Nestled between China, Nepal, Bhutan and West Bengal is the small and beautiful state of Sikkim…
With a population of barely 6 lakhs residing in 7000 sq Kms, its indeed one of those few places (in India) where man has not yet tarnished the natural beauty. Infact in Sikkim , it seems we have found the right way to co-exist. The state has been completely organic in its agricultural activities since a long time and the level of vegetation & afforestation shows the awareness in the local population.
My trip was like most others, quite an unplanned one. A friend of mine is doing some ground level work in terms of certification for organic farming and he was planning a trip to various parts of Sikkim to take stock of his team’s performance- I just decided to tag along…. and what a trip it has been !
Sikkim has just four districts- North, West, South, East and the respective district HQs are the biggest towns in that area, namely- Mangan,Gyalshing, Namchi, Gangtok.
My favourite experiences during this short trip were:
– Gurudongmar lake– high up in N Sikkim at an altitude of 18000 ft, when your breathing becomes laborious with low levels of oxygen- you get a glimpse of an almost frozen lake… nature’s own painting with only twin colors of blue & white..
– The kanchenzonga view from Pelling – esp during sunrise the mountain glows orange with everything else around it completely dark. its this 3rd highest peak which is probably the biggest tourist mascot of Sikkim.
– Monasteries @ Ranka & Rumtek- Like all monasteries these are also high up in the mountains and are adorned with some really bright & colorful paintings…And not to miss the much colorful Pemayangste Monastery at Pelling
– The numerous waterfalls– the most famous and probably overhyped being the 7 sisters fall. Once we found the logic behind the name, we spent almost two days trying to christen the other waterfalls we encountered– from joint family to family planning… you can see em all here
– Suspension bridges– sadly in a few years these would all be completely gone and replaced by concrete bridges- which are no doubt safer but lack the charm of the wood and iron suspension one.
– The beautiful women 🙂 its hard to miss the fact that almost all women of this small state are gorgeous and you end up saying “wow” a little too often….