8 things to do in South Sikkim

People usually skip the South district in favor of the more famous and beautiful north and west districts of Sikkim however South Sikkim has plenty to offer. In this blog, I write about things to do in South Sikkim and how to reach different places.


How to reach?

The most prominent city in the South district is Namchi. We took a cab from Pelling in West Sikkim to Jorethang. To read about West Sikkim, read my blog 14 places to visit in West Sikkim here. From Jorethang, we took a shared cab to Namchi that cost us Rs. 70/person.

We made Namchi our base to explore South Sikkim. We did the Tendong hill trek that starts from Damthang and went to see the Buddha park in Ravangla. Ravangla is beautiful and I highly recommend spending a few days there if you have time to spare. The places of interest in Namchi are listed below.


Entrance fee: Rs. 30/person

View from the top

A 118 feet high statue of Guru Padmasambhava (also the highest statue in the world), the patron saint of Sikkim is built here. A monastery has also been built there. It is believed that the hill is a dormant volcano and Buddhist monks have long visited to offer prayers to keep it calm.
The hill is quite high and the surrounding views are beautiful. The gardens around the statue and the monastery are planted with many different flowers.

How to reach Samdruptse

You can either book a cab from Namchi taxi stand or you can take the ropeway from Namchi city or rock garden to Samdruptse. We took the ropeway from rock garden which cost us Rs. 173/person both ways.

2. Rock garden

Rock garden is a step garden with lush green lawns and lots of flowers. There is also a small playground that would keep the children entertained. It has the ropeway station mentioned above. The entry to the rock garden is free.

Walk to the Rock garden
Rock garden

How to reach Rock Garden

You can either hire a cab or walk from Debrung, which is 10 minutes walk away from the Namchi main square. The path is lined with trees on both sides and offers great views. You can reach rock garden in 45 minutes at a leisurely pace.

3.Cable car or ropeway

The ropeway in Namchi is quite steep. You can take the cable car either from Namchi, close to the district hospital till rock garden or Samdruptse. You can go one way or both ways and you will be charged accordingly. We took the ropeway from rock garden to Samdruptse and back for Rs. 173/person.

Rock garden as seen from the cable car

4. Ngadak Monastery

There is more than one monastery in Namchi but apparently Ngadak monastery is of historical importance. It was originally built during the reign of Chogyal in the 17th century. The monastery has since been renovated and is as good as new. We reached there around lunch time so it was closed. You can see many little monks playing around. It’s located in a tranquil place and exudes an old world charm.
You can hire a cab to go there or you can walk there from Rock garden. The journey is just as beautiful as the destination.

5. Siddheshwara Dham

Entrance fee: Rs. 50/person(adult) Rs.25/person(senior citizen)

Siddheshwar Dham

More popularly known as Char Dham, the Siddheshwara Dham is a replica of Char Dham and 12 Jyotirlingas (reverred pilgrimage centres for the Hindus). Set amidst sprawling lawns, you can easily spend 2-3 hours here.

How to reach Siddheshwar Dham/Char Dham

It is about 5 km from Namchi. You can take a cab for Rs.400-Rs 450 both ways or Rs. 200 to drop you there. It will wait for an hour The other way is to take a local shared cab to Rose garden and walk to Char Dham from there. The Rose garden is very close to Char Dham. If you have time, you can just walk there.

6. Rose garden

Entrance fee: Rs.20/person

This is the best place to visit in Namchi and so I decided to include it in things to do in South Sikkim. It offers stunning views of the mountains and has an open air cafe. They have a variety of flowers here. I loved this place and wish I could have spent more time here. I recommend going there in the evening when it cools down a little.

We covered all the above mentioned places in a single day.

7. Tendong Hill trek, Damthang

The Tendong hill trek starts from Damthang, 14 km from Namchi. This trek was one of the highlights of my trip to Sikkim and to read more about the trek, read my blog post An enchanting trek through the forest to the sacred Tendong Hill from Damthang.

8. Buddha Park, Ravangla:

Entrance fee: Rs.50/person

I aim for that level of serenity

The Buddha park is spread over a huge area and is surrounded by mountains on all sides. A beautiful and serene statue of Gautam Buddha sits on a hilltop amidst sprawling lawns. There is a monastery below the statue where the twelve deeds of Buddha are depicted. One can easily spend at least a couple of hours here. There are prayer wheels surrounding the statue and the park itself.

Buddha Park

How to reach Ravangla?

Ravangla is located about 28km from Namchi.

  1. Reserve a cab from Namchi to visit Ravangla.
  2. Take a shared cab from Namchi shared taxi stand. The first shared cab starts only after 9:00AM and costs Rs. 80/ person.

The route to Ravangla is breathtakingly beautiful and I recommend spending a couple of days here. It gives a tough competition to North Sikkim. It is much more beautiful than Namchi.
From the shared taxi stand in Ravangla, you can either reserve a cab to Buddha park for Rs. 100 or take a shared cab for Rs. 20/person. On your way back, you can only find a shared cab until 2:00PM or 3:00PM.

Apart from the Buddha Park, Ravangla has a lake as well but we couldn’t visit it due to lack of time, as we had to leave for Gangtok the same day.

To read about things to do in GangtokEast Sikkim read my blog post 20 Things to do in Gangtok including day trips.

The tour for North Sikkim can be booked through tour operators in Gangtok. To read more about North Sikkim, read my blog post A two day conducted tour to North Sikkim.

Richa Jain

I am Richa, from India. Restless by nature, I am fascinated by everything unfamiliar. This is possibly the reason why traveling and reading has always been high on my wish list. I started this blog to document my travel stories and decided later to add book reviews as well. I also realized that planning for long travels, specially when it includes extensive documentation, can be quite daunting, so I decided to include my itineraries and some practical tips that would help in planning trips. Join me on my journeys. Traveling is not the most environment friendly hobby and yet it is essential for city dwellers to get in touch with nature. I have been looking at sustainable options in all areas of my life and can't wait to share them with all.

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