Sikkim Diaries: A Bunch from the Flower Exhibition in Gangtok

flower exhibition, gangtok, sikkim

Gangtok is a beautiful city surrounded with lush greenery and dotted with colorful flowers.  However, if you want to see a variety of flowers under one roof, Gangtok Flower Exhibition is the place. Well, plucking flowers is definitely prohibited, but I picked up some for you…with my camera, of course. 😀

Here are my picks from the exhibition.

bromeliads, flowers, flower exhibition, gangtok, sikkim

flowers, flower show, gangtok, sikkim

purple, flower, flower show, gangtok, sikkim

red flowers, flower exhibition, gangtok, sikkim

flower, flower exhibition, gangtok, sikkim

flowers, flower exhibition, gangtok, sikkim

dianthus, flowers, flower exhibition, gangtok, sikkim

flower, flower exhibition, gangtok, sikkim

orchids, yellow flower, flower exhibition, gangtok, gangtok sightseeeing

yellow orchids, flower exhibition, gangtok, sikkim

flower exhibition, gangtok, sikkim, flowers

flower exhibition, gangtok, sikkim

flower, flower exhibition, gangtok, gangtok sightseeing

For more information on things to do in Gangtok, view my post, Sikkim Diaries: Getting Around in Gangtok.
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The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Solitude

nature, solitude, alone, greenery, lachung, sikkim

“Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.”

~ Paul Tillich

I feel lonely when I am in the crowd. I enjoy being alone amidst the nature.

We were driving to Lachung from Gangtok. On our way, I saw this woman sitting alone under the trees. It looked like she was contemplating, fully absorbed in the nature and greenery all around. And this is exactly what “solitude” means to me.

Well, I know it could have been a much better, clearer picture, but I took this shot from a running car. Hence, not a very clean shot. Hope you don’t mind that! 🙂

greenery, solitude, nature, sikkim, mountains, woods

Published in response to The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Solitude.

Why Kerala is Really Gods Own Country?

tea garden, kerala, greenery

The easiest way of identifying the magical state of Kerala is to hear the words ‘God’s own country’. You’d think that there were some substantial reasons Kerala got such a divine reputation, and none would surprise you. The celestial land of Kerala is a land of untold stories and unexplored creations that look like they couldn’t be created by the mundane brain of humans. Thus, even the tourism industry of Kerala uses that phrase to describe the state. But there’s more than just its fantastic appealing factors that make Kerala such a heavenly wonder. What makes Kerala such a magnetic force to be reckoned with, you ask. Let’s find that out.

  • The cuisine is especially authentic

south indian, cuisine, food, kerala

Image via Flickr by Bill Scott

Kerala’s cuisine is unique and you’d find something new in possibly every place you visit in the state. The authenticity of the south Indian delicacies in Kerala have a charm of their own that makes it feel like it’s an unmissable location of India. Calicut’s seafood and Munnar’s diverse cuisine brings tourist from all over the world to this southern heaven. Food can’t simply be described to a lover of delicacies, and you’d have to try and see how truly magnificent the cuisine of Kerala is. Rooftop restaurants, quiet beach-side cafes, the tea stalls of the villages, you name it and Kerala will have it. If you visit the home of a local to dine, there’s much more you’d get to discover apart from their friendly nature and polite hospitality.

  • The heavenly, unbelievable monsoons

kerala, backwaters, monsoon, greenery

Image via Flickr by Sarath Kuchi

Kerala is greeted by majestic monsoons during its time in the south. The rivers feel like they’re descending from paradise, the mountains are covered in a blanket of thickets and trees, the forests are dense and worth getting lost in, and the pleasantness of the swaying palm trees gives Kerala an edge like no other. If you’re feeling adventurous, the bamboo rafting through the valleys of Munnar is an experience one should never miss. Stay in one of those quaint resorts of Periyar and watch the rain take your very breath away with its unmistakable allure. Then there is Alleppey, the “Venice of the East”, grows more beautiful when it rains.

