Namchi–Sky High– Offers a Heavenly Experience Beyond Comparison
A Relaxing Destination
If you want to unwind in a charming hill station away from the hustle and bustle of the city, consider visiting Namchi in South Sikkim.
This lovely, quiet town offers unmatched beauty.
Spending some days in solitude or with family and friends and basking in its serenity would be quite refreshing.
Other offbeat places in Sikkim are Ravangla, Pelling, Yuksom, Rinchenpong, Aritar, Zuluk, and Rongli.
8 Days, 8 Destinations by Road— An Experience of Its Kind
Places in Sikkim
Districts of Sikkim
Zuluk or Dzuluk & Rongli
Itinerary for the Trip—8 Nights and 9 Days
NJP Railway Station/Bagdogra Airport to Namchi; Namchi sightseeing
Namchi sightseeing continues; head to Ravangla, sightseeing at Ravangla
Drive to Yuksom
Yuksom sightseeing; head to Pelling; Pelling sightseeing
Head to Rhinchingpong; sightseeing
Head to Algarah; sightseeing at Kalimpong
Head to Aritar, sightseeing
Head to Zuluk
Head to NJP Railway Station/Bagdogra
Your Favorite Place for Rejuvenation
Where do you prefer to go for rejuvenation?
The Unmatched Beauty of Sikkim
Sikkim is a northeastern state of India. It's known for breathtaking scenery, lofty mountains, gurgling waterfalls, lavishing lakes, gushing rivers, wandering clouds, beautiful flowers, magnificent monasteries, and more.
The land is home to people of diverse cultures, such as the Lepchas, Bhutias, Nepalese, and people from the country's different regions.
The beauty of Sikkim whether the breathtaking view of Gurudongmar Lake in North Sikkim or the captivating view of the landscape of Zuluk in East Sikkim is alluring.
Good to Know Information Beforehand
Remember these before you head out to Namchi:
- Book train tickets and hotel rooms in advance to get the best deal.
- Book a personal cab for the trip from a registered tour operator to avoid hassles and last minute rush. Hiring a cab dedicated for yourself and your friends or family helps you enjoy more comfort and spend more time in nature.
Tips for Hiring a Cab
It is better to hire a cab from the registered tour operators approved by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs - Government of India. Check the list on its website.
Day 1: NJP Railway Station/Bagdogra Airport to Namchi
You can board a train from Sealdah (Kolkata) or travel by flight from Kolkata airport, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport. You will reach New Jalpaiguri (NJP) Station the next morning while it will take a little more than an hour to reach Bagdogra Airport.
You can book a cab beforehand or can hire a taxi after reaching there. The drive to Namchi is through breathtaking scenic views.
Namchi or Namtse means “Sky High”
Namchi is the administrative capital of South Sikkim.
It is nestled at an altitude of around 5,500 ft above the sea level.
We crossed Melli, the border town of West Bengal and Sikkim, to enter Namchi. Melli is the gateway of South Sikkim when entering from West Bengal.
Along the Way
On the way to Namchi, we had scrumptious breakfast in an eatery with lush green hills in the backdrop.
The landscape and temperature were changing fast as we started ascending.
We reached Namchi after around a 4-hour drive.
Char Dham or Siddheswar Dham
Our hotel was close to Char Dham or Siddheswar Dham in Namchi. We had a quick lunch, as the Char Dham ticket counter was about to close.
The complex has opening and closing timings, and charges for entry and parking cars.
Char Dham or Siddheswar Dham–The First Place to Visit on Day 1
Char Dham or Siddheswar Dham
Char Dham or Siddheswar Dham is constructed on the Solophok hill.
The major attractions of the complex are Shiva statue, 12 Jyotirlingas, replicas of Char Dhams (Char, meaning four and Dhams meaning pilgrimage centers: Badrinath, Jaganath, Dwarka, and Rameshwar), Sai Baba Temple, Kirateshwar (Lord Shiva incarnated as Kirateshwar) Statue, Nandi Bull (a humped bull considered to be Lord Shiva's vehicle), and Shiv Dwar.
With closing time was approaching soon, there were only a few visitors inside the complex. We took a tour of the complex at our own pace, there was no crowd at all.
The complex has a car parking zone and a cafeteria. As we had late lunch, we did not try any dish there.
A Serene Moment
With the daylight gradually fading into dusk, the mesmerizing view of the landscape and the riot of colors in the sky created a magical ambience.
