Sikkim – The Land of Kanchenjunga – Part 1

By Bhudeb Chakrabarti

Sikkim, the enchanting Mountain State in the Eastern Himalayas, is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty. The land of the sacred Kanchenjunga borders Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.

Kanchenjunga Mountain, the third highest mountain in the world, is sacred to the people of Sikkim. There are five peaks towering the sky, known as the ’Five Treasures of Snow’. These icy peaks of Kanchenjunga along with the enormous ridges make a formidable sight.

Kanchenjunga
Kanchenjunga| Image credit : @Fabhres on Twitter

 

In November 1994, I had travelled to Sikkim for Assembly Election, to oversee the work of CRPF Battalions as DIG Operations. During my month long stay in Sikkim I had the opportunity to travel throughout the state, and see its people and culture from close quarters.

 

The People of Sikkim

Bhutias and Lepchas, mainly Buddhists and Nepalis mostly Hindus lived in Sikkim. Bhutias and Lepchas talked in their Tibetan dialects while Nepalis talked in Nepali language.

The people of Sikkim depended mainly on agriculture. Rice and corn were the chief crops. Nepalis practised terraced cultivation. Lepchas were herb farmers growing cardamoms.

 

Gangtok

Enchey Monastery
Enchey Monastery| Image credit : @GlynWillett Dec on Twitter

 

During my stay at the capital Gangtok, I would go for morning walk regularly on an uphill road. One day I climbed higher and reached the heart of Gangtok. Then I took the solitary steep road for Enchey Monastery.

Enchey (Solitary) Monastery of Nyingma (Ancient) Order of Vajrayana Buddhism commanded a spectacular view of the snow-capped Kanchenjunga. I was amazed by the shining gold cupola of the monastery set amidst a serene atmosphere. The idol of ’Buddha’ was placed in the sanctum sanctorum of the Prayer Hall.  The paintings and murals adorned the ornate walls. I spent quite some time in the monastery absorbing the sacredness of the place.

I visited Tsomgo Lake in East Sikkim on Gangtok-Nathula Road (12400 feet) the area around the lake being the ideal habitat of the Red Panda, the State animal of Sikkim.

Kanchenjunga
Kanchenjunga |  Image credit : @1Amazing Planet on Twitter

 

South Sikkim

After a few days I left for South and West Sikkim. The Gangtok-Siliguri Road was coolly shaded by the forests with wonderful orchids, with the Teesta river flowing by. Between Rangpo and Melli the road was through West Bengal.

We drove through tropical forests, ascending a steep mountain on a zigzag road and reached Namchi the District Headquarters town of South Sikkim (5500 feet).

I found Namchi to be the finest town of Sikkim and by far the neatest. Namchi commanded the best panoramic view of the snow-covered mountains and the verdant valleys.

 

Namchi, Sikkim
Namchi, Sikkim, | Image credit : @screamingpiston on Twitter

 

Jorethang
Jorethang, Sikkim | Image credit : @Capertravel on Twitter

 

Jorethang in South Sikkim on the bank of Rangeet River was encircled by deep forests. Chirping birds and the fragrant wild flowers captivated the mind. At Jorethang I crossed Rangeet River to enter Naya Bazar (West Sikkim).

Keeping this post short,  I will continue with the narration of my travel to South, West and North Sikkim in the Part II .

 

Reference :

  1. North Eastern Council Secretariat Ministry of DoNER-India’s North East- Paradise Unexplored

 

 


This article is contributed by Bhudeb Chakrabarti, Dy IG (Retd) CRPF. He has commanded several Operational and Administrative functions in the force and has imparted training to gazetted officers of CRPF and other central & state police forces.

If you like this post, please consider following the blog.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Please like, share and/or leave feedback in comments below!

.

  • author's avatar

    By: Life11BlogAdmin

    No biography available at this time

  • author's avatar

Steer towards a positive, smart and balanced lifestyle

Signup now to receive ideas for smart living in your mailbox

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

0 thoughts on “Sikkim – The Land of Kanchenjunga – Part 1

  • May 29, 2015 at 12:17 am
    Permalink

    Makes me feel the entire Himalayan region is a must see. The lofty peaks, the scenic beauty and calm life is all worth the experience.

    You seem to have moved around a lot based on your posts.

