Tendong Hill, South Sikkim
Tendong hill located above Damthang and overlooking Namchi has become one of the most prominent landmarks in South Sikkim. It can be approached only by trekking which starts from Damthang, a 13 km drive from Ravangla. The span of the trek route is around 6 km which passes through lush green forest rich in spectacular flora and wildlife. More than 90 species of birds, Himalayan Bears, leopards and illusive Red Pandas inhabit this forest. Hill top is at a height of 8660 ft and offers spectacular views of entire eastern Himalayas.
Historically this has been a place of recluse for Buddhist Lamas who spend years in meditation amidst the silent scenic grandeur. As per the Lepcha folklore Tendong Hill gets its name, meaning “Upraised Horn” and the myths of Lepcha’s which passed on through generation are that, Tendong saved them from the great deluge, which submerged the entire world. This lore is an amazing resemblance with Noah’s Ark as Mount Ararat becomes the savor like Tendong Hill. It is a sacred place. Even today Lepcha’s pay homage to Tendong Hill on the occasion of Lho Rum Faat.
A small monastery and a three storied watch tower is set at the top. From the watch tower 360 degree view is really superb. Nowhere from Sikkim offers such an astonishing view of the entire range. The Singalila range in the west, Chola range in the east, part of Gangtok town, Nathu La, Darjeeling and part of the plains of West Bengal are visible from here.
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 102 km from Namchi and abot 122 km from Gangtok. 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 Tendong via Namthang Road, which takes about half an hour.
Roadways: Tendong is about 65 km from Gangtok, the capital city via Damthang and about 10 km from Namchi.