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Lachung
About Lachung

Lachung is a town in northeast Sikkim, India. It is located in the North Sikkim district and is near the border with Tibet. Lachung is at an altitude of about 9,600 ft or 3,000 m and at the convergence of the Lachen River and Lachung Rivers, tributaries of the River Teesta. The word Lachung means "small pass". The town is about 125 km from the capital Gangtok. Lachung provides a base for the travellers bound to Yumthang Valley, popularly known as the `Switzerland of the East'.

One of the two main tributaries of Teesta, the Lachung Chu (Chu=river) flows through the valley. This picture, shot downstream overlooks the village and travellers' huts, while the river flows below. Villagers cultivate fruits, wheat and paddy in the valley. Spring and summer are the best seasons to visit, when the valley attains wonderful colors due to the blossom of flowers like Rhododendron, Primula, Potentilla, Magnolia etc.

Lachung (8610 ft) is one of the most beautiful villages in the valleys of North Sikkim. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, amazing waterfalls and sparkling streams. A small monastery decorating a solitary hilltop is a perfect place for meditation. The whole valley gets a completely different look in winter when wrapped by thick layer of snow. Lachung has a small market but due to tourist influx several small and medium hotels have come up with basic facilities.

Lachung has been described as the "most scenic village of Sikkim" by British explorer Joseph Dalton Hooker in his definitive, The Himalayan Journal (1855). Skiing is conducted in Phuni near this town. Languages spoken here are Nepali, Lepcha and Bhutia. During winter the town is generally covered with snow. Lachung is also the base camp for Rhododendron Valley Trek which starts from Yumthang Valley and ends at Lachen Valley.

The Indian Army has a forward base in the town. Before the annexation of Tibet in 1950, Lachung was a trading post between Sikkim and Tibet, after which it was closed down. The town's economy has been boosted by tourism in recent years as the region has been opened up by the Indian government.

Tourist come from all over the world to visit the town between October and May, mostly on their way to the Yumthang Valley and the Lachung Monastery. Most of Lachung's inhabitants are of Lepcha and Tibetandescent.

 
How to reach Lachung

Lachung can be through cabs and buses from locations within the state of Sikkim. Tourists who are travelling from destinations that are outside the state will have to opt for trains and flights to destinations in the nearby state of West Bengal. Buses to Lachung will be available from there.

Lachung By Train
New Jalpaiguri is a major railway station which is located at a distance of about 139 kilometers from Lachung. Trains can be taken directly to the railway station in New Jalpaiguri, which is located near Siliguri. There are three railway stations in Lachung, and trains from all major Indian destinations will be available to this railway station Regular trains will be available from Jhajha, Alipur Duar, Howrah, Chennai and New Delhi.

 

 


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