Friday, December 15, 2017
Destination Sikkim - Till we meet again
On the third day, we went to the Sikkim Himalayan Zoo. It was day of little rain and much mist. The walk into the zoo was surreal because of the clouds that accompanied us. We could spot very few animals actually, but the walk around the little zoo was great. The red panda was undoubtedly the show stealer. However the whole place looked rather unkempt and uncared for. In any case it was a far cry from the conditions in our Vandalur zoo. The animals at least looked well fed and well rested.
After a quick lunch of some white rice and vegetables, we headed off to the Ranka Monastery, also known as the Lingdum Monastery. Even if it’s rather recent and there’s no historical significance to the place, the scale of its construction and architectural beauty floored us completely. It’s a treat to the eyes through and through. The entrance is flanked on either side with beautiful prayer wheels. The courtyard is huge and leads to the inner sanctum, where a large-sized Buddha sits right on top. The entire temple is covered with beautiful, traditional Thanka paintings of Sikkim. The monastery is surrounded by forests and that makes it most picturesque. No wonder it’s caught the fancy of Indian moviemakers. Pictures of actors who visited the monastery decorate the canteen walls in the monastery. Our Vikram and Samantha were there too; apparently they were shooting the movie 10 Endrathukulla.
The next day we left Sikkim early with lots of memories of this abode of the gods and left a bit of us in Sikkim. We’ll perhaps go there another time and visit the many places we couldn’t because of the monsoons. Until then, we shall meditate on the quintessential feature of Sikkim, Om Mani Padme Hum, which now adorns the entrance to our home. The trip had indeed brought us rain, rest, love, thrill, and deeper meaning.
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