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Namchi Tourism And Travel Guide
18.5° C / 65.3° F
March to June
2 to 3 Days
Bagdogra Airport, West Bengal (103 kms)
New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (96 kms)
An important tourist spot in the southern regions of Sikkim, Namchi is often known as the Cultural Capital of this north-eastern state. Namchi, the name translated to ‘Sky High’, is situated at an altitude of over 1600 m and features breathtaking views of Mt. Kanchenjunga along with numerous other peaks in the region. Its location also favors the opportunity to explore activities like short treks, camping and river rafting, along with numerous monuments that form an integral part of tourism in Namchi.
This charming little town is also widely known for being home to two of the largest religious statues in the world, which has people from all over the world traveling to this region to witness this spectacle themselves. Here is a brief travel guide to help you make the most out of your next trip to Namchi.
How to Reach
The Bagdogra Airport is the nearest airspace from Namchi, which connects to all major cities in India. Upon landing in Bagdogra, private cabs can be hired to reach Namchi directly; it is located just over a 100 km away and can be reached in less than 4 hours. There are also helicopter services operating between Bagdogra and Namchi, which has a helipad.
New Jalpaiguri Railway Station is the closest railhead from the town of Namchi, and it is well connected to all major cities in the country. There are regularly operating buses and taxis from New Jalpaiguri that will take you to Namchi directly.
Namchi is well connected to neighboring cities in Sikkim and also to West Bengal through a good network of roadways. Tourists can use the services of regular state-run as well as private buses that operate between Gangtok, Yuksom and Pelling to Namchi, along with the option of hiring private taxis to take you to Namchi directly. Outside Sikkim, buses and cabs run regularly from Darjeeling, New Jalpaiguri, Siliguri and Bagdogra to Namchi.
Weather & Best Time to Visit
Summer (March – June):
Summertime is the best season to visit Namchi. The temperature varies between a pleasant 4ᴼC-12ᴼC and rarely reaches a maximum of 28ᴼC. It features the most ideal weather for all sightseeing and outdoor activities.
Monsoon (July – September):
Monsoon weather is not a suitable time to visit Namchi, as it experiences very heavy rainfall and frequent storms in this region. The unpredictable weather hinders traveling and other kinds of outdoor activities as well. The temperature, however, remains in a pleasant range of 5ᴼC-13ᴼC.
Winter (October – February):
Although winters in Namchi are quite extreme, with temperatures that can dip as low as -15ᴼC during the months of December and January, visitors still flock to this region in this season to experience the snowy mountain peaks and views of the landscapes blanketed with snow.
Things to Do
Visit the Temples & Monasteries:
Namchi is home to a number of religious monuments that not only figure significantly as pilgrimage sites for the devotees, but also as culturally important tourist spots that define the heritage of Namchi. The famous statue of Guru Padmasambhava here is the tallest of its kind in the world, along with the gigantic Shiva statue that features as an important landmark as well. Some of the notable monasteries that are worth a visit are the Ngadak monastery and the Serdup Choling Monastery.
Ropeway between Samdruptse Hill & Namchi Rock Garden:
Cable cars are operated on a ropeway between Samdruptse Hill and the Rock Garden, and are one of the tourist highlights in Namchi. Visitors have the option to combine their trip to the giant Padmasambhava statue on Samdruptse Hill with a visit to the beautiful Rock Garden through an enjoyable cable car trip that connects the two regions.
Tendong Hill is a popular location for short trekking trips, apart from being a religiously important peak for the locals who believe it protects them from floods. Tarey Bhir is also a beautiful location at 3000 m, which offers some of the most amazing views in the region after a steep climb.
Namchi has its very own helipad for those who are interested in enjoying the views of this picturesque town from a higher altitude. Apart from having the option to explore this region from among the clouds in a helicopter, the location of the helipad itself offers some great views of the surrounding landscapes.
Sikkim and its rivers are famous among sports enthusiasts for their wide range of water activities on offer; among these, River Rangit is well known in Namchi for being a fabulous spot for trying out river rafting and even angling activities.
The Namchi Mahotsav held each year is a popular food festival that also includes cultural shows, and is held in the month of October, with throngs of tourists flocking to experience this local celebration of the region’s heritage. The Annual Flower Show takes place between February-March, marking a significant moment in the busiest time of the year in Namchi.
Where To Eat
Namchi is not the kind of place you visit to explore its food varieties; it is all about the scenic landmarks and beautiful locations here. Nonetheless, you will still find some truly interesting restaurants here that have become quite well known in the region over the years. Eateries like Kafal Restaurant, Crumbs N’ Whip, Yatri Niwas and Adonai Restaurant feature as some of the popular places to eat in Namchi, and serve everything from regional to continental and western influence food.