The small town, Namchi is the epitome of culture, diversity, religion, benevolence, and also depicts the munificence of Sikkim. Namchi is blessed with welcoming monasteries, traditional temples, lush greenery, flora, and forests. On a tour to Namchi, tourists can unveil the best kept secrets of the Himalaya. The beauty of Namchi can't be defined in a single word or phrase. 'Sky High' is what the meaning of Namchi, and is completely synonymous as it is located at an elevation of 5,500 ft. As per the historical facts, once Sikkim was under the reign of the Chogyals. It is believed that Chogyals were the ones who ruled the both Sikkim and Ladakh. Legends say that one of the Sikkimese princesses, Pende Ongmoo deceived a Sikkimese Chogyal. When people of Sikkim got to know about this, they killed the Sikkimese princess, Pende Ongmoo. The place where the Pend Ongmoo was killed is believed to be the present day.
There are so many lovely view points offering sweeping views of Kanchenjunga & Chola range as well as of river Teesta flowing between the towering mountains, great monasteries with awesome architectures, quaint temples, sprawling tourist complexes, numerous flower nurseries, parklands, famous missionary schools and more. In fact some can easily argue, and I can somewhat agree that there are more vantage points in Kalimpong than Darjeeling town to get views of Kanchenjunga snow peaks. There are some stretches in Kalimpong where such views will be on your direct eyesight for a long time as you drive along. The easiest way to visit the tourist places would be to take a taxi from the stand. You can shortlist places that you want to visit. All taxi drivers however offer standard local sightseeing tours covering the major attractions. You can also go through a local tour operator (there are many in the town).
Namchi : Climate & Hospitality
Namchi has five distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter and the monsoons. The annual temperature ranges from a high of 28°C to a low of 8°C. Summers are mild, with an average maximum temperature of 29°C in August.
Best Places To Eat In Namchi
While restaurants are few, Namchi is a meat-eaters delight. With pork being a favorite with the locals, you can find noodles, momos and other pork items in plenty.If you are a pure Vegetarian then it should not bother you as there are plenty of vegetarian Eating Houses with serve you mouth water Indian cuisine.
Best time to visit Namchi
You can visit Namchi anytime of the year. However, if you want to see the annual flower show that displays a wide variety of rare orchids organized by Namchi garden, then you must visit during the month of February.
PLACES YOU MUST NOT MISS TO VISIT
Rock Garden Namchi
Set amidst totally tranquil background, the mountains form the main setting here. The idyllic surroundings coupled with the beauty around make this spot ideal for picnickers. Located between Namchi Town and Samdruptse it nestles at the base of Samdruptse hill below the main road approximately 3.5 km from the main town of Namchi. The garden has different species of plants, flowers and trees growing everywhere. Along the pathway are several waiting sheds, view points and water bodies landscaped to fit the taste of the visitors.
Char Dham, Namchi
The rich Buddhist heritage of Sikkim is well known. But for the Hindus too, the Himalayan state is a revered destination. Growing popularity of Char Dham, spread across an area of seven acres over Solophok hilltop 5km south of Namchi, Char Dham as a popular pilgrimage destination for the Hindus bears that out. Also known as Siddeshwara Dham, it puts in one place replicas of the four leading temples across the country.Char Dham comprises four sacred pilgrimage sites revered by the Hindus. It stands for ‘four abodes’ of Hindu Gods. While the temples at Badrinath, Dwarka and Puri are the abodes of Lord Vishnu and Lord Jagannath (incarnation of Lord Vishnu), respectively, the temple at Rameswaram is the abode of Lord Shiva. These temples have been replicated at the massive complex atop Solophok.The temple complex is divided into four parts: A 108ft tall statue of Lord Shiva along with 12 jyotirlingas; replicas of Char Dhams; an 18ft statue of Lord Kirateshwar and a Sai Baba mandir.The 108ft tall statue of Lord Shiva stands out at Siddeshwara Dham. Devotees of Lord Shiva from all over the country come here in great numbers. The giant statue in sitting posture has been erected at the highest point of the Solophok hilltop. The replicas of the "Dwadash Jyotirlingas" (the twelve jyotirlinga), namely, Somnath, Mallikarjuna, Mahakaleswar, Omkareshwar, Kedarnath, Bhimashankar, Viswanath, Triambakeshwar, Vaidyanath, Nageswar, Rameshwar and Grishneshwar surround the statue of Lord Shiva and the Char Dhams. A Jyotirlinga or Jyotirling is a devotional object representing Lord Shiva. Jyoti means 'radiance' and lingam the 'mark or sign' of Shiva. Jyotirlinga thus is the radiant sign of the Almighty. Worship of jyotirlinga is of prime importance for the devotees of Lord Shiva. As per belief, worship of Lord Shiva and the jyotirlingas help people in gaining enlightenment.
