Lessons from exquisite Sikkim

Dear Editor,
As the bus entered Rangpo after passing through the rich architectural gate welcoming us to Sikkim, it was indeed sheer delight in the enchanting state.
Though a bit congested with buildings all around, it was nice to notice the cleanliness of Gangtok. The Mall at M.G.Marg was indeed unique. Wide footpaths; traffic-less avenue; fountains, benches and greenery along the divider; cafes to eateries to medicine shops to banks to curios —- what a place specially at evening with lights and colours all around!
While we were crossing series of check posts on the way to Tsamgo Lake; I was getting amazed by the personality, attitude and sincerely of the Sikkim Police personnel. Well dressed, smiling, polite work force; yet meticulously checking the credentials and identity documents of the tourists! Their accountability and body language deserve highest praise. The half-frozen lake in the midst of pristine white ranges on all sides coupled with the indigenous Yaks are enough to transport us to “paradise”!
And perhaps even no poet can also succeed in providing justice to the beauty of Lachung with his/her mighty lyrical pen! Surrounded by lofty snow-capped Himalayan peaks on all sides with water falls cascading down here and there, a river flowing between the habitation and cute cottages-huts-hotels flanked by Rhododendron and Magnolia flowers in deep red and silvery bloom respectively; Lachung is simply out of the world!
And what to say about Yumthang! A wide colourful flowery valley with a crystal-clear river fed by glaciers coming down from the mountain ranges on both sides was nothing but a live picture postcard.
Ravangla features a gigantic Buddha statue towering over a large monastery complex. Perhaps even the most atheist person of the globe will feel the presence of God in such a heavenly environment! Gardens and orchards of colourful Tulip Rhododendron and Magnolia all around the complex, an yellow-orange hued monastery with the Lord meditating over it and Himalayan ranges I the background —- Tathagata Tsal is really beyond description!
Though we failed to have a glimpse of the nearby Kanchenjunga range due to unclear sky; still Pelling mesmerised us through its attractions in surrounding areas featuring waterfalls namely Kanchenjunga and Rimbi, the auspicious Khecheapalri Lake and much revered Pemayangtse Monastery built in 1705 AD. And the Pelling tourism circuit cannot become fruitful without a visit to the Singshore Bridge said to be the second highest suspension bridge in Asia. Built over a deep river gorge; this 100 metre high and 240 metre long bridge amidst the rich green Sikkim Himalayas is not only tourist’s delight, but an engineering marvel as well.
With passage of time, many details may fade away from conscious memory; but never would I forget the general scenery of the state with it’s unpolluted rivers, Rhododendron and Magnolia flowers, enviable cleanliness, monasteries and choertens all around, colourful religious flags adorning residences to bridges(signifying sense of beauty) and last(but not the least) —- the humility dignity discipline warm-behaviour and spirit of the common population of Sikkim.
Kajal Chatterjee