The city of Gangtok is spread within a radius of 7-8 km of pure hills. It may portray itself to be a small city, but it has too much to take back compared to other cities.
After a 3-hour flight from Bombay- Kolkata, a two-hour halt in Kolkata, another 1-hour flight to Bagdogra, an hours drive to Siliguri, with another 1-hour halt for snacks, last 4-hour drive on the hills and there we were, finally at Ankit’s house!
Luckily for me, we had family friends in Gangtok, who gave us an opportunity to live a local life. We put up with Ankit & his family, in his four storey house. Our 2BHK apartment in Mumbai was nothing compared to this beast. That’s one advantage of staying in smaller cities, people don’t have flats, they have ‘houses’.
Thanks to Ankit and his entire family who were excellent hosts, they left us with such wonderful memories.
With all the trips going up the hill, descending down the stairs and only using walking as a mode of transport to get to our destination- I literally became accustomed to the city in just five days of being there.
It was so exhilarating that even now I clearly remember the lush landscape covered with fog. ‘ I could live here forever’, I think to myself.
There was a bunch of blossoming flowers on the balcony of the terrace which had a seating arrangement. But the spiral stairs intrigued me and took me to a spot right on top of the building.
That was my spot- “the bird’s eye view” of the entire city, the scenario which greeted my eyes left me mesmerised.
In front of me lay the city of hills, Gangtok, charming me with its steepness, with its multi-coloured roof houses but most importantly introducing me to solitude.
There is something about the hills that takes away all my worries, all my thoughts, all the stress. I just become stagnant, freeze with the view in front of me. It makes me feel like there are just two things that exist in the world- ‘me & nature’.
Post our jet-lagged journey from west to east, we decided not to do anything great on Day 2. All we did was go to Ankit’s jewellery store (Ramchandra Jewellers) which is located in the heart of the city.
Being the women tribe that we are, me and my mother shopped ornaments at his store, came across some prolific local and traditional jewellery that was embedded with colourful stones (especially blue and red stones).
Since it was raining and the roads were hardly visible due to the fog, we just relaxed at the store. It was a cosy afternoon, where all you can think of is a pillow and a blanket. Note- we were not here to sleep. Damn! the weather. Obviously, a hot cup of masala tea played its tricks and refreshed us to retrieve back to our mission. How soul-filling!
Ankit’s wife Madhu insisted on taking us for some local fashionable shopping, she said, ‘You’ll forget all your fashion brands in Bombay, if you see the kind of clothes the women wear here’ This was a little instigating so I went anyway. And I must say, she was right. Since Sikkim is closer to Bangkok, they are pre-timely aware of all the latest trends.
Forget the beauty, even the fashion sense of Gangtok did not fail to impress me!
This was a gist of the city and its characteristics, next up would be all the touristy places I visited. (Ps- I will also tell you where to get the best Momos!)
If you fell in love with this hilly city as well, would love to hear all about it.
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