Kazan Cathedral, Saint Petersburg

Tuesday, 14 June 2016


Google Maps: Namchi, Sikkim, India
  • Take a cab to cover Samdruptse and Char Dham. They are in opposite directions so it will take couple hours each to cover them. We paid 10$ for this.
  • Stay in Namchi although its a small city. A better plan is to move to Darjeeling or Gangtok and spend the evening there. Both are three hours away from Namchi.
  • Start early if you are not staying at Namchi. Late in the evening the availability of transport options to move out of the city simply dry up.
Namchi came up on tripadvisor as one of the top five destinations within Sikkim. It was roughly on our way from Gangtok to Darjeeling so we went for it. How wrong we were. Not that Namchi disappointed us, but the road from Namchi to Darjeeling is so much in tatters that we were jittery all the way.

Shiva Statue, Namchi

We reached Namchi at 1.30. The last vehicle from Jorethang was to leave at 4. Jorethang itself was 15 miles away. Consequently we had a tight schedule at hand. Namchi is an innocent city by the look of it. People are polite. We got a cab who agreed to take us round and leave us at Jorethang before 4.

He drove fast and we reached our first spot in no time. This one was a 36 metre high statue of Guru Rinposhe near a monastery called Samdruptse. The mammoth size against a clear sky was some sight. We took a round and quickly decided to move to the even bigger attraction Namchi boasts of.

This one is a set of replicas of all major religious centres in India spread on a hilltop. The uphill road is short and in perfect condition. While we were entering, my first impression was the thought that went into designing this facility. The parking has a capacity of 500 vehicles comfortably. There is a ticket to park and enter.

Inside the hilltop is divided into blocks, all of them leading to the gigantic Shiva statue at the end. Located in the backdrop of green hills on sides and blue sky upwards, the statue is truly awe-inspiring. We covered a good part, collected prasad and started moving towards Jorethang.

The last scheduled minibus for Darjeeling refused to leave as it was looking for at least 12 passengers and we were 2 of us. We ended up paying for all 12 and reached Darjeeling by 6 but not without a fare share of adventure on the way.