South Sikkim is surrounded by beautiful natural forests and majestic hills and is the perfect vacation spot for anyone who is looking for a retreat in the midst of nature in its most natural form.
Situated at an altitude of 1315 m and at a distance of 78.4 km from Gangtok lies Namchi, a popular place of attraction in the state. The South District of Sikkim is mostly famous for its monasteries, temples, stupas, lush greenery, and its picturesque views.
Here are 6 popular places to visit in South Sikkim:
(1) Namchi – the headquarter of South District, Sikkim
Nestled among the beautiful hills, the quaint town of Namchi commands panoramic views of snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas and vast stretches of valleys. In South Sikkim, you can experience the unique countryside and escape in the endless, mesmerizing waves of fields and terraced slopes.
Namchi translates to ‘Top of the sky’ and also provides visitors with a spectacular view of the Khangchendzonga range and the Rangeet Valley. Some of the popular places to visit in Namchi are the Sherdup Choeling Monastery, the Dichen Choeling Monastery, Old Ngadak Monastery, and the famous Rock Garden that is positioned on a hill just above Ngadak Monastery.
There are also several luxury hotels, spas, and bars in this town for travellers to relax. You can also stroll around the town, which is beautifully decorated with flower and tree plantations and is well maintained.
(2) Statue of Guru Rinpoche – Samdruptse, South Sikkim
Located at a distance of 5 km from Namchi town is a beautiful statue of Guru Padmasambhava, also called as Guru Rinpoche, and known as Second Buddha. This beautiful statue is 41 m tall and is a popular tourist destination.
The Samdruptse Hill is also called as the ‘wish-fulfilling hill,’ and it is believed that whoever prays at the Guru Padmasambhava statue with a pure heart and with no ill intentions will have their wishes come true.
(3) Siddheshwara Dham – a popular pilgrimage in South Sikkim
Locally known as ‘Char Dham,’ Siddheshwara Dham is one of the most popular places of attraction in South Sikkim. This place houses replicas of the four famed Dhams (pilgrimages) in India, namely, Badrinath, Jagannath, Dwarka, and Rameshwaram at a place called Solophok Hilltop, Namchi.
The 33 m tall statue of Lord Shiva at the top of the hill is the major attraction at Siddheshwara Dham. There are also the replicas of the 12 jyotirlingas in this place. The area is well maintained and decorated with beautiful gardens and stone and marble pavements for the people to walk on.
Anyone who wishes to visit the four Dhams at different places in India but is not able to can visit Char Dham in Namchi to get a glimpse of the architectures and the structures of those pilgrimages. Sai Baba Temple and a statue of Kirateshvar Mahadev are also built in this area.
Not very far from the Siddheshwara Dham is a Shirdi Sai Mandir, which is also popular among travellers. Anyone who visits Siddheshwara Dham should not miss visiting this beautiful temple in South Sikkim.
(4) Ravangla overview – South Sikkim
Ravangla is small and a beautiful town with bewitching views of Sikkim’s rolling valleys, high- forested hills, and the breath-taking Himalayan ranges. This beautiful town is situated at the base of Menam Hill and lies on the edge that separates Teesta Valley from Rangeet Valley.
Like Namchi, visiting Ravangla is a must in South Sikkim. The rich natural diversity, thick natural forests, exotic flora and fauna, majestic mountains and waterfalls, tranquil villages, old monasteries, ethnic culture, and fresh atmosphere make Ravangla worth visiting.
Some of the popular places to visit here are the famous Buddha Park, Bonn Monastery, Ralong Monastery, Kewzing, a few mysterious caves, etc. When in Ravangla, you can also go for short village tours to Yangang, Tinkitam, Kewzing, Barfung, and Bakh villages.
(5) Borong – popular for its hotspring
Borong is yet another beautiful village in South Sikkim near Ravangla. This quaint village in the south has recently gained famed due to its increasing popularity of eco-tourism and other village activities. The forests and the valleys of Borong are unspoiled and is an ideal place for visitors who are seeking for tranquillity and some refreshment amidst nature.
One of the many popular reasons of Borong’s popularity is its scared hot spring. Located at the end of the valleys and on the edge of River Rangeet is a famous hot spring of Borong. This hot spring is considered sacred, and it is believed that whoever bathes or dips in it will get cured of their disease and sickness or at least make it better.
This place in the South District of Sikkim is perfect for nature lovers. There are many homestays where travellers can stay. Borong also offers spectacular views of the beautiful snow-capped mountains and you can enjoy the sight of the sun rays kissing these snow peaks at dawn.
(6) Tendong Hill in South Sikkim
Situated above a place called Damthang, Tendong Hill is also a famous tourist attraction in South Sikkim. This hill offers breath-taking views of nature that no one can avoid. Tendong Hill is a peaceful place and due to its tranquillity and serenity, monks and mostly followers of Buddhism reside in this place.
Tendong Hill can be reached by trekking from Damthang or a 13 km drive from Ravangla, South Sikkim. This trekking trail passes through thick green vegetation covered with rich flora and wildlife. Any adventure enthusiast will love to trek through this trail and enjoy the sights of the Himalayan range and the valleys below it from the top of the hill.
These are just a few of the places to visit in South Sikkim but there are more. With the increasing popularity of village tourism, almost every village offers astonishing activities and areas to explore and indulge in. South Sikkim is one of the popular districts of the state that is loved by most of the travellers who visit Sikkim. It not only offers amazing spots, views, and places to explore and indulge in adventurous activities but also reflects the rich culture of the people of Sikkim.