DAY 8 – SINGSHORE BRIDGE, RIMBI WATERFALL, KANCHENJUNGA WATERFALL, PEMAYANGTSE MONASTERY & KHECHEOPALRI LAKE
I got up early today to experience the Kanchenjunga in the morning. I peeped out of the room window to see fog everywhere. I was utterly disappointed. The reason I had booked a room at Upper Pelling was to enjoy the mesmerizing view of Kanchanjunga.
|Chants embossed on a rock|
Since I was the first one who got ready, I walked to the helipad which was a stone throw away distance from our hotel, to have a look at the view from there. I was let down by what I could see or rather I could not see.
The hotel had arranged a Tata Sumo for us for today’s sightseeing, which was not a wise decision. The car was very uncomfortable especially because the roads are very bad.
We got ready, had breakfast in the hotel and hoped in our car at 9:30 am. We were late, we should have started early.
After seeing Nathula Pass, Rumtek Monastery in Gangtok, Gurudongmar Lake and Zero Point in North Sikkim, Buddha Park in Ravangla, it was time to explore Pelling.
Our first stop was Rimbi Waterfall. It was a quick one though. After seeing many waterfalls in North Sikkim this one didn’t impress us at all. One quick snap of this waterfall and we were back in the car.
Our next stop was Kangehendzonga Waterfalls which is around 15 kms from Pelling on the road leading to Yuksom (which we gave a miss). Even before reaching the waterfall we could hear the thundering sound of water falling from a height with ferocious speed. This was a waterfall which was nice and huge. The path to the waterfall is dotted with shops selling, channa, sweets, biscuits, chai and noodles.
The Holy Khecheopalri Lake was next in our itinerary. The lake which is also known as the wishing Lake, is a short walk from the jeep parking lot. The walkway to the lake is lined by prayer flags on both sides. The lake is very serene and is considered holy by the locals. There were many tourists turning the series of prayer wheels walking on the walkway towards the edge of the lake. You will find plenty of huge fish in the lake. There are requests to maintain silence and not throw anything (especially food) in the lake. The view was beautiful – it was greenery everywhere. There was perfect silence which is meditative and spiritual.
|Way to the Holy Lake|
|Prayer Wheels at Khecheopalri Lake|
We pulled ourselves from this serene lake and proceeded towards the Sinshore Bridge near Uttarey. This is the second highest suspension bridge in Asia and what an engineering it is. It leads to Nepal and connects two hills of the Himalayan Range. There is a huge valley that runs right under the bridge. There was hardly any noise other than the fluttering of the flags and the whistle of the wind. We walked the stretch of the bridge across and could feel the vibrations on the bridge everytime a car gets on it.
Our last stop was Pemayangtse Monastery. By the time we reached the monastery the sun has set and it was getting cold. It is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim. A large group of monks were seated in the main hall of the monastery and were chanting in unison. Just listening to these chants, I had a feeling of mental peace. It was a very spiritual experience. After sitting amongst the monks and listening to their chants we decided to head back to our hotel. I tried to take pictures of this monastery but in vain as it was night time and foggy.
Once in hotel we headed to our room, refreshed and came downstairs for dinner. This was our last dinner in the smallest state of India – Sikkim… beautiful and serene.
Points to remember:
1. As the sun sets early here start your day early.
2. Book an Innova, bolero or a Xylo for a comfortable travel. As the roads are bad and travel in Sumo or Maxx can be cumbersome.
3. Although the distance between places is not far because of the rough terrain it takes a considerable time to go from one place to another. So plan accordingly.
4. Please carry warm clothes including sweater, jacket, cap, mufflers, socks and gloves. Wear shoes and not sandals or chappals.
6. Be easy on steps and while walking. Avoid brisk walk or running at high altitudes.
7. In Pelling, book your hotel at Upper Pelling which is close to the Helipad and thus offer magnificent view of the Kanchanjunga.
8. Sikkim is plastic free zone. Please don’t litter and maintain the beauty of nature.
9. Please remain quiet, maintain the discipline and follow the rules at Monasteries and other religious places.