Sunday, May 9, 2010

From zero point to Nothingness (Sikkim) : By Manisha Surve

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Prayer wheels, Salt tea and Monastery







............Rumtek Monastery, the most sacred and revered place of worship......i turned the prayer wheels sending the "om mani padme hum" chants reverberating in the universe and in my inner universe.................

From zero point to NOTHINGNESS





......what am i doing ? what is the purpose of my life? What is going to happen next ?.....and all these existential questions become negated to a big 0 or shoonya......as we realise that god and nature are one....overpowering, omnipresent and omniscient and to realise the sacred presence in pristine nature is the key to discovery of the self......

Gurudongmar Lake @ 17100 feet





...........this lake in North Sikkim located at the height of 17000+ feet, is an awesome and out of this world spectacle. Surrounded by snow clad mountains and crystal clear icy water, it is a very sacred lake and it is believed that any wish you make there comes true.....here the percentage of oxygen in the air is only 4% hence to stay here for more than an hour is not possible for most tourists.....it is an out of this world experience. A special permission is required for this visit and foreigners are not allowed to visit this lake.





Yumthang Valley - a riot of rhododendrons in bloom








.....The whole Yumthang valley, one of the most picturesque sights in the whole of sikkim, is a riot of colour in this season as Rhodendron flowers bloom throughout the trekking trail in red, white, pink and yellow.......The Shingba Rhododenron sanctuary is full of flowers in bloom as sikkim celebrates Rhodendron festival from 25 APril to 15 May.....

Tsomgo, Yak, me and the SNOWSTORM !!!







................Tsomgo lake...baba mandir, yak ride ......all this is routine tourist activity....but what happened next was a life changing experience for me.....all of a sudden at about 3.30 while returning it started raining snow, and the whole landscape in 1 hr changed from black to white...all the cars got stranded and this continued till 6 in the evening...there was ankle deep snow and about 1500 tourists and 150 vehicles were stranded at various points.

My gracious host said that i have got two options - to stay overnight in the car, or walk in the snow for about 5- 6 kms till we reach the check point. Well i definitely chose the later...as this was going to be my first trek in the snow at night and who knows i may never get the opportunity again....and it was fun. Initially i kept slipping and stumbling but once i learnt the trick of walking on soft snow with my heels and at times slip on the ice while maintaining my balance. i along with four other c0 -travellers walked for about 2 hrs in the snow till we reached the point where a taxi had come to pick us up. Back in my resort i had a hot soak in tub with lemongrass oil and salt ........Well i guess i am ready for a ski course now....
.....next day there was a news item in local and calcutta newspapers.....

....and the Hooghly flows on




21 April, 12.20, Arrival in Calcutta
.....twenty years ago, that was the last time i came to calcutta and twenty years later i get to visit the city where i spent the most formative 10 -12 years of my life. In a whirlwind tour in 24 hrs i see calcutta in a fast forward mode.....this slow moving and leisure loving city. Whether calcutta has changed or not is difficult to say but i definitely have.....

2 comments:

  1. The Himalayas, home of the snow, is the most impressive system of mountains on the earth, and for centuries the setting for epic feats of exploration.

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  2. Nice photos, try it like album or slide show. it will good.
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    ReplyDelete