27 October, 2020

Gangtok Diary

Low or no income tax and tax rebates for industry have transformed once sleepy Gangtok into a college town and pharma and tourist hub.

Gangtok Diary
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Two worlds

Gangtok is a heady cocktail, part remote Himalayan hideout, part New India. On a clear morning, the Kanchenjunga peak lies straight ahead for me, as it does for most residents. But what wakes me up to this wondrous sight is loud Bollywood music. Every morning, Sikkim’s smartly turned out policewomen or its many football enthusiasts limber up to Bollywood’s latest at the swish stadium next to my hotel. Bollywood music plays in the zippy Nanos plying as taxis, it pours out from a Ferris-wheel overlooking a gorgeous sunset. Then there are the pagoda-shaped bus stops and ubiquitous pictures of the last Chogyal (the former king) and his glamorous American wife. They suggest a deep nostalgia for the Buddhist kingdom Sikkim was. To sum up this dual identity, Gangtok is the only place I’ve seen where a plastic handbag for a shop...

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