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Lachen, North Sikkim Overview

Situated in the northern district of Sikkim, Lachen is one of the most beautiful towns an attractive tourist spot which is well known for its Lachung monastery. Its natural beauty and serene vegetation are worth commending and it is believed to be one of the most noteworthy and popular places for Buddhist pilgrims and tourists. Lachen is a less-populated beautiful holiday destination, also famous as the gateway to the sacred Gurudongmar and Tso Lhamu lakes.

The most prevailing area in Lachen is the Nyingma order of Himalayan Buddhism and the Lachen Monastery, Lachen Chu and the alpine covers. The quaint Sikkim town is known for its lush vegetation that contains mainly grasslands and shrubs along with apple orchards. The pine-covered valleys and black cliffs of snowy-white hills of the Eastern Himalayas start from Lachen which makes it the base station for many trekking areas in the North Sikkim region including the famous Green Lake and Kanchenjunga National Park treks. Lachen provides expeditions to Chopta Valley, Green Lake, Cho-Lamu, Gurudongmar Lake and Shinghba Rhododendron Sanctuary.

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Lachen Weather and Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Lachen is between May to September, given the pleasant weather that marks these months. Summers are moderate and quite enjoyable in Lachen. It experiences mild to heavy rainfall during the months of July and September. An annual yak race called Thangu takes place here every summer. During winter, the area gets quite cold, and the famous Gurdongmar Lake freezes completely which is a sight to behold.

Hotels and Accommodation in Lachen

Lachen has several deluxe and medium to budget accommodation choices. Some of the exotic and comfy hotels include Apple Orchard the (Lachen), Himalayan Residency (Lachen), Sonam Palgey Lachen (Lachen), Hiden Hill Lodge (Lachen) and Blue Pine Hotel (Lachen).

Lachen Sikkim

Lachen Town
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Sightseeing and Things to Do

The two main tourist attractions in Lachen are Thangu and Gurdongmar Lake. A freshwater lake, it is one of the highest water bodies in the world as it is situated at an altitude of 5,210 m. The lake is positioned towards the North East of Kanchenjunga range which freezes completely during winters.

About 5 km ahead of this lake is the Tso Lhsmo Lake. With prior permission from the army, you can trek from the Gurdongmar Lake to Tso Lhsmo Lake. Thangu is an old and beautiful town in the North of Lachen. This is a place where most tourists prefer to stop at, before travelling to sight-seeing places like the Gurdongmar Lake and Cho Lhamu.

Gurudongmar Lake
The scenic Gurudongmar Lake

Shopping At Lachen

Lachen may not be a shopper's paradise in its true sense but the hill town offers an enriching shopping experience to tourists. You can buy fabulous handicrafts and handloom products from here. You can fill your shopping bags with carpet, handbags, shawls, blankets made from Sheep and Yak wool along with amazing wooden articles. Go to The Handicraft Centre and The Angora Rabbit Farm (Rabom) to shop for fantastic woolen clothes and unique handicrafts.

Lachen Itinerary

Reach Lachen via any mode of transport and the places of interest on the way are Tashi View Point, the historic Kabi Lungtsok, Phodong Monastery. Check into a hotel in Lachen and after an early breakfast, drive to Gurudongmar Lake via Chopta Valley. Have a quick lunch at Lachen and don't miss the Lachen Monastery, while here. Follow it with a visit to Lachung the next day and enjoy that beautiful town. From there, you can go to Gangtok.

Lachen Sikkim
On the way from Gangtok to Lachen
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Tips

1. You can hire taxis to go around the place. Do hire a guide to show you around.
2. Since the vegetation is fragile, walking on designated trails is advised.
3. Do not litter and deposit garbage at selected places. Keep all kinds of pollutants away from streams and lakes.
4. It is customary to leave a donation at a monastery and to circle shrines in the clockwise direction.
5. Avoid smoking, drinking and talking loudly near sacred places.

How to reach Lachen

The most convenient way of reaching Lachen is via Gangtok, which is at a distance of around 129 km and can be covered in a six and a half hour road journey. The adventure junkies can also opt for the two-day long trek from Yumthang Valley to Lachen which is sure to get the adrenaline pumping.

  • Air: The nearest Domestic Airport is Bagdogra Airport which is around four and half hour drive from Lachen. You will have to hire a taxi from the airport to reach Lachen.

  • Rail: The nearest Railway Station to Lachen is Darjeeling Railway Station which is connected to most of the cities of Sikkim and is at a distance of 171 Kms from Lachen. Siliguri, Sukna, Tindharia, Mahanadi, Dilaram, Sonada, Jorebungalow and Ghum are the cities it is well connected with.

  • Road: Lachen is connected through Sikkim State Road Transport Corporation (SSRTC) and some private travel services to all the major cities of Sikkim. Regular buses ply from Lachen to these states.

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Q. Can i visit Lachen & Gurudongmer lake in middle of January?

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