Nestles amidst the snow-capped Himalayan ranges, Lachen a beautiful weeny town of Sikkim retains its quaintness in spite of escalating buildout of a city. A picturesque view of steep mountains, old wooden homes all designed in old Tibetan style, placid vegetation, sober village lifestyle of the ‘Lachenpas’, will amaze you with its naturalness, and rejuvenate you from the nerve-racking metropolitan lifestyle. Well renowned for its alluring valleys around the whole country, Lachen is the starting point for the two main trekking camps of Sikkim- Chopta Valley and Muguthang as well as the gateway to the sacred Guru Dongmar and Tso Lhamu Lakes. With a population of below 2000 people, predominantly Tibetans and Bhutia tribes are habitants of this small town, and it’s terrific to know that there are only 200 houses for the habitation of localities.
Situated at an altitude of 8,838 ft., Lachen lies in the Northern District of Sikkim, the supreme pure beauty of this hill station indeed requires a keen eye to behold. An exciting attraction for tourist is Lachen gompa that is merely a 15 min walk from the town itself, where near to the entryway, there is a stupendous cypress tree, and a giant mounted prayer wheel and a mysterious pile of geometric threads designed to trap the evil spirits. Well, another point of interest for travelers here is the Buddhist and Lachen monasteries based in between the lush green grasslands, along with the pleasing panorama of snowy peaks, black cliffs and multi-hued mountains and a wide yards of apple orchids.
Lachen gradually has been made accessible to the tourist, from a few years back, a town worth a visit if you are on your tour to wander in Sikkim. Lachen has connectivity to trek tours amidst the daunting mountains surrounds in Green Lake and Kanchenjunga National Park. Explore the rustic life of a salubrious village, visit Chopta Valley, Thangu, Cho-lamu, Guru Dongmar Lake, Dzongu and Labrang Monastery throughout your entire journey!
Best Time to Visit
To visit Lachen , plan your tour for summer which begins in the month of March and ends with June. Pleasant weather is perfect for sightseeing here also the temperature ranges between 10°C to 28°C.
How to Reach
All the means are readily accessible to reach Lachen, and smoothly you can traverse through both air and by road. Well, Bagdogra serves as the nearest Domestic Airport to Lachen, and by road, it took around 6 hours journey from Gangtok.
By Air- Bagdogra Airport which is the nearest as well as the domestic airport, take around four and a half hour to make you reach to Lachen. All you have to do is a hire a cab from the Airport accordingly.
By Rail- If you wish to unveil the fascinating journey of Sikkim, you can opt to travel from the rail, the nearest railway would be Darjeeling Railway Station at a distance of 171 Kms from Lachen, that is connected to the most of the cities of Sikkim.
By Road- Lachen is well connected through Sikkim State Road Transport Corporation (SSRTC), and you can hire some private travel services too to reach the major cities across Sikkim.
What you will like
Serene, tranquil and picturesque view of Himalayan ranges, far away from hustle bustle , best place to visit in your summer vacations.
What you might not like
There are no luxurious, five star hotels, for accomodation and temperature drop downs in minus in winter season.
Solo Travellers, or Travel Junkies, who have keen interest in Adventurous and Mountain sports , also a nice site to spot by pilgrims.
Places to Stay
You can quickly discover some decent, comfy and reasonable accommodations in Lachen, which offers essential amenities and best facilities to the tourists. You are welcomed with warm hospitality in some of the deluxe and medium range hotels some of them are The Apple Orchard Resort, Himalayan Residency, The Fortuna and Tshana Residency also you can book your stay in lodges and PWD Bungalows owned by the Forest Department of Lachen.
Nature Treksp>Lama Angden Trek- Maximum it takes 3 days to complete this trek, well it comes under day shortest trek of Lachen. Suitable for the beginners, a gentle climb from Lachen will quickly get you to Lama Angden Camp.
Muguthang Trek- Summer is the best season to commence this 9 days trek. Trek to Muguthang begins from Thangu which is 30 km above Lachen. You will discover the fantastic mountain-views, glaciers, flora and fauna as well as areas that are rich in wildlife.
Zeemu Trek- One of the most extended and most adventurous yet exciting treks of this region last for 13 to 14 days. Popular as Green Lake trek covers the majestic peak of Siniolchu and Khangchendzonga and Zemu glacier that is 26 km long. Conifer forest, peak glaciers valley and endangered herds of Blue sheep and other animals can be spotted in this trek.
Tarum Trek- Another famous trek of this region that last for around 8 days, firstly took a half hour drive from Lachen towards Chungthang that will get you to the base of the two-hour trek to Tarum. In your trek, you can spot dense green forests, oak and bamboo trees and other wild animals.
Shopping in Lachen
Lachen is not engulfed with a large number of shops, but to buy some stuff from small souvenir shops is definitely worth to spend some penny on. Handicrafts and handloom products such as Floor carpets, Handbags, woollen shawls, or Blankets yarn from Sheep and Yak wool and also there is a wide range of wooden craft work to carry home as a token of remembrance of this town.
To attract tourist, you can spot some shops that provide traditional dresses of both men and women, Bakhu which is a loose cloak type garment with full sleeves or a Honju, the traditional dress of women which is a full sleeve blouse with a loose gown type garment worn over it. A tourist from far-flung places buy clothing materials like these, but for women, there is an exquisite collection of antique and alluring heavy traditional jewellery made up of pure gold.
Cuisines of Lachen
People of Lachen mostly prefer to intake dishes prepared by rice and potato, as they are considered as a staple diet and is eaten in various forms throughout the year. Pork is also consumed who love to grab some non-vegetarian appetite. Noodles, Loaves of bread, Corns and Momos are available in the streets of Lachen as a snack item. Authentic cuisines of this town are neither too spicy nor sweet yet scrummy one must experiment it once.!
Reach Lachen by morning, have a breakfast and take a road drive to Chopta Valley and visit the sacred spot of this small-town Guru Dongmar and Tso Lhamu lake. Then take a break, have a lunch in any restaurant or food joint enjoy your meal in a lush green surrounding. By evening visit ancient old Lachen monastery that was built in 1806. Have a walk through cascading waterfalls and snow peaked mountains and share some warm smiles with local people.
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