Sikkim’s Jewel: Discovering the Magic of Lachung Beyond the Obvious

Sikkim’s Jewel: Discovering the Magic of Lachung Beyond the Obvious

Welcome to the mesmerizing world of Lachung, Sikkim, a place where nature’s wonders unfold around every corner. Lachung is a quaint little village located in the Indian state of Sikkim, renowned for its unparalleled natural beauty, pristine landscapes, and serene ambiance. Lachung, often referred to as “Nature’s Wonderland,” offers a captivating tapestry of natural beauty, and its waterfalls are undoubtedly some of the most enchanting attractions that beckon travelers from across the globe. In this article, we invite you to embark on a virtual journey through Lachung, exploring the captivating allure of this Himalayan paradise that we’re sure will leave you yearning for an adventure of your own.Gangtok lachung lachen tour

A Glimpse of Lachung

The Geographic Marvel

Sikkim's Jewel: Discovering the Magic of Lachung Beyond the Obvious

Lachung is situated at an altitude of about 2,700 meters and 8,900 feet. Lachung is also a beautiful and peaceful hill village. A river named Lachung Chu divides the village into two parts. Anyone can fall in love at first sight with Lachung, with its pitched roof houses made of teak wood, glass balconies, and a mini garden of beautiful flowers. Perched on the banks of the Lachung River, this village offers breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks, lush forests, and meandering streams. The landscape is dotted with rhododendron forests that burst into a riot of colors during spring, making it a photographer’s paradise.

Explore Lachung, Sikkim:

Category Information
Location Lachung, Sikkim, India
Google Location Lachung on Google Maps
Best Time to Visit Opt for a visit between October and June for pleasant weather
Climate Enjoy a cool, temperate climate with snowfall in winter
Attractions Don’t miss Yumthang Valley, Zero Point, and Lachung Monastery
Accommodation Take your pick from charming guesthouses to comfy hotels
Local Cuisine Indulge in Sikkimese delights like Phagshapa and Thenthuk
Transportation Nearest airport: Bagdogra Airport (around 200 km away)
Nearest railway station: New Jalpaiguri (approximately 195 km away)
Language Locals converse in Nepali, Bhutia, and Hindi
Currency Indian Rupee (INR)
Safety Tips Prepare for changing weather; carry essentials for the high-altitude terrain
Local Etiquette Show respect for local customs and traditions; be a mindful traveler
Emergency Numbers Police: 100, Medical Emergency: 108

 

A Year-Round Destination

One of the many reasons Lachung stands out is its accessibility throughout the year. While winter blankets the village in a sheet of snow, transforming it into a winter wonderland, summer brings forth a carpet of wildflowers and pleasant weather. The autumn and monsoon seasons are equally captivating, with clear skies and lush greenery.

The Enigmatic Beauty of Lachung

Lachung VillageBatalik

Lachung, nestled in the lap of the Himalayas, is a picturesque town in the northeastern state of Sikkim, India. Situated at an elevation of approximately 8,610 feet (2,624 meters), it’s a destination that seems plucked straight from a fairy tale. Surrounded by lush green valleys, snow-capped peaks, and pristine rivers, Lachung is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.

Attractions in Lachung

Yumthang Valley: The Valley of Flowers

Yumthang Valley, also known as the Valley of Flowers, is a short drive away from Lachung. It’s a place where nature showcases its artistic prowess, with an array of colorful blooms in the spring and carpets of snow in the winter. The valley is also home to the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, boasting a variety of Rhododendron species.2532276523 11cbd6ae6d b

The North-East Valley of Flowers is Yumthang Valley! Yumthang Valley, about 26 km from Lachung, is at an altitude of 3,560 meters and 11,680 feet. The colorful flowers blooming on the lush green grass, yaks grazing in herds on the grasslands, the surrounding snowy Himalayan mountains, the Teesta River, waterfalls and springs, etc. make a visit to Yumang worthwhile. The Yumthang Valley has places like the Rhododendron Sanctuary, hot springs, Shiva Temple, and Zero Point, which are also worth a visit.

Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary

Sikkim's Jewel: Discovering the Magic of Lachung Beyond the Obvious
Exploring the alpine terrain. Original public domain image from Flickr

Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is surrounded by high Himalayan peaks in the Yumthang Valley and covers a total area of 43 square kilometers. Birds of various types are the specialty here. A variety of plants, trees, and shrubs also grow, including twenty-five to thirty species of rhododendrons, which can be considered the main attraction of this sanctuary. From April to July, when the flowers bloom on the rhododendron trees in the east, the area is very colorful. The International Rhododendron Festival is organized by the Sikkim Forest Department. The sanctuary is ideal for trekking for nature lovers and bird watching for birdwatchers.

The Fascinating World of Rhododendron: From Himalayan Heights to Medicinal DelightsSikkim's Jewel: Discovering the Magic of Lachung Beyond the Obvious

Rhododendron or Buransh plants grow at an altitude of about 1,50 to 5,000 meters above sea level. Rhodo means rose, and dendron means plant. Rhododendron grows extensively in the Himalayan mountains in states like Kashmir, Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand in India. The rhododendron is the national flower of Nepal and the state flower of Himachal Pradesh. There are approximately 1,200 varieties of rhododendron worldwide, with China ranking first with a score of approximately 571. Out of the 80 species of rhododendron in India, about 400 occur in the state of Sikkim. As one moves to higher altitudes in the Himalayan mountains, the shape, size, and color of the flowers change.

Sikkim's Jewel: Discovering the Magic of Lachung Beyond the Obvious

The use of beautiful rhododendron flowers is not limited to decoration; rather, they are used in many other ways. Also, it has a lot of cultural and economic value in the lives of the local people. The medicinal use of Rhododendron has been increasing for several years. Rhododendron contains elements like manganese, iron, zinc, copper, sodium, chromium, cobalt, cadmium, molybdenum, nickel, lead, and arsenic. Some of these elements are beneficial for the body. Rhododendron leaves, stems, and flowers are abundant in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.Sikkim's Jewel: Discovering the Magic of Lachung Beyond the Obvious

Medicines are made from it for diseases such as heart disease, head ache, diarrhea, acidity, dysentery, fever, gout, constipation, asthma, diabetes, and infections of bacteria and fungi. Its juice is used in producing juice, jelly, chutney, jam, Sharbat, and honey. Sharbat made from the juice of rhododendron is very delicious and has a distinctive taste. Some species of Rhododendron plants are used as incense. People living in the mountainous region make khukri arms, gift articles, and small artistic boxes from the thick branches of Rhododendron. Thus, every part of Rhododendron plant is used in one way or another.

 

 

 

 

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Spring is the season for the blossoms of Buransh (Rhododendron), white, yellow, pink, orange, and red; the sight of the far-reaching golden kingdom of Rhododendron blooms; and every year, a large number of tourists plan a trip to see these flowers. They also make special treks to Sikkim, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh to see the forests of colorful rhododendron flowers. In Sikkim, the Rhododendron festival is celebrated during the Rhododendron season.

A Symphony of Waterfalls

Naga Falls: Nature’s CascadeSikkim's Jewel: Discovering the Magic of Lachung Beyond the Obvious

Our journey into the heart of Lachung’s waterfalls begins with Naga Falls. This natural wonder is named after the serpent god ‘Naga,’ and it is nothing short of a divine spectacle. Naga Falls boasts a sheer drop from the rugged cliffs, creating a mesmerizing cascade that plummets into a crystal-clear pool below. The deafening roar of the water, coupled with the ethereal mist that envelops the area, creates an otherworldly experience for visitors.

Bhim Nala Falls: A Titan’s Tumble

It is also known locally as Amitabh Bachchan Falls, as the water falls from a height of approximately 275 m (900 ft). As we venture deeper into Lachung’s wilderness, we encounter Bhim Nala Falls, a colossal waterfall that seems to defy gravity itself. Named after the mighty Bhim, a character from Indian mythology known for his immense strength, this waterfall plunges dramatically from great heights. The sheer force of the water creates a mesmerizing display of nature’s power, making it a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Lachung. There is a view point in front of the falls, from which you can get a good view of the falls and capture it on camera. The beauty of the waterfall increases exponentially during the monsoon season, when there is a lot of water flowing in it.

