Today, it is the turn of Namchi - a very well known tourist hill station in South Sikkim. When we left Kalimpong at around 11 a.m. for Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, we had Namchi on our next itinerary. I didn't know anything about Namchi at that time and when our taxi cab took a very poorly maintained road (at least in May 2016), I was sort of depressed at the thought of visiting Namchi. The direct route from Kalimpong to Gangtok is merely 74 km. long whereas via Namchi it is 141 km. "Was it worth all the trouble?" I was asking my co-travellers.
But as I discovered later, we would have really missed a great place like Char Dham at Namchi if we had taken the direct route to Gangtok. It was worth every trouble that one may face.
If I may say so, Char Dham (officially Siddeshwara Dham) developed 5 km away on Solophok hill in 2011, has added a big feather to the cap of Sikkim as a wonderful tourist destination. It is the dream project of the CM of Sikkim Dr. Pawan Kumar Chamling. A deserted hilly area of nearly 29 hectares known as Solophok hill has been metamorphosed into the most adorable temple-cum-cultural complex at the construction cost of just Rs. 56 crores. Thousands upon thousands of tourists throng everyday to the Char Dham complex which encompasses beautiful replicas of 12 jyotirlings and 4 chams. The place is calm, serene, very neat and clean, orderly and beautifully decorated with flowers. Even our taxi driver was full of praise for Dr. Pawan Kumar Chamling who continues to run the Sikkim government since 1994 as its Chief Minister. According to him, the total transformation of Sikkim is to be attributed to him only and that's why his party - SDF has won all 5 assembly elections since 1994.
We had spent only one and half hour at this complex, so let the story continue through photographs which I had taken at that time.