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Sikkim is one of the most beautiful locations that offers a whole lot to its visitors. From beautiful landscapes to a variety of sightseeing places you can actually get to do a lot in Sikkim. One of the locations in Sikkim that is very popular here is the Baba Mandir Sikkim. There are some locations that hold a lot of importance historically and culturally. The Baba Mandir in Sikkim is surely one of those spots. It is located at an enchanting height and the story attached to this place makes it even more popular. Located between the Nathu La Pass and Jelep La Pass the Baba Mandir is one location in Sikkim that you cannot miss out on.
It is one of the places that the devotees worship with all their heart. The Mandir is very close to the people of the community and there are reasons behind that too. In this article I will mention all the information about Baba Mandir that you probably need to plan a successful trip to the location. So whenever you are visiting Sikkim make sure you include Baba Mandir Sikkim in your itinerary. Keep on reading this article and plan a successful trip to this location.
Baba Mandir Sikkim
How to visit Baba Mandir Sikkim
To go to Baba Mandir it is advisable that you go through any registered tour operator in Sikkim. The location of the temple is a protected area and you do need a Protected Area Permit to visit the location. Only the tour operators can arrange that for you. For that you will have to carry your valid Photo ID like Passport or Voter Card and two passport size photographs. A day before your visit you should obtain the permit. Even the hotel that you are staying in can arrange it for you. So you can even ask them beforehand about this.
Mostly a trip to the Baba Mandir Sikkim also includes Tsomgo Lake and at times Nathula Pass. For a round trip from Gangtok to Baba Mandir including Tsomgo Lake it would cost you around Rs. 5500 if you are opting for larger vehicles on reserve. If you are opting for shared rides then the rate can be a little lower. It takes around 3 hours from Gangtok if you cover both Baba Madir and Tsomgo Lake for one way. So try to start a little early in the morning to enjoy most of it.
Baba Mandir Sikkim Temperature
The temperature here is mostly chilly and ranges between 5 degrees to 14 degrees, which is pleasant. So you can visit here any time of the year. The peak season to visit here is from October to February. You can visit here during summer months as well if you are looking for some relief from the heat elsewhere.
Overview of Baba Mandir Sikkim
Located between the Nathula and Jelep La Pass Baba Mandir is one of the popular sightseeing spots in Sikkim. It is located 52 km away from Gangtok at an alluring height. Baba Mandir Sikkim height is 13, 123 feet and it offers a gorgeous view as well. Also popular as the Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple, the Baba Mandir has a very touching story attached to it as well. This is not a religious temple with any Gods or Goddesses here. However this temple is the reflection of the bravery of Baba Harbhajan Singh who is also regarded as the Hero of Nathula.
He was a soldier in the India Army and he sacrificed his precious life just at the age of 26 years. He also received the award of Maha Vir Chakra for his martyrdom and bravery in 1967. Later when this memorial was created the place became an important site of pilgrimage for the devotees. The people also believe that each of the people who are passing through this area or visiting the Nathang Valley should surely pay their respect to Baba Harbhajan Singh. At present it is also one of the popular sightseeing spots here.
Baba Mandir Sikkim Story
The story attached to the Baba Mandir is heart touching yet spooky at the same time. According to legends Sepoy Harbhajan Singh went missing while he was leading a pack of mules from Tukla which was his division to Deng Dhukla in East Sikkim. There was an extensive search for him but he was nowhere to be found. After three days the military forces discovered the body. They believed that he fell into a stream and drowned there. However after that incident many soldiers in the troop reported that Baba Harbhajan Singh is coming in their dreams. He had been asking them to build a memorial in his memory.
Therefore a Samadhi was made here in his memory and the memorial was named Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple. Till today many people believe that Baba comes and visits the temple every single day. He comes and does his duty by taking rounds of the area in his uniform. That sounds quite spooky right? Yes! Even there had been reports where people had seen a person with a turban very late at night. The people on the border also worship him as a saint. They believe that Baba is still protecting them as well as the lives of other soldiers posted there.
He is also popular as the “Soldier who never died” and the Indian Army till today treats him as a soldier of the army. They believe that he is in his spirits and is guarding them every moment. Even across the border the Chinese soldiers had reported seeing a turbaned soldier guarding the border. Other things that the people have noticed are that every morning the bed sheets remain crimpled. Also his shoes look muddy as if he has used them.
On the 11th of September every year it is believed that he goes back for his vacation. The sentries sent his personal belongings in a jeep to the New Jalpaiguri Station. It is believed that he goes to his hometown Kuka which is a small village in Punjab’s Kapurthala. Along with his belongings a seat is left empty and three soldiers also accompany him. Even the Army sends his salary to his old mother every month.
Attractions in Baba Mandir Sikkim
Inside the Baba Mandir there is a large photo of Baba Harbhajan Singh. This is the photo that the devotees worship here. Also this is a popular place to visit for the tourists as well. The tourist brings in with them empty water bottles and leaves them here. After a few days they collect the bottle from here again and they believe that their wishes would come true if they drink this water. You can also find a lot of army trucks here that pass through this area. Many army personnel also visit this temple to pay a quick visit to Baba.
On the side of the temple you will find Baba Harbhajan Singh’s office here. According to the beliefs he still does his day to day work here. Just next to that you will also find his dining place. And after that there is a room with his bed, uniform and his shoes. Every day the person here makes his bed and also polishes his shoes. But every morning they find that the shoes have turned muddy and the bed sheet is crumpled. You will also find a small souvenir shop here and a café.
Even though the temple is located just on the roadside, the view from here is breathtaking. The temple is surrounded with mountains that create a perfect backdrop for the temple that looks beautiful. The winter months here seem even more beautiful with snow all over. So if you are visiting around that time you will be able to notice an even beautiful sight here.
New and Old Baba Mandir
The temple at present is popular with the name New Baba Mandir Sikkim. At first the original bunker of Baba was located further up in the historical Silk Route near the Nathang Valley. It was the location of the Old Baba Mandir Sikkim. However the devotees found this very strenuous to visit the temple due to difficult terrain. Most of the tourists could not even make it to the temple because they had to climb several steps up to actually reach the temple. So for the convenience of the tourists the New Baba Mandir came into being. On the 11th of November in 1982 on the road leading to the Kupup or Nathang this temple was built.
Locations like Baba Mandir Sikkim carry with itself a lot of emotions, devotions and faith. The kind of belief and faith the army as well as the general public has for Baba Harbhajan Singh is truly appreciable. The story attached to it makes the location even more alluring. Whenever you visit there the stories would feel even more real. And you would understand how the people are still thriving of their beliefs here. So if you are ever visiting this location you cannot miss out on visiting the Baba Mandir Sikkim. I am sure you will feel mesmerised after a visit to this location and the visit would be totally worth it. Let me know if this particular article is helpful for you in planning a trip to this location. Also let me know when you are planning a trip to this temple.