Why Should I Go
A visit to Samdruptse Hill is inevitable if you’re visiting Namchi for it is on top of this mountain that the world’s tallest statue of Guru Padmasambhava is perched. Towering at a height of 148 feet and surrounded by emerald forests, you will be able to spot this magnificent gilded statue of Sikkim’s guardian saint from miles away.
As you walk uphill towards the statue sitting on a lotus-shaped pedestal, your eyes will meet the piercing gaze of Padmasambhava which make him resemble a wrathful deity. In fact, the wide-open eyes represent a form of meditation practiced by him—a symbol of the highest form of awareness. A marvelous amalgamation of art and engineering, the giant idol, commissioned by the government of Sikkim, took seven long years to complete. In fact, the foundation stone was laid down by the Dalai Lama himself. The base of the statue has an archive with a vintage collection of photographs of Sikkim. It also has a small prayer room.
Take a cable car ride from the car park to the nearby rock garden for some glorious views of Namchi and its surrounding hills. You can also see Char Dham, another popular tourist spot with a giant Shiva statue from here. If you’re the adventurous kind, there is a scenic trekking route from here to Maenam Hill and Tedong Hill.
How Do I Get There
Samdruptse Hill is located about 7 km away from Namchi, the district headquarters of South Sikkim. There are plenty of local taxis that ply to Samdruptse available from Namchi.
When Should I Land Up
The complex is open to visitors everyday between 9 am to 5 pm. Anytime between March to June and September to November is a good time to visit this area of Sikkim.
Padmasambhava, after Gautama Buddha, is the most revered saint in the Mahayana school, the most widely practiced form of Buddhism across the Himalayan region. He was a tantric yogi born in India sometime during the 8th century. His travels led him across the Himalayas via Sikkim to Tibet where he spread the tenets of Buddhism through his teachings. Hundreds of legends and myths revolve around him, especially in Sikkim where he is popularly known as Guru Rimpoche, the patron saint of the state.
Many locals believe that the Samdrupste Hill is a dormant volcano and it can only be kept from exploding through extensive prayers. Buddist monks from neighbouring monasteries as well as locals often visit the hill to offer prayers. Samdrupste is also known as the ‘wish-fulfilling’ hill.
Since the hill is located at a height of more than 7000 ft, it can get chilly on a coudy day, especially in the evenings. Make sure you carry adequate warm clothes.
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