Table of contents for Gangtok-Namchi-Pelling-Darjeeling tour
- Gangtok-Namchi-Pelling-Darjeeling tour- part 2 of 3
Places covered: Temi Tea Gardens, Samdruptse Hills, Char Dham, Buddha Park, helipad in Pelling, Rimbi Waterfall, Khecheopalri Lake and Kanchenjunga Waterfall
Time of Travel: December 2014
After spending 3 good days in Gangtok, we began our journey to Pelling early in the morning. Since we planned our trip via Namchi, its little tight schedule for the day (as per our driver), we needed to cover places in short time. Another reason, in northern-east part of the county, the sun sets comparatively early (30-40 minutes difference), so it gets dark in the evening before 6, and driving in mountains in night is not that good idea for a family with small kid. Though we tried our best, but the places were too good to cover in short span and thanks to wrong GPS tagging of our hotel, we ended up reaching very late.
While going to Namchi from Gangtok, you will have breathtaking view of Temi tea gardens. It was large green lush area both sides of the road, covered with tea plantation where you can see the summit of snow-clad mountains of Kanchenjunga range at the end. I have seen tea garden before in Kerala, but the combination of manicured green lawn with snow peaks in the backdrop was just mesmerizing. We took a tea break here, in small tea point in the middle of the garden. The taste of the tea was so different and fresh, than what we have it in cities; maybe it was the tea or the ambiance, you yourself need to go and explore…but it’s a must visit place for any Pelling visitor.
Temi Tea Gardens
A city is never built in a day. Generally speaking, it takes centuries of construction to build a composite city. While doing so, each generation leaves traces of their respective ways of life and ever-changing methods of construction in the form of some monuments as testimonies of the skills, knowledge and attitudes prevailing in their era. Jabalpur was also no exception. There I was fortunate enough to observe the fluctuations between different layers of beliefs over a passage of more than ten centuries through the three ancient monuments that still co-exist with modernity and are visible over the earth’s surface. These monuments were the “Temple of Bari Khermai”, “Temple of Tripur Sundari” and the “Temple of Chausanth Yogini”.
I had neither heard such name as “Temple of Bari Khermai” earlier nor planned to visit this innocuous place. But, while I was paying my homage to an old Jain Digambar Temple at Hanuman Taal area, the name of that unknown temple cropped up. One of my colleagues, being a local, wanted to take me to that temple. He had himself not seen it, but had only heard about it. Amused with his persuasive requests, I agreed and off we went. It was also told to me that the Jabalpur city had altogether 52 water bodies (Taal) when the Gonds were ruling this area. The Hanuman Taal, where we were standing, was one of such taals. Many old temples and shrines were situated around that taal.
After the monsoon, when the constant and uninformed pitter-pattern or thunderclaps has ceased – mud laden riverbed soared high with dash of green, vermillion, magenta, scarlet or growing yellows liberally brushed over the crust of Earth anew; I set forth to my new exploration.
“Let’s go for the waterfalls…” although the best time to visit a waterfall is during the peak of monsoon. The rushing watercourses and slithering greasy rock beds undoubtedly increases the serotonin level of body. Nevertheless, after the monsoon (for a ‘working man like me with claustrophobic schedules’ managing a day-out is too difficult) I started scouring pages of many a website, travel journals, and traveller’s forum looking for a waterfall nearby.
The city of Hyderabad where I live, though, having plenty of ancient ruins and monuments to look around but, weekend travel hunts is a rarity. In fact, the recent Telangana Government too also seems un-interested to promote travel hubs where people can unwind. Anyhow, I got a weekend and determined to make a trip – this time.
‘Kuntala Fall…ah!’ a 3-hour drive from the city of Hyderabad (or) Secunderabad – the twin city. However, transportation is a big flaw unless one hires a private car or owns private vehicles. Nevertheless, one Saturday I booked a cab and set forth.
Table of contents for A tour to Sikkim
- Gangtok-Namchi-Pelling-Darjeeling tour- part 1
I have been reading posts by many inspiring ghumakkars for long and honestly speaking, planned many of my tours based on their real reviews/experience….so I thought let’s start contributing a bit …although I am very bad in writing..But what is the harm in trying…What say?
Places covered: Rumtek Monastery, Tashi View Point, Ban Jhakri Falls, Ganesh and hanuman Tok, 15 miles, ropeway and MG Road in Gangtok
Time of Travel: December 2014 (This information I always keep looking in the posts, before planning my trips, so providing here itself in my post)
We (me, husband and 2 year old kiddo) are fond of traveling and whenever got chance, we try to escape from routine life. This times its North East…
After landing at the airport of Bagdogra, we started our road journey to Gangtok, it took long 5-6 hrs. to reach to our hotel near MG road. The road was in average condition, but it offers fabulous view of Tista River, hills and greenery. Since Sikkim does not have any airport, there is no way to avoid this route, if you are coming via air.
Next morning we started our day from Rumtek Monastery. It was little drizzing that day, which added more charm to that visit. We needed to park the vehicle down, and walk up to the main site, which is like 0.5 km long. You can shop while walking, from the small shops, which are operated by local residents (mainly females) in front of their homes. After buying tickets, and frisking by security staff, they will let you enter the premises. It is the largest monastery in Sikkim, but very limited place is permissible to visit. There is a stupa located inside the monastery, which is the relic of the 16th Karmapa. This monastery also hosts several Tibetan festivals. There was a confusion among the tourists whether to remove shoes, before entering the main site of worship like we do in temple or not…but since they were no signboards..few of them removed(including us), and few entered with shoes…I am yet to get answer on this, what exactly we are suppose to do while entering any monastery…Please do comment, if anyone has answer…
Snow in Summer
It was raining incessantly. Pouring cold showers had cast a gloomy spell. Water flowed from top of the mountains in torrents, the apple flowers taking the hit bravely as the apple orchard stood calmly in that pouring rain. The river little more furious than yesterday was flowing in full swing. It was grey, cloudy and bitter bitter cold all around. My head ached and fingers were frozen. Where was the sunshine and where were those snow clad peaks shining in rising sun? Here we were, trapped in tents buried under loads of blankets and it was just afternoon. The planned hike and tea in setting sun and bright light photography, all the plans washed down by that cold Himalayan whimsical rain! And I thought let me go back to Pune. Pune may be blistering in May heat but then anything is better than this cold and water assault ! I had never thought I would want to come back from lap of Himalaya.
The Kinnaur Himalaya almost tested my patience !!