Yumthang Hot Springs

Spasmodic Geyser UGB YNP1 scaled

Sikkim has five natural hot springs at various locations. Locals use the term cha-chu for such springs. One has to walk a short distance from the village to reach the spring near the village of the same name in the Yumthang valley. On the way to the spring, a small bridge adorned with colorful Buddhist flags comes across. The average water temperature here is 40 °C. As this water is high in sulfur, it is said to provide great relief for skin-related problems.

Zero PointSikkim's Jewel: Discovering the Magic of Lachung Beyond the Obvious

Located 15,748 feet above sea level, this place is called Zero Point as it is the last Indian outpost on the India-China border. As China’s international border is nearby, neither tourists nor locals are allowed to go beyond the zero point. There is a cafe near the Shiv Temple check post on the way to Zero Point, which is run by the army. Proceeding from here there is a view point to enjoy the scenic view of the Yumthang Valley, where one can stand and enjoy the view.

Mount Katao:

About 15,000 feet high, this peak is near the India-China border, so even to go there, you have to get permission from the army. Katao Peak is very popular among adventurers. The snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas can be seen very closely from the Katao peak. Also, the road to Katao is very beautiful. In winter, Katao becomes a paradise for adventure sports lovers. Snow-capped mountains offer many activities like skiing, snow boarding, snow grinding, snow tubing, etc. There is no hotel to stay in Katao, so a one-day trip can be arranged from Lachung village.

 

 

 

Lachung Monastery:Sikkim's Jewel: Discovering the Magic of Lachung Beyond the Obvious

The Lachung Monastery is situated amidst apple orchards near the confluence of the Lachung and Lachen Rivers. The Buddhist monastery was built in the nineteenth century. The monastery, built in Tibetan architectural style, is small but colorful and beautiful, enshrining an ancient idol of Guru Padmasambhava. Murals painted with colors like red, gold, green, brown, etc. are also very attractive. Every year (usually in the month of December), the Cham Festival is organized here, which attracts many tourists from the country and abroad to participate. The main attraction of the village festival is the colorful dress, decorations, mask, and sword dance of the Buddhist lamas. During the dance, they wear the masks of gods, humans, and animals in different colors. There are many other such places in North Sikkim. Taking a tour with a knowledgeable guide and learning about the local life in addition to the unique natural beauty is a lifelong experience.

Seven Sisters Falls: A Tale of Elegance

Sikkim's Jewel: Discovering the Magic of Lachung Beyond the Obvious

Moving forward, we arrive at the Seven Sisters Falls, a cascading masterpiece that comprises seven distinct streams flowing gracefully side by side. Each of these streams represents one of the seven northeastern states of India, adding cultural significance to the natural beauty of the falls. As the water gently descends, it creates a soothing ambiance, inviting visitors to bask in the serenity of Lachung’s unspoiled wilderness.

Lachung: A Photographer’s ParadiseSikkim's Jewel: Discovering the Magic of Lachung Beyond the Obvious

Lachung’s waterfalls are not just a feast for the soul but also a delight for photographers. The interplay of light and water creates ever-changing, ethereal scenes that are a joy to capture. Whether you’re an amateur with a smartphone or a professional with high-end camera equipment, Lachung’s waterfalls offer a plethora of opportunities for captivating shots.

 

Adventure Awaits

Trekking Trails

For the adventure seekers, Lachung offers a range of trekking opportunities. The trek to Dzongu Valley, with its pristine landscapes and quaint villages, is an experience that will etch itself into your memory. Similarly, the trek to the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is a botanist’s dream.

River Rafting

Lachung Sikkim: A Paradise in the Himalayas

The Lachung River provides a thrilling experience for those interested in river rafting. The gushing waters and the dramatic backdrop of the Himalayas make it an adrenaline-pumping activity that you won’t want to miss.

Savory Delights

Local CuisineLachung Sikkim: A Paradise in the Himalayas

Lachung is known for its delectable local cuisine. Don’t forget to savor a piping hot bowl of thukpa or indulge in momos, a local delicacy. The warm and welcoming locals will make your dining experience even more delightful.

