Phew! As grand as my trip to Sikkim was, sorting out through some thousands of photos to compile this one was a task. However much I tried, every photo had a lure to it, and choosing these few took me months. Add to it another trip to Kinnaur and Spiti last week, which put a stop to all worldly matters for some time!
Still, finally, I managed. Here’s sharing some of my most loved shots from Sikkim. Enjoy. And yes, do leave a (or more) comment for a feedback.
Okay, so one of the first things that I noticed in Sikkim was a lot of flowers. Huts, with lots of flowers. Little houses, with lots of flowers. Big houses, with lots of flowers. Couldn’t spot a single house that didn’t have flowers blooming out of black polybags. Perhaps, the only time you would see polythene in Sikkim.
And then, I saw more flowers. No concrete monsters here.
a Red Panda, Sikkim’s State Animal and another dash of colour
Landscapes like these were not very hard to find. Clicked this one while taking a stroll near the zoo at Gangtok! Reminded me of Twilight’s Forks.
In a turn that was wilder than any that I have taken yet, this fern was chopped off, fried with some salt and almost zero oil and was served to me to be gobbled up with rice. I didn’t complain for this turned out to be quite delicious.
Stark in all its shades, this Western Tragopan made for a vivid burst of colours.
I saw and ran. This was more unexpected than what I did not expect.
10/10 if you ask me to rate its creepy quotient. This surprising/shocking display of masks was inside a monastery, the only fact that soothed me while clicking the photographs!
Sanam Dorjee, a monk in his 24th year, is more than a monk. Adept at soccer, great guide and trekker. Also, brews world’s best tea.
A window that faces Kanchendzona! This was the view from my room at Dzongu 🙂
Tiny, quaint monasteries are a regular feature of this hill state. The more you explore this place, the more you’ll find.
Found this cat dozing off in sushine on the window sill of Rumtek Monastery, Gangtok. Yeah, the happy sunshine in the hills can do that to you!
Though these are some of the best photographs of Sikkim that I could fathom from my collection, no photographer can do justice to the other worldly charm of this north eastern state. A very distinct wildlife, flora, food, culture, rituals, religion and people from the rest of India, it’s a place of plenty and lack at the same time. A name that was on Lonely Planet’s Top Places to Visit in 2014, Sikkim deserves a much better and organised tourism effort.
What’s worrisome though is the proposed plan of damming River Teesta, with hundreds of hydro mega projects in the offing. A 965 days hunger strike, protesting the same, by the citizens of Dzongu went largely unheard. From what I could see, the river looked largely dead around the dams that are already built in the region. If you, too, are against such invalid claims to modernisation, spread the word, raise your voice, loop more people in. Or, we might lose this wonderland for forever.