Exquisite, thrilling and vibrant: these are the three words that describe North Sikkim. It offers adventurers and nature lovers with a vast treasure of alpine beauty; valleys covered with flowers and a showcase of vibrant ethnic communities that resides in the high altitude mountains.
North Sikkim is sometimes compared to the Swiss Alps by many visitors to the region; this complement alone gives credence to the ethereal beauty of this place that has to be seen to be believed. The region provides magnificent views of the mountain ranges of the Khangchendzonga and Mt. Siniolochu; treks through gentle meadows overlooking the snow laden mountain and the mystical Guru Dongmar Lake are truly a divine experience. In addition, the rural scenery filled with monasteries, meadows and lush green forest creates an ambiance of paradise on earth.
Mangan is the district headquarters of North Sikkim. A gateway to unparalleled beauty. The northern most parts of the district merge with the Tibetan plateau and lend a unique character to the region and some animals like the Tibetan Wild Ass called kyang can be found in the northernmost areas.
It is located 17 km from Gangtok along the North Sikkim Highway. The place is of historical importance to the Sikkimese because it was the venue where the treaty for brotherhood was affirmed between the Lepcha Chief Tekung Tek and the Bhutia chief named Khey Bhumsa. Amidst a dense cover of forest the historical treaty is marked by a memorial stone.
The monastery is built on a hill slope that runs from Kabi Lungchok to Phodong and is adorned with beautiful landscapes. It was built in 1721 and belongs to the Nyingma-pa sect.
It is located 38 km from Gangtok and is one among the six important Buddhist monasteries in Sikkim. It was built by Chogyal Gyurmed Namgyal in the eighteenth century.
The Seven Sister Falls is located 32 km from Gangtok along the National Highway leading to North Sikkim. A picturesque waterfall awaits the visitor with a watching shed where they can enjoy the magnificent view of the waterfall and click memorable photographs.
Singhik’s ideal location provides spectacular close views of Mt. Kanchenjunga and the graceful Mt. Siniolochu. Tourists can venture for short natural treks along the higher slopes of the mountain. A well located Tourist Lodge is available for accommodation.
The Rong-Lungten-Lee is a replica of a traditional Lepcha’s house. It consists of three rooms and an attic; tourists are allowed to visit and witness the unique lifestyle of the Lepchas. Nearby is the Namprikdang where lies the confluence of the Teesta and Kanaka rivers.
Chungthang is the point where the downhill descent of the Teesta begins followed by the confluence of the Lachen and Lachung Chu River. Chungthang is located 95 km from Gangtok, 23 km from Lachung and 29 km from Lachen and populated mainly by the Lepcha ethnic community.
Lachung has emerged as a popular destination because of its proximity to Yumthang; it is located at a distance of 25 km from Yumthang. The Lachung village has a local self governing body called the ‘Dzumsa’ and the villagers have retained their unique cultural identity over the years in this region. The area of the village is stretched on either side of Lachung and the Lachung monastery is the prominent place for all religious and cultural activities.
Yumthang is the largest draw in North Sikkim. Situated at an elevation of 11,800 feet surrounded by snow-clad mountains, rhododendrons, hot-springs and the vibrant local communities, it has everything an ideal alpine tour can offer. Some travellers even compare it to the beauty of the Swiss Alps. For adventure seekers it offers treks to the Green Lake and Phunithoka.
Lachen can be reached by a 6 hour drive from Gangtok and is situated at an altitude of 2750 meters. Chief attraction is the Lachen Monastery standing on top of the village which provides excellent views of the alpine landscape and lush green countryside. Hotels, resorts and lodges are available for accommodation in the village.
Thangu is situated at an altitude of 14,000 ft; it is the base for treks to the Guru Dongmar Lake and Cho Lhamu – the source of the River Teesta.
The Guru Dongmar Lake is not only the most sacred lake in Sikkim revered both by the Hindus and Buddhist people, but provides a sight and ambience that takes one’s breath away with its mystical and unparalleled charm.