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Birding Tour along Sikkim’s Silk Route

December 7, 2016 7 comments

Birding Tour along Sikkim’s Silk Route

Birding Trip for a non Birder

Also see: Familirazation (FAM) tour of the Birding Trail of East Sikkim

It was a hot summer afternoon in a cafe in Salt Lake, Kolkata, I was having a discussion with Siddhartha of Wandervogel Adventures on my future blogging projects. As the discussion progressed Siddhartha briefed me about Wandervogel Adventure’s next trip to Sikkim a Birding Trip along the Silk Route of Sikkim. 

Group Photo, Birding Trail of East Sikkim, in front of Mangaldeep Resort & Hotel (Photo Courtesy: Dilip Raj Pradhan)

Group Photo, Birding Trail of East Sikkim, in front of Mangaldeep Resort & Hotel (Photo Courtesy: Dilip Raj Pradhan)

The briefing was soon complete and to my utter surprise Siddhartha invited me to join the Birding Trail of East Sikkim. Wild life tours and photography has never been cup of tea and joining a group on experienced birders on a birding trail is the last thing I imagined.

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British War Memorial, Nathang, Sikkim Silk Route

September 14, 2016 3 comments

British War Memorial

Nathang (Gnathang), Sikkim Silk Route

Also see: Familirazation (FAM) tour of the Birding Trail of East Sikkim

The Silk Road or Silk Route was an ancient network of trade routes that were central to cultural interaction through regions of the Asian continent connecting the West and East from China to the Mediterranean Sea. [Source: Wikipedia]

British War Memorial, Nathang (Gnathang), Sikkim Silk Route, East Sikkim

British War Memorial, Nathang (Gnathang), Sikkim Silk Route, East Sikkim

The original silk route connected China with Mediterranean and past north of the Himalayas, but there were several other routes, which connected the Indian subcontinent with the main silk route. One such route passed through North Bengal and East Sikkim and entered Tibet via Nathu La or Jelep La.

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Sikkim’s Silk Route during Monsoon

September 11, 2016 1 comment

Sikkim’s Silk Route during Monsoon

Amazing views of Mt. Kangchenjunga through the clouds

Also see: Familirazation (FAM) tour of the Birding Trail of East Sikkim

It was still dark and freezing cold and Mt. Kanchenjunga remained behind the clouds, but the white snow on the slopes of Mt Kabru and Mt. Kumbhakarana (or Janu) have turned golden with the rays of the rising sun.

Sunrise on Mt. Kabru and Mt. Kumbhakarna (Janu), Mt. Kanchenjunga is not visible, from Lungthung, Silk Route, East Sikkim

Sunrise on Mt. Kabru and Mt. Kumbhakarna (Janu), Mt. Kanchenjunga is not visible, from Lungthung, Silk Route, East Sikkim

It was an early September morning and we watched the sunrise from the famed sunrise point of Lungthung, on Sikkim’s Silk Route. As I watched the the white massif turn golden, I was reminded of my previous visit to the Sikkim Silk Route.

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Aritar and Lampokhari Tourism Festival, East Sikkim, Sikkim

June 15, 2016 3 comments

Tourism

Aritar and Lampokhari Tourism Festival

East Sikkim, Sikkim

See also: Familiarization (FAM) Tour of Lampokahri Festival and Silk Route, East Sikkim

The Silk Road or Silk Route was an ancient network of trade routes that were central to cultural interaction through regions of the Asian continent connecting the West and East from China to the Mediterranean Sea. [Source: Wikipedia]

Panoramic view of Aritar Monastery, Aritar, East Sikkim, Sikkim

Panoramic view of Aritar Monastery, Aritar, East Sikkim, Sikkim

The original silk route connected China with Mediterranean and past north of the Himalayas, but there were several other routes, which connected the Indian subcontinent with the main silk route. One such route passed through North Bengal and East Sikkim and entered Tibet via Nathu La or Jelep La.

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Non seasonal snow on Sikkim’s Silk Route

Sikkim’s Silk Route

Encountering a non seasonal snow

See also: Familiarization (FAM) Tour of Lampokhri Festival and Silk Route, East Sikkim

“But from Rongli they climbed steeply out of the tropical forest into the zone of flowering rhododendrons…..To flower lovers, like Howard Bury, Mallory and Wollaston, these were perpetual delight. They were all the more appreciated because they would be almost the last sign of luxuriance and grace they would behold before they to face the austerities and stern realities of rock and ice and snow, and the frosts of Mount Everest.”

Sir Francis Younghusband, The Epic of Mount Everest

Zig Zag roads beyond Zuluk, Silk Route, East Sikkim

Zig Zag roads beyond Zuluk, Silk Route, East Sikkim

Malory and his fellow mountaineers followed the route through Rongli and then across the Jelep La and on wards to Tibet to reach the base of Mount Everest in 1921, 22 and 24

Almost a century later we started off along the same route in the dead of night, but our destination was not Mount Everest but Sikkim’s Silk Route.

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