Friday, August 28, 2015

My First Rendezvous with Northeast India – The Mighty Gangtok (Day 2)

We started the day early and got our taxi booked from hotel for local sightseeing. The taxi driver proffered to take us to 5 local points for INR 1200/-. We started off with the farthest point – Rumtek Monastery. It took us about 45 mins to reach the location. It was situated at the most beautiful location, on top of the hill, with high mountains on the background and waterfalls on one side. The road  to monastery meanders down and spirals up through small houses and rice fields. Driving through these woods and enchanted villages in itself is a great treat to enrich the photographic memory. The entrance of Rumtek Monastery is guarded by Indian army. There is a large open space with a stupa erected in between the monastery. Main chamber of prayer was surrounded both sides by lodging place for monks. Further is the main entrance to the monastery, guarded by draped doors. A holy procession was ongoing with 25-30 monks chanting prayers while we reached inside. Walls were covered with exquisite painting depicting life of Buddha and other Tibetan deities. The air inside was pious and filled with fragrance of perfumed candles. No wonder this enlightens people to leave worldly possession to stay in such blissful place.

Rumtek Monastery

Rumtek Monastery
Our next stoppage was Dro-dul Chorten, which is in the main Gangtok city. Do-Drul Chorten Stupa is located near Namgyal Institute of Tibetology and Museum. The Chorten is worth visiting during prayer sessions and also to observe the lifestyle of the monks. We didn’t get the chance to visit the most touted Namgyal Institute of Tibetology and Museum, as all government offices closes by 17:00 in Gangtok. So, all the local sights got closed and we only got to see 2 points. This ended our local expedition for today and we were dropped at our hotel. 

Café Live and Loud

After much needed rest, we browsed the local market place and had our eureka moment, guess nice lounge to relax a bit. It's called Café Live and Loud. What an intriguing name, ambiance personified. A chic place with good food and nice drinks. Hot chocolate was to die for and not to forget, only place in Gangtok to do Seshaaaaa. The food was average but the ambiance was mindbogglingly awesome. I and my buddy had a nice relaxing time with some good country music playing in the background. 

                                                                                                                                    ..... to be continued