Wednesday 24 October 2018

A Journey of Contemplation

This report has been submitted by Mrs Ambuj Sharma, Headmistress and PRO, Jain International Residential School. The Award participants of JIS undertook a journey to Sikkim and Nathula Pass as part of their Adventurous Journey. She has an interesting story to share on her and her participants’ soulful experience.

As part of an enriching experience, our students visited Sikkim, followed by the Nathula Pass. The trip commenced on 15th July 2018 and concluded on 22nd July 2018. Being a part of the Himalayas, Sikkim is home to glaciers, alpine meadows and countless wildflowers. We commenced our journey from Bangalore to Bagdogra. From Bagdogra, we commenced our climb and reached Rinchingpong, to be welcomed by a cool breeze and the promise of sheer tranquillity. We drove through groves of bamboo towards a rustic farmhouse – the Yangsum Heritage Farm. With the Bhutiya and Lepcha community people who stayed in proximity to the farmhouse, we ate freshly prepared meals, trekked and walked with them, trying to understand their lifestyle, culture and food habits.

We then visited the Pemayangtse Monastery – the oldest sacred Buddhist temple in Sikkim, nestled in a scenic backdrop of snow-capped mountains. Following this, we visited Pelling, a small hamlet where we were welcomed by a breathtaking view of the majestic Kanchenjunga. We interacted with the communities living nearby and relished the authentic Sikkim cuisine, while basking in the intoxicating burble of River Teesta.

Strings of prayer flags fluttered as they were tied along the path leading to the foothills of the Kanchenjunga. We trekked a distance of two kilometers through the thick forest from
Pelling to Geyzini to reach the ruins of Rabdentse - a city believed to be the second capital of the former kingdom of Sikkim. It was then that it dawned on us that our journey was as much about historical sites, culture, farming and ecological balance as it was about developing a strong connect with nature. We also visited the Rinchen Choling Tamu Monastery and gained insights on the Nyingma Order - the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. However, we appreciate the omnipotence of the Indian Army personnel, who were vigilant yet reassuring.

Having completed our exploration, it was time for us to delve into another journey – a journey of contemplation and reflection. With the experience that we gained on our journey, we realised the importance of dealing with life’s challenges with as much vigour as we dealt with the journey’s challenges. It was a journey of exploration; one that led us to the path of self exploration. Click here for more pictures

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