Within the village periphery, visit theLachen monasteryCommonly referred to as the Lachen gompa (monastery), it was originally built in 1806 and later reconstructed in 1979. It shelters the community's religious beliefs, with allegiance to the Nyingmapa sect of Mahayana Buddhism. Inside, in the center is placed the statue of Guru Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpochi, as he is popularly known. Legend has it that he was born from a lotus in a lake of northern India and went over to Tibet via Sikkim during 7th and 8th century to preach Buddhism. A prayer wheel has been constructed at the entrance of the village, under the rural tourism scheme, to offer an auspicious reception to the visitors.
and the Handicraft and Handloom centre; participate in village festivities; chat with the locals and delve into the rich repository of Buddhist folk tales and local legends ...or simply marvel at the awesome views of the Himalayas offered from all village nooks and corners.
From Lachen, embark on invigorating treks to hot springs and lakes, or villages of migratory yak herders and partake in their daily adventures; revel in the flora and fauna at the adjoining Kangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve... catch sight of the elusive snow leopard, musk deer or Himalayan black bear.
The principal tourist attraction is the same-day spectacular mountain drive, along the Tibetan Plateau, to Gurudongmar LakeSituated at a height of 17,100 feet on the Tibetan plateau, it is like a pearl in the desert. The largest lake in Sikkim, and a very holy one for the Sikkimese and Buddhists alike, it is said to possess healing powers.
at 17100 ft, near the Tibet border. Lachen is the base camp to mountaineering expeditions to many of the mountain peaks in Sikkim. Some of the best trekking routes in the Himalayas are to be found here. However, excursions beyond Lachen to Chopta valley and Tso Lhamu, the source of river Teesta, require permits from the government.
A great excursion is an overnight stay at Thangu Located 30 kms from Lachen, at an altitude of 13,000 feet, it is noted for the landscape transition marked by lush green meadows conducive to cattle food. During summer and monsoon, Thangu is dotted with flowers of all kinds, in particular rhododendrons and primulas, lending an appearance of a gigantic flower basket! It also serves as a base camp for trekkers to Muguthang and Lashar valley. Till a few years back, it was the summer residence of the nomadic Lachenpas.
(30 kms from Lachen), accompanied with a visit to Chopta Valley (13,200 ft). Just a 10 minutes drive from Thangu, this valley provides one of the few accessible places in Sikkim where a visitor can actually walk over the frozen river. The riot of colors during spring belies this aspect! While at Thangu, don't miss out the ravishing Deothang Valley situated near Thangu, a two hour walk from Kalep. On top of the mountain there are two caves used for meditation by monks since centuries. The first Rinpochi, Lachen Gumchen Rinpochi (Nawang Kunzang Yosher) stayed in the upper cave and meditated for 13 years. In the cave below this, the famous French explorer and spiritualist, Alexandra David-Neel, meditated under the guidance of Gumchen Aphur Yogden, from 1914 to 1916.