If pristine hamlets perched on edges of mountains and green valleys lying beneath snowy covered mountain ranges are ingredients for your vacation, then Sikkim, the Himalayan state in North-East China’s silk road economic belt India is the perfect travelling zone for you. The state that hangs on the slant of green Himalayas is fabulously rich, in terms of tourism and it is in fact difficult to choose one or two destinations, such is the length of the list of tourist spots in Sikkim. From East to West and North to South, there are countless hot spots and off beat destinations that ensure a fantastic vacation for you. Off late, East Sikkim has gained big importance in the state’s tourism, as the popularity of Silk Route tour package has gone up. Aritar is a part of the Silk Route tour package and a beautiful place to visit and explore. The journey for the Silk Route trip starts either from Lingtam or Aritar, and you as a Nature lover; you would certainly love to stay at Aritar, since the scenic beauty of the place is simply breathtaking.
Situated on the edge of a mountain at an altitude of 4,600 feet, Aritar is a small hamlet under the Rongli sub-division of East Sikkim. It is a lush green zone on the lap of the Himalayas that beautifully overlooks Mt Kanchenjhungha and the Jelep La. Nestled amid dense forest of pine, fir and other Himalayan trees, Aritar attracts visitors especially for a lake, which adds a lot to its beauty. Surrounded by green forest, the lake is one of the oldest natural lakes in Sikkim and recently it has been renovated and beautified to provide tourists with some scopes for recreation. Known as Lampokhari Lake, the water body is green in color and it offers a great canvas in the form of a beautiful reflection of the mountain on the other side on its quiet water. Artificial embankments have been built around the lake and boating facility has been added to make the lake a charming place to spend some time. Boating on a lake surrounded by green forest and mountains truly make a charming activity for tourists at Aritar.
Another attraction of Aritar is Mankhim Dara, a hill top, just adjacent to the lake. If you are fit enough then start trekking over stone slabs that make a spiral road to the top of the hill, from where the surroundings look stunning. You would have to trek for 15 to 20 minutes and need a powerful lung to overcome the challenge, but after reaching the top you will forget the strain, such is the beauty of the canvas offered by Mankhim Dara. Apart from a majestic view of Kanchenjhungha and Jelep La, you will enjoy a fantastic bird’s eye view of Aritar, the Lampokhari Lake and the valley on the other side. You will also get to see a helipad from there. The valley with staircases of paddy fields really looks marvelous from Mankhim Dara. After coming down to Lampokhari Lake, you may visit a small temple of Guru Rinpoche on its bank and ask your guide to take you to Aritar Gumpa, which is located closely.