenjunga and crowned by the mighty Himalayas, there is tranquility everywhere you see. There is the bright red hue of blooming rhododendrons, the peaceful white of the magnolias and also the silvery white firs all spread over the hills and the stretches of hills covered with the emerald color tea bushes. If you are out during the early mornings, the clouds will cross across your face. This is a perfect place for a tourist, ornithologist, trekker, a photographer and children too. The famous toytrain of Darjeeling is now a Heritage of Bengal. The other nearby attractions are Mirik, Mall, Batasia Loop, Kurseong, Kalimpong and Dooars Valley. A trip to this beautiful place is sure to fetch you a lot of memories to be etched in your heart forever.Read More
The hotel is located within a few minutes distance from the Gandhi Road. The property was actually a residential family property. The couple came up with the idea of constructing a hotel for the tourists. They constructed the upper floor for lodging and the ground floor was kept for the restaurant and café.
Things to do: Take a ride on the Himalayan Railway to the Ghum Monastery; have a candlelight dinner at the iconic Glenary's; take an hour-long walk from the main town to the picturesque Happy Valley Tea Estate; try your luck at spotting a red panda at the Singalila National Park.
DarjeelingThose who want to avoid the Darjeeling crowd can stay at Rangaroon and yet get all the taste of Darjeeling tour. You can easily make a day trip to Darjeeling and visit all the places of attraction. Visit the Darjeeling Zoo, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Japanese Peace Pagoda, Darjeeling Mall and other places of interest. You can also take a visit to the Ghoom Monastery and the railway Museum at Ghoom Station.Stay At:There is only one homestay at Rangaroon. – Khaling Cottage Homestay. It is a very beautiful homestay having 4 rooms in total. The hosts are really friendly and go all out to make your stay comfortable and memorable. Their motto is "Come as guests, Leave as family". And the will really become your family after your stay.
How wrong can I be?! The climate at Tiger Hill – the famous spot to see the mighty mountain, put the one at Pelling to shame. The huge crowd gathered on the hill sadly started walking back with disappointment.Like at Sikkim here also the tour was arranged by the hotel people. The morning tour included two more spots also for which I didn’t bother to get up from the seat at all in that rainy climate.Another cab came around 9.30 AM for the next round of sightseeing called the 5 point tour. The climate was villain again at many spots.
We got ready by 4:30 in the morning , as we were scheduled to watch the Sunrise from the Tiger Hill. But the driver got very angry. As per him , 3:30 would be the best time to depart. And while our journey to we realized why. There were hundreds of vehicles were going from there to the same destination. The roads were filled up with cars. As we were already late, the only way to got there before sunrise was fastening our seat-belts and allow the driver to drive as fast as possible. That exactly what we did. That was heck of a driving. Never forget that. But despite of the furious drive, we actually thanked the driver when we reached at Tiger Hill 5:25 am.
"You need to come out from your comfort zone, for your career, for you traveling as well" It was a lazy morning , I got up really late. We were about to go for sightseeing at about 2:00. So, I was just enjoying the fresh morning. And then we got the news. Dipu's friend , who was told to book the returned ticket, failed to do so. There were no train for return. We were about to return on the next day. Nobody's data network was working except mine. It might not been happened if we planned it and executed it ourselves. Regarding train, there was no other option except returning in unreserved coach. But there is no point of thinking on the matters you don't have your hand. There's nothing we could do until next day. So , we moved out for sightseeing. The roads were full of cars. Most of them are narrower than the city's one way road. We forced to skip few places for traffic. We should have started in the morning. Some places we missed - Singallila National Forrest ( Famous for rear Red Panda), Tenzing Rock (offers rock climbling).What we enjoyed -
We have planned only half day for darjeeling but most of the points are to be visited early in the morning starting from sunrise at Tiger Hills, so we are hopeful that we will be able to do it.We are ready to travel while raindrops pouring down from sky. We are having only one rucksack with rain covers. Our raincoats are ready and we are planning to go slow on wet roads. Separate poly bags are packed for keeping wet clothes, wallets and mobiles. Shoes and tough to dry clothes are avoided. Gears are packed, tickets are booked and we are all set to have an adventurous, energetic and drizzling bike trip. See you on the other side of the journey. Bye Bye.
Shopping (if needed) must be done in the evening as everything shuts early night due to fog and low visibility.The best season to visit Darjeeling is from March to May or October to November. Monsoons offer wonderful experience but there are chances of landslides. Winters are chilly and it sometimes snows in Darjeeling.
