Our second day in Sikkim in north east India was even more interesting and hectic as we had plans to visit the beautiful southern part of the state to a place called Namchi.
After a sumptuous continental breakfast at the Saramsa resort our driver picked us up from the resort and we were off towards Namchi. As we drove out of the Gangtok the landscape started to change immediately and and we started our ascend along the snaky hill roads. The bubbling and bursting Teesta river was flowing by the side of the road as we started and within an hour it turned into a tiny ribbon down below as we drove up and up. The vegetation started to change as well and the air became more fresh and cool as we made our first stop near the picturesque Temi Tea Gardens.
The Temi estate is entirely organic and we bought two packets of the tea from the stalls that were right across the street. The spot is dotted with tiny tea stalls and it was quite an experience sipping tea and gorging on some hot piping momos, a delicacy of north east India. We didn’t feel like leaving the spot but our driver insisted that we should carry on towards the next attraction called the Samdruptse Monastery. The place is atop a hill and as we walked towards the monastery we were dwarfed by the giant Padmasambhava Statue looking over us.
As we climbed up the hill and walked around the statue we were suddenly engulfed by clouds and the environment changed in an instant.
We were truly in the midst of Himalayas where weather could change in an instant. For city dwellers like us the experience was truly out of the world and for the first time we experienced a chill on our skin.
Locals told us that on a sunny day the giant statue made out of copper shimmers in the light and is visible for miles.
Right next to the monastery are interesting memento shops that are full of very interesting trinkets and items. We did buy our own Buddhist hand held prayer wheel and we took turns to rotate it, sending prayers and good vibes across the world. The road to Namchi was not that good and by the time we came out of the Samdruptse Monastery we had time only for the next attraction called Char Dham. This important Hindu pilgrimage site in north east India is spread across 29 hectares of sprawling landscape atop the Solophok hill.
The entire complex is very well maintained and as we walked in our attention was immediately caught by the massive statue of the Hindu God Shiva right in the middle. It appeared to us that the statute is clearly visible from every corner of the complex and later we learned that that is the very theme of this pilgrimage site. Right near the entrance of the site is a place where visitors are required to leave their shoes and we will not forget it for a while now it seems. As we collected our shoes and sat down on a bench to put them on, Sarmistha casually put our handy-cam next to her and completely forgot about it. We went away, got into roadside restaurant, had our lunch and were about to start our journey back to Gangtok when we realised that our camera was missing. There was no point going back as I knew it’s gone but to be very honest we were sad because we lost the footage that we shot on our way and our readers missed a very interesting video that we were planning to make. Anyways, now I have all the reasons to go for a new one and I know that I have used my handy-cam enough.
Our trip to Namchi in the southern part of Sikkim was worth every bit of it and right now I can cite one thousand different reasons to visit again. The images of the snaky mountain roads, the alpine vegetation, the rolling tea gardens fleet across our minds even today and we know we are going back soon. If you guys ever decide to visit Sikkim in north east India any time in future don’t forget to include Namchi in your itinerary. We bet you will not regret it and do write to us if you need the details of our driver. He is the best!