BUDDHA PARK RAVANGLA
Why Should I Go
The inauguration of the Buddha Park in Ravangla marked the 2550th birth anniversary of Buddha. The sprawling Buddha Park also known as Tathagata Tsal at Ravangla with a colossal statue of Gautama Buddha is pretty as a postcard. Built by the Sikkim government with the support of locals in an endeavour to promote religious tourism in the state, it was sanctified by the Dalai Lama himself in 2013.
Surrounded by the majestic Himalayas from all sides, the park offers some brilliant views of the Greater Himalaya range including Kanchenjunga, Mount Pandim, Mount Siniolch and Mount Kabru. The winding pathways amidst beautifully manicured lawns and the lovely water fountain in front of the golden statue make it the perfect place for some instagram-worthy shots.
The 130 feet tall copper statue of the Buddha in the bhumisparsha mudra (earth-touching posture) with his eyes half closed adds to the tranquility of its scenic surroundings. In fact the statue can be seen clearly from all directions of south west Sikkim and even some parts of West Sikkim too.
The park also houses a museum that depicts the story of Buddha’s life as well as a meditation centre open to tourists and monks. There is also a little curio shop here that sells souvenirs, prayer beads, etc.
How To Get There
Ravangla is a charming little town located at a height of about 7000 feet in South Sikkim. It is at a 65 km distance from the state capital of Gangtok on the way to Gyalshing. You can hire a cab or take a shared taxi from Gangtok to get here. In case you fail to find either of these you can take a taxi to Singtam and take another one from there to Ravangla.
The Buddha Park is at a walking distance from the main town on the way to Ralang Monastery. It is open on all days from 9 am to 5 pm.
When Should I Land Up
Every year in spring, Ravangla becomes the centre of a five day festival called ‘Rabong Discovered’. The festival complete with a flower show, traditional music and dance competition, local handicraft and food stalls is quite a cultural extravaganza. It also offers opportunities for adventure enthusiasts including activities such as mountain biking, camping and boating apart from tours to other areas of Sikkim.
Ravangla is at its best in spring during the months of March and April since the entire area is covered with flowers of all kinds including many exotic varieties of orchids. Winter, however, changes the town into a completely different avatar since the higher areas of the town experience snowfall during this time.