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SOUTH SIKKIM - PARADISE ON EARTH

 
 


RAVANGLA
(6,800 ft.), saddles the ridge between Maenam Hill (10,600 ft) & Tendong Hill (8,530 ft.). It is the sub-divisional headquarter of South district & is famous for the panoramic view of the snow peaks especially of Mt. Narsing (19,170 ft. high). Just above the town is the Tibetan Refugee Settlement Camp, which houses the Kheunpheling Carpet Centre where one can buy fine Tibetan style woolen carpets.
It is also a transit point for trekkers who wish to go for a short trek to Maenam Hill, Tendong Hill & Borong Hot Spring. A trek down to the sacred cave ‘Shar Chok Bephu” one of the four holiest caves in Sikkim, would be a memorable experience.
 

  Places to See
   
 

TEMI TEA GARDEN
Sikkim tea which is mainly grown in this Temi Tea Estate is famous the world over & carries a big premium in the International market. The tea is characterised by its exotic taste & flavour & costs about Rs 100 a kilogram. It sells by the brand name of “Solja” & “Kanchendzonga” & it is a good idea to carry a few packets back home. Enroute Ravangla Temi Tea garden is an opportunity to see how the aromatic leaves are grown and processed with a visit to the factory.

   
 

RALANG MONASTERY
13 kms from Ravangla are the two monasteries at Ralang, which follow the Kagyupa sect of Buddhism. The old monastery was built in 1768 AD & legend has it that the 9th Karmapa, head of the Kagyupa sect, blessed the site of the monastery with grains of rice thrown from Tibet. “Pang Lhabsol” the worship of Mt. Khanchendzonga & “Kagyed Chaam”(masked dances) are held every year.
The new monastery – “Palchen Choeling Monastic Institute” was built by the XIIth Gyaltsab Rimpochee & completed in 1995. The sacred Mahakala Dance is held here every year in the month of November.
 

 

SAMDRUPTSE
Samdruptse literally means ‘wish fulfilling hill’ in the bhutia language. Situated near Namchi in south Sikkim it is at a distance of 75 kms from Gangtok. A unique, awe inspiring gigantic 135 ft. tall statue of Guru Padmasambhava is one of the tallest statue of its kind in the world. This statue designed & constructed under the supervision of Kyabje Dodrupchen Rimpochee, conceptualized by Shri Pawan Chamling, the Chief Minister of Sikkim is a glowing tribute to the patron saint who blessed Sikkim in the 8th Century & whose teachings permeate the very ethos of the State. His Holiness the Dalai Lama laid the foundation stone of the statue on 22nd October 1997.
What started off, as a logistic nightmare is today the world’s tallest testament of faith.

 
   
 

SOLOPHUK
The place is regarded highly sacred by the Hindus & a gigantic statue of Lord Shiva as equally big as Guru Padmasambhava’ s statue is coming up. This place is soon going to be one of the most ideal points which is a must visit tourist destination as well as a famous pilgrimage place for the hindus.