Khecheopalri is a lake located near Khecheopalri village in the West Sikkim district of the North-eastern Indian state of Sikkim. It is a placed natural reservoir, located at an altitude of 1950 m. The lake was originally known as Kha-Chot- Palri, which means “the heaven of Padmasambhava”. The local name for the lake is Sho Dzo Sho, which means “Oh Lady, Sit Here”. The lake is an integral part of the much-revered valley of “Demazong” meaning valley of rice. This landscape is also known as a land of hidden treasures blessed by Guru Padmasambhava. The lake is highly revered by both Sikkimese Buddhists and Lepcha animists who believe its shape to be similar to the footprint of the goddess Tara. Another belief is that the footprint is of Lord Shiva. It is also believed that birds diligently remove any leaves from its surface, keeping it clean through the year, as leaves are not allowed to float on the lake. According to folklore legend related to Sikkim topography, the Khecheopalri is said to represent one of the four systems of the human body namely, the thorax; the other three systems are said to be represented by Yuksom (the third eye), Tashiding (head) and Pemayangtse (the heart).
The lake is said to have been formed over 3500 years and the depression where the lake was formed by the scooping action of a glacier. The lake is surrounded by a broad-leafed mixed temperate forest and there is a variety of fish and avifauna present in the lake. The climate in the lake region is prevalently monsoonal.
The Khecheopalri Lake is a part of the Buddhist religious pilgrimage circuit involving the Yuksom, the Dubdi Monastery in Yuksom, Pemayangtse Monastery, the Rabdentse ruins, the Sanga Choeling Monastery, and the Tashiding Monastery.
During the Khecheopalri Mela, which takes place during the 15th full moon day of the 1st month of lunar calendar, which falls in March/April, the lake area is crowded with pilgrims and butter lamps are floated out across the lake.
HOW TO GET THERE–
The lake is located 34 km from the town of Pelling. Shared taxis for Khecheopalri lake leave from Geyzing town once in a day after 1 pm. Otherwise, the lake can be reached by hiring taxis which will cost around Rs. 2000 from Geying.
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