South Sikkim – Yet to be explored
Montains, monasteries and mist define Sikkim, however, South Sikkim has lot of surprises in store for you. A holiday in Sikkim for a normal traveler would mean a visit to its capital i.e Gangtok, or a visit to Pelling, which is totally crowded during the peak seasons. For those looking for a bit of solitude and want to beat the tourist rush, South Sikkim has many hidden treasures.
The climate is very pleasant all the year round. South Sikkim is beautiful and has the only tea garden in Sikkimn i.e Temi Tea Garden. It is an ideal destination for making your travel holiday a memorable one. Temi Tea Garden is spread over a sprawling area of the hill overlooking the Teesta River. We had the opportunity to stay amidst the tea garden in a nice resort. It was blissful experience.
FIRST FLUSH OF SPRING
Cherry Trees are abundant in Namchi (Sikkim)
My recent visit was to Namchi, which boasts of a pilgrimage cum cultural center at Solophok — Char Dham Complex — and one of the tallest statue of Guru Padmasambhva at Sandruptse. This statue was unveiled on Feb 18, 2004 and is one of the major tourist attractions. The foundation of this monastery was laid by the Holy Dalai Lama in the year 1997. Sandruptse lies between Damthang and Namchi. This monastery is located on top of Sandruptse, from where you get a panaromic view of the mountains range and the valley. Guru Padmasambhva is the founder saint of the Nyngmipa sect to which most of the monasteries in Sikkim belong. The statue is around 135ft in height and can be viewed from far.
As you enter the Sandruptse Monastry, huge prayer flags on one side of the entrance are a sight to behold.
That’s not all, South Sikkim also has boasts of a huge Char Dham complex christened “Siddhesvara Dham” with a towering statue of Lord Shiva. As I entered the Dham, I was totally in awe of this huge complex situated right on top of the hill overlooking the mountains and the valley.
This pilgrimage cum cultural center is must-see as it has a replica of Jagganath Puri, Badrinath, Rameswaram and Dwarka. It also has 12 jyotirlings i.e. Somnath, Nageshwar, Trimbakeshwar, BhimaShankar, Rameshwaram, Sri Sailam, Omkareshwar and Mahakaleshwar, Baidynath, Vishwanath, Kedarnath, Grsihneshar.
A visit to this place takes you into another world as the location and the environment is just perfect to connect with the divine energy , which I felt overflowing since the surroundings were in total harmony with the concept of Char Dham — all located at one place at such a height.
The best part is that you have accommodation right inside the Char-Dham Complex Premises. It is a perfect place for travelers who want to spend some time in solitude with only divine intervention. The place is picture perfect to seek solace, rejuvenate you, connect with the divine and spend some wonderful time in amazing surroundings.
The Complex has very good cafeteria and restaurant where you can relish variety of food at reasonable rates.
After visiting these places, we stayed at Temi Tea Garden but one can also stay at the accommodation at Char Dham complex.
My small sojourn to South Sikkim came to an end and was an experience to behold. I wanted to experience more but due to time constraint, had to rush back. The trip was a memorable one with sweet memories.