Namchi, South Sikkim
78 kms from Gangtok, Namchi, literally translating as ‘top of the sky’ is the South district headquarters and fast emerging as a tourist destination. Set in a picturesque location, Namchi offers an unmatched view of the Khangchendzonga range and the Rangit valley. Here you can visit the Sherdup Choeling Monastery and the Dichen Choeling monastery. Around two kms from Namchi is the old Ngadak monastery which is now being renovated. Situated on a hill just above Ngadak monastery is the very attractive Rock Garden, which is full of rare flowers and plants and also offers breathtakingly beautiful views.
Namchi hosts the very popular Namchi Mahotsav, a Tourism, Culture and Food Festival, every year in October. A flower festival is also held annually.
The 135 feet high statue of Guru Padamasambhava is present at Samdruptse near Namchi at a distance of 75 kms from Gangtok. Samdruptse literally means 'wish fulfilling hill' in the Bhutia language. A unique, awe inspiring and gigangtic 135 feet high statue of Guru Padamasambhava is installed atop Sampruptse. 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 took nearly three years to complete the statue.
There is also the Namchi Rock Garden located between Namchi town and Samdruptse. This popular garden has many attractive plants, flowers and species of trees. A number of waiting sheds, view points and waterbodies along its footpaths have been provided. A neat and clean cafeteria serves the tourists and visitors well.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Anytime of the year except the rainy season would be best time to visit this place. The weather of Namchi remains pleasant throughout the year, however if you are visiting Namchi in winter then don't forget to carry warm clothes as it can get chilly during this time of the year.
HOW TO GET THERE
Airways: The nearest airport is in Bagdogra, West Bengal about 102 km from Namchi. Sikkim also has got its first commercial airport at Pakyong, East Sikkim but weather hampers the operation of this airport most of the time. If you are lucky enough you can get a flight directly to Pakyong.
Railways: The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) in West Bengal which is about 98 km from Namchi. You can take a taxi to reach Namchi via Jorethang, which takes about 4 hours.
Roadways: Namchi is the district headquarter of the South and is about 82 km from Gangtok, the capital city.