Monday, November 22, 2010

Trip to Aritar & Zuluk,, Sikkim

Aritar -- A memorable stay entrenched in my memory

Overview of the destination

Aritar Located at an altitude of 4600 ft, Aritar in Sikkim is an amazing tourist destination of hidden valleys, mystical monasteries, snow-fed lakes & a mountain setting covered with flowers & forests. Around 3 kms drive from the capital of Sikkim, Aritar is famous for its lake Lampokhari, which was initially one of the oldest natural lake in Sikkim and has been recently artificially constructed to facilitate boating for the tourists. At an altitude of 4600 ft (1,400 m) it is the only lake with boating facility in Sikkim. A short trek in Arital is an exhilarating experience. A night spend in one of the hotels overlooking the lake is not to be missed. Visitors can visit monasteries to relish the splendour of monastic arts reflected in its traditional architecture, carved & painted murals and treasure of manuscripts and icons.

Food, sight-seeing and shopping

Places of Interest Lampokhari : Initially one of the oldest natural lake in Sikkim and recently artificially constructed to facilitate boating for the tourists. At an altitude of 4600 ft (1,400 m) it is the only lake with boating facility in Sikkim. Dak Bunglow : Popularly known as Ari-Bangla it is an old British built bunglow built by Sir James Claude White (first political officer of Sikkim during British rule in India) in the year 1895. Aritar Gumpa : One of the holiest and oldest Monastery in Sikkim Parbateyswar Shivalaya Mandir : The most venerated shrine with picturesque splendour is considered a very holy pilgrimage site Mankhim: ?Mangkhim?, a Temple of the Rai of Nepali origin is located at a height of 6500 ft at ?Maity Village? (Kheselakha) . Hattipailay is another virgin village where the visitors can see elephant footprints on rock.

Activities & things to do

We were on a 7-day trip wherein we travelled to five places Lava, Lolegaon, Rishap, Gangtok and Aritar. Aritar is a beautiful hill station and is a place to unwind and soak in the beauty of nature. Maximum 2 days need to be spent to feel the beauty of the place. Things that can be done are boating in the lake, small treks and local sightseeing. A must-see destination for all nature lovers.

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc.

-- Always carry a photo identity proof like passport, driving license, voter id or PAN card. -- Carry enough woolen clothes like monkey cap, sweaters, thermals etc to relish the weather. -- Carry your reebock or Nikki shoes for walks and treks. -- Be ready to accodomate to hotels as most of them provide basic amenities . -- Carry some snacks with you as it will help. Food is not a problem provided you don't fancy wide variety of food. Simple stuff.

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