East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers

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Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das

Three is considered to be an weird combination by many. However, an unlikely combination of three musketeers, me, mom and aunt embarked on an 'adventure' in autumn 2018, travelling to East Sikkim and a quaint town of North Bengal- Ramdhura.

Day 1

An overnight journey by Darjeeling mail from Kolkata brought us to NJP, where our car was ready to take us to Aritar, first stop on itinerary. The excitement was palpable as the river Teesta joined us on our right, and we breathed in fresh air, the dust from the bad roads not affecting the lungs accustomed to pollution. We gleamed, clicked, took tea breaks and gorged on momos on our four hour drive to Aritar.

On route to Aritar

Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das

Teesta river

Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das
Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das
Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das
Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das

On entering Sikkim at Rongpo

Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das

On entering Sikkim at Rongpo

Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das
Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das

Aritar falls in East Sikkim under Rongli subdivision. Cabs are available from NJP/Gangtok/Rongli, however the area is situated away from the main route and shared cabs would be difficult to get. We stayed at Karma Homestay with comfortable rooms and geyser, along with homely delicious food and warm hospitality.

Karma Homestay, where we stayed at Aritar.

Photo of Karma Homestay, Aritar, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das
Photo of Karma Homestay, Aritar, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

View from the balcony

Photo of Karma Homestay, Aritar, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

Our wonderful hosts along with us

Photo of Karma Homestay, Aritar, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das
Photo of Karma Homestay, Aritar, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das
Photo of Karma Homestay, Aritar, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

Post a homemade lunch, we strolled around, soaking in the peace and tranquility which we craved in the city. The vast mountains, empty roads and greenery all around lifted our spirits.

The evening brought in hot tea and pakodas along with a full moon night. Time passed as we chatted, unknowingly weaving back the connections we neglect and leaving behind a trail of memories.

Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das
Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das
Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das
Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das
Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das
Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das
Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das

Full moon night

Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das
Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das
Day 2

We woke up to a sunny morning with a day trip to Dzuluk, Gnathang Valley,Kupup lake and old baba mandir in our itinerary. A morning walk before that to the nearby helipad ground gave us some serene sun kissed views of the surroundings.

Kanchenjunga hidden amongst clouds

Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks - John Muir

Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das
Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das

The helipad ground with furry guides for company

Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das
Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das

Clear blue sky, a rarity in our cities

Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das

Sun kissed selfie!????

Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das

The guide.. He never left our side while we roamed the surroundings

Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das

We had two stops before Dzuluk, one at Rongli where you are required to take permit, and the other at Que Khola falls on the main road after you pass Rongli. For the permit, you need to carry passport size photo and photocopy of ID proof, and it takes about 30 minutes to complete the formalities.

Rongli

Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das
Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das

Que Khola Falls

Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das

Another part of Que Khola falls

Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das

Check post at Lingtam, en route Dzuluk

Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das

Suddenly weather changed after Lingtam and it became cloudy on way to Dzuluk. It was a game of hide and seek through the 32 hairpin bends, clouds coming and going, but a patient wait at Ganek view point finally lifted the covers and gave us the sight to behold.

Clouds clearing up

Photo of Zuluk, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

A better view

Photo of Zuluk, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

Sun shining through

Photo of Zuluk, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das
Photo of Zuluk, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

Snowflakes on the corners

Photo of Zuluk, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

White beauty

Photo of Zuluk, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

View from another view point. Notice the prayer flags and snow flakes

Photo of Zuluk, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

Thambi view point. By the time we reached here it became cloudy once again

Photo of Zuluk, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

Not much visibility from Thambi view point.

Photo of Zuluk, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

We proceeded further, and the expanses started turning white due to snow fall the earlier day. I was worried about AMS kicking in, as we could feel the shallowness of air at Gnathang and Kupup. Do carry adequate medicines to deal with emergency, or contact army for help.

En route Gnathang Valley

Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

The armed forces, protecting us in the harsh terrain.

Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

The entrance to the valley

Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

Cafeteria at Gnathang Valley. Trust me, you would yearn for a hot cuppa here.

Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das
Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das
Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

An endless search for mobile towers.. Each of us travelling to remote places are synonymous with this????

Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

Landscape like I have never seen before. On way to Kupup from Gnathang

Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

Gnathang village

Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

Harsh, barren yet astoundingly beautiful

Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

Blue sky with patches of clouds

Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

Kupup lake

Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

Mr. PD Bhutia, who guided and drove us on the tour, along with his car.

Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

The three musketeers

Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

Bikers riding through.. I dream to do the same someday

Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

Somewhere on route to baba mandir (old)

Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das
Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

Baba mandir(old), which is reverred

Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

Baba mandir(old), which is reverred

Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das
Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

Entrance to the bunker

Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

Baba ji ka bunker

Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

Descending back to Aritar, we suddenly got snowfall on our way!!! We were excited like kids and yes, it was my first snowfall!!!!

Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

Going back to being a kid, courtsey the snow!

Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

The flakes look more like dandruff though ????????????

Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

At Lingtam, where we stopped for a late lunch. There had been rain on the way and one can see the sun peeking through the clouds

Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

Sunset on our way back to Aritar

Photo of Gnathang, Sikkim, India by Debopriyo Das

We got back to our homestay at Aritar and had hot momos while watching an amazing full moon. Tired and exhausted, the bed could not be more welcoming!

Day 3

The next itinerary was to Aritar lake, Aritar monastery, Ganesh temple in Rhenock and finally stay at Ramdhura.

Ramdhura is a small village located on the slopes of hills in Kalimpong subdivision of West Bengal. Shared cabs from Kalimpong are sparse but available. This area can be a tour in itself for 3-4 days with Ramdhura, Ichegaon, Delo(famous for adventure sports) and Kalimpong. We stayed in Ramdhura which has number of homestays.

Aritar Monastery

Photo of Aritar Lake, Aritar, Sikkim by Debopriyo Das

Top view of Aritar lake, with the Kanchenjunga peak covered in clouds

Photo of Aritar Lake, Aritar, Sikkim by Debopriyo Das

Admiring the beauty. It's pin drop silence here, only sound of winds and chirping of birds

Photo of Aritar Lake, Aritar, Sikkim by Debopriyo Das

Prayer flags

Photo of Aritar Lake, Aritar, Sikkim by Debopriyo Das
Photo of Aritar Lake, Aritar, Sikkim by Debopriyo Das
Photo of Aritar Lake, Aritar, Sikkim by Debopriyo Das
Photo of Aritar Lake, Aritar, Sikkim by Debopriyo Das
Photo of Aritar Lake, Aritar, Sikkim by Debopriyo Das
Photo of Aritar Lake, Aritar, Sikkim by Debopriyo Das
Photo of Aritar Lake, Aritar, Sikkim by Debopriyo Das

Ganesha temple in Rhenock

Photo of Aritar Lake, Aritar, Sikkim by Debopriyo Das

The main idol

Photo of Aritar Lake, Aritar, Sikkim by Debopriyo Das
Photo of Aritar Lake, Aritar, Sikkim by Debopriyo Das

View from our homestay at Ramdhura

Photo of Aritar Lake, Aritar, Sikkim by Debopriyo Das
Day 4

The last day arrived and we were returning back to Kolkata. Hoping  for a tryst with Kanchenjunga, we woke up shivering at 530 am, and got the view of a lifetime from our balcony. She gleamed as the first rays of sun fell, and we could just admire, spellbound.

The mighty Kangchenjunga in full view along with Sleeping Buddha

Photo of Ramdhura, Munsong Road, Icha Forest, West Bengal, India by Debopriyo Das

Sleeping Buddha

Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das
Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das

Panorama from the balcony

Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das
Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das
Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das
Photo of East Sikkim diaries- Trail of Three Musketeers by Debopriyo Das

After having breakfast, we started for Bagdogra, a journey of about 4 hours from Ramdhura. We packed our bags and with a last look at Kanchenjunga, headed back to the entanglement of our daily lives, leaving behind an unforgettable trail.

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Excellent!
Mon 12 17 18, 22:56 · Reply (1) · Report
Thank you !
Tue 12 18 18, 01:08 · Report