Solophok Chardham Overview
This Pilgrim Centre has a most important temple of 108 feet height on which is established the 87 feet high statue of Lord Shiva. Apart from this there are also replicas of the twelve Jyotirlingas, to offer one platform to worship for the devotees of Lord Shiva. A statue of 16½ feet height of Lord Kirateshwar is also installed in this place. As per the Hindu belief in order to attain Moksha, one has to perform pilgrimage to all the existing four Dhams, hence, replicas of these four Dhams, namely Badrinath, Jaganath and Dwarka dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Rameshwar, dedicated to Lord Shiva is also been built in the same premises. The pilgrim centre is constructed in an area of 28.958 Hactare of land on top of the Solophok Hill just 5 kilometers from Namchi town. The whole complex is divided into four key elements, viz., (1) Shiva Statue with 12 Jyotirlingas, (2) Char Dham, (3) Sai Baba Temple and (4) Kirateshwar statue as well Nandi bull the ride of Lord Shiva, Sai dwar, Sai Temple, Kirat dwar and Shiv Dwar.
The government of Sikkim has given this pilgrimage centre a special attention in past few years, it has been devoted and contrived to place Sikkim in the very conscience, empathy and minds of the people from both India and overseas. Except for providing an inimitable religious and cultural atmosphere, the Solophok (Namchi) Pilgrimage-cum-Cultural Centre is being built, cared and promoted on an ostentatious level henceforward ought to be a top most tourist destination preferred by the tourists from both India and abroad. Tourists do come here for a variety of reasons like Pilgrimage, religious discourses, attend cultural activities of Sikkim which is one of its kind in whole world, seminars, nature study, trekking, mule and yak riding, feel the essence of nature and passive recreation.
The visit to Solophak (Namchi) just doesn’t ends with visiting only the pilgrimage center, there is a lot more to see. There is a Temi Tea Garden – the only tea estate existing in Sikkim, just a few kilometers away from Solophak (Namchi). You can also take a walk to Tendong Biodiversity Park to see the myriads of medical plants conserved delightfully by the Sikkim’s Forest Department. At just 40 kilometers away from the Solophak (Namchi) is a water fall called Tirikhola, which is also a great tourist attraction and you love the view of this waterfall for sure. The famous Shiridi Sai Mandir in Assangthang is just 9 kilometers from the Solohak (Namchi) which is worth visiting even if you are not that religious type for its beauty and environment. To enhance the joy of your visit to Solophak you can also leisurely walk along the stunning TarayBhir, Ravangla, Ravikhola Cave, Rayong Sunrise View Point where you can click the most beautiful pictures of rising sun, PhurTsa Chu hotsprings, Mainam Hill and Sharchogbeyphog Cave.
If you have more time to stay in Solophak (Namchi) and enjoy the nature and beauty of Sikkim and it’s culture, walk along the precipitous footpath for about 300 feet through the rural community of Kholaghari to a long and dark cave adjacent to an old temple, you will love the view of the place. Just 5 kilometers uphill from Namthang Bazaar there is also a tranquil spot enveloped by virgin forest and at an altitude of 5800 feet known as Nagi, it is a perfect meditation place for people from all over the world. If you are travelling with friends or family, you can also organize a picnic at Rukumtar located at the base of Tendong Hill where more than seventy species of birds are found singing throughout the day. If you want to know about the culture, history, tradition and ancient art of the Sikkim you can take a walk to the Tharpu Painting Village which is just 4 kms from Solophok (Namchi) and get an idea about the Sikkim through the eye-catching paintings and creations of the Sikkimese artists.
However, you can visit Solophok (Namchi) anytime of the year, but if you want to enjoy the views of Mt. Kanchenjungha and its allies then the March to May and September to January is the best time to visit Solophak (Namchi). Post monsoon season the city is all colorful in and out with the blooming and colorful flowers many of which you would not have seen anywhere else in the world.