I woke up next morning as the sun rays fell on my eyes through the small gap of the window. It was a sunny morning unlike the cloudy and foggy yesterday. After having my breakfast I got ready to go outside. It was the day of Saga Dawa celebration. I wanted to see the entire city celebrate and engage in merriment. As I went out of my hotel I noticed people wearing new clothes and dressed beautifully walking down the street. Some of them were visiting the monasteries and some of them were enjoying the festive mood with their loved ones.
I went to the local Gurung monastery. The monks were happy to see me again and offered me prasad. After spending some time there, I decided to visit MG Marg to see the procession. I was in a little bit hurry so I took a cab to reach there. Otherwise you can walk to MG Marg. On reaching there I saw people were standing beside the road to welcome the procession. The procession was already mid way. I walked along with the procession for some time and clicked a few photographs. In the procession the school children were carrying the Holy books wrapped in red clothes and they were touching them on the forehead of the people standing beside the road as a blessing. I also got the blessing of the holy books. However I got few heavy blessings as they almost knocked me with those heavy books.
Meanwhile Anirban da, Esha Di, Rimbik and Anumita were waiting for me at MG Marg. I met them there. We all were hungry. But before we had our lunch a small adventure was waiting for us – the rope way ride. The rope way goes over the city and the view from it is absolutely stunning. The shadows of the moving clouds were sailing on the beautiful green landscape of the valleys and hills. The entire city was looking beautiful.
We wanted to visit Gurudongmar lake in North Sikkim. But due to rainfall and bad weather the roads were closed for indefinite days. We adjusted our plan a bit and decided to visit East Sikkim. In the afternoon we came to Sikkim Tourism Center and booked a cab for the rest of the part of our tour. Then we decided to visit Tsomgo Lake (commonly known as Changu Lake) and to stay at Phadamchen which is a part of lower Zuluk. It is always better to consult the Govt. Tourism Office at MG Marg for any tour from Sikkim. This could save you some money from the brokers. We spent the evening at MG Marg and later we had our dinner also.
After returning to the hotel I was tired but also excited for the next day’s travel. It was time to say goodbye to Gangtok. I have visited this place before but never experienced the monsoon here. It was a different experience and I liked it, however cloudy and foggy the weather had been. The enthusiasm and the happiness I saw on the faces of the people during the Saga Dawa celebration was beautiful. It is always a pleasant experience to know different cultures, rituals and celebrations. I packed my bag and crashed on the bed. I was tired and fell asleep soon. As I was falling asleep deeper and deeper, the stars were gleaming to its brightest form, the clouds were passing by the hills and the hills were watching them silently. I could only hear the mountains breathing.
All photographs are copyrighted to © Koustav Ghosh.
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