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Monsoons in the Himalayas. Sikkim, India

Sikkim is the mountains that fascinate with their beauty, the sanctity of the monasteries, the places shrouded in peace and secrets, where legends and life intertwine with each other, forming a complex pattern on the fabric of the Universe.

For all the ten days, I never saw a gloomy face, and the smiles on the faces of people shone brighter than the sun. European clothing, cars, hotels, television and cell phones have long been the norm, but in the meantime not only the Himalayan railway has been preserved, but many traditions and beliefs that go back centuries have been preserved.

Our journey through West Bengal and Sikkim fell during the monsoon period, and the rain continually reminded of itself in Darjeeling, Gangtok and Kalimpong. Ah, here in Pelling, on the way to the Sangacholing Monastery, we burned the opposite. And the sun no longer let us go all the way to Gangtok.

Of all the difficulties and adventures that have fallen to our lot, the roads that have been constantly repaired and which, in some places, were simply in a terrible state, even by Himalayan standards, are the most memorable. The asphalt could have ended unexpectedly, and then the ride along the country road began.

There were no problems with hotels and meals. Throughout the route there are many cafes where you can have lunch or dinner. We ate in hotels.

Already approaching Darjeeling, in the small town of Kum, we noticed this temple built in 1856, organically combining the traditions of Buddhism and Hinduism.

Opposite the temple there was a tiny shop, near which it was spinning, with a red ball, this wonderful little boy.

The interior of the main temple of the monastery Ghum. In the center of the composition is a statue of Matreya – the Buddha of the Future.

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, 86 km long, was built between 1879 and 1881 in West Bengal and connects the cities of Darjeeling and Siluguri. The track width is only 2 feet – 610 mm, and the locomotives themselves, pulling the cars, seem to be toy. In 1999, the Himalayan Railway was ranked as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

And if you wander around the station for a bit, you can see retired people chatting peacefully or reading a fresh newspaper.

Near the station, lined up along the road shops, but sometimes people just lay out their simple goods directly on the ground, hiding from the rain under umbrellas.

On the way to the Sangacholing Monastery, we had more and more new fantastic views, from which it was impossible to look away. Pelling.

Sangacholing Monastery. Pelling. According to one of the legends, the monastery was founded by Lama Latsung Chempo in 1697. The ensemble of the monastery includes two gompas, a number of chortens and monastic cells. In the courtyard, a rocky outcrop emerges on the surface in the form of a huge slab hanging over a precipice, such is a kind of natural platform for rest and meditation.

Of all the hotels where we stayed during our trip to Sikkim, two of them are the most memorable: Pelling (Norbu Ghanag Resort) and Yuksum Regency.

Image of Padmasambhava. Chorten. Young monks calling for morning pooja, blowing into the shells. Dubdi monastery, belonging to the Nyingma-pa school, was founded by the third king (chögyal) of Sikkim – Chakdor Namgyal, in 1701 and is considered one of the oldest monasteries of Sikkim. Yuxum.

Lake Rink Pokhari. Yuxum. According to the legend, the first Sikkim chogyal (king) – Putsog Namgyal was sprinkled with water from this lake, in 1641, during a kingdom wedding.

Yuxum, the first capital of the united Sikkim, is now just a village with fields of corn and pretty village benches.

Car wash. The photo was taken, somewhere between Yuxum and Gangtok.

The Nyingma-pa monastery of Tashiding founded Lama Ngadak Sempa in 1717, on the very spot from which Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) blessed the land of Sikkim in the 8th century. On the territory of the monastery there are two temples, one of which you can see in the photo, and one of the most preserved chortens is the one dedicated to the founder of the monastery – Lama Ngadak Semp. On another chorten you can see beautifully executed Buddha drawings.

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