For the locals it is the place from where the football star Bhaichung Bhutia comes. The chief minister of Sikkim calls it home. The ropeway that is under construction from Jorethang in southern Sikkim bordering West Bengal upto the Sripadmasambhava statue will be centred around Namchi. There is the alternate Chardham built with replicas of all important Hindu temples. Its recently built Central Park is now all set to challenge Gangtok’s M. G. Marg for tourists to Sikkim. Welcome to Namchi (meaning SKY HIGH in local), the capital of South Sikkim district, some 85 Km down of Gangtok and 50 Km above the West Bengal limits. Pristine, yet relatively unknown till a few years ago, Namchi now attracts the off-beat traveller in search of new Shangri-La and the ubiquitous religious day pilgrim.
Photo1: a view of Central Park that hosts hotels, restaurants and shops
Photo2: Sikkim is renowned for flowers and Orchids
Photo3: All major Dhams together
Photo 4: Rameshwara, Dwaraka and Jagannatha temple complexes with Lord Shiva Statue in the background
Photo 5: Shiva the Lord of the Lords
Photo 6: You can view, He can Review
Photo 7: View of Heavenly Namchi Valley from Jorethang
It was in Namchi that Pende Ongmoo, the wicked princess who poisoned one of the Chogyals of Sikkim, was caught. As per locals her spirit still wander in the foothills of Ghurpisay
Sikkim was home to 3 tribes- Noangs, Mons and Changs thousands of years ago and then the Lepchas took over. Lepchas are nature worshippers. The Bhutias of Tibetan clan also settled later. Then came the Nepalis who now are the dominant force in Sikkim. There is a now some influx from neighbouring states like Bihar. Sikkim is sparsely populated, education level is high and standard of living of the locals is good. Some industrialization though is necessary. Tourism however is the most important income earner. It would score high in terms of Gender equality.
Religious tourists flock the place from October to March. The rest of the time sees less tourists. There are several undeveloped and unexplored trekking routes for which Namchi can be the perfect base.
Photo 8: Solophok Chardham at Namchi
Photo 9: The Baichung Bhutia football stadium under construction
Photo 10: En route Samdrumptse to the Monastery and shrine of Guru Rimpoche
Also known as Padmasambhava, he is the patron saint of Sikkim and in his memory the large statue is constructed at the site. It draws people from far and wide for wish fulfillment.
Photo 11: Let the religion flourish
Photo 12: The roads invite you to Namchi
Enjoy authentic Thupkas and other Sikkimese delicacies
Photo 13: Salted tea
Photo 14: View on route from Namchi to Melli (on the way to Silliguri)
Move over Darjeeling. Gangtok Beware. Namchi is here to stake her claim among the hills.
Altitude: 4315 feet
How to REACH: 2.5 Hours on road from Bagdogra Airport by car. It is 1 Hour 40 minutes from Silliguri town in West Bengal (the biggest town and gateway to the region). 85 Km south of Gangtok: 3 hours by car but share taxis are limited and end by afternoon. Connected to West Sikkim (Pelling)
Where to Stay:
Plenty of options: Hotel Khambuwan, Central Park, Namchi (Low budget-Rs. 1000 /day)
Hotel Kava Suites, Gangtok Road, South Sikkim(Medium budget- Rs 2500- above)
What to eat: Thupkas and Sikkimese Momos