I left from Rabong late the next morning. I hadn’t slept very well in the last few nights so slept in late and then after a late breakfast, left Ravangla to go to my last stop on this Sikkim holiday: Hee Bermioke. The place didn’t really have much to see, but Google said it had wonderful views so I thought it might be nice to get off the regular tourist circuit for a bit.
The hotel at Hee Bermioke had a wonderful view from the back. But it had taken me nearly 2.5 hours to reach here from Rabong, and it was getting really cold, so I didn’t really venture out. I did take a small walk on the road in front – it led to nothing and had a small line of shops that abruptly ended. The hotel owners and manager were very enthusiastic though, and promptly made me a very Bengali meal because, you know, I am Bengali, so they assumed that like most Bengalis, I would want a regular dal, aloo posto meal even on holiday.
Went out early next morning. It was still quite foggy when I went out.
The hotel had mentioned that there was a monastery up on the hill in front of the hotel so I took a hike up a pretty track to get there. Along the way, wildflowers presented a very beautiful sight, and there were little children dressed for school coming down to the Bermioke village. Some smiled, and others said a very sweet “Hello!”
The monastery atop the hill was actually quite nice. It was certainly bigger than I had expected, and spread across three levels. As with all other monasteries, there were hundreds of prayer flags along the edges and a few lamas scattered here and there.
Inside, the bottom floor had a big statue of Buddha, while on top was one room with what looked like scrolls, and another very dark room with only one butter lamp. I couldn’t see much, and I was told that these rooms aren’t really opened very often so I didn’t press.
I did see the above symbol again – I don’t know what it means, the two deer and the thing in between, but I have been seeing them on almost all Buddhist monasteries in Sikkim.
So anyway, walked down from the monastery and then took a cab to the Rabindranath Smritiban at a neighbouring village (Hee Martam, I think). Apparently, Tagore used to come spend hours at this place. There is a small water garden here, not very well-kept, but it had loads of very pretty flowers. The garden itself was nice, if unkempt. There was a cool breeze and the gurgling stream nearby was pretty.
Also in the garden was one huge prayer wheel that is kept running by channeling flowing water through the base. I was told that this is the largest in the world, and though I am not sure about that claim, it was certainly very big.
I left Bermioke that afternoon itself and got back after a backbreaking drive of around 5 hours to Bagdogra. I was leaving Sikkim that very day, and it’s always depressing to get back from a holiday, isn’t it? I could have seen so much more – Rinchenpong, Tsomgo Lake, Varshey – but I guess there’s always another time for those!