|Kangchenjunga range - The third highest mountains in the world|
Even a fleeting glimpse of Kangchenjunga Mountains at this time (summers and monsoon) is precious. The layer of clouds (or mist) that rests over the mountains is so thick that the Kangchenjunga range is completely invisible. If you are in Sikkim, they are best viewed from Gangtok and West Sikkim – Pelling and Yuksom. But, you have to wake up really early to be able to have a clear view of it. Since I could never wake up that early, I remained oblivious of its beauty.
|Lamahatta - a place of serenity|
But, I had something better in store. I inadvertently landed in Lamahatta, which is a small village in Darjeeling district. I had a good feeling the moment I reached the brink of Lamahatta. I wasn’t aware that it’s being developed and promoted as a honeymoon destination. And, I visited it as a solo traveller, which did raise some eyebrows there. I got to hear this, “Aap akele kaise…” (How come you are not with somebody)? Well, I handled the quizzical look and settled into the serenity of the place pronto. My hosts had created a buzz about the Kangchenjunga views in my mind already. So, I was determined about waking up early the next day.
|Kangchenjunga, as seen from Lamahatta (Darjeeling district)|
The following day, I sipped my morning tea with the glorious Kangchenjunga Mountains. Although I wasn’t happy with my accommodation, the divine views of the mountains made up for it. I didn’t know that Lamahatta was one of the best places to have a clear view of the most breathed upon mountains. So, planning a visit here is not a bad idea as long as you choose a good place to stay.
|Lamahatta garden - built by the West Bengal government|
I would say travel is full of surprises. Sometimes, one has to endure certain unpleasant things while travelling, as it is not a bed of roses all the time. But, there are times when you are rewarded with something more pleasant than you anticipate. Like Lamahatta unwrapped the iconic mountain range for me.
|A secret abode to embrace nature's beauty|
|An ideal place for long walks in the midst of pine trees|
Besides the views of Kangchenjunga, Lamahatta has a dense forest of pine trees. There is a huge forest garden maintained by the state government, which has been particularly built for tourists. It is a place where you can go for long walks, or simply sit and gaze the mountains. And, if you walk a little bit uphill, there is a lake suitable for spending some quiet time.
|... while leaving Lamahatta|
Even the surroundings of Lamahatta are beautiful. When I was leaving Lamahatta, I had a feeling that ‘I am loving it’. I thought to myself, “Darjeeling is so mesmerising.” But, I don’t mean the city of Darjeeling. The city is far from being mesmeric. It is lost in the layers of commercialization. I am talking about the places around Darjeeling - the countryside of Darjeeling, which is still innocent – still free from the dust of developments.
Have you had a chance to view the glorious range of Kangchenjunga?