If you are a happy-go-lucky type of person who is in search of a place which offers simplicity, serenity and free from the hustle –bustle of tourists then Khecheopalri village is meant for you. This place is sure to quench the wanderer spirit of yours, let you be one with nature. It lies at about 34 km from Pelling in Sikkim. Khechopalri is famous among tourists for the lake with the same name. Most travelers keep the Khecheopalri lake in their itinerary. And the lake is considered a very sacred place among both Hindus and Tibetans and is really not a spot to miss because of its enigmatic surroundings.
About the lake:
This beautiful lake with its surroundings looks nothing short of a dreamland. About 3.79 hectares and with a backdrop of green Khecheopaldri hills, it is set amidst a forest. A lot of birds, ducks can be spotted with ease at this site too. The water is crystal clear and it is said that the birds don’t let any leaves remain on the water surface as they clear it as soon as the leaves fall in the lake.
There are few legendary tales associated with this lake. One of them is about Goddess Tara Jetsun Dolma who is said to reside in the lake and the lake resembles her footprint. It is also said that Lord Shiva meditated in a near-by cave called Dupukni and he also remains in a meditated state in the lake. Some even say the lake resembles the footprint of Lord Budhha.
There is a plank at the entrance gate which says that earlier there was a grazing ground at this place. Nettle leaves used to grow in that land. A Lepcha couple was clearing nettle one morning and saw two conch shells fell on the ground out of nowhere and created the lake.
The lake water is offered to deities during Puja and then distributed among devotees. It is also believed to fulfill wishes made at the lake. On Maghe Purnima a big festival is held at this site and pilgrims from Bhutan, China, Tibet and India come to attend the festival.
There is a monastery nearby the lake and the Khecheopalri monastery village is just above, which overlooks the lake.
Now although Khecheopalri lake is a tourists’ spot, Khecheopalri Monastery village is quite untouched. If you wish to explore the beautiful Peaks of Kanchendzonga just hike up to this village. It is approximately a steep climb of about quarter to an hour through dense forest, and then you will find this small rustic village. There is also no proper road and the villagers though have difficulty to commute everyday downwards for daily supplies yet they believe that this is the best way to maintain the pristine condition of the village. This place is perfect for the wanderer in you to embark on this journey with scenic beauty all around you. There are very few home-stays available in this village. Just being here, detached from the regular life of yours and relaxation in the lap of nature is what visit to the Khecheopalri monastery village is all about.
How to reach:
A hired cab or car will take you to Khecheopalri in about 90 minutes from Pelling. On the way there you will come across a lot of small waterfalls and beautiful sceneries which makes the journey enthralling.
When to visit:
Any time of year is favorable to visit this place. There is no entry fee to visit the lake and it remains open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day for the visitors.
Nearby attractions to this place include Yuksom, Sanga Choeling Monastery, Change Falls.
Featured Photo by shankar s.