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Sikkim – The Unexplored Paradise - Part 2

Maharam
Tuesday, December 10, 2019


Sai Mandir
This beautiful Temple is at a distance of 3 km and about 15 minutes drive from Char Dham .It is a very aesthetically designed two-storied building with modern architecture having a statue of Shirdi Sai Baba in the 1st floor. It looks glorious when the rays of sun fall on it because of its golden structure. The ground floor accommodates devotees for singing hymns in praise of Sai Baba. There are 10 beautiful paintings representing the 10 different incarnations of Lord Vishnu. There is no entrance fees and photos not allowed inside the temple.
We covered almost all possible attractions of Namichi.I literally developed a unique bond with this beautiful place in these 3 days.I very well couldn’t digest the fact that the peaceful 3 days is going to end.

Day 5 (11th July ) Namchi - Darjeeling
Early morning 7am ,we checked out of the resort in Namichi and bid farewell to the locals near by who became so close to us in these 3 days of our stay.We enquired with the travel desk about the sightseeing places on the way and booked a cab through them to Darjeeling.
We moved ahead to Darjeeling which is at 50 km from Namchi.The road although very scenic,is quite bad in several patches. There is a check post at the border guarded by Sikkimese guards who ensure that no foreigners pass by the way .We then passed over a hanging bridge on the lovely mountain river Rangbhang which actually divides Darjeeling and Sikkim. It took around 2.30 hrs to reach Darjeeling .



Darjeeling is a perfect combination of serene landscapes and British colonial charm. From old English bakeries to the highest railway station in India, this little town has a lot to offer.The place is good but too crowded with vehicles as the roads are very narrow . Compared to Sikkim I felt Darjeeling is not too clean but too cool city. We checked in the Club Mahindra Resort where we booked for 2 night stay. Later we checked out in search of good restaurant and lucky to find one where we had good food along with good music. After the lunch we went to buy woolen wear in nearby shop as we could feel chillness more here and the shopkeeper suggested for a walk in the Mall Road amidst locals and observe their life styles.
Mall Road

The Mall road was so lively ,Its just a happening place could see people selling snacks like alu bhurji (Nepali), biscuits ,corns etc on either side of the road.We stepped in one tandoori tea stall and sipped in steaming hot tea along with hot snacks.I could see people sitting all around the mall in the benches, chatting and indulging in street snacks sold by the many vendors.



Further down about five minutes from here, there is great viewing area with even larger seating provisions with shades for watching the peaks of Kanchenjunga in blazing colors as the sun rises . The view was awesome and due to foggy atmosphere we couldnot see the Majestic Kunchenjunga. There were shaded seating available on the way to relax and enjoy the greenery. Almost the entire Mall Road is shaded with trees. It's a great place to meet the locals and experience the vibe of Darjeeling. After the tiring walk all the way in the mall road we returned back to the resort and hit the bed .


Day 6 (12th July) – 7 point sightseeing @ Darjeeling
I woke up early morning 5am,when my mind alarmed and reminded that just a day is left out in this beautiful place.I quicky refreshed and was all set to explore the most of this place in the single day.
We opted for 7-point or Mixed-Point sightseeing tours offered by the local taxi driver,as we didn’t have time to explore some great tours and hikes like heritage tours, tea garden walks, village tours and others that are hardly known to tourists.

A quick rushup of our 1 day tour in Darjeeling

Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological park
The Zoo is nicely located,since its a big place it took 2-3 hours to fully explore it. We visited this zoo on a rainy day that’s why we could not see most of the animals especially the Royal Bengal Tiger. We were happy to see quite rare animals like red panda,himalyan wolf,snow leapord.We enjoyed the mountaineering exhibition nearby.

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute(HMI)
The approach to the HMI is through the Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park.It is recognized as one of the best mountaineering institutes in the world and has become a significant tourist attraction on account of its picturesque setting in the hill station of Darjeeling. The magnificent view of the 8586-meter high peak of Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world, from this institute is genuinely mesmerizing.
We also visited the Tenzing and Gombu Rock, natural formation training rocks on which Tenzing Norgay did his training and which is still used to initiate beginners into the art of climbing.

Tea Garden

A wave of tea leaves carpeted into a garden, by the sheer sight made us feel so soothing and serene. It was really an amazing experience to stroll around tea gardens in a Misty environment. One can feel the freshness and beauty of nature here. The key attractions is that they allowed us to walk in the middle of tea gardens. We wore local dresses which were available on rent and took good pics amidst mother nature. We tried some authentic taste of tea especially local and bought some packet also which is around 100 to 150 per packet.

We missed the ride in the world heritage toy train. The tickets got to be booked in advance through IRCTC to get a comfortable seating. We tried our maximum at least for 2hrs travel in the historic train, but couldn’t because by the time we reached there the booking for the last ride at 4 pm for that day already got over.
Japanese peace pagoda
There are two temples at a single place. One is Japanese temple and the other is the main attraction peace pagoda. The place is a calm and peaceful place surrounded by greenery. One could sit and listen to the deep sound of the drums gently played by the monks.



After the 7-point trip which was from 9am to 5pm we asked the driver to drop in the most happening place the Mall road. Really in love with the place so much liveliness in this place, whatever u want u can get in this place. At 9 pm when all the shops were closed, we walked slowly to the resort which was around a km from the mall, enjoying the chill and lovely climate. It was really hard to sleep that night considering the fact that this is the last night of the trip. We really enjoyed doing nothing in these 7 unforgettable days.
Next day we checked out early in the morning, thought the flight was at 12pm, the driver warned us to start at 7 am so as to avoid unavoidable circumstances which could arise due to the condition of the roads, as it was raining heavily. We reached the airport well on time and boarded the flight with loaded memories of this beautiful place.

We will never know the outcome of a single trip, or our travels as a whole, until we have lived it sometimes it’s better not to plan, just travel and live it creatively. Initially, I was reluctant to travel to Sikkim mainly because of the possibilities of incessant rain which would lead to issues like blocked roads and delayed travels, during the months from May-September. However, we planned the trip looking just at the brighter sides and we are very very happy that our overall trip turned out to be fabulous. I would say one should Go, experience every iteration/trip to become a better, more creative traveler.
North East India is a must to those who would like to see as to what unspoiled Indian nature looks like! Though the offbeat and untraveled status of the region is part of the reason so much of the nature is unspoiled, the credit also belongs to the people. As many of the people in Northeast India worship nature, particularly the sun and the moon, which leads to a greater respect for their natural surroundings.
Overall I would say, East or West ... North East India is the best. As the place is so surreal, untouched, spiritual and colorful, It’s just a PARADISE!

place is so surreal, untouched, spiritual and colorful, it’s just a paradise!
But give yourself time to enjoy doing nothing, too

Given that it's the onset of monsoons several were withering away. Am certain the place will be a treat to visit. If not, skip the place.

Over time I have looked into many aspects of Darjeeling at great depths and can perhaps claim that I know almost every nook & corner of the hills and a lot about its life, people & culture.


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Express your comment on this article
 
Manas
Thursday, December 26, 2019
Very elaborate article. Good info👌

Srihari
Friday, December 13, 2019
Good narration. Took us to the place. Description about northeast was good.

Rohan
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Very detailed narration including useful information for travellers to northeast.

Sreejith
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
I am from north east and happy to read about our place. It''s off-season and our place will be too good when it snows. Detailed description good.

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