Sitting pretty in the lap of the Mt Khangchendzonga, the terrain offers exotic snowcapped peaks laced with plunging waterfalls, fir forests dimpled with alpine pastures and rhododendron groves
flushed with hot springs. In the northern heights are many lakes and some of them considerable in size. Cho Lhamu at 17,000 feet and Yumtsho at 16,000 lie in the extreme north at the sources of Teesta; while in the southeast corner lie the Chola, Chokam, Yakla, Bhymsa or Jusa Ninyetso and Beduntso, at heights varying from 10,000 to 15,000 feet .Opened to foreigners in 1993, the area has retained its typical Sikkimese culture and religious tradition, which distinguish the local Bhutia community from the other Bhutiás of Sikkim. The Bhutia community here continues an indigenous community organization
the Dzumsa, which is unique to Sikkim. The Dzumsa is responsible for Sikkim is responsible for Conservation practices such as grazing, cultivation programs and seasonal movement of the community. Besides looking after the
developmental aspects, Dzumsa also ensures law and order In fact nothing can be done without the permission of Pipon or the Dzumsa.
Places to visit in North Sikkim
Lachung at a height of 8610 feet is an exquisite valley town resplendent in its crown of snowcapped mountains, breathtaking waterfalls and sparkling streams. It has been described as the ‘most picturesque village of Sikkim’ by Joseph Dalton in his ‘Himalayan Journal’(1855).
Yumthang (11,800 ft) is where the tree line ends and the rhododendron groves cover the landscape in a surreal shade. Also called the Valley of Flowers as in spring wild alpine flowers carpet the land. Yumthang is also well known for its hot springs, which have healing medicinal properties Straddling the confluence of the Lachen and Lachung rivers is Chungthang, a small hamlet enroute to Lachung. Discover the
Dzumsa system and meet the proud Lachungpas & Lachenpas.
Yumesamdong : Yumesamdong (15,300 ft) where the sweet fragrance of Ezilia (used as incense) permeates the air.
Lachen (9500 f) stands on an alpine meadow from which rise the pine clad mountains with their snowy peaks. Consisting of barely 150 houses inhabited in winters by owners who spend the summers on the alpine pastures in their summer huts tending to their flocks of yak,
Lachen is one of the most picturesque hamlets of Sikkim.
Guru Dongmar lake
Guru Dongmar lake (17,100 fi)- a sacred lake, the waters are believed to possess the miraculous powers of granting issues to barren couples. The lake freezes during winter except at one spot believed to be specially blessed by Guru Rimpoche.
Chopta Valley (14,500 f) where one can walk on frozen rivers during winter and be dazzled by the riot of colors of spring. Two monasteries famous for their masked dances are the Phensong and Phodong monasteries. The remotest and most inaccessible monastery in Sikkim is at Tolung in the Lepcha heartland ofD
The capital of Sikkim was shified to Tolung in the early 19th century. The palace ruins are now covered with a thick canopy of bushes. The Tolung monastery is the one ‘high holy spot’said to contain relics of Lhatsun Chenpo. The Phensong Monastery, built in 1840, and belonging to the Nyingmapa onder is situated on a gentle slope stretching from Kabi to Phodong. The name translates as the excellent banner or ‘good bliss’ and the monastery itself stands testimony to the dedication of its monks who reconstructed it within a year after it was burnt down in1947.
The Phodong Monastery, about 38 kms. from Gangtok, is famous for its exquisitely delicate mural paintings and frescoes. Built by Chogyal Gyurmed Namgyal in the first quarter of the 18th century for the Karmapa, Phodong is the first Kagyupa monastery to be set up in Sikkim.
Further uphill from Phodong is a much older structure and unlike other monasteries, which were razed by fires, some time or the other
this one still retains the original structure. The Labrang Monastery is a pleasure to the eyes given its unique architecture. Its name literally
means the lama’s dwelling’.
Kabi Longstok, 25 kms. from Gangtok and just before Phodong is the place where a blood brotherhood was signed between the Lepcha
chief Thekong Tek and the Bhutia chief, Khye Bumsa.