I am brought up in Ranchi and Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, mainly. We thought of driving down the Patratu valley earlier but because of Naxalite threats, we didn’t pursue our plans…
Gurudongmar lake is located at a surface elevation of 17,800 ft (5,430 m) and covers an area of 290 acres making it the largest lake in the whole of Sikkim. The India-China border is just a few kilometres away from the lake. This lake is considered very sacred by both Buddhists and Hindus. Guru Padmasambhava (8th century) and Guru Nanak (15th century) had blessed this lake.
Gopalpur is the perfect place for holidays. During the days of Kalingas, this place was known as the port of Paloura from which traders sailed as far as Java, Bali and Sumatra and piled up wealth dealing in silk and pearl. Later Gopalpur regained its importance to maritime trade during British colonial rule. It was a transit point to export sugar and cheap labourers for the tea gardens of Assam in north-eastern India. Today it survives on fishing as its main industry, and a pristine beach with unforgettable views of the sunrise.
Chhath Puja is one of the few all-women celebrations observed by the women folks of the family without the necessity of a male priest and the utterance of Sanskrit mantras. Source of the festival could be in the fertility cult prevalent during the hoary matriarchal/matrilineal days of the country and in the Harappan civilisation.
Tsomgo Lake or Changu Lake is perched within mountains at an altitude of 12,400 ft. Located in Sikkim at Gangtok – Nathula Highway only 40 km, from Gangtok, the Changu Lake is one of the most spectacular landscapes of Sikkim.