    Reply
    • May 29, 2015 at 8:17 am
      Permalink

      I agree with you .The Himalayas from the western to the eastern end captivate us with the majestic
      snow capped peaks and picturesque landscape .Many thanks for your valuable comments .

      Reply
  • May 29, 2015 at 12:22 am
    Permalink

    Only lucky few get to go there I feel🙏

    Reply
    • May 29, 2015 at 8:23 am
      Permalink

      Yes we feel lucky to be able to see the splendid scenic beauty of the Himalayas.
      Thanks for liking my post .

      Reply
  • May 29, 2015 at 7:52 am
    Permalink

    It looks beautiful Somali. I have been wanting to visit the NE part of India from a long time, more for its scenic beauty and the culture. India truly is a treasure unexplored 🙂

    Reply
    • May 29, 2015 at 8:06 am
      Permalink

      Thanks Vinay. I too have been to Sikkim and found it really beautiful, particularly the monasteries. Hope you get to explore the treasures. 🙂

      Reply
    • May 29, 2015 at 8:54 pm
      Permalink

      I visited Sikkim last in November 1994 . However the memories of Sikkim are still
      fresh in my mind .I hope you will have the opportunity of visiting Sikkim and be able to
      see its pristine natural beauty .I am really grateful for your kind appreciation .

      Reply
  • May 29, 2015 at 6:41 pm
    Permalink

    Beautiful post. Kanchenjunga looks as though it is floating in the first image. In the second, it looks like it is on fire. I have taken note of Namchi. Will visit someday 🙂

    Reply
    • May 29, 2015 at 7:45 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you so much for stopping by. The pictures are gleened from twitter so the credit goes to those who have clicked (twitter handles mentioned). Hope you get to visit Namchi. 🙂

      Reply
  • May 29, 2015 at 8:24 pm
    Permalink

    I never visited Sikkim but have heard a lot about the snow capped peak of Kanchenjunga Mountain and yes, the Tsomgo Lake…I heard that it is beauty to watch in winter. Lovely description of the path and the valley. I can see through how wonderful it would be to go for a morning walk in such fascinating places of nature.
    Looking forward to the next part…
    Have a nice weekend.
    😀

    Reply
    • May 29, 2015 at 9:14 pm
      Permalink

      The view of Kanchenjunga is fascinating from Gangtok and other places of Sikkim .Tsomgo Lake at a height of 12400 feet is worth visiting in winter when you see snowfall and lake covered by snow .I took morning walk daily during my Sikkim sojourn .I am grateful to you for your valuable opinion and fine words in talking about Sikkim .I fervently wish you get a chance to visit Sikkim .Regards .

      Reply
      • May 29, 2015 at 9:54 pm
        Permalink

        Yes, I am looking forward to an opportunity to make a visit to Sikkim and your post has inspired me to do so.
        😀

        Reply
        • May 30, 2015 at 10:35 am
          Permalink

          I am happy to know that you are looking forward to visit Sikkim .I would also like to visit Sikkim again. Thanks . Regards .

          Reply
  • May 29, 2015 at 9:14 pm
    Permalink

    I have visited Sikkim six times 😀 and, I’m completely in love with the place. A very nice account, Sir. It’s always a delight to read about Sikkim…. 🙂

    Reply
    • May 30, 2015 at 10:40 am
      Permalink

      Madam You know much more about Sikkim than me since you visited Sikkim six times .
      I would like to visit Sikkim again and again. I feel so fresh there .

      Reply
        • May 30, 2015 at 6:13 pm
          Permalink

          Very true. It is not possible to explore Sikkim fully in a life time .
          Regards .

          Reply
    • May 30, 2015 at 10:43 am
      Permalink

      I fully agree with you .The pristine beauty of Sikkim is unparalleled .

      Reply
  • May 30, 2015 at 8:47 am
    Permalink

    Sikkim is really paradise on earth. Have visited it twice the last one courtesy you in 1994 December. I still remember the first visit with you in 1980 when you moved there with your Unit. The only scary part was the road and I vividly remember my fear as a 10 year old sitting in the back benches of the CO’s Jonga and staring down at the Teesta a few hundred feet below. Wow.

    Reply
    • May 30, 2015 at 10:54 am
      Permalink

      Many thanks for your pleasant reminiscence of your visit to the picturesque place.

      Reply
  • May 30, 2015 at 10:56 am
    Permalink

    Grateful thanks for your kind appreciation .Regards .

