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Tourist Places To Visit In Lachung
Lachung is a small, sleepy mountain village located at 8610 ft above mean sea level in Sikkim. It is a beautiful hilly region, ensconced by snowy Himalayas, sparkling rivers and endless rows of Rhododendron trees, a speciality of this place. Being a little village, Lachung may not seem a very attractive tourist destination at first glance but is actually a great dock to plan your tour in and around its scenic offerings. From the Zero Point where road for civilians ends, to the peaceful Lachung Monastery, fragrant apple and apricot orchards to the valley of Yaks, there are lots of tourist places to visit here in Lachung.
This is a Buddhist Monastery nestled in the laps of Lachung’s hilly landscape. It is one of the most tranquil places, even in this sleepy village that itself is definition of peace. You can visit this monastery to see the beautiful wall murals and ancient statues that the place houses. The monks are some of the most warm-hearted and welcoming people you will come across.
If you are visiting in the month of December (10th Buddhist month) then don’t miss the special religious dance between 28th to 29th.
Fruit Orchard Traipsing
You can go traipsing for a tour around the many fruit orchards in Lachung. The farmers and hosts are welcoming and show you around their apple, peach and apricot trees with much pride. The sweet smells of ripening fruit will tingle your nostrils if you go there in the right season. The children get wide, open spaces to play and you get to taste fresh dewy fruit, right off its branch.
This stunning valley is not very far from Lachung. Located 3000 feet above mean sea level, this valley is a half day tour to see the wide landscape of larger-than-life mountains, rugged passes, snow-capped peaks and green-white valleys. Much like a child’s watercolour painting. The fragrance of Rhododendron flowers is borne by wind all through this valley. You will also find hot springs here, as many as 14 in number. As souvenir, you can carry back incensed sticks (agarbatti) made from Rhododendron flowers. This is also the main occupation of locals here.
Prior permission needs to be obtained before venturing to Yume Samdong because it is very close to the India-China border.
They call it the place where ‘Civilian Road ends to Heaven.’ Zero point is near Yume Samdong and is located at 15,300 feet above mean sea level. This spot marks the last of civilisation outposts. There are no more manmade roads from here on and nature runs wild henceforth. The magic of Zero Point is, that the journey is just as beautiful as the destination. The road to Zero Point is one of the lushest, most beautiful landscapes, almost rivalling the ruggedness of Zero Point.
The village of Lachung and its surroundings are known for the abundance of Rhododendron flowers. The Shingba Shrub Sanctuary becomes a great tourist attraction for people coming to see these flowers. The place houses more than 24 Rhododendron species in colours varying from red to purple to white to pink to yellow. This makes for just the perfect spot for some holiday photographs.
Katao lies 26 km from Lachung and is a scenic drive up until the peak. It is not as cold as Zero point and is easier to access. Snow covers every inch of the surroundings in thick, white sheets and makes for a perfect playground. You also get to see the village of Lachung stretched out under your feet from this peak. Yaks graze in the background and you get to enjoy some piping hot tea and maggi from the shack nearby. What better way for a leisurely trip?
Lachung and the road leading to it are filled with waterfalls. The most prominent and biggest being the Naga Falls. You can visit this waterfall on your way from Gangtok to Lachung. A multi-layered fall, gigantic in size, this becomes a good place to break journey for some food and photos. The emerald green colour of waters is unique and enticing. The adventurous lot can climb up the summit while the others get to relax.
Also known as the ‘valley of Yaks,’ this is a major tourist attraction near Lachung. The Teesta river flows through this valley and enriches the rows of Rhododendron on its bank. Yaks graze from the sparse green land. You can also visit the hot sulphur spring located 1 km from Yumthang Valley. Like most hilly terrains, you will find shacks selling tea, coffee, maggi and omelettes here too.
Lachen and Lachung go hand in hand, both villages occupying the big and the small pass literately. Lachen is perched at a height of 2750 m above sea level, attracting tourists for its green mountains and waterfalls — a patent of Sikkim. The village is about 47 km from Lachung and ideal for a short one-night trip. It's a small village of about 200 homes and great to experience the Sikkim hospitality and culture.
Chungthang is a small town about 23 km from Lachung, all rocks and waterfalls, streams and mountains. This is also the place where the mighty Teesta River begins, and this is also the place where legends of Guru Padmasambhava glorify the land. Visit for all these tales and more, like the mineral water springs, snow capped hills and a relaxing day.
Bhim Nala Falls
Bhim Nala Falls, as the name suggests, is a waterfall in Khedum. It is the largest in all of Sikkim and about 15 km from the town centre of Lachung. The crash and roar of Bhim Nala is heard a long distance away, such is its might. It falls from a great height and makes for a beautiful sightseeing spot near Lachung. Its height has also earned it the name of Amitabh Bachchan Falls!
Another gorgeous valley near Lachung, Chopta is both a summer as well as a winter wonderland. While summers bring a bloom of flowers of the mountains here, winters carpet the entire valley in sparkling white snow. Chopta is about 4000 m above sea level, making it difficult to reach, and quite a long drive from Lachung. It takes about 2 hours, but the drive itself is beautiful. After this valley, the vegetation of the region takes a drastic turn from trees to shrubs and then barrenness.
Mangan is North Sikkim’s capital town and perfect in the lap of Himalayas. From leisure seekers to travellers and back packers — all kinds of tourists throng this town. There is a decided Buddhist aura around here, and many a monasteries and temples, with monks ringing bells and Buddhist flags wrapped around walls. There lies the charm of Mangan, and its ability to attract tourists even when there are many other bigger towns in Sikkim.
In Lachung, the Green lake makes for a beautiful experience at the foothill of Kanchenjunga mountain. Bright blue poppies grow around the lake, while rhododendron meadows carpet its surroundings, creating a surreal heaven-like beauty. The lake is not very famous among tourists so you find solitude and quiet here, especially in the months of March, April and May, when the weather is great and crowds diverted elsewhere. No points for guessing why this lake is called Green Lake!
A little hamlet in the slopes of North Sikkim, Kabi Lungchok is all about classic timeless gorgeousness and history that seeps into its stones and trees. Be it a leisurely unwinding you seek or a quest into Sikkim’s culture and heritage, this hamlet brings you to your goal. This is the place where Lepcha Chief and Bhutia King signed the famed ‘Blood Brotherhood Treaty’ back in the 13th Century. You can learn all about this and more, or stroll by Bakcha river that is ripe with fish, flowers and wildlife.