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    The Serene Beauty of Boat Rides in Sikkim

    Sikkim is a wonderland for nature lovers, with its sky-scraping peaks, lush valleys, mystic lakes, and gushing waterfalls around every bend. While there are many ways to explore the remoteness of Sikkim, opting for boat rides allows one to sit back and soak in all the natural splendor at a gentle, relaxing pace. As discovered over a two week trip crisscrossing Sikkim by boats of all shapes and sizes, there is something truly magical about these boat rides that makes time stand extraordinarily still.

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    A Ride to Remember on Gurudongmar Lake

    Gurudongmar Lake

    Of all the boat rides in Sikkim that would leave an impression, the half day excursion on Gurudongmar Lake near the Tibetan border would undoubtedly be the most memorable. The high-altitude lake remains frozen for most of the year, but visit during summer and one can actually ride across the cold turquoise waters with snow-capped peaks reflecting in its mirror-like surface.

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    The ride would begin gently as the wooden row boat cuts through the smooth waters with hardly a ripple. All conversation would fade into awed silence as one takes in sprawling views of the mountains undulating in shades of deep blue right before their eyes. The hour-long ride would leave one feeling renewed and rejuvenated in a way only immersing oneself in such untouched natural beauty could.

    As the boat glides peacefully across the serene lake, one can truly appreciate the stunning natural landscape that makes Sikkim such a prized destination. The crisp and clean air, the jagged snow-capped peaks, the bright blue skies, and the refreshing cool waters combine to create an atmosphere of pure magic. It is a ride that every nature lover must experience when visiting Sikkim.

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    Boat Rides in Sikkim for Wildlife Spotting

    Boat Rides in Sikkim for Wildlife Spotting

    Another hugely rewarding experience is taking shared jeep rides in select wildlife sanctuaries to access remote parts of Sikkim’s wildernesses. At the Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve, one could book themselves on an early morning boat ride sailing across the river bordering the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary. The hour-long gentle ride would take them past blooming rhododendrons in shades of fiery red, gentle pink and cheerful yellow, but it would be the wildlife sightings that make it incredibly special.

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    From a family of otters swimming alongside the boat to brightly colored Himalayan birds swooping across the sky, it would seem like the sanctuary was putting on a show just for the few drifting slowly across by boat. As one crosses a quiet stretch of the river, they may spot a herd of deer bending down for water by the bank, their presence accentuating the arresting beauty and stillness that only boat rides in Sikkim allow one to witness.

    As the boat lazily winds its way along the river, one feels immersed in the natural splendor and can truly appreciate the biodiversity of Sikkim. For any wildlife or birding enthusiast, these boat rides offer an unforgettable way to spot rare and exotic species up-close in their natural habitats. It is an experience unlike any other to see endangered animals thriving undisturbed in these protected sanctuaries, only accessible by boats through Sikkim’s remote wilderness.

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    Adventures Afloat the Teesta

    River Rafting in Teesta

    If seeking adventure, head over to the gushing green-blue waters of the simmering Teesta River. The frothy waters churning over scattered rocks, carved from centuries of relentlessly carving out its path, are a sight to behold. See it at its glorious best by embarking on one of the many rafting expeditions that set sail along the Grade IV rapids of the river.

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    Strapped securely in an orange raft with half a dozen fellow adventurers, the guide would push off from the riverbank. As the raft rides the first set of rapids, icy spray would hit faces eliciting squeals of shock and delight. Over the next hour, the riders would conquer the swirling waters braving whirlpools and shooting small waterfalls as they hold on for dear life, laughing breathlessly at the thrill of this high-adrenaline adventure afloat the scenic Teesta in Sikkim.

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    The rafting experience along the frothy green waters of the Teesta river is considered one of the top adventure activities that Sikkim has to offer. As the raft crashes through the swirling rapids, one cannot help but feel thrilled and enthralled by the raw beauty and power of nature on display all around them. It is a test of endurance but also a spectacular visual treat that remains etched in memory for a long time after. For any adventure junkies visiting Sikkim, conquering the rapids while rafting along the grades of the mighty Teesta should be on the must-do list!

    Soaking in Spirituality on Sikkim’s Sacred Lakes

    Khecheopalri Lake

    Scattered across this tiny Himalayan state are ancient lakes revered for their religious significance, making them veritably sacred. These calm waters have a certain mystique about them that makes even non-believers slow down, sit back and let their restorative powers wash over on a lazy afternoon boat ride. High on the itinerary were two such sacred lakes that did not disappoint.

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    First one could visit Khecheopalri Lake, also known as ‘The Wish Fulfilling Lake’, nestled picturesquely amidst dense forests swirling with mystical legend. Locals believe its serene waters have wish granting powers. As the oars gently cut across the smooth surface of this perfectly oval-shaped lake, an overwhelming sense of tranquility would wash over one helping unwind and temporarily forget the cares of the world.

    Next one could ride by motorboat across Gurudongmar Lake, considered one of the highest lakes in the world. Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims flock here to bathe in its glacial waters believed to possess life-giving properties. Legends abound of its curative benefits but for many, soaking in uninterrupted 360 degree views of the mighty Himalayas reflecting in its aquamarine depths would be healing enough.

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    As the boat floats calmly across the serene sacred waters, one can feel a sense of spirituality and mysticism in the air. There is something undeniably special about these ancient high-altitude lakes nestled amidst Sikkim’s towering peaks. Some may find solace in the holy legends while others may simply find peace in the quietude and jaw-dropping beauty. Either way, Sikkim’s sacred lakes have a meditative quality for the soul seeking to soak in some tranquility through boating adventures.

    Tips to Plan Your Boat Rides in Sikkim

    In a memorable sojourn across Sikkim, one would get to explore countless breathtakingly beautiful lakes on relaxing half-day or full-day boat rides. Here are some handy tips to help plan your own boating adventures across these divine waters:

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    • Carry sun protection like hats, glasses and high SPF sunscreen when boating across high-altitude lakes to avoid sunburn. The light reflects intensely off the waters at higher altitudes.
    • Book during off-season between October to April to enjoy boat rides in Sikkim without tourist crowds. The summer months see larger influx of visitors.
    • Try local cuisine like steamed momos and ginger-infused tea between boating adventures to keep energy levels high. The mountain air can be fatiguing.
    • Opt for early morning boat rides to witness ethereal mist rising off lake waters and capture postcard worthy photographs.
    • Hire certified local guides to provide commentary enriching understanding of Sikkimese culture and geography. Help support the local community.
    • Capture perspectives of majestic Himalayan peaks reflecting across still waters in frames forever etched in memory.

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