Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Rare Flowers, Buddha's Insight, Magnificent Landscape In A No Smoking Gangtok
I'm not good with identifying the various varieties of flowers but when you come across wonderful beauties, the image settles down in the mind forever. The rare Orchids, Lilies and several other varieties at the Flower Show in Gangtok brought a wide smile to our faces and it was a great way to start the day.
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology has sponsored and promoted research on the religion, history, language, art and culture of the people of the Tibetan cultural area which includes Sikkim. The NIT library holds one of the largest collections of Tibetan works in the world outside Tibet and a museum of Tibetan iconography and religious art. I came to know some very interesting details about the path chosen by Gautam Buddha and how he showed the path to a wide spectrum of people all across the world. He urged everyone to strike a balance between Self Indulgence and Self Mortification.
The curio shop outside Institute Of Tobetology had some fascinating mementoes. What caught my attention was badges and stickers with 'Free Tibet' and 'Save Tibet' written on them. In fact 'Free Tibet' is written at many places in Gangtok, the most conspicuous being a mannequin at a clothes store. The picture of Dalai Lama is omnipresent all across.
Tashi Viewpoint and Hanuman Tok held a window to outstanding scenery though the clouds played a spoilsport and the reclusive Kanchenjunga continued to elude us.
Smoking has been banned at all the public places in Gangtok. I didn't see anyone smoking anywhere during the course of the entire day today. A fine of Rs 5000/ is imposed on anyone found littering. In spite of the fine the littering was evident (though it wasn't that rampant) and sadly it seemed that the tourists are the cause of the same.
Evening was spent idling away time at the MG Road. It's a really fascinating market. The lamp posts, the benches, it's an image right out of a Charles Dickens novel in a modern context.