Buddha Park Ravangla
Buddha Park Ravangla, South Sikkim
This is a relatively new tourist spot in South Sikkim. Situated at an elevation of 8000 ft the small picturesque semi town on the Gangtok-Gaysiling highway, Ravangla is becoming a hot destination for its breathtaking landscape and tranquility.
The town and its surrounding area offer an undisturbed view of the snow ranges of Greater Himalayas. Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Pandim, Mt. Sinialchu, Mt. Kabru are just a few of the major peaks that are clearly visible from here. Upper ridges of the area experience snowfall during winter. Thousands of known and unknown flowers are in full bloom during April-May and Ravangla gets a romantic look with the colours and fragrance of the flowers.
The main attraction of Ravangla among many others is Tathagata Tsal or Buddha Park. It is a 130-foot high statue, which was constructed in between 2006-2013. The statue is of Lord Buddha and the location for this statue was chosen keeping the religious angle in mind. It is a centuries old pilgrim place. It is also located near Ralang Monastery, which is one of the main monasteries in the Tibetan Buddhism.
The area around offers some fabulous short treks. A 12 km trek from here through the Oak, Pine, Rhododendron, Magnolia and fir forests will take you to Mainam peak at 10,600 ft. Another 1.5 km uphill trek leads to valedunga, a hilltop offering beautiful view to the surrounding mountains. The entire trek route passes through the Mainam Sanctuary which houses a rare collection of Himalayan species like the red panda, Himalayan black bear, leopard cat, black pheasant cat etc.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Anytime of the year except the rainy season would be best time to visit this place. The weather of South Sikkim remains pleasant throughout the year, however if you are visiting 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 125 km from Ravangla. 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 121 km from Ravangla. You can take a taxi to reach Ravangla via Namchi or Singtam, which takes about 4-5 hours.
Roadways: Ravangla is about 67 km from Gangtok, the capital city and about 26 km from Namchi.