Lachung
 

Lachung Fact File

State: Sikkim
District: North Sikkim
Famous for/as: Hill Station
Languages: Nepali, Lepcha, Bhutia
Best Season: Oct - Jun
Weather: Summer 10 to 20°C, Winter -2 to 10°C
Altitude: 2700 m


The town of Lachung is located in the Indian state of Sikkim. This town is located in the northern part of the state in North Sikkim district, and it is located at an altitude of 9600 feet. Lachung is a tourist hotspot and a scenic destination that is located at the point where two tributaries Lachung and Lachen converge. These are the tributaries of the river Teesta. This town is frequented by tourists because of the many waterfalls that are located in the region. Snow capped mountains can also be seen near the region.

Perched at an elevation of 8,800 ft, Lachung is an ideal place to spent beautiful moments in solitude. The way to Lachung passes through quaint villages, scenic spots, and waterfalls. In recent times, Lachung has been made available to the tourists in an organized manner. It would not be embroidered to say that Lachung is actually a Shangri-La on the earth.

Places of Tourist Interest

Yumthang

Yumthang

Yumthang, situated at a height of 11800 feet is popularly known as 'Valley of Flowers', Located at a distance of 148 kms from Gangtok, it is a paradise for nature lovers with a fascinating blend of flora and fauna and breathtaking scenic beauty. In spring season, wild flowers such as primulas and Rhododendrons bathe the landscape in rich colours, making it a tourist hot spot. The Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary over here has 24 species of Rhododendron flowers which bloom from April to May end.

Hot spring located on the right side of Yumthang river is a popular tourist attraction. In addition to a vast green meadow, lush green forest abounding in Pine and silver fir trees throngs the place. While driving towards the valley, one can see cascading waterfalls and streams.

Six kms away further North is Shiv Mandir. A drive or trek to this place can be very refreshing and exhilerating. Situated further up at a distance of 16 kms, at an altitude of about 16,000 feet is Yumesamdong. The rugged vegetation- free mountains, especially in the months of November-December and February¬March over here present a breathtaking scenario. The approach to Yumthang is from Lachung valley, situated at a height of 8000 feet. It is at a distance of 120 kms from Gangtok. It has a unique self-governing body called the Dzumsa, which substitutes the modern Gram Panchyat. The village, spread out on the either side of Lachung Chu, has managed to retain its unique culture and tradition

Hot Springs - Situated at an altitude of 12,000 ft above sea level, Yumthang Hot Springs is around 135 km from Gangtok. The water of this spring contains sulphur which can cure skin diseases. There is a small hut which houses a pool where sulphur water of the hot spring is collected for taking a bath. The spring falls in the restricted area.

Yumesangdom (Zero Point)

Situated at an altitude of 15,300 ft. Yumesamdong is very close to the Chinese border. An hours drive beyond Yumthang (26 kms), Yumesamdong is the land of perennial snow. The journey from Yumthang trudges up through the rugged mountain road to Yumesamdong, an area where the sweet fragrance of Ezilia permeates the air. Ezilia is a plant used by the locals as incense.

Yumesamdong is a valley grazed by yaks and their nomadic shepherds. Heady, invigorating and exhilarating, words still fail to explain the experience of being at Yumesamdong.

Yumesamdong is well known for its hot springs. There are about 14 sulpher hot springs around Yumesamdong.

Katao

Katao Valley is just 24 kms away from Lachung at an altitude of above 15,000 ft. From Katao one can see the snowcapped peaks of Himalaya & beautiful valleys covered with rhododendron. Katao also remains covered with ice most of the time.
 



Lachen
 

Lachen Fact File

State: Sikkim
District: North Sikkim
Famous for/as: Hill Station
Languages: Nepali, Lepcha, Bhutia, Hindi
Best Season: Throughout the year
Weather: Summer 8 to 20°C, Winter -10 to 10°C
Altitude: 4000 m



Lachen is just another surprise unfold in the northern part of Sikkim, India. Lachen is a small settlement, resplendent with sublime beauty. The superlative beauty of Lachen requires certainly a keen eye to behold. For those, who have not traveled yet to Sikkim, it would be pleasant surprise to know that Lachen has been made accessible to the tourists just a few years back. Situated at an altitude of 8,838 ft, Lachen lies on the North Sikkim Highway.

