My Pastanga travel experience through a tiny picturesque traditional village in the heart of Sikkim is still fresh after some 10 years.
I was studying in Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology, Sikkim Manipal University which was located in a small town on Majhitar near Rangpo on the Sikkim – West Bengal border. The school is compact, placed in a valley, so surrounded by mountains and the beautiful river of Teesta. Life could often get monotonous in a little place and even though all I loved was the nature there, I would grab every chance I would get to get out of there. I would escape a small place to get to another small place, funny isn’t it?
Last minute hostel plans
So when you know you have a free Saturday and a Sunday, you’ve got a weekend and you want to escape. You want to disappear into a whole new world, and after all why not an ethnic place, in the state your studying in?
It was an unplanned plan that started of at the coffee shop in Hostel 4, honestly randomly, and then asking anyone and everyone possible. At last 6 of us were game for a Pastanga travel experience.
From an initial plan of doing a night out, it turned into a day trip, and instead of 6am we [[Me, Sneha di, Sharmistha di, Abhinav bh, Piyush and Abhishek]] left at 7am on a Saturday in a shared cab to Ranipool. As students, we could only afford that and now that I think of it, it was the best way for our environment. We hogged on hot momos for breakfast, picked up oranges and then hopped on another shared for an hour to the village and do a Pastanga experience on my Pastanga travel blog.
What is Pastanga?
Pastanga is a small village which is stunningly raw and beautiful in the heart of Sikkim. Its about 28kms from the capital city of Gangtok and completely unpolluted. It gives feels of going back in time as the traditions are completely still alive. A Pastanga experience for all is a must, once in a lifetime.
So into the greens, we finally arrived to a typical Sikkimese (Rai-Lepcha-Bhutia) village in Assam Linzey region of Sikkim at 1425m above the sea level in Sikkim. We got off and walked into a Pig and Piglet farm. The pigs were so cute and we were all in awe. We knew this Pastanga travel experience was going to be so much fun!
Later we were informed more about the possible Pastanga experience by KEEP (Khedi eco tourism and eco development) personnel. The guides offered us a chance to chop wood and showed us around – a half an hour trek to the waterfall and the Rai house which is more than a hundred and fifty years old. The very hospitable locals then gave us lunch which included free range Chicken, Squash vegetable, Churpi chutney, Dal and Rice at one of their home stays. Ten years later, I still remember that chicken because it was that good and unforgettably tasty. The food was so flavourful that it could be worth doing a Pastanga travel just for it. We attended a Puja where the Rais prayed to ask blessings from their forefathers. I had a chance to photograph the local kids and of course my friends.
As the day came towards the end, we got into a cab that they booked for us and headed to Ranipool. So far, we had had such a fantastic trip. Yet it felt too soon to head back to college and Flamboyance, a restaurant caught our minds. After having a pizza and garlic bread there, we returned back to SMIT with wonderful memories, pretty pictures and thoughts of going back again. and and and on time at 7pm!! Ps: 7pm was our curfew at SMIT.
Pastanga travel is much more than what we did. KEEP offers home stay, with traditional food, a cultural program, guide who narrates their interesting history and trek plans. I hope you enjoyed this Pastanga travel blog. For a typical traditional Sikkimese – Pastanga travel experience, trust me, this little town is a must visit.