CHUNGTHANG TRAVEL GUIDE
Chungthang is a small town in North Sikkim, located at the confluence of Lachen and Lachung rivers, where they form the Teesta River, considered to be the most important river in Sikkim. Located at an altitude of 1790m, it is one of the military bases of the country, especially due to its proximity to the China border.
Chungthang is considered to be a sacred site by locals and Buddhists. It is believed to be the place where Guru Padmasambhava himself walked around and sat on a rock. This rock has a crevice and footprints of Padmasambhava as per legend. There is also a paddy field, which is a natural wonder as the climate of Chungthang is not suited to growing paddy. Another legend around Chungthang is of Guru Nanak Dev having passed through Chungthang o his way to Tibet.
Chungthang is a small town and mainly a halt before heading out to Lachen and Lachung. To reach Chungthang you require a prior permit, which can be obtained through a travel agent.
Climate And Best Time To Visit
Chungthang is cooler than some of the other towns, as it is higher in altitude. The best time to visit is during the summer months of March-June and the autumn months from October-December.
Getting There & Getting Around
Chungthang is well connected by road to Gangtok and other main towns of Sikkim. It is also connected by road to the closest airport – Bagdogra – and the closest railway station of New Jalpaiguri.
The most convenient way to reach Chungthang and get around is by booking a taxi with a travel agent. The public transport in Sikkim is very infrequent and not predictable.
SIGHTSEEING & ACTIVITIES
Chungthang is a tiny town, which serves more as a military base than a regular tourist spot. But it does offer splendid views of the mountain scenery and is dotted with small shops and eateries in traditional mountain houses. It is a good place to take a refreshment break while on the road and sample some of the delectable local dishes of the Lepchas and Buddhists. The locals are friendly and hospitable, giving an insider’s view of this part of the country. While in Chungthang, you can see some of the revered sites of Buddhists.
THE HOLY ROCK
This is the sacred rock where Guru Padmasambhava sat, where a continuous stream of mineral water flows till today. The paddy growing around the rock is also tied to the same legend, wherein Guru Padmasambhava sprinkled some grains of rice.
CONFLUENCE OF RIVERS
This is the spot where the Lachen Chu and Lachung Chu converge into the Teesta River. It is common to see people swimming or fishing in this area. You can also take a picnic break here, enjoying beautiful scenery all around with the gushing water of the rivers completing the picture of natural tranquillity. Rafting is also one of the activities possible in the water of the rivers. It is best to enquire about the best season and availability of rafting facilities from travel agents.