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Lachen Tourism And Travel Guide
9.3° C / 48.8° F
October to May
2 to 3 Days
Bagdogra Airport (200 kms)
Darjeeling Railway Station (80 kms)
Situated in the northern region of Sikkim, Lachen is a small but visually exquisite town that is a rapidly rising tourist spot in the country. The hill station is located at an altitude of over 2500 m and boasts of breathtaking views of the hillside, including the Kanchenjunga range. You will witness wide panoramas of lush green forests and vegetation, with exotic birds and animals that attract all nature lovers to this diverse village.
Majority communities in Lachen are Buddhists, and the widely known Lachen monastery contributes significantly to tourism in the region. With a population of barely 1000 locals, it is a serene location perfect for enjoying a personal retreat away from the routine of city life. Listed below is a detailed travel guide for making the most out of your next vacation in Lachen.
How to Reach
The most convenient way to reach Lachen is via air travel to Bagdogra in Siliguri district of West Bengal. Lachen is around 200 km away from Bagdogra and the rest of the journey to your destination can be covered via road in 4-5 hours.
The closest railheads from Lachen are the Darjeeling Railway Station and the New Jaipalguri Railway Station in West Bengal. Most of the major cities in India connect to these stations and can be used to reach Lachen through rail travel. They are located 80 km and 195 km away from Lachen respectively; from either station, bus or cab services can be availed to reach your destination.
The hilly terrain of Lachen is easily accessible via road routes that can be covered by a number of public transport options. The Sikkim State Road Transport Corporation (SSRTC) runs buses between Lachen and other locations. A number of private bus services and cabs are also available for hire for a more convenient travel option.
Weather & Best Time to Visit
Summers in Lachen are relatively moderate and one of the best times to visit this scenic village. Surrounded by hills on all sides, the temperature ranges between 10ᴼC-28ᴼC and is perfect weather for sightseeing and trekking. The roads also remain clear and make traveling easier in this hilly terrain during summers.
The monsoon season in Lachen witnesses heavy rainfall throughout the region, and is not an optimal time to visit the town. The temperature usually ranges from 15ᴼC-22ᴼ, with the rain often disrupting travel and outdoor activities.
Wintertime is one of the best seasons to visit Lachen, despite chilly temperatures that range between 5ᴼC-15ᴼC. The snow covered mountains and landscapes make for a breathtaking view that is unlike anything you will encounter elsewhere.
Things to Do
Lachen is well known for its trekking options and serves as base camp for hiking to the Muguthang Valley and Chopta Valley. With impressive views of the surrounding hillside and green landscapes, trekking in Lachen is the perfect activity for adventure seekers.
Bird & Wildlife Sighting:
Lachen is home to a wide variety of species of birds and animals that are native to the state of Sikkim, apart from the migratory birds that travel to Lachen during the beginning of summer from colder regions. Intriguing species like the wild yak, red panda, and Himalayan bear are commonly seen among the wilderness in Lachen.
Explore the Lakes:
Some of the highest altitude lakes in the country are situated in Lachen; the Gurudongmar Lake holds significant religious value to both Sikhs and Buddhists whereas the Cho Lhamo Lake will prove to be one of the most tranquil camping spots for you to relax around. The area around the lakes is also known for being great trekking locations; the frozen lakes are a sight to behold during winters.
Visit Lachen Monastery:
Lachen monastery is one of the most popular tourist locations in Lachen. It is a beautiful religious monument decorated with colorful prayer flags and is the seat for Tibetan Buddhism in the region.
The native culture of Sikkim incorporates song and dance routines into a lot of their festivals, and the annual mask dance held at the Lachen Monastery each year is a living testament to that. Monks dress up in colorful attire and vibrant wooden masks to create a spectacle that is worth an experience. There is also an annual yak race held during summers of each year, which forms an important part of Lachen culture.
Some of the best regional items can be purchased in Lachen, like woven handloom blankets and shawls made from yak and sheep wool, along with handmade bags, hats, jewellery, carpets and wooden products. Try the Angora Rabbit and The Handicraft Centre for exquisite local goods; do not forget to bargain for appropriate costs as tourists often run the chance of being overcharged at these locations.
What To Eat
Trying out the very best of north-eastern cuisine is one of the fun things to do in Lachen. Largely influenced by Nepali cuisine, you will find varieties of Thukpas and Momos all over the village eateries. A number of fermented delicacies like the Sinki and Gundruk, curries like the Masaurya curry and Tama curry, and local pickles like Silam ko achaar and Shimi ko achaar are some uniquely local delicacies that should be given a try.