By Garima Singh
Maenam Hill is one of the dream destinations for hikers, travelers, mountain climbers or people who confide in nature for its healing effects. The famous hill is situated at an altitude of 3140 m, inside the Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary, at a distance of 12 km from Ravangla, Sikkim.
The trek to Maenam Hill is a steep trail, around 24 km which comes as a combined visit to the Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary. A permit is needed from the forest office department to start the trek to the mystical hill peak.
One can catch sight of rare species of Himalayan birds and animals like Red Panda, Himalayan Black Bears, numerous varieties of deer and trees like rhododendron, chestnut, oak, and magnolia. The maenam-la literally means “treasure-house of medicines”. Established in 1987, the wildlife sanctuary is rich in the plants of medicinal value which allure botanists from all over the globe to study wild herbs.
After travelling through trails of Tendong Hill, one can reach Tendong State Biodiversity Park. The local villages of Ravangla offer home stays to tourists which is a lifetime experience to know the place intimately and learn their culture, traditions and lifestyle. Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary will be adding another highlight soon which will be India’s first wildlife skywalk of about 22 kilometers.
The Sikkim Photographer, writes “Maenam gonpa nestled on top of a hill. Its current condition might hint its age. As I’m told, the monastery was originally used as a cavern by holy lamas for meditation over long durations, after which it gained it’s great significance.”
There are many more monasteries to explore like Tashiding Monastery, Bon Monastery and Ralang Monastery. Ralong and Borong Hot Springs are also famous for their sulphurous water which is known for its curative abilities. The months from March to May have the most favorable weather conditions for the trek to Maenam Hill. The trails are adorned by green trees and flourishing rhododendrons and orchids during this time of the year. Regular buses, taxis and private taxis are also available to reach Maenam.