The diary of a few rides and clicks!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

On 6:54 AM by Yashwanth Rao   7 comments
After a pretty sound sleep for 4 hours, we got up and left from our lodge at early morning 3.30 or so, to the Tiger hill, where one can see the first rays of sun falling on the Mt.Kangchenjunga! We left all our luggage at the lodge only, and the 5 of us left in 3 bikes, carrying just cameras with us. Since it was a Sunday morning, there were many tourists that day and it was already nearing sunrise at around 4 only! However we were not too late also. We secured a place to take proper pics of the kangchenjunga, and it was so tough to even get a place with the view, when it was nearing sunrise, as the place was so crowded!  Finally, the sunrise occurred at around 4.30 or 5.. And we had one of the best views of our lives there. The snow capped Kangchenjunga, shining!




After taking so many photos, we left back to Darjeeling. We visited Samten Choling monastery on the way back. It was a pretty good monastery, but all the places were crowded on that day. We had some biscuits and tea there. 



The streets of the town were totally empty. And just like we saw in the movie 'Barfi', the town had the toy train tracks everywhere.. 



From there, we went to a place called the Batasia loops. It was a small garden plus a war memorial. We could see Kangchenjunga from there as well. And also, there were some telescopes, from which some people explained and showed us the important places in Darjeeling for some 20 bucks.





From there, we went to the biggest monastery in Darjeeling - Ghoom monastery. And it was some sort of festival there it seems. So they were celebrating with dance and all. We could not understand the dance form, but still we sat there and watched it for nearly half an hour. It was pretty unique in the end. 








And then we went to the rock garden from there. When we asked many people about the route to the rock garden, everyone told us that our bikes won't go there! However we decided to go ahead, as we had already seen the mighty Rani's Nallah of Rohtang. We assumed that this road can never be worst than that. And we were right in the end! We had some good views of the tea estates on the way and the roads were pretty steep. The rock garden was also a pretty good place, with a water falls and many kinds of flowers. 





On our way back, there were some more processions as it was durga pooja. The entire town was celebrating and we were lucky to enjoy the festivities there. 





We even spotted the clock tower shown in the movie 'Barfi'! 



Our next destination was the Golden Pagoda. However, when we visited the place, it was under renovation. So we could just click some pics from outside, but could not go inside. Even this place had a good view.



And then we went to the Zoo in Darjeeling. It was there that we saw this cute creature for the first time - The Red Panda!




The Zoo was also a home to many other creatures found only in cold regions. Like the snow leopard and all. I was lucky to capture this cute girl there.




By the time we finished all these, it was already around 4.30 pm. We then got to know about the cable car in Darjeeling. We went to that spot at around 4.45pm. We also heard about a Tensingh Rock just 2 mins ahead of the place. We thought we would visit it first and then come back to the cable car. So, we went to the tensingh rock. It is supposed to be the place where Tensingh climbed that rock for the first time. So it got the name, Tensingh Rock. 2 of us even climbed a small rock there for fun. 


Then we went to the cable car, after drinking a cup of Darjeeling tea. By the time we went there, it was around 5.10, and then we got to know that it closes at 5.00! We had noone to blame but ourselves!  When we went back to the lodge, we found a Royal Enfiled of Karnataka registration! The lodge manager told us that guy had come alone! We were curious to meet him, but he was asleep it seems. Finally we checked out from our lodge and headed to Gangtok! For those who plan to go there through a train or something, Darjeeling is full of shared taxis. They will take you anywhere in darjeeling. I also have to mention, the road sense of those cab drivers was brilliant. They always used to give us space to overtake them properly, in those narrow roads. Our bikes were head turners all the way, as very few people go there in bikes. 

Gangtok is around 100 kms from Darjeeling. After riding for an hour and a half, we reached a place called Rangpo, which is the West Bengal-Sikkim border. The roads were pretty decent. The river Teesta was flowing parallel to the road, and we could hear its sound at the night, when we stopped. We had dinner at Rangpo, where we met this very helpful guy - Tashi. He saw us coming in bikes, and so he talked to us as he was a biker himself. He had been to North Sikkim and Bhutan also in bike and so he gave us all the guidelines that he could think of. Our actual plan was to exit Bhutan from Samdrup Jhongkar. But Tashi warned us that once you enter India from there, the 40 km stretch is very dangerous and many robberies happen there. We had even read about it in some blogs. Apparently, this Tashi was the first guy in Sikkim to buy a KTM Duke it seems. He also owned a CBR and a bullet. He gave us his number and asked us to call him whenever we face some issues, as he stayed in Gangtok only. He even told us he can arrange for rooms that night. We thought of calling him if we found no place to stay, and then left from there. After riding for another hour, we reached Gangtok at around 8.30. We even found pretty decent rooms to stay, and that is how, our 2nd day ended! We planned to get up at around 7.30 and head to the permits office next morning, as we had to take many permits to enter north sikkim, that too with our own bikes! 

7 comments:

  1. Hi Yashwant, we are planning a similar trip from Bangalore. Can u please provide ur email address. Had a few questions on the permits for bikes in N-Sikkim. Please reply to gaurangn@yahoo.com..Thx

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