The day I reached Gangtok, I had already sent a few requests to members on the ‘Couchsurfing’ App. As one of them agreed to host me at her house, another one offered to pick me up and take me for a drive around Gangtok. Many unconditional offerings like these let me have a completely different perspective about human beings. A perspective which will stand with me forever to contribute my best to this world.
After having a good conversation with my host over a cup of tea, I rested for a while after which Dhiren (name substituted) came to pick me up for a drive around Gangtok. It is obvious that when two travellers meet, the most exciting are the vibrancy and experiences they share. Dhiren took me to Tashi view point. It was already dark but I could see the whole of Gangtok glittering with lights. During our drive we discussed a lot of information about Sikkim and what I should be doing in the immediate next three-four days. We decided that after spending a day or two in Gangtok I can visit Changu lake, Nathu La and Baba Mandir which are on the same route. Dhiren was very generous in offering to get my permits done while I developed a flavour for the city of Gangtok.
Changu Lake or Tsomgo lake is a glacial lake some 40 Kms from Gangtok. The lake is said to remain frozen during winter season. Nathu La is a mountain pass in the Himalayas. As learnt from the online sources Nathu La is one of the three open trading border posts between China and India. Baba ka Mandir is a shrine built by soldiers of Army in the honour of Major Harbhajan Singh who is revered as the hero of Nathu La by them. He was accorded the status of saint ‘Baba’ by believers. Many army personnel posted in and around Nathu La believe that his spirit protects every soldier, in the inhospitable high altitude terrain of eastern Himalayas.
After having an intense discussion with Dhiren and my hosts about east, north , west and south Sikkim, I returned to my room with the excitement of the upcoming journey and my power to shape it as per my will.