While the heavy rain back home was adding to the traffic woes and triggering a whole bunch of runny noses, I was enjoying the almost perfect mountain weather. The days were sunny and the evenings pleasantly nippy in Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. The city itself was a pleasant surprise. The houses lining the street were not posh, but were all well maintained, freshly painted, with their balconies lined with flowering plants. The roads were not wide, but there were bounded by a well kept, covered and aesthetically designed side walk for pedestrians. The traffic was extremely streamlined and everyone drove in their own lanes. There were dustbins at reasonable intervals and there was next to no litter on the streets. Was it not for the quintessential 'Mahatma Gandhi Marg', I would have thought I was in another country.
The MG Road is the city's epicentre. Its a well maintained, pedestrian-only shopping paradise. The avenue is lined with shops selling merchandise ranging from expensive brands to export surplus, Tibetan antiques to plastic Chinese toys. I have spent my fair share of bunked dissection hours in Janpath/Sarojini Nagar, but never have I street-shopped in a more delightful place than MG Road. The government has taken special steps to make MG Road a pleasant place so tourists can empty their wallets and make the state richer. The numerous fountains, flower pots and benches all along the street just add to the shopping experience. Not to mention that there are some amazing eateries along the way. I especially loved the Roll House which I frequented for my daily fix of cheese rolls and momos.