Sikkim has got the most vivid strokes on the canvas of nature – surreal landscapes, imaginary mist-filled mountains and valleys that make you wonder if you have landed in heaven. The essence of Sikkim’s offering is wrapped up in this idyllic North Sikkim Hallet, Lachung.
The tall majestic snowy Himalayas, sparkling mountain streams and waterfalls, lush fruit orchards and melting blue rivers complete this perfect picture of the unrivaled and indomitable nature of all its glorious nature in the Lachung Valley.
How to reach Lachung
Well connected with Gangtok, the Lachung Valley offers breathtaking views and a spectacular experience on a winding road 6 hours drive from the capital. The scenic drive along the mountains will make you believe that the trip itself is rewarding as a destination.
Places to visit in and around Lachung Valley
1. Lachung Monastery
While exploring the village, Lachung Gompa (monastery) is a quiet place to spend time to admire beautiful wall murals, ancient sculptures, and peaceful vibes to nourish your soul. If you go to visit the monastery during some important Buddhist festivals such as Saga Dawa (celebration of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death), Cham (masked religious dance) or Hunsong (harvest festival and New Year of Bhutia people), So you get a chance to look more closely at the local traditions and culture. The handicrafts and carpet weaving center in Lachung Valley displays exquisite woolen carpets, carpets and shawls crafted by the locals.
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2. Mount Bite
Mount Cato’s snow-capped landscape is close to the Indo-China border, 40 minutes from Lachung. Due to its proximity to the border, permission from the army would have to be taken before going to the location. While it is a winter wonderland from November to March, Mount Cato is equally captivating during the spring and summer months. At an altitude of 15000 feet, Mount Kato with its snow-capped peaks will attract nature lovers and adventure seekers and must travel in the snow for some unforgettable moments of fun and adventure. In the winter months there is snowboarding, skiing and snow-tubing to entice adrenaline addicts. Holding fresh snow in your hands, playing with snow and watching the golden rays of the sun dance over the snowy peaks is the thrill of making your own snowflake, how you will remember those precious moments spent at Mount Kato.
3. Yumthang Valley
As far as your eyes can see, he is greeted by a canvas of wildflowers in myriad hues! Sikkim’s very ‘Valley of Flowers’ is a place of unmatched beauty with rolling meadows, gleaming rivers, hot springs and flowers all around. Home to the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, the Yumthang Valley is studded with about 24 species of rhododendron which is also the national flower of Sikkim.
The valley is usually closed from December to March due to heavy snowfall. The best time to visit is in the flowering season from late April to mid-June when the valley is iridescent with hundreds of shades of color, including rhododendrons, poppies, primules, and erases. Even if you travel to the Yumthang Valley at other times of the year, it is a beautiful place to spend a few moments in the lap of nature near the river flowing through the valley, while you are atop the mountain peaks. Let’s look at Silver Snow. Passing through the valley can add some fun quotient to your endeavor with nature.
The distance from Lachung to Yumthang Valley (about 25 kilometers) can be easily covered in about 1.5 hours depending on the weather and road conditions. To do full justice to this magnificent place, you should plan to spend 2-3 hours in the Valley of Flowers.
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4. Yama Samand
More popularly known as the zero point, it is one of the top attractions near the Lachung Valley. The treacherous mountain road, often covered in snow during the winter, offers an exciting experience and stunning views along the way. Aptly called the zero point, it is actually the end of the road and the last outpost of civilization close to the border with China. Azure skies, snow-capped mountain ranges and the picturesque scenery of Yume Samdong will remain forever in your memories. It is advisable to go back in time and return on time to avoid getting stuck due to snowfall or bad weather. Since it is very windy and cold, wearing multiple layers of cloth is a great way to stay warm and protected. Despite the slightly bumpy road and the feeling of breathing at this height, you will feel blessed to see the breathtaking scenery with a steamy cup of tea in your hands and a hot bowl of Maggi. What else is there in life apart from getting closer to the wonders of nature and losing oneself to the majestic mountains!
Zero Point is ahead of the Yumthang Valley and takes about an hour or more to reach. If you plan well and leave Lachung early in the morning then these two trips can be combined.
