Housing the world’s largest statue of Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche, the patron saint of Sikkim, Namchi is situated about 78 km from Gangtok and is famous for its Buddhist monastery and scenic locales. Offering panoramic views of the mountain ranges and the valley below, it lies at about 1,675 m above mean sea level. Literally translating to ‘top of the sky’ in Bhutia language, Namchi is the headquarters of the south district of Sikkim in North East India and is the second most populated district of the state. Predominantly Buddhist,the Shedrup Choeling Monastery, the Dichen Choeling monastery and the Ngadak monastery are among the many monasteries in the region.
The pilgrimage centers, natural wonders and bio-diversity of Namchi attracts flocks of visitors who come for the unmatched views of the Rangeet valley and the Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world. The folklore of Namchi only adds to its mystic charm of.
Locals believe that the spirit of Pende Ongmoo, who was brought to justice for poisoning one of the Chogyals, still haunts Namchi. Another belief is that the Samdruptse Hill which is famous for the 135 ft tall statue of Padmasambhava, is a dormant volcano because of the prayers offered by the Buddhist monks who climb it everyday to meditate.
While the scenic beauty of South Sikkim is the USP of the region, there are several activities that will make those looking for a rush of adrenaline jump off their seats.
Sikip on the Rangeet river attracts anglers and the trek trail from Namchi to Tendong-Ravangla-Maenam-Borong spans 5-6 days and is a trekkers delight. The Maenam Hill, Tendong Hill and Borong are known for their scenic mountainscapes. The Rimbi Waterfalls, hot water springs at Borong and Ralong and the Temi Tea Estate are other popular tourist destinations. While in Namchi, make sure you head to Tinkitam, the natural habitat of a rare species of orchids that are terrestrial (other orchids grow on trees) and home to soccer star Baichung Bhutia.
Being the center to all cultural activities, the Namchi Mahotsav is held annually to promote tourism, culture and local cuisine.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN NAMCHI
While you do not require air conditioned rooms, several mid-range and ome budget hotels provide this facility. The hotels also offer all basic facilities like spas and 24-hour travel information counter.
BEST PLACES TO EAT IN NAMCHI
While restaurants are few, Namchi is a meat-eaters delight. With pork being a favorite with the locals, you can find noodles, momos and other pork items in plenty.
BEST TIME TO VISIT NAMCHI
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Namchi is as given below. The best time to visit Namchi is also specified.