Travelling with the Teesta- Gangtok

We have always wanted to visit atleast one North Eastern state in India. But it was only once we were on the flight to Bagdogra did I truly believe we were finally going.

The first few days are still bit of a chaotic blur( I AM married to Mr.LAST MINUTE, after all!!)

We took the road from Bagdogara to Gangtok(124 km) though one can also get there by train from the nearest(148 kms) New Jalpaiguri railway station. But which ever route you take, the view will of the mountains and the gushing, foaming white-water Teesta will continuously entice and accompany you.

Traveling with kids is never easy and driving around with kids who are car sick even less so. Inspite of the regular puke-stops we had to make ,the beauty of the place seemed to keep everyone is high spirits.

And once we got to Gangtok the effort of getting there seemed worth it.

The capital of Sikkim, a small state (7096 sq.km.)in India, Gangtok, aptly meaning ‘hilltop’ left me impressed not only because of its pristine beauty but also largely because it was sooo clean; probably the cleanest city in India. Plastic bags are forbidden and this rule is actually enforced unlike in other cities. We took a taxi and did our sightseeing over a span of 2 days. The taxis here are the main mode of transport.

You can choose the number of touristy places you want to visit and you are charged accordingly. For our 7 point agenda we were charged Rs 1000 in total. However I do feel that the one can easily cover the main tourist spots in a few hours and then explore the place and travel the less trodden path for the rest of the stay.

First we visited the Do-Drul Chorten( Stupa) with its gold plated spire that was built by the revered Trulshi Rimpoche, head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism in 1945.It is one of the most important stupas in Sikkim and has 108 Mani-lhakor or prayer wheels.

It is believed that turning these prayer wheels will invoke Buddhisattva and is supposed to have the same benefits as chanting prayers.

We glimpsed lamas young and old working and studying.

The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology nearby, houses rare artifacts and a million Buddhist manuscripts, statues and books.

What I really did enjoy here was the collection of antique jewelry and precious stones as well as the typical Tibetan architecture and art work at the Institute. We bought a lot of lovely souvenirs from the wonderful store near it.

The Ropeway at Deorali market too is a major tourist attraction. However I was not very impressed and the cable car was way too crowded for us to feel comfortable.

Nevertheless it does afford a birds view of the city including the lovely Assembly. Other places we visited were the Flower Exhibition centre which had numerous local flowers

and plants on display and Hanuman Tok, from where we had our first clear view of the mighty ‘Mother of Pearl’ Khang-Chen-Dzod-Nga (Kanchenjunga)

While I really wanted to visit Nathu-la Pass, it was closed due to landslides and we missed a wonderful chance to visit. Remember that one need to make a pass a day earlier.

We did however visit a couple of other monasteries such as the Rumtek Monastry and Enchen Monastry. both of which were we enjoyed tremendously.

The sight of the fluttering multi-hued prayer flags that one finds all over is so comforting, don’t you think?

Prayer flags form an integral part of Sikkim’s landscape and have a unique beauty about them and are believed to bring peace and happiness to all.

Places to Eat- The only place worthy in my view of much talk was Allens Kitchen.

The small restaurant was widely recommended and while the food was good especially the momos, what really struck us as unique was the decor and style of the place very TGIF-ish but in a quaint and cozy sort of way.

Shop- Hmmmm..honestly we didn’t do a lot of shopping.

Though the stone-paved MG Road is a GREAT place. It’s a walk only road, much like Shimla’s Mall Road. There are three main markets: Old Market, New Market and Lal Markets .


The road has most branded stores a couple of nice cafe’s where one can sit back and watch the interesting and beautiful people go by:)

What we found and did buy were great footwear, and traditional items such a Thangakas (embroidered silk religious scrolls) and prayer wheels.

In short a lovely town that I would sure love to visit again….

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24 Comments

  1. The pics have come out very good. Nice clicks too.

    Reply
  2. All the pics just loaded. Saw your kids now. Give them a hug each from me, S. They are adorable!!

    Reply
  3. My BIL was posted in Bagdogra a long time ago and I spent my summer holidays there, visiting places around. Not Gangtok though. Beautiful landscapes, great shopping. Don’t remember the food though (was not a foodie then! oh the missed opportunity!) Your post made me take a trip down memory lane. Thanks, S :)

    Reply
  4. OOOH I love your blog! This travel post is so beautiful. Wish I were there.

    Reply
  5. M

     /  July 8, 2010

    Wow! what beautiful pictures!

    Reply
  6. Hi, this reminds of a similar place in India. Its Kushal nagar..A few km from the place called Coorg / Madikeri…Monasteries are always awesome and pleasure to our eyes…

    I came to know about ur blog thru ur comment..Thanks for dropping in :)
    u have a very lovely space in here..

    Reply
  7. Gorgeous pics…its my dream 2 wisit the north east one day…although i wonder when that ‘ one day’ would be:)

    Reply
  8. Hi, I hopped on here from Chef in You. This post is bringing back so many memories for me as it was part of my Darjeeling-Gangtok-Kalimpong honeymoon trip. Thanks for posting!

    Cheers,
    Mini

    Reply
  9. I love travelling too..liked the pictures

    Reply
  10. Wow! You’re lucky – the furthest east I’ve been is Calcutta and that was just a couple of years ago! I’ve seen lots of pix from these places, though, and they increase my yearning each time.

    Reply
    • s

       /  July 8, 2010

      I love to travel though Ive not been doing as much as I would love to….

      Reply
  11. Recently I saw the photos of my friend’s visit to Gangtok and reading yours, I have added it to my to-visit list. Wonderful pics.

    Reply
  12. Nice clicks,thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  13. Lovely pics….

    Reply
  14. Gorgeous entry.
    I’ve always wanted to visit India and your blog has only served to fuel that wanderlust. Next time I get a chance, I’m there!

    Reply
  15. Looks lovely, the Buddhist monastery pics are mesmerising, I can justimagine the chants and incense sticks….I would love to visit North/North-east india one day too ;-)

    Reply
  16. Panchali Ghosh

     /  July 6, 2010

    We went to Gangtok for our honeymoon so your blog brought back many pleasant memories. Did you visit NathuLa?

    Reply
    • s

       /  July 7, 2010

      No Panchali..the road was blocked due to lanslides so we couldnt go…

      Reply
  1. Travelling with the Teesta- Gangtok « Art , Food and Travel Chronicles | Taxi Opole - usługi transportowe, bagażowe

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