Wednesday, November 26, 2014

India - Darjeeling and Sikkim: Part 3

The next day, we visited Yuksom in Sikkim, and went to Norbugang.
There are 4 stone seats beneath an ancient pine tree. This was the coronation throne of Sikkim's first King in 1641.

The garden which surrounds this place is really peaceful.
We visited a nearby village - see how they're drying the corn for the winder just under the roof.
The block of wood at the bottom right corner of the house is actually a beehive, and the villagers can collect honey from the hive.
Dropped by an orphanage - the kids were having lunch of buttered rice, and they are impressively well behaved.
They took turns washing their plates and cutlery at the tap outside the kitchen.
Spotted NYJC's adopted orphanage - brightly decorated walls for the children staying there.
We also visited Khecheopalri Lake, which is a sacred lake. Its supposed to have wish fulfilling powers - hopefully it does so that all my wishes (that I wished there) will come true!
The locals believe that no leaf which falls into the lake will remain there. The day we went to the lake, it was drizzling so we weren't able to see the mountain range behind.
Met a friendly but very hungry cat there.
The next day, we got up bright and early and dragged everyone to watch the sunrise (again). Sadly, it was way too cloudy and we could barely see the sun peeping out from behind the clouds.

After unsuccessfully trying to watch the sunrise, we went for a short walk up to the Sanga Choeling Monastery.
It's a rather steep climb up a rocky road, I wonder how the locals do it (especially the elderly people, but I suppose that they are much hardier than Singaporeans).  The views from the Monastery are spectacular. Can you imagine waking up to the Kachenjanga mountain range every morning and breathing ultra fresh air. I might be able to live to a hundred.
We were very fortunate to visit the monastery during a festival, and they had invited 2000+ villagers for a meal at the monastery.
This is their outdoor kitchen, where there were many people helping with the food preparation. 
Here, they are making something similar to mantous, with spring onion and parsley. 
They were very friendly and we got to try making the mantous and the momos, which is actually quite technically difficult (my momos were all deformed and looked like an ugly caterpillar). 

Found a butterfly on the ground - it was probably quite cold in the morning and it was rather sluggish, but finally managed to fly away after resting for a while.
Stupas in the monastery. 
We also ate some of their local snacks - I really like the flower snack right in front - it's available in Singapore but I'm not sure what it's called.

You can read more about my trip here.
Part 1
Part 2 
Part 4
Part 5

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