Thursday, September 1, 2011

In and around Gangtok

Getting to Gangtok was a 48+ hours journey. Train from Pune to Howrah, cab from Howrah to Sealdah, train from Dealdah to NJP and finally a shared jeep from NJP to Gangtok. Headed to the city centre, MG road to look for a hotel.

First impressions of MG Road

It was indeed very clean and well maintained. Pleasantly surprised!

Next morning had a great breakfast at Bakers Cafe. Then booked a day tour to Nathu La and a overnighter to North Sikkim through the hotel manager. Now I was free to explore the city by foot for the whole day.

Street art at MG road

The explanation

First stop for the day was Enchay Gompa. Gangtok is located on a hill slope. This meant a steep climb to get there. The greenery around made it easier

The lovely roads

Shortcuts on the way

Finally reached Enchay Gompa after a 45 min hike

Initial plan was to continue to Ganesh Tok, a point with good valley views. Since the skies were not clear decided to skip Ganesh Tok. Anyways was planning to take the Damovar ropeway cable car later in the day, which I hoped would give as good valley views.
Now all the remaining destinations were downhill from here :)
Saw a flower exhibition along the way near the Nehru Memorial Hall. Went berserk with the camera :P

Continued walking along the ridge. Passed the Royal Palace. No tourists allowed. Came to the ropeway station. Closed for 2 weeks for maintenance work. Merde!
Continued walking downhill to the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology

Nice views along the way

The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology. There's a good museum on Buddhism. For once I could understand what some of those paintings mean!

It was almost evening. I headed back to the hotel. As I opened the windows, realised that the views from the room were not bad for a budget hotel :)

Spent the evening window shopping at the local market. Sikkimese people are football crazy! Saw a lot of vendors with football club merchandise. Hit the sac early after a nice dinner. Had to get up early next day for a trip to Nathu La!

1 comment:

  1. That shortcut looked steeeeep! Almost made my head spin just looking at it.