North Sikkim is a district of the Indian state of Sikkim. Its district headquarters is Mangan. It is the seventh least populous district in the country (out of 640).
The district is the largest of the four districts of Sikkim.
The landscape is mountainous with dense vegetation all the way up to the alpine altitude before thinning out to desert scrub towards the northern tundra. Numerous waterfalls astride the main road make the trip to this district extremely picturesque.
The most prominent effect of the steepness of the valleys is the prevalence of landslides that at times drop to anything between 3000 and 5,000 ft (1,500 m) carrying devastation along their course. Most of them are caused either by the melting snow beds on top of the mountains or by erosive action of the rains.
Most of the people of the state reside near Mangan, the district headquarters which is about 2,000 feet (610 m) above sea level. Further north the elevation increases with the vegetation turning from temperate to alpine to tundra. Temperatures range from about 25° to below −40° in the extreme high reaches where the altitude is in excess of 6,000 metres. Kanchenjanga is the highest peak at over 8,000 m, straddling its western border with Nepal and can be seen clearly from the town of Singhik.
- Guru Dongmar Lake
Place To Visit
The lake is named after Guru Padmasambhava – who had brought Tantric Buddhism to Tibet. According to a legend, the lake used to remain frozen all the time. When the Guru Padmasambhava passed by, the local residents approached him for providing source of water in the area. The Guru obliged, a portion of the lake touched by him does not freeze in the extreme winter. Since water of the lake is considered sacred, visitors carry the “holy” water in the bottles.
The word “Lachen” means “big pass”. The entire region of Lachen is located near the Indo-Tibet (China) border in North Sikkim. The Village of Lachen, which is locally referred to as “Lamten”, is situated at an altitude of 8920ft above sea level. Lachen is 129 km from the State Capital of Gangtok. Normally it takes around 5 hours to reach Lachen from Gangtok. The main road is located on the North Sikkim Highway.
Yumesamdong of North Sikkim is posited at an altitude of 15,300 feet above sea level. It is about 26 kilometers from Yumthang, another famous place in North Sikkim. It takes almost an hour drive to reach Yumesamdong from Yumthang. This drive is as scintillating as the place itself. The drive through the serpentine mountainous amidst the rugged terrain of Sikkim is a life-time experience. Since the place is in close vicinity to the international border between India and China, a special permit is required to visit Yumesamdong.
A Tibetan village with a unique local and traditional self-government body called the Zumsa, Lachung is situated at an altitude of 9000ft. Lachung is the last village in North Sikkim before Yumthang and has emerged as a tourist destination because of its natural environ and the popularity of Yumthang valley that is just 24 kilometers from here. Tourists stay at Lachung overnight and visit Yumthang as part of a day trip.
Chungthang in North Sikkim is one of the most widely visited areas of the region. It is a small hamlet located at the confluence of two rivers, Lachen and Lachen Chu. Both the rivers are tributaries of the mighty Teesta, the most prominent river of the entire region of Sikkim. The place is noted for its beauty. It also provides great water sport opportunities like river rafting.