Damthang (1,650m) is one hour away from Rabangla and so this hike can be combined with the Mainom walk. Above Damthang, overlooking the South District headquarters of Namchi, there is a small, flat stretch of land at an altitude of 2,600m. It’s surrounded by a lush green ancient forest, which is popularly known as the Tendong Hill — a small dormant volcano.
Folklore has it that the Tendong Hill saved the Lepcha tribe from the ravages of the deluge when the whole world was flooded, a legend similar to the one in the Old Testament. Even today, Lepchas perform pujas to pay homage to the Tendong Hill. Pack a picnic lunch and climb this way on an invigorating day trek; it leads to some stunning vistas.
TIME 3 HOURS
Follow the main road from the town of Damthang, heading north-east, and then take the trail through the dense forests of the Tendong Sanctuary. Historically, this has been a place of retreat for Buddhist lamas who spend years in meditation amidst the silent peaks. The view from the top is something to be remembered, spanning the plains of Bengal upto the heights of the Himalayan ranges. Tendong is a great viewing point: to the east are the Chola peaks, to the west, the Kangchendzonga and the Singalila Range. It’s tempting to linger. Remember, the way down should take about an hour and a half.
Time: 1 day
Level: Easy to Moderate
Ideal Season: Oct to mid-Dec, mid- Mar to end-May
Location: South Sikkim
Written by Sujoy Das
About the Author: Sujoy Das has trekked and photographed in the Himalayas for the last 25 years. He is the co-author of Sikkim – a Traveller’s Guide, nominated in the Banff Mountain Book Festival Awards, and is represented by the international photo agency, Stock Boston, USA. His photographs have been widely published in books and magazines worldwide.