  • The sleepiness of hill stations

kerala hill stations, munnar, thekaddy

Image via Flickr by himanisdas

Kerala’s hill stations have unmatched beauty in them. Thekaddy, Vagamon, Munnar, Ponmudi and others are some of the most attractive hill stations of Kerala. The hill stations are quiet and relaxing, giving you a well-deserved weekend retreat. Far away from the hustle and bustle of the cities, the quaint hill stations perched upon the prettiest of hills in Kerala have stunning factors that would appeal to any traveller. Tourists flock up to Ponmudi and Thekaddy for some calming time out of their busy lives, and the locals scattered around the state also enjoy their very own hideous amidst lush forests and valleys full of explorations.

  • The spice and tea

tea garden, kerala, tea estate, greenery

Image via Flickr by Rajib Ghosh

Kerala is especially famous for its tea and spice plantations. It isn’t called the spice capital of the country for no reason. The aromatic plantations of spices in Kerala have been a constant allure for people throughout the years now. With the delicious fragrances of the spices merging into those of the tea plantations have made a rather substantial impact on Kerala’s tourism, and it has only seen good days so far. You’d find that there is no better tea to sip anywhere other than in Kerala once you’ve had a taste, and your nose will possibly disregard every other perfume the moment it breathes in the spicy scent of Kerala’s plantations.

  • The people

elephant, kerala, culture, elephant ride

Image via Flickr by spisharam

Kerala’s locals are the best. If you’re at your best behaviour the people of Kerala will go to any length in making sure that a guest in their home has a good time. The nature of the people in Kerala is especially friendly and hospitable, and if you become good friends with some of them, expect to be invited to their homes at least once. Keralites follow many age-old customs and traditions which make them all the more interesting to hang out with. You get to learn something new from almost every person you meet. They’ll probably recommend the best places to visit, and you can tour Kerala like a local rather than a usual tourist. It’s a really appealing factor of being in Kerala that the people offer their utmost hospitality to nearly every visitor.

You’ve got to visit Kerala once to know how seriously brilliant it is in reality. Perhaps the spirituality of this calming destination will help you see how Kerala truly is the destination handcrafted by God.


Author Bio:

Rohit is a passionate traveller and writer who shares his experiences on TransIndiaTravels.com from his many travelling excursions and expeditions of around the world.

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The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Graceful

minarets, asafi mosque, lucknow, footlooseforever

These graceful minarets of Asafi Mosque silently dominates the skyline of the ‘City of Nawabs’, Lucknow for ages.

asafi mosque, lucknow, architecture, bara imambara

A postcard from Lucknow.

Published in response to The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Graceful.
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The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Ambience

udaipur city palace, interior, queen's room

This week’s theme “ambience” instantly reminded me of the elegant interior of the City Palace, Udaipur that creates a warm, inviting ambience. I thought I should dedicate these pictures to this week’s photo challenge.

interior, city palace, udaipur, royal, rajasthan

interior, royal, rajasthan, ambience, city palace, udaipur

Published in response to The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Ambience.

Sikkim Diaries: Getting Around in Gangtok

gangtok, hills, mountains, morning view

Gangtok is the capital of the state of Sikkim in north-eastern India. But for me, it is a city of flowers. Everywhere I looked around I saw flowers blossoming along the roadside, boulevards, and fences and balconies along the houses. Colorful flowers, green hills and people in fashionable clothes make quite a view to enjoy in Gangtok.

gangtok, sikkim

I was there during the second week of May, 2016. With pleasant weather and abundance of hotels and transport, Gangtok serves as a perfect base for exploring various scenic places in North and West Sikkim. For more information, travel photos and itinerary, check out:

We returned to Gangtok after Gurudongmar trip and stayed there for one night and two days. Gangtok sightseeing comes in packages such as 3-point, 7-point, or 10-point tours for half-day or full day. We booked a 7-point tour package, which covered the following places:

  • Rumtek Monastery
  • Shanti View Point (There is nothing much to see here. However, we enjoyed Momo sold here at reasonable price – Rs 40 for a plate)
  • Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
  • Do-Drul Chorten
  • Suicide Point (Don’t be afraid! This is just another view point. 😉   :D)
  • Flower Exhibition
  • Handicrafts & Handloom Center (You’ll find a variety of Tibetan handicrafts including mask, clothing accessories, carpets, wall rugs, bags, and many more at authentic price.)

