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Lachung – The Town Known for Its Scenic Beauty and Tasty Apples
Lachung is considered as a picturesque town located close to the China border, in the north eastern region of Sikkim. The town is situated at the meeting point of the two tributaries of River Teesta, named Lachen and Lachung. Lachung, which means “Small Mountain or small pass”, is a town, which is renowned for its numerous waterfalls and streams filled with pure natural water. In addition, the town is also well-known for its magnificent apple orchards spread covering the vast mountains. The town was at one time, a major business centre between Tibet and Sikkim, which was closed down after the annexation of Tibet by China. However, the business has been restarted in the recent years and this has helped the town to emerge as a major tourist destination the region. Lachung is also famous for being the base camp for the trek to Rhododendron Valley.
Prominent Places of Interest in LachungDespite being a small town with only a few places of tourist interest, Lachung is visited by a good number of visitors especially in the months between October and May. Given below are the details of the most famous tourist hot spots of this hill town.
The Lachung Monastery: The monastery which was constructed in the year 1880, and is located at the junction of Lachung and Lachen Rivers, at a height of 12,000 ft. The monastery, which is essentially a Nyingma Buddhist Gompa, attracts several tourists, who come here to watch the Mask Dance festival, organized annually. The monastery features two ancient wheels in addition to several wall paintings which are feast for the eyes of history experts. In addition the monastery also provides a beautiful view of the picturesque surroundings, which mesmerizes most visitors.
The Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary: Spread over an area of nearly 43 sq. Km., the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is located in the northern region of Lachung Valley. The sanctuary, which is nested in between snow capped mountains, is known to house more than 40 diverse types of rhododendron shrubs. In addition, trees such as primulas, poppies, gentians, potentillas, saxifrages and aconites, can also be found here. The sanctuary is also home to a few rare species of animals which include the spotted lingsang also popular as the tiger-civet. The best time to visit this sanctuary is from November to mid-June.
Yumthang Valley: The valley of Yumthang which is 25 kms away from this town of Lachung is considered to a heaven for people who love nature. It is one of the most important tourist destinations in the region. Situated at a height of nearly 11800 ft from sea level, the valley is famous for its majestic flora and fauna. A little further along the Yamthang valley road is the Zero point, which is the last point of India and beyond which is located the Indo-China border. The valley organizes annual festivals during the spring season of April-May to promote tourism. The most famous of these is the was the one organized between 25th April and 15th May in 2010, and which was named the International Rhododendron festival.
Mt. Katao: Located at a distance of 30 kms from Lachung, Mount Kato is especially famous as a place to enjoy various adventure sports which include, snowboarding, stone grinding, skiing, and snow tubing. However, the place is not open for foreign nationals, who are strictly prevented from visiting the area.
Chungthang: in North Sikkim District situated is Chungthang in the at the point of confluence of Lachung Chu rivers and Lachen. There is one medical centre for the Indian army and a Forward base
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