5. Naga and Bhima Nala Falls
Bhim Nala Falls up to Enchoute Lachung are a spectacular pit stop to admire the splitting falls and click some memorable photos on the wooden bridge with a gorgeous fall in the background. Another dazzling waterfall en route to the Lachung valley is the Panna-molded Naga Falls. While most people enjoy a hot cup of tea with a roadside tea-stall, and can do a little trek to get closer to the thrill-filled water.
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Best place to stay in Lachung Valley
Lachung has plenty of accommodation options to relax after your tired body after hill driving and before you continue your hill adventures to the next destinations.
1. Hotel Yarlam
As soon as you enter this luxurious hotel, you are greeted by Cherry Blossom, which has stunning views of the valley and all modern amenities including a salon and spa. Their warm hospitality, delicious food and picture-perfect places will relax both body and soul.
cost: From INR 10,000.
TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5 / 5
2. Hotel Norling Zimkhang
This charming mid-budget hotel offers comfortable rooms, excellent food and great views of the river and snow-capped mountain ranges. With all the basic amenities and care and attentive staff, Norling Zimchang is a good option that does not burn a hole in your pocket.
cost: From INR 4000
TripAdvisor Rating: 8/5
3. Apple Valley Inn
With a comfortable bed and breakfast option, Apple Valley lets you relax in delightful wooden cottages. It is an ideal mountain with delicious home style food and very helpful staff.
cost: From US $ 3300
TripAdvisor Rating: 8/5
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Now that you all know about the amazing Lachung Valley, it is time to visit this paradise and experience the magic of the mountains. Tell us what your experience was like in the comments section below.
Frequently asked questions about Lachung Valley
a. There are many breathtaking places in Lachung for the best holiday experience. One of the best places to offer peace to them are Yumthang Valley, Chungthang, Thangu, Gurudongmar Lake and Yumasamdong.
a. Located in northeast Sikkim, Lachung is a city and a beautiful hill station that attracts tourists from all over the world. At a height of about 9,600 feet (2,900 m) and at the confluence of the Lachen and Lachung rivers, both tributaries of the Teesta River, the Lachung Valley is known for its springs and hot springs.
a. Lachung is a year-round destination, as the city is surrounded by mountains and thus provides you a pleasant environment throughout the year. The best time to travel depends on your interest. If you travel in the summer season from March to May, you can see rhododendron flowers in the valley. Traveling during the monsoon should be avoided due to the heavy rainfall that the city receives. If you are a fan of snow, then winter is the perfect time for you to roam. Apart from this, some amazing sightseeing are open during this time.
a. In May, Lachung only receives snow at high altitudes (14000 ft – 17000 ft). Therefore, you can enjoy snow in places like Lachung, Lachen, Chongu, Zero Point, Gurudongmar Lake, Yumthang Valley.
a. The Yumthang Valley is located at a distance of about 120 km from Gangtok in Sikkim. Also, for anyone planning a trip to the valley, one needs to know that there is no direct route to reach. One has to first go to Gangtok, get a permit and then travel to Yumthang.
a. The nearest airport to Gangtok is Bagdogra, which is about 124 kilometers from Gangtok. Taxis or private vehicles are available from the airport to reach Gangtok.
a. Located in the northern region of Sikkim, the Lachung Valley is easily accessible. The fastest and possible way to reach the Lachung Valley from Delhi is by means of air transport.
By Air – Siliguri is home to Bagdogra Airport which is well connected to all major cities of India including Delhi. One can easily book a flight to Bagdogra Airport. The airport is about 125 kilometers from Gangtok and is well connected via road.
By Rail – New Jalpaiguri train station is about 120 kilometers from Gangtok which is the nearest to Lachung. After reaching the station one can hire a taxi or take a bus to Lachung.
By Road- Depending on the availability of public transport and private taxis, one can easily reach Lachung after reaching Gangtok, Darjeeling, Bagdogra, Jalpaiguri or Mangan.
a. Located near the district border with Tibet, Lachung sits at an altitude of about 2,900 meters or about 9,600 feet.
a. Umsamad sits at an altitude of 15,300 feet in the northern region of Sikkim. Yamsmond is often marked as a ‘zero point’, from which point no one can go further and no passenger gives any permit to go beyond it. Very point based on its proximity to the Chinese border.
a. In order to travel to Sikkim or Darjeeling, one does not require any type of permit. However, if one wishes to travel to the northern part of Sikkim, one has to obtain a protected area permit which can be obtained from Gangtok. Areas that require permits are Lachung and Yumthang.