Lachen is a quaint village located amidst the magnificent Himalayas in North Sikkim and is the gateway to some of the most popular tourist hotspots in Sikkim. Looking for fun things to do in Lachen? Well, it surely is a haven for nature lovers, peace seekers, shopaholics, and adrenaline junkies and serves as the unofficial base camp for trekking for starters. And its close proximity to the Kanchenjunga National Park and the Rhododendron Sanctuary is a cherry on the cake!
Adventure-Packed Things To Do In Lachen
Here’s why you should visit at once:
1. Visit the Gurudongmar Lake
The highlight of Lachen tourism is visiting its most famous lakes aka the Green Lake and the Gurudongmar Lake. The trek to Green Lake is one of the most popular trekking expeditions in Sikkim and an excellent opportunity to spot some wildlife and exotic bird species. On the other hand, the Gurudongmar Lake is situated amidst the spectacular Kanchenjunga ranges and is considered sacred by the locals. It is said to be blessed by the Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism during the 8th century. This once frozen lake is now a source of freshwater for the locals and wildlife in the region.
Tip: All visitors need a permit from the army or local police to visit the lakes as they are located close to the Indian Border and Foreigners are not allowed to visit these lakes.
2. Explore Kanchenjunga National Park
If you are travelling to Lachen, then you must plan a visit to the Kanchenjunga National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the national park is home to many glaciers such as the Zemu glacier and many diverse species of wildlife such as the clouded leopard, snow leopard, musk deer, etc.
Popular sanctuaries near Lachen: Kanchenjunga National Park
Best time to visit: March to May and September to December
Distance from Lachen: 107 km
Entry fee: INR 350/- for a week
Things to do: Camping, Wildlife Spotting, Wildlife Photography and filming and trekking
3. Trek to Lachen’s valleys and hills
One of the most popular things to do in Lachen is trekking to one of its surrounding lakes and valleys. The trekking trails in Lachen are surrounded by sharp-edged mountains, rich biodiversity, and breathtaking views. Though the terrain here can be quite challenging and the weather unpredictable, it’ll still be the most fun thing you’ll ever do! Be prepared, do your research, plan ahead, and as a precaution, get a medical check-up before you leave.
Popular treks: Green Lake and Chopta Valley.
Tip: Hire a guide!
4. Seek blessings at a monastery
One of the top things to do in Lachen Sikkim is to visit a Buddhist Monastery. And what better monastery to visit other than the famous Lachen Gompa or Lachen Monastery. These are some of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim and an excellent example of the Tibetan style of architecture. Another attraction here is the Annual Mask Dance celebration – a riot of colours that must not be missed!
5. Spot exotic birds
Bird watching is among the most popular outdoor activities in Lachen. Northern Sikkim is a haven for nature lovers and bird watchers. No matter where you go, you can always spot new and intriguing species of birds that migrate here April onwards. While birding in the region, visitors may see black eagles, Indian Cuckoo, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babblers, and more.
- Carry a pair of binoculars
- Stay quiet and try to identify birds by their calls
- Take a guide who is familiar with the region and knows which bird can be spotted where
6. Go wildlife sighting
Sikkim is home to many rare and diverse species of animals. In addition to visiting the Kanchenjunga National Park for its natural scenery, visitors can spot some amazing wildlife such as Wild Yaks, Himalayan Bears, Red Panda, Musk Deer, etc while trekking to the Green Lake and Chopta Valley.
Where: Green Lake, Chopta Valley
7. Tour the rhododendron sanctuary
A visit to Rhododendron Sanctuary should be on top of your list of things to do in Lachen in April. The sanctuary is home to as many as forty Rhododendron species. Although these flowers can be spotted all over Northern Sikkim, the collection at the sanctuary is spectacular. The best time to visit is during summers (April-July) when the flowers are in full bloom.
Distance from Lachen: 22 km
8. Ride off to Lachung
Lachung is a stunning Himalayan village located in Northern Sikkim. The landscape of Lachung is filled with gushing waterfalls, tall and dark mountains, meandering rivers, fruit orchards, and much more. In addition to an abundance of natural beauty, visitors can also enjoy a host of outdoor activities such as paragliding and river rafting in Lachung.
Distance from Lachen: 50 km
9. Shop till you drop
Suggested Read: 8 Super Exhilarating Things To Do In Lachung
Lachen may not be your usual shopper’s paradise, but this quaint Himalayan village does have a few delights its visitors can take home. The locals here craft and sell beautiful handicrafts as well has as many pure woven handloom products. When here, you can buy things like handmade blankets, shawls, handbags, carpets, bags, hats, and wooden articles.
Where to buy: Main Market, The Handicraft Centre, The Angora Rabbit Farm
10. Taste the delicious Sikkim cuisine
Saving the best for the last, one of the most exciting things about visiting a new place is trying out its delicious cuisine. And when it comes to food, Sikkim never disappoints. You’ll find that the local cuisine here is influenced a lot by Nepali cuisine. Rice is a staple diet and is served with almost every meal. The food in Sikkim is made using local produce and has unique flavours, so make sure you try as many dishes as possible while you are there.
Popular dishes: Thupka, Phagshapa (Pork Stew with dried chillies and radishes), Sha Phaley (Bread stuffed with cabbage and beef), and Momos
Which of these do you think are the best things to do in Lachen for endless fun and adventure? Book a thrilling trip to Sikkim right away and find out for your yourself!
Frequently Asked Questions About Things To Do In Lachen
A. If you plan to travel by train, Darjeeling railway station is the closest to Lachen. But if you prefer the road travel, you hop into Sikkim roadways buses that will drop you off at Lachen.
A. Sikkim as a whole is one of the most beautiful places in India. Its breathtaking views of snow-clad mountains, its lush green valleys, and rocky mountain cliffs with amazingly beautiful monasteries are a view you could never want to walk away from.
A. Lachen is home to some of the most popular tourist spots of Sikkim such as Chopta Valley, Green lake, Lachen Monastery, Kanchenjunga National Park, Rhododendron Sanctuary and Lachung.
A. Lachen is located ad a height of 2750m above sea level.
A. Lachung and its neighboring mountain ranges are snow-clad all from January to May each year where you can enjoy skiing and other snow activities.
A. Lachen is absolutely safe for all kind of tourists. Thanks to the stringent law and order system in the region, even solo travelers feel the place is quite safe.
A. Alcohol is allowed in certain hotels and restaurants only. Traveling with alcohol in your car in drinking on the highway could land you into some serious trouble.
A. Gurudongmar lake is known to be the highest lakes in the world and for safety reasons, kids below the age of 8 years are not allowed near the Gurudongmar Lake. This 17000 ft high lake is surrounded by the snow-capped mountain range which makes this place totally worth visiting.
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