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Lachung Tourism And Travel Guide
19.9° C / 67.8° F
March to July
1 to 2 Days
Bagdogra Airport (195 kms)
New Jalpaiguri Station (127 kms)
Lachung literally means a ‘small pass.’ It is a sleepy little mountain village poised in Northern Sikkim, divided by the river Lachung, a tributary of Teesta. A village of rising and falling chain of mountains, gigantic waterfalls, mist-shrouded valleys and Rhododendron flowers, Lachung attracts tourists for its innate tranquil nature and the host of sightseeing that it offers. It is reached by rail, road as well as air, and the best time to visit Lachung for tourism is from October to June. From visits to Lachung Monastery, Zero Point, Shingba Shrub Sanctuary and Naga Falls this Lachung travel guide gives you all the advise you need for a great vacation.
How to Reach
Nestled in the ice-capped mountains of Himalayas, near the Indo-Tibetan border, Lachung has developed good connectivity over the years. You can reach Lachung by air, rail and road quite easily.
The nearest airport to Lachung is Bagdogra in West Bengal, which lies 195 km away. The Airport receives flights from major Indian cities. You can hire a car, taxi or take a bus from here up to Lachung.
Lachung does not have its own railway station but the nearest one is 127 km away at New Jalpaiguri. Most trains from Guwahati and West Bengal stop here, as well as some trains from major Indian cities.
This is one of the most preferred routes since it gives you breathtaking sceneries and the whole climbing-the-ghats-rush. Lachung is 113km away from Gangtok and major flocks of tourists hire a car or take a bus from there. Or You can choose to travel from Darjeeling, which is 169 km away.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Lachung is located at an altitude of 8610 ft and is screened by snow and greens almost all year round. Therefore the temperatures here are quite pleasant and more or less moderate throughout the year. The ideal time to visit though, is from October to June.
Winter (October - February)
The temperatures drop down to a range of 10°C - -5°C in these months and the air becomes quiet with heavy mist. This time gives you some of the best sights and views as the mountains lie suspended in hibernation. You are free to explore without fear of dehydration or the usual tanning due to sun.
Monsoon (July - September)
The monsoon months bring a heavy summer riding on the South-West Monsoons Winds. Roads are slippery and landslides quite common. It is advisable to avoid this season if you are a first time traveler to Lachung.
Summer (March - May)
The summer months are not as hot here due to Lachung’s elevation and snow cover. 10°C - 28°C is the usual range of temperature. This season is especially famous for its harvest festivals. Rhododendron flowers are in full bloom then. The region is dotted in bright colours and the tourism department organises many events and festivals around Rhododendron flowers. This is also a great time to visit Lachung, especially if you are in love with Rhododendrons.
Things to Do
Lachung has a host of stunning vistas to offer you, wrapped in the tranquility of its mountains. You will find a lot of things of your interest here if you are a nature lover and are seeking some quiet, peaceful time.
Lachung is a village of nature’s own masterpieces, a collection of breath-taking sights. Some places that should be on your list include the Shingba Shrub Sanctuary for its bloom of Rhododendron flowers. You will find that summer is the best time for this as you see these flowers in full bloom, in colours ranging from red to purple to white to yellow.
Lachung Monastery is another place to definitely have on your list for its wall murals and collection of ancient statues.
Also, Naga Falls, on your drive from Gangtok to Lachung, is one of the biggest in the region. Stop here for the view, cool breeze and great pictures.
One of the main occupations of the people in this village is growing fruits. The apple, peach and apricot orchards make for a nice touristy walk, with open spaces for the children to play. The farmers and hosts are warm and make you feel welcome.
The Lachung Monastery is located on an elevated platform, and houses some of the most warm-hearted monks, sweet-sounding prayer bells and a line of fluttering prayer flags in red, yellow, green, blue and white. Visit this place for wall murals and statues, but more so for the tranquil quiet that you will experience meditating in one of its atriums.
Explore the rolling valley of Rhododendrons:
Summer is THE season to see Rhododendron flowers in full bloom. These flowers are peculiar to this region and bring a burst of colour to an otherwise white-green valley. To witness this marvel, head to Shingba Sanctuary or the Yumthang Valley or Yume Samdong.
A place for rolls of Rhododendrons, the valley of Yume Samdong is also known for its sulphur springs and hot water springs with healing properties. Snow cover remains intact all year round and still the springs are hot and Rhododendron flowers bloom. Isn’t it a real marvel? The local people are mostly Rhododendron incense-stick (aggarbatti) makers and you can buy some as souvenirs on your way back.
This is the end of civilisation outpost, as the name suggests. It doubles up as a popular tourist destination for its rugged hills and snow-covered peaks, as well as the view of stunning, untouched mountains stretched out beyond. The Zero Point is very close to Yume Samdong.
Thukpa and momos are the staple of Lachung, and their simple, non-spicy flavours slowly grow on you. Thukpa is a noodle and vegetable stew, eaten piping hot, while momos are known everywhere. This is one dish you will get spicy, steamed or fried in most stalls and restaurants.
At most tourist points and highways you are bound to find stalls selling maggi, tea, coffee, omelettes and toasts. These things become your soul food in the cold chilly air with mountains for company.