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Lachen – A Great Place to Get De-stressed and Feel Rejuvenated

Getting Familiar with Lachen:The peaceful little town of Lachen is located in the northern region of Sikkim at a height of around 2,750 m from sea level. Lachen means “Big Pass” and the town has in the recent years become quite popular as tourist destination for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. The places is known for the simple lifestyle of its people and most tourist make a trip to this little town to rid themselves of the worries of everyday life and enjoy some time in its tranquil and serene environments.  Another thing that attracts tourists is the traditional administrative system that is still followed in the little town. Known as Dzumsa, this is a self governance system in which the various disputes are settled in a democratic manner by a committee set up for the purpose and headed by the ‘Pipon’.

Major Tourist Attractions of LachenBefore planning a trip to Lachen, it is important to remember that the place is not a major tourist destination. As such visitors should not expect anything fancy and rather enjoy the pristine beauty of nature which proves extremely revitalizing. Discussed below are some of the more famous tourist destinations of Lachen.

Lachen Monastery: This monastery, which was originally constructed in 1806, is also famous by the name of Lachen Gompa.  The monastery is dedicated to a sect of Mahayana Buddhism, named Nyingmapa and preserves the religious beliefs of this community. The monastery features an idol of Guru Rinpochi in the centre. The current monastery is the one that has been re-built in place of the original in 1979. There is also a prayer wheel located at the entrance of Lachen, which is placed there to welcome the visitors coming to this small town.

Gurdongmar Lake: This fresh water lake is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Lachen. Situated at a height of 5,210 m, it is one of the highest placed resources of water on earth. Located in the northern region of Sikkim in the north eastern part of Kanchenjunga range, the lake is just 5 kms away from the Indo- China border.  Many tourists visit the area during the winter season, when the lake becomes completely frozen. The locals consider the lake to be holy and it is named after Sikkim’s patron saint, Guru Rinpochi, who is believed to have conducted some religious rituals at this place because of which a section of the lake remains unfrozen even in during the harshest winter. There is another lake by the name of Tso Lhsmo located only a short distance away from the Gurdongmar Lake and people can trek between the two lakes only after obtaining proper authorization from the army for the same.
Thangu: This ancient and magnificent small town is located at a short distance from Lachen in north. Siatuated at a height of 13,500 ft, it takes two hours to reach the place which is lovely picnic spot as well as an ideal place for overnight stay. The place is famous for its changing landscape and its lsuh green meadows. The place takes on the look of a gigantic flower basket during the summer season, when flowers of diverse varieties blossom in the valleys and meadows. The place is also quite famous among trekkers as it is the base camp for trekking expedition into the Muguthang and Lashar valley. Many tourists like to spend some time at this picturesque location before continuing their journey to more famous tourist destinations such as Cho Lhamo, which is the source of River Teesta or the nearby Gurdongmar Lake.

Deothang: It is a beautiful valley situated very near to Thangu and at a two hours distance by walking from Kalep. At the mountain Top there are two beautiful caves which is used by the monks for doing meditations for more than century period. Lachen Gumchen Rinpochi meditated in the upper cave for about a period of 13 years.

Things to buy in Lachen:
The rabbit farm of Angora is famous for the manufacturing of beautiful wool caps and other materials made out of Angora wool. Chuktuk is special blankets made by Lachen people are must to buy.

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