DARAMDIN, West Sikkim
Daramdin is situated approximately 120 Km west from the capital town Gangtok and is centre of some of the most fascinating places of attraction in the west Sikkim like, Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary, Soreng, Sombaria and Kaluk-Rinchenpong. This village in West Sikkim is known for its peculiar feature. It has a massive surface of the flat horizontal area instead of slopes. The name Daramdin is said to be derived from the Lepcha dialect ‘Dalom’ literally meaning ‘a flat land or a place of rest’.
There is an interesting story attached to the place, it so happened many centuries back the villagers of Daramdin had a debate on the topic of distance between their village and the sky. They then decided to erect a tower made of clay pots arranged one after another. The construction started and eventually the tower got higher and higher, when they were on the verge to achieve the goal, the man on the top of the tower shouted, “Kok bing yang tal” (Get me a pole to strike the sky) in the local Lepcha language to the men in the bottom. Unfortunately, the men below heard Cheka which means destroy the ladder. The men in the bottom were surprised and asked the man on the top to repeat, they again heard the same word Cheka. Therefore the men in the bottom destroyed the ladder and their mission to touch the sky ended in smoke. The bits and pieces of the potteries, the remains of the big blunder are still found today.
The recently built Sai Mandir (temple) in Daramdin is an interesting pilgrimage destination. The mandir has a quite a big compound decorated with different varieties of flowers. This temple is an ideal destination for birdwatching and involving oneself in the rural life. Due to the altitudinal variation, the place witnesses a large variety of birds to migrate to and fro within a short span of time. Sai Mandir Daramdin holds significance as a pilgrimage site for the religious fanatics.The temple brightens with the outstretched premises covered with diverse species of Himalayan flowers and plants. A dedicated Hindu priest and Volunteers are always available in Sai Mandir in Daramdin to help and assist the visitors when needed.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
If you wish to explore this scenic town, you don’t need to look for the best time to visit this place. However, September to May is considered as an ideal time since Sikkim receives heavy rainfall during monsoons.
HOW TO GET THERE
Airways: The nearest airport is in Bagdogra, West Bengal about 5 hrs drive from Gangtok, 12 km west of Siliguri and about 114 km from Daramdin. 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 110 km from Daramdin. You can take a taxi to reach Daramdin via Jorethang, which takes about 3-4 hours.
Roadways: Daramdin is about 60 km from Gyalshing, the West District Headquarter and about 107 km from Gangtok, the capital city.