It all started with the random plan with my bestie. With her being in Kolkatta and me in Mumbai, we seldom get to meet. But who can stop the wandering souls from all the planning. So one fine day, we decided to explore the magical land of Sikkim & got our tickets booked and just flew away.
My journey to Sikkim itself was eventful. I had almost missed the plane by reporting on wrong terminal & realizing it 10 minutes before takeoff. Running along the airport with shoes in my hand & people staring at the me.
The itinerary included travelling across North Sikkim & covering –
- Places in & around Gangtok.
- Lachen & Lachung
Day 1 –
Had reached Bagdogra by 12:30 pm. Took a cab from airport &reached Gangtok by evening. It takes approx. 4.5 hours to reach Gangtok, depending on the road conditions. Checked into the hotel & just had a good night sleep. That included gossip sessions till early morning !
Day 2 –
We had a lazy morning breakfast & then headed off to roam Gangtok. We had booked a cab for the day tour. Got to visit the beautiful monsasteries – Rumtek Monastery, Ranka Monastery, Do-drul Chorten Monastery. Each surpassing the other in architecture marvels….
Also, then were mesmerized by visit to Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden. The
An evening in Gangtok in incomplete without walk on MG Road. We enjoyed our leisure walk in rain on MG Road. And headed to “Golden Dragon” for dinner. This place has Karaoke Sessions every night & all the guests join in the singing.
Day 3 –
Time for us to head further into the beauty of Sikkim. One can easily book shared tours to Lachen & Lachung from Gangtok. We need to get permits arranged for visiting various places in North Sikkim. The hotel owners easily get that done.
It takes approx. 6 hours to reach Lachen covering the distance of 123 km. The first sight of the snow-clad mighty Himalayas is breath taking. Lunch is generally served on the small hotels along the way. It’s almost evening and we stay in with the locals at their home for the night. The people are generous and open up their hearts to all travelers alike.
Day 4 –
Our day started early at 5:00 hrs in the morning. We moved towards Gurudongmar Lake via Chopta Valley. Never before had sight left me as mesmerized as this.
Gurudongmar Lake is located at height of 17100 ft. Legend says that there was no drinking water available in the area & Guru Padmasambhava had walked over a part of lake. This part never freezes, so that local people can have access to drinking water throughout the year.
Same evening we started our journey further to Lachung and rented out rooms in small yet cozy Bed & Breakfast Inn.
Day 5 –
We explored Yumthang Valley, the valley of flowers. But did not get to see much of it, as the flowers had just begun blooming in April. Continuing our drive to Yumesamdong, also known as Zero Point. It stands tall as a natural border between India & China.
And, I was lucky enough that Maggi was not banned till then. Maggi + Mountains = Awesome….
We had the evening free to ourselves & indulgent in nonstop talking & laughter sessions.
Day 6 –
Departure to Gangtok from Lachung, en route sightseeing at Tashi View point, Chumthang Valley. Spent the evening on MG Road, Gangtok. Had authentic dinner at Hotel Tibet.
Day 7 –
Time to head back to Bagdogra, via Namchi Valley. Visited Samdruptse Hill, famous as the 135 feet tall statue of Padmasambhava is located on top of it. Also, visited newly built Sai Temple.
Then we went to Solophok Chardham, famous for the 108 feet height Lord Shiva & also replicas of the twelve Jyotirlingas. Also, there are replicas of other four Dhams, sacred to Hindus.
Checked into a hotel in Bagdogra for the night.
Day 8 –
Last day of the vacation. Did some shopping for souvenirs in the local market. Time to head back to our respective places with bag full of new memories.
We did regret not being able to visit Nathula Pass due to weather turbulence there. That will be taken care of in many more trips to come….