A Brief Resume Of South District


 
 
          South District of Sikkim lies at an altitude of 400 mtr to 2000 mtr with unique and countryside escape of endless waves of  agricultural fields and the terraced slopes, intercepted by spring patched forests and encompasses a total area of around 75000 hectares. Area wise, it is the smallest district of Sikkim and population-wise, second one. Its total population is 1,31,506 (as per 2001 census) among which 68,227 are male and 63279 female. Namchi or Namtse (meaning Sky High) is the headquarter of South Sikkim, which is nestled among the hills having elevation of 5500 fts and which commands panoramic view of snowcapped mountains and vast stretches of valley. Namchi is around 78 km away from the capital Gangtok and is the closest major Sikkim city to Siliguri (around 85 km), which is gateway to enter in Sikkim from West Bengal. The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) (around 105 km) and nearest Airport is Bagdogra (around 110 km) from Namchi. The Melli check post is the entry point to South District from West Bengal.
         
           Simple and religious people, some of the oldest monasteries, great scenic beauty, agricultural society and peace & tranquility is the identity of South Sikkim and it is known as fastest growing industrial area. South Sikkim  has variety  of climatic conditions and average annual rainfall of 162.5 cms. Maximum temperature recorded so far on the average is 17-27 Degree Celsius  and minimum 02-21 Degree Celsius. Ngadak Gumpa in Namchi and Ralong Gumpa in Ravangla are among the oldest monasteries of South Sikkim. 135 ft statue of Guru Padmasambhava is built at Samdruptse in Namchi which is surrounded by lush   green forest and is located below the famous Tendong Hills. Other important places are Ravangla, Tendong Hills, Mainam Hill, Borong and Jorethang. Namchi has been identified as the land or orchids and other variety of flowers.  
         
         Namchi  and Ravangla are sub-divisions of the district and Namchi, Jorethang, Melli and Ravangla are important towns. Kitam Bird Sanctuary, which is around 14 km from Namchi at an altitude of 2200 ft, is the only low altitude sanctuary in Sikkim, spread over 6 kms of area. South district has 8 Assembly Constituencies, 1 Municipal Council, 1 Nagar Panchayat, 7 Municipal Wards, 45 Gram Panchayat Units and 225 Wards.


        
In the vein of other districts of Sikkim, the South district is not behind in any case whether talking about its natural splendor or fresh towns. Namchi, being the headquarters of the South Sikkim district, enjoys the authority over the region. The striking tourist attractions of the district offer many reasons to visit the place for once. Subsequently, there are many tours that can be taken in South Sikkim.

         After East Sikkim District, this is the only district that embraces a major part of Sikkim's population. On account of accessibility of plain lands, South district is also the most commercialized district of Sikkim. Temi Tea Garden distinguishes the South district for being among the leading tea producer of India. Ranging between the altitudes of 400 meters to 2000 meters, South Sikkim District observes temperate climate for most of the time. There are numerous sight-seeing points, monasteries, gardens, hills, waterfalls and trekking zones that really allure anyone to come here. The natural splendor in the district is not less bewitching and engages the spectator in its heavenly charm. In this section, we will discuss the various tourist attractions of South Sikkim to give you a comprehensive idea about the touring places. Read further to know about the tours to South Sikkim in India.
 



Places Of Interest

Namchi

Namchi , meaning sky high, nestled among the hills at an elevation of 5500 ft., commands panoramic view of the snow capped mountains and vast stretches of valley. it is also the HQ of the south district. The area is fast developing into a tourist destination with its immense potential for all round tourist activities. It is about 78 kms. from Gangtok and 100 kms. from Siliguri.


Tendong Hill


Above Damthang, overlooking South District Headquarter town Namchi, there is a small flat stretch of land at an altitude of 8530 ft.,surrounded by lush green ancient forest which is popularly known as the Tendong Hill. Historically, this has been a place of recluse for Buddhist Lamas who spend years in meditation amidst the silent scenic grandeur. The view from the top of the Tendong Hill is something to be cherished and enjoyed as it spans across plains of Bengal to the majestic heights of the Himalayan Ranges. One can also proceed to Namtse by trekking via Tendong Hill following the traditional route used in the old days. Such trekking is also possible throughout the year except during monsoons, that is if one is scared of ubiquitous leaches.




 


Ravangla

At the base of Maenam Hill is Ravangla, a small township and transit to various tourist destinations in South Sikkim and West Sikkim . It is also an upcoming tourist spot, and transit point for trekkers to Maenam Hill and Borong. There are accommodation facilities and numerous short nature trails. A trek down to the sacred cave "Shar Chok Bephu" , one of the holiest caves in Sikkim.




Maenam Hill

Maenam towers above Tendong Hill on the other side overlooking the Ravangla Bazar settlement. situated at an altitude of 10,300 ft., the scenic view from this height is, perhaps, unmatched in this part of the world. The trek from Maenam from Ravangla takes about 4 hrs. and from Maenam Hill-Top one has the option to take the gentle trek to Borong village .


Borong

Facing the snow-capped mountains is Borong motorable from Ravangla or a trek via Maenam. A picturesque village with beautiful landscape and magnificent view is also host to the hot spring "Borong Tsa-Chu" . The trek trail, originating from Namchi or Damthang to Tendong-Ravangla-Maenam-Borong (5 to 6 days) is one of the most interesting trials scaling the hill tops along the route.

Varsey

It lies at an elevation of 10,000 ft. and has motorable roads access up to Hilley. An easy 4 kms. trek from there takes one up to the Varsey rhododendron sanctuary . One can also trek from Soreng or Dentam in West Sikkim.

 

 

 

Varsey Complete with Flowers

    NEXT