Mystics and wild orchids
Starting off from Darjeeling, we had begun to descend into the Teesta Valley. It would take more than an hour from here. Zigzagging steep bends, my journey was to enter Sikkim from the valley and then head on towards Rabdentse and Pemayangtse, the cradle of the Chogyal dynasty. Then I would head towards Pelling to witness the best views of the Kanchenunga, finally concluding the journey at the mystic Kechopalri lake.
The drive down to the Teesta Valley was through endless miles of tea gardens, through a golden harvest from the killing monsoon. Passing by Takdah, these were little stopovers en-route, and the weather cleared dramatically as we descended. Nearing noon, we took a break at the bazaar next to the Teesta River.
We proceeded on a straight run for a few miles after the break, through jungles of Rhododendrons and wild orchids. Demazong, as Sikkim is called, had started to enchant us all. Not much habitation was to be seen, except for an occasional little hamlet or villagers passing by.
In an hour we had ascended upwards again, over merciless broken roads to reach Pemayangtse, one of the most revered monasteries in
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