Where to Stay

Yarlam ResortLachung Sikkim: A Paradise in the Himalayas

Yarlam Resort is a charming accommodation option that offers a cozy stay with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The hospitality of the staff here is exceptional, ensuring a memorable stay.

Apple Valley InnLachung Sikkim: A Paradise in the Himalayas

Another excellent choice is the Apple Valley Inn, known for its comfortable rooms and delicious food. It’s an ideal place to relax after a day of exploration.

Here are some key points to keep in mind while visiting Lachung:

When visiting Lachung in Sikkim, there are several essential points to keep in mind to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip:

Right time of the year:

The weather at Lachung is pleasant from April to June. In this season, the natural scenery looks absolutely beautiful due to the profusion of flowers. Avoid visiting during monsoon season. In winter one can go to Lachen-Lachung to enjoy the snow-capped peaks and the cold, but the roads are often closed when there is heavy snowfall.

Transportation:

To travel to these two stations, one has to come to Gangtok first. The nearest airports to Gangtok are Pakyong and Bagdogra. There are flights from Kolkata to Pakyong, but the flight depends on the number of passengers and the weather. A better option for air travel is to take a flight to Bagdogra. Gangtok can be reached in six to seven hours by taxi bus from Bagdogra. From Gujarat-Maharashtra to Kolkata by train and from Kolkata to New Jalpaiguri Darjeeling.

Permit Requirement:

Lachung is in a restricted area of Sikkim, so you’ll need an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to visit. Make sure to obtain this permit well in advance.

Weather Awareness:

Lachung experiences varying weather conditions throughout the year. Pack accordingly, whether you’re visiting in winter or summer, and be prepared for sudden changes in weather.

Altitude Sickness:

Due to its high altitude, some visitors may experience altitude sickness. Take it easy on the first day, stay hydrated, and consult a doctor if symptoms persist.

Transportation:

The road to Lachung can be challenging, especially during the monsoon season. Hire a local driver who is familiar with the terrain and road conditions.

Accommodation:

Hotel facilities are available in both cities according to budget. Home-stay facility is also available. Sikkim Tourism Website: www.sikkimstdc.com

Local Culture:

Respect the local culture and customs. When visiting monasteries or interacting with the locals, dress modestly and be mindful of photography restrictions.

Garbage Disposal:

Lachung is pristine, and it’s essential to maintain its natural beauty. Dispose of your trash responsibly and refrain from littering.

Cash Availability:

Limited ATM facilities are available in Lachung, so carry enough cash with you for your trip.

Food Choices:

The local cuisine is delicious, but options may be limited. If you have dietary restrictions, consider carrying some snacks or special dietary items with you.

Medication:

Bring any necessary medications with you, as finding specific medicines can be challenging in remote areas.

Travel Insurance:

It’s always a good idea to have travel insurance that covers unexpected events like flight cancellations, medical emergencies, or trip interruptions.

Local Guided Tours:

Consider hiring a local guide to explore the area. They can provide valuable insights into the culture, history, and hidden gems of Lachung.

Also Know:

Certain places in Sikkim cannot be visited without an Inner Line Permit. Carry a photo of your identity card and a passport-size photo for issuing such a permit.

* Lachung handicrafts are highly appreciated. Carpets, shawls, handbags, and wooden artifacts are quite unique.

* There are some places in Sikkim at an altitude of more than 12,000 feet, which can lead to high-altitude sickness. Hence, take with necessary medicines. Whatever the season of travel, always carry warm clothes

By keeping these points in mind, you can make the most of your trip to Lachung and ensure a memorable and safe experience in this Himalayan paradise.

Conclusion

Lachung, Sikkim, is a place where time seems to stand still, and nature reigns supreme. From the captivating landscapes to the warm hospitality of the locals, every aspect of Lachung adds to its allure. Whether you are an adventure enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, Lachung has something special to offer.

So, pack your bags and get ready to explore this Himalayan paradise. Lachung awaits, promising an experience that will stay etched in your heart forever.


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