Sikkim is one of the most visited tourist destinations in India, it has a potential of attracting numerous domestic as well as international tourist visitors throughout the year, the principal attraction being the beautiful natural places which are scattered all over the state, tourism is one of the major revenue generator for the state and most of the people are engaged in tourism industry and it has been thriving rapidly.
The Sikkim government has also been functioning towards the development of the tourism sector and has successfully implemented various projects which has helped the growth of the industry. To attract more tourists the government has come up with the initiative of developing the entire state by constructing various tourism spots in different locations.
Under such schemes the state Government and MLA Maneybong-Dentam,UD&HD Minister NK Subba, and concerned departmental officials have successfully completed the huge project of Shiva Panchayan Mandir in a remote village of Western Sikkim.
Shiva Panchayan Mandir is located at the elevation of 8,500 ft. in a secluded but beautiful village called Sopaka below Chewa Bhanjyang, an international mountain pass located at Indo-Nepal border. Chewa Bhanjyang is also a famous point for various trekking trails. This temple has been constructed to boost the pilgrimage tourism and attract the devotees from both India and Nepal.
The upcoming road from Uttarey to Chewa Bhanjyang is expected to increase the number of devotees from both sides to visit the temple as it will make the journey more convenient one. This road will connect the extreme Western part of Sikkim, India with the remote Eastern part of Nepal and it is likely to serve as the business route for both the country.
It is said that, In the past the people had to ride Yaks to visit Sopaka village but this road under Border Road Development Project will make it easily accessible.
The temple is built in a tradition of Panchayan or Panchayatana puja which is an act of worshiping five deities Lord Ganesha, Maa Durga, Lord Vishnu, Lord Surya Narayan and Lord Shiva.
There are four smaller and two larger cone shaped individual temples, each supported by several pillars guarded by the iron rails, with the white tiled geometrical shaped platforms in the center where the respective idols are stationed.
The smaller temples have the idols of Lord Ganesha, Maa Durga, Lord Vishnu and Lord Surya Narayan and the bigger one has the statue of Lord Shiva.
The sixth temple is dedicated to Navagraha or nine major celestial bodies referred to as Graha, where the idol of Lord Surya Narayan is kept in the middle encircled by other eight deities, all these figures are made of stones. According to Hinduism, Navagraha are nine heavenly bodies and deities that influence human life. The statues have been sculpted by the renowned artists family of Odisha.
The temples are adorned with brick coloured tiles and the base of the temples are fitted with black tiles. The brass Kalasa has been installed in the Shikara or tip of all the temples.There is a small walkway all the way from the main road that leads to the temples; it also connects them all.
Shiva Panchayan temple is located in a pristine location surrounded by the Mountain ranges and dense forest. It is 35 Kms from Dentam Bazar and about 10 Kms from Uttarey, a small village in West Sikkim. Uttarey itself is one of the famous tourist spots. Some homestays have already started functioning in the area which will provide accommodation for those who wish to stay and explore the region. There are few hotels and homestays in Uttarey as well.
There are two routes to reach here, 1) Jorethang via Detam and Uttarey and 2) Jorethang via Pelling to Uttarey both the roads pass through several tourist destinations which are worth visiting .
The temple is expected to be an important pilgrimage center for devotees and enhance the tourism prospect in the state.