Namchi is the capital of the South Sikkim in the Indian state of Sikkim. The Namchi means Sky (Nam) High (Chi) in Bhutia. Namchi is the headquarters of South District of Sikkim which is the second most populated district in the State. It is situated at an altitude of 1675 m above sea level and is around 78 Km from the state capital Gangtok. The Namchi literally means 'Sky High'. Namchi is also the closest major Sikkim city to West Bengal. Namchi is just 100 Km from Siliguri. The district headquarter is fast becoming an important tourist destination in Sikkim for some of the best trek routes around. While on the treks, you can witness the magical beauty of this sedate town. Namchi is also an important pilgrimage destination as it has the revered Namchi Monastery
Namchi is located at [show location on an interactive map] 27.17° N 88.35° E. It has an average elevation of 1315 metres (4314 feet). Namchi is situated at an altitude of 1,675 m (5500 feet) above sea level. It is situated at a distance of 78 km from the state capital Gangtok and 100 km from the town of Siliguri, the nearest railhead and airport. Namchi lies off the road between Melli and Jorethang. Namchi is well connected to other towns in Sikkim and West Bengal. Jeeps and buses regularly ply between Namchi to Gangtok, Pelling, Jorethang, Kalimpong and Siliguri.
As of 2001 India census, Namchi had a population of 978. Males constitute 59% of the population and females 41%. Namchi has an average literacy rate of 78%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 81%, and female literacy is 73%. In Namchi, 9% of the population is under 6 years of age. Most of the people of Namchi are Buddhists. Languages spoken are Nepali, Hindi, and English.
Namchi is fast becoming a major tourist spot and pilgrimage center. The Namchi monastery, Ralong monastery and Tedong Hill are important Buddhist pilgrimage centers. The world's largest statue (at 118 feet) of the Buddhist Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, the patron saint of Sikkim, is on the Samdruptse hill opposite Namchi. It was completed in February 2004. The 118 foot statue of Guru Rinpoche in Namchi, South Sikkim. The 118 foot statue of Guru Rinpoche in Namchi, South Sikkim. Near the town, Sikkim's sole tea estate — the Temi Tea Gardens is situated. The tea carries are premium the world over and costs around Rs. 200/- a kg. The tea is marked by its exotic odour and flavour. In the month of February, the Namchi garden hosts it annual flower show. The flower show is the largest in Sikkim with flowers in a riot of colors. The prime attraction of this show is the display of exotic and rare orchids. One of the highlights of the town is the football stadium – the Baichung Stadium built by the Sikkimese government in honor of its most famous citizen, footballer Baichung Bhutia. Namchi is also the base of the chief minister of Sikkim, Pawan Kumar Chamling. Historically, Namchi was the place where Pende Ongmoo, the trecherous princess who poisoned one of the Chogyals of Sikkim, was caught and killed for her deed. Legend says her spirit still haunts the foothills of Ghurpisey.
Places of Interests In Namchi
135 ft high is the tallest statue of statue of Guru Padmasambhava in the world. Located on a soaring hilltop, 7.5 km from the marketplace, the spot also offers some spectacular sights. One can also catch some fabulous sunrise and sunset upon this "wish fulfilling hill" (for that is what 'Samdruptse means in Bhutia). The foundation stone of the landmark was laid by H.H. the Dalai Lama in October 1997 and the enormous statue was finally completed and consecrated in November 2003.
One of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim, it was constructed in the reign of the Chogyal Chakdor Namgyal around 1700 AD. 'Ngadak' means promise and one could discover some moments of bliss in the monastery lying around 3 km from Namchi.
Serdup Cheling Monastery and Duchen Cheling
Belonging to the Nyingmapa Buddhist sect, this monastery is located about a kilometer from the marketplace.
Though still under construction, world is around that is site will contain replicas of the holy pilgrimage sites of the Hindus, the 'Chhar Dhaams', It is here that plans of an enormous Shiva idol, temples representing the 'Char Dhaam' and the cultural center are gradually taking shape. This scared site is about 5 km from the town.
One could not only shop for the most exotic pieces of local craft here but also take a peek at seasoned craftsmen immersed in work 2 km from the marketplace. Take away your choicest pick of hand knit woolens with traditional designs and patterns.
Kanchanjunga Handicrafts Center
Situated at Ally Dara close to the Serdup Choeling Monastery it is a treasure trove of exquisite handicrafts run by the first national award winners in handicrafts.
The Rock Garden
This recreation park with tranquil surroundings and great mountain views is an ideal picnic spot, distance is about 5 km from the town.
Salleybong Bul Cave
Also known as the 'wishing cave' in local circles, this is a holy site of Hindus. Distance from town is about 30 minutes drive.
Tirikhola Dancing Falls
Its a 30-minute downhill drive from Namchi to get this attractive waterfall but an alternative foot-trail is quicker.
Timi Tea Garden
Timi Tea Garden is spread around an area of 500 acres of undulating hill-slopes, this picturesque tea garden is famous for it's tea garden is famous for it's 'tea' and known for it's unusual flavor. The autumn bloom of the cherry trees lining the road through the estate is indeed one of the most gorgeous sight. One can also see tea being processed in the factory. About 18 km from town.
Tendong State biodiversity Park
This park is about 16 km from the town, repository of invaluable species of Himalayan medicinal plants and is looked after by the Forest Department. It is also preserved for the conservation of these rare species.
Rayong Sunrise View Point
Laying en route to Ravangla, 16 km fro the town, this fascinating spot offers stunning views of sunrise flaring up the snowy peak of Mount Narshing, Jopuno Kabur and Pandim.
Just 5 km from town. For a unique village experience one could put up at the model village in Assangthang. With 75 huts, solar lighting system and exquisitely brick paved paths amidst peaceful farmlands and warmhearted village-folk, it offers an unforgettable experience of modern rural life.
Namchi is around 90 km from NJP, the nearest railway station. From Bagdogra (only airport) is about 96 km.
- [Wikipedia] : Content was retrieved from here, unless modified.