Tsomgo Lake

East Sikkim

Tsomgo Lake, also known as Changu Lake is a glacial lake in Sikkim and located at an altitude of 12,310 feet. The name Tsomgo means 'Source of water'. It's located 35kms from Gangtok town and on the steep route known as Jawaharlal Nehru Road which leads all the way to Nathula Pass.

This is one of the few and awesome high altitude lakes in India. The lake becomes doubly attractive with the reflections of the surrounding hills on the water. From Gangtok which is at 5410 ft, the altitude rises to about 10,000 ft in just 15kms. You can imagine how steep the gradient would be on this stretch of the road.

During summer and autumn, you will find Primula flowers and other Alpine vegetation around the lake. And during winter the lake becomes frozen and a snowfield. You can not litter the lake. Installation of prayer wheels and a small temple of Lord Shiva by the lakeside denotes that the lake is considered sacred by the locals. Tsomgo lake is a stop over place for many different migratory ducks like the Brahmini ducks.

You should spend some time here and soak in the serene beauty of the lake and its surroundings. In the earlier days the lamas used to study the color of water in the lake and forecast the future. A darker color would indicate that the coming year in the state may be troublesome.

There is a pathway along the lake that leads to a resting place - about half a kilometer walk. Only about 200 meters away from the lake there are lots of stalls & shops selling tea, coffee and snacks. You will get hot Tibetan noodle soup to combat the cold.

Stalls rent out snow boots, jackets, gum boots etc. There are pay & use toilets inside the complex as well. However there is no lodging accommodation in this area to stay overnight.

What more? You can take a ride on colorfully adorned yaks and ponies. One more terrific activity is being planned at Tsomgo. Foundation stone of a 957-meter ropeway (cable car) has already been laid here in 2010. Once implemented, the cable cars will carry passengers from the lake to a hilltop nearby.

You should reach Tsomgo lake before noon because in the afternoon the weather here usually starts getting bad. In fact best is to start from Gangtok by 7:30 to 8am and reach here by 10am so that you get clear 2 hours to enjoy. In the winter however the route sometimes get closed due to heavy snowing. Photography is now permitted.

All except rainy season!

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