Nature has numerous beautiful aspects and one of these facets comes alive at Lachen. This small hamlet rests on a verdant plain land that is segregated by cavernous ravines of Lachen. The multi-hued mountains, along with snowy peaks and black cliffs, appear to rise from Lachen. Lachen is inhabited by very less number of people. However, there are basic arrangements to make the accommodation for the tourists comfortable.

Lachen also has its own monastery that serves to the religious desires of the dwellers. A trek route to the Green Lake and Kunchenjunga National Park starts from Lachen. Chopta Valley and Gurudongmar Lake are also accessible from Lachen by trek. The tourists can visit both Chopta Valley and Green Lake, but foreigners are not allowed to visit Gurudongmar Lake. To put succinctly, Lachen is certainly a place worth visiting in North Sikkim

Places of Tourist Interest

Chopta Valley

Chopta Valley is located in the Indian state of Sikkim. This valley is a very scenic destination located in the northern reaches of Sikkim, which is cut off from the mainland. This region is majorly unexplored and untouched, as few tourists travel to this place despite its popularity in their circles. Chopta Valley is a spot for indulging in nature tourism, as there are not many monuments of historical or religious importance that you can see in the place. Wildlife enthusiasts and lovers of flora and fauna will love travelling to this beautiful valley and spotting many rare species of animals, plants and birds.

Adventurous tourists can also travel to Chopta Valley, as the place is an ideal ground for trekking. The valley is located at an altitude of 13200 feet and there are many activities like hiking and angling that you can do in the region. You can also indulge in many water sports by the river, and you will also get a chance to walk on the frozen lake if you travel to Chopta Valley during the winter months.

Bird watching or birding is another popular activity in Chopta Valley that many tourists indulge in, apart from wildlife spotting.

Thangu

The town of Thangu is located in the Indian state of Sikkim, in the Northern Sikkim district. Thangu is located at an altitude of around 13000 feet, and it is located near Lachen, which is another famous tourist spot. Thangu mainly serves as a town where tourists spend some ample time before travelling to Gurudongmar Lake, which lies a few miles away from Thangu. This lake is a very beautiful lake that is located at an altitude of more than 5000 meters. The lake is partly frozen during the winter season and pristine and beautiful during summers. This lake is considered as sacred and Buddhists and Hindus flock to this lake together during the peak tourist season.

You can also take a trip to Cho Lhamu, which is also present near Thangu. This region serves as the source of the Teesta River. Muguthang, which is a popular tourist hotspot, can also be visited from Thangu. Thangu lies near Lachen, which is another major tourist destination. A monastery located in this region, called the Lachen Monastery, is located in this place and this well constructed monastery provides excellent views of the surrounding mountains and landscape. These are the many places that you can visit, while in Thangu.

Gurudongmar

Gurudongmar

Gurudongmar is famous among tourists for its lake, which is located at an altitude of 17100 feet (roughly 5210 meters). This region lies in the northern part of Sikkim, and is located at a distance of around five kilometers from the Chinese border. This region is open exclusively to travelers and tourists who have permits. The region lies near the border; hence these precautions are always taken. Travel to this lake is only open to Indian Citizens.

The terrain that leads to the lake in Gurudongmar is quite inhospitable and very hard to cover and adventure enthusiasts will find this experience rewarding and challenging. One highlight of this very beautiful and ethereal lake is the fact that a portion of the lake never freezes even during the cold winter months. The lake is also surrounded by peaks on all sides, and the scenery here is very serene and captivating, making it an ideal picnic spot. You can visit Gurudongmar Lake and its surrounding regions, which have minor temples dedicated to popular local characters like Padmasambhava, who was a Buddhist monk. You can also take a trek up the terrain to this lake.

Chungthang

Chungthang is a small hamlet in the northern part of Sikkim, India. Sited at the convergence of Lachen River and Lachung Chu (tributaries of River Teesta), Chungthang is a place that is wholly immersed in natural beauty. At an altitude of 1,700 meters (5,600 ft), Chungthang provides a major groundwork to the Indian Army Force. Chungthang is to be found encircled by the sky-touching mountains on the way to Yumthang.

