Tsongmo-Lake or changu lake

Tsomgo Lake, Sikkim: Sacred, Spectacular & Legendary Charm

Changu lake/ Tsomgo Lake Sikkim– This blog about Tsomgo Lake covers and elaborates the following. Scroll down for some spectacular photographs and detailed information about traveling to Tsomgo Lake.

Tsomgo Lake, East Sikkim – Pure, Icy & Magical

Is Changu Lake And Tsomgo Lake Same?

Permit For Tsomgo Lake- Mandatory For Indians Nationals & Foreigners

What Is The Elevation Of Changu Lake?

How To Reach Tsomgo Lake or Changu Lake From Gangtok?

Tsomgo Lake Temperature

When Is The Best Time To Experience Snow Fall In Changu Lake?

Tsomgo Lake, East Sikkim – Pure, Icy & Magical

Tsomgo or the Changu Lake Sikkim is situated at a distance of 38kms from Gangtok and at an altitude of 12,400 ft. Its ethereal beauty makes it a must for every visitor’s itinerary. Tsomgo means ‘source of the water’ in the Bhutia language and this is where the lake has got its name from, i.e., the melting snows of the mountains surrounding the lake.

What’s fascinating is the different looks of the lake in different seasons. The placid lake remains frozen in the winter with the surrounding area covered in a snow blanket. In the late spring, the colorful flowers add to a riot of colors all around the lake. The surroundings look like a colorful paradise which changes the mood of the people who visit the lake.

The lake is deemed sacred by the people of Sikkim and it is said that the Buddhist monks could forecast the future by studying the color of the water of the lake. Myths and legends definitely add up to the excitement. Rides on colorfully decorated yaks and mules are offered at the lake site.

While visiting Sikkim it is a must for the visitors to make a trip to the lake which is an absolutely thrilling experience for the people. It also comes as a welcome change for the people from their monotonous and regular life recharging them for their fight ahead.

Is Changu Lake And Tsomgo Lake Same?

Yes. Tsomgo Lake is commonly known as Changu Lake by the locals. It is a glacial lake nestled amid the breathtaking mountains. It stands as one of the most beautiful places to explore in East Sikkim. This mysteriously elegant lake is located 2.5 hours away from Gangtok. The highest motorable roads pass through the mountain slopes, spectacular landscapes dotted with the uncluttered alpine forests, plunging waterfalls enroute.

Permit For Tsomgo Lake- Mandatory For Indians Nationals & Foreigners

Tsomgo Lake is a part of the famous ancient Silk Route. It lies en route to the international border- Nathu La Pass. Owing to it’s proximity to the international border- Nathu La Pass, Tsomgo Lake falls under the protected area. Thus, the government of Sikkim has mandated entry permits to visitors traveling to the border regions.

Indian Nationals should get Protected Area Permit in order to get access to Tsomgo Lake. To get the permit, you should carry – a photo ID proof of any of these documents – (Voter ID Card/Passport/Aadhar Card) including two passport size photos. The authorized tour operators can help you get the permit.

For foreign nationals – Restricted Area Permit Or Inner Line Permit is applicable for traveling to Tsomgo Lake. A valid passport and VISA for India including passport size photo are required to acquire the permit. Foreigners are not permitted to travel individually. There should at least be a group of 2 people while visiting the protected areas in Sikkim.

What Is The Elevation Of Changu Lake?

Tsomgo Lake or Changu Lake is perched at an elevation of 12,400 feet above the sea level. It snuggles amid the lofty peaks that are concealed by snow during winters. The extreme elevation favors the cold climate and anticipates heavy snowfall during winter. These factors restrict the vegetation to flourish in the area. But, once the snow melts, the seasonal vegetation and grasses abound in the region. The wildflowers, ferns, primulas, alpine rhododendrons, medicinal plants grow in abundance.

How To Reach Tsomgo Lake or Changu Lake From Gangtok?

Before we proceed further with the details, Note that Tsomgo Lake and the capital city Gangtok falls under the Eastern part of Sikkim. So, if you intend for a trip to the border regions and the frozen lakes, Tsomgo Lake stands as an ideal option. For a day’s sightseeing trip, you can cover the Tsomgo Lake and other adjoining places en route – such as Kupup, Elephant Lake, Nathu La Paas, Baba Mandir, and Gnathang Valley.

There are two ways to reach the spot. One is via – hiring a vehicle. Other is- shared vehicles. The cost of travel in the shared vehicle ranges between 500 INR – 800 INR per person. If you choose to hire a vehicle on your own, the approx cost would remain between 4.500 INR – 5,000 INR. The price varies depending upon the time of the visit, the places you’d choose to cover, and the type of vehicle you choose. There are a good number of authorized tour operators in the town that render 24*7 services to travelers.

Tsomgo Lake or Changu Lake Temperature

The temperature varies depending on the seasonal change. The winter temperature ranges from 7 Degree Celsius in the day and drops to – 10 Degree Celsius during the night. Winter is the ideal time to witness the pristine white snow decked region and the frozen Tsomgo Lake.

Spring adorns the entire region with the host of blooming colors. The region turns green and the alpine flowering plants bloom in their utmost appeal. During this time, the temperature ranges from 18 Degree Celsius and falls to –5 Degree Celsius.

The summers are soothing and cool. The place experiences the pleasant weather during the day time with temperature reaching to 22 Degree Celsius. The nights, however, are colder with the mercury dropping to 3 Degree Celsius. Summertime in Tsomgo Lake offers the much-needed comfort from the blistering heat of the plains and metropolises.

Monsoon – starting from July and lasting till the mid of September is not considered an ideal time to travel to the area. The constant rain creates inconvenience for touring. During this time, the temperature ranges between 10 Degree Celsius to 22 Degree Celsius.

Autumn usually starts by the end of September and lasts till November. It marks the arrival of winter. The brownish landscapes surrounding the magical Lake evokes a sense of awe and nostalgia. The temperature during this time fluctuations between – 5 Degree Celsius to 18 Degree Celsius.

When Is The Best Time To Experience Snow Fall In Changu Lake?

Winter is the best time to visit Tsomgo Lake if you crave to witness the snowfall. However, you need to wear thick warm woolen clothes and shoes to tackle the cold. Other mandatory things include- sunglasses for preventing the sore eyes. Gloves to keep your hands warm. Woolen caps and mufflers for extra covering. Medicine- in case if you’d need one.

Note: Children under 3 years are not allowed permits. The oxygen level in the region decreases due to high altitudinal range. So, if you suffer from breathing problem, you should visit a doctor before you actually take a trip during winters.

Also Read:  Kalapokhari – The Last En Route To Sandakphu Peak

Contributor

Surendra-Pradhan

Surendra Pradhan

Pranish Lepcha

Pranish Lepcha

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