Tag Archives: mountain

Trek to Dolphin’s Nose, Kodaikanal !

“Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.”   –   David McCullough Jr.

As a traveller, I cannot decide whether I like mountains more or beaches. One thing for sure is that I like trekking. In Kodaikanal, trek to Dolphin’s Nose is a must do activity. It took us around 3 hours to climb till Dolphin’s nose & back, which included our time for rest too ! Forget rest, it was more of munching break 😀

Way to Dolphin's Nose
Trek to Dolphin’s Nose

Tips for trekking

  • Know your health – Keep necessary medication for emergency
  • Research about the terrain
  • Check weather conditions of the area
  • Wear appropriate clothing & shoes 
  • Stay hydrated
Toward’s Dolphin Nose

The trek leads to a protruding flat rock at approx 6600 ft resembling the shape of the nose of a Dolphin. We had undertaken the trek in the morning time & the weather was pleasant. The route in not much strenuous & is covered with trees. It passes through a small village with eateries along the way.

Somewhere in between trek at Dolphin's Nose
Somewhere in between trek to Dolphin’s Nose

The start of the trek may disappoint you due to garbage around it. But, as you descend the path gets clear & better. Flat rocks tend to be slippery at some locations, so we had to be careful while walking.  Enroute, there is a Mountain View Point, stopped here for catching your breath. We were unable to spot any mountains due to the weather.

Even if at some point you feel tired, the people around keep you motivated enough to walk further. I had gone for the trek over on a long weekend, there were different group of students & professionals chit chatting. It’s always fun to watch people enjoy life !

View from the top covered in clouds
View from the top covered in clouds

The view from the Dolphin’s Nose was breathtaking. Standing atop the cliff look around to capture the mountains & town below. Further ahead is Echo Point. This also gives you astonishing view. You need to climb a small path of rock to go till the end. I did not go till the last point here. I was more of ‘I-will-stay-back-see-you-enjoy types people here’. To be honest, it looked scary to me.

Echo Point, Kodaikanal
Echo Point, Kodaikanal

By the time my friend returned from Echo point after her solo adventure, I had spotted just the perfect place to relax with noodles & coffee. We sat there for around an hour before heading back.

Back in the city, we had enjoyed our sumptuous meals for the day at Cloud Street Cafe & Ten Degrees. Both the cafes are nearby & provide great service.
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Story of Mountains, Monasteries & Maggi – Sikkim

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 –

  1. Places in & around Gangtok.
  2. Lachen & Lachung
  3. Namchi

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

Ranka Monastery
                                     Ranka Monastery

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.

Get Set Go !
                                   Get Set Go !

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.

IMG_1482
                                  Gurudongmar Lake

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….

Meri Pahado vali Maggi :)
                              Meri Pahado vali Maggi 🙂

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.

Samdruptse

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….