Chungthang is regarded as a consecrated place, where Guru Rinpoche went somewhere during his life. Apart from the stunning beauty, Chungthang has a legendary rock, which is believed to have been the seat of the saint for the time being. This rock is imprinted with certain marks that is said to be the footprints of Guru Rinpoche. On the rock, there is a small cavity that remains filled with spring water.

Another interesting fact about this region is that close to the rock, there is a small field where paddy grows which is definitely atypical in such stony terrain. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche had scattered a handful of grains on this spot and ever since, paddy grows here. Chungthang also acts a stopover for the tourists heading for Lachung or Lachen. From Chungthang, the road divides into two, one taking to Lachung and other to Lachen.

Chungthang Gurdwara is at a valley in north Sikkim, where Guru Nanak Dev ji is believed to have performed miracles during his last trip to China and Tibet between 1497 and 1522, has been opened to devotees for the first time in 2005.

At gurdwara in CHUNGTHANG Sikkim India ,locals hang scriptures along with Nishan sahib in prayer in bodhic style.It is believed when Guru Nanak Dev ji visited this place and dug his walking stick at a place there ; where stick has grown into a tree which has trunk in stick shape and leaves are below the rounded trunk which looks like handle of stick.

Dzongu

Dzongu is a place with striking beauty in the northern part of Sikkim, India. Not far away from Mangan, Dzongu is an untainted and least populated hamlet in the Himalayas of Sikkim. Earlier, Dzongu was restricted to the Lepchas, but in the recent years, it has been made accessible to the tourists. In the contiguity of Kanchendzonga Biosphere Reserve, Dzongu still looks untouched by the current evolution and time.

Here, Lepchas dominate the region with their own traditional practices and beliefs. Maximum area of Dzongu is covered by thick forests. The Teesta and Tolung, the two important rivers, gratify the thirst of Dzongu region with their rushing waters. Cuddled in the silhouette of Mt Kanchenjunga and Mt Siniolchu, Dzongu makes the perfect base for various high altitude treks in the Kanchenjunga reserves.

The Tolung - Green Lake trek is an important trek that begins from Dzongu. This trek route is one amongst the most exhausting treks in Sikkim, traversing rocky passes like Kishongla and Kishongda, which reach over an altitude of 17,000 ft. The forests in the region boast of a rich variety of flora and fauna. The trek route of Tolung Monastery would bring you to Dzongu, a region that has much more that is yet to be explored.

Labrang Monastery

Labrang Monastery is undoubtedly one of the leading monasteries of Sikkim. Labrang Monastery is sited at a distance of 2 kms from Phodong Monastery in the northern part of Sikkim. In 1814, Labrang Monastery was built approximately 100 years after the construction of Phodong Monastery. Gyalshe Rigzing Chempa took the initiative to build this monastery and he himself lived in Wangdiche, a Palace that was built nearby.

The monastery was built to commemorate Latsun Chembo of Kongpu (Tibet). Latsun Chembo was the one, who started and propagated Nyingmapa School of Tibetan Buddhism. The term 'Labrang' literally means 'the Lamas dwelling'. Unlike Phodong Monastery, Labrang Monastery belongs to the Nyingmapa sect of Buddhism. The antique structure looks imposing in the very first sight. Another fact about this monastery is that it has been maintained in its original condition, a contrast to the other monasteries in Sikkim.

The location of Monastery offers a vast stretch of land that is perfect for mass congregations. On its southern, western and northern sides, the monastery complex is encased by dense forests. Tumlong ruins, which is another attraction in north district, are sited just below the road connecting Phodong and Labrang Monastery. On the whole, Labrang Monastery is a sacred place, where one can spend some worthy moments in meditation.

Phensang Monastery

Phensang Monastery is another eminent religious place in the northern part of Sikkim. Located on the slope widening from Kabi to Phodong, Phensang Monastery can be reached easily by taking regular buses, jeeps or by hiring taxis from Mangan. The environs of the monastery are one amongst the most picturesque sites in the district. Phensong Monastery was built in 1721 during the ruling period of Jigme Pawo.

Belonging to the Nyingmapa sect of Buddhism, Phensong Monastery is famous for its annual festival that is observed on the 28th and 29th days of the tenth month (December) of the Tibetan Calendar. At this juncture of the year, 'Chaam' (Mask dance) is performed by the monks in the monastery complex. People from all parts of the state come to view this fascinating dance of lamas. Phensang Monastery is also home to not less than 300 monks of the same sect.

In 1947, Phensong Monastery came under the spell of devastating fire. After a year of this sad happening, the monks made an effort to rebuild this monastery and their efforts were proved to be fruitful in 1948. In the present times, Phensong Monastery is standing intact amidst the striking hills and spectacular landscape of the region. Every year, tourists and pilgrims from all over the world come to pay their homage at the monastery.

Mangan

Mangan is a graceful town that is acclaimed to be the headquarters of North Sikkim District. Located at a distance of approx 65 kms from Gangtok, Mangan serves as the opening destination in the north district of Sikkim. Throughout the area of North Sikkim, hiring transport has been recommended from Mangan for the convenience of the tourists. To begin with, it would not be exaggerating to say that Mangan is a charming hamlet that is emerging as a new tourist hot-spot in Sikkim.

Set on an elevation of 3950 ft, Mangan is similar to the other small villages and towns that are on the verge of development in Sikkim. Being the headquarters of the North Sikkim District, Mangan enjoys all the political and legal influence over the region. Another interesting fact about Mangan is that it certainly boasts of numerous tourist attractions and excursions in and around the town. Mangan also has its own market that you can browse to check out the curios and souvenirs.

Pentok is another destination which you can head for, from Mangan. It lies at a distance of 2 kms uphill from the market of Mangan and could be accessible by the link road. From Pentok, one can enjoy the heavenly view of Mt Siniolchu. Mangan gets segregated by River Teesta from shoddy villages like Lingdong, Barfok and Hee-Gyathang that fall under Dzongu area. Phensong and Phodong Monastery are other complimentary attractions to be seen. Mangan is actually a beautiful place, comprising several reasons, to visit this town at least once.

Rong Lungten Lee

This replica of a Lepcha traditional house at Namprikdang, 8 kms away from Mangan, was inaugurated on 05.01.2003. It comprises of three rooms. The ceiling called 'PHAHONG' (attic) is used to store valuable items. This house is open to tourists, both foreigners and domestic throughout the year and visitors can admire the antique artifacts displayed. Namprikdang is situated at the confluence of two rivers - Kanaka and Teesta. Visitors will definitely admire the pristine beauty of the flora and fauna especially during the annual Namsoong festival.

Singhik

Singhik is a small quaint hamlet in the north district of Sikkim. Perched at a distance of 4 kms from Mangan on North Sikkim Highway, Singhik is a lovely town trapped in the natural beauty. Singhik is actually renowned for the splendid vista, it offers. The majestic range of Mt. Kanchenjunga looks stunning from Singhik viewpoint. This vantage point is situated just on the wayside of Singhik. A spectacular glimpse of Mt Siniolchu, Mt Kanchenjunga along with other ranges can be seen from Singhik View Point.

Apart from the stunning view of lofty mountains, Singhik also offers a panoramic vista of the contiguous places. Below this View Point, you can trace the converging point of River Teesta and River Kanaka. At an altitude of 4000 ft, Singhik becomes a relaxing stoppage for the travelers heading to Lachen or Lachung. Singhik is an impending tourist spot that has basic accommodation facilities for the visitors. One centrally located tourist lodge in the town looks after the accommodation needs of the tourists.

Situated amidst the lush green hills, Singhik commands soothing scenery of forested hills and alluring mountain streams. If you are interested in short treks, you can also move uphill towards the ancient Monastery. Besides this, one can also engage in treks that go towards the higher ridges of the adjacent hills. During your whole journey, various waterfalls and prominent lush green hills would capture your interest, making your trek really a pleasurable one. Singhik is undoubtedly a nice place, to spend some time, lingering in some beautiful relaxing thoughts.