Sikkim, lying on the fringes of north-eastern India, is a state blooming with all sorts of landscape photography opportunities. Forests, alpine lakes, and of course the mighty Himalayas are a real treat for the eyes.
Reaching the capital, Gangtok, is easy enough. From there, if you head further north, you will reach the tiny town of Lachen. Following the Lachen river upstream for some sixty kilometers will take you to a snow covered heaven which is called 'Kalapattar', or 'Black Rock'. Volcanic rock formations all over the place, which has turned to charcoal black with time, gives the place its namesake.
At 18000 feet, the moment I set foot here, I felt I was short of breath. Fifteen minutes in the negative 12 degrees gave me enough time to acclamitise with the elements and take a good look around.
Straight down the cliff edge was an incredible scene, something out of a viking fantasy! Snow laden,the incredible 'Chopta Valley' was shining in the patchy sunlight. The huge rainclouds swirling above and the snow in the valley floor, gave the entire region a truely remarkable glisten. The shimmering tributary of Lachen river was snaking through the valley, which I missed at first glance.
Standing atop the cliff edge, I snapped this frame: one of the most incredible vistas I have ever laid my eyes upon.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor