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The wake up eye catch of Kanchenjunga range made my day. A broad smile and fresh breeze refreshing my mind. It was a wonderful moment of having a morning tea in my life. After having my breakfast I started my days exploration. My first destination was Rabdentse ruins. It was at a distance of about 6-7 km from my hotel. I decided to trek to it. I packed my daypack with snacks, chocolates, water and raincoat. I managed to get a local map from there and continued to ruins following my map. After a 30 min trek I reached the entrance of the ruins. There was no ticket collection centre nor boards. The place was deserted and scary. The entrance was well inside a forest. After walking few steps I met few people working there. I enquired with them the road to ruins and they showed me a lonely path leads to ruins. They told its approx 1km from here. After trekking few 100 metres I was in doubt whether am following the right path. Because there was no humans around nor any clearings or footprints. It looked like the path was not used for months fully covered with dry leaves. Now I was all alone well inside a dense forest. I was not having even a knife. After a 30 min trek finally I reached the entrance. The view was splendid. I was alone in the whole ancient capital of Sikkim. I spend almost an hour and half there exploring each and every corner. Finishing my visit to ruins I headed toward Pemayangtse Monastery. On my way I spotted some chortens. After a uphill climb I reached Pemayangtse Monastery. It is the third oldest monastery in Sikkim established almost 300 years ago in 1705. Its history was impressive. The Sangtok-Palri inside the monastery is an extraordinary masterpiece. A 3-D wooden structure of the God's celestial city. The whole structure has been put together by wooden joint, not a single nails has been used for its construction. Trekking back I reached my hotel by noon and had my lunch. After a short nap I headed towards Sanga Choling. Sanga Choling is situated on the other side of Pelling which requires a moderate trek to a hill top. I had carried sufficient energy bars and water with me. From the top of the mountain I was able to get the view of Buddha park at Ravangla which made me feel more happy. The Sanga Choling means 'The Place of Secret Spell'. It is the oldest monastery in Sikkim. There are usually four 'Kings of the Quarters', who guard the universe against the outer demons. Exploring the oldest monastery it took an hour for me and enjoying the beautiful landscape by side it started getting dark. I started my trek back at 1745 hrs and reached my hotel by 1830 hrs. Had a great dinner I headed to bed. DAY 6 - 14: GOECHA LA EXPEDITION
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331 Kms from Pemayangtse Monastery
The ride to Kathmandu was a short and smooth affair. We stopped for lunch at small joint in Khandichaur and enjoyed local fish meals served like thalis. Entering Kathmandu via Bhaktapur brought back congested roads and slow-stuck traffic bringing the city blues back again. Kathmandu is densely crowded and still lives in the aftermath of the horrendous earthquakes of 2015. With the town covered in dust and smog throughout, every face on street has a filter mask on. By evening we reached Hotel Manaslu (a traditional Nepalese hospitality experience) in Lazimpat.
156 Kms from Pemayangtse Monastery
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.
330 Kms from Pemayangtse Monastery
Patan : 3rd Busiest city of Nepal after Kathmandu and PokharaTake a taxi to Patan and indulge in more temples sight-seeing. You must drop-in to see the Living Goddess. You can have lunch and then head back to Kathmandu.
141 Kms from Pemayangtse Monastery
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.
318 Kms from Pemayangtse Monastery
Later, proceed for an excursion to Bhaktapur, home of medieval art and architecture. It is also known as the 'City of Devotees' Bhaktapur is the third largest city in the Kathmandu Valley with a majority population of local Newars and is famous for its pagodas and temples dedicated to Hindu deities.Request A Call Back
237 Kms from Pemayangtse Monastery
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.
100 Kms from Pemayangtse Monastery
Best time to visit - February,March,October,November,December
The city of Jalpaiguri is located in West Bengal on the banks of the Teesta River, at the Himalayan foothills. It is a major trade centre and a transportation hub connecting North Bengal to the rest of India. Jalpaiguri is very strategically located with Bhutan in the north, Bangladesh in the south and Nepal not so far off. Significantly, it is situated in the narrow corridor connecting north-east India to the Indian mainland. Though Jalpaiguri has no popular tourist destinations of its own, it is favourably located from the hill stations of Darjeeling and Gangtok. The Gorumara National Park and Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary are also in the vicinity. The city of Jalpaiguri is located in an interesting topography criss-crossed by rivers and hills. Even with a mixed population, the place has cultural harmony. Jalpaiguri has an art gallery, town clubs, parks and a few temples. The beautiful Teesta River is a sight and more alluringly the city is surrounded by tea cultivations along the hill slopes in the periphery that make for a picturesque view.
137 Kms from Pemayangtse Monastery
Best time to visit - March,April,May
Lying on the India-Bhutan border, Jaigaon is not a tourist place, but is frequented by tourists on their way to Bhutan. The border area is the location of the majestic Bhutan gate, which brings you face to face with Bhutanese architecture. The gateway is covered in beautiful illustrations of dragons and has authentic Bhutanese artwork all over it. The town has many small and big hotels, where you can halt the night before moving on to get the visa at Phuentsholing, on the other side of the gate. The border area has some street side food stalls, which sell momos and chowmein. The Jaigaon region is quite small and can be easily covered on foot. This destination also houses the very unique Dalsinghpara Buddist church, which is an amazing amalgamation of Buddhist engineering and Christian spirit.