My Visit to Tsomgo Lake was not in plan initially. It was time to leave for Darjeeling on next day early morning. But I had heard lot about Changu lake and its beauty.I decided that I shouldn’t go back without appreciating its beauty.
The Tsomgo lake also known as Changu Lake is a glacial lake located in East Sikkim, some 40 Kms away from the Capital Gangtok.It is located at an elevation of 3753m (12,313 ft), the lake remains frozen during the winter season.The lake reflects different shades of colours with the change of season and so it is most popular among people.
As a budget traveler I had booked half day trip to Tsomgo Lake on sharing basis through one of the tour operators on the M.G road. You can also book Private tour to Tsomgo lake which is too costly for people like me. The lake is located in restricted area owing to its proximity to Chinese border, visiting the area required Protected area travel Permit which was arranged by tour Operator.
The Journey started with the excitement and adventure as it was going to rendezvous with history, since this was the Old Silk route before 1962.I had reached to Chandmari Taxi stand where Shared sumo with few other people was waiting to take me to the Lake. As the driver informed journey will take around 1.5-2 hours if road has no landslides. Often road blocks occurs and weather plays crucial role here, trip may get cancelled if weather is not in favor.
As we started journey towards Tsomgo Lake, day was foggy and misty with clouds playing with Mother Nature. My first pit stop was small Kyongnosla waterfall. On the very opposite of it, there is small tea and snack stall for quick bites. I took few snapshots and again started the journey towards Tsomgo lake.
After approximate 2 hours reached the destination Tsomgo. Initially I felt some nausea due to gaining altitude in very few Kms only. One should take care for altitude sickness while travelling to Tsomgo lake.
People are right, it holds eternal beauty. It is most serene lake I had ever been in my life. The beautiful lake water was reflecting the surrounding mountains holding its calm nature and I was admiring its beauty at its best.
When I visited it in March, Lake was covered with snow white and so I decided to watch it from other side only. I was too scared to walk on snow. People were busy with riding the yaks to reach on the other side. In summer, you can walk through it as snow gets melted.
But I was happy I could witness the pure magical place. After spending some time, I headed to army canteen on the highway and ordered some coffee. If you want panoramic view of the lake, head to this canteen’s terrace.
While waiting for fellow travelers of my shared sumo, I decided to eat some Maggie at one of the cafes by the lake. After having Maggie plate, It was time to leave this surreal beauty and heading back to Gangtok with fond memories forever in the heart.
- Tsomgo lake is located at High altitude and during the travel here, you may observe AMS(accute mountain sickness) caused by reduced air pressure and lower oxygen levels .Recommend to start early from Gangtok by 8-9 am and after enjoying 2-3 hours return to Gangtok as weather is unpredictable here.It is advisable not to spend to much time at high altitude.Always keep yourself hyderated and eat at frequent intervals.
- You can hire snow boots, jackets,Gum boots from the stalls near the lake.
It is a protected area, you are required to take a permit (you need photo identity proof and two passport size photos). You can get the permit from the Sikkim Tourist Information Center at MG Marg Gangtok or you can arrange via travel agent in Gangtok.
You can combine the Visit to Tsomgo lake with Baba Mandir and Nathula Pass as a day trip From Gangtok.
Taxi From my hotel to Chandmari Taxi Stand and Back: 300 Rs.
Half Day trip cost to Tsomgo Lake on sharing basis : 450 Rs.
Snacks and Lunch: 100 Rs.
I always say , You can always travel on Budget 🙂