Travel Guide to Explore Lachen
Lachen which lies in the lower Himalayan region is a quaint mountain village located near the China border in Sikkim. It is situated at an altitude of 2750 metres and is separated from its twin town Lachung by a river also known as river Lachung. Lachung actually means ‘a small pass’ and it is truly the gateway to the northern paradise of Sikkim.
Lachen is about 107 km away from the capital Gangtok and it takes about 4-5 hours to reach. Lachen is a beautifully placed valley with many hotels and homestays for the guests. You will be able to see many kinds of wild exotic flowers and plants here and also many yaks grazing in the open areas.
There are many hotels and local homestays available which you can choose for accommodation according to your choice. You can visit many local sightseeing places around the town and also take a short hike and enjoy the surroundings.
During the summers you will be able to see a lush green valley with beautiful tall mountains and many flowers all around. During the winters you will be able to see towns covered with snow and the mountains which is a feast to your eyes. The cold fresh breeze and the scenic views of this place will completely make you fall in love with the magical Lachen.
CLIMATE AND BEST TIME TO VISIT LACHEN
Lachen is situated in the lower himalayan region therefore you will get to experience all different seasons in its special form.
Summer - In Lachen the summer begins from March and lasts till the end of June. The temperature ranges from 10°C to 28°C which makes the weather just warm and pleasant. It is a very favourable time to visit Lachen as it has very promising weather which also makes it very easy to go for sightseeing around the tourist locations and also for trekking.
Monsoon - During the monsoon there is usually high rainfall in Lachen. The temperature during the monsoon ranges from 15°C to 22°C also due to the heavy rainfall there can be landslides and other natural threats. It is not a very favourable time to go outside and explore.
Winter - In Lachen winter begins from October and lasts till the end of February. During this time the temperature ranges from -5°C to 10°C therefore during this season you can expect a lot of snowfall. The entire place will be covered by snow and the snow capped mountains reflecting the beauty of nature is sure a majestic sight to witness. If you love cold weather and snow then this is the best time to visit Lachen and enjoy the striking view of this entire place.
THINGS TO DO IN LACHEN
Lachen is the gateway to the heavenly Northside beauty of Sikkim. The beauty of Lachen cannot be explained in words but one must go and experience it. When you are in Lachen you must take a walk around the village and see the local lifestyle and local architecture. The local food is a must try and the local drinks made from different flowers and fruits are not to be missed.
One of the most attractive locations to visit is the Lachen Monastery. It is one of the oldest monasteries of Sikkim and the Tibetan architecture of this monastery is just marvelous. The premise of the monastery is decorated with prayer wheels and colorful prayer flags.
The most fascinating tourist spot that you can visit from Lachen is the Gurudongmar Lake. This magnificent lake is located at an altitude of 17800 ft and is the largest lake in Sikkim. It is about a 3 hours drive from Lachen and one must reach early in order to visit the lake.
The lake holds a very important religious significance to all the people and is believed to be a holy lake. The lake is named after Guru Padmasambhava and it is believed that he had visited and blessed this lake in the 8th century. The lake is extremely large and vast and one side of the lake is covered with snowy mountains while the other side is covered with Rocky Mountains. The view that you get to witness from this place is just mind blowing and there is also a temple beside the lake where the devotees can go and offer their prayers.
Located at an altitude of 13200 ft is the isolated Chopta Valley. This valley is mainly very popular among the trekkers as this valley is untouched and relatively unexplored. Chopta valley has one of the most beautiful scenery as you will be able to see on one side will be meandering rivers streaming through the mountainous valley of alpine forest and the other side will be snow covered mountain peaks which makes it just magical. During the spring season you will also be able to see exquisite Himalayan flowers and Rhododendrons in different shades of red all over the valley.
HOW TO REACH LACHEN
To go to Lachen first you have to reach Gangtok and can stay overnight. Lachen is about 107 km away from Gangtok and can be reached only by road therefore it will be approximately a 4-5 hour drive till Lachen. The vehicle will be managed by your travel agent along with the mandatory permit which is required to visit North Sikkim. The long drive to Lachen will be very interesting as you will be able to enjoy many viewpoints and tourist locations. Also the scenic beauty of the North Sikkim is just captivating.