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Khecheopalri Lake

Khecheopalri Lake

Khecheoplari Tsho is a large lake located 27 kms from Pelling and is a common tourist sightseeing point. The lake is considered to be one of the sacred lakes of Sikkim. The lake remains hidden in the rich forest cover. It is believed that birds do not permit even a single leaf to float on the Khecheoplari lake surface. There is a motorable road from Pelling right up to the lake area.

The sacred lake lies in a depression surrounded by prayer flags and forested hills. By the lakeshore is the small Lepcha village of Tsojo, and about 1.5km above the lake is the Khecheoplari Gompa. Tourists and locals offer prayer at the lake and also feed the pool of fish in the lake.

The place is popular among trekkers. There is also a walking trail from Pelling to Khecheoplari (5 hours). It is possible to trek to Yuksom from Khecheoplari (4 hours).

For those interested in spending a night or two in this place, there are a few basic accommodation in the village nearby. There is also a pilgrim's hut meant to provide accommodations to the people who come on pilgrimage tours to Khecheoplari.
Khechepalri means – mountain of blissful heaven. Legend has it that this place was once a grazing ground about with stinging nettle. Native Lepchas use the bark of the nettle for a number of purposes. One day a Lepcha couple were peeling the bark of the nettle when they saw a pair of conch shells coming through the air and entering into the ground. Soon after the earth beneath shook violently and spring of water came out. The entire ground was soon engulfed and turned out to be a huge lake. As per Nesol text, the lake was recognised as the abode of Tshomen Gyalmo, the chief protecting nymph of dharma as blessed by goddess Tara. Native people believe that the shape of the lake resembles the footprint of goddess Tara.