About South Sikkim District :
South District of Sikkim lies at an altitude of 400 mtr to 2000 mtr with unique and countryside escape of endless waves of agricultural field and the terraced slopes intercepted by spring patched forest and encompasses a total area of around 75000 hectares. Area wise it is the smallest district of Sikkim and population-wise second one. Its total population is 1,46,742 (as per 2011 census) among which 76,663 are male and 68,241 female. Namchi or Namtse (meaning Sky High) is the headquarter of South Sikkim which is nestled among the hills having elevation of 5500 fts and which commands panoramic view of snowcapped mountains and vast stretches of valley. Namchi and Ravangla are sub-divisions of the district and Namchi, Jorethang, Melli and Ravangla are important towns. The places of tourist interests in the district are Namchi, Tendong Hill, Ravangla, Maenam Hill, Borong, Varsey, Phur-Tsa-chu (Hot Springs), Jorethang, Sikip, Samdruptse, Char Dham at Solophok etc.
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Tourist Places :
Namchi , meaning sky high, nestled among the hills at an elevation of 5500 ft., commands panoramic view of the snow capped mountains and vast stretches of valley. it is also the HQ of the south district. The area is fast developing into a tourist destination with its immense potential for all round tourist activities. It is about 78 kms. from Gangtok and 100 kms. from Siliguri.
Tendong Hill Above Damthang, overlooking South District Headquarter town Namchi, there is a small flat stretch of land at an altitude of 8530 ft.,surrounded by lush green ancient forest which is popularly known as the Tendong Hill. Historically, this has been a place of recluse for Buddhist Lamas who spend years in meditation amidst the silent scenic grandeur. The view from the top of the Tendong Hill is something to be cherished and enjoyed as it spans across plains of Bengal to the majestic heights of the Himalayan Ranges. One can also proceed to Namtse by trekking via Tendong Hill following the traditional route used in the old days. Such trekking is also possible throughout the year except during monsoons, that is if one is scared of ubiquitous leaches.
At the base of Maenam Hill is Ravangla, a small township and transit to various tourist destinations in South Sikkim and West Sikkim . It is also an upcoming tourist spot, and transit point for trekkers to Maenam Hill and Borong. There are accommodation facilities and numerous short nature trails. A trek down to the sacred cave”Shar Chok Bephu” , one of the holiest caves in Sikkim.
Maenam towers above Tendong Hill on the other side overlooking the Ravangla Bazar settlement. situated at an altitude of 10,300 ft., the scenic view from this height is, perhaps, unmatched in this part of the world. The trek from Maenam from Ravangla takes about 4 hrs. and from Maenam Hill-Top one has the option to take the gentle trek to Borong village .
Facing the snow-capped mountains is Borong motorable from Ravangla or a trek via Maenam. A picturesque village with beautiful landscape and magnificent view is also host to the hot spring “Borong Tsa-Chu” . The trek trail, originating from Namchi or Damthang to Tendong-Ravangla-Maenam-Borong (5 to 6 days) is one of the most interesting trials scaling the hill tops along the route.
It lies at an elevation of 10,000 ft. and has motorable roads access up to Hilley. An easy 4 kms. trek from there takes one up to the Varsey rhododendron sanctuary . One can also trek from Soreng or Dentam in West Sikkim.
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