Lachung is a small town and a hill station in the northeastern state of Sikkim, India. It is situated in the North Sikkim district which is close to the border with Tibet. The town is at an elevation of 2,900 m. The meaning of the word “Lachung” is a small pass. The town is situated at the convergence of the tributaries of River Teesta, Lachen and Lachung Rivers. The 19th century Buddhist Lachung Monastery is located in this town. After the region was opened up by the Indian government, the economy of the town has been improved by tourism. Nepali, Bhutia, and Lepcha are the widely spoken languages in Lachung. British explorer Joseph Dalton Hooke described it as the “most picturesque village of Sikkim”.
How to reach:
Nearest Railway Station: New Jalpaiguri Railway Station
The distance from New Jalpaiguri Railway Station to Lachung is 191.3 km for which it will take approximately 7 hours by road.
Nearest Airport: Gangtok Airport
The distance from Gangtok Airport to Lachung is 109.6 km for which it will take about 4 hours and 30 minutes.
- Lachung monastery: Lachung was famous for its spiritual practices, over a century ago. Lachung monastery, also known as the Samten Choling monastery, is situated in Lachung, was built in 1850. As per the Chinese astrology, this monastery holds religious significance and was constructed in the year of the metal dog. Many fascinating additions were done to this monastery such as sculptures of Buddha, Guru, Chenrezig etc. in the year 1930. These were brought from Tibet in order to spread Buddhism in that particular region. The Lamas re-established and transformed the monastery in 1983. After the renovation, all the major ceremonies of the region are hosted in the monastery.
- Kabi Lungchok: This place holds religious significance. It is quite a captivating place in the North Sikkim, located 17 km north to Gangtok. The word Kabi Lungchok means ‘stone erected by our blood’. it is reckoned as the place where the Lepchas and the Bhutias, two important tribes of Sikkim, signed the ‘Treaty of Blood Brotherhood’.
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Must see places:
- Yumthang valley – This is one of the most picturesque places in Sikkim. It is situated at a height of 3,500 m. This place boasts of its thick forests of rhododendron and hot springs of sulphur. 24 species of rhododendrons are found in this region and that is why it is also called ‘valley of flowers’. The River Teesta passes through it and thus makes it a paradise for nature lovers. The main mode of transport is the jeep. It can be explored by taking a trek for two days.
- Chopta valley – It is situated in the two districts of North India, Sikkim and Uttarakhand. This valley is situated at an altitude of 4,000 m. Spring is the best time to visit this place as this place becomes a riot of colours. This place contains alpine vegetation, rhododendrons, orchids and other high altitude vegetation. Here also the main mode of transport is the jeep.
- Lachen – Sikkim is full of some unexplored beauties. One of them is Lachen which is every traveller’s dream come true. This place is settled amidst lofty mountains. The mountains are often clad with thick forests and snow. The literal meaning of the word Lachen is ‘big pass’. This town is the base for Gurudongmar Lake and Lhamu Lake and the very famous Chopta valley. Apart from nature’s beauty, the main prime attraction in Lachen is Lachen Gompa. Summers are the best time to visit Lachen.
- Seven Sisters Waterfalls – This is one of the most popular waterfalls in India. It is situated about 32 km from Gangtok. The water is seen pouring down in three distinct steps. In order to give the visitors the best view, a footbridge is also constructed above the waterfall. The fourth drop of the waterfall can also be seen if someone desires to trek a bit more. Kids love the place as they can play around the shallow and transparent water.
- Chungthang – It is a beautiful town situated at the meeting point of Lachen and Lachung Rivers. Guru Padmasambhava and Guru Nanak are believed to have visited this place. It is an excellent base camp for Lachung, Katao, Yumthang, Thangu, Yumesamdong etc. This place has a rich biodiversity. It is indeed a gift of nature.
- Thangu – This is one of the most beautiful lakes in India. Situated on the high alpine plateau, this place is very picturesque. It is a very famous tourist spot. It is very close to the Chinese border and as a result, there is a huge military base in that particular region. You’re allowed to trek further only if you are an Indian; otherwise, you are stopped at the Chopta valley.
1. Mangan – This town is well connected to the capital city Gangtok. It is situated at an elevation of 956 m by the metalled road. It is the opening of the Tibetan plateau.
2. Singhik – It is a subdivision of Mangan. Singhik is about 4 km away from Mangan. Kanchenjunga and Siniolchu can be seen clearly from this place.
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Important things a traveller should be aware of:
1. Accommodation – There are many hotels and resorts in Lachung. If you have an excellent budget and want to have a luxury stay, then you can go to resorts like Yarlam Resort under the budget of 7,376 INR. Hotels like Lachung Heritage under the budget of 2,897 INR and Hidden Hill Retreat under the budget of 1,500 INR are also available.
2. Best time to visit – This town is surrounded by mountains so it stays cool throughout the year but the best time to visit this place is between the months of October and June as the temperature ranges between 10 and 16 degrees Celcius.
3. Food options – The most popular cuisines in Lachung are momos, thukpa, chhurpi, kinema, gundruk and sinema etc. There are unlimited options for non-veg and veg. Both are easily available.