It was a half-day tour. We started at around 9:30 in the morning and completed by 2 o’clock in the afternoon. The post-lunch session was meant for a ropeway ride and shopping at the main market at MG Marg.

Rumtek Monastery

More than an hour drive from Gangtok, Rumtek Monastery is a must see. The monastery is a center of Tibetan Buddhism offers beautiful and quiet surroundings where you would love to spend some time watching the rituals by the little monks, listening to their chanting, and praising the colorful architecture of the monastery.

Rumtek Monastery, Gangtok, Sikkim

Rumtek Monastery, Gangtok, Sikkim

rumtek monastery, gangtok, sikkim, architecture, tibetan architecture

rumtek monastery, gangtok, sikkim, stairs, blue flowers

rumtek monastery, gangtok, sikkim

rumtek monastery, gangtok, tibetan art, murals, painting

monks, rumtek monastery, gangtok, sikkim, buddhist, rituals

Oh yes! Before you leave, don’t forget to stop by this handicraft shop once. You may find something interesting to buy.

souvenir shop, rumtek monastery, gangtok, sikkim

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Namgyal Institute of Tibetology

If you want to delve deeper into the Tibetan culture this is a place to be.  The institute conducts different programs to promote research Tibetan history, religion, art and culture. Exquisite silver accessories and beautiful thangkas caught my eyes as soon as I enter the museum.

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Do-Drul Chorten

A Tibetan Buddhist shrine and a peaceful place for prayer Do-Drul Chorten is situated right beside the Institute of Tibetology. The snow white stupa is surrounded with prayer wheels.  I peeped through the window of the prayer hall to find that young priests were chanting and learning their part.

do-drul chorten, tibetan buddhist, shrine, gangtok sightseeing, gangtok

Suicide Point

I don’t know why this beautiful place has a terrible name like this! But I loved walking along the canopied trail that took me to the spot from where I could see green slopes all around and a winding river stream deep down the gorge.

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stairs, prayer flags, suicide point, gangtok, sikkim,

hills, mountains, view point, suicide point, gangtok, gangtok sightseeing

Flower Exhibition

This is a must-see in Gangtok. A variety of flowers with their scientific names and descriptions are displayed in a greenhouse-like place.

flower exhibition, gangtok, gangtok sightseeing, things to do Gangtok

Ropeway

After the day-trip we came back to hotel for lunch. I could see the ropeway cable cars moving up and down sitting right at our hotel’s dining room. By 3:30 pm we set out again for a ropeway ride and walked to the station near Butterfly Bridge.

gangtok, streets in gangtok, sikkim

However, we had to wait for nearly two hours at the ticket counter as there were only two cable cars with a capacity of 24 people each. By the time we boarded the cable car the sun was about to set beyond the hills. 😦

gangtok from ropeway, ropeway ride, gangtok things to do

However, it’s a short 15 minute ride which offers colorful panoramas of the city, Gangtok.

gangtok, ropeway

gangtok, rooftop, ropeway ride, sikkim, things to do gangtok

MG Marg

With a lively atmosphere, numerous shops and restaurants, MG Marg is the pulsating heart of Gangtok. Sikkim government’s Tourist Information Center is also located here. From beautiful accessories to delicate handicrafts to fancy umbrellas there are many things you can buy as souvenirs.

mg marg, market, gangtok, sikkim

Well, if you don’t like wasting money in shopping, just sit on a bench at the plaza and watch people and activities around you. People-watching is a nice time pass, isn’t it? 😉   😀  mg marg, market, gangtok, main market, gangtok shopping

See you soon… 🙂
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Happy New Year 2017

“Travel one new place every year.”

This has become my favorite quote for the past few years. Like last year, I wish to visit and explore another new place in 2017. Saying that, I would like to wish my fellow bloggers, friends, and followers a very happy and happening new year. Keep traveling and keep sharing! 🙂

travel, traveling, travel photo

“No matter where or why you travel, there’s always something wonderfully new to be found.”