My Sikkim impression as published in Koseli: [PDF version]
Young Buddhist monks smile while their friends try to bring down walnut from a tall tree near their Gumba, the most important and oldest in Gangtok, Sikkim.
The word Sikkim evokes a very different sort of image and emotion in us, Nepalis, that is anything but exotic and touristy. Sikkimization is a term often used in Nepali politics. For those of us who are in our 20s or early 30s, it is hard to believe that Sikkim was an independent nation state till 1975. India attacked and annexed Sikkim in a broad day light April that year. [Here is the story about that] The same India that suffered under the British Raj (who reportedly puts signs such as ‘dogs and Indians not allowed’) and fought so heroically to gain independence in 1947. That’s the story of Sikkim that lost its independence to the sinister conspiracy of Indian intelligence agencies and their political leadership. Here are photos from my tour there that portray the present day Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim.
Evening at Mahatma Gandhi Road in Gangtok, Sikkim. It seems every major city in India has this road called MG named after their father of nation.
The capital city of Sikkim as seen from the top of a shopping complex
Monks at the top of a shopping complex enjoying the view
The oldest monastery of Gangtok
At the top of Gangtok, this monastery is attached to the palace of the ex Chogyal (king) of Sikkim
A young monk shows the walnut he collected
Smiling Buddhas? Walnut is the secret. Their friends threw stones and sticks towards the tree
He is making sticks that will be used for the affairs of Gumba later
Once the Chogyal used to live in this palace that is now kind of abandoned. The followign story (below) tells how India masterminded the annexation of the independent state of Sikkim.
A dad and his daughter pose for the camera as her mother clicks inside the flower garden of Gangtok, Sikkim
Dear dad and his sweet daughter
A woman goes around the prayers wheels of Enchey monastery.
His eyes fixed on the walnut