Samdruptse Hill in Sikkim is an interesting destination to visit. In the Bhutia language, the name Samdruptse means 'wish fulfilling hill' and the place is a famous pilgrimage centre of Sikkim. Samdruptse lies close to Namchi in the South Sikkim region. It is at about 75 km from Gangtok.
The hill has gained popularity for the presence of a gigantic statue of Guru Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche - the patron saint of Sikkim who is believed to have blessed the land of Sikkim.
The statue is about 135 ft tall and is the tallest figurine of his in the world. The foundation stone for the statue was laid by Dalai Lama in the year 1997 and the construction of the statue was completed in about three years of time. The construction was sponsored by the Sikkim State Government.
Char Dham is a popular pilgrimage destination of Sikkim which also has some interesting history connected to it. The principle deity here is Lord Shiva. Char Dham is situated about 5 km from the town of Namchi on the Solophok Hills. It is believed that during the Kurukshetra war between the Kauravas and Pandavas, this place was where Arjuna worshipped Lord Shiva.
It is also believed that Lord Shiva, pleased with Arjuna, appeared before him as a hunter and blessed him which helped the Pandavas in winning the war. The Chardham covers about 7 acres of land. It consists of a huge idol of Lord Shiva which is about 16 ft tall.
Apart from a structure of Rameshwar where the idol of Lord Shiva is erected, the Char Dham complex also contains structures that resemble Badrinath, Jaganath and Dwarka that are dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
The temple complex is divided into 4 parts – the statue of Lord Shiva along with 12 jyothirlingas, four dhams, a Sai Baba Mandir and the Kirateshwar Statue besides the Nandi Bull.
The “Temi Tea” is popular among the tea lovers around the world. This is produced in the Temi Tea Garden in Sikkim which is the only tea garden here. It is perhaps one of the best tea gardens of the world. The Temi Tea Garden was established in the year 1969 by the government of Sikkim.
The best quality tea produced here is the Temi Tea and the next tea that is best in quality is known by the name “Sikkim Solja” which is followed by “Mystique” and “Kanchenjunga Tea”. The tea estate has also adopted the organic method of tea production instead of the conventional method. This has made the estate to be called as the ‘organic garden’.
Since this project was completed recently, the estate has started exporting organic tea in small quantities only to a few countries. Interestingly, the Temi Tea also holds the privilege of having got the highest bid at the Kolkata Tea Auction. If you are a tea lover, this is a place you shouldn’t miss paying a visit to!
The Tendong Hill is located at an altitude of 8530 ft above sea level. It is a dormant volcano. Folklore has it that the horns were raised to rescue people when the land was drowned in floods. Thus it came to be later known as Tendong which locally means "the hill of the raised horn".
The Tendong Hill was a place where the lamas used to meditate for years. The hill is a popular trekking destination of Sikkim. The 6 km trek up the hill would take you through thick forests that are rich in flora and fauna.
The Rock Garden lies between Namchi and Samdruptse. It has a lot of plants, flowers and trees. The garden also has several waiting sheds and beautiful view points too. It also has a cafeteria which serves tea and coffee to the travellers who stop to take rest during their trips.
The Helipad is located about 5 km away from the town of Namchi at an altitude of around 5000 ft above sea level. It provides amazing views of Mt. Kanchenjunga and its surroundings. The rolling plains of Bengal can also be viewed from here. The Temi Tea Garden can also be seen from this view point.
Dak Bunglow, which is famously known as the Ari-Bangla, was built by Sir James Claude White who was the first political officer of Sikkim during the British rule in India. The Bunglow is known for its British architecture.