South Sikkim - The South district in Sikkim is now developing fast as a tourist destination. South has a very abundant potentiality in attracting tourists with its famous picturesque flora & fauna, cultural heritage, historical monuments, etc. Various destinations in South district which tourist can enjoy are Namchi, Ravangla, Temi Tea Garden, Sikip and Jorethang. Namchi is 80 kilometers from Gangtok and nearly 110 kilometers from Siliguri. It is situated at an elevation of 4300 feet. This is a good destination for quite short stay and village excursions. This district headquarters town of South Sikkim is clean and developing fast into a tourist destination due to its potential for all round tourist activities. Ravangla is 70 kilometers from Gangtok. Mainaam Garden started as a hobby and turned into Mainaam Nursery in the early 1990’s is also a place to visit. It is town situated on the ridge between the Meanam and Tendong hills. It is an ideal place for short treks. Tendong Hill is situated nearly at an elevation of 8530 feet. Tedong means the upraised horn. Maenam Hill is at situated at an elevation of nearly 10300 feet and is situated at a close distance away is the legendary Bhaley Dunga. The trek to Meanam from Ravangla takes about 4 hours and from Maenam hill to Borong village. Yangang, Tinkitam, Kewzing, Barfung & Bakhim are ideal for home stays in and are small villages. The flora and fauna, mountains, waterfalls, tea gardens, quaint villages, local Sikkimese people, culture, monasteries and fresh cold winds. Very verdant with monasteries around Rabongla, old historical market of Kewzing, Bonn Monastery, Ralong Monastery, Borong Hot springs, Maenam Peak at 10300 feet holding breathtaking views of Himalayas. Temi Tea Garden is the only tea garden in Sikkim. The garden spread out on gentle hill slope provides classic views. Sikip is located on the banks of river Rangeet is an excellent fishing spot and river campsite. Phur-cha-chu or the Hot Spring is an ideal spot for bird watching and butterflies. Great medicinal values as well as of religious importance as it houses one of the four holy caves of Sikkim. A short distance from Pelling is the small hamlet of Biksthang. The place is also known as Chunchen or Mongalbaria. Borong is a small typical Sikkim Village with a beautiful set up. There is a hot spring which is known as Borong – Tisa - Chu. A popular trek trail, originating from Namchi or Damthang to Tendong - Ravangla - Menam - Borong is a five to six days trek. It is one of the most interesting trails scaling all the hill tops along the route. Leisure holidays are also enjoyable here due to its minimum visitors. The trek can continue to Tashiding or terminate at Borong and drive back to Ravangla. Ralang Monastary, Sinon Monastery, Kewzing monastery are also places to visit in South Sikkim. Given below are few of the places of tourist interest in South Sikkim
Communication / Connectivity
Airways – Ravangla to Bagdogra Airport (IXB) is approximately 110 kilometers and is 3 to 4 hours drive by national highway 31 A. Pelling, Mangan, Jorethang, Rhenock, Ravangla, Namchi are well connected with Bagdogra Airport. The drive is all 3 – 4 hours drive. Helicopter Service from Gangtok takes approximately 30 minutes to reach Bagdogra. Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation operates chopper service daily at 11:00 AM from Gangtok to Bagdogra and at 2:00 PM from Bagdogra to Gangtok. It is a five seated chopper with limited baggage. Chopper can be chartered in Sikkim if booked well in advance.
Railways – Nearest major Railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) nearly 120 kilometers from Ravangla. Sikkim has no railway system but planning for a transit system is on the card. The nearest major railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP), Siliguri Junction and Siliguri Town Station and is assessable from all the major town / cities of Sikkim. NJP is well linked up with the rest of the country with frequent trains. There are three railway stations nearer to Sikkim Bengal borders but the frequency of trains are less.
Roadways – The network of roads in Sikkim are good compared to its difficult terrain. Gangtok is approximately 70 kilometers and 110 kilometers is New Jalpaiguri Station (NJP) / Bagdogra Airport (IXB) from Ravangla. Melli is 60 kilometers from New Jalpaiguri Station. 30 kilometers more is Jorethang i.e. Siliguri to Jorethang is nearly 100 kilometers. Kaluk is further 3 Kilometers and Rinchenpong is 38 kilometers from Jorethang. Uttarey is 35 kilometers from Jorethang. Borong is 82 Kilometers via Ravangla. Rinchenpong to Gangtok is 125 kilometers and Darjeeling is 75 Kilometers, 65 Kilometers is Ravangla and Pelling is 40 kilometers from Rinchenpong.