Lachung is a town located in the state of Sikkim. It falls under the north Sikkim district and is not very far from the China border. At an altitude of about 3,000 m above sea level, Lachung is located at the confluence of River Lachen and River Lachung, which are tributaries of the Teesta River. A forward base has been set up in this town by the Indian Army to guard and protect the borders.
History of Lachung
The term Lachung means ‘small mountain’. It is at a distance of about 125 km from Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim. In the book ‘The Himalayan Journal’, British explorer and writer, Joseph Dalton Hooker, has defined this place as the ‘most picturesque village of Sikkim’.
Before 1950, when Tibet was not taken over, Lachung was a major trading post between Tibet and Sikkim. After it was closed down, the town continued to remain intact. The Indian Government opened it again and since then it has emerged as a major tourist hub in Sikkim.
People & Culture of Lachung
People living in Lachung are commonly known as the Lachungpas. Lachung is mainly inhabited by Lepcha and Tibetan people. The most common languages spoken here include Lepcha, Bhutia and Nepali.
Things to do in Lachung
The main attractions of Lachung tourism include the Lachung Monastery
, which is also known as the Lachung Gompa, and the Yumthang Valley, which is about 25 km from the town.
The Lachung Monastery
is a very old monastery, built in the year 1880. This place houses several murals, along with two wheels. Mount Katao
, which is at a distance of about 30 km from this place, is also a popular tourist destination near Lachung. There are several Lachung holiday packages
that can be availed to explore the destination.
The Yumthang Valley is a meadowland set amidst the Himalayan Mountains, at an altitude of about 3,575 m. This place is also famous for the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary
, which has more than 24 species of rhododendron, the State Flower.
Travelling to Lachung
Lachung is reachable by road from within the state. To reach Lachung
, the nearest railhead is at New Jalpaiguri (140 km) in West Bengal and the nearest airport is Bagdogra, again in West Bengal. From the train station and the airport, buses and cars are available.
Regular train services are available from Howrah, Sealdah, Jhajha, New Delhi, Chennai and others. However, tickets need to be reserved in advance.
During the winter season, the town remains covered with snow most of the time. The summer months from March to June are the best time to visit Lachung with a mild and pleasant climate. The temperature in the summer months ranges from 10⁰ Celsius to 28⁰ Celsius while in the winter season it can go as low as -5⁰ Celsius. Since winters are very cold, adequate protection in terms of clothing should be taken if visiting during this time.
Accommodation options in Lachung
Hotels in Lachung
range from budget hotels and resorts. A few of these hotels also offer transfers for sightseeing and pick-up from railway and bus stations.