South Sikkim Tour Plan – Ravangla and Namchi, Buddha Park, Char Dham 2024

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South Sikkim Tour Plan - Ravangla and Namchi, Buddha Park, Char Dham 2024

South Sikkim Tour Plan – Ravangla and Namchi, Buddha Park, Char Dham 2024

South Sikkim Tour Plan: Having visited Darjeeling and Pelling, renowned destinations, including Ravangla and Namchi, we are eager to explore more about South Sikkim.

Apart from these places, there is much more to discover and experience in South Sikkim. Firstly, we will explore the tourist places here and learn about their stories. Then, I’ll guide you about hotels and transportation options.

Ravangla and Namchi

Today, we are heading from West Sikkim to South Sikkim. The road to Ravangla from Pelling is excellent, but unfortunately, the road from Pelling to Ravangla is terrible, with numerous landslides and partial roadblocks due to ongoing construction work.

It seems they are either extending the roads or doing some maintenance work, causing delays. It took us much longer than expected due to the terrible condition of the road. The actual distance from Pelling to Ravangla is only 45 km, so it should ideally take two hours, but due to the bad road conditions, it took us five hours to reach here.

We arrived in the afternoon, although we started in the morning. As soon as we arrived, the first tourist place we visited was obviously the famous Buddha Park of Ravangla.

Buddha Park of Ravangla

Buddha Park is quite peaceful, the area is vast and has very peaceful vibes. In fact, there are around eight to ten tourist places in and around Ravangla alone. Usually, people try to cover both Namchi and Ravangla in a single day, rushing through all these places.

But to truly experience all these places, you need at least two days. Firstly, let’s grab some tea. But, wait, before moving on to Buddha Park, let me show you the idol of Gautam Buddha, which is around 130 feet tall, approximately 40 meters. This Buddha Park was built between 2006 and 2013.

South Sikkim Tour Plan - Ravangla and Namchi, Buddha Park, Char Dham 2024

Before its construction, Ravangla was just a stopover place where people used to take breaks before moving on. But after the construction of this Buddha Park, it has become a major tourist attraction, and people come here, stay, and explore.

There are many hotels here, and there are hotels inside the Buddha Park area as well, so you can stay here too. I checked the rates; the rooms start from around ₹ 2800, varying according to the season. And if you stay in the hotel, you might not need to pay the entry fee.

When I inquired, I found out that the park remains open for you to visit anytime because there are hotels and hostels nearby. Food stalls, souvenir shops, and other facilities are also available here, and the atmosphere is quite peaceful.  I must say you’ll enjoy the views passed by near you. The idol of Gautam Buddha was actually built to celebrate the 2550th birth anniversary of Gautam Buddha, and there are around 60 tons of copper in this entire idol.

Inside the Buddha Park, there is also a facility for golf carts, so if you have trouble walking or if there are elderly people with you, right near the gate, you can get golf carts which cost around 300 to 350. They take you directly to Buddha’s idol. Getting entry tickets costs around 80 now; it used to be 50 earlier.

Many monasteries have been visited, but the monastery built underneath the idol of Gautam Buddha is still pending. The paintings there are unique, depicting the entire life story of Gautam Buddha. And everything has been depicted beautifully.

Although shooting is strictly prohibited inside, once you go inside and see, you’ll understand everything about his life depicted through paintings. I won’t say much about it because it might spoil it for you, but one small thing I really liked, which I’ll tell you in simple and straightforward language, is that Gautam Buddha was a god even before he was born.

He resided in Tusita and used to teach enlightenment teaching. In Tusita-Buddhism, there is a realm where gods and goddesses reside. If they were already there in the realm of gods, then why do people ask why they were not born directly as gods?

I mean, just as Guru Padmasambhava was born in the lotus, why wasn’t Gautama Buddha born directly in the lotus? Why were they born as humans? Here, I’m explaining in very simple language that if they were born directly as gods, it would be very difficult for humans to learn from them because they would already be enlightened.

So, if they were already gods, achieving enlightenment for their disciples or for humans would have been difficult. That’s why they decided to be born as humans. And then everything would be with them – kingdom, wealth, everything. There would be no lack of anything. And then they showed that even while being patient, a human cannot be satisfied. And leaving all that behind, they moved towards enlightenment.

