A warm and Special Welcome to Ravangla
The Buddha Park, located near Rabong or Ravangla, in South Sikkim, Sikkim, India is also known as Tathagata Tsal. Built in between 2006-2013, the centre of attraction of the Buddha Park is the 130 foot high statue of Lord Buddha. The religious complex of the Rabong Gompa is chosen as the site which is itself a pilgrimage place that is century old. The Buddha Park, Ravangla is also located near the Ralang Monastery which is a main monastery for Tibetan Buddhism of the region.
The gigantic statue of Lord Buddha was put up on 25th March, 2013 by Dalai Lama (14th). Soon after its inauguration it became a center on the ‘Himalayan Buddhist Circuit’. The main purpose of putting up the statue was to mark the 2550th birth anniversary of Lord Buddha. This statue is the joint effort of the Sikkim Government and its people. The State government took an initiative to build a Buddhist circuit of this park in order to boost tourism and pilgrimage. Within the complex is located the beautiful Cho Djo lake that is surrounded by a forest.
Established in 1969 by the Sikkim Government, The Temi Tea Garden in Ravangla is situated at South Sikkim in the North-Eastern Indian state of Sikkim. This is the one and only Tea Garden of Sikkim and is also regarded as the best Tea garden of India as well as the world. The quality of the tea produced is of high demand in the international market. The garden spreads over a vast area over a progressively inclined hill. The produced tea of this garden is moderately marketed under the trade name ‘Temi Tea’.
The Temi Tea Garden, Ravangla has adopted the guidelines issued by the IMO (Institute of Marketology), Switzerland for the production of organic tea. This project was initiated in April 2005 and is nearing completion. The main reason that makes Temi Tea hugely popular is that, while producing organic tea, this tea estate avoids using agro-chemicals. This is mainly because agro-products tend to lower the production cost. Countries like Japan and other European countries have shown preference for the tea produced by accepting the organic manuring method.
Samdruptse meaning “wish fulfilling hill” in the local Bhutia language is located at a short distance uphill from Namchi. The giant statue of Guru Padmasambhava on the Samdrupste Hill is the main attraction of the place. The statue looks down the town as well as across the hill. It is 45m tall and becomes covered in a shimmering gold luster in the sun. Founded in 1997 this is no doubt an incredible accomplishment of engineering. The statue offers spectacular views that are visible from different parts of Sikkim and Darjeeling.
One of the oldest monasteries of Namchi, the Ngadak Monastery was built by Tensung Namgyal during the rule of Chogyal Gyurmed Ngadak. The word Ngadak belonged to the 17th century and means ‘promise.’ So, it is believed that anyone who comes to this place will make a promise to come back again. This monastery was initially constructed as a palace of Her Highness Pendi Ongmu. It was once damaged by a severe earthquake and is a witness of old sacred ethos of Sikkim. A big new gompa is under construction in Ngadak as the age old structure is almost ruined. However, it still holds a picture of old Sikkim.
The 87 feet high statue of Lord Shiva in the 108 feet high main temple is the main attraction of the unique pilgrim center of Solophok Chardham. This statue is a statue of Lord Shiva in the sitting posture situated on the Solophok Hill. Apart from this gigantic statue this pious place is also surrounded by the replicas of the twelve Jyotirlingas that offers one single platform to all the Shiva devotees. The common belief is that Lord Shiva is incarnated as Lord Kirateshwar in Indrakeel which is presently known as the Indian state of Sikkim. This is the reason why he is worshipped as Lord Kirateshwar by the local people of Sikkim. A 16 ½ feet statue of Lord Kirateshwar is also built within the complex. The Hindus believe that in order to attain Moksha one needs to perform pilgrimage in the four Dhams. So, replicas of all the four Dhams- Badrinath, Jagannath, Dwarka and Rameshwar are also constructed inside the pilgrim center.
The Solophok Chardham pilgrim center is built on top of the Solophok Hill which lies 5kms from Namchi town. It covers an area of 28.958 Ha of land which is approximately 7 acres of land and is easily accessible through a smooth road.
The capital of South Sikkim, of the Indian state of Sikkim is known as Namchi. The meaning of Namchi in the local Bhutia language is Sky (Nam) High (Chi). The geographical location of Namchi is 27.17oN 88.35oE. The average elevation of the place is 1315 metres.
Namchi lies at an altitude of 1,675m from the sea level. It lies at a distance of 92km from Sikkim’s capital Gangtok and at a distance of 90km from Siliguri which is the nearest airport and railhead. Namchi is situated off the road between Jorethang and Melli. Namchi is well connected to other parts of West Bengal and other towns of Sikkim. Buses and jeeps ply on a regular basis in between Namchi to Gangtok, Kalimpong, Jorethang, Siliguri and Pelling.
Namchi captures the panoramic view of the vast stretches of the valley and the snow capped mountain peaks. Namchi is also known as the head quarter of South Sikkim District. This spot is growing up as a tourist destination at a faster pace as it has an enormous potential for it’s all year round tourist activities.
Ravongla or Ravangla is a small tourist destination that lies at an elevation of 7000 ft in South Sikkim in the Indian state of Sikkim. It is well connected with other towns through the state highways and is situated between Gangtok and Pelling. Ravangla is regarded as the starting point of the Maenam la Wildlife Sanctuary trek.
The Ravangla Bazar, Sikkim is the only bazaar here which sells all types of goods starting from stationeries, grocery, tailoring items, food items, entertainment items and a lot more. You can even run down to the bazar in case you need a one minute color photo or Xerox some important document. The Ravangla Bazar is also the motherland of numerous Chinese restaurants, Cookay and Florida being the most popular ones. The Kheunphelling Carpet centre, a Tibetan Refugee Settlement Camp cum Carpet weaving Centre is a mention worthy shop in this market.
The main attraction of the Ravangla Bazar is the licensed FL shops. Liquors like HIT Beer, RC, VAT 69, Blenders Pride, Black Dog, Johnny Walker, Old Monk, White Rum etc are available in ample at a minimal tax. Taxi service is very active form this bazaar. You can easily find taxis to Namchi, NIT Sikkim, Ralang Monastery, Damthang, Shingtham, Gangtok, Pelling, Jorethang, CCCT-Chisopani-Nandugaon, ATTC-Bardang and Siliguri. You can take either hired or a shared taxi and visit the nearby tourist places.
Situated between Gangtok and Pelling, Ravangla is an amazing tourist destination in South Sikkim. Ravangla lies at an elevation of 7000ft above the sea level. The town was initially a small maker where the local farmers started to trade by producing cash crops like cardamom and ginger and different agricultural crops. The Ravangla town has witnessed a tremendous growth in the recent times as far as trade and commerce is concerned. The town is well connected by roadways. The pleasant weather the year attracts maximum number of tourist every year.
Ravangla is well known for its festivals and ethnicity. The local residents of Ravangla celebrate their cultural, tourism and crafts festival in the month of April. Another well known festival, the Pang Lhabsol Festival is celebrated in the months of august and September. This is mainly a three day long festival which ends with the ‘Cham’ dance performance on the last day.