Lachen, located in North Sikkim, is one of the less explored places in this state. At an elevation of 2750 meters above sea level, Lachen is undoubtedly a piece of paradise on Earth blesses with a jaw-dropping vista of mountains and some fascinating tourist attracts. Far from the bustling towns of Sikkim, Lachen is a serene hamlet where people go for a holiday to find solace amidst nature. This scenic settlement is also a base of Gurudongmar Lake and Chopta Valley. The meaning of the word Lachen is a big pass. This village is equipped with around 200 houses mostly inhabited by the Lepcha community. It is quite an ideal place for backpackers as well as adventurers who are in love to explore offbeat destinations and should be on the top of their Sikkim itinerary.
With the help of North Bengal Guide's well-planned spelling tour package, you can spend a great weekend in Lachen and get rewarded with an unmatched view of the mountain peaks, serenity, and complete peace.
Lachen is truly a breathtaking summer destination as the village lets the travelers witness the mesmerizing Himalayas, alpine pasting, scenic places, and more. Here are some of the worth visiting places in and around Lachen.
Lachen Monastery is a must-visit place if you are traveling to Lachen. It is one of the century-old monasteries in Sikkim established in the year 1858 by a Lama named Karchen Dorje Drak. Among the locals, this monastery is also called Launching Gompa or Ngodub Choling. The jaw-dropping excellence of Tibetan architecture and the statue of Guru Padmasambhava are the major attractions of this monastery. Apart from this, you will also like its surrounding lush greenery that creates a calm and composed atmosphere. The decorated prayer flags and the prayer wheels let the travelers experience a great pilgrimage experience.
Sikkim's one of the most famous lakes is Gurudongmar. From Lachen, you have to cover around 70 km of road distance to reach Gurudongmar Lake within 3 hours. Nestled amidst the great Himalayan region, Gurudongmar Lake is also one of the highest lakes with an average elevation of 5,154 meters above sea level. To the Buddhists as well as Sikhs, it is a sacred lake. The lake is named after the famous saint Guru Padmasambhava from Tibet who visited the lake once. As a visitor, you will be amazed by witnessing the sweeping view of the Himalayas. If you visit during winter, the deep blue water of the lake will get frozen completely.
Thangu, the valley of flowers and the exotic Himalayan birds, is also a must-visit destination near Lachen. The approximate distance from Lachen to Thangu Valley is just 35 km which takes one and a half hours to cover via Gurudongmar Road. It is one of the finest places for trekking enthusiasts. The snow-topped Himalayas, orchids, winding streams, and its beautiful magnificence are truly unearthly. Not more than 5 km from Chopta Valley, it is truly a blessing for the lover of nature. Even though there are many other worth noting tourist places in Lachen, this one is truly special, and due to its high elevation, the valley stays covered with snow all through the year. In short, the valley is perfect for those who seek a tranquil environment to rejuvenate their soul and to get rid of the intense heat of summer in the plain.
Lachung is another must-visit place near Lachen. The approximate distance between them is around 50 km. This approximate distance can be covered within 2 hours by a car. Lachung's Buddhist monastery makes the place quite popular among tourists. It was built in the year 1880 whose another name is Samten Cheoling Monastery. In this monastery, you can see the statues of Buddha, Guru, and Chenrezig which were brought from Tibet during 1930. You can also take part in the annual mask dance festival.
Just 13 km away, Chopta Valley is the best place to visit in Lachen. With an average altitude of 4000 meters above sea level, Chopta Valley with its lush greenery, colorful flora, and sweeping view of Himalaya has captivated the minds of many travelers whether they are visiting it for the first time or multiple times. It is another popular trekking destination from Lachen which is the home to forest-covered hills, meandering streams, and the vibrant Himalayan birds. In short, Chopta Valley is a perfect place to visit whether you are a nature lover, peace seeker, adventurer, trekker, or even an avid bird watcher.
Yumthang Valley is another alluring destination to explore near Lachen. Because of its offering of the plethora of blooming flowers, the place is often known as the Valley of flowers. At a jaw-dropping height of 3,564 meters above sea level, Yumthang Valley is the home of many floral species on the surface covered with green meadows. Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is inside the valley which holds more than 24 species of rhododendrons. Every season makes the valley looks different. Starting from Mid-February to Mid-June, the entire valley gets thoroughly covered by the blooming flowers of rhododendrons, primulas, poppies, iris, and many other species of flowers.
You can do many activities while staying at Lachen. Some of the most popular fun things to do here in Lachen are:
Visiting Gurudongmar Lake is one of the most popular things to do from Lachen. Travelers have to trek to this lake where the bewitching view of the Himalayas and the unearthly natural beauty awaits them. Gurudongmar Lake is also one of the highest lakes with an average elevation of 5,154 meters above sea level. To the Buddhists as well as Sikhs, it is a sacred lake. The lake is named after the famous saint Guru Padmasambhava from Tibet who visited the lake once during his expedition to Sikkim. As a visitor, you will be amazed by witnessing the sweeping view of the Himalayas. If you visit during winter, the deep blue water of the lake will get frozen completely.
One of the best things to do in and around Lachen is undoubtedly trekking. Being quite popular among the trekkers, Lachen is connected with many valleys and lakes through several trekking trails. Travelers will be delighted to trek through the challenging trekking routes that will lead them to some of the finest and mesmerizing sites near Lachen.
Another best thing to do in Lachen is to visit Kanchenjunga National Park. It is one of Unesco's World Heritage Site and a natural hub for many wild animals and exotic floras. It is spreading over an area of 849.5 km2 covered with lush green forest. The wild animals you will get see here Himalayan black bear, goral, and takin, as well as reptiles including rat snake, Russell's viper, Himalayan blue sheep, serow, musk deer, snow leopard, Himalayan tahr, dhole, sloth bear, and viverrids. This National Park is also blessed with a plethora of unique floras including Oak, Birch, Fir, Maple, Willow, and more.
Lachen is also one of the most preferred destinations in Sikkim among avid bird watchers. If you are an avid watcher, you will be delighted to spot some exotic Himalayan birds including fire-taled sunbird, rufous-necked hornbill, Black Bulbul, black-throated bushtit, scarlet, and Long-tailed Minivets, Coal, Green-backed and Black-throated Tits, Rusty-bellied shortwing, Long-tailed Minivets, Rufous-breasted Accentors, Shrike Babblers, various Yuhinas, Fulvettas, Shrike Babblers, Scimitar Babblers, Blue-fronted Redstarts, Brownish-flanked Bush Warblers, and more. You can spot them by your naked eye and also through a binocular.
You would love to explore all the monasteries in and around Lachen. You can start by visiting Lachen Monastery which is a widely renowned tourist site in Sikkim. You can wander around the monastery to catch the natural beauty of the surrounding. You can also spin the prayer wheels and pray something to Lord Buddha. The Tibetan Style architecture of the monastery is also worth looking at.
You can go shopping in the market of Lachen even though it is not considered a shopper's paradise. However, you can shop the handmade items of the locals including kurtas, shawls, carpets, handbags, beautiful handicrafts as well as many pure woven handloom products at the Main Market, Handicraft Centre, and at The Angora Rabbit Farm. In short, you will certainly love shopping here in Lachen.
You can consider visiting Lachen and many others nearby destinations at any time of the year. However, the best months to visit Lachen are during the months of October to June. Summer is quite pleasant here when the temperature and the weather stay quite charming. Winter strikes Lachen quite hard and the temperature can sometimes plunge to zero degrees celsius.