It was a pleasant day, very befitting to explore last minute popular landmarks. I must reiterate that East Sikkim has plenty to see and few days are not enough to sightsee.
The Tibetology Museum is quite unique, inaugurated by Pandit Nehru in 1958, this Museum is a treasure trove of Tibetan art, Lama Masks, artifacts, colorful Tibetan Tapestry and has over 200 statues of the Buddha.
Walking distance away is another Tibetan landmark. Major part of Sikkim is teeming with Buddhism from Tibet, and it has become an integral part of the landscape, culture and art. It is but natural that apart from Monasteries, the Museum, Do Drul Chorten Stupa also stands out as a prominent Tibetan location.
Chorten Stupa built by Sage Rimpoche representing an order of Tibetan Buddhism, is a major pilgrim centre. The Stupa or Chorten in Deorali is venerated for the holy book and other relics of the Lord.
I met a family from Bhutan who proclaimed that they come here annually to hold family prayer gatherings and visit Monasteries to donate offerings as per the tenets of Buddhism. All around Chorten one can hear the constant hum of “Oum Mani Padme hum” as the devout circle around turning the Spinning Wheels.
On my last day in Gangtok the next two places are more of Hindu pilgrim round and well known for its scenic locations.
At a height of around 7000 ft, Ganesh and Hanuman Tok commands a superb viewpoint of Gangtok city and the mist shrouded Kanchengjunga view.
I had pulled out my zoom lens to capture the magnificent view of the snowcapped Himalayan range but alas, to no avail!
By evening the Toks get heavily shrouded and all I got to see were ghostly outlines of the distant mountains. September apparently is the best time to get clear blue skies and the beauty of snow capped Kanchenjunga remains etched in memory. The surrounding forest cover complements the grandeur of the Himalayan range. Ganesh Tok has an observatory to capture the mind-blowing view.
Legend has it that, Lord Hanuman on his way to Sri Lanka carrying the mythical life saving herb Sanjeevani to save Lakshman, rested here for a while.
The point where he had lodged, an orange statue of the monkey God is installed, people throng here to pray and make a wish!
Located within Defense land the army maintains Hanuman Tok (also known as wish fulfilling temple). Both the Toks, apart from the scenic panorama are amazingly clean and well maintained.