Within the paradise of Sikkim, you will find a little haven called Thangu Valley. The alpine grasslands, verdant valleys, and the shimmering waters of Teesta River paint a heavenly picture of this place. A mere description of this place will do justice to the pulchritude of the valley. You have to be there to experience the wonderful creation of God and feel bliss.
Situated at the height of about 3900 m, Thangu Valley in Sikkim is a magnificent village which is approximately 2 hours drive from Lachen, Sikkim. Along with Teesta River, three more rivers flow through the valley i.e., Thangu, Lassur, and Chopta. It is suggested that you extend your trip to Sikkim and at least spend a day in the valley to soak in the beautiful views and really feel at peace.
Best Time To Visit Thangu Valley
There are two seasons to visit Tangu Valley; winter and summer. Summer season that extends from May-September is when you will get to enjoy lush scenery of this place. In winters, it becomes a snowy winterland. Summers in this valley are moderate and you can also witness the annual yak race, “Thangu”during this time. The best time for you to visit Thangu Valley is from November to June. Monsoon is when it should be avoided at all costs. This place experiences extreme cold during the winters and even in June as well as July, the daytime temperature in Thangu valley ranges between 4-12 degrees Celsius.
How To Reach Thangu Valley
The height of Thangu Valley is 3,900 m above the sea level. It is located only a few kilometers away from Lachen. However, it would take you over an hour for covering this distance because of regular landslides and road’s high inclination. A lot of tourists prefer to stay overnight at Lachen and then visit the valley.
New Jalpaiguri is the nearest railway station from Thangu Valley from where you can take private cars or a bus and comfortably cover the distance of 147 km.
The closest airport to Sikkim is the Bagdogra Airport. Once you reach there, several buses or shared jeeps are available that will take you to the valley. However, it is suggested you hire a private taxi to have a hassle-free travel experience.
Places To Visit Around Thangu Valley
Once you have had enough of Thangu’s beauty which is impossible, you can put other places on your list to extend your joy. There are a lot of other wonderful sightseeing locations in Lachen
1. Gurudongmar Lake
The land of yaks and other high altitude animals of Tibet and Sikkim, this lake, close to Thangu Valley, is 1710feet above the sea level. It comes under the category of world’s one of the 15 highest lakes and will bewitch you with its scenic and splendid beauty. Its breathtaking charm is what drives tourists here from across the Globe. People believe that this lake’s water has healing power and that is why many tourists carry it on their way back home.
Timing: : 9 AM to 5 PM
Location: 190 Kilometers from Gangtok, Sikkim
2. Lachen Monastery
Offering the extraordinary views and quiet backdrop, this monastery was built in 1858 A.D. by Nyingma Sect of Tibetan Buddhism along with the assistance of its 8 monks who modified the small hut built by Lama Karchen Dorje Drak. It is an outstanding attraction in Lachen which is also known as Launching Gompa or Ngodub Choling. Lachen Monastery is seated at the scenic location overlooking the village as well as housing the Guru Padmasambhava statue.
Timing: 7 AM to 5 PM
3. Cho Lhamo Lake
Considered as India’s highest and world’s 14th highest lake, this is reinforced by the snow-covered mountains that border it and is one of the sources of River Teesta. Cho Lhamo Lake is the serene one that nurtures in the lap of Mother Nature’s isolated part. It has pleasing views that produce a captivating environment as well as fills rare visitors with a sense of peace.
Location: A few Kilometers from Tibet Border
4. Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary
The beauty of this famous attraction and a much-loved trekking destination in the region is enhanced during the spring season with flowers that reclines far and wide while covering the area of about 43 sq. km. It is rich in the natural vegetation and thereby, gets covered in several other species of trees and plants like primulas, potentillas, poppies, saxifrages, gentians, and aconites etc.
Location: Yumthang Valley in North Sikkim
Timing: : Sunrise to Sunset
Suggested Read: Gurudongmar Lake: Visit This Pristine Lake In Sikkim In 2019
Things To Do Around Thangu Valley
Besides appreciating the spectacular beauty of this Valley, you can also go for some short treks in and around Lachen and stumble upon the wonders of nature.
1. Wildlife Sighting
Sikkim is popular not only for its mesmerizing landscape and immaculate hilly beauty, but also for its varied wildlife’s richness as it is home to a lot of diverse and rare species of animals. Along with visiting the Kanchenjunga National park and admire its natural scenery, you can also spot some incredible wildlife like Himalayan Bears, Wild Yaks, Musk Deer, and Red Panda etc., while going on a trek to Chopta Valley and Green Lake.
Suggested Read: Top 7 Things To Do In Sikkim In 2020!
One of the most famous things to do around Thangu valley in Sikkim is going on a trek to one of Lachen’s surrounding valleys and lakes. Yes, the terrain can be a bit challenging as well as the weather unpredictable, it will always be the most fun you will ever do. What’s more? You can enjoy the abundance of wildflowers and a variety of rhododendrons along with several other species.
3. Visit the lakes
There is no denying the fact that Lachen Tourism’s highlight is visiting its most popular lakes i.e., Gurudongmar Lake and Green Lake. While the former one was once frozen and is now the source of freshwater for wildlife and locals in the region, a trek to the latter one will give you a golden chance of spotting some exotic bird and wildlife species.
