Lake / Backwaters | Pilgrimage
At a distance of 25 km from Pelling, Khecheopalri Lake is a sacred lake situated at Khecheopalri near Pelling town of Sikkim. Also known as Wishing Lake, it is one of the beautiful lakes in Sikkim and among the must visit tourist places in Pelling.
Situated at an altitude of 6000 feet, the Khecheopalri Lake is a sacred place of worship for Buddhists as well as for the Hindus. The lake is an integral part of the much revered valley of 'Demazong' meaning valley of rice. The Khecheopalri Lake is also part of Buddhist religious pilgrimage circuit involving the Yuksom, the Dubdi Monastery in Yuksom, Pemayangtse Monastery, the Rabdentse ruins, the Sanga Choeling Monastery, and the Tashiding Monastery.
The lake is originally known as Kha-Chot-Palri which means the heaven of Lord Padmasambhava. As per Nesol text, the lake was recognized 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 and is also considered as the wish fulfilling lake by locals.
The fascinating fact about the lake is that despite so much of greenery encircling it, not even a single leaf can be spotted on its surface. It is believed that birds in this region keep the lake clean all the time. The lake premises can be reached by walking for a short distance from the entrance. A small Buddhist shrine and a stupa with numerous prayer flags can be seen in the lake premises. A wooden boardwalk leads to the lake and visitors must remove their footwear before walking on it. Numerous prayer wheels are lined up along the boardwalk.
Dupukney Cave near the lake receives huge number of devotees on 'Nag Panchmi' day, as it believed to be the former meditation spot of Lord Shiva. Khecheopalri Lake is also a paradise for nature lovers and trekkers. There is also a mobile trekking trail from Pelling to Khecheopalri (5 hours). It is also possible to trek to Yuksom from Khecheopalri which takes 4 hours. There are various trekkers' outlets and lodging facilities as well camping sites near the lake.
A religious fair is held here every year for two days in Maghe purne (March/April), which is attended by a large number of pilgrims from all parts of Sikkim, Bhutan, Nepal and India. They offer food material to the lake and carry waters of the lake as Prasad. During this festival, pilgrims float butter lamps in the lake which is a site to be hold.
There are public or shared taxis to Khecheopalri Lake from Geyzing or Pelling, which leave once in a day after 1 pm. Otherwise, the lake can be reached by hiring private taxis which will cost around Rs. 2000 from Geyzing or Pelling, including brief stops at two waterfalls on the road.
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: Rs.10 per person