Monday, April 20, 2015

Wrapping up.... Our Sikkim Experience

Over the last couple of months, I have been writing about our first foray to the east in December 2014, and most of my posts have been about our trip to Sikkim. These posts have generated quite a bit of interest, and I have been flooded with questions about it, which is why I have decided to write this post as a compilation of my experience there, as well as answers to lots of questions I have been asked.





Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Birds from my window - Asian Koel

Since the last few weeks, as I have been busy by the comp, writing my Sikkim series, the Asian Koels have been creating a racket! They choose the time I am inspired to write, to call, and I rush with my camera, leaving everything behind, only to see them hide behind the leaves - the male, that is. The female has remained so well hidden, I have yet to see her! And then, this morning, Samhith's bus was late, and I was bidding him goodbye from the window, I spotted this chap.... 


Monday, April 13, 2015

Do-Drul Chorten, Gangtok

It was evening, and the light was fading as we arrived at the Do-Drul Chorten (also sometimes spelled as Duddul Choedten) in Gangtok. Samhith was tired, and all he wanted was to get back to the resort, and to his games with his friends. Leaving him behind in the car, we walked up the short path to the Stupa, which was so recognizable from the photos we had seen.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Baba Mandir, Sikkim - the story of a Soldier-Saint

A young soldier, carrying supplies to a remote outpost, is lost. It is wartime, and with the bad weather and difficult terrain, it is clear he is no more, but his body isn’t found. This, while a sad occurrence, is not really news.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

My Nathu La Experience

I clambered up the last few steps, panting, not as much because of the exertion, as the altitude. At 14,140 ft. above sea level, this was the highest place I had ever been to (and probably ever will). A slight feeling of dizziness ensured that all my energies for the moment were concentrated on not falling down, and in a moment, it passed, and I was able to take in my surroundings.


Monday, April 6, 2015

A Journey into the snow-clad mountains of Sikkim

“Will there be snow?” was the question Samhith asked us over and over again during the months, weeks and days leading to our Sikkim trip. Considering that we made the trip just after Christmas, chances of snow were high. However, also high were the chances that if there was fresh snowfall or if the weather was bad, the roads would close! Besides, there was the matter of getting our permits, a new experience for us. We had our fingers crossed! Thankfully, the skies were clear, we obtained our permits for Nathu-La, and set out on our first journey into the mountains of Sikkim!


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Faces in the Crowd - The Old Man at the Monastery

We were at the Rumtek Monastery, and we were enthusiastically discussing Tibetan Buddhism and life in Sikkim, with our guide, Monay. An old man standing by smilingly said something, and our guide laughed and translated – “So many questions you have!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Monasteries of Gangtok

Gonjang, Enchey and Rumtek Monasteries

Prayer Wheels at the Rumtek Monastery against the backdrop of the hills...


It was noon, and lunch was on our mind. “Let’s take a quick look around and leave” was our only thought as we stepped inside. The hum of chanting voices filled the monastery, and we stood, mesmerized, at the sight of rows of monks saying their afternoon prayers. 

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