On 18Sep2011 (Sunday), at approx 18.10h IST a 6.8R earthquake rattled much of Sikkim and Darjeeling district.
That very few died was an absolute miracle especially since the quake struck us at the end of the monsoons (when the ground was saturated with water) and that it had rained the whole of Sunday morning.
I have covered the impact of the quake elsewhere in the blog but never had the opportunity to visit North Sikkim where it was epi-centred.
In mid-April 2013, I had visited Mangan (dist headquarters of N Sikkim) and journeyed upto Lachung. While being awed by the amazing beauty of the place, I was totally shocked to see the scale of devastation wrought by the quake even after almost two years.
The condition of the road from Mangan upto Lachung is appalling with landslides lacerating it at numerous places and magnificent forests of rhododendrons have been decimated by slides enroute to Yumthang ; little wonder then that any heavy spell of rainfall reactivates these slides.
Placed above is a photo essay from my recent visit to this wonderland.