Namchi (Nepali : नाम्ची) or Namtse is the capital of the South Sikkim district in the Indian state of Sikkim. The appellation Namchi means Sky (Nam) High (Chi) in Sikkimese. Namchi is situated at an altitude of 1,675 m (5500 feet) above sea level. It is situated at a distance of 78 kilometres (48 mi) from the state capital Gangtok and 100 kilometres (62 mi) from the town of Siliguri, the nearest railhead and airport. Namchi lies off the road between Melli and Jorethang. Namchi is well connected to other towns in Sikkim and West Bengal. Jeeps and buses regularly ply between Namchi to Gangtok, Pelling, Jorethang, Kalimpong and Siliguri.
Namchi is fast becoming a major tourist spot and pilgrimage centre. The Namchi monastery, Ralong monastery and Tendong Hill are important Buddhist pilgrimage centres. The World's largest statue (at 118 feet) of the Buddhist Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, the patron saint of Sikkim, is on the Samdruptse hill (The Wish Fulfilling well) opposite Namchi. It was completed in February 2004. It is also said that the Samdruptse hill is actually a Dormant Volcano. Myths say that the buddhist monks have been going on top of the hill and offering prayers to the volcano to keep it calm. There is also a Rock Garden just few kilometers up from the town on the way to Samdruptse.Sikkim Best Home Stay Dong Busty Home Stay just 8km away from Namchi Bazar. The Rock Garden displays a wide variety of Flora and is a local recreation and picnic spot. It offers a magnificent view of Mt. Kanchendzonga (aka Mt. Kangchenjunga, the world's third highest peak).
Recently inaugurated (November 2011) Siddhesvara Dhaam is a unique pilgrimage tourism venture of the Sikkim Government developed as “Pilgrim cum Cultural Centre” having a 87 ft statue of Lord Shiva and replicas of four Dhaams of the country at one place at Solophok hilltop in Namchi. The four most revered Dhams of the Hindus Jagannath, Dwarika, Rameshawaram, Badrinath have been replicated in this fantastic complex to benefit the devotees and tourists. The dream project of Chief Minister Pawan Chamling which was conceived by him and started in the year 2005 stands promisingly amidst the breadth taking surrounding of Solophok hill, befitting the mythological setting behind the establishment of the original Dhams.
For the consecration of the Dham Shri Jagadguru Sankaryacharya Swami Swarupananda Saraswati in the presence of the Chief Minister Shri Pawan Chamling and his wife Smt Tika Maya Chamling did the “Pran Prastisha” of the Dham. There are replicas of the “Dwadash Jyotirlingas” (the twelve jyothirlinga) of Somnath, Mallikarjuna, Mahakaleswar, Omkareshwar, Kedarnath, Bhimashankar, Viswanath, Triambakeshwar, Vaidyanath, Nageswar, Rameshwar at Rameswaram and Grishneshwar surrounding the statue of Lord Shiva and the Char Dhams. There is a grand statue of Kirateshvar Mahadev and a temple of Shirdi Sai Baba too. One can have a view of the Mt Kanchenjunga, Statue of Guru Padmasambhava at Samdruptse, Darjeeling and other such locations from here. The Dham has stay facility for the devotees at “Yatri Niwas” which can accommodate more than 90 people at a time. The Dham has won the National Tourism Awards 2010–11 under the category of “Most Innovative/Unique Tourism Project” by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
A helipad is located 5 km away from town at an altitude of around 5000 fts. From here one can get the most panoramic view of Mt. Kanchanzonga with the surrounding mountain a part of Darjeeling Kalimgpong and the rolling plains of Bengal. The visitors can savour the view of Temi Tea Garden the one and the only tea estate in the state which produces top quality tea in the international market.
Near the town, Sikkim's sole tea estate - the Temi Tea Garden is situated. The tea carries a premium the world over and costs around Rs. 800/- a kg. The tea is marked by its exotic odour and flavour.
In the month of February, the Namchi garden hosts it annual flower show. The flower show is the largest in Sikkim with flowers in a riot of colours. The prime attraction of this show is the display of exotic and rare orchids.
One of the highlights of the town is the football stadium – the Baichung Stadium built by the Sikkimese government in honour of its most famous citizen, footballer Baichung Bhutia. "The Gold Cup" football tournament is held in Bhaichung Stadium almost every year. Football teams from all over India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan vie for the honour which draws lot of crowds from all over Sikkim. Namchi is also the base of the chief minister of Sikkim, Pawan Kumar Chamling.
Historically, Namchi was the place where Pende Ongmoo, the trecherous princess who poisoned one of the Chogyals of Sikkim, was caught and killed for her deed. Legend says her spirit still haunts the foothills of Ghurpisey.