I am getting to write after so long as I finally travelled to explore the temples in Namchi while I was studying mechanical engineering at Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology from 2010 to 2012.
I think more than to study, I honestly went to Sikkim to experience a normal life in the mountains and to quench my travel thirst. One by one, I was working on wandering around the old and new spots while immersing myself in the culture. I made friends with locals and even the settlers from out and learnt even more. I was familiar with Namchi ever since but I never got to visit it with my parents. I didn’t think I had any less than the usual four years but I managed to visit in the two years I did get.
I have always longed to visit Namchi, a town in South sikkim, especially since the former captain of the Indian Football Team, Baichung Bhutia, was born in a village close by to it and has a stadium named after him there. He has made a drastic difference in the Indian Football scenario, eversince he entered it. He is someone I have met multiple times and is very respectable as well.
In the last Durga Puja vacation, I put up that town, a tourist destination on my travel list, but soon understood that travelling there alone would turn out really expensive, because there were no share cabs available to travel in and around it to check of all the temples in Namchi. But it stayed on my list with the hope of visiting it soon.
Finally, in the fourth week of Semester three, I learnt that my ex classmates and people I recently got to know through Freshers’11, a college fest that happens for new students every year, were going there and were game to see some temples for devotion. I meant, Nayana, Praneta, Moumita, Pallavi, Anandita, Reshmi, Trishala, Monalisa, Dhanesh, Akshat, Mohit, Anand, Nitesh, Dheeraj, Runit who were my batchmates were to join me for tourism.
I was ready with my scarves, mint, money, ipod touch and my love – camera to roll and explore. On an early Sunday morning, two cars with young students set of down south on curvy roads by the Teesta river while I missed the photography competition, snapshot at the IT fest – Renaissance’11. But I had no regrets as I would choose to explore anyday.
We first went to the huge Buddha stupa that rested on the top of a hill on the outskirts of the town and it looked magnificent from far away. Its a perfect place for a Buddhist to see the Buddhist Padmasambhava and even for others to visit. Further while checking out temples in Namchi, our next stop was Chardham, a small land of all the temples, yet in the making and to be inaugurated in that Diwali. After Chardham, Sai Baba Mandir which is also called the Sai Temple came next, a golden structure. Last stop was specially for me – the Baichung stadium, that brought a smile on my face and a dream come true.
Standing at the stadium and posing for a picture brought back memories of meeting the man himself, the hooting while watching him play in Cooperage, Mumbai.
At every place we stopped, we gazed, cracked jokes, clicked photos and created memories for lifetime. The eighteen of us last halted at Namchi Bazaar for lunch, set back for home ending our Templistic Trip.
Because they say, “what goes around.. comes around!”
So I would like to come back to check out the golf course, deolo hill, Graham’s home, Temi tea garden and Namchi Monastery.