The writer’s recent visit to Sikkim inspired her to write about its natural beauty. Completely taken in by its sheer majesty she wants to share her joy with others and recommend a visit to anyone wishing to see Mother Nature in its purest form.
Sikkim has always been a favourite tourist haunt at any time of the year. I have witnessed people’s craze for Sikkim this Durga Puja. Gangtok
was absolutely flooded with tourists. The step towards unveiling the splendor starts with the trip to Yumthang. On the way one finds the incredible water falls- Seven sisters, which down the falls reflects the colour of a rainbow. Nothing can be more alluring than watching a steady rainbow at the feet of an astounding water falls. This apart lays the magnificent flow of the Tista, which with its pervading wriggle rules over any human heart.
Yumthang is quite a distance from Gangtok, around 117 kilometres. Few hours of respite at the sinister night of Lachung in its wooden hotels is truly heavenly. The next morning one finds water droplets on the transparent window panes. The hills standing high, as if to shelter us with its serenity. If you are all alone, the lively Tista would accompany you like a true companion. On way to Yumthang lies the hot water spring. The spring, which lies at the other side of the Teesta, along its width, relieves all the fatigue with its heat. Yumthang is a paradise. The green valley with its magnificent hilly décor takes us to the heaven.
A few kilometeres ahead of Yumthang lays the Zero point, which is at a height of 15,729 feet. Since this is the month of October, snow was hardly to be seen except at the Zero point. It was all covered up with snow-its hills, its plains, its small thatched roofs with the freezing wind penetrating each soul. On way to the Zero point, rests the red environ-red rocks, red plantations and allotment of snow over it was truly hypnotising.
The next day was meant for unraveling the gorgeous Changu Lake, the Nathula and a visit to the Baba Mandir. Changu Lake surrounded with hills from all sides and its lucid gargling makes for a perfect snapshot. A few yaks stand decorated by its side to entertain the tourists.
Nathula or the famous China border is at a height of 14200 feet and 52 kilometres from Gantok. The warm up chamber at the foot hills of Nathula makes you all prepared to dare into the spell of Nathula. One can exchange a few words with the Chinese army, a click or two of the camera, walk with the drizzles of snow falling on your face, some touching your palm makes the trip very satisfactory.
Baba Mandir is the other point of magnetism, which is bound to attract you, even if you are an atheist.
Discovery of Sikkim is incomplete without the local sight-seeing at the Gantok. Monasteries, water falls, ropeway tour of about half an hour from the Nam Nam, peeping into the fengshui stores now and then, gulping up some chicken momo’s at a family restaurant and walking down the mall at the evening with a pop corn cone is all there to provide the ultimate comfort zone.
That was all about north Sikkim. But Sikkm does not end here. There was a lot left for us in west Sikkim. Hence we started for our journey to Rabonglo and Peiling. The way to these places lies with greenery on all sides and colourful flowers barricading the small cottages. The weather was quite sunny during the day time and temperature was also quite high. But it succumbed into the misty wintry atmosphere as the sun approached the western sky. Rock gardens, falls, eloping villages does not end the story of Sikkim. Rather it starts with the wake of the Kanchanjunga at the dawn. White, golden, red- the tricolour of the gigantic Kanchanjunga is the central aspiration of Peiling. Tourists flock here just to catch a glimpse of this ardour.
It was then the time to heave a sigh a relief to have witnessed one of the greatest enchantment. Smiling at the hills, flying kisses at the falls, hugging the partly clouded blue sky, it was time for me to get back to my native place, my Kolkata.