“It is always the same with mountains. Once you have lived with them for any length of time, you belong to them. There is no escape.”
― Ruskin Bond, Rain in the Mountains: Notes from the Himalayas
And the fellow writer don’t want any escape also.She has always been a mountain girl,right from her childhood days.It scarcely matters how many times you went to a place,as long the flowing Teesta river humming in the cloudy mountain roads,and the green canopy of trees soothing the eyes and the ever fascinating Kanchenjunga looking over the snowy town embraces you,there is a love that will always bring you to the paradise.
Day 1:Padatik Express (Sealdah to NJP)
The day you’re leaving the familiar to anywhere,the thrilling shivering that runs down your spine is beyond describable.Coming to Padatik,it is a super fast express that runs between Sealdah and New Alipurduar in West Bengal,departuring at 23:20 am at night and the arrival time is 9:25 am in the morning.
Sipping on the hot coffee and writing while my fingers are trembling on the upper berth of train,I slept with the soft music of Dylan filling my insides,never ever Mr.tambourine seemed this sweeter.
Day 2:NJP to Gangtok
My eyes opened with the rambling of the wheels and the glance of my sister gazing at the outside scenery,train journey with steaming cup of tea is the most perfect start to a journey ever.Our train entered in NJP around 12:30 pm,and we were in a word, worn out.One could book from NJP their further travel journies with different travel agencies. As we were travelling in a group,that consisted of eight people,the travelling cost was much less than usual.
Leaving the dusty roads and the tired industrial grey sky, as our car approached the beautiful long road with the mighty Teesta river flowing in ample abundance,our exhausted and tired eyes were suddenly filled with numerous colors, we looked at the distant mountains and around the edge of darkness,we reached the tiny mountain town,Gangtok.
Gangtok is the largest town in Sikkim and a perfect town to explore and roam around.And if you are a foodie like me,this is a paradise to satisfy the adventurer in you with the steamy momos and the delight of Tibetian,Nepalese and Sikkimese cuisine and don’t forgot to carry an umbrella as the beauty is often covered in mists of cloud and sunshine.
Day 3: Sightseeing in Gangtok
Before heading to the undiscovered North Sikkim, we spent our day travelling to the seven points situated in Gangtok with close proximity with each other.
Bakthang falls: Bakthang falls is one of the main attractions in Gangtok,situated only 3 km away from the city.Originating from ratey chu,the falls looks majestical with the sparkling water flowing on the lushy green body of the falls.One can wear traditional Sikkimese attire and take away the beautiful memories of the place along with the backdrop of a spectacular falls,and for the young and energetic,Zip lining is available also.
Tashi view point: Located in Tashi,this place is remarkable for providing a breathtaking view of Mount Kanchenjunga and its snowy peaks,but you must come here during early morning to witness that.
Ganesh Tok: A small ganesh temple situated at a height of 6,500 ft, this place is close to Tashi and is a must visit as it includes an encircled viewing lounge with glass panels and the balcony around it will smitten you with the scenery of the hill town and the zigzag roads and a sky mingling with the lushy green hills.
Lhasa falls:Falls in the mountains has the ability to bring the child in you and also the idiot and fearless person in you. Hence,the writer decided to dip her feets in the crystal clear water of the falls and taste the tangy golgappa of the hilly town.
Gonjang Monastery: Gonjang monastery is situated at Fatak bojhgari near Tashi view point.Built in 1981 by H.E. Tingkye Gonjang Rimpoche it follows Jangter tradition of Nyingmapa school of Tibetan Buddhism. Tibetan language and English are taught to the monk students here.The studies here focused on Indian and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy. Located at an altitude of 6066 ft,it is one of the significant attractions in Gangtok.The atmosphere is serene and calm to soothe the mind of the devotees.
Flower exhibition centre: For the flower lovers,this place though is not very large,but is content with flowers of all kind, colors, and shapes that will warm you from the insides and as we visited in may, we noticed the blooming Blue Venda Orchids, Celosia, Chrysanthemum, Paps.Every flower and their name is labeled and the exhibition place has a small footbridge with an artificial baby pond that you can walk on.You can also take away the seeds of the flowers and plant it in your own garden.
Gangtok handicraft and handilooms:In order to promote the handicraft,it was established in 1957 and the museum showcases various artworks created by the locals and if you take the stair-away of the front building , you will see trainees and artists,and many of them are deaf and blind.From fruit baskets, strainers, hand carved foldable tables known as Choktse, masks, thankas which are scrolls with exquisite hand paintings, dolls like yak dolls, red panda dolls are among the things created here.
Our car dropped us near M.G.marg and we strolled for a hour before returning to the hotel and after a music session and finishing dinner,we went to sleep cuddling in the fuzzy blanket before our visit to North sikkim.