The gateway to the Paradise of Sikkim
Located at an altitude of 9,000 feet on the mountain slope, overlooking the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas, Lachen is one of the most picturesque spots in North Sikkim. Lachen is a small hamlet surrounded by green mountains on all sides and heavily blessed by Mother Nature in the form of scenic beauty. The road to Lachen is rugged and the journey is hectic, but when you finally reach the hamlet, you forget everything and feel like sitting on the lap of Mother Nature. the altitude of Lachen makes it a freezing zone and if you visit the place in winter, Lachen would greet you with snow. The roads, the trees, the slanted roofs of the houses get covered with snow turning the small village into a romantic world. Since it is a bit less developed than Lachung, Lachen is far more serene. It is home to low population formed by Nepalese, Tibetans and Bhutanese but their simplicity will touch your heart. Apart from mesmerizing you with its picturesque surrounding, dominated by snow-capped mountain peaks, Lachen will show you the gate through which you will enter and start your journey towards a divine destination-the Gurudongmar Lake. Being located in the North of Sikkim, you would have to get a special permit from Gangtok for your journey. Your conducted tour to Lachen will start from Gangtok around 10 am when you will be picked up by the car. On your 130 km journey you will go across a number of beautiful spots like the Tashi View Point, Kabi Lungstok, Twin Waterfalls, the Bhim Nala Waterfalls and Naga Falls, the junction of Lachen- Chu and Lachung-Chu, the two rivers that flow by Lachen and Lachung. Generally lunch is served at Namok and cars reach Lachen by late afternoon.
Chopta Valley: From Lachen you can start exploring the real treasures in the trove of Lachen. On your way to the divine Gurudongmar Lake, a green world will leave you awestruck with its beauty. Spread over acres on mountain slopes at a height of over 13,000 feet, this green world is called Chopta Valley. The lush greeneries of Chopta Valley are Alpine vegetation and it is also famous for Rhododendrons and varieties of orchids. Walking through thick layers of ice to reach the valley is an experience that attracts maximum tourists to Chopta Valley during winter. To enjoy the beauty of Chopta Valley at its best, you should be there during the spring when Mother Nature paints the valley in varieties of colors in the form of fresh Rhododendrons. And if it is winter, you would have the experience of walking through a frozen river. Choptan is a virgin valley that you can reach from Lachen within two hours. Your car will first take you to Thangu and from there it would take the North way to reach Chopta.
Gurudongmar Lake: All roads end at the Gurudongmar Lake, the ultimate divine destination in Sikkim. You travel through steep slopes and countless hairpin bends to reach the spot and yet Mother Nature surprises you with an absolutely plain land where you see a lake flowing on the foot of rugged mountains, covered completely with snow. From January to early April, the lake remains in a frozen state but for the rest of the year, water keeps flowing gently, making the place on the most picturesque in the entire planet. At an altitude of over 17,000 feet, you simply lose words staring at the Gurudongmar Lake, such is the atmosphere of the place. If you believe in God, you will surely feel her presence here. Absolute silence prevailing all around the lake might take you to a word of spirituality for a span of time.