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Gangtok Saga: Few Remaining Days

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The next morning was bit lazy as I thought I had lot of time and I just wanted to enjoy the day. After a very good sleep, I woke up and got freshened up properly. After a hearty breakfast, it was time to say goodbye to the hotel as it was time for checkout. The hotel was really beautiful, with beautiful interiors, great views and tasty food. But just before I left, I headed to the balcony of my room for one last time for some beautiful clicks of the peaceful location. After the smooth checkout, which was the end to one part of our journey, we headed towards a new day with lots of excitement. I had some really famous places on my list as I badly wanted to go to these places before I could head to another beautiful city of Sikkim after leaving Gangtok. The first stop was Namgyal Institute of Tibetology.

In this institution we actually witnessed some heritage items like statues and some manuscripts. Overall it is very beautifully decorated. I noticed one thing that most of these famous places, also various houses and hotels are built in a unique style that make them different from other places or architecture. Next destination was a flower exhibition show which is made up of a large area and also included a green house. Sikkim is mostly home to rhododendrons. So this place has a huge and diverse variety of rhododendrons display.

On the entrance itself you’ll be welcomed with an array of flowers. Not only rhododendrons but roses and orchids are also major attractions of this place. Also, there are so much more flowers and plants that I don’t really have knowledge about. And the green house is literally the most vibrant place painted with so many beautiful colours. I really had a great time. Sikkim is generally green and organic. But this place has a separate charm to it.

After thoroughly enjoying the flower exhibition I headed towards the culturally rich Rumtek Monastery. It is actually on a different route altogether and you’ll be charged extra for this. The road to this place was not in a good condition back in 2018 when I visited but it was very quiet with very less traffic. Just 5 minutes before reaching there I could see men, women, girls, boys, elderly people like almost everyone was wearing their traditional Sikkimese dress and we’re entering into the monastery. The entrance to the monastery was really crowded and it seemed like some kind of occasion was going on there. I first decided not to enter into the monastery, and just kept strolling and enjoying the mesmerizing views. Apart from that the beautiful architecture, vibrant colour combinations and the intricate wooden designs made in the the monastery was worth every effort to visit this place. It is said to be one of the oldest monasteries and education centres in Sikkim. There were so many young Lamas wearing saffron dress proving that.

After much of strolling I decided I had to get in since I never knew when I could again come back to this place. The crowd in front of the entrance of the monastery had also become less. I queued up to enter. Just when I was about to enter the monastery, I was stopped by the monastery officials. I was so embarrassed and confused, also I couldn’t understand their language making it more difficult.

Actually a festival was going on. This was the festival of Losar, festival which is heralded by the Guthor Chaam that witnesses the lamas of Rumtek and Pemayangtse showcasing the traditional and beautiful dance. I was stopped as I was lucky because the head lama or guru of the monastery entered at that time and then we were allowed to go and seek his blessings. I never knew I could be so lucky to witness the festival without any prior planning. Now my last destination for today was Ravangla and that was my stopover for the night as well. I hopped back in the car and only took a short lunch break at a clean restaurant near the road. But unfortunately when I reached the Buddha Park of Ravangla, it was dark and it was almost the closing time and hence, I could only check it out from outside. But I decided to come back the next day morning to this very beautiful place which was worth every bit of attention which I actually realised the next day when I visited the place.

For the rest of the day, hotel wasn’t pre booked, so I had to get a good hotel. This time I booked the Hotel Meanamla near Buddha Park. It was really very cold more than Gangtok and phones didn’t have much of network. So there was really not much to do except having my dinner and good night of sleep. The next day was my final day and end of the trip. So, the next part of the blog will be an array of emotions and memories.

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