A calm and serene hill station in South Sikkim, Namchi offers beautiful panoramic views of the snow-clad Kanchenjunga and lush greenery of the Rangeet river valley. The town has an elevation of 1,675 meters above sea level. Namchi literally translates to ‘Sky High’ in the local Bhutia language.
Some of the top attractions are:
The 148 feet statue of Guru Padmasambhava, the tallest statue of him in the world, can be seen presiding over the town of Namchi. The statue is built atop the Samdruptse Hill, which literally translates to 'Wish Fulfilling Hill' in the local language. Believed to be a sacred spot, this hill is worshipped by local monks. The face of the statue, made of gold coating, dazzles brightly under the sun. Located on the base of the hill is a small monastery with a prayer hall. There is also an exhibition of very old paintings and historic artifacts kept here.
There is a ropeway facility running between Samdruptse Hill and the Rock Garden, operated by Damodar Ropeways & Infra Limited (DRIL), one of the oldest ropeway construction companies in India. Visitors can enjoy spectacular views of the Padmasambhava Statue from up-close and snow-capped Kanchenjunga peak. Covering a distance of about 250 meters, the Namchi ropeway ride takes less than 7 minutes.
The Rock Garden in Namchi is a beautiful green sanctuary with different species of flowers, trees and plants. Located at the base of Samdruptse Hill, one has to climb down a flight of stairs to reach the garden here. Another mode of transport is the DRIL ropeway service. The cable car takes tourists down to the garden and then brings them back up the hill. The Rock Garden is home to some rare species of flowers. It also has a children’s playground, walking pathways, waterbodies, gazebo, and benches to sit and enjoy the view. A splendid view of the Kanchenjunga can be seen from here.
Solophok Char Dham
Built in 2011 by the Sikkim government to promote religious and eco tourism in the state, the Solophok Char Dham is a huge pilgrimage complex located on the top of Solophok Hill. The entire premises is spread over an area of 29 hectares. Visiting Solophok Char Dham is equivalent to visiting all the top religious spots of the country. There is 86 feet tall statue of Lord Shiva, replicas of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva, and replicas of the Char Dham temples of Badrinath, Jagannath, Dwaraka and Rameswaram. This is one of the top tourist places in Sikkim.
The Ngadak Monstery is one of the oldest monasteries in South Sikkim. It was originally built in the 17th century as the palace for Her Highness Pendi Ongmu during the reign of Chogyal Gyurmed Namgyal by Tensung Namgyal. The old building was destroyed in an earthquake, and a new structure has been built in its place. The word Ngadak means 'Promise'. Locals believe that anyone who comes here once has to make a promise to come back again. Settled amidst tranquil natural scenery, the monastery is an excellent place for meditating and relaxation.