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Gangtok- Lachung : A trip to mini-Switzerland


The allure of Sikkim is exceptional from any other hills. Other than exceedingly lovely and generous locals, the grandeur of the majestic snow-capped hills would compel you into the beautiful creation and coalescence of the panorama. The odyssey from Gangtok to Lachung would describe it all, taking you through all the remarkable experiences. 

Image and caption by Shakyasom Mujumder, Flickr 

Sunrise over the mighty Mt Kanchenjunga (8685 m), from Hanuman Tok, Gangtok. 

As the journey begins in Gangtok the first day of sight-seeing has to comprise the Hanuman Tok. It’s the topmost point of Gangtok that boasts a breathtaking vista of the city. As no cab’s supposed to move before 10 a.m. in Gangtok, you must rejig the plans accordingly. However, it’s never too much to take a breather further in the accommodations with the spectacular view surrounding you everywhere. Soak in all the energy to begin the expedition, Lachung has be the next move. On the drive, comfortably submerge into the warm seats, you’ll drove by some pretty magnificent waterfalls. Within no time, as the sun sets scattering every shade of nature, you’ll be at Lachung. 

Image by Sourav Das, Flickr 

Glistening snow clad peaks of Katao. 

Being in Lachung, do not miss out on sunrise from the Katao Military base. It takes approximately two hours to get there from Lachung, get ready to lose sleep for all the spectacular sunsets! Beyond the Military point, no civilians or vehicles are permissible. The location itself is a glamour encased with rising snowcapped jagged peaks on all flanks. 

The last site to explore in Gangtok being Zero Point, as tourists and locals are forbidden beyond this point owing to the India-China border. The site is situated at an altitude of 15000 feet, leading to a lack of oxygen in the air and prompting tourists to deal from High Altitude Sickness. Nonetheless, the sight is worth it, with a 360-degree sweeping panorama. You will encounter snow for almost entire year, and also the famous partial frozen Teesta river- Switzerland by itself. The picturesque view’s indeed remarkably astounding. There are also a few tented stalls and a temporary not so hygienic washroom. 

Image by Priyatna Basu, Flickr 

A mesmerizing view of Yumthang Valley embraced with rhododendron flowers all around. 

Take a stop at the Yumthang Valley on the way to Zero Point. This gorgeous valley would astound you with 24 illustrative species of Sikkim’s state flower -rhododendron, due to which it’s also recognized as the Valley of Flowers. The valley’s drenched in bright colors, enhancing to the dynamic contrast. Roving Yaks would add to the scenery- a remarkable sight to behold.   

For all the zoophiles, the Himalayan Zoological Park in Gangtok preserves the experience of admiring some rare species. Leopard, Barking Deer, Leopard Cat, Blue Sheep and Yak. Among the most prominent are Snow Leopard and Red Panda- the rarest and only observed in Nanital, Darjeeling, and Gangtok. 

Although the whole journey serves you the breathtaking views all around, Tashi View Point, integrate the best of them all. The spot retains its relevance, and the Dragon Statue binds it to Sikkim’s culture.  

Image by, Flickr 

Gonjang Monastery with the stunning grandeur boasting a beautiful scenic view of mountains encircled by foggy clouds. 

Moving further you would discover Gonjang Monastery, situated adjacent to the Tashi View Point that is as serene as heaven, with tiny lamas frolicking in the courtyard in the twilight. The monastery’s architecture features a dazzling Buddha shrine, along with vividly hued artwork on the walls and roof. The stunning grandeur also boasts a wide-open area with beautiful landscapes. 

If you desire to explore vivacious hues and most of Sikkim’s splendor, the months of March to June, the busiest tourist months, would be ideal. However, if you admire the white aesthetics with swift chilly breeze, December would be perfect. Even though if there isn’t much snow, the vistas all along way would overflow your heart with the wonders of nature. Wish the description of the magnificence of this place in words could be easy, but what you’d witness with the eyes wide open would be an unrivalled site for life.