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South Sikkim

Namchi, the district headquarters, is a well laid out township that has major monasteries like Ahlay Monastery of the Tamang community and Ngadak Monastery nearby The 135 ft. high statue of Guru Padmasambhava at Samdruptse has already become popular among tourists and the locals alike. Around 6 kms. from Namchi town, just above Ngadak Monastery, is the beautiful Rock Garden where one can find some of the rare flowers, orchids and timbur; a sour citrus that is a medicinal plant for liver and chest congestion. The garden is created artificially and has a children’s playground, which may be among the highest in the world.
PLACES TO VISIT AT SOUTH SIKKIM :
1.State Biodiversity Park and Medicinal Plants and Herbal Garden
On the way from Singtam going towards Namchi, one is greeted by miles and miles of green shrubbery of Temi Tea Estate, an organic tea
garden. Fourteen kms north of Namchi is the State Biodiversity Park and Medicinal Plants and Herbal Garden, the first park of its kind to
come up in the entire country. This park is not only a representative conservation unit for the sub-tropical and temperate flora and fauna
of the state but also a major centre for nature education, awareness and recreation.
2.Ravangla
Ravangla (6,800 fi), saddles the ridge between Meanam (10,600 fi) and Tendong (8,500 ft) It is the sub divisional headquarters of the South district of Sikkim. This sleepy little town and its surrounding villages come alive during the Pang Lhabsol celebrations to worship                       Mt. Khangchendzonga, the guardian deity of Sikkim when the spectacular Warrior Dance is performed by the locals at the Mani Chokarling Monastery. Just above the town is the Tibetan Refugee Settlement Camp, which houses the Kheunpheling Carpet Center were one can buy fine Tibetan style woollen carpets.
3.Singalila Range
Witness the first rays of the sun on the snowy peaks of Mt. Narsing, Jopuno, Kabur, Rathong and Pandim of the Singalila range. A spectacle to behold on the road to Damthang, 8kms. from Ravangla.

 

4.Temi Tea Estate
Situated 18 kms. from Ravangla is the Temi Tea Estate, the only tea garden in Sikkim. Established in the 1960’s by the last king, Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal, the tea produced here has a rare combination of liquor and flavor and fetches some of the highest rates
offered in the international markets. Visitors can observe the processing of the tea in the factory and buy tea there at the sales outlet.
5.Tinkitam
Tinkitam is a quaint Sikkimese village 6 km from Ravangla and the natural habitat of a rare species of orchid- Paphiopedilum Fairrieanum or lady’s slipper, as it is commonly known. Unlike most wild orchids which grow on trees, this orchid is terrestrial and flowers in October/November. Legend has it that the 12th Karmapa, head of the Kagyupa sect, gave his blessings by throwing some grains of rice from Tibet; on the site where these grains of rice landea was bult the Karma Rabtenling Monastery in 1768. Pang Lhabsol and Kagyed (masked dances) are held every year. The new monastery,Palchen Choeling Monastery Institute was built by XII Gyaltsab Rinpoche and completed in 1995. It is the site of the sacred Mahakala Dance performed every November.
6.Tsa-chu
The Tsa-chu or hot sulphur springs at Ralong, Legship and Borong are the traditional spas visited by the locals as well as by visitors from Nepal and Bhutan. These springs have medicinal properties believed to cure many skin and other ailments of joints, bones and muscles For overnight stays, temporary huts are available at nominal rates.
PLACES FOR TREKKING
7.Meanam Peak
Meanam peak (10,600 f) is a 12-km up-hill trek from Ravangla. The route winds through a thick forest of oak, chestnut, magnolia and
rhododendrons. A natural habitat of the Red Panda, Himalayan black bear, Barking and Musk deer this area is designated as a
wildlife sanctuary. A short distance away, above Yangang village is the legendary “Bhaley Dunga” a rocky spur resembling a rooster’s
comb.
8.Tendong Hill
Tendong Hill (8500 ft)- the name means ‘upraised horn’ in Lepcha. According to legend when the land was submerged in a great flood
Tendong hill rose up like a horn to save the Lepchas. Even today, with the arrival of the monsoons prayers are offered from the Hilltop that the calamity does not recur. A spectacular panoramic view of Sikkim and the distant plains of Bengal reward those who brave the climb up the hill.

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