This town in North Sikkim is located at an elevation of 2,750 meters.Lachen means “big pass”, the town is located at the base of Chopta Valley and Gurudongmar lake. Thangu an annual yak race is held here in summer. The village still retains its rustic charm and freshness. The village is sparsely inhabited by humans and the houses are inhabited only during winters. Some of the most interesting treks in North Sikkim start from Lachen. This village is also the holy Guru Dongmar and Tso Lhamu Lakes. It is 120km from Gangtok. The nearby villages of Rabom, Chaten, Talem, Yakthang, Kalep, Samdong and Thangu form a larger part of Lachen.
The beautiful Lachen Gompa here is an example of the simple village life of the ‘Lachenpas’. Lachenpas are unique Sikkimese Bhutia community. International tourists need special passes which can be procured in advance. Tourists can avail for Forest Department and PWD Bungalows. Trekkers can begin their treks for the beautiful peaks Mt. Khangchendzonga and Mt. Sinolchu from Lachen. The valley of Lachen is painted with flowers during monsoon, afterglow during winter and sparkling with snow during winters. Several fairs and festivals are celebrated in the valley.
Some of the other sites worth visiting are the Lachen Monastery and the Women’s handicraft center to view weaving of traditional blankets and carpets.
This town is the trail-head for expeditionary treks to Green Lake along the Yeti-infested Zemu Glacier towards Khanchendzonga’s northeast face. These require long advance planning and very expensive permits.
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