Tsomgo Lake, also known as Changu Lake, is a high-altitude lake located in the East Sikkim district of the Indian state of Sikkim. The lake is situated at an altitude of 12,310 feet above sea level and is approximately 1 km long and 50 meters deep. The name “Tsomgo” means “source of water” in the Bhutia language.
The lake is surrounded by steep mountains and is considered a sacred site by the local people. It is believed that the water of the lake has medicinal properties and is used for treating various ailments. The lake also serves as a crucial source of drinking water for the nearby villages.
Tsomgo Lake is a popular tourist destination and is visited by thousands of tourists every year. The lake remains frozen during the winter months and starts melting in late April, when the snow begins to melt. The surrounding areas are covered with a thick layer of snow during the winter season, making it a popular destination for snow enthusiasts.
The lake is also home to a variety of flora and fauna, including the Brahminy duck and several species of migratory birds. The area around the lake is a protected wildlife sanctuary and is home to several species of animals, including the red panda and the Himalayan black bear.
Overall, Tsomgo Lake is a beautiful and serene destination that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural significance, and adventure.
Tsomgo Lake Travel Guide
Tsomgo Lake, also known as Changu Lake, is a beautiful alpine lake located in the East Sikkim district of the Indian state of Sikkim. Here’s a travel guide to help you plan your visit to Tsomgo Lake:
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Tsomgo Lake is between April and June, and September and November when the weather is pleasant and the lake is accessible.
Permits: Foreign nationals require a Protected Area Permit (PAP) to visit Tsomgo Lake, which can be obtained from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India or the Sikkim Tourism Office. Indian nationals also require an Inner Line Permit (ILP), which can be obtained from the Sikkim Tourism Office in Gangtok or at Rangpo check post.
How to Reach: The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal, and the nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim. Tsomgo Lake is located 38 km away from Gangtok and can be reached by hiring a taxi.
Things to Do: Besides admiring the breathtaking beauty of the lake, visitors can also enjoy activities such as Yak rides, snow tubing, and snowboarding. You can also explore the nearby areas on foot or hire a pony.
Accommodation: There are limited accommodation options near Tsomgo Lake, so it is advisable to stay in Gangtok, which has a variety of hotels and guesthouses to suit all budgets.
Safety Precautions: The altitude of Tsomgo Lake is over 12,000 feet, so visitors are advised to take it easy and acclimatize to the altitude before indulging in any physical activities. It is also advisable to carry warm clothing and stay hydrated to prevent altitude sickness.
Other Attractions: While in Gangtok, visitors can also explore other nearby attractions such as the Rumtek Monastery, Nathula Pass, and the Enchey Monastery.
Tsomgo Lake is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. With its serene beauty and exciting activities, it is sure to leave you mesmerized.
Places to Visit Near Tsomgo Lake
There are several places to visit near Tsomgo Lake that offer breathtaking views of the Himalayan landscape and a glimpse into the local culture. Here are a few recommendations:
Nathula Pass is a mountain pass located at an altitude of 14,140 feet on the Indo-China border. It is an important trade route between India and China and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Baba Mandir is a temple dedicated to an Indian soldier, Harbhajan Singh, who died near the Nathula Pass. It is believed that his spirit protects the soldiers posted in the area.
Gangtok is the capital city of Sikkim and is known for its scenic beauty, vibrant culture, and delicious food. Some of the must-visit attractions in Gangtok include the Rumtek Monastery, Enchey Monastery, and the MG Road market.
Tashi Viewpoint is located around 8 km from Gangtok and offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, including Mount Kanchenjunga, the third-highest peak in the world.
Yumthang Valley is a beautiful valley located in the North Sikkim district and is known for its hot springs, rhododendron forests, and stunning views of the Himalayas.
Lachung is a small town located in North Sikkim and is known for its picturesque beauty, snow-capped mountains, and apple orchards.
These are just a few of the many places to visit near Tsomgo Lake. Each destination offers a unique experience and is sure to leave you mesmerized.
How to reach Tsomgo Lake
Tsomgo Lake is located in the East Sikkim district of the Indian state of Sikkim and can be reached by various modes of transportation. Here’s how you can reach Tsomgo Lake:
- By Air: The nearest airport to Tsomgo Lake is Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal, which is located around 125 km away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim. Tsomgo Lake is located around 38 km from Gangtok.
- By Rail: The nearest railway station to Tsomgo Lake is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station, which is located around 148 km away. From the railway station, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Gangtok, and from there, you can hire a taxi to reach Tsomgo Lake.
- By Road: Tsomgo Lake is well-connected by road, and visitors can reach the lake by hiring a taxi from Gangtok. The journey takes around 2 hours, and the road passes through beautiful mountain scenery.
It is important to note that foreign nationals require a Protected Area Permit (PAP) to visit Tsomgo Lake, which can be obtained from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India or the Sikkim Tourism Office. Indian nationals also require an Inner Line Permit (ILP), which can be obtained from the Sikkim Tourism Office in Gangtok or at Rangpo check post. It is advisable to obtain the necessary permits in advance to avoid any hassles during your visit.
