The Mankhim Temple is an off beat tourist destination in Sikkim which is slowly gaining popularity among the tourists because of its great historical as well as religious significance. It is situated at the top of the hill near Hattipailay Village, belongs to Khambu or Rai; indigenous ethnolinguistic groups of Nepal who are believed to have originated in the Maity Village. The temple provides the exquisite view of Lampokhari Lake surrounded by the tall and well-groomed trees of pine and fir. The temple offer as a vantage point to get the unobstructed view of mighty Mt. Kanchenjunga.
Things to Do & See in and around
The Sakewa Puja is held every year here by the Rai community in order to sow more plants and spread greenery. Thereafter the celebration occurs which includes the colourful dance and musical recitals performance by the community inside the temple. The special colorful dance is popularly known as 'Silli' which demonstrates the migratory bird movements of the region. It is a month long celebration which is gradually getting short due to scattered family members. The instruments used during the festival include dhol (dhela), jyamta, bow and arrow, etc. After that no one plays any musical instrument until the time comes to celebrate the harvest festival - udhowli.
Mulkarkha Lake Trek is the most unexplored trail at the foothills of HImalaya. The babbling waters of the Mulkarkha Lake reflects the magnificence of the surrounding mountains, and thus this trek is worth giving a shot while visiting Mankhim Temple. Some of the other popular tourist attractions in the area include the foot shaped Lampokhari Lake. The lake’s calm and smooth flowing waters is apt for boating while enjoying the scenic beauty of the lush green forest of Pine and Fir trees around. Peace seekers can pay a soulful visit to the Aritar Monastery, and witness the great Buddhist artwork, traditional architecture and age-old manuscripts. One can also visit Hattipailay; a nearby village that has rocks with elephant footprints on them.
Best Time to Visit
Mankhim experience an unpardonable cold weather but still the temple gets the immense inflow of tourists and devotees round the year. The serene location of the temple provides the splendid view of the snow-clad peaks of Mt. Kanchenjunga. During Summers, the place is surrounded by ample greenery and its cosy climate allures the visitors from all over the world. If one wishes to visit Mankhim Temple can choose to come either in November or in mid March to witness the Sakewa Puja or udhowli - the harvest festival in August or September.
One can rent a car, which takes about four hours’ drive from Gangtok vai Rangpo, to reach this secluded hilltop Temple in Mankhim.