Top choice buddhist monument in Namchi

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.