So, I’m explaining this in a very simple language. If you delve deeper, it’s very deep, and you’ll have to understand it better. I’m explaining in just two lines in very simple language that they were born as humans so that they could show and teach their disciples and other humans that if a human can do it, then they can also achieve enlightenment, and reach enlightenment. That’s just to make it simple for human beings. Basically, that’s the reason. I’ve explained it a bit brokenly. But if you want to know more in-depth, you can read further. Everything is written in detail.

Ralang New Monastery

There are two Ralong Monasteries actually. One is the old one which is a bit outside, maybe from Ravangla, And this new one is also about five or six kilometers away from Buddha Park. It’s a very big complex. You can enter inside. Although shooting might not be allowed, and it’s dark, so I couldn’t capture inside. But outside, it’s a very peaceful surrounding.

And yes, the road to come here from Buddha Park is not that good. It’s bad. So, you should check it out. It’s a very narrow road. After this, we’ll go to Cho-Dzo Lake, which is just below Buddha Park. Right below Buddha’s idol, a bit down, you have to walk down a bit, and there’s an area called Cho-Dzo Lake, and there’s also a recreation center.

Ravangla is very beautiful. There are many places to visit here. Please visit if you’re coming to Ravangla. Among the tourist places in Ravangla, I’m sharing one more thing that is Borong Hot Springs, Tathagata Tsal, and Gardens. So, the third location in Ravangla is Cho Lake.

Cho Lake is just below Buddha Park. So, behind Buddha Park, you can also see idols of Buddha. It’s a bit lower. You have to go a little lower and explore this area, and there’s also a recreation center. Ravangla is very beautiful. There are many places to visit here. Make sure to bring a big car because the road is very bad. By the time you reach, about five to six hours, it will be completely ruined. And no one has told me about the roads.

Char Dham in Sikkim

We have reached now Namchi from Ravangla. While it took nearly an hour to reach here again, the journey was quite rough. However, once inside the Namchi, the journey to Char Dham is quite pleasant. The Namchi, which is the Central Namchi, is where we started. It took us about 10 minutes just to reach here, and then we had to take a left turn to go upstairs. There’s a board there indicating Siddheshwar Dham is 1.95 kilometers away. Finally, we arrived. We are now at Siddheshwar Dham, with Bholenath Ji behind me and Badrinath Dham here. Let’s explore everything inside. There’s a 50 rupees entry ticket and parking is available for 50 vehicles. If you’re coming by car, it’s open until 6:00 PM. This is where you can explore the Char Dhams.

Namchi is located on the Solo Fok Hill of South Sikkim, about 5 kilometers from the main town of Namchi. It was inaugurated in 2011. You can also visit all four Dhams through Namchi. Badrinath Dham, Jagannath Dham, Rameshwaram Dham, and now we’ve arrived at Dwarka. If you believe in the universe, something good will happen to you.

Char Dhams along with the 12 Jyotirlingas are here. You can see the Jyotirlingas here. Below the statue of Shiva, there’s a Shiva temple. It’s beautifully constructed with sculptures depicting Shiva’s life story everywhere on the ceiling and walls. Not everyone is fortunate enough to visit all the Char Dhams, but you can come here and visit them all at once.

Tonight, we’ll stay here in Namchi and catch our train at 12:30 PM tomorrow. We have to take a sharing or private taxi to reach Namchi To NJP. If we get to share, it’ll cost around 400 rupees, otherwise, we’ll have to go by private cab. The minimum is around 3.5, so let’s see how it goes.

Dinner is ready, simple roti, sabzi, and dal. We left around 6:00 AM this morning with a shared taxi and reached Siliguri around 9:00 PM. The road was quite empty, and we reached right on time because our train, the Rajdhani, was delayed by 6 hours. We’ve booked a room here at 690 rupees, a non-AC room. The AC room might cost around 940 rupees, which is probably an executive room. Above the waiting room, there’s a dormitory and other rooms. If your train is delayed, you can stay at NJP.

After leaving the sharing taxi in Siliguri, we took a local taxi back to NJP. So, our journey has been quite comfortable so far, and we’ve captured some good memories. Your support means a lot to us. Please follow us if you haven’t already and share this article with your friends and family. See you next time, goodbye, and thank you for reading.

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