    Reply
    • May 30, 2015 at 2:12 pm
      Permalink

      Many thanks for your kind appreciation .

      Reply
  • May 30, 2015 at 1:50 pm
    Permalink

    It is so beautiful… Thank you Bhudeb sir for sharing this experience 🙂 It’s so well narrated that I could smell cardamom here 🙂

    Reply
    • May 30, 2015 at 2:20 pm
      Permalink

      I am grateful for kind appreciation and valuable comments from an enlightened
      person like you . Regards .

      Reply
  • May 30, 2015 at 3:29 pm
    Permalink

    Beautiful place. It’s like the feeling of sitting in the lap of nature. Thanks,Bhudeb Shahab, for this wonderful post.

    Reply
    • May 30, 2015 at 6:19 pm
      Permalink

      Sikkim is one of the most beautiful places I have seen in my life .Natural splendours of Sikkim are yet to be explored fully. I am grateful for your encouragement .Regards .

      Reply
  • May 31, 2015 at 2:24 pm
    Permalink

    I love Sikkim and your cool photos of snow capped peaks and gorgeous monasteries have made a scorching Delhi day bearable.

    Reply
    • May 31, 2015 at 2:37 pm
      Permalink

      Many thanks for your beautiful words about Sikkim nestled amidst the snow covered Kanchenjunga .Its age old serene monasteries on the top of the cool mountains draw
      us with a magical charm .Regards .

      Reply
  • June 1, 2015 at 11:54 am
    Permalink

    What a lovely post this is. The pictures and descriptions are spellbinding. I would love to visit it some day soon.

    Reply
    • June 1, 2015 at 2:42 pm
      Permalink

      Many thanks for your kind appreciation .Wish you get the opportunity to
      visit the scenic Eastern Himalayan State Sikkim soon . Regards .

      Reply
  • June 1, 2015 at 4:24 pm
    Permalink

    Made for a wonderful read, and reminded me of the days I visited there as a child! North East is a beauty…

    Reply
    • June 2, 2015 at 10:29 am
      Permalink

      Childhood impressions are the most lasting impressions .Many thanks for your
      kind appreciation . Regards .

      Reply
  • Pingback: Sikkim – The Land of Kanchenjunga – Part II – Scribble and Scrawl

  • June 3, 2015 at 3:03 pm
    Permalink

    I visited Sikkim in March 1997, have plenty of analog data on that place. Your pics and description took me there again.

    Reply
    • June 3, 2015 at 4:16 pm
      Permalink

      You know Sikkim very well .I am grateful to you for your kind appreciation of my post on Sikkim.
      Regards.

      Reply
  • June 4, 2015 at 8:32 am
    Permalink

    Sikkim has become a popular destination for holiday strived indian tourists. Certain tourists need to go through an orientation course on how to avoid litters before entering such serene posts.

    Reply
    • June 4, 2015 at 10:20 am
      Permalink

      You are quite correct .We must respect the serene atmosphere and endeavour to preserve
      its pristine beauty .

      Reply
  • June 4, 2015 at 11:03 am
    Permalink

    Sikkim is said is the abode of God itself. The pictures shared by you are really amazing. you were there in 19994 so I think today after 20 yrs long gap , there may be a lot of change but the culture can not change so early. Now move to 2nd part.

    Reply
    • June 4, 2015 at 5:47 pm
      Permalink

      Sikkim is the sacred land of the Kanchenjunga. The peaks of Kanchenjunga are difficult to scale. It is said that powerful deities reside in the Kanchenjunga and protect the people. I have not visited Sikkim after 1994 My impressions of 1994 visit have been engraved in my memory. I agree changes are bound to occur. However the pristine beauty of Sikkim and its traditions and culture will inspire us. My grateful thanks to you for your well considered opinion and appreciation.

      Reply
  • June 17, 2015 at 10:34 am
    Permalink

    Lovely post on Sikkim. Have you been to Bir and Chauntra in Himachal Pradesh?

    Reply
    • June 17, 2015 at 11:38 am
      Permalink

      I am thankful to you for your kind appreciation of my post on Sikkim .I have not been able
      to visit beautiful Himachal Pradesh so far. I would very much like to see Bir and Chauntra
      mentioned by you when I go to Himachal Pradesh .

      Reply

Say what you want to!

%d bloggers like this: