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8 places to visit in Lachen

Lachen

Lachen Monastery

Overview

Lachen Monastery is a notable destination in Lachen that was first created in 1858 A.D. by the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism and with the aid of its 8 monks, who changed a modest hut made by Lama Karchen Dorje Drak. It offers a tranquil atmosphere and spellbinding vistas. The Launching Gompa, also known as Ngodub Choling or Lachen Monastery, is located in a magnificent setting above the settlement and houses the statue of Guru Padmasambhava. The hallowed site’s grounds are festooned with colorful prayer flags and prayer wheels. As you enter Lachen Monastery, you will feel ecstasy; it is a mind-blowing pilgrimage experience.

Best time to visit

From March through June is the greatest time to come.

Things to do & see

There are a few fascinating places to visit, such as Thangu Village, which is about an hour’s drive from Lachen. Chopta Valley and Gurudongmar Lake, both 2 to 3 hours distant from Lachen, are other popular tourist destinations. Sarva Dharma Sthala, a temple for all religions located near Gurudongmar Lake, is also a must-see.

Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary

Overview

The Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is famed for its stunning rhododendrons, which are situated in the beautiful Yumthang Valley in North Sikkim. The sanctuary, which covers 43 square kilometers and is home to various kinds of rhododendrons, is located at a height of 3,048 to 4,575 meters. From April through July, the azaleas blossom to their full potential, turning the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary into a riot of colors, making this the perfect time to visit. The Yumthang Chhu, which runs through the sanctuary, lends it a lovely appearance.

Other trees in the park include Saxifrages, Aconites, Potentillas, Aconites, and Gentias, in addition to the 40 distinct types of Rhododendrons that make the park seem colorful throughout the spring season. Due to its proximity to the Tibetan Plateau, the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary has extended winter seasons. Although the chilly air begins in November, January is the coldest month. Due to the significant snowfall, the valley’s attractiveness is enhanced tenfold. Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is a lovely destination to spend some time amidst the scenic surroundings and natural beauty. Trekking in Yumthang Valley is also a great way for adventurers to have a good time.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the sanctuary is in April and May when the flowering flowers are at their most beautiful. Tourists are warned not to visit the sanctuary between August and September since the roads become impassable and travel becomes extremely difficult owing to severe rainfall.

How To Reach Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary

The Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is located near Lachung in North Sikkim’s Yumthang Valley. The journey from Gangtok to the sanctuary takes about 7 hours. From Yumthang to Gangtok, you may also take a cab. Trekking from Yumthang Valley is another excellent method to see this area.

Gurudongmar Lake

Overview

Gurudongmar Lake, in Sikkim, is one of the world’s fifteen tallest lakes, rising to a height of 17,100 feet above sea level. It is also Sikkim’s second-highest lake, after Cholamu Lake, which is 18,000 feet high. Tourists come from all over the world to see the magnificent and picturesque splendor of the area. The breathtaking view of Mount Siniolchu and Kanchenjunga from Gurudongmar Lake is something to witness and treasure. Gurudongmar Lake’s water is said to have medicinal properties, and many visitors take it home with them.

Gurudongmar is a highly sacred lake, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and crystal pure ice water. It is a source of the Teesta River, which runs through Sikkim, West Bengal, and Bangladesh before merging with the Bay of Bengal. Nearby, there is a ‘Sarva Dharma Sthal,’ which is a popular site of prayer for people of all faiths. Lachen, a tiny and lovely village in North Sikkim, is home to the Gurudongmar Lake. Before seeing the magnificent lake, it is strongly advised that you spend the night in this town. The mesmerizing Gurudongmar Lake’s strategic location and closeness to other prominent sights appeal to tourists, even more, making it one of Sikkim’s most popular attractions.

Inner Line Permit for Gurudongmar Lake

Because of the proximity to the China-Tibet border, an Inner Line Permit is necessary to access this section of Sikkim. Foreigners are only permitted to travel up to Yumthang and Chopta Valley, but Indians are permitted to access the beautiful Gurudongmar Lake. The permission may be obtained a day before your excursion to the lake, in Gangtok. To enter the tourism office, you must produce two copies of your picture ID as well as two photos. You might also request that your travel agency get permission on your behalf.

Things to Do at Gurudongmar Lake

The Gurudongmar Lake is a gorgeous delight for the eyes, and it manages to gratify everyone who comes to see it. Many people enjoy walking from the lake, which serves as the starting point for several hikes. The Sarva Dharma Sthala, a prominent spiritual destination for peace seekers, is known as the “temple of all religions” and is located near the lake.

The Tso Lhamu Lake, which is the Teesta River’s source of water, is about 9 kilometres away and may be visited alongside the main attraction. The Lachen village and Thangu village, both of which are about 3-4 hours driving from Gurudongmar Lake, are two more destinations that may be visited in conjunction with the journey to Gurudongmar Lake. The thrilling annual Yak Race, known as the Thangu, takes place in the summer at the Lachen and is attended by a large number of people who want to experience this great celebration.

Best Time to Visit Gurudongmar Lake

Between November and June is the best time to visit Gurudongmar Lake since the temperature is mild. In Lachen, the summers are cool and pleasant. Every year in the summer, a yak race known as Thangu is held here. Lachen may be quite chilly in the winter. During the winter months, Gurdongmar Lake freezes entirely, providing a visual delight.

Legend of Gurudongmar Lake

Gurudongmar Lake is named for Guru Padmasambhava, commonly known as Guru Rinpoche. In the eighth century, this saint, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, visited the lake. The saint is also associated with the frozen state of the lake, which he is said to have understood was worthy of devotion when returning from Tibet since it signified the holy spot of Chhoedten Nyima.

However, because the lake remained frozen for much of the year, it was unable to supply the people’s drinking water demands. Following that, the villagers approached the guru, who agreed to assist them.

Guru Nanak sanctified Gurudongmar Lake when he travelled through the area in the 15th century. The people begged him to melt the ice so they could utilise the water, according to one version of the narrative. Guru Nanak used his walking stick to touch a section of the lake, and it has been snow-free ever since. He also sanctified the lake, claiming that anybody who drank from it would acquire strength and virility.

Tips While Visiting Gurudongmar Lake

  1. Protect yourself from harmful UV rays and white blindness by using sunglasses with Polaroid film coating and UV lenses.
  2. It is recommended that you stop at Lachen because the trek from Gangtok might be exhausting. It is advised that you spend the night in Lachen and travel to Gurudongmar first thing in the morning.
  3. Bring warm clothing because it is pretty cold outside.
  4. While Indian tourists are permitted to visit the lake, international visitors must obtain a special authorization from the Ministry of Home Affairs in Delhi.
  5. Bring medications to help you cope with the difficulties of breathing at high altitudes. Due to the lack of oxygen, spending half an hour at the lake will make you feel light-headed.

How to reach Gurudongmar Lake

Bagdogra Airport, about a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Lachen, is the closest domestic airport. To go to the lake, you’ll need to rent a cab from the airport. Taxis and jeeps are available in Lachen.

Darjeeling Railway Station, which is connected to most of Sikkim’s towns and is located 171 kilometres from Lachen, is the closest railway station to Gurudongmar Lake. Cities with which it is well linked include Siliguri, Sukna, Tindharia, Mahanadi, Dilaram, Sonada, Jorebungalow, and Ghum.

Lachen is connected to all of Sikkim’s major cities via the Sikkim State Road Transport Corporation (SSRTC) and certain private transport services. These states are accessible by bus from Lachen. You may travel from Lachen

Thangu Valley

Overview

Thangu is a lovely town located approximately 3900 metres above sea level, around two hours driving from Lachen. It’s a pleasant town where visitors may unwind before embarking on a trip to Gurugongmar Lake, Muguthang Lake, or Cho Lhamu Lake. One can see rows of trees in Thangu Valley, and when one climbs higher, the stunning Tibetan Plateau panorama opens out. This charming village is an ideal stopover for nature enthusiasts.

Between May and June is the best time to visit the mesmerizing Thangu Valley, when the entire valley is decked out in vivid alpine flowers, and between October and March, the thick snow blankets these lovely flower beds. Thangu’s natural beauty is enhanced by the beautiful hiking paths that go to areas like Chopta Valley and Muguthang. Thangu has a large military base since it is close to the India-China border.

Thangu Weather and Best Time to Visit

Between November and June is the ideal time to visit Thangu since the weather is good during this time of year. Summers are pleasant, and an annual yak race known as Thangu is held here each year. Thangu may be rather chilly in the winter. During the winter months, the famed Gurdongmar Lake nearby freezes completely, creating a stunning sight.

