Sikkim’s Silk Route during Monsoon
Amazing views of Mt. Kangchenjunga through the clouds
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.
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.
Aritar and Lampokhari Tourism Festival
East Sikkim, 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]
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.
Sikkim’s Silk Route
Encountering a non seasonal snow
“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
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.