Sikkim, one of the most visited tourism places of India.
Sikkim is one of the most visited tourist destinations in India. Additionally, it has the potential to attract numerous domestic as well as international visitors throughout the year. The principal attraction of the state lies in its beautiful natural places, which are scattered all over. Moreover, tourism is one of the major revenue generators for Sikkim, and a significant portion of the population is engaged in the tourism industry. Furthermore, the tourism sector has been thriving rapidly, contributing to the state’s economic growth.
Government focusing on developing the tourism industry.
The Sikkim government has also been functioning towards the development of the tourism sector. Additionally, it has successfully implemented various projects that have helped foster the growth of the industry. Furthermore, to attract more tourists, the government has come up with the initiative of developing the entire state. This involves constructing various tourism spots in different locations, aiming to enhance the overall appeal and visitor experience.
Under such schemes, the state Government, along with MLA Maneybong-Dentam, UD&HD Minister NK Subba, and concerned departmental officials, has successfully completed the huge project of Shiva Panchayan Mandir in a remote village of Western Sikkim.
Shiva Panchayan Mandir is located at an elevation of 8,500 ft. Furthermore, it is situated in a secluded but beautiful village called Sopaka, below Chewa Bhanjyang. Chewa Bhanjyang, an international mountain pass located at the Indo-Nepal border, is also a famous point for various trekking trails. Moreover, this temple has been constructed to boost pilgrimage tourism and attract devotees from both India and Nepal.
Roadways connecting two different nations.
The upcoming road from Uttarey to Chewa Bhanjyang is expected to increase the number of devotees from both sides visiting the temple. Additionally, it will make the journey more convenient for them. This road will connect the extreme Western part of Sikkim, India, with the remote Eastern part of Nepal. Furthermore, it is likely to serve as the business route for both countries.
It is said that in the past, people had to ride yaks to visit Sopaka village. However, with the implementation of this road under the Border Road Development Project, it will make the village easily accessible.
Meaning of Panchayan.
The temple is built in the tradition of Panchayan or Panchayatana puja. Additionally, Panchayatana puja is an act of worshiping five deities, namely Lord Ganesha, Maa Durga, Lord Vishnu, Lord Surya Narayan, and Lord Shiva.
There are four smaller and two larger cone-shaped individual temples. Furthermore, each temple is supported by several pillars guarded by iron rails. Additionally, the center of these temples features white-tiled, geometrical-shaped platforms where the respective idols are stationed.
The smaller temples have the idols of Lord Ganesha, Maa Durga, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Surya Narayan. On the other hand, the bigger temple features the statue of Lord Shiva.
Worshipping nine celestial body or Graha.
The sixth temple is dedicated to Navagraha, which represents the nine major celestial bodies referred to as Graha. In the center of the temple, the idol of Lord Surya Narayan is kept, surrounded by the other eight deities. Notably, all these figures are made of stones. According to Hinduism, Navagraha are the nine heavenly bodies and deities that influence human life. These statues have been sculpted by the renowned artist’s family from Odisha.
The temples are adorned with brick-colored tiles, and the base of the temples is fitted with black tiles. Additionally, the brass Kalasa has been installed in the Shikara or tip of all the temples. Moreover, there is a small walkway that leads from the main road to the temples, which also connects them all.
Shiva Panchayan temple is located in a pristine location surrounded by the mountain ranges and dense forest. Moreover, it is situated 35 Kms from Dentam Bazar and approximately 10 Kms from Uttarey, a small village in West Sikkim. Notably, Uttarey itself is one of the famous tourist spots. Additionally, some homestays have already started functioning in the area, providing accommodation for those who wish to stay and explore the region. Furthermore, there are a few hotels and homestays in Uttarey as well, offering additional options for visitors seeking accommodation.
There are two routes to reach here. The first route is via Jorethang, passing through Dentam and Uttarey. The second route is via Jorethang, going through Pelling to Uttarey. Both of these roads pass through several tourist destinations that are worth visiting.
The temple is expected to be an important pilgrimage center for devotees. Furthermore, it has the potential to enhance the tourism prospects in the state.