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Namchi

The district head quarter of South Sikkim is 'Namchi' meaning 'Sky High'. Nested on a lofty valley at 4800 ft and surrounded by the hills Namchi is one of the less crowded towns in Sikkim.

Namchi commands panoramic view of the Darjeeling, Kalimpong hills and snow-capped mountains of Kanchenjunga range. It is a nice place for short stay and village excursions. There are a number of tourist attraction around town as well as within short drive away from town. The town is also famous for the Indian football icon Baichung Bhutia who hails from a village nearby.

Namchi has gained tourism importance in recent years after the establishment of Chardham temple here. The temple complex on top of the hill can be seen from far and wide. Even those who are not religiously inclined, find the natural beauty of the place quite attractive. As a result many tourists visit Namchi from Gangtok as part of a day tour.

Getting There

At a distance of 78 kms from Gangtok and 95 Kms from Siliguri, Namchi is well connected by road with the rest of Sikkim and Darjeeling region. The distance and travel time from places around are as given below

Siliguri – 95 kms (3.5 hours)
Bagdogra Airport – 100 kms (3.5 hours)
NJP Station – 100 kms (3.5 hours)
Gangtok – 78 kms (3 hours)
Pelling – 70 kms (3 hours)
Ravangla – 27 kms (1 hour)
Darjeeling – 76 kms (3 hours) There is a shorter route of 46 kms but road condition is not good.
Kalimpong – 54 kms (2 hours)

Weather

The altitude of Namchi is just 4800 feet or 1470 meter. The weather for most of the year is comfortable. The monsoon witnesses heavy shower during July to mid September. The winter is cold and temperature may occasionally go down to 2 to 3 degree celsius. Snowfall is extremely rare in the town. 

People

The town has a population of about 13000. Nepali is the most widely spoken language although Hindi is well understood by most. English is also understood by the educated. The local population is a mix of people of Sikkimese origin and other migrated hill people from areas including Darjeeling hills and Nepal.

Chardham

Siddhesvara Dhaam is situated on the a hilltop a couple of kilometres South-West of the town. At an altitude of 1700 meter (5600 feet), the temple complex provides great view of surrounding hills. There is a 100 feet tall statue of Lord Shiva that can be seen from almost the entire South Sikkim and many parts of Darjeeling district. There are several temple replicas of major temples of the Hindu. The place is commonly referred to as Chardham of Namchi by the local people.

Samdruptse

The Wish Fulfilling Hill is North-East of the Namchi town at a distance of about 5 kms from town. There is a 135 fett tall statue of Guru Rinpoche (Also known as Guru Padmasambhava). At an altitude of 2140 meter (7020 feet), this is the highest point around. On a clear day a major part of the South Sikkim and Darjeeling hills can be seen from here.

Rock garden

Close to the Samdruptse is the location of Rock Garden, a park with great scenic view of West Sikkim. There are some small ponds and children play area in the park.

Ngadak Monastery

About 3 kms uphill from Namchi town on the Namchi-Damthang road is the location of one of the oldest monasteries of Sikkim. The monastery was built in the 18th century and is in ruins presently. The old monastery structure is supported by iron beams to keep it from falling. A new large monastery is being constructed in its place which is expected to be one of the best in Sikkim when it completes.

Allay Gumpa

This is a monastery close to the centre of the town, it is located next to Baichung stadium.

Not Far from Namchi

Ravangla – An hours drive from Namchi, this is a common excursion for tourists visiting here.

Temi Tea Garden – The only tea garden of Sikkim is just 20 kms from Namchi and in same direction as Ravangla. One can have a combined tour of both Ravangla and Temi from here.

 

Map of Namchi

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