Worth stopping and soaking in the serene beauty while sipping from a steaming mug of coffee along with some delicious Sikkimese momos, Changu Lake, as the locals call it, is a glacial lake in Sikkim at an altitude of 12,310 feet. This lake falls in the district of East Sikkim and remains frozen during the whole of winter. Tsomgo or as the name suggests the ‘source of water’, is located about 35 kms from Gangtok on the Jawaharlal Nehru Road which goes on to join Nathula Pass. This place is mesmerizingly beautiful in the way it highlights different hues at different seasons. Although it remains snow covered in winter, colourful Primula flowers bloom around the lake during summer and autumn along with alpine vegetation. The lake is also the resting place for a large number of migratory ducks.
Surrounded by lushy landscapes and alpine forests, the lake bears a mythical history and the localites acclaim it to be a sacred lake. There are sayings that long ago, Buddhist monks could forecast the future by studying the changing colours of the water. The lake is also the venue for the Guru Purnima festival which coincides with Raksha Bandhan where the faith healers known as Jhakirs congregate at the lake.
This oval shaped lake is covered by steep mountains along with the installation of prayer wheels and a temple of Lord Shiva. Moreover this dream destination offers a wonderful outing for tourists with experiences varying from yak and mule rides at the lake site to trekking and varieties of food and drink stalls. There are certain stalls that rent out snow boots, jackets, and gum boots as well to the tourists. There is also a passenger ropeway (cable car) on the way to Nathula Pass and Baba Mandir. Tourists get a much more pleasant glimpse of the scenic beauty on the ropeway. The only thing that this place falls short of is that there are no lodging provisions to stay in this area overnight.
One thing to keep in mind before visiting Tsomgo Lake is that a permit is compulsory to visit it. One can get a permit from the Sikkim Tourist Information Centre at MG Marg in Gangtok or can enquire any travel agent to arrange their permits along with their accommodation and other necessities. There are ample means of transport (Sumos, Scorpios, etc) and one can either hire a reserved vehicle or engage in a group tour on a share basis. During winter the routes sometimes get blocked due to heavy snowing.
So planning for a trip to Sikkim? Do not and I repeat, do not miss out on Tsomgo Lake. It is a sight to behold. So what are you waiting for? Call up WeCare Holidays and book your Sikkim tour with our help because “We Care” about your experiences.