Lachen is a tranquil paradise with wooden houses, alpine meadows and astounding scenic beauty and an irresistible charm This quaint village is nestled among mountain terrains that is surrounded with exclusive Himalayan flora and fauna and promises a dream vacation in the hills. Lachen forms a quaint village with quaint Tibetan-style houses that transports you to a different land of beauty and surrealism. Lachen has its fair share of popular tourist attractions and sightseeing places.
One such traditional and off-beat attraction would be the Nyingma, which is one of the oldest major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The school is located on a hill top that offers an ecstatically panoramic view of the village Lachen Chu and the surrounding greenery arising from the alpine covers. Gurudongmar Lake too allures countless tourists from places far and wide to soak in its picturesque charm.
Lachen will welcome you with open arms and happy innocent smiling faces of the native inhabitants of its dreamy villages that will win your heart and fill you with joy and peace. The silent ageless and majestic peaks surrounding the village will soothe your eyes and weary city souls. Lachen also has its fair share of excitement for ardent adventure junkies. Lachen serves as a trail head of some ensuing thrilling treks across the stupendous heights of the face of the Khangchendzonga. These intriguing trails also lead the nature lovers and travellers to the famous attractions and unique Sikkim beauties such as Green Lake or Kunchenjunga National Park.
Lachen adventure unfolds the joy of trek to Yumthang Valley, Thangu Valley, Chopta Valley and Tso Lhamu Lake. It is also a haven for bird lovers with myriad species of avifauna in a rare kingdom of birds. Lachen undoubtedly is a promise of excitement of an unforgettable holiday for nature lovers, adventure buffs and crazy shutterbugs.
Gurudongmar Lake is situated at an altitude of 5425 metres. It is a sparkling and crystal clear lake that reflects the icy mountain peaks all around. It is one of the highest lakes in the world and is named after the famous and highly revered Guru Padmasambhava who was also known as Guru Dongmar. The lake is religiously significant for both the Buddhist and Sikh devotees. The miraculous property of this lake is that a portion of its does not freeze even in extreme winters when the surrounding temperature falls to sub-zero. The myth that floats in support of this nature’s magic is that Guru Dongmar had touched the lake and blessed it to be a constant source of water to the people living around. The Lake water also carry healing properties. The splendour of the region lies in the incredible views of Mount Siniolchu and Khanchendzonga that forms a special allure to the tourists from far and wide. Apart from its religious significance, the scenic beauty and admirable trekking trails form a special attraction. Thus Chopta Valley tours are combined with Gurudongmar Lake visit. For all the spiritual souls and religious minded tourists and solitude seekers there is the Sarva Dharma Sthala here which is the temple meant for all religions. It is located around 9 kilometres from the Tso Lhamu Lake which is further famous for being the exclusive source of the outstandingly beautiful Teesta River. The Lachen village and Thangu village are about 3-4 hours of drive from Gurudongmar Lake.
Thangu Valley is absolutely tranquil and scenic. Thangu Valley is located at a height of around 3962 metres and thus it is covered with a thick sheet of snow almost throughout the year. The valley is covered with alpine meadows and the valley is blessed with the shimmering beauty of the gorgeous Rivers such as Teesta Chopta, Thangu and Lassur and has some quaint wooden houses that are immensely picturesque an delightful. Thangu Valley has a small village of the same name and this village forms a base for the tourists heading towards the immensely captivating and irresistibly popular attraction of Sikkim, the magnificent Gurudongmar Lake.
Thangu Valley is located 30 kilometres north of Lachen and you can get taxi service from Lachen to reach and enjoy this beautiful valley. During your visit to the Thangu Valley, you will get ample scope to appreciate the joys of nature and spend some quality time in close proximity to nature and its unadulterated beauty. Go for short nature hike and treks through winding trails while you appreciate the scenic beauty of the place. Chopta Valley and Green Lake or Muguthang from Thangu forms two distinctly captivating regions for trekking and hiking. Let some natural beauty unfold before you and bathe you in fresh air and unfathomable solitude.
Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary
Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is surrounded by towering and majestic Himalayan ranges on all sides. Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is the home to a wide and impressive collection of rhododendron species. The sanctuary is at its glorious best during the spring season when the flowers bloom at one go covering the sprawling valley far and wide all across an area of around 43 square kilometres. More than forty species of rhododendron trees spread the joy of their blush throughout the meadows and the chirping of colourful birds such as wood snipe and hoary-throated barwing spread the merriment of the beauty further. Some enthralling varieties of plant species and trees such as potentillas, primulas, saxifrages, poppies, aconites, gentians are to be found here. Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary or nature park is a popular trekking destination in Sikkim. It is located near Lachung in Yumthang valley in North Sikkim and takes around 7 hour to reach by road from the capital city of Gangtok. Taxi and cab services are available from Yumthang and Gangtok to reach the nature sanctuary. Trekking from Yumthang Valley is the most spirited and thrilling way of exploring this place.
Chopta Valley is perhaps Lachen’s most scintillating jewel. The Chopta Valley occupies a sprawling area comfortably perched at an altitude of 4023 metres on the way to Gurudongmar Lake. This destination is immensely popular among tourists but in spite of its popularity, Chopta Valley has clearly maintained its seclusion and tranquillity. This valley forms an ideal getaway from the busy lights of bustling cities and also gifts the tourists unbroken peace and serenity. The region offers majestic views of the surrounding snowy peaks with the slopes covered with dense pine forests and the lush green grazing fields with the shimmering river meandering through all of it. Trekkers and nature lovers will immediately fall in love with the breathless charm and quietude of valley. On account of its lush vegetation and seclusion, the valley forms a safe haven for many species of rare birds and animals. This attracts birders and wildlife enthusiasts to this valley. The river gets its fair share of energetic anglers and forms a natural base for water sports adventures.
People often plan a combined visit to Chopta Valley with Gurudongmar Lake. The famous Tso Lhamu Lake is about 9 kilometres from Gurudongmar, which is the source for the Teesta River. An hour of road journey takes the tourists to the scenically blessed Thangu Village to experience the rustic, simple and nomadic life of the native tribes. Thangu Valley is a short distance away from Chopta and is quite popular amongst tourists for the thrilling Yak race conducted here. A road journey of 7-8 hours from Gangtok leads to Chopta Valley. Lachen is just 30 kilometres away from Thangu and is the base for Chopta Valley visit. Chopta Valley trek is the most exciting exploring option. Renting private taxis to reach Chopta is more common though.
Lachen Monastery offers unbridled peace and spell-binding views. This Monastery was originally built in 1858 AD by the Nyingma Sect of Tibetan Buddhism with the help of its eight resident monks. They jointly transformed a small hut constructed by Lama Karchen Dorje Drak into the spectacular Lachen Monastery, also known as Ngodub Choling or the Launching Gompa. The monastery commands a picturesque setting overlooking the Lachen village and housing the statue of the respected Guru Padmasambhava. The monastery premises is decorated with colourful prayer flags and prayer wheels. Feel the bliss of an overwhelming pilgrimage experience. Best time to visit the monastery is between the months of March and June. Thangu Village is an hour’s ride from Lachen. Chopta Valley and Gurudongmar Lake and Sarva Dharma Sthala or the temple for all religions are about 2 to 3 hours of drive away from Lachen.