Solace in Sikkim

Tripoto
28th May 2013

Himalayas

Photo of Solace in Sikkim by Suman De

Gurudongmar Lake, Lachen

Photo of Solace in Sikkim by Suman De

To escape the monotony of life, browsing the web pages in search of a place to confer respite became more or less a morning ritual. As the summer vacations were just around the corner, I became even more restless to step out and witness the bliss of nature. Just then a close friend of mine from school asked me to join him on a four day trip to Sikkim. It felt as if God answered my prayers, without a second thought I agreed. 

Its heaven on Earth, if Sikkim is still unseen, you are surely missing out on something majestic. Sikkim is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. It is well connected through roadways and railways. The closest airport is at Bagdogra, Siliguri, 130 kilometers away from Gangtok. The people, the culture and the mouthwatering dishes distinguishes Sikkim from the rest of the country. From the breathtaking view of the snow-capped Himalayas to the magnificent waterfalls, Sikkim is a country of its own. The inhabitants, popularly known as the Gorkhas are very fervent and hard working. Places like Gangtok, Pelling and Darjeeling evoke a sense of serenity and beauty. It is a hot spot for numerous tourists from all around the globe. The hotels are good, the food is excellent and the ambience is perfect for all the nature lovers. The capital, Gangtok is the largest city and hosts the maximum number of tourists throughout the year. The city is beautifully decorated and reflects a perfect blend of religion and nature. The safety and security of all the tourists are well looked after by the Tourism Department and one should have no complaints while touring.

Being a nature lover I have fallen in love with the place and wish to return over and over again. For me the place has only reflected positive vibes. If I were to rank the place I would give it 9.5 out of 10!! 

Gangtok, the capital is an appealing city located in East Sikkim. There are many places worth visiting. M.G Marg located at the heart of the city is a shopper’s paradise. If you are religious then the Rumktek Monastery, Thakurbari temple and the Humayun Tok are a must visit. The Zoological Park displays the natural habitat of the Himalayan fauna. For the nature lovers, there is also a botanical garden where one can witness various species of trees and flowers. Just 40 kilometers away is the Changu Lake, locally known as the Tsongmo Lake. It is a glacial lake and remains frozen throughout the winter and is a treat to the eyes. Little higher is the Baba Mandir named after Late Baba Harbhajan Singh and the road leads to the Indi-China border or the Nathula Pass. Here, one can witness the majestic Himalayas. The pass at 4,130 meters high is a part of the ancient Silk route. But the only disadvantage is that other than Indian citizens no one is allowed to visit the pass. Gangtok has enough ingredients in it to stand out as a perfect holiday destination.
A small town in north-east Sikkim which shares its border with Tibet is another worthy visit for the nature lovers. It hosts the famous Yumthung Valley and a Buddhist Monastery. The Yumthung Valley is surrounded by the Himalayas and is nicknamed the ‘Valley of Flowers’. During the winter months, the valley is completely covered with snow and the locals call it ‘Switzerland’ and during the spring the area blooms with flowers. For all the ski lovers, it is like a dream come true to ski at the backdrop of the Himalayas.
Do you love races? Have you ever witnessed a Yak race? If not, Lachen is the place to be during summer. Also, the Gurudongmar Lake situated at a towering 17,000 ft above the sea-level attracts tourists on a regular basis. The Lake remains frozen for almost six months from November to May and is a delight to watch. But it can be a little difficult for travelers as the oxygen level in the air is on the lower side. Barring this slight glitch, Lachen remains a popular tourist destination.
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