This is one of the most extreme parts of Sikkim with difficult terrain and not so good infrastructure. It is the finest region of Sikkim and is least visited due to its remoteness. The virginity is mesmerizing and is generally snow covered most of the year round. Package tour is organized for North Sikkim includes stay, transfer, food and sightseeing along with permits, etc. The places covered are Gurudongmar, Lachen, Chungthang, Yumthang and hot water spring, Lachung, Yumesomdong and Katao. The region is either cold desert or with rhododendron forest area with lakes, rivers, snow covered area and hot water springs and is worth visiting. Scenic beauty and the road make the journey through the rugged terrain of the Himalaya possible without much difficulty. The Singba Forest Reserve on the way is soothing to the eyes with flowers blooming with a riot of colors during spring with wide varieties of Rhododendrons. Kewzing village, Tashiding monastery, Doling and Mangbrue monastery are some of the places of interest. Lachung, Lachen, Chungthang, Mangan, are some of the most popular places of north Sikkim district
Most Popular Places in North Sikkim
Lachung, Sikkim : The picturesque mountain village of Lachung, at a height of 8610 ft, embraced by snow capped mountain peaks, breathtaking waterfalls, sparkling streams and apple orchards is the perfect holiday destination. Sprawled across the banks of the Lachung Chu [river] which slices the village in two, Lachung is famous for its apples, peaches and apricots.At Lachung you can visit the Lachung Gompa, built around 1880, the monastery is situated amidst apple orchards across the river from the town centre. Also go see the handicraft centre which has exquisitely woven rugs and blankets.
Accommodation is no problem in Lachung which has many hotels and lodges including a Dak Bungalow. But despite throwing its doors open to tourists Lachung still retains its distinctive culture and tradition, including the unique system of self governance called the Zumsa where all local disputes are settled by a totally representative body of the village which is headed by an elected Pipon.
Yumthang Valley : Yumthang, situated at a height of 11800 feet is popularly known as 'Valley of Flowers', Located at a distance of 148 kms from Gangtok, it is a paradise for nature lovers with a fascinating blend of flora and fauna and breathtaking scenic beauty. In spring season, wild flowers such as primulas and Rhododendrons bathe the landscape in rich colours, making it a tourist hot spot. The Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary over here has 24 species of Rhododendron flowers which bloom from April to May end.
Shingbha Rhododendron Sanctuary : Spread over 43 sqkms through which flows the Yumthang river, Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary adjoins Lachung and Yumthang. The Sanctuary which is known for its abundance of Rhododendron shrubs and trees is rich in ground flora and other vegetation as well.
Lachen :At an altitude of 8500 ft Lachen is alluring in its simplicity. Not yet as big a tourist destination as Lachung, it retains a freshness which is very appealing. The village comprises of less than 200 houses, earlier inhabited only during winters by their owners who spend their summers on the alpine pastures bordering Tibet tending to their yaks. Lachen is the starting point for some of the most interesting treks in North Sikkim as well as the gateway to the holy Guru Dongmar and Tso Lhamu lakes. You can visit the Lachen Gompa here and sample the simple village life of the ‘Lachenpas’. The area is restricted for foreigners, but special passes can be procured in advance. A few lodges are available here for stay as well as Forest Department and a PWD Bungalows.
Gurudongmar lake : Situated at a height of 17,800 feet, it is considered one the most sacred lakes by the Buddhists and Hindus alike. The beautiful and awe inspiring lake (190 kms from Gangtok) remains milky in colour throughout the year. According to a legend, since the lake used to remain frozen most of the year, it was not possible to use its water for drinking purposes.
Thangu – Valley : Thangu, situated at an altitude of 13,500 ft. is about two hours drive from Lachen. It is a small village where the visitors usually acclimatize before they proceed to Guru-Dongmar Lake, Muguthang or Cho Lhamu (source of River Teesta). A tourist Guest House at Chopta Valley, has been recently constructed over looking Thangu.
Mangan : 67 kilometres from Gangtok, this small town is the district headquarters of the spectacular North district. It is an attractive place with good views and is a transit point to other destinations of the region. A three day music festival is held at Mangan in December every year. Bands from the region as well as from the other Northeast states entertain the huge gathering and compete for the main prize. Mountains, music and the cold weather create an enthralling event.
Rong Rungten Lee :This replica of a Lepcha traditional house at Namprikdang, 8 kms away from Mangan, was inaugurated on 05.01.2003. It comprises of three rooms. The ceiling called 'PHAHONG' (attic) is used to store valuable items. This house is open to tourists, both foreigners and domestic throughout the year and visitors can admire the antique artifacts displayed. Namprikdang is situated at the confluence of two rivers - Kanaka and Teesta.
Chungthang :A small town on way to Yumthang, it stands at the confluence of the rivers Lachen chu and Lachung chu. The North Sikkim highway bifurcates from here with one road leading to Lachen and the other to Lachung. Chungthang valley is considered to be a holy place which has been blessed by Guru Padmasambhava, the patron saint of Sikkim. There is a rock here which to this day bears the hand and footprints of Padmasambhava. From a small opening in the rock there is continuous flow of mineral water. There is a small patch of land here from which grows paddy every year. The nature defying miracle is believed to be the blessing of Guru Padmasambhava who sprinkled a handful of grain on the spot which has sprouted paddy ever since. Chungthang is a good place to halt before one takes off for the more alpine regions of Lachen, Lachung and the Yumthang Valley. Chungthang is mired in myths and legends, one such being that this is the place from where the word ‘Demazong’ [the hidden valley of rice, as Sikkim is known] first originated.
Place:Thimpu, Phuntsholing, ParoDetails