Gangtok, East Sikkim
20th Nov 2004 - 9:30am Arrived at New Jalpaiguri station by Darjeeling Mail and took a share-Sumo to Gangtok. It was a 4-1/2 ride via Siliguri, passing through some very scenic mountainous terrain as soon as we crossed the Coronation Bridge (pic left) & Teesta Bridge.
We then passed through several small towns Melli Bazar, Rangto, Singtum and stopped at Raniphool for tea break (pic left).
Arrived at Gangtok 2:30pm and took a room in a modest budget hotel on the main Bazar M.G. Road misleadingly named as The Ritz International! The weather was pretty cold around 8*C. Rest of the day spent walking in the Bazar shopping area, sent some emails from cybercafe and went to bed early in the hotel.
21st Nov 2004 - Up early today and decided to see all the sights in and around Gangtok. At 6:15am took a local jeep to Tashi Point (pic left) from where I got some superb views of the Kanchenjunga range (pic left below) and a zoomed view of Kanchenjunga (below).
From Tashi Point I decided to trek the 3 kms to the Ganesh Tok. The road was without any traffic and it was wonderful walk in the nippy cold air at 6:30 am, with the Kanchenjunga range in view all along the 1-hour walk. Pic Left shows the Mt. Narsing peak from this road and another view of the Kanchenjunga range below at 7:24am.
Reached Ganesh Tok at 8:00 am. The Viewing Gallery (pic left) at Ganesh Tok at this early hour had just a lone Photographer displaying his sample albums. The view looking downhill of Darjeeling with the communication tower (pic left below) was great. And the view of entire Himalayan range (pic below) in a clear cloudless sky.
A young visitor steps out of the Ganesh temple (pic left) at GaneshTok.
The friendly Photographer at Ganesh Tok who took my picture (left) showed me a short-cut route down to Gangtok's Enchay Gompa.
I trekked down this steep path through some thick forest cover and reached the Gompa by 9:00am show in the Pic below.
Tried to catch a share-jeep/sumo for Changu Lake (on way to Nathula Pass on the Tibet border) but by 11am all the jeeps had left and then were no more going that day. So spent most of the day roaming the various streets and bazaar areas of Gangtok.
Also talked to some Trekking agents about the Kanchenjunga treks, but as I was alone they advised I go to Yuksom and join some group there or to engage a porter-guide from there and go alone.
22nd Nov 2006 - Decided to go on to Yuksom today and try and arrange my Trek Dzongri-La from there. So took a share jeep from the jeep-stand near the State Assembly at 7am going to Yuksom.