WHAT : A 135 foot Padma-Sambhava statue and a 108 foot Shiva statue in a permanent Face-off!!
WHERE : Namchi and Solophok – Sikkim, India.(78 kms from Gangtok)
In this remote town in Sikkim, there exists two mammoth statues from different religious beliefs in a permanent face-off about 5 kilometers from each other.
The first one is a statue of Padmasambhava, said to be the world’s largest Buddhist statue , also known as Guru Rinpoche, the patron saint of Sikkim,which is on the Samdruptse hill (The Wish Fulfilling well) opposite Namchi. He is the patron saint of Sikkim and is regarded as being the second Buddha.
The second statue is of Lord Shiva (108 feet) in th
e recently inaugurated (November 2011) Siddhesvara Dhaam which is a unique pilgrimage tourism venture of the Sikkim Government developed as “ Pilgrim cum Cultural Centre”.
The centre houses a representation of Chaar Dhaams (Gangotri, Yamnotri, Badrinath & Kedarnath)
It also contains replicas of Meenakshi temple (Rameshwaram), Jaggannath temple (Puri). The main feature of this centre is the intricately carved and imposing 108 feet statue of Lord Shiva, with a large prayer hall at the base and the twelve jyotirlings around the main statue.
The entire complex is divided into four main elements, namely (1) Shiva Statue with 12 Jyotirlingas, (2) Four Dhams, (3) Sai Baba Temple and (4) Kirateshwar statue besides Nandi bull, Sai dwar, Sai Temple, Kirat dwar, Kirateshwar Statue, Shiv Dwar,
Quick tip – If you are a budgeted traveller, intend to visit Namchi via Gangtok and are staying here only for a day, then it is best, although a bit inconvenient, to get off at Samdruptse, visit the Padmasambhava statue first and then hail a cab from the base of the mounutain into town as the Shiva statue is located in town itself.
You must be prepared to lug your backpackup uphill and downhill the steep hill. This exercise however saves you considerable time and money!!
For more on my Sikkim travels please read the post: