Lachung is a picturesque hill station and town in North Sikkim district, India, near the border with Tibet. It sits at an altitude of 9,600 feet (2,900 m) at the junction of the Lachen and Lachung Rivers, both feeding into the Teesta River. The name “Lachung” translates to “small pass.” Located about 102 km from Gangtok, the capital city, Lachung offers breathtaking views and a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
The breathtaking beauty of snow-capped mountains, crystal clear streams, countless waterfalls, and pristine valleys, combined with a serene environment, make Lachung an undiscovered gem. Take a moment to stop and soak in the stunning views that Lachung has to offer.
Interesting Places to visit in Lachung:
The Lachung Monastery, also known as Samten Cheoling Monastery, is a historic Buddhist site established in 1880 in the village of Lachung. It is one of the oldest monasteries in India and has undergone multiple renovations over the years. In 1930, statues of Buddha, Guru, and Chenrezig were brought from Tibet, along with other significant Buddhist religious items.
The monastery is renowned for its beautiful architecture and peaceful atmosphere and is an important cultural center for the local community. Visitors can attend the annual mask dance festival and experience the rich cultural heritage of the area.
Zero Point, also known as Yumesamdong, is a popular attraction located just 15 km from the Lachung Valley. At an altitude of 15,300 feet above sea level, it offers breathtaking views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains, three rivers, and grazing yaks. Despite the challenging roads, Zero Point is a prime tourist destination in Sikkim.
Ideal for winter enthusiasts, the area remains snow-covered for most of the year, reminiscent of the valleys of Switzerland. With its low oxygen levels, it’s a unique and thrilling destination for those who love to spend time in the snow. If you’re looking for an experience that will take your breath away, visit Zero Point and engulf yourself in its stunning natural beauty.
Bhim Nala Falls
The Bhim Nala Falls, located 13 km from Lachung in North Sikkim, is a stunning waterfall that is a must-visit destination. Also known as the Amitabh Bachchan Falls due to its height, it is one of the tallest waterfalls in Sikkim and a popular attraction in Lachung.
Located along the Chungthang – Lachung road, the three-tiered waterfall creates a breathtaking scene with its cascading water and can be heard from a distance. There is a tea shop and viewpoint opposite the falls, offering stunning views of the waterfall.
Yumthang Valley, located just 25 km from Lachung, is a must-visit destination. It is a nature sanctuary that boasts hot springs, rivers, yaks, and rolling meadows with grazing pasture, as well as the Shinghba Rhododendron Sanctuary. Known as the “Valley of Flowers,” visitors can marvel at over 24 species of rhododendrons in bloom.
Bathing in the hot spring is a popular activity, as its sulfur-rich waters are believed to have healing and restorative properties. During spring, the valley comes alive with a variety of blooming flowers, including rhododendrons, poppies, iris, primulas, and more.
Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary
The Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, situated in the Yumthang Valley of North Sikkim, is a picturesque natural area surrounded by the Chuba-Sagochen mountain ranges to the east and the Chomzomei Tso that extends to the Lava Pass to the west.
The 43 sq. km sanctuary is home to various species of plants and trees, including over 40 species of Rhododendron shrubs and trees, as well as Potentillas, Saxifrages, Primulas, Aconites, Poppies, Gentians, and more. The best time to visit the sanctuary is during the spring months of April to July, when the Rhododendrons are in full bloom, creating a colorful display. The Yumthang Chhu river winds through the sanctuary, adding to its stunning scenery.
Located just 50 km away, Lachen is a must-visit town, easily accessible with just a 2-hour drive from Lachung. Situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, Lachen boasts lush greenery and breathtaking views of the snow-capped Kanchenjunga, making it a true paradise on Earth. The town’s main attraction is the Lachen Monastery, with other nearby tourist hotspots including Yumthang Valley, Gurudongmar Lake, and more.
For nature lovers, the Chopta Valley in northern Lachen is a must-visit. With its rich alpine vegetation, blooming rhododendrons, stunning lakes, and rivers, Chopta Valley is a visual delight. Additionally, it is a prime location for bird and wildlife enthusiasts, with many rare species of animals, plants, and birds found in the area.
When to Visit Lachung:
April to June: This is the ideal time to visit Lachung, with pleasant weather and a vibrant display of Himalayan flora in bloom.
July to September: During this season, weather in Sikkim can be unpredictable, with heavy rainfall and road closures, making it a less popular time to visit Lachung.
October to March: Winter in Lachung is extremely cold due to its high elevation, but visitors who don’t mind the frigid temperatures can witness stunning views of snow-capped mountains.
How to Get to Lachung:
By Air: The closest airport to Lachung is Bagdogra, located 195 km away and a 7-hour journey to Lachung.
By Rail: The nearest railway station to Lachung is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP), 192 km away and a 7-hour drive to Lachung.
By Road: Tourists can hire a car to reach Lachung from NJP and Bagdogra, with North Bengal Tourism offering rental cars at a reasonable cost.
Tourists can also take a break in Gangtok, spending the night and continuing the journey to Lachung the next day, which is a 5-hour journey.
To visit Lachung, you will need to obtain a special permit called Protected Area Permit (PAP) from Gangtok. (More details have been discussed in our earlier article)
(To know more about Sikkim State Tourism check the link here.)