Birding Tour along Sikkim’s Silk Route
Birding Trip for a non Birder
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.
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.
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.
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.