Namchi, meaning Sky-High, nestled among the hills at an elevation of 5500ft. commands panoramic view of the snow-capped mountains and cast stretches of valley. It is also the Head Quarter of the South district. Anyone visiting West Sikkim has to traverse through the South District before entering the West. The area is fast developing into a tourist destination with its immense potential for all round tourist activities. It is about 78 kms form Gangtok and 100 kms from Siliguri.
Tshamgang Park (Rock garden):
Situated at around 4 km above Namchi, just below the towering structure of Guru Padmasambhava on the Namchi-Gangtok State Highway lies this beautiful garden. This place usually serves as a picnic spot for the tourist. One can also get a panoramic view of Mount Khanchendzonga, Pelling, Pemayangtse, Gyalshing and Darjeeling. This place is specially a hit with the children because of its recreational amenities.
Sikkim’s homage to its patron saint Guru Padmasambhava is at Samdruptse 8 kms from Namchi and it is already attracting visitors by hundreds. The 135 ft. tall statue of Guru Rimpoche, which can be seen from west and south Sikkim and even as far as from Darjeeling is a marvel of architecture.It also offers a panoramic view of Mt. Kanchendzonga, Darjeeling , Kalim- pong and the eastern border of Nepal.
This picturesque town in the backdrop of Mt.Khanchendzonga with horses grazing on the grassy stretches reminds one of a western countryside. At the base of Menam Hill Ravangla is a transit to various tourist destinations in South and West Sikkim. It is also and up-coming tourist spot and transit point for trekkers to Menam Hill and Borong.
Maenam, 12 km Uphill trek from Ravangla is a traditional meditation site for the monks. It is also a vantage location for a spectacular view of the mountains at sunrise. Maenam hilltop is at 10,600 ft is 3 km through the Maenam wildlife Sanctuary teeming with Magnolia Rhododendron and small bamboos. The forest is a riot of colors during spring (March – April). A Natural habitat of the Red Panda, Himalayan Black Bear and many species of deer.
Another half an hour walk on the same ridge takes you to Bhaledunga a peculiar looking cliff that resembles the head of a cock (Bhale in local language). This distinctive looking feature can be seen from miles away and during the olden days it was used as a guiding landmark for travelers.
Above Damthang, overlooking South District headquarter town Namchi, there is a small flat stretch of land at an altitude of 8,530 ft surrounded by lush green ancient forest which is popularly known as the Tendong Hill. From other parts of Sikkim Tendong Hill looks like a volcano - and legend has it that it was in fact once an active volcano which is now dormant.
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.
Ralang / Borong Cha-chu
Tsa-Chu or hot sulphur springs at Ralang & Borong are traditional winter spas visited by the locals as well as by people from far away Bhutan and Nepal. Visitors spend a week or more dipped in these springs that have medicinal properties believed to cure many skin & other ailments of joints, bones & muscles.
TEMI TEA GARDEN:
Established only in 1965, Temi Tea Estate is built over the remains of a forestry and nursery. Its landmark, an old British bungalow, was built by Scottish missionaries in the early 1900’s and used to serve as a leprosy hospital but was later acquired by the state. . The produce from this garden has a rare combination of liquor and flavor and fetches some of the highest rates offered in the international markets.