Samdruptse to Rock Garden Ropeway
This new ropeway was constructed to appeal to national and international tourists. It will ensure better connectivity between tourist spots in and around Namchi.The Ropeway provide intoxicating View of the mountain and the city. The ropeway has a total of 12 four seater cabins. These cabins have been fixed on the rope line in four groups with each group consisting of three cabins. The ropeway has been built as per state-of-the-art technology following relevant Indian and international standards.
Shirdi Sai Mandir
Small but beautiful Sikkim is blessed with an outstanding Sri Shridi Sai Baba Temple situated is Assanthang, a couple of kilometers away from the district headquarters of Namchi. The temple is a religious and pilgrimage center dedicated to the people of Sikkim by the honorable Chief Minister, Dr. Pawan Chamling. It is a two storied building displaying the modern architecture; the ground floor accommodates devotees for singing hymns in praise of Shridi Baba and the first floor provides dwelling to the marble statue of Sri Shridi Sai Baba and ten other beautiful paintings of Lord Vishnu (Hindu God) in ten different incarnations. The temple is surrounded by a beautiful garden from where one could get a panoramic view of Mt. Khangchendzonga.
Samdruptse-Wish Fulfilling Hill
Samdruptse is situated at around 75 km from Gangtok. Samdruptse literally means ‘wish fulfilling hill’ in the Bhutia language. Painted in shimmering copper, pink and bronze, the awe-inspiring and gigantic 45m-high statue of Guru Padmasambhava, aka Guru Rinpoche, lords over the forested Samdruptse ridge and is visible for miles around. It is the highest statue of Guru Padamasambhava in the world. His Holiness the Dalai Lama laid the foundation stone of the statue in October 1997. It was completed in February 2004. Within the complex, there’s a permanent photo exhibition of archival images documenting Sikkim’s cultural, natural and artistic history. The land of Sikkim, at the border of India and Tibet, was consecrated as a hidden sanctuary for the Buddha’s teachings by the great master Padmasambhava, who blessed it with the vajra wisdom of his body, speech, and mind. He is considered as the second Buddha.
Ralang Monastery portrays the true spiritual side of Sikkimese people. Located at a distance of 6 kms from Ravangla, Ralang Monastery is easily accessible from Namchi via Ravangla in South Sikkim district. Ralong Monastery is regarded as the one amongst the most significant and most consecrated monasteries of Sikkim. The Monastery was built to commemorate the successful pilgrimage of the fourth Chogyal to Tibet.Actually there is a legend behind the establishment of this monastery. The legend says that when the fourth Chogyal returned from his pilgrimage (Tibet), Karmapa performed the 'Rabney' (traditional blessing). Following the rituals, he tossed some grains from the Tsurphu Monastery in Tibet (the main seat of Karmapa). The grains fell at the site, where Ralang Monastery is standing today. The original monastery is located at a distance of 13 kms from Ravangla. The way to this monastery is quite difficult and trekking is the only way to reach the monastery.In 1995, a new monastery was built, so that people could reach the religious place easily. Built by the 12th Gyaltsab Rimpoche, Ralong Monastery is the magnum opus of Tibetan architecture. This new monastery is also known by the name of 'Palchen Choeling Monastic Institute'. In the present day, Ralang Monastery is acclaimed to be the biggest monastery in Sikkim, India. The Monastery also embraces a stunning collection of paintings.
HOW TO REACH
The nearest airport is Bagdogra airport which is 124 km from Gangtok and 190 km from Mangan. Gangtok and Bagdogra are connected through helicopter services. From Gangtok to Namchi jeep and buses services are available.
The nearest rail is New Jalpaiguri. This is well connected to most of the major cities in India.
Namchi is well connected to the neighboring cities through decent roads. Namchi is accessible from Gangtok, Yukosom and Pelling through NH 31A. Buses and taxis ply at regular intervals in all weather conditions.