The mesmerizing hill top on the bank of a lake
Sikkim, the state of green moiuntains in the North-Eastern part of the country has become synonymous with names like Tsango Lake, Nathula Pass, Baba Mandir and the capital city of Gangtok. But in reality Sikkim is a paradise where travelers have lots and lots of other things to witness and places to visit. There are innumerable treasures in the gem box of Sikkim which do not enjoy the attention, which the prime tourist spots do, though many of these are equally charming and breathtakingly beautiful, if not more. The Eastern side of Sikkim, which has earned recognition for the Silk Route Tour, is ornamented with many such treasures which can leave visitors spellbound, once they experience the mesmerizing views of the surroundings. Situated at the top of a hill, just adjacent to a stunning lake in Aritar, a small village, under Rongli sub-division of East Sikkim, Mankhim is one such spot where Nature will simply leave you mesmerized.
Situated atop a hill in Dalapchand village, Mankhim is actually a viewpoint from where one can enjoy a stunning view of the snow covered peaks of Kanchenjungha and her sisters. on a clear day, one can view the Jelep La and the village of Zuluk too. Apart from the peaks, Mankhim offers a breathtaking bird's eye view of Lampokhri Lake in Aritar, which with its emarald green water looks like a human foot from that high altitude. Mankhim is alaso known for the temple of Rai, which has got a Nepalese connection. The panoramic view of the surroundings from Mankhim will certainly make you stick to the hill top, but if the charm of the place make you feel like doing something more, you can get down to the Lampokhri Lake for a paddleboating session on the serene water or may opt for a short trek through the jungles to reach the Aritar Monastery, which houses several ancient Buddhist murals, artifacts and manuscripts.
Though Mankhim is a part of Sikkim, it is close to Kalimpong in North of Bengal. So, if you wish to make a conducted tour, you can start from Mankhim and reach Kalimpong, touching spots like Pedong, Icchey Gaon and Sillery Gaon on the way. But since you are on a part of Sikkim which allures travelers for the Silk Route trip, there is no point in giving it a miss. From Aritar you can arrange a car that will take you to the mesmerizing trip through the route, used by Chinese silk traders in the past. Mankhim offers a few homestay options that you may choose from. Besides, you may stay at Rongli or Lingtam, the later being a fascinating piece of land surrounded by gigantic mountains from all sides.
To reach Mankhim, you can reserve a car from Siliguri for a direct journey or break it into parts by sharing a car up to Rongpo, from Rongpo to Rongli and finally from Rongli to Aritar. High altitude makes winter unbearable for visitors at Mankhim but spring and summer are very pleasant here. What comes as a bonus in summer is a color riot on the valley lying beneath Mankhim, which Mother Nature offers in the form of newly bloomed Rhododendrons.
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