We sat near the complex until the evening slipped into night and our first day ended with a quiet dinner.
Day 2: Sai Mandir–The First Stop
We started the second day early, as we had quite a few destinations for the day in our list.
The beautiful Sai Mandir (mandir meaning temple), near to our hotel, was our first stop of the day.
The two-storied building has an amazing decor with the ground floor built mainly for praying and performing religious activities.
The first floor has a marble statue of Sri Shiridi Sai Baba (on a high platform) and paintings of Lord Vishnu (a Hindu god) depicting his ten different incarnations and other Hindu gods and goddesses around the wall.
The ceiling resembles that of a planetarium.
Day 2: Next Stops–Ngadak Monastery and Samdruptse
1. Ngadak Monastery
Next in our itinerary list was Ngadak (meaning promise) Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries of Namchi. No cars were allowed inside the monastery, so we walked a little into the monastery. The spectacular beauty of the monastery never disappoints travelers.
Samdruptse (meaning wish fulfilling hill in the Bhutia language) was the day's third destination. The counter and the covered car parking zone are close to the entrance gate.
First, we ascended the hilly way (walkway) with Buddhist prayer flags fluttering on one side of the road to visit the statue of Guru Padmasambhava sitting on a lotus. Then, we reached an area under the statue and enjoyed the panoramic view of the landscape from there. Next, we climbed the stairs that led to the statue kept on a high platform. The place also has a monastery.
This is the highest statue of Guru Padmasambhava in the world. The intricate design, grandeur of the statue, and engineering involved left us awestruck. The vista of the surroundings from there was breathtaking. We spent a while there as the serenity was unmatched.
Before heading to our next destination, we grabbed breakfast in one of the food stalls near the car parking zone and the food was tasty.
Temi Tea Garden—an Indescribable Beauty
The enchanting view of the tea garden would not only remain ingrained in our memories but also allure us to visit it again.
I think the photograph below gives a glimpse of the beauty.
The land is not only famous for its stunning lakes or waterfalls, meandering hilly roads, snow-capped high mountains, and rich flora and fauna but also for the warmth of the people there who are simple and friendly, its festivals, and the flower shows.
Namchi Mahotsav (Mahotsav meaning festival) is organized every year to showcase traditional skills; ethnic handloom and handicrafts, and traditional houses and food of the ethical groups of Sikkim; host dance performances and flower exhibitions; organize tours to different tourist attractions; and conduct multiple activities, such as trekking.
Each year flower festivals are organized in Namchi. Sikkim is known for its wide variety of species of flowers, specifically rhododendrons and orchids.
Some More Interesting Places
We did not had much time left before heading to our next destination, Ravangla, these places remained unticked in our list:
- Rock Garden: It is close to Samdruptse and houses various plants and trees.
- Tendong Hill: Trekking enthusiasts can indulge in trekking from Damthang to reach Tendong Hill. The trekking trail passes through a forest that is a home to several birds and wild animals.
- Tarey Bhir View Point: The cliff is known for offering amazing views of forests, river valleys, and the confluence of the two rivers of Sikkim Teesta and Rangit. An ideal place for ridge walkers to get some exciting views from here.
What Is the Best Time to Visit Namchi? How Accessible Is Namchi?
Namchi can be visited any time of the year, but the temperature is quite low during the winter. The winter has its own charm and if one loves to appreciate the beauty of Namchi during that time of the year, he or she should carry adequate woolens. Hill stations are better to be avoided during the monsoon.
Namchi can be accessed from West Bengal, Gangtok, Pelling, and other places of Sikkim.
Tourists can also avail Helicopter service provided by Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation (STDC), a division of Sikkim state government, to visit Namchi and Gangtok. Different categories of the helicopter service can be availed at varying rates.
The service may be suspended depending on the bad weather condition, so keep this in mind while planning the trip.
To know about the time, number of people allowed, when to make reservations for availing the helicopter service, weight limit of the baggage, fare, and mode of payment, visit the website of STDC.
Transportation and Accommodation
How to Reach Namchi by Road
Best Time to Visit
From NJP Station/Bagdogra Airport: Shared or private taxis, buses from Siliguri, cabs hired from registered tour operators
From Gangtok: Shared or private taxis, buses, cabs hired from registered tour operators
Temperature is low during the winter season
From other parts of Sikkim: Buses and cabs
Avoid to visit during monsoon
We met our guide and driver here.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Prantika Samanta