Suggested Read: 20 Drool-Worthy Restaurants In Sikkim For A Scrumptious Retreat
Accommodation In Thangu Valley
While you book your hotels, please note that you need to generate a permit from the army beforehand for the night stay.
1. Himalayan Residency
This hotel is equipped with superb amenities and that is why it is the best place to stay for both the nature admirers and comfort-seekers. Its warm hospitality is the reason why guests find it heartwarming refuge. Himalayan Residency has spacious rooms that are carefully designed with attractive interiors as well as offer enthralling vistas.
Address: Lachen Road, Lachen
Tariff: INR 6,500 onwards per night
2. Apple Orchard Resort
This resort is fine-tuned with nature as well as blends modern amenities with nature’s scenic opulence. Its top-quality facilities render a pleasing and snug stay to the visitors. Along with this, its multi-cuisine restaurant provides you mouth-watering dishes from Sikkim. Located in the middle of the real Apple Orchard, it is the best place for you to enjoy a cozy stay in the lap of nature’s splendor.
Address: North Sikkim, Lachen 737120
Tariff: INR 7,479 onwards
3. Hotel Fortuna
This is the perfect stopover for any relaxing holiday seeker searching for comfort, luxury, and warmth with the homely atmosphere. The Fortuna offers facilities like doctor-on-call, travel assistance, and car rental. Enjoy sipping a hot mug of coffee and make the most of your time. With all sorts of comforts and ethnic decoration, all the 11 rooms of this hotel are a visual treat and make your stay worth savoring.
Address: Gumpha Road, Lachen, Sikkim 737120
Restaurants In Thangu Valley
Once you are done exploring the valley, make sure to have a taste of the local cuisine at some of the most popular restaurants in Lachen.
1. Ingredient Resto-Bar
Visit Ingredient Resto-bar and enjoy the tasty food while admiring the appealing interiors of the place. Prompt service and friendly staff are what make this restaurant a much-preferred choice among the locals as well as tourists. You can also call it a cute and small joint with a homely sense and warm atmosphere. Don’t worry as their services are also light on your pocket.
Location: Gurudongmar Road, Near Axis Bank, Lachen, Sikkim 737120
2. Bombay Pakwan Restaurant
Nice and comfy environment with great hospitality and top-quality food is how one can summarize his experience in this restaurant. Do not forget to try out Pav Bhaji and Veg Biryani as it offers the most flavorsome North-Indian food in the region. The place is known for lip smacking Indian cuisine and offers cheap eats.
Address: Deorali M G Marg, Gangtok 737101
3. Hill Queen
This restaurant offers you Chinese, continental dishes, and Indian cuisine at a pocket-friendly price. Healthy ingredients are used while cooking your meal so that the quality of your food is never compromised. It is a welcoming place with genuine, drool-worthy Sikkimese home cuisine that will make you crave for more. So, get ready for a classier meal where your platter is going to be full of appetizing dishes.
Suggested Read: 15 Vibrant Sikkim Festivals To Enjoy On A Vacation In 2019
What To Pack
This packing list will come in handy when you head out on a vacation to Sikkim. You must be careful with clothing and health at higher altitudes.
- Fleece Jacket
- Woolen gloves
- Light Sweater
- Woolen Cap
- Shawl or stole
- Mosquito Repellent
- Paper Bags for vomiting
- Medicine Kit
- Hot Water BagDocuments & IDs
Cell Phone Charger
Tips For Travelers
Keep these tips for visiting Thangu Valley in mind if you do not want any unnecessary trouble. Skimming through these tips will save you all the hassle.
- Due to the high altitude of Thangu valley in Lachen, please take necessary measures in case you are planning to stay there specifically during winters because you can face heavy snowfall.
- As the options are limited in the Valley, make sure to stay equipped with all the basic amenities, especially while traveling with kids.
- Ensure the fact that you have an Inner Line Permit to visiting North Sikkim.
- AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) is common here so acclimatize yourself well and make sure to keep the generic medicines.
- Be ready and well-equipped to face sudden rainfalls.
Due to the high altitude location, Thangu Valley in Sikkim is covered in a blanket of snow for most of the time. If you are a nature lover, then this sweet town will prove to be your best gateway. It is one place where you will find snow even in the summers. So,why not take a trip to Sikkim and visit Thangu Valley this season?
Frequently Asked Questions About Thangu Valley
A. Take a flight to Bagdogra Airport and from there, you can get a shared jeep/bus. If traveling via train, take a bus/private car from Jalpaiguri. Moreover, you can also drive from Lachen to Thangu.
A. Yes, the monsoon season takes place from May to September in the region while July proves to be the wettest month.
A. No, Lachung and Lachen are 2 different towns in the North Sikkim district.
A. There are several things to be bought from Sikkim such as –
1. Prayer Flags
3. Sikkimese Traditional Dress
5. Sikkim Liquor
A. Try out these tasty famous Sikkimese Dishes –
1. Gya Thuk/Thukpa
2. Gundruk Soup
4. Sael Roti
5. Sha Phaley
6. Tibetan Bread
A. Yes, Sikkim is safe for tourists. The availability of the army base in its higher regions makes it a much safer place to visit with friends and family.
A. It will take you a drive of 2 hours and 55 minutes for reaching Gurudongmar Lake from the town of Lachen.
A. You can visit Gurudongmar Lake between September and June. Furthermore, you should avoid visiting the lake during the monsoon season for preventing any accident.
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