Sikkim & Bhutan -11

We reached back to Gangtok last time after spending two nights and three days in North Sikkim

Planning & Research Courtesy : Insignia

Next day morning we started for Nathula apprehensively as two days before it was closed for civilian and visitors. However driver of this cab was positive and assured us that we would be able to make it to Nathula!

On the way to Nathula it was decided that we will first go Nathula and then while retuning back will cover other places like Baba Mandir, Lake etc. Excitement is an understatement for the feeling I felt because of many reason, Seeing India – China Border was one them.

On the way we stopped at one place, small market, where we rented snow boots,glows, jackets etc to be ready to enter into snow, well, we did not realise by that time it was more then 4 feet at some places.

Lake!

Lake!

Taking pictures is not allowed at Nathula but I can paint picture for you. It was all snow and so much snow that whole barbed wire fence had gone into it and we were walking like we could cross the Border, had not there been Indian Army guarding the place and on the other side Chinese troops are deployed.

We could not see many Chinese soldiers but only one and he returned a favour of shaking hands with us. I tried asking his name but no response and We spent almost 20 mins at last point of Nathula.

We started climbing down as we started to freeze and we came to know, we can get certificates signed by Army Personal about visiting Nathula, of course we got it. We also got to know about cross border business/ markets and flag meetings and where do they takes place.

After coming down we headed to Baba Mandir ( Temple)  which is in the name of  a soldier of Indian Army who had been martyred on his duty. It is common knowledge in the region that spirit of the soldier still patrol the border and help army personal in their duty. The temple has canteen where food for Baba get ready three times a day and Army treats him as real soldier i.e. all regular uniforms, food etc goes to this temple. They have made one more temple which is rather on road for ease of reach of tourist, however we went to original temple.

We visited Elephant Lake after this and saw Bhutan ( which is distantly visible) on the way back to Gangtok. We saw many trained Yak and Tsongu Lake as well. We reached Gangtok by evening to get ready to start for Bhutan next day!

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Sikkim & Bhutan – 7

You read so far how we reached Lachen and had amazing time at river side. You can read earlier post here

Planning & Research Courtesy: Insignia

We were told by Mr. Dawa about next day itinerary and we were informed to be ready by breakfast time of 8am. We started little later than 8 am and headed directly to Zero point via Yumthang Valley. This area is famous for Rhododendrons flowers. Some of the articles hint about there are 24 colors of these flower and this is the only place world wide where one can find all the colors. We too spotted few of them and here they are

Red Rhododendrones!

Red Rhododendrons!

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We did not stop many places while going up as expert advice from Mr. Dawa suggested we could do that while coming back and by this time he had earned our trust in these issue, however Mr. Dawa deserves a separate post altogether.

So while going up we stopped at Yumthang valley for couple of minutes to stretch out legs and one more beautiful spot which I am going to share with you people, here

Heaven!

Heaven!

This is place felt to be pristine and heavenly that we requested Mr. Dawa to stop the cab and stroll around a bit and take pictures. Personally it felt to be like I have ventured in some unearthly place where humans are not allowed to go. More time you spend there and more you feel better from with in.

After spending some 20 – 25 minutes here, we resumed our journey to zero point. This place is called zero point because civilians are not allowed to go beyond. One can see how harsh climate become there for humans and how difficult it is to maintain roads. When we reached to zero point one snow removing machine was at work at farthest end of the zero point. You find snow all around you, like this

Monks in Snow!

Monks in Snow!

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She cooked food for us at zero point! We had our breakfast there!! - God Bless Her. Mr. Dawa is the one is who is having food.

Her name is Pema ( which is one of the most common name probably for ladies across this region ) She cooked food for us at zero point! We had our breakfast there!! – God Bless Her. Mr. Dawa is the one is who is having food.

China border in east said to be around 15 kms from here. We spent around whole two hours till it started snow fall and forced us to leave and take shelter in our cab and resume journey to Yumthang and then Lachen.

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