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Superb Sikkim, Humbling Himalayas, Stunning Lakes, Amazing Skies

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by VahanPujari, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. unleash_thunder

    unleash_thunder Amatore

    Messages:
    105
    Bangalore
    Great pics to start the travelogue. Have been to Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Gangtok in April this year for our honeymoon; they are truly mesmerizing. Did you try boarding the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railways train between Darjeeling and Kurseong? And did you manage to get a golden glimpse of Kangchenjunga from the Tiger Hills in Darjeeling? Unfortunately we missed the Changu lake and Baba mandir as it was raining cats and dogs during our stay in Gangtok and a landslide enroute to Changu lake made matters worse. Didn't visit Pelling though; my dad had worked in Pelling for close to five years during the late 70's and early 80's and he told us that Pelling has awesome views of Kangchenjunga. Another visit to Sikkim is due sometime later next year to relive the beautiful Himalayas and visit the missed out places.
    VahanPujari likes this.
  2. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,303
    Mumbai
    No. We didn't board the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways. Actually, very few tourists board it, it seems. In our case, we didn't do it because it runs only twice a day and the timing might not coincide with our itinerary for the day. Secondly, I read quite a few reviews and the views it offers are the same that we travelled by road or not that much great. Thirdly, it takes lots of time. We had only one day two nights at Darjeeling.

    However, I wished I could see a train plying side by side cars running and kept on asking driver on the timings of the train. My wish got fulfilled at the last moment when we were finishing our sight seeings in the evening before we left Darjeeling. Shall be covering it in the next post on Darjeeling sights.

    Yes. Shall cover in the next post.
  3. unleash_thunder

    unleash_thunder Amatore

    Messages:
    105
    Bangalore
    Yes, no doubt it takes a lot of time. Actually, i took the ride (Darjeeling-Ghum-Darjeeling) on DHR and was lucky enough to find a seat aboard the train pulled by a steam locomotive. The entire ride took some 3 hours to complete with about an hour to spare at the Railway Museum in Ghum; the railway museum is an absolute must to understand the evolution of DHR. However, the whistles emanating from a steam locomotive, the absolute slow ride of the train and the beautiful vistas enroute more than compensated for the time invested. Its a shame that the toy train does not run anymore between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling owing to damages sustained during the landslides.
    VahanPujari likes this.
  4. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,303
    Mumbai
    Day 2....12th Nov

    Transition from warm, humid Mumbai weather to the cold North-East was having its effect. plus we got up early the previous night/ morning to catch the flight. We crashed to bed early as Day 2 plan was to start at 3 am for Tiger Hills, the sun rises at 5-5.15 am. But only I could get up and go, rest all in family couldn't. Got up at 3 am & left at 3.45-4 am

    There are options at Tiger Hills to view Sun Rise. Either from open (which is very cold) or from the enclosed building (they've lounges on 3 floors). The tickets for top 4th floor were sold out as I was told, so settled for 3rd floor. Even that was full when I stepped in and of no use.

    Let the pics do the talking. The views were superb all round. On the Eastern side of the place was Sun Rise, then a bit left was gorgeous Kanchenjungha range, then Everest / 3 sisters and then the sky n hills. Beautiful !!

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    ....and then the magnificent Kanchenjungha range.....

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    3 Sisters.... Mt Everest


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  5. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,303
    Mumbai

    Batasia Loops, Darjeeling


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  6. limraj

    limraj Superiore

    Messages:
    915
    Trivandrum
    Linea 1.3
    Awesome awesome and awesome. I want to visit this place in Winter.
    VahanPujari likes this.
  7. Ravi_M

    Ravi_M Regolare

    Messages:
    323
    Indore
    Indore
    Linea 1.3
    Beautiful Pictures @VahanPujari,
    I have visited Darjeeling and Sikkim twice - 1998 and 2008, but we could have the magnificent view of Kanchanjunga only during first visit. Those days, DAS studio was famous at Darjeeling for panoramic pictures of the mountain and I had a film camera only. We took a regular train from Darjeeling to Ghoom instead of the tourist train. Your pictures enlivened those memories. Waiting for more!
    VahanPujari likes this.
  8. unleash_thunder

    unleash_thunder Amatore

    Messages:
    105
    Bangalore
    @VahanPujari Man you are very lucky to experience the magnificent Kangchenjunga during the sunrise. When we visited Tiger Hills, there was a dense fog and the entire excitement to see Kangchenjunga went for a toss.
    VahanPujari likes this.
  9. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,303
    Mumbai
    May be due to November which I read is the best month. May be not....as from 13th Nov evening it was all cloudy for next 3-4 days. Pelling & Yuksom are closest to Kanchenjungha & best to view it, but we couldn't get even a glimpse due to clouds. Starting from 13th evening (Pelling) to 14th (Pelling-Yuksom), 15th, 16th & 17th (Gangtok), it was all cloudy. Fortunately, afterwards it got cleared and we got to see the fabulous clear blue sky in North Sikkim (Lachen, Lachung) & East Sikkim (Nathula, Zuluk, old silk route).
    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 10, 2015 ---
    Day 2....12th Nov'15...contd....

    Darjeeling Sight Seeing....

    While coming back from Batasia Loop in the morning, saw this :)

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    Kanchenjungha as viewed from the hotel room....

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    We skipped many sights and focussed on only 3-4.

    The view from Rope way station....

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    From Rope way car....

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    Rope way station down below the hill.....

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    At Darjeeling Tea Garden.... If you've been to Munnar, even this can be skipped. It has only the vendors to click photos in Sikkim dress


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    The Tenzing Rock.... for training

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    Himalayan Mountaineering Institute

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    The Red Panda at Himalayan Zoo

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    At Peace Pagoda

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    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
    Dr Nitin Dutta and ramjn like this.
  10. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,303
    Mumbai
    Day 2 - 12th Nov......contd

    While coming back to hotel after finishing the sight seeing, the wish fulfilled :)

    First the Diesel Engine......


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    .....and then the Steam Engine....



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    The Sun Set views from the Hotel Room....


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