Find Solace at Khecheopalri Lake: Situated in the northwest region of Pelling, Khecheopalri Lake lies at a distance of 147 kilometres from Gangtok, in West Sikkim. Encompassed and ringed with the enchanting woods and ridges, Khecheopalri Lake is the symbol of enchantment and serenity. Mysterious as it appears, the locals believe that the enormous footprint of the deity Tara has been filled with water to form Khecheopalri Lake. The lake that carries the queer legends and myth since its existence is deemed sacred. So, flee to the realm of folklore and traditions. Get awe-struck with the breathtaking views and the fluttering of the countless prayer flags adorning the sacred zone. Spin the prayer wheels lining a small jetty as you proceed to make a wish at the ‘wish fulfilling Lake’. Ascend the ridge to behold the gigantic imprint of the foot.
How to reach
By road: Sikkim is well connected to major cities by road network. Siliguri is the transit base from where you embark on your trip to Sikkim via NH31 which is the lifeline of Sikkim. It connects Sikkim with the nearby airports and railway stations. Regular shared taxi and bus services, car rentals are available from Siliguri. If you are travelling with an elderly person, or with kids, it’s recommended to opt for car rentals from a reliable service provider. It’s rather more comfortable than shared vehicles. You can halt at certain places for photography, or to munch some snacks. As you ascend uphill through the mountainous roads, you can enjoy the splendid panoramic views. The major city is Gangtok. The city has a plenty of provision for the taxi services for Khecheopalri.
Bagdogra airport, Siliguri is the nearest airport. Once you land there, you can either opt for shared vehicles or car rental.
By train: NJP, Siliguri is the nearest railway station. Plenty of taxi service is available from there. Avoid paying a hefty amount to the taxi service. Book your cab beforehand, especially if you are travelling to Sikkim for the first time.
Where to stay: The Province of Khecheopalri Lake yields plenty of homestays and lodging facilities. Explorers who prefer to halt overnight can avail to various ranges of accommodations around the area.
Best time to visit:
The month of February and March is the best time to visit Khecheopalri Lake. During these months many festivals are held here. It is the time when the weather remains pleasant and favours the arrival of explorers from worldwide.
So, if you have planned a visit to the Sacred Lake, just have a glimpse into the 11 most interesting facts about Khecheopalri Lake.
1. The formation of the Lake is determined to be 3500 years ago. Khecheopalri Lake obtains its name from observing its position amid the Khecheopalri Hill, which is also deemed sacred.
2. Initially, it was recognized as Kha-Chot-Palri, which means ‘the heaven of Padmasambhava. Much folklore tells that Guru Padmasambhava preached to sixty-four yoginis at Khecheopalri Lake. Another legend says that the shape of the foot that is seen from the encompassing hills represents the foot of Buddha.
3. The assumed sacred Khecheopalri Lake is famous as a ‘wish fulfilling lake’ and many legends are associated with it.
4. Apart from the Rabdentse Ruins, Tashiding Monastery, Pema Yangtse monastery, Dubdi Monastery in Yuksom and Sanga Choeling Monastery, Khecheopalri Lake is one of the significant pilgrimage sites for Buddhists.
6. The legend associated with Sikkim topography, Khecheopalri Lake is considered to signify one of the four plexus of the human body, namely the thorax. The other three plexus are Pemayangtse (the heart), Tashiding (head) and Yuksom (the third eye).
7. The fascinating trait of the Sacred Khecheopalri Lake is, despite its location amid the dense woodlands, no leaves can be seen floating in the lake, as the birds earnestly pick them up from the water.
8. The main ethnic inhabitants of this place are Lepchas. Every year, one of the largest festivals is celebrated here for two days in March/ April. People assume that Shivaji lives in ‘solemn meditation inside the lake’.
9. It is believed that the water has restorative qualities. The legends have immensely impacted the religious appeal of the people. Thus the water is authorized to be used only for administering rituals and ceremonies.
10. The formation of the lake resembles a footprint from a high viewpoint. It is frequently assumed as the footprint of deity Tara. Another assumption is that the footprints are of Hindu God Shiva.
11. The lake has been declared preserved under the Govt. of Sikkim Notification No. 701/Home/2001/dated 20-09-2001, and a Special provision Act 1991 of Government of India, for the provision for the place of worship.
Khecheopalri is a delight to nature lovers and a paradise for trekkers. So, come! Get your aspirations fulfilled at Khecheopalri Lake.