On the eastern border of India, sandwiched between Bhutan and Nepal and on the route to Tibet, lies one of the last wonderlands of myth and legend. This is the world over which towers Kangchendzonga-probably the most spectacular of Himalayan peaks Tropical orchids and alpine snow leopards inhabit this region. The hum of Buddhist prayer wheels, tribal gongs, Hindu chants and church bells harmonise to produce a wonderfully hybrid culture.
Sikkim has always lured travellers-whether trekkers, pilgrims, botanists, or just people who want a serene break from routine. But access to this hill state was restricted for many year. Only in recent times have all tourists, including foreigners, been given permission to visit.
Photographer Sujoy Das, who fell early under the spell of Sikkim, has been documenting the land over the last two decades and provides rare pictures of its people, mountains, and barren plateaus. Arundhati ray covers all that a visitor needs to know in order to travel here. In a wonderfully story-telling style, peppered with anecdotes and folk tales, she provides the essential information. Together with Das's evocative and perceptive essays about his many journeys in Sikkim, These make this book more than just a guide: it offers a complete travel experience.
Sujoy Das has trekked and photographed in Sikkim, Nepal, Garhwal, Kumaon, Kashmir and Himachal for the last twenty years. One man shows aside, his pictures have been exhibited at the Festival of India photographic exhibition 'Pratibimba' which toured the USSR IN 1987-88 AND AT THE International Mountaineering Foundation Museum in 1991. They have also been used in the APA Insight Guides: Calcutta, South India and Sikkim, Darjeeling and Kalimpong. Das is represented by the international photo-agency Stock Boston Inc, U. S. A. he lives in Calcutta.
Arundhati Ray is a Calcutta-based journalist who focuses on the social sector; her articles appear in leading publications. She obtained a PhD in English from the State University of New York, Stony Brook and spends a considerable part of her time in the Eastern Himalaya travelling and researching the area and its people.
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