Wrapping up on my series of posts on our Sikkim Holiday would be incomplete if I did not mention where we stayed five nights during our mountain sojourn.
The Red Mud Chalet, atop a hill in the lap of nature’s bountiful luxury, is one of the best holiday resorts we have ever been to.
Let alone the lush surroundings, the hospitality, the care, and the home-cooked food made us feel, where else, but AT HOME! When we zeroed in on the property, courtesy the Internet, we had no idea the place was nearly five hours drive from the state capital, Gangtok, and five hours away from Bagdogra, where we landed after a five-hour flight from Mumbai! But a quick call and an email later, we had made up our mind.
Yes, we did go to Gangtok first since we had to visit some of the most well-known tourist spots in its vicinity but just an overnight halt there later we were at Bermiok – the home of the Red Mud Chalet (or Raat Maate Koti in the native Sikkimese language).
A brief climb from the main road and we were there – and even though it was dark by the time we made our way to our rooms, the warmth and the hospitality were clear, with property owner Barun Sharma leading, literally, from the front!
Well-appointed bedrooms and neat bathrooms, luxurious bedding and a million dollar view were all part of the $30 a night package – extremely good value for money. This was, of course, including the rain, the cloud-draped mountains and trees and the friendly narratives we received from Barun, his brother and the staff!
The “high point” of our stay was actually the highest point at the chalet – the ‘observation post’ specially set up for guests to take in the view of the mighty Kanchenjunga – the second highest mountain in the world after Mount Everest! It was only by chance that we actually saw its beauty on the morning of the day we departed when the Gods were kind enough to have eased the cloud cover just for as long as it took for me to get a few pictures!
We would certainly go back to Sikkim – preferably “out of season” – when there are no maddening crowds of tourists – and we would most certainly stay with Barun and his ‘family’ – no point in even trying to look elsewhere!
And, one last word to all those who would want to travel to this extremely beautiful North East Indian state – go during the rains – its divine – and go when there’s just you and nature. Because that’s when you can be one with God Himself. And it is only then you will come away with the feeling that if God does live anywhere, its HERE!