100 Kms from Premlakha
Best time to visit - March,April,May,June,October,November,December
One would assume that Thimphu is still settling into its role as the capital of one of the happiest countries in the world, Bhutan. Simple at heart, grappling with growing commercialisation, Thimphu is bustling with energy and is the heart of the country. Thimphu is a delight to explore if history interests you and also if you want a break from the quiet and serenity of Bhutan. Brimming with cafes, nightclubs and restaurants, the city welcomes people from all over the world with open arms. While here, do check out Changangkha Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, the National Folk Heritage Museum which offers a peek into the life of the Bhutanese people, especially the rural way of life. There are tons of parks, gardens and galleries in and around Thimpu and you cover most of these in a single day depending on your interests. The exhibits here range from archaic to contemporary and are definitely worth taking a look at. Read More
Only a 2-hour drive from Paro, Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan is the most happening town of the country. Here, you can give your honeymoon a touch of fun, frolic and party!Where To Stay:
National Institute for Zorig Chusum in Thimpu is a must visit! It’s a government initiative to preserve local art and craft. It offers courses on Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts which includes calligraphy, painting, sculpture, wood carving, casting, pottery, embroidery, tailoring, weaving, masonry, silver and gold smith workshops. The discipline and skills that the students exhibit is extremely impressive!
Next day, hail a cab and travel to the capital town, Thimphu. Aim to keeping this cab to get around in Thimphu, as it be a more convenient and cheaper option since cab fares are high there. Moreover, the cab drivers in Bhutan are very gracious and will always indulge in a conversation about His Highness, Bhutan, and Buddhism. Thus, you'll be learning a lot while you're in transit. You can contact Mr. Mangal Singh at +975 17607472 to book for a trip.** (Read Part 2 for Thimphu, Punakha and Haa Valley)Cover Image Credits: http://www.mountainechoes.org/
Day 2: Phuntsholing -> ThimpuWe woke up early on Day 2 and met our guide Sangay who took us for our immigration process. We took around 3 hours at the Department of Immigration to get our permits and then after lunch we were off to Thimpu. There was initially some concern about the weather but the rain wasn't heavy enough to spoil our plans.
Next day morning, we geared up as soon as the 5AM alarm went off to capture the first light hitting Thimphu, Bhutan. A small hike to a nearby monastery with frozen dew all around the place was totally worth it. Sunlight falling on the mountain range behind the Thimphu city was quite a spectacular sight to watch.
Thimphu city is spread out along the side in a north-south heading on the west bank of the valley framed by the Raidāk River, which is known as the Wang Chuu or Thimphu Chuu in Bhutan. It is also the third highest capital in the world in altitude. The ancient capital city of Punakha was replaced by Thimphu when it was established as capital in 1955, and in 1961 Thimphu was declared as the capital of the Kingdom of Bhutan by His Majesty the 3rd Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
Day 4: The way towards Thimphu started. The first stop to visit was kharbandi gonpa ( the monastery built by Royal Grandmother , Ashi Phuntsho Choedron in 1967). The beautiful and magnificent himalayan ranges were seen to the road which took upto the hills. The Toorsa river had its silent flow irrespective of the aura around. The small town of Chimakothi has its own culture maintaining its individuality. Finally the day or to be more appropriate the year ended with a theme based party in Bhutan.
85 Kms from Premlakha
Best time to visit - March,April,May
Bhutan has gradually become a popular tourist destination. And if you are visiting Bhutan, you can't possibly miss the lovely city of Paro. Considered to be one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan, it is definitely a must visit! A perfect mix of culture, beauty, nature and history, Paro offers you an experience unlike another. Do visit the unofficial Taktsang Monastery or Tiger's Nest, which is a delight for trekkers and explorers! Located on a hill, the trek to this monastery is something you'll always remember. Do carry water, wear proper shoes before you start your trek lest the number of halts increases your trek time. Another wonderful place to visit is the National Museum of Bhutan which is located in a former watch tower and hosts a collection of artefacts tracing the history of Bhutan. Among other places to visit, Rinpung Dzong and Drakhapo are definitely worth visiting. The Paro market is also a great place to explore and makes for a perfect location for an evening stroll. If you don't want to stay in the city, Paro is where you should head to. The lush valleys here are a delight to explore and the streams and meadows are nothing less than a postcard. Read More
Paro Tshechue/Paro Festival which happens in the month of April at the Rinpung Dzong is a series of dance performances by the monks and laymen wearing ornate costumes and masks. It is said that one gains merit by attending these festivals. (WooHoo! Brownie points for being a part of this) We woke up at 3am (we surprise ourselves by doing things like these :p ) to witness the Thongdrel festival – which is an unfurling of a massive embroidered painting of Guru Rinpoche. It is considered so sacred that simply seeing a Thongdrel unfurl is said to cleanse one’s sins!
