Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sikkim Sojourn Part 4 - The real journey begins.....

When the year began if someone would have told me that I would be going on a journey to places so beautiful and serene that it would take your breath away.. that I would drive through terrain so inhospitable yet so charming and magnificent.. that I would tread through ice-cold mountain streams in order to touch the snow with my bare hands.. I would have smiled and asked why are you making fun of me?

But I did embark on such a journey and enjoyed every bit of it, so much that I am still enamored with the experience today. We started our trip to GuruDongmar Lake, Yumthang Valley and Zero Point around noon. Now, in order to get to GuruDongmar Lake we needed to head for the base town of Lachen. So that’s where we headed to..
Starting from here our black-out zone started, because from Gangtok onwards there are no mobile signals up to the China border. So, the next few days of mine were to be spent completely cut-off from the world.  The way was like a usual road through the mountains…. Narrow, with lots of blind turns, mountains on one side and ravines on the other, lots of tiny waterfalls (with ice cold water)….  Many a times we drove on the edge of the road but our driver and guide ‘Mr. Sonam’ knew the way pretty well(so thankfully we did not drove off it !). We were lucky because our driver was not only well-versed about the route but was also young and full of beans.   

One thing which I observed was that the routes were punctuated with prayer flags which also included some for drivers who had died along the way. The roads were extremely winding but beautiful and we encountered the Seven Sisters Falls, Bakthang falls on our way. Our trip to Lachen was long and it was nighttime when we reached there. It was raining cats and dogs but the rain swept itself away the next morning. Here are some pictures I took on my way to Lachen – the base town for going to GuruDongmar Lake –

Road amongst the hills(Near Kabi)(we had to pass from there for Lachen)

An army outpost

Border Roads Organization broadening the road (probably for defence purposes) 

Hills on one side and ravines on the other(that's how you describe roads in hilly region)

(Spotted) A road down below

(to be continued)



The Sikkim Sojourn series has helped strengthen my resolve to visit the place within the next year for sure. Thanks!