Chungthang, North Sikkim Overview

Perched at the confluence of Lachen and Lachung rivers is the tranquil small town of Chungthang at a height of about 1790 metres and about 95 kilometres from the city of Gangtok. Chungthang serves as the major forward base for the Indian army and there is a medical centre there as well. The Chungthang Valley is famous for the fact that it is considered to be the land blessed by Guru Padmasambhava.

Chungthang is home to the rock that bears the handprints and footprints of Padmasambhava. Another interesting aspect of the town is a small patch of land where paddy grows every year and it is believed to have been blessed by Guru Padmasambhava himself who sprinkled the grain on the spot. It is also believed that Guru Nanak Dev ji visited Chungthang during his trip to China and Tibet. There is a tree in this town which is supposed to be grown at the place where Guru Nanak Dev placed his stick. The stunning Chungthang Valley makes for a good, serene and offbeat halt before one takes off for the alpine regions that are Lachen, Lachung and Yumthang Valley. Not only is the town holy and sacred, but also home to a wide range of interesting flora and fauna that captivates a lot of wildlife and nature photographers to visit it.

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Legend of Chungthang valley

The town of Chungthang has an intriguing history behind it and it is mired in myths and legends. The town, which is said to be blessed by Guru Padmasambhava holds a tale that the Guru visited Chungthang himself and seated himself on a rock, which exists today and holds his footprints and handprints. There is also a small opening in this rock from where water keeps flowing continuously. He also sprinkled grains on the land and paddy grows there all year long. It is miraculous, owing to the fact that paddy usually does not grow in climatic conditions as that of Chungthang.

Another legend from Chungthang town is the visit of Guru Nanak Dev to this town. He is believed to have waited here, while on his trip to Tibet and China. This is how the name of the town was conferred. Chungthang is derived from the Punjabi word Chunga Sthan which means a good place. 

How To Reach Chungthang

Since the town is located at an offbeat location, about 100 kilometres from Gangtok, it is a wise choice to hire a private taxi. If one is travelling from Gangtok, one has to first reach Mangan, which is the district capital of North Sikkim and located about 64 kilometres from Gangtok. After reaching Mangan, head on the road following Teesta river till Chungthang crossing it at the town of Tong, 11 kilometres from Chungthang. At Mangan and Tong, one is required to present his/her permit for further travel. Even though Chungthang is only 100 kilometres from Gangtok, the journey can take up to 5 hours because of the difficult terrain. 

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