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. The 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!
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.
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.
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.