About South Sikkim

Things to know about South Sikkim


Serene and nostalgic South Sikkim lies at an altitude of 400 mtr to 2000 mtr with refreshing views of agricultural fields and terraced slopes. Namchi (meaning Sky high), is the capital of South Sikkim District and is about 78 kms from Gangtok and 100 kms from Siliguri. With some of the oldest monasteries, places of religious significance, breathtaking beauty and new touristic developments it has become an integral part of Sikkim Tourism. South Sikkim is an ideal place for modern day travellers looking for new destinations, as it is the ultimate Green Escape which is yet to be captured by the typical modern tourism concept.

Places to Visit

Namchi

Namchi is the capital of the South Sikkim district of the Indian state of Sikkim. The place has derived its name from two words; Nam meaning the “sky” and chi meaning “high” that translates as “sky high”. It is nestled among the hills at an elevation of 4400 ft. and commands panoramic view of Darjeeling, kalimpong, the snow-capped mountains and vast stretches of valley. Sikkim was under the reign of the Chogyals. The Chogyals were the main emperors of Sikkim and Ladakh. As per legend, it is said that the Sikkimese princess, Pende Ongmoo, cheated a Sikkimese Chogyal. The supporters after knowing got angry and killed her. The place where the princess was killed is believed to be present day Namchi. It is believed that her spirit still haunt the foothills of Ghurpisey. Namchi is a perfect destination for vacations in quest of enchantment, serenity or leisure.The area is fast developing into a tourist destination and pilgrimage center with its immense potential for all round tourist activities. In the month of February, the Namchi garden hosts it annual flower show. The flower show is the largest in Sikkim with flowers in a riot of colours. The prime attraction of this show is the display of exotic and rare orchids. One of the highlights of the town is the football stadium – the Baichung Stadium built by the Sikkimese government in honour of its most famous citizen, footballer Baichung Bhutia. "The Gold Cup" football tournament is held in Bhaichung Stadium almost every year. Football teams from all over India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan vie for the honour which draws lot of crowds from all over Sikkim. The other major tourist attractions are mentioned in details below.

Temi Tea Garden

Producing one of the finest tea in the world, the Temi Tea Garden is the only tea estate in Sikkim. Sprawling over an area of 435 acres, the tea garden is situated on the hill slope of the Tendong Hill. Its surroundings are not only green and refreshing but also peaceful and picturesque. The tea leaves produced here occupy an important place in the international market. There is an accommodation facility near the tea garden – the old British built Bungalow. A stay here can be very refreshing. And of course waking up to a cup of best quality tea in the country is an experience in itself. En route Temi Tea Garden you can enjoy the pleasant surroundings, villages and their culture. Temi Tea Garden is a national award winning garden which received“All India Quality Award”.

Ngadak Monastery

Ngadak Monastery is an old monastery, which was built by Tensung Nmgyal, During the Chogyal Gurmed Namgyal Regime. The monastery is located near the Ngadak Town and attracts tourists throughout the year. The monastery enshrines a 135 ft tall statue of Guru Padmasambhava, sitting on a lotus. The statue is installed on the hill of Samdruptse.

Samdruptse

Painted in shimmering cooper and bronze tones, the impressively vast 45m Buddhist Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, the patron saint of Sikkim sits majestically on the Samdruptse hill (The Wish Fulfilling hill) 7 kms from Namchi.It is the largest statue in the world with a towering height of 135 ft. The foundation stone was laid by His Holiness TheDalai Lama; it is visible from miles around, shining like a golden cone amid the forests of Samdruptse hill.

Char Dham

Char Dham is a pilgrimage destination situated at Solophok Hill. This is at a distance of about 5 km from Namchi town. Solophik Hill has a historical and religious significance, as it is believed that visiting this place washes away one’s sins. According to legends, during the Kuruksheta war between the Kauravas and Pandavas; Arjuna used to worship lord Shiva here. Lord Shiva, Pleased with Arjuna, appeared in a form of a hunter and his blessing is said to have helped the Pandavas win the war against the Kauravas.

Rock Garden

The rock garden of Namchi is located between Namchi Town and Samdruptse. The garden has different species of plants, flowers and trees. There are several waiting sheds, viewpoints and water bodies, alongside the footpaths. The garden has a cafeteria facing the hills and the valley of Namchi serves tea and coffee to the travelers who stop by for rest.

Sai Mandir

On 3rd Nov`2010 Sikkim bestowed a newly built Magnificent Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Temple at Assangthang, Namchi in South Sikkim. The holy temple was inaugurated by the Chief Minister, Dr Pawan Chamling and his wife Smt Tika Maya Chamling.

How to go ?

  • South Sikkim is easily accessible by the road, you do not necessarily require an SUV or Heavy duty vehicles to get around most of the places. You might encounter minor landslides but you’ll do just fine. However it is advised that travellers take TA’s suggestion.
  • The closest Railway Station is NJP Railway Station, West Bengal which is located at a distance of 98 km from Mangan.
  • The nearest Airport for South District is Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal which is located at a distance of 105 kms from Namchi, the district headquarters of South Sikkim.