Lachung means ‘small pass’, and it is a remote town and a very popular tourist destination. It is located in the North District of the state of Sikkim and is near the Indo-China border. Altitude of Lachung is about 9,600 feet above the mean sea level. Lachen and Lachung Rivers, which are the tributaries of Teesta River converge near the town. Lachung has been aptly bestowed with the title of “the most picturesque village of Sikkim" by the British explorer Joseph Dalton Hooker in his book, The Himalayan Journal in 1855. The place is an ideal destination for nature lovers and even for adventure tourism. The beauty of the place cannot be adequately described in words. It is a perfect overnight halting-place for a visit to Yumthang (Valley of Flowers).
Lachung was a trading post between Tibet and Sikkim before 1950. The trading post was closed down in 1950 after the annexation of Tibet by China. The place has an Indian army post. Tourism is the main economic activity of the area and it draws tourists from all over the world.
How to Reach?
Lachung is well connected by road from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. Lachung is 110 km away from Gangtok and the road to Lachung passes through an exquisite scenic landscape. The nearest airport to Lachung is Bagdogra (IXB) which is located at a distance of 195 km. New Jalpaiguri (NJP) is the nearest railway station which is situated at a distance of 192 km from Lachung.
Best time to Visit
Lachung has only two seasons - summer and winter. Summer lasts from April to October and the maximum temperature during this time is 15 degrees C. The winters are very severe here with minimum temperature dipping up to (minus) -17 degrees C. Hence, the best time to visit Lachung is October to June.
Clothes to be carried
Heavy woolen clothes must be carried for a visit to Lachung in winters as well as in summers.
Places to visit
Lachung is a postcard-pretty tiny hill town. The place has a number of tourist attractions in and around the area. Some of the places of interest include:
Lachung Gompa The Gompa is located on a hill near Lachung and can be reached on foot in about an hour. It is one of the most beautiful and appealing Gompa (Buddhist Temple) in Sikkim.
Yumthang (Valley of Flowers) It is a natural reserve sanctuary and a grazing pasture located about 25 km from Lachung. It is also known as the Valley of Flowers. The valley is surrounded by snow-covered peaks at all times of the year. It is located at an elevation of 11,693 feet. Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is located in Yumthang valley.
Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary The Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is located in Yumthang valley in North Sikkim. It has about 40 varieties of Rhododendrons. The variety of flowers is kaleidoscopic The total area of the sanctuary is around 43 square km. The rhododendrons that bloom from April to July enhances the natural beauty of the landscape to an astonishing extent.
Local Population or demography Tibetan speaking Lepchas and the Bhutias are the main inhabitants of the place.
Lachung also offers trekking and skiing facilities to adventure tourists. The tourists can also enjoy hiking, fishing, rafting and mountain biking here. Tourists can buy rugs, blankets, and some other handicraft items. Apples, peaches and apricots are also grown in Lachung.
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