Accommodation in Thangu Valley

Tourists may stay in the quaint and charming town of Thangu, which offers basic lodgings. Prior to staying the night, you must obtain a permit from the army, which is not simple to obtain.

Sightseeing around Thangu

In addition to Thangu, Lachen has a number of other wonderful tourist attractions. The Gurudongmar Lake is a must-see attraction in this area. Aside from that, Thangu Valley serves as the starting point for a number of hikes.

How to reach Thangu Valley

Bagdogra Airport is the most convenient airport for Sikkim. To go to Thangu, you may use shared jeeps or buses from here.

New Jalpaiguri train station is the closest station, and from there you may take a bus or hire a private automobile. Thangu and New Jalpaiguri are about 147 kilometres apart.

From Lachen to Thangu, you may drive. Thangu and Lachen are located 27 kilometres apart.

Tso Lhamo Lake

Overview

Tso Lhamo Lake, located just 74 kilometers from Lachen in North Sikkim, is an arduous yet must-see location. It is the highest lake in India and one of the tallest in the world, standing at a height of 5098 meters. Cholamus Lake is another name for it.

Best time to visit

Except for the monsoons, which are the strongest in the nation and disrupt all roads and connections, the Tso Lhamo Lake in Sikkim is gorgeous all year. As a result, any time of year is a good time to visit Tso Lhamo Lake, depending on your preferences. Each season provides a unique experience. For instance, the spring season, which runs from March through April, provides a flora-rich experience.

The region is covered in orchids, rhododendrons, and other flowers during this time of year. At times, there is even a little snowfall. This is the best time to explore the valley and the Tso Lhamo Lake if you are a nature lover. The fall season, which runs from mid-September to November, is the finest period for photographers and travel bloggers. The sky is clear, the temperatures are reasonable, and the weather is dependable.

However, if you enjoy snow, the months of December, January, and February are great. During this season, the whole Chopta Valley is blanketed with snow. The months of September and October are the finest for visiting the Tso Lhamo Lake in North Sikkim. During this period, the sky is clear and the weather is more dependable. Getting to this altitude is simpler during this time of year. You may arrange your journey properly to avoid any potential problems later on.

Tso Lhamo Lake Permit

A special Protected Area Permit is required for travellers visiting Tso Lhamo Lake in North Sikkim. They’ll require two copies of coloured, current passport-sized pictures, as well as a valid ID evidence such an Aadhar Card, Passport, Voter ID, or Driver’s License.

In the case of a family excursion, each person will be required to present their own identification. Students are allowed to bring their school/college IDs with photos. Foreign tourists must provide the Restricted Area Permit as well as two copies of passport-size pictures to get the same.

Tips

  • Because the valley never gets hot, you’ll need to bring light woollens like shawls and jackets. Another essential item to bring is a decent pair of footwear, since you may need to walk on mountain roads.
  • Because you never know how your skin will respond to the cool, windy weather of the area, bringing a decent moisturiser is a necessity.
  • Make a compact travel-friendly first aid kit as well, because you will be staying in the mountains and will need to have vital drugs in case of emergency so that you do not worry.

Chopta Valley

Overview

Chopta is a well-known tourist destination in North Sikkim, famed for its many colours. The Chopta Valley, often known as the “Valley of Flowers,” is known for its riot of colours throughout the summer months. Despite its appeal, relatively few visitors visit this valley, leaving it unspoiled and undisturbed. Nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts will appreciate visiting this beautiful valley and seeing numerous uncommon animals, plants, and birds.

How to reach Chopta Valley

When visiting the Chopta Valley, it is preferable to stay the night in Lachen and go to Chopta and Gurudongmar Lake the next morning.

Bagdogra Airport, about a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Lachen, is the nearest domestic airport. To go to Lachen, you’ll need to rent a cab from the airport. Taxis and jeeps are available to take you to the Chopta Valley from Lachen.

Rail: The Darjeeling Railway Station, which is connected to most of Sikkim’s towns and is 171 kilometers from Lachen, is the closest railway station. It is well linked to Siliguri, Sukna, Tindharia, Mahanadi, Dilaram, Sonada, Jorebungalow, and Ghum.

To go to the Chopta Valley, you’ll need to take a cab from Lachen. Lachen is connected to all of Sikkim’s major cities via the Sikkim State Road Transport Corporation (SSRTC) and certain private transport services. Buses run frequently between Lachen and these states.

