Tingchim is a scenic village in North Sikkim. Tingchim literally means a bamboo urn in Lepcha language. Nestled at an altitude of about 3150 feet, this village is surrounded by a magnificent dense forest with a rock cliff backdrop and a view of the snaking Teesta River. But, the best-kept secret of this little village is the emerald sacred lake within the dark forest guarded by a monastery. This lovely village between Phodong and Mangan serves as an excellent base for the weary travelers who want to spend a day amidst nature after a hectic North Sikkim tour. BOOKING DETAILS OF TINGCHIM
Places to see in Tingchim: Tingchim provides you with everything that a traveler would wish for – a sacred lake, a monastery, varieties of flora and fauna and unmatched hospitality. You can visit 133 year-old Tingchim Mani Lhakhang monastery and observe their periodic rituals. This monastery offers Bumkar Puja, an annual prayer held during mid December or the first week of January. You can roam about the Tingchim Tso Lake, ideally located within the forest where silence is broken only by the chirping of unknown birds. This lake, teeming with fish – is thought to be a sacred lake where the villagers offer prayers on several occasions. An interesting feature of this lake is that one part of the lake has dark black water whereas the other part has emerald green water.
Nearby attractions of Tingchim: Merely 20 minutes jeep ride will lead you to a newly constructed botanical garden and butterfly park. The medicinal plants and the colorful butterflies are worth watching. The Phensang Monastery established in 1721 AD of Nyingmapa order, is just 16 kms from Tingchim. The monks host an annual festival on the 28th and 29th day of the 10th month of the Tibetan calendar when sacred dances are performed. Another important monastery is the Phodong Monastery built in the early 18th century. This prestigious monastery has various collections of some ancient murals.
Next you can make an exciting trip to Seven Sisters waterfall. The flow of water and the panoramic view will thrill you. This waterfall hits the rocks in seven stages but from the road below you can make out only three stages. If you are a good trekker just reach the view point towards the source of waterfall to make out the seven stages clearly. Another lovely historic site is Kabi Lungchok, where the Lepchas signed the Treaty of Blood Brotherhood with religious fervor during 14th century. It is located 10 kms from Timching on the northern highway. Life size statues of the Lepchas and the Bhutias mark the place where the treaty was signed.
Things to do in Tingchim: A pleasure walk through the dense forest would be very rewarding. Walk a little ahead through the forests to the lake and sit beside its placid waters to meditate or simply fall-back on those lost memories. Bird watchers will love the forests teeming with their feathered friends. You may be accustomed with a modern spa but the traditional Lepcha Hot Stone Herbal Bath infused inside a thatched hut is an unbelievable exotic pleasure. This is believed to cure skin ailments and strengthen the bones. If you love trekking, then try out a short one-hour trek to Srijunga Manghim. However, if you are one of those who love to see what only the brave hearts have seen before, then try out the 30 kms long Pokhritaal trek which takes you through green meadows, Rhododendron forests to a lake once reached by the British adventurers on their horses.
How to reach Tingchim: Tingchim is well connected by roads. Shared cars are available from Gangtok to Mangan. A short diversion at 15 kms before Mangan will take you to Tingchim. Pickups are available from Mangan to Tingchim.
Best time to visit Tingchim: Tingchim invites guests throughout the year due to its pleasant weather.
Lodging and dining at Tingchim: In Tingchim, you would be invited to stay in a home stay equipped with all modern amenities – comfy beds, clean rooms, clean bathrooms, balconies facing the valleys and mountains and the Teesta River. However, the best part of staying in a home stay in Tingchim is the hospitality of the host. You are sure to see more smiling faces in Tingchim than any other village. You can enjoy cardamoms and handpicked fruits and vegetables in plenty. Food is organic, home cooked, fresh and served hot with a smiling face.