Namchi

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Namchi
नाम्ची
city
Namchi is located in Sikkim
Namchi
Namchi
Location in Sikkim, India
Coordinates: 27°10′N 88°21′E / 27.17°N 88.35°E / 27.17; 88.35Coordinates: 27°10′N 88°21′E / 27.17°N 88.35°E / 27.17; 88.35
Country  India
State Sikkim
District South Sikkim
Elevation 1,315 m (4,314 ft)
Population (2001)
 • Total 978
Languages
 • Official Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Limbu, Newari, Rai, Gurung, Mangar, Sherpa, Tamang and Sunwar
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 737 126
Telephone code 03595
Vehicle registration SK-02

Namchi (Nepali : नाम्ची) is the capital of the South Sikkim district in the Indian state of Sikkim. The appellation Namchi means Sky (Nam) High (Chi) in Bhutia.

Geography[edit]

Namchi is located at 27°10′N 88°21′E / 27.17°N 88.35°E / 27.17; 88.35.[1] It has an average elevation of 1315 metres (4314 feet).

Namchi is situated at an altitude of 1,675 m (5500 feet) above sea level. It is situated at a distance of 92 km from the state capital Gangtok and 90 km from the town of Siliguri, the nearest railhead and airport. Namchi lies off the road between Melli and Jorethang. Namchi is well connected to other towns in Sikkim and West Bengal. Jeeps and buses regularly ply between Namchi to Gangtok, Pelling, Jorethang, Kalimpong and Siliguri. Namchi commands panoramic view of the snow-capped mountains and vast stretches of valley. It is also headquarters of South district. The area is fast growing into a tourist destination with its enormous potential for all round tourist activities.

Demographics[edit]

As of 2011 India census,[2] Namchi has a population of 12194. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Namchi has an average literacy rate of 78%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 81%, and female literacy is 73%. In Namchi, 9% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Central Park, Namchi

Most of the people of Namchi are Hindus and Buddhists. Languages spoken are Nepali, English and Hindi.

Education[edit]

Namchi has more than half a dozen private schools with quality education (Mt. Carmel School, Namchi Public School, Tendong Educational Institute, Victory Educational Institute, New Light Academy etc.) and government Higher Secondary Schools for Boys and Girls and world valid computer institute(MULTIMEDIA COMPUTER INSTITUTE) an authorized study center of Manipal Group. Just few kilometers away from the town is a reputed Government College for Arts and Education. People give a lot of importance and focus on education with a reverence. Namchi Public School run by catholic missionaries is one of the respected educational institute in the State and one of the best in the south district of Sikkim.

Tourism[edit]

Namchi is fast becoming a major tourist spot and pilgrimage centre. The Namchi monastery, Ralong monastery and Tendong Hill are important Buddhist pilgrimage centres. The world's largest statue (at 118 feet) of the Buddhist Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, the patron saint of Sikkim, is on the Samdruptse hill (The Wish Fulfilling well) opposite Namchi. It was completed in February 2004. It is also said that the Samdruptse hill is actually a Dormant Volcano. Myths say that the buddhist monks have been going on top of the hill and offering prayers to the volcano to keep it calm. There is also a Rock Garden just few kilometers up from the town on the way to Samdruptse.Sikkim Best Home Stay Dong Busty Home Stay just 8km away from Namchi Bazar. The Rock Garden displays a wide variety of Flora and is a local recreation and picnic spot. It offers a magnificent view of Mt. Kanchendzonga (aka Mt. Kanchenjanga, the world's third highest peak).

Statue of Guru Rinpoche, the patron saint of Sikkim. The statue in Namchi is the tallest statue of the saint in the world at 36 metres (120 ft).

Recently inaugurated (November 2011) Siddhesvara Dhaam is a unique pilgrimage tourism venture of the Sikkim Government developed as “ Pilgrim cum Cultural Centre” having a 108 ft statue of Lord Shiva and replicas of four Dhaams of the country at one place at Solophok hilltop in Namchi. The four most revered Dhams of the Hindus Jagannath, Dwarika, Rameshawaram, Badrinath have been replicated in this fantastic complex to benefit the devotees and tourists. The dream project of Chief Minister Pawan Chamling which was conceived by him and started in the year 2005 stands promisingly amidst the breadth taking surrounding of Solophok hill, befitting the mythological setting behind the es tablishment of the original Dhams. For the consecration of the Dham Shri Jagadguru Sankaryacharya Swami Swarupananda Saraswati in the presence of the Chief Minister Shri Pawan Chamling and his wife Smt Tika Maya Chamling did the “Pran Prastisha” of the Dham. There are replicas of the “Dwadash Jyotirlingas” (the twelve jyothirlinga) of Somnath, Mallikarjuna, Mahakaleswar, Omkareshwar, Kedarnath, Bhimashankar, Viswanath, Triambakeshwar, Vaidyanath, Nageswar, Rameshwar at Rameswaram and Grishneshwar surrounding the statue of Lord Shiva and the Char Dhams. There is a grand statue of Kirateshvar Mahadev and a temple of Shirdi Sai Baba too. One can have a breath taking view of the Mt Kanchenjunga, Statue of Guru Padmasambhava at Samdruptse, Darjeeling and other such locations from here. The Dham has stay facility for the devotees at “Yatri Niwas” which can accommodate more than 90 people at a time. The Dham has won the National Tourism Awards 2010–11 under the category of “Most Innovative/Unique Tourism Project” by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

This is the statue of Lord Shiva at Siddhesvara Dhaam in Namchi, Sikkim

A helipad is located 5 km away from town at an altitude of around 5000 fts. From here one can get the most panoramic view of Mt. Kanchanzonga with the surrounding mountain a part of Darjeeling Kalimgpong and the rolling plains of Bengal. The visitors can savour the breathtaking view of temi tea garden the one and the only tea estate in the state which produces top quality tea in the international market.

Narrow Road Connecting Rangpo with Namchi

Near the town, Sikkim's sole tea estate — the Temi Tea Garden is situated. The tea carries a premium the world over and costs around Rs. 200/- a kg. The tea is marked by its exotic odour and flavour.

In the month of February, the Namchi garden hosts it annual flower show. The flower show is the largest in Sikkim with flowers in a riot of colours. The prime attraction of this show is the display of exotic and rare orchids.

One of the highlights of the town is the football stadium – the Baichung Stadium built by the Sikkimese government in honour of its most famous citizen, footballer Baichung Bhutia. "The Gold Cup" football tournament is held in Bhaichung Stadium almost every year. Football teams from all over India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan vie for the honour which draws lot of crowds from all over Sikkim. Namchi is also the base of the chief minister of Sikkim, Pawan Kumar Chamling.

Historically, Namchi was the place where Pende Ongmoo, the trecherous princess who poisoned one of the Chogyals of Sikkim, was caught and killed for her deed. Legend says her spirit still haunts the foothills of Ghurpisey.

References[edit]

External links[edit]