(Last Updated on : 13/02/2014)
North Sikkim lying close to China, is mostly restricted for uninterrupted travelling. Until 1993 no one was allowed to venture past Phodong, but the government is now starting to open up areas to tourism. The road north of Gangtok follows the deep Teesta gorge past Phodong across what is said to be the highest bridge in Asia, before reaching the quiet little town of Mangan, the district capital of North Sikkim.
Namchi means 'Sky High'. This spectacular place is situated amidst the hills. Namchi is the Headquarter of South Sikkim, located 5,500 ft above sea level. The picturesque combination of snow-capped mountains and green vales are magnificent enough for multi glances. Namchi can be considered the fastest developing tourist destination.
Tendong Hill: T
endong Hill is considered a historical place in the midst of silent personification of loneliness for those Buddhist Lamas who have spent years in meditation. It is another place of interest in South Sikkim, situated at a height of 8,530ft above sea level. It was believed that Tendong Hill appeared as a saviour to the Lepcha Tribes when the whole world was flooded. In present times, Lepchas idolise the Hill in order to pay their regards with feelings of respect and reverence. Tendong Hill has a Tea estate that produces one of the top quality tealeaves in the country. This tea estate is the only one in the state.
Menam Hill is located at an elevation of 10,300 ft from sea level. The enthralling beauty of this place is matchless when compared with any part of the world. The place is bounded by Mt. Khangchendzonga. From Menam Hill Kalimpong and Darjeeling Hills in the South and the Indo-China border towards the North can be viewed vividly.
Ravangla is the small township situated at the base of Menam Hill. This small township is used as a transit point to many tourist destinations. Tourists can reach outstanding places like Chozo Lake, Ralong Monastery and other West Sikkim destinations from Ravangla. This place also serves as the Tourist Base Camp for trekkers who would like to trek to Menam Hill and Borong. It takes about 4 hours to trudge Menam Hill from Ravangla. The trek leads one down towards a sacred cave, 'Shar Chok Bhepu', from where pictures captured can trace down the memory lane for years. This cave is considered one of the holiest in Sikkim.
Borong is a strikingly expressive village with awe-inspiring landscape. It can be reached by road from Ravangla. The hot spring, 'Borong Tsa-Chu' is another interesting destination. The trek trail from Namchi or Damthang to Tendong - Ravangla - Menam - Borong that takes 5 to 6 days, is considered one of the most exciting trails scaling the hilltop along the route.
Versey is situated at a height of 10,000 ft above sea level. There is a motorable road up to Hilley, which is very near to Versey. A 4km trek from Hilley takes one to Versey. There is another trek root from Soreng or Dentam, situated in West Sikkim. One can stay at the trekker's hut, "Guras Kunj".