Showing posts with label Darjeeling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Darjeeling. Show all posts

Friday, 18 April 2014

Sikkim and Darjeeling Trip

As summer vacations are here, we decided to visit the hills of Sikkim. It is currently not possible to take self driven vehicles to Sikkim, we decided to rent vehicles and go around Sikkim.
The plan was to reach Gangtok and then continue our road trip in Sikkim finally terminating it in Darjeeling. Following was the itinerary that we decided to follow.

  1. 05-April-2014 Reach Gangtok, rest for the day -- Day #1
  2. 06-April-2014 Local sightseeing Gangtok -- Day #2
  3. 07-April-2014 Leave for the Lachen, Arrive in Lachen -- Day #3
  4. 08-April-2014 Trip to Gurudongmar Lake, Lunch and leave for Lachung -- Day #4
  5. 09-April-2014 Trip to Yumthang Valley, Zero Point, Lunch and Leave for Gangtok -- Day #5
  6. 10-April-2014 Local sightseeing in Gangtok, Natu La, Baba ka Mandir, Tsomgo Lake -- Day #6
  7. 11-April-2014 Leave for Pelling vial Namchi -- Day #7
  8. 12-April-2014 Local sightseeing in Pelling and leave for Darjeeling -- Day #8
  9. 13-April-2014 Local sightseeing in Darjeeling -- Day #9

Sikkim and Darjeeling, Summer 2014, Day 9 of 9, Road Trip Darjeeling Local Sight Seeing

The final day of the trip was dedicated to the local sight seeing in Darjeeling. It did not start too well. As we were ready after the breakfast, we heard from the hotel staff that there is a election rally organized by West Bengal chief minister. We waited for a while.
Since there was nothing to do, I decided to look around the hotel itself. Even though the service was pathetic, the hotel itself looks very good.

Finally we left the place. The first stop was Zoo and Mountaineering Institute. The zoo itself is pretty ordinary except the Red Panda which is a special attraction of the place. I have never been fascinated with the zoos. Nothing beats animals in the wild and zoos just don't impress me that much.

The next stop was Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. It is within the same complex. The place is really great. There are many actual equipment used by mountaineers from different era who have conquered the summit. The whole place takes about 2 hours to complete.

Views: Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling by Vinay Avasthi
By this time it was time for lunch. We took the advice of the taxi drivers and that turned out to be a bad idea. We had a quick lunch and moved on to the toy train.
The train itself is pretty hard to book. We tried online but could not get tickets. Finally we asked the taxi guys, they had arranged tickets with us, some in the first class and some in second class. The train itself was a let down really. Probably could not comprehend what all the fuss is about. Anyway here is a photosphere of the railway station.

Sikkim and Darjeeling, Summer 2014, Day 8 of 9, Road Trip Pelling Local Sight Seeing enroute to Darjeeling

9:15 AM We leave for the monastery. Pemyangtse Monastery is just across the Mt. Pandim hotel.
The first floor of the monastery has a notable collection of ancient Buddhist antique idols, scriptures as well as sculptures and decorated paintings.Padmasambahva's eight incarnations in fierce form are also seen here.Of particular note is a seven-tiered painted wooden structure, portraying Guru Rimpoche's Heavenly Palace known as "Sanghthokpalri" also spelt "Zandog-palri", on the top floor of the monastery.

The monastery is 15 minutes walk from the hotel. There is a small climb to the monastery but the walk is pleasurable.

10:30 AM We walk to Rabdentse Ruins just around one and half kilometers from the hotel. The ruins seem to be in good condition but not many visitors around. Looks like a places that is not well publicized.

12:30 PM We leave from the Pelling and continue our journey to Darjeeling. As we cross over to West Bengal from Sikkim, you can do river rafting in Teesta River. It is really a fun things to do. It does take around 2 hours.

6:30 PM We reach Hotel Mayfair in Darjeeling. Here is my review of the hotel.