Tiger’s Nest or Paro Taktsang monastery in Paro is by far the most iconic symbol of Bhutan. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery. Hence the name – ‘Tiger’s Nest’. The trek takes about 6 hours which includes the tour of the monastery. The trail is uphill but not very steep, pretty doable we must say. It is tiring yes, gives you a serious fitness check (if you don’t believe in any form of exercise, like us!) but believe us, once you reach the top and inhale the pure and serene air, you will forget the aching bones and the gasping you experienced. The scenery over the valley is just mind blowing – completely lined with prayer flags and prayer wheels.
Day 4: On our way to Paro. 2nd important city and in fact only city with airport in Bhutan.. 1.5 hr ride from Thimpu .. 50 kms.Bhutan major attraction - Tiger nest.. Have always been enticed by its wallpaper like pics.. Time to turn imaginations into reality..Taktsang, or the Tiger's Nest Monastery, is one of the most sacred sites in Bhutan. one of the most challenging monasteries to get to. Located at an elevation of over 10,000 feet, Taktsang is the birthplace of Bhutanese Buddhism.
After breakfast, drive till the base of the world famous Taktsang Lhakhang. Taktsang Lhakhang or the Tiger's Nest is the most famous Buddhist pilgrimage site and temple complex in Bhutan. Visible from afar, this stunning and highly revered monastery is perched on a high granite cliff at an altitude of 10,236 ft., overlooking the northern Paro valley. The rest of the day is at leisure for independent activities. Overnight in Paro (B)You can stay at-
After breakfast, visit National Museum, Paro Dzong and Kyichu Lhakhang. The National Museum of Bhutan is housed inside the revamped Ta Dzong, which was formerly a watchtower. It showcases an intriguing collection that illustrates the rich and unique cultural heritage and tradition of Bhutan, including ancient Bhutanese art and artifacts.
This morning, drive to Paro, en route visit Punakha Dzong. Punakha Dzong served as the capital of the country from 1637 to 1907 and the first national assembly was hosted here in 1953. Built in 1637-38, this massive architectural edifice is the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan. In addition to its structural beauty, it is renowned for containing the preserved remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the unifier of Bhutan as well as a sacred relic known as the Ranjung Karsapani, a self-created image of Avalokiteswara. On arrival, checkin to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the local markets. Overnight in Paro. (B)
68 Kms from Premlakha
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,December
Kurseong, located about 30 km from Darjeeling, is for travellers who are looking to get away from the chaos of typical hill stations. With tea gardens as the region's landscape, Kurseong is as charming as it is lively and a perfect weekend destination if you are in West Bengal. There are a number of spots here that promise you an overwhelming view of the enveloping mountains – the most significant being the clear views of the mighty Kanchenjunga. Like any other hill station, Kurseong has its share of lovely touristy spots including Dow Hill, Eagle Craig and various tea estates including Makaibari Tea Estate (which is said to be the oldest tea estate in the region). If you are looking to explore the town completely, it's best to get in touch with some locals and discover hidden gems including trekking sites and birdwatching spots. Read More
236 Kms from Premlakha
Best time to visit - March,April,May,June,July
The twin towns of Malda and English Bazaar make for an unusual holiday destination. Serving as a gateway to Bengal, one usually spots Malda on the way to Siliguri from Kolkata. Malda is a very small city, though the places surrounding it are considered to hold great architectural significance. Some of these destinations are also mentioned by the Archaeological Survey of India, including Gour, Farakka Barage and Jouhra Kali Bari. Gour, the erstwhile capital of Bengal is home to the original footprints of Lord Mohammad and it is very well preserved here. Adina is home to a beautiful mosque and if you have a few hours to spare, this small town deserves a visit. If you are a history buff, Malda will be a pleasure to discover, though you'll have to do a little research before setting out to explore.Read More
When we reached at Malda it was already 12:30 am. We reached Souma's Aunt's place. Had some dinner , get some sleep for about 2:30 hrs. We had slept only 2-3 hrs in the last 24 hrs and traveled more than 300 km by road that was too in uncomfortable conditions.We boarded on the train from Malda at about 6 o'clock. Not that its the best place I have ever visited , but something was special about the Darjeeling trip. There are a lot of things I have learnt from this trip , most importantly -1. Never delay when you need a trip, no matter whatever it takes.2. Unplanned trips are better, but only for off seasons.3. If you want to go for unplanned trips always make sure of two things that you know about the place , and you are physically fit for any type of situation.4. It is hard to go for a unplanned trip that even in budget. But if you are physically fit enough to stay in any type of room, travel in uncomfortable conditions and not allergic to local foods , you can travel anywhere without planning and within budget too.5. Traveling makes you wiser, happier and more fearless - if you trust this you can travel anywhere no matter the hurdles comes in your way.
