One of life’s greatest gifts is the ability to find beauty in everything you encounter. So what do you do when beauty finds you? For starters, you simply look at it in awe, marvel at the sight that your eyes behold, drink it all in and commit it to memory, so that the moment lingers on in the most perfect of ways for the rest of your days. That’s what Sikkim is all about. Wherever you go, there is a spectacular sight waiting to burst out in front of your eyes, awaiting its chance to cast a spell. After a point, you almost stop taking pictures because the mind gets baffled at the onrush of scenery and the abundance of greenery.
Located among the majestic Himalayan Mountains, Sikkim is nothing short of a dream for nature lovers and photographers alike. With an elevation ranging from 280 metres (920 ft) to 8,586 metres (28,169 ft); this land-locked state in India provided us with breathtaking views of valleys, sunsets that displayed fiery tones of reds, oranges and yellows and a chance to literally drive through the clouds whilst descending from the Nathu La Pass. Majestic, stately and excessively gorgeous, simply looking up to stare at the mountains was an experience that humbles you and makes you grateful to simply be there.
The Teesta River that runs through the entirety of the state was a vision of enchantment. Majestically flowing between ravines and gorges, turns and plains, this river was entirely something else. To see the aquamarine water shimmering in the sun was as fabulous as it was calming. The thick white foam, the strong current cutting the rocks creates a symphony far sweeter than those produced by artful musicians for it connects with your soul and makes it dance.
Waterfalls are ubiquitous in the landscape of this part of the country and can be seen in versions both behemoth and miniature. Whether it was the beautiful Banjhakri falls at Rumtek, the Twin Waterfalls at Lachung or the little springs that burst out from the sides of the mountains, there was beauty providing us company as we traversed on the long, winding and lonely routes.
Moving south, Sikkim gets a lot warmer, the cold winds recede but the picturesque view remains just as appealing as the mountains, waterfalls and riverbanks. Tea gardens thrive in this area for the weather is just perfect – balmy with an ample amount of sun and shade. The smell of the wet earth and tender tea shrubs as they dance in the sunny breeze tingle the senses and cast a spell; making you crane your neck from the car and stare at the lush greenery as long as the route permits.
Sikkim has a grace that makes you feel so beautifully insignificant, it humbles you and takes the whole perspective of being human to an altogether different plane.