Sikkim is full of natural riveting lakes. But Khecheopalri Lake is a bit different from others – this is one of the most sacred of all. Such is the sanctity of this lake that this has become a pilgrimage among the people of this region. This lake is now a part of major Buddhist religious pilgrimage here which includes city of Yuksom. Khecheopalri Lake is a wishfulling lake – that is how it is known as here. It is said any wish you that you may have will be fulfilled if you wish in the front of this serene lake. Part of Demazong valley – best part of the lake is that it is untouched, raw, un-spoilt and gorgeous in its natural glory.
This lake is part of lot of Buddhist and Hindu religious folklore. Hindus believe that lord Shiva visited this lake and meditated near to it. Because of its religious significance, the lake is a government protected lake. One amazingly astonishing fact about this lake is the fact that you won’t find leaves in the lake as soon as the leaves fall down in the lake they are cleaned by the birds here.
Best Time To Visit Khecheopalri Lake
Except the months of Monsoon – that is the period after May till the start of winters – that is towards the end of September – the region see heavy rainfall in the period. Therefore tourists avoid the monsoon period. One can visit the lake from October to May.
Best season to visit the lake is in the winters – October to February. This is the period when the enthralling natural beauty of the lake and its surrounding is enhanced and is at its peak.
Lake timings: 6 AM to 6 PM
Average Cost For Khecheopalri Lake Trip
Entry Fee: There is a small entry fee in the lake campus. Fee is INR 20 per person
Cab cost: The cab may cost around INR 2000 for the travel.
You can also take the state bus which will cost nominal – but there is only one trip of the bus in the whole day.
Weather Around Khecheopalri Lake
The weather at the lake usually doesn’t go to extremes – and you may find the temperature to be between 24 C to 4 C. It will be quite pleasant in summers. The place can get high rains during monsoon. Sometimes in peak winters the temperature may drop further and it can be very cold. At Pelang it can get extremely cold in winters – with temperature going to -5 C in extreme winters. In case if you are travelling in winters you may want to check the weather forecast for this place.
Places To Visit Around Khecheopalri Lake
Here are some of the best places to visit around Khecheopalri Lake in Sikkim:
1. Kanchenjunga Waterfalls
Falls are around seventeen kilometers from the lake. And it may take a drive of 40 minutes. This is a beautiful tourist attraction with a splendid waterfall splashing on the ground, surrounded by dense forests and green hills. It is the tallest waterfall in Pelling region and may be one of the most scenic you can find in Sikkim. The waterfall has a link with Mt. Kanchenjunga and the waterfall source according to expert is the glaciers at Mt. Kanchenjunga. If you are in this region – this waterfall is one attraction which just can’t be missed.
2. Khecheopalri Village
It is a small laid back village surrounding the lake and with the same name. It’s a very serene place with small but extremely kind and hospitable population. You will want to explore this a bit, have your cup of tea or your lunch in the village, absorb its beauty. In the village you will also find a lot of people from other parts of India and all over the world staying here for days and days – absorbed in their Buddhist teachings near the holy lake, meditating and living in spiritual serenity.
3. Tashi Choling Monastery
This is a one beautiful old monastery near the lake. It is an extremely tranquil, calm Budhist monastery and important Bhudist center among the local people. One will also find captivating views from the Monastery. A perfect place to spend some quiet spiritual time, to meditate and be lost in the deep serenity of its surroundings.
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Things To Do Near Khecheopalri Lake
Here are some of the best things to do near Khecheopalri Lake:
1. Make A Wish
This is a wishing lake. According to the legends your wishes that you pray here in front of the lake will be fulfilled. Lot of people meditate and pray around the lake and ask for their wishes.
2. Feed The Fish
Feed the beautiful fishes of the holy lake. There are many lively beautiful little fishes you will find playing gently in the tranquil lake. Do take some fish food or simply biscuits to feed them and watch them devour it with happiness. This is also a sacred activity among the believers here.
3. Souvenir Shopping
There are few shops run by locals – who sell handcrafted sweet souvenirs. Buy a few to take the memories and blessings of this sacred lake with you.
4. Mountain Peak Climbing
There is a small mountain peak near by which you can climb up. The climb will take around twenty minutes. But the view from up is magnificent. You will also have a top view of the lake. The lake resembles a footprint – and it can be clearly seen from this mountain peak.
5. Coffee At The Cafes
Sipping coffee in such tranquil sacredness has its own charm. It will also refresh you for your journey back. One such cafe is the Latup cafe – a small cafe near the lake but serving gorgeous hot coffee. If you are feeling tired after travelling and trekking – this is one place you would want to sit – amidst nature – sip down your hot coffee along with snacks. Views from the cafe are wonderful.
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Places To Stay Near Khecheopalri Lake
Khecheopalri is small village and you may not find too much of commercial activity or places around. Yet many people like to stay near the lake – to absorb the spiritual calmness this place has to offer. Many on the path of spirituality or who are learning Buddhism also prefer to stay near this lake. Few stay option that this place offers :
1. Khecheopalri Sanctuary Home Stay
This is a beautiful little home stay right near the lake. In the midst of beautiful lush green mountains and the holy lake staying here will not be less than any paradise. Perfect place if you want to spend more time near the lake in perfect tranquility and peace. One of the very few homestays near the lake. Breakfast is complimentary. Wonderful owner and his family. There are board games also available here. Do check out the pizza here.
