Top choice in Sikkim

Visible for miles, this 45m-high statue of Padmasambhava (Guru Rimpoche) is painted in shimmering copper and gilt and sits on a lotus plinth high above Namchi on the forested Samdruptse ridge. Completed in 2004 on a foundation stone laid in 1997 by the Dalai Lama, the statue turns his back on a superlative view of the Khangchendzonga Massif, which is best seen from beside his right haunch.

Around the base are some fading historical photos of old Sikkim and within is a prayer room. From the car park, a 15-minute cable car excursion takes you down to a rock garden and back.

Samdruptse is 7km from Namchi, 2km off the Damthang–Ravangla road. Taxis from town charge ₹400 return, ₹500 including Ngadak, or ₹1200 to charter a one-way ride to Ravangla with a Samdruptse side trip en route.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Sikkim attractions

1. Ngadak Gompa

0.59 MILES

The Ngadak gompa's large 2014 prayer hall contains some of the richest new monastery paintings in Sikkim. Beside it is the ruinous, unpainted shell of a…

2. Char Dham

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This unmissable feast of colour is a remarkable Hindu religious theme park crowning Solophuk hilltop, 5km southwest of Namchi. It brings together replicas…

3. Temi Organic Tea Factory


Set at 1720m, with groomed green mazes of terraces rising above, this 1969 factory complex processes Sikkim's most famous teas.

4. Yungdrung Kundrakling

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Beside the main Legship road, 5.5km from central Ravangla, very modest Yungdrung Kundrakling is one of only two Bon monasteries in India.

5. Resum Gompa

7.52 MILES

This wobbly old temple is a peaceful, half-forgotten delight with appealingly naive paintings and an incredible 360-degree mountain panorama. There's no…

6. Rinchenpong Monastery

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Built in the 1730s and set on a flat field surrounded by monks' quarters, Sanaienchi Gompa's main three-level prayer house has a real sense of age. Even…

7. Gurung Monastery

8.02 MILES

Well-proportioned and with a distinctively golden-russet-coloured facade, this new gompa sits on the nose of the Rinchenpong ridge, adding a distinctive…

8. St Teresa’s Church

9.11 MILES

A fascinating missionary church built in 1929 by Swiss Jesuits, St Teresa's was constructed to incorporate designs from a Bhutanese gompa. The 12 wooden…