61 Kms from Premlakha
Best time to visit - September to March
Pelling is approximately 130 km far from Siliguri and 115 km from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, and is very well connected by transport and jeep services. The lovely little town of Pelling is popular for magnificient views of the snow-topped Kanchenjunga range, the third most elevated crest in the world.The Placid town pulls a large portion of the guests for its representative status in history, and nature of the state of Sikkim. Situated at a height of 6,800 ft, Pelling offers great perspective of the whole Kanchenjunga mountain reach including Koktang, Kumbhakaran , Rathong, Kanchenjunga, Pandim, Siniolchu and many more. This is as close as you can get to the Kanchenjunga range without leaving the material solace of good lodgings. Because of its worthwhile area, numerous hotels and cabins have come up in and around Pelling taking into account shifted tastes and budgets. Also the climate in Pelling may change from bright and sunny to blurred and miserable in a matter of minutes. Read More
Drive to Khecheopalri. The enchanting lake is cradled by pine forests and shrouded in local myths. You could head to Yuksom next and in the evening, visit the Pemayangtse monastery.
It was a very misty morning at Pelling making a man standing 10 meters far invisible. The hope of seeing Kanchenjunga faded away but not the mist. It just kept coming. But I was not ready to give up, thus Darjeeling came in to picture. But before that just a quick sightseeing of Pelling.
Pelling, a beautiful town in the West district of Sikkim, is becoming the second biggest tourist destination in Sikkim after Gangtok. The main attraction of the place is the breath-taking sight of the Khangchendzonga and the neighbouring peaks. The famous Pemayangste monastery is less than a kilometre from here and is a major tourist hotspot. It also provides sites for mountain biking, rock climbing, village tours, meditations, educational studies and several other activities. The scenic town of Pelling is a perfect holiday destination for all nature lovers. How to Reach Pelling Air: The nearest Airport to Pelling is Bagdogra Airport, Siliguri, which is a four hour drive from Pelling. You can take a taxi or bus from here to reach Pelling. Rail: The nearest Railway Station from Pelling is Jalpaiguri Railway Station, which is at a distance of 170 Kms from Pelling. It is well connected to major cities like Chennai, New Delhi, Howrah, Alipur and Darjeeling through Guwahati Express, Ndls Bgp Express, Mas Njp Express and Dbrt Rajdhani. Road: Pelling is well connected with the other cities of Sikkim via Sikkim State Road Transport Corporation (SSRTC) and some private travel services. Buses are available to get to Pelling and thus taking a bus or a rented/private vehicle is a good idea. However, owing to high elevation it’s better visited in Sumo or similar vehicle. rom Gangtok– 115 kms – 5 hours From Bagdogra– 135 Kms – 5.5 hours From New Jalpaiguri– 130 Kms – 5.5 hours From Darjeeling town – 109 kms – 4.5 Hours. There is an alternative short route through which the distance comes down to about 70 kms. But this route is quite steep and may not remain operational throughout the year. From Kalimpong – 85 kms – 4 hours From Jorethang – 42 kms – 2.5 hours From Ravangla – 45 kms – 2.5 hours Pelling Weather As is true for the entire state of Sikkim, weather here is unpredictable in nature. Weather in Pelling may change from Bright and sunny to clouded and gloomy in a matter of minutes. The cloud and sun plays a contineous game of hide and seek creating a mesmerizing environment for the traveller. April, May and June are the summer months in the plains and high season at Pelling as people try to avoid the excessive heat of the plains and find comfort in the mountains. Weather during this time is pleasant with average temperature around 15 to 20 centigrade. July to September is the rainy season, and it rains quite heavily here. Landslide is common and occasionally Pelling may not be accessible by the main road. This is the low season and hotel and tour costs come down sharply. So if you are looking for a budget friendly tour and don’t mind carrying an extra umbrella, you may consider Pelling most suitable for you during this season. October – November is the festival season in India and again a high tourist season in the hills. Pelling weather around this time is similar to the Summer months. But visibility is better with great views of the mountain range available during most of the days. December – March are the cooler months with temperature going below 10 degree. Most international tourists visit here around this season. Indian visitors not afraid of a little chill, may enjoy Pelling during the winter months. The best part of this time is post monsoon visibility remains excellent and since it is not a very high season, you can enjoy travel without having to hustle with other toursts. Sightseeing in Pelling Pemayangtse Monastery Sanga Choeling Monastery Khecheopalri Lake Sangay Waterfall Sewaro Rock Garden Singshore Bridge Rimbi Waterfall Kanchenjunga Fall &More....For more Please Visit ....https://www.facebook.com/TravelographybyPlabanBhattacharya
DAY- 2A Proper Start to the DayIn the Morning it was just awesome to watch the view along our balcony. It was a typical weather with clouds as it was slightly raining but the absolutely blew our mind...
