Let me show you the beauty of Sikkim

Wanting to explore the unexplored India, Sikkim had been in my bucket list for a while. On 20th Dec, I finally got to see the dreamy landscape of the landlocked state. The curvy roads, dense forests and friendly faces – Sikkim is one of the best experiences I have had in India. People have preserved the nature, maintained utter cleanliness (you will find proper clean restrooms everywhere on road), honesty (no one ripping you off) and live a simple and happy life. They also have a great sense of driving and you will not find the lawless driving and parking rampant in other parts of India. This tiny state is bordered by Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.

You will never be alone here: fascinating Kanchenjunga range above your head and the bountiful river Teesta below follow you constantly between the mountains. So, what are we waiting for, lets see it in the photographs.

Gangtok

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stony street in Gangtok Market
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Rumatek Monstery

On way to Lachung

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River Teesta

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All through the region, you can see the Buddhist prayer flags flying colorfully, celebrating the tranquility of their peaceful and simple people.
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Yak tail hair are considered sacred and white hair are sold for 10k a bunch!

Yumthang Valley

This valley blooms with rhododendrons of million colors in summer but is no less picturesque in winter, the mighty peaks and dazzling snow made it the experience of a lifetime.

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Kanchenjunga peaks cannot be described in words, I could gaze at them for hours

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Frozen waterfalls

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After the┬áintense snow fight, we headed for some refreshments in the valley (read instant noodles and coffee at a very reasonable price) –

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Katau

This unmentioned place in all the tourist books, just km away from Lachung, was the highlight of my trip! The view from above the mountains is simply breathtaking and uncrowded. Do not miss!

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The semi-frozen waterfall made a loud gushing noise.
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Sun sets at 5 or 5:30pm at most places in the mountains!

Temi Tea Gardens

The only tea garden in the state but worth a visit!

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Pelling

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The holy lake near Pelling
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Mighty Buddha statue at the Buddha Park. The statue has a museum inside it with mesmerizing wall paintings from Buddha’s life.

That’s the beauty. Some cons though – roads are bad (due to frequent landslides) and tough (very curvy mountains). So your taxis will not travel beyond 20km/hr (yep, last day, we took an entire day to travel 200km). So, do not try to cover too much in a short time and enjoy wherever you are. Cars are the only means of transport – keep 1-2 extra days just for unforeseen travel lags. Closest airport is Bagdogra in West Bengal (did I tell you West Bengal is extremely dirty and has disgusting roads). Traveling from there to Gangtok took nearly 5 hours! So, be prepared for loooong travel times.

However, just looking at these pictures (just few of the hundreds I clicked) is making me fall in love with Sikkim once again. Next time, I would want to visit Bhutan too. Some day!

  

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