Lhonak Valley

Overview

Muguthang Valley, located 19 kilometers east of the famed Chopta Valley in Lachen, is a mountain valley located 24 kilometers from Thangu, 51 kilometers from Guru Dongmar Lake, and 59 kilometers from Lachen. It is one of Sikkim’s most popular hiking destinations, as well as one of Lachen’s must-see sights.

It is also known as Lhonak Valley and is located at a height of 14,850 feet. It is accessible through a hike from the Chopta Valley. Except for infrequent Tibetan nomad communities for grazing their Yaks, this valley is typically desolate. Because this is the Indian Army’s final stronghold in the eastern hemisphere, this high mountain valley is essentially under continual vigilance. As the Indian Army’s final stronghold in the eastern half of extreme North Sikkim, this high mountain valley is essentially under continual vigilance. They keep an eye on the Nepal-Tibet border from here.

Lhonak Valley is a trans-Himalayan grassland with swampy marshes, glacial lakes, barren scree slopes, and glaciers in the exposed river valley of Goma Chu in northwest Sikkim. Muguthang’s high alpine valley is home to just a few high-altitude ruminants and their predators. Migratory waterbirds utilize the lakes and marshes in this area as a layover. Muguthang is also known for the yearly Yak race that takes place during the DrukpaTeshi festival.

How to reach

Muguthang Valley is accessible from Chopta Valley through the Lhonak La, a high 5,900-meter pass. This hike offers breathtaking views of glaciers, crystal clear lakes, and unusual plants. This 12-kilometer trip begins at Kalapathar, where the vehicle side road comes to an end. Lhonak La may be reached after a three-hour uphill hike. The Lhonak Pass is a winding road with prayer flags adorning it. The view of the Lhonak Valley from here is magnificent and spellbinding. An easy hike down into the valley from Lhonak La leads to Muguthang. During the journey, a yak safari may be organized on demand. This journey, which is near the Tibet border, was just recently opened.

Best time to visit

Summer is the greatest time to come, as the valley is still accessible. In the winter, the Valley is impassable due to snowfall.

Green Lake Trek

Overview

A large portion of the Himalayas in Sikkim has yet to be fully explored. Only a few people who are aware of this haven have embarked on an expedition to this section of the Himalayas. The green lake hike in Sikkim leads to the base of Kanchenjunga, a vast green landscape sprinkled with a few alpine trees and a tranquil lake.

The location allows you to keep the lovely horizon firmly in place, separated by the useful beneficial, useful resource of manner of the Kanchenjunga at 8,586 meters, Kanchenjunga west, also known as Yalung Kang at 8,505 meters, Kanchenjunga primary at 8,482 meters, Kanchenjunga south at 8,494 meters, and Kanchenjunga south at 7,903 meters.

Those components create a silver line that runs parallel to the clear blue sky and crosses Nepal, Tibet, and the Indian America of Sikkim. The green lake trek in Sikkim is one of several challenging and unknown treks in the Himalayan zone of Sikkim that passes through several lonely tribal settlements situated on a tall mountain top. Apart from the large woodland region with rhododendrons and high-quality floral plants, alpine timber, and plants and wildlife, it’s the way of life that many explorers associate with this alpine expedition. The hikers also get a good glimpse of the magnificent greenery that encircles the lake at an elevation of 5,000 meters.

The green lake walk in Sikkim begins in Lachen, at an elevation of 2,730 meters and roughly 135 kilometers from Gangtok. Via Zema, the trail leads to tall at 3,240 meters. The path twists and slowly climbs from tallem to jakthang at 3,430 meters. Here’s a day of acclimatization before continuing on the green lake trek in Sikkim.

The trail leads from Jakthang to Yabuk at 4,040 meters and then to the rest camp at 4,725 meters, passing through excellent alpine woods and cutting across numerous tiny and rushing streams.

The green lake walk in Sikkim begins in Lachen, at an elevation of 2,730 meters and roughly 135 kilometers from Gangtok. Via Zema, the trail leads to tallem at 3,240 meters. The path twists and slowly climbs from tallem to jakthang at 3,430 meters. Here’s a day of acclimatization before continuing on the green lake trek in Sikkim.

The trail leads from Jakthang to Yabuk at 4,040 meters and then to the rest camp at 4,725 metres, passing through excellent alpine woods and cutting across numerous tiny and rushing streams.


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