Under the Eastern Skies

Under the Eastern Skies
The prayer hall at Tashiding Monastery, one of the most sacred monasteries in Sikkim , Photo Credit: Puneet K. Paliwal

While the nip in the air frosts your nose, the swatches of green will delight your soul

Puneet K. Paliwal
August 30 , 2020
02 Min Read

As the cool breeze touched my warm face, I realised that I had never felt this alive before. It was courtesy the mighty Khangchendzonga—holy shrine for those seeking the Himalayan highs. Shrouded by clouds, the colossal massif seemed to be playing peek-a-boo; each attempt of mine to view the majestic mountain was thwarted by patches of mist and fog. 

Not long before the COVID-19 commotion could begin, I managed to sneak in a getaway to the hill state of Sikkim. And true to its spirit, the splendour of the Himalayan state ensnared me immediately. 

Full of character and aesthetic appeal—the old wooden cottages painted in bright blue and green with wild orchids, the balcony stacked up with numerous succulent plants, each decked with colourful Buddhist prayer flags, and bold red dalle khursani (one of the hottest chillies in the world) drying in the courtyard—Sikkim presented a treasure trove of visual potpourri. 

Adding to the sublime visuals was the melted snow cascading down the mountains and hot water springs that dotted the canvas of the state. With a bottle of rhododendron wine in hand and the most scenic sights at my disposal, it was redamancy; it was heaven; it was pure bliss. In fact, it was more than what I had bargained for before embarking on the journey. 

A glimpse of India's highest peak from Rinchenpong

Yuksom, the base for many treks

Rinchenpong monastery, the third oldest monastery in Sikkim

View from the singshore Bridge in dentam Valley

Postcards are a great souvenir to send back home

Monks soaking up the sun at Pemayangtse monastery near Pelling

Rimbi Waterfalls in Pelling


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