Makhim is a small rural settlement in East Sikkim. Nature has stretched her arms to visitors here. Aitrayee Sarkar explores the sounds and sights of the place
Makhim or Mankhim is a remote village located in the Rongli district in East Sikkim. Distance between Makhim and Siliguri is 126 km. This small village offers magnificent view of Mount Kangchenjunga and Aritar Lake. It’s a place full of flowers and organic plants. Locals say that the best time to visit Makhim is April-May and October-November with flower-cladding hill tops around in both seasons of the year.
The dwellers of the village are extremely passionate about plantation. There is no dearth of small kitchen gardens where locals cultivate fruits and flower plants along with vegetables which are generally served to visitors in all the homestays in the area.
Exploring the village is itself a heavenly journey. Tourists can trek up to the nearby Aritar Lake through the dense forest around. Like every other hill sites there is a small view point in Makhim too. It provides sights of several mountain peaks and other nearby destinations. Those interested in bird watching can visit this village and get a test of viewing some rare species of birds found in this part of Sikkim only. There is also a monetary adjacent to the village. It’s just a km away walk away from Makhim.
Robin Rai, owner of the Heaven Valley homemstay, explained how Makhim has been attracting huge number of tourists off late. He informed that many visitors come to explore the rare plants in the lone green house constructed by him. The ornamented plants, cactus and orchids reared in his household are a must watch in Makhim.
The lone connecting road to the village is almost non-motorable. So be prepared to go through some ups and downs and get down from vehicle for a little walks occasionally while reaching Makhim. Locals do complain about lack of basic amenities in the area but they are happy to offer good facilities to visitors hiding their own disappointments. They always welcome tourists with a lively smile.
Tourists generally visit this small Himalayan village while returning from famous Silk Route journey in Sikkim. Makhim is a perfect place to end the hectic journey to Silk Route.
Those who love nature and want to enjoy the Himalayas in isolation Makhim is the best place them. There will be occasional car horns but be rest assured those would not break the reflective silence of the place. Artists do come and spend weeks here to write or paint, informed Rai.
According to available data the average summer temperature in Makhim is around 15-17 degrees. But winter temperature can go down as low as 7-8 degrees occasionally. Snowfall does not take place here.
The most attractive feature of Mankhim is silence. One can easily listen to endless music of crickets and other insects residing in the surrounding deep forest. It seems that Makhim is a stopover of life that has nearly forgotten the buzz of modern urban settlements.
One may not have the best facilities in Makhim but the bounty of nature would surely compensate him. Eco-tourism is redefined here with the Himalayas in company.
Here are some useful information:
Heaven Valley Homestay
Proprietor: Robin Rai
Proprietor: Udai Rai
The writer is an editor of WebPressClub
Image courtesy: writer