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ARITAR & MANKHIM

Aritar Lake or Lampokhari lake This 1120 feet long and 240 feet wide boot-shaped lake is one of the oldest natural lakes in Sikkim. A pathway has been recently constructed all around the lake for the tourists. You can also do boating in the Lampokhari lake. Located at an altitude of 4600 feet, Lampokhri lake also known as Aritar Lake is surrounded by verdant green pine forests. Although Mt. Kanchenjungha is not visible from Lampokhri or its adjacent village – Aritar, still Lampokhri holds its charm as an emerald green lake amidst an untouched pine forest. Children can feed the fish and swans of Lampokhri too. The jungle path that connects Mankhim to Lampokhri Lake is a very popular bird watching trail. This two-kilometer walk with viewpoints is an ideal place to rejuvenate with nature. There is a small temple dedicated to Guru Padmasambhava on the banks of Lampokhri Lake. Boating is also allowed in this lake.

A narrow jungle path connects the lake from the nearby mountain top called Mankhim. This 1.5 km trek from Mankhim to Aritar Lake (Lampokhari) through forests is perfect for first timers, birdwatchers and even children. This downhill trek starts from Mankhim and passes through some forested areas with glimpses of the Lampokhari lake and Mt. Kanchenjungha accompanying you. Mankhim Rai Temple is a main attraction here. Temple Located at an elevation of 1982 m, the temple is situated at Maity Village, Kheselakha. The temple comes under the ordinance of the Rai community, who were the believers of nature and wildlife. Twice in a year, Mankhim temple celebrates Sakewa puja in order to sow more plants. During the puja, colourful dance and musical recitals are performed in the temple premises. Near to Mankhim temple is the Hattipailay village which is famous its numerous rocks which carry footprints of elephants. Mankhim temple offers panoramic views of Mt. Kanchenjunghaand the "boot-shaped" Lampokhri Lake at the same time. Among the other attractions of Aritar, Aritar Monastery is the prime. It is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim, Aritar Gumpa is the perfect epitome of the finest yet traditional architecture.

The monastery belongs to the Kagyuapa order of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery houses someof the most best craved architecture, painted murals artefacts, ancient manuscripts, and monastic arts. Aritar Gumpa is famous for its beautifully carved traditional architecture. Another attraction here is Aritar Dak bungalow, which was built by Sir James Claude White, the 1st political officer of Sikkim in 1895. The mansion is renowned by the name of Ari-Bangla and was constructed during the reign of the British rulers. This is the place where Sikkim’s first treasury was built, Sikkim Police was raised, and the first outpost started functioning in the year 1897.

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