South Sikkim- Namchi-23-27

South Sikkim-Only a few hours away, covering a bit of South Sikkim is a good idea and drivable distance from Gangtok. Sikkim’s obsession with gigantic statues apart, it’s the Tea Gardens that interested me. Heading towards Namchi is panoramic. IMG_0511.JPGThe one thing that excites me is to explore locations away from base camp hotel. The scenic route that appears along is so calming for the soul. My driver a religious man seemed overtly keen to take me on a pilgrimage, and Sikkim can well be taken as a pilgrim center, but I put my foot down, insisted Tea first!

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Temi Tea in South Sikkim is famous for its sprawling landscaped Tea gardens, and many tourists stop here for a tea break after visiting Sandruptse. Temi Tea Namchi is a great competitor to their Darjeeling counter parts, and the Tea parlor ensconced in the estate was such a delight. I was completely satiated with 3 cups of mild bodied tea and complementary cookies. The counter also offers tea sampling and arrays of packaged tea to take back home.

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Installation of colossal statues seems to be a district run phenomena, and for me it was just another photo opp. But for the devout it does seem to attract quite a lingering crowd. I could have collated all the massive statues under one list. In the South the 135 ft of patron saint Guru Padmasambhava at Samdruptse is the highest statue.

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There are buggy rides offered for those who wish to avoid the steep climb, colorful fluttering flags of all shapes welcome the faithful. I too participated in the ritual lighting of the lamp in one of the rooms, and similar to all the locations of tall statues atop hilltops, the view is magnificent.

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