I was on a vacation and this time it was the small but beautiful Sikkim which is situated in the eastern Himalayas. It's a beautiful place not much spoilt by tourism. The higlights of the place are the snow capped mountains, the silent Hills, the lush valleys, fast flowing rivers, the green forests, the wild flowers, different varieties of orchids, the numerous water falls, endless streams singing some natural songs and not to forget the adventurous rafting in the Teesta.. I should say it's a rare and singular experience.
I'll write in detail about the trip later( no guarantee that it will happen ;))
We were very much skeptical about the air Deccan Flight. Though we debated a lot, we had decided to take the risk as the cost of other air lines were almost double. But to our surprise and delight all the four flights were on time and we had an event free travel.
Flower show: Sikkim is famous for it's different varieties of orchids and there was a special flower show going on at that time. We had a real feast with the numerous kinds of orchids :)
Katau: This was not in our itinerary and was suggested by the Sumo driver. It was some 32 kms from Lachung and near the Tibet border. The place was fully covered in snow and not a soul around. We had big fun over here playing with the snow and throwing it at each other.
Rafting : This was one thing all of us were looking forward to and I have to admit it was great fun ;)
Food: The food was excellent and we all devoured like anything. Guess that explains why my weighing machine is showing 2 lines excess even though I'm checking the zero correction desperately ;)
Weather was not with us on most of the days. Mostly it was cloudy and misty and some days it even rained heavily. We missed the Khanchendzonga view from Pelling(though one day weather gods were kind enough and we had a nice view from Gangtok
Rhododendrons and primulas: Yumtang Valley is famous for it's picturesque landscape lined with rhododendrons that bloom in different colours. But the flowering is at their best during the month of May and we were little too early :(
Nathula Pass: It is located on the Indo–China border connecting Sikkim with the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. Here Indian troops and the Red army stand face to face and is the closest an Indian Tourist can travel and may be pose a photo with the Red Army. But the days for tourist visit is restricted and the days permitted to visit Nathula are Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sundays. Unfortunately we were there on a Tuesday :(
Helicopter Ride: This is another great miss. We wanted to experience the same but the travel agent said the capacity is only 5 people and we were 7 of us :(
The travel agent was not very professional and so there were some hitches here and there.
PS: Many friends are asking for the snaps. As always there are umpteen no of them. I will upload at least some of them in flickr or the travel blog. Be patient ;)
An Update: Some snaps are available here . Will post some more soon.. I'm in the process of deleting old snaps from the album so that some more can be posted..