Saturday, 31 December 2016

Lake Tsomgo and Baba Mandir, Sikkim Diaries - 5



Last two and half days we kept aside for Gangtok. We kept an entire day just to take rest. The journey to North Sikkim was pretty hectic although we had a good car with us. Our plan was to utilize the first day exploring Gangtok, more precisely MG Marg on foot,savoring local cuisines, visiting the curio shops while making sure that we have adequate rest.We had no plans for the local sight seeing.

We stayed at Jain Group Hotel Royal Residency, situated very close to MG Road. The hotel is new, very nicely done and on top of that one can get very clear view of Mt Kanchendzonga.

In the evening we walked to MG Marg. In every aspect MG Marg and its adjoining localities look like any small European city. The city is very clean,vibrant and youthful. The footpaths are broader than the car lanes and are nicely paved with stone bricks. There are benches to take rest on the sideways. Colourful blooms can also be found on the road dividers. I spend some time relaxing on the benches watching people. Average people are so well dressed and groomed and have fashion quotient much higher than Indian city dwellers elsewhere.

MG Marg

MG Marg


We tasted momos, local cakes, chocolate coffee,thuppa, roles and on an average the food tastes food in any eatery on MG Road. There were some makeshift stalls on the pavement on MG Road and the food they had was not that impressive.

We witnessed some Sikkimese cultural program going on in MG Marg. There was thousands of other tourists cheering the performers. Its always a good idea to carry umbrella or raincoat if you are in Gangtok during September/October because the evening showers come all of a sudden.

The next day we booked a xylo for a day trip to Tsomgo Lake and  Baba Mandir. We skipped Nathula since we felt that the weather was not good for Nathula.

Our hotel arranged the necessary permits and by 8 AM we were on the roads. We crossed the check point to Tsomgo pretty soon. I think tourist vehicles are not allowed to take the route to Tsomgo Lake after 10 am.

Our driver drove slow but steady since it was dense fog in the morning with very poor visibility.First we reached Tsomgo Lake also called Changu Lake by Bengalis. Located at an elevation of 3,753 m, the lake is considered sacred by Buddhists.

Tsomgo Lake

Tsomgo Lake

Directions


There was one small shop by the side of the lake renting Sikkimse costume. We rented some and took a few pictures in them. Also there were gigantic yaks. They were adorned with colorful costumes and were available for ride.However I just had the courage to take a few photos with them but not more than that.

Us @ Changu Lake

Me in a Sikkimese dress with Ankur @ Changu Lake

 Changu Lake

Yak @ Changu Lake

At Changu Lake

At Changu Lake

Changu Lake


Next we went to Baba Mandir. The Baba Mandir is a temple where hundreds of tourists and army personnel come every day to pay their respect to one of their own.

Excerpts from wiki:

Major "Baba" Harbhajan Singh (August 30, 1946 – October 4, 1968) was an Indian army soldier who died in 1968 near the Nathu La in eastern Sikkim, India. He is revered by soldiers of the Indian army as the "Hero of Nathula" and the army men have also built a shrine in his honour. He has been accorded the status of saint by believers who refer to him as the Baba (saintly father). Many of the faithful people, chiefly Indian army personnel posted in and around the Nathula Pass and the Sino-Indian border between the state of Sikkim and Chinese occupied Tibet have come to believe his spirit protects every soldier in the inhospitable high altitude terrain of the Eastern Himalayas. As with most saints, the Baba is said to also grant favours presumably to those who revere and worship him.

At Baba Mandir

At Baba Mandir

At Baba Mandir

At Baba Mandir

Cafeteria at Baba Mandir

At Baba Mandir

At Baba Mandir


On the way back we stopped by the beautiful Kupup Lake. There is also a museum near to Kupup lake. The road from Tsomgo actually goes till Zuluk in east Sikkim. The road is extra ordinarily beautiful, but to go till Zuluk one should have the necessary permits. However this time Zuluk was not in our itinerary, so we went back to Gangtok.

Kupup Lake

Kupup Lake

wild flowers at Kupup

Us at Kupup Lake

@Kupup Lake

@Kupup Lake

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...