\u2018To live many lifetimes within a lifetime\u2026\u201d. Its time for another lifetime!\nMy trip to Sikkim in March 2011, was planned during the week of Losar (Tibetan New Year) celebrations. With the focussed objective of experiencing the ceremonies that are held in that week, I visited 10 different monasteries in East Sikkim, South Sikkim, and West Sikkim over a fortnight.\n\n\nSikkim, a state of India since 1975, lies wedged between Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal and shares much of the culture of its neighbours.\n\nI am no expert on Sikkim \u2013 but it appeared as though the entire state is a collection of individual hills with settlements \u2013 towns or villages \u2013 at the peak of each. The Teesta river, its tributaries and the numerous waterfalls that feed the rivers break the uniformly monotonous vision of green hills and greener valleys.\nEach town shown in the map above is perched on a separate hill \u2013 so inter-city traveling entailed going up 6000 ft to Gangtok, then down all the way and then winding up all the way up to the top of the next hill. A distance of 10 km as the crow flies, expands to 100 km on the hilly ascending and descending winding roads. Had I known earlier, I would have been less ambitious in planning such a long journey. Post-facto of course, being blind and ignorant allowed me to explore as much as was physically possible \u2013 without being restrained by mental barriers!\nThe articles below are casual photo-essays recording the various threads of my experiences to the towns of Gangtok, Limdung, Tashiding, Pelling and Kalimpong (Bengal).\n\nPlease click on the links to read the articles\nChanting Ceremony at Lingdum Monastery, Sikkim\nLosar Celebrations \u2013 Bonfire at Kagyud Monastery, Sikkim\nProcession at the Enchey Monastery, Sikkim\nLittle Lamas, Sikkim\nLama Dances at Thongsa Monastery, Kalimpong\nDancing with the Nuns at Phendzong Nunnery\nCross border handshake at Nathu-la Pass on the Silk Route \nYak Horn textile adornments, Sikkim\nArt in Sikkimese Monastery Architecture\nButter Art of Sikkimese Lamas\nWood Art in Sikkimese Monasteries \u2013 Windows, Doors & Pillars\nArt in Buddhist Ritual Objects\nBreathtaking Mural Paintings of Sikkim Monasteries\nProfessional quality Images of Sikkim \n\njm\nMarch 12, 2011\nThe post Sikkim Diaries appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.