Pemayangtse Monastery Pelling Sikkim

Pelling (in Sikkim) is home to one of the most beautiful monasteries I have ever seen – the Pemayangtse Monastery. Founded by Lama Lhatsun Chempo in 1705, it is one of the oldest and premier monasteries of Sikkim. Also interesting is the fact that this was a monastery specially built for “pure monks” (ta-tshang) meaning “monks of pure Tibetan lineage“, celibate and without any physical abnormality. This practice is still retained. History apart, you are sure to love the bright colors that adorn the monastery walls, the amazing views from here and the calm peaceful atmosphere inside. Dont miss the

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Park dedicated to the Witch Doctors

Somewhere in Sikkim is this strange touristy spot- a park dedicated to the Banjhakri- or the witch doctors. The life like sculptures in the park are one helluva scary art piece. Local lore has it that the BanJhakri can cure any disease that befalls man, but its like a double edged sword. The apparently moody Banjhakri can cast an evil spell on you. Its also said that the women amongst them are known to enjoy eating human flesh.Our driver-guide told us that one ventured deep into the forests, one could come face-to-face with a banjhakri even today. Although I couldnt

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Ginger & army issue socks- battling the cold in N Sikkim

North Sikkim is a sparsely populated district, which sees really harsh winters esp in the Gurudongmar Lake area. We were doing a road trip across Sikkim and decided that instead of going to the valley of flowers (given that it was December & no flowers would be blooming), we would explore the mountainous climes of Lachen & Gurudongmar. The sun sets really early in Sikkim and this meant that if we had to reach Lachen before sunset we had to do an almost non-stop drive. More so because inspite of our best efforts we could leave Gangtok only around 1030

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Organic farming – tough road ahead

I went on a trip to Sikkim, with a pal who works for organic farming certification in that state. And while I was doing my sightseeing, managed to enquire a bit about how organic farming is structured and marketed in the country. Quite an interesting case study it is. Organic farming involves complete dependency on natural products during the agricultural cycle, which means organic seeds, no fertilisers, no pesticides, no weedicides- all these chemicals replaced by organic/natural stuff. It is claimed that organic farming restores the “natural” composition of the soil and keeps it productive for a sustained period- unlike

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Sikkim- Gods own garden

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

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