North Sikkim is also known as Cardamom capital of the world Bestowed with mountainous valley and dense alpine region is the largest district of Sikkim. North Sikkim is seventh least populated district of India. Mangan is the district headquarters of North Sikkim. Unscathed by the modernized society North Sikkim is known for its proximity with Mt Kanchenjungha. Trekking towards the glacial base of the third tallest peak from North Sikkim has attracted adventurer from around the world. The mountainous valley of North Sikkim is sketched with astounding tourist destinations, the rustic Himalayan hamlets like Lachen and Lachung being the prime attractions. The roads leading towards the North Sikkim are known to be the most scenic road of Sikkim where travellers gets to see pictorial vista of changing landscape. The best time to visit North Sikkim is considered during end of April to mid June and October to mid November. Venture upon the rugged terrain of North Sikkim while being mesmerized by the beauty of the Himalayas.
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The Sacred Gurudongmar Lake is among the highest lakes in world as well as in India at an altitude of 17,800ft. In 8th Century Guru Padmasambava visited this lake, after him the lake was named. It is also believed that during 15th century Guru Nanak also visited this place. Situated on the foothill of a snow-capped mountain, locally known as ‘Raja Rani Pahar’ (Mountain of King and Queen), Gurudongmar Lake has left many travellers mesmerised with its celestial beauty. Located 176 km from Gangtok, Gurudongmar Lake is sited close to Indo-Tibet border. The emerald blue water of Gurudongmar Lake is considered to have healing properties making it a pilgrim centre for many devotees. The magical phenomenon where only a certain portion of lake is left unaffected by the cold freezing temperature is truly amazing. Near Gurudongmar Lake travellers can see is a quaint temple named Sarva Dharma Sthal. The road leading towards Gurudongmar Lake is an added charm, where travellers can witness the pictorial view of changing landscape. It is said if there is a heaven then Gurudongmar Lake shows the glimpse of it.
Yumthang Valley is famously known as the Valley of Flowers. It is an hour drive from Lachung. The Yumthang Valley or Sikkim Valley of Flowers sanctuary is a nature sanctuary. With river, hot springs, yaks and grazing pasture on Rolling Meadows surrounded by the Himalayan Mountains it is a place nearer to heaven. Yumthang is situated at an elevation of 11,693 ft. On your way toward Yumthang Valley you will be driving through the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary which has more the 24 species of rhododendron trees. The best time to visit this sanctuary is from April to June. During this period rhododendrons are in full bloom and the sanctuary turns into a riot of colours. In the winter, Yumthang is hidden beneath the blanket of White Snow and showcases the view of snow clad mountains which add to the ethereal beauty of this place. Visitors can see a quaint river stream (Lachung Chhu) with the backdrop view of snow-capped mountain ranges like Pauhunri and Shundu Tsenpa. While returning from Yumthang don’t forget to visit the famous hot spring known for its curative properties.. Yumthang Valley is located at a distance of 25 km from Lachung and 148 km from Gangtok.. Engulf your lungs with the untainted mountain air while feasting your eyes with the view of exquisite flowers covering the valley of Yumthang.
Situated at an altitude of 14000 ft in the rugged terrain of North Sikkim is Chopta Valley. It lies on the road towards Gurudongmar Lake. Chopta Valley is one of the less trodden destinations of Sikkim which is famous for its monuments of historical and religious importance. There are several trekking routes starting from Chopta making it a favoured trekkers’ destination of Sikkim. The trek from Chopta Valley to Muguthang Valley is considered one of the best trekking routes which assure the trekker of scenic landscapes with snow-covered mountain peaks on one side and emerald green alpine forests and meandering rivers on the other. Far from the bustling rambunctious city life, Chopta valley with its astounding trekking routes and mesmerising vista is an ideal destination to spend some lone time exploring the beauty of Himalayan range.
Surrounded by the daunting mountain ranges is a tranquil hamlet sketched with alpine trees called Lachen. Lachen means big pass is located at a distance of 130 km from Gangtok. At an altitude of 9,022 ft Lachen is a scenic mountain village. Lachen with its unique location has become a base for the travellers who want to further venture towards Chopta Valley and Gurudongmar Lake. Even trekker’s for Green lake route or Zemu glaciers choose Lachen as their starting point. Located near Indo-Tibet border, Lachen is a scarcely populated hamlet whose main inhabitant are the Bhutias and Tibetans. The prime attraction of Lachen is the Lachen Monastery. It is a vantage point which offers a panoramic view of entire village surrounded by the meandering river stream and alpine cover. Lachen having almost everything a traveller could wish for is a land of fairs and festivals, snow-clad mountains, lakes, valley of flora, fauna and a vibrant local culture making it a must visit destination of North Sikkim.
Hidden in the mountainous valley of North Sikkim is a quaint hamlet called Lachung. Located near the Indo-Tibet border, Lachung is situated at an altitude of 9,514 ft. Lachung means small pass is situated along the Lachung Chhu or Lachung River which is one of the main tributaries of river Teesta. British explorer Joseph Dalton Hooker described Lachung as ‘the most picturesque village of Sikkim’ in The Himalayan Journal (1875). At a distance of 125 km from Gangtok the tranquil mountain hamlet Lachung is located. Governed by the unique system called Zumsa, Lachung has till date preserved its ethnic believe. Lachung Monastery is the prime attraction of the scenic hamlet. Lachung is the perfect holiday destination surrounded with snow-capped mountain peaks, breathtaking waterfalls, sparkling mountain streams and lush apple orchards.
Hidden beneath the thick blanket of snow near the Indo-Tibet border is a place named Katao. Situated at an altitude of 13000 ft Katao is in the Northern region of Sikkim. Located at a distance of 145 km from Gangtok and 24 km from Lachung, Katao is one of the places in North Sikkim which has hyped the interest of travellers. It is famous amongst the traveller for offering an unhindered view of the third highest peak Mt Kanchenjungha. Being close to the border area travellers can see barred fences and military check post in Katao. During spring season the valley is sketched with vibrant vista of blooming flowers of primulas and rhododendron. Every season has its own charm to relish in Katao whether it is teeth clattering cold of winter or warm and subtle breeze of spring season.
At an altitude of 17000 ft near Indo-China border is the last motorable point of North Sikkim called Yumesamdong or popularly known as Zero Point. It is located at a distance of 51km from Lachung. Zero Point is the grazing land of mountain goat and nomadic herds. Snow clad Himalayan range can be seen in the stone throwing distance from Zero Point. The rugged terrain of Zero Point has its own charisma which has captivated the mind of tourists. The best time to visit Zero Point or Yumesamdong is during winter season and spring season.