South Sikkim

Tourists flock to the lofty hills of South Sikkim mainly to gaze at the sky-piercing statues of Namchi, or to find religion in the atmospheric monasteries of Ravangla. This is also the state's only tea growing region, and the gardens of Temi are a wonderful stopover for anyone travelling the road between Gangtok and West Sikkim.

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Places In South Sikkim

It houses the Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary, which has an area of 35 km2 (13.5 sq mi). The town is located at an altitude of 1,675m and is inhabited by Sherpas and other people of Nepalese Himalayan ancestry. The town has a population of around 1,000.

Namchi is the capital of South Sikkim. It resembles Gangtok in many ways (including the central pedestrian promenade), but is considerably more quiet and local in character, spared of the flood of domestic tourists and the catering industry that comes with it.

  • Namchi Monastery - a Buddhist monastery
  • Ralong Monastery - Buddhist Monastery, accessible from Namchi via Ravangla (6 kms from Ravangla) is considered as one of the most important and most sacred monasteries of Sikkim. The Monastery was built in order to commemorate the pilgrimage of the fourth Chogyal to Tibet.
  • Statue of Guru Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) (an 8th century Buddhist sage) - at a height of 118 feet, it is reputed to be the world's largest statue - located on a hill 7.5 km from the town. The foundation stone was laid by H.H. the Dalai Lama in October 1997 and the statue was consecrated in November 2003.
  • Solophok (5 km from Namchi), a Hindu temple with huge statues of Lord Shiva and temples dedicated to the pilgrimage of Char Dham Yatra.
  • Rock Garden, a few km out of town on the way to Samdruptse, great picnic spot with magnificent views on Mount Kangchenjunga (the hird highest peak in the world).
  • Meanam Peak
  • Tendong Hill
  • Baichung Stadium, built by the government in honour of th football player Baichung Bhutia
  • Salleybong Bul Cave (30 mins by road from Namchi), a popular wishing cave, of which the locals believe that wishes come true in, but also a Hindu holy site.
  • Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary (25 kilometres from Namchi), with rare flora and fauna
  • Tendong State Biodiversity Park (16 km from Namchi), with the greatest choice of medicinal plants from the Himalayas.