2. Lake View Nest Eco Retreat & Homestay
Run by a very hospitable family – this is a nice clean cozy place to stay at. Whether you are staying near the lake or will be going ahead on your trek – this is one perfect place to stay.
The resort is situated at a hill – which may take around 20 minutes to climb up from the main road. But the view from the resort is fantastic and you won’t mind climbing up for it.
Price : INR 1200- 1600/-
Address: Khecheopalri Lake, Khecheopalri, Sikkim 737113
Contact: +91-97359 45598
3. Sonam Homestay
Another very small home stay near the lake itself. Perfect place if you want to rest in this hilly area, be there near the holy lake, be in nature’s peace. Don’t expect too much of luxury – but nice cozy place to explore more of the lake and nearby forests.
It’s a small place with around six rooms. Run by a local family – it’s a peaceful beautiful location – where you will be served fresh local dishes straight from the nearby organic farms.
Price : INR 600/- INR 1000/-
Address: Sonam Homestay, Near Khecheopalri Monastery, Pelling 737113 India
Contact: +91-97355 89678
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4. Bokhim Village Resort
This resort is around 5 km from the lake. The resort claims to be 100% organic. Rooms has majestic views of the hills. Apart from nature – you will also have all the necessities you can ask for – elaborated menu, internet, car parking area yet a very friendly homestay like environment. Place offers good fast natural green areas in its surroundings, beautiful views of Kanchenjunga mountain range, bonfire and open barbeque in the evening. Staff is extremely friendly and very prompt. The hotel has its own restaurant which services varied sumptuous cuisines. Stay cost may be around INR 3000/- for a night but may vary depending on the season and demand.
Price: INR 2400/- – INR 3000/-
Address: Near Aritar Lake Rongli, Gangtok 737101 India
Contact : +91- 095478 04891 |
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Tips For Travelers Visiting Khecheopalri Lake
- Be careful of the leeches near the lake:
There can be small lice near the lake area. These lice can stick on your feet/legs and can cause some pain. Ensure that you are fully covered and be careful about these lice.
You may need to remove your shoes before going near the lake.
- Do not put your feet in the water
This is a holy lake. Very sacred for the locals here. For this reason do not try to get in the lake or putting your feet in here.
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Festivals Celebrated At Khecheopalri Lake
- Chompa Chopa: There is a two day annual festival held near the lake – which is one of the biggest religious festivals in Sikkim. People from all over Sikkim and nearby regions including from Nepal and Bhutan travel to this place to participate in the festival. In the local month of Maghe Purne (which is around March and April) – this festival is celebrated.
- Nag Panchami : Lot of lord Shiva devotees visit the lake to worship lord Shiva during Nag Panchami day. According to the traditions lord Shiva spent good time around this place and mediated near the lake and in Dupukney cave.
- Chho Tsho : This is a local festival which is celebrated here in the month of October. This is an offering to deities after the cardamom harvest in the celebration of the harvest and to pay gratitude to the gods.
How To Reach Khecheopalri Lake
The Khecheopalri Lake is around thirty kilometer from Pelling Town. Pelling it the nearest major town to this lake. It will be a little more than an hour drive away from the lake. Pelling is almost 112 kilometer far from Gangtok – the state capital. Pelling is also well connected to other major towns of Sikkim. One can get cabs or jeeps easily from Pelling which will take you to the lake.
Nearest airport to this place is Bagdogra in Siliguri which is almost 140 Kilometers. Nearest railway station is also that of Siliguri – New Jalpaiguri railway station. One can also travel to the lake from the city of Geyzing which is around 32 kilometers away. One can hire a cab from Pelling or from Geyzing. There are also state buses that travel once a day from Pelling for a rountrip – post 1 PM.
This is one sacred serene trip which will go down your memory lane for different reasons. A lake which is so unlike others – with its profound sanctity and serenity – will have a lasting calming effect on you.
Frequently Asked Questions By The Travellers
A. Yes. This is one of the holiest lakes in Sikkim. Due to the numerous folk tales and traditions associated with this lake – it is highly regarded and worshiped by the locals here. The lake is sacred for Hindus and Buddhists of the region.
A. No. Going inside the lake isn’t allowed. In fact, putting your feet in the water isn’t allowed as this is a very holy lake for Hindus and Buddhists of the region.
A. This is a small lake and there are no boats. Also, due to the sacredness of this place and the lake – you will find boats or similar commercial activities here. What instead you will find is people praying and wishing across the lake and feeding the fishes. But no holy dip!
A. No. Cars/cabs can get very close to the lake area. There is a designated parking area from where the lake is only half a kilometer away. So there is no strenuous trekking involved.
However there is a viewpoint uphill which may involve a little uphill climb and few may find it a little strenuous – especially the senior citizens.
A. No, this isn’t. There are much bigger lakes in Sikkim. In fact this comparatively a very small lake.
A. Kheceopalri lake is situated at around seventeen hundred meters above sea level. No, this isn’t the highest lake. There are many lakes in Sikkim which are the much higher altitudes.
Changu Lake in Sikkim is at 5330 meters above sea level and is said to be the highest lake in whole of India – one of the highest in the world.