Things to do
There are several things to do in and around Tsomgo Lake that offer a unique and unforgettable experience. Here are a few recommendations:
- Enjoy the Scenic Views: The stunning beauty of Tsomgo Lake and the surrounding mountains is a sight to behold. Take a leisurely stroll around the lake and enjoy the breathtaking views.
- Ride a Yak: Yaks are native to the Himalayan region and are a popular mode of transportation in Sikkim. You can take a short ride on a yak and experience the local way of life.
- Visit Nathula Pass: Nathula Pass is located at an altitude of 14,140 feet and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Take a trip to the pass and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
- Explore the Wildlife Sanctuary: The area around Tsomgo Lake is a protected wildlife sanctuary and is home to several species of animals, including the red panda and the Himalayan black bear. Take a walk through the sanctuary and explore the rich flora and fauna of the region.
- Visit Baba Mandir: Baba Mandir is a temple dedicated to an Indian soldier, Harbhajan Singh, who died near the Nathula Pass. It is believed that his spirit protects the soldiers posted in the area. Visit the temple and pay your respects.
- Trekking: The surrounding mountains offer several trekking opportunities for adventure enthusiasts. You can take a guided trek through the mountains and experience the thrill of the great outdoors.
- Taste the Local Cuisine: Sikkim is known for its delicious food, which is a blend of Tibetan, Nepalese and Indian cuisines. Try some of the local dishes and indulge in the unique flavors of the region.
These are just a few of the many things to do in and around Tsomgo Lake. Each activity offers a unique and unforgettable experience and is sure to leave you mesmerized.
The major activity to do at Tsomgo Lake is to enjoy the scenic beauty of the lake and the surrounding Himalayan mountains. The crystal-clear waters of the lake, the snow-capped peaks of the mountains and the vibrant colors of the flora make for a mesmerizing experience.
Apart from that, riding a yak and exploring the wildlife sanctuary are popular activities. Visitors can also visit Nathula Pass, Baba Mandir and other nearby attractions. Trekking is another popular activity for adventure enthusiasts.
It is important to note that due to the high altitude, visitors may experience altitude sickness. It is advisable to take precautions such as staying hydrated, avoiding alcohol and taking regular breaks during physical activities. Also, visitors need to obtain the necessary permits to visit the area, as mentioned earlier.
Flora and Fauna near Tsomgo Lake
Extinct species of flora and fauna are found near Tsomgo Lake. Many attractive species of rhododendrons, primates, and blue-yellow poppies are found in the flora.
Wildlife such as musk deer, goral or red panda, Himalayan black bear, etc. is found near Tsomgo Lake. Also, there are many species of birds like blood pheasant, rose petals, yellow-bellied fantasy fly hackers, golden eagles, and many other migratory birds. Species are seen.
Where to Stay
There are several options for accommodation near Tsomgo Lake. Here are a few recommendations:
- Home Stays: Home stays are a great way to experience the local way of life and culture. There are several home stays available in and around Tsomgo Lake, which offer comfortable and cozy rooms, home-cooked meals and a friendly atmosphere.
- Resorts: There are several resorts located in and around Tsomgo Lake that offer luxurious accommodations and world-class amenities. These resorts are perfect for those looking for a comfortable and relaxing stay.
- Guest Houses: There are several guest houses located in Gangtok, which is the nearest city to Tsomgo Lake. These guest houses offer comfortable and affordable accommodations and are a great option for budget travelers.
- Campsites: For adventure enthusiasts, camping is a popular option. There are several campsites located near Tsomgo Lake that offer tents, sleeping bags and other camping gear.
It is advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially during the peak season, which is from March to May and from October to December. It is also important to check the availability of basic amenities such as electricity, water supply and heating, as the weather in the area can be unpredictable.
Sure, here are some frequently asked questions about The Lake:
Q: Is Tsomgo Lake open throughout the year?
A: No, Tsomgo Lake is usually closed during the winter months due to heavy snowfall. It is open to visitors from April to June and from September to November.
Q: Is there an entry fee to visit The Lake?
A: Yes, visitors need to pay an entry fee to visit Tsomgo Lake. The fee varies for Indian and foreign nationals and is subject to change. You also need to obtain permits to visit the area.
Q: What is the best time to visit The Lake?
A: The best time to visit Tsomgo Lake is during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) seasons when the weather is pleasant and the skies are clear.
Q: What is the temperature like at The Lake?
A: The temperature at Tsomgo Lake can range from 5°C to 25°C during the day, and can drop to below freezing at night, especially during the winter months.
Q: What are the nearby tourist attractions to The Lake?
A: The nearby tourist attractions to Tsomgo Lake include Nathula Pass, Baba Mandir, the wildlife sanctuary and the nearby town of Gangtok.
Q: Is it safe to visit The Lake?
A: Yes, it is safe to visit Tsomgo Lake. However, visitors should take precautions such as staying hydrated, avoiding alcohol, taking regular breaks and wearing appropriate clothing. Visitors should also be aware of the risks associated with high altitude and be prepared accordingly.