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Lachung, North Sikkim Overview

Lachung, a tourist hotspot situated in North Sikkim is a splendid destination that is sited at the spot where two tributaries Lachung and Lachen meet. This town is a popular tourist attraction because of the many waterfalls that gush in this area. Glimpses of snow covered mountains can also be caught from this place and offer a spectacular sight. Lachung is also a preferred base to visit the famous Yumthang Valley, quite a landmark in Sikkim's tourism scene.

Lachung is a small town in Sikkim which has majestic mountains all around that tempt tourists to travel here every year. It is that beautiful town of Sikkim which has several snow covered mountains, sparkling streams, peaks, amazing waterfalls and much more. It is the perfect tourist spot which guarantees you pleasurable holidays amidst apple orchards, peaches and apricots. The market in Lachung is filled with handicrafts such as exquisitely woven rugs and blankets that make this town ideal for shopping sprees. Lachung means 'Small Mountain ', and it gets this name as it is outlined by majestic mountains.

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Lachung Weather & Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Lachung is almost throughout the year as each season has its own beauty. However, summers and winters are preferred over the monsoon season since heavy rainfall can spoil outdoor activities. Summers witness calm and pleasant temperature while winters are cold due to incessant snowfall. The monsoon season comes with continuous showers and therefore disrupts sightseeing plans.

Summer Season
March month marks the beginning of the summer season which lasts till May. The temperature ranges between 10 to 28 degrees Celcius and the pleasing weather make it easy to discover the town. The views are even more fascinating owing to lush greenery and blooming flowers.

Monsoon Season
The mercury takes a dip to 12 degrees and this season observes heavy downpours. It begins from July and lasts till September. If you have sightseeing plans, monsoon is not a good time to visit as rainfall can mess with your plans.

Winter Season
Winters in Lachung are chilling with the mercury hovering around 10 degrees and even falling below 0 degrees. The season starts setting in from October and lasts till February. Winters are characterized by heavy snowfall and fog. However, you will witness some spellbinding views as the whole city is covered with snow.

Lachung Zero Point

Alternatively known as Yumesamdong, Lachung Zero Point is located at an altitude of 15,300 feet above sea level and is the last outpost of civilization. The journey to Zero Point from Yumthang valley is a lifetime experience as you drive through tortuous and rugged roads. The snow-clad mountains, the flowing rivers and the yaks grazing in search of vegetation make up for thrilling views. There are no roads further and just vast landscapes that never seem to end.

Since the place is close to India-China border, Inner Line permit is required which can be obtained from the Tourist Information Centre or any registered tour operator. The best time to visit Zero Point is between February and June when the roads are clear and easily accessible. You can hire a cab from tour operators registered under Sikkim Tourism from Yumthang valley which is just 26 km away.  

Sightseeing In and Around Lachung

Lachung Monastery- Established in 1880, Lachung Monastery is a Buddhist gompa in Sikkim. A visit to the monastery is an interesting experience as you get to learn about the principles and culture of Buddhism. 
 
Yumthang Valley- Popularly known as the Sikkim Valley of Flowers, Yumthang valley makes you feel like you have landed in the lap of nature. At an elevation of 3564 metres, it has blooming flowers, flowing rivers, hot springs and yaks grazing on meadows. The best season to visit Yumthang is from February to June when flowers cover the valley in hues of the rainbow. It is only an hour drive from Lachung.

Chungthang- Situated at the confluence of Lachen and Lachung rivers, Chungthang is a small picturesque town where you can take a halt while going to Yumthang valley. The river Teesta, also known as the lifeline of Sikkim is formed here. This place has been associated with many legends and is considered as a holy place blessed by Guru Padmasambhava, the patron saint of Sikkim. There is a stone which to this day bears the footprints of Padmasambhava.

Thangu Valley- At an altitude of 13000 feet, the Thangu valley offers you with scenic views of countless alpine flowers and snowy landscapes. It is an ideal place for nature lovers and trek enthusiasts as the valley provide a base for trekking to Chopta Valley and Muguthang. Besides Teesta river, Chopta, Thangu and Lassur also flow through this valley.   

Chopta- Just 20 minutes drive from Thangu, Chopta valley is another beautiful attraction in North Sikkim. Located at an altitude of 14000 feet, it is a very popular destination amongst trekkers as it is a starting point of some interesting treks and also a gateway to the holy Gurudongmar Lake. Varieties of rhododendrons, primulas and wildflowers bloom in from May to September while snow covers the whole valley in winters.

Seven Sisters Waterfall- As the name itself suggests, Seven Sisters Waterfalls is seven different waterfalls flowing on a wide rugged cliff offering a captivating view. It is an ideal picnic and photography spot and a haven for nature lovers. Located on Gangtok-Lachung highway, the best time to visit is during monsoon when the falls come to life.

Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary- Located in the Yumthang Valley of Flowers, the sanctuary is a nature park of 43 sq.kms and has around forty species of rhododendrons and bird species like wood snipe and hoary-throated barwing. In addition, there are various other trees like Potentillas, Saxifrages, Primulas, Aconites and many more.

Things to Do & Activities

Mask dance at Lachung Monastery- Located 50 km from Lachung, the Lachung Monastery can fascinate anyone with the mask dance performed every year during winters. The beauty of the sight is enhanced by heavy masks and striking colourful clothes worn by the performers. You can interact with the monks to know about their lifestyle and also shop at the handloom centre for authentic Sikkim textile.

Day trip to Gurudongmar Lake- At an altitude of 17,800 feet, the half-frozen lake with snow clad mountains in the backdrop make for a beautiful sight. It has been associated with many religious beliefs since old times.

Trekking to Mount Katao- A trip to Lachung would be incomplete without visiting Mount Katao. Trekking on snowy trails and basking in the sun amidst breathtaking views of Katao should be definitely on your list.

Visit Bhim Nala Waterfalls- Known as the tallest waterfall in Sikkim, Bhim Nala Waterfall flows in three tiers. 13 km away from Lachung, it can be a perfect spot for taking pictures, sipping coffee and relaxing while you are on the way to Lachung.

How to reach Lachung

  • Air: Gangtok airport is the nearest airports Lachung. From there regular flights are available to different destinations. You will have to take a taxi or bus from here to reach Lachung.

  • Rail: Lachung railway station is near to the city and is easily accessible by road. You can hire any of the available public transport to reach there. Rail network is well connected and make your journey comfortable

  • Road: Lachung is a hill station and tourists usually prefer to travel through road. You can get taxi, jeeps, and buses to reach this place. Gangtok (113 km) is well connected to Lachung with road transport facility.

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