North Sikkim is a destination that has always fascinated travellers from all corners of the world, for this reason of their severe affinity
with one of nature’s fascinating invention has drawn tourists and explorers from far and wide.
Bask in ‘the land of the Dzumsas’: Lachen and Lachung and absorb it’s many layers of splendour. Shuffle through the vibrant flowerscape at Yumthang Valley, the magnificient Gurudongmar Lake serves as a tonic to the tired eyes. Explore Dzongu, the land of the Lepchas.
A Tibetan village with a unique local and traditional self-government body called the Zumsa, Lachung is situated at an altitude of 9000ft. Lachung is the last village in North Sikkim before Yumthang and has emerged as a tourist destination because of its natural environ and the popularity of Yumthang valley that is just 24 kilometers from here. Tourists stay at Lachung overnight and visit Yumthang as part of a day trip.
Yumthang (11,800ft) is where the tree line ends and the rhododendron groves cover the landscape in a surreal shade. It is also called the “Valley of Flowers” as in spring wild alpine flowers carpets the land. Yumthang is also well known for its hot springs, which have healing medicinal properties. A hot spring located on the right side of Yumthang River is a popular tourist attraction. In addition to a vast green meadow, lush green forest abounding in pine and Silver Fir trees blankets the area. While driving towards the valley, one can see cascading waterfalls and streams.
Chungthang in North Sikkim is one of the most widely visited areas of the region. It is a small hamlet located at the confluence of two rivers, Lachen and Lachen Chu. Both the rivers are tributaries of the mighty Teesta, the most prominent river of the entire region of Sikkim. The place is noted for its beauty. It also provides great water sport opportunities like river rafting.
The word “Lachen” means “big pass”. The entire region of Lachen is located near the Indo-Tibet (China) border in North Sikkim. The Village of Lachen, which is locally referred to as “Lamten”, is situated at an altitude of 8920ft above sea level. Lachen is 129 km from the State Capital of Gangtok. Normally it takes around 5 hours to reach Lachen from Gangtok. The main road is located on the North Sikkim Highway.
30 Kms beyond Lachen lies Thangu at an altitude of 13000ft. Months of may and June see this valley carpeted of alpine flowers which are replaced by snow from October up to March. The small picturesque hamlet with scanty population Thangu has recently developed few accommodations with basic facilities. Tree lines disappear at Thangu and start a zone that can be compared only with the unreachable terrain in Tibetan plateau. Situated on the high alpine plateau, Thangu can be an ideal place for the real nature lovers as it provides a base for fabulous trek routes to Chopta valley and Muguthang, a land of the nomadic people. One needs to stay at Thangu for acclimatization before proceeding further.
Yumesamdong of North Sikkim is posited at an altitude of 15,300 feet above sea level. It is about 26 kilometers from Yumthang, another famous place in North Sikkim. It takes almost an hour drive to reach Yumesamdong from Yumthang. This drive is as scintillating as the place itself. The drive through the serpentine mountainous amidst the rugged terrain of Sikkim is a life-time experience. Since the place is in close vicinity to the international border between India and China, a special permit is required to visit Yumesamdong.
The lake is named after Guru Padmasambhava - who had brought Tantric Buddhism to Tibet. According to a legend, the lake used to remain frozen all the time. When the Guru Padmasambhava passed by, the local residents approached him for providing source of water in the area. The Guru obliged, a portion of the lake touched by him does not freeze in the extreme winter. Since water of the lake is considered sacred, visitors carry the "holy" water in the bottles.
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