We immediately changed our plan and decided to go to Pelling. We hired a car, the driver demanded Rs100 per person extra as the condition of the road was terrible. We had no other choice. We reached Jorethang at 2 pm and another bad news was waiting for us! There was only one share jeep for Geyjing, but for an unknown reason the driver refused to take us to Geyjing. After 1 hour of pleading and pleasing him, he agreed to go but demanded Rs.500 extra! At 4.30 we reached geyjing.Its a small hamet. From there we had to trek 10 kms to reach pelling. When we reached , there were no sign of any human, no electricity,as if the city was abandoned. We were exhausted, hungry, worried and at the same time a bit scared too! we walked down the road and saw only one hotel was still open . Fortunately we booked a room for five of us and after having a heavenly Roti Egg curry we slept off. The Kangchendzonga Next morning we went to visit Pemayangtse Monastery and Rabdantse Ruins - as Pema suggested. Oh, she is a good friend of mine and she is from Yuksom, presently studing at Scottish church college.By 8 am we reached Pemayangtse. Pemayangtse Monastery is one of the six major monasteries of the Nyingma school in Sikkim, and the main holder of Lhatsun's tradition in the world. It was founded by Lhatsun Namkha Jigmed in 1647 A.D. It was originally started with a small shrine called Tsangkhang on the spot of present monastery probably in the year 1647 A.D. Later the third Dharma King Chogyal Chagdor Namgyal (1686-1716 A.D.) and Khenchen Rolpai Dorjee (Vajra Master of Pemayangtse) expanded this Lakhang and re-established it in the year 1705 A.D. and was named it as Sangchen Pedmayangtse monastery in Tibetan which means "most sacred lotus summit monastery" which was started with an enrolment of 108 monks.We entered the main shrine. The first floor of the monastery has a notable collection of ancient Buddhist antique idols, sculptures and decorated paintings. In the second floor Padmasambahva's eight incarnations in fierce form and the Tripitaka texts are also seen there. On the third floor particular note is a seven-tiered painted wooden structure, portraying Guru Rimpoche 's Heavenly Palace known as "PEDMA DRAWAI SHING KOD", which was originally built by Lhatsun Namkha Jigmed himself and later renovated by Khenchen Tsundre Rinpoche.The room was dark, uncannily quiet, those scary paintings and those tibbetan masks and that low hymn created a surreal world.
While thousands of travelers and photographers explore India's vibrant beauty, there are certain places in India which are not being traveled yet. Pelling is one of such places. Nested at an altitude of 7,200 ft and blessed with the blessings of world's third highest mountain range i.e. Kanchenjunga range, this place renders some unpredictable experience for adventurers and photographers. You will find fewer tourists so this place is quiet and serene, not much commercialized as compared to Gangtok. It was about 115km long road trip from Gangtok and as I was there in autumn season so the whole Pelling was almost converted into the carpet of alpine vegetation and numerous waterfalls. In winter season, Pelling is in the blanket of snow. It is the best place for trekkers to undertake the treks of Sikkim. My best part of the journey was living with locals at their home to know about their culture. Through the series of photos i will show you some of the spectacular view of Pelling.
Pelling is considered as Nature's Paradise. The greenery you find here is breathtaking and the landscapes are just unbelievable. Pelling is nearest to Kanchenjunga and the famous Sunrise can be seen from any hotel you stay in here. We woke up early in the morning to witness the sunrise, but the weather was cloudy. Though we got some breath taking view of the valley from our balcony.
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