Went to the absolutely stunning Sikkim a few years back. It is also referred to as the Switzerland of India, but I am not sure Switzerland is so awesome!
This was a family trip and part of the group had been to most of the places in Sikkim, so they wanted to go specifically to a place called Gurudongmar Lake. This lake is at 10,000 ft! It was an adventurous trip with a bunch of Jain folks heading into the mountains. Most older folks had to forego dinner because all the places looked and felt like predominantly non-veggie! Youngsters including me had maggi where ever we went!
With a day of acclimatization in Gangtok which is very less…we headed up into the mountains. Generally people go to Yumthang and other places on the way. This way they see all those places and also get acclimatized, but since the other people didn’t have that much time, we headed straight to Gurudongmar.
After an overnight halt at a small town we headed onward to the lake, which is in completely snow clad terrain. It is also very close to the China border, so much so that you can actually see that side of the border – little igloo type mounds where Chinese soldiers might be keeping a watch. There is no demarcation of the border but its known to the locals. We finally couldn’t go to the lake itself as the whole road was snowed but we went very close. It was walking distance away however due to weather conditions we had to turn back!
This was my first encounter with snow! 🙂
Sikkim is truly wonderful. I loved this Himalayan stretch than any other! The monasteries, fields, mountains are just magnificient. Gangtok as a hill station is also lovely. Its bazaaar street is quaint with enjoyable music playing in the evenings and enough little benches for everyone to sit on. There are some very good quiet tea shops where you can have some hot herbal tea and enjoy the scenic view of the hill town! Enchanting place!
Sikkim is also very well managed by its government. I inquired with the drivers and local people, almost every small village had electricity, computers, TVs with cable and mobile connectivity. Decent literacy. The government has also been quite proactive in adopting eco-friendly policies of development. Plastic bags are completely banned here.
Overall definitely a must visit!