Tsomgo Lake Overview
The ethereally beautiful Tsomgo (Changu) which means “source of water” in Bhutia language (Local language of Sikkim) lake is located 38 kms away from the capital Gangtok on the Gangtok-Nathula highway which forms a part of the old trade route from India to China. This tranquil lake is situated at the height of 12,000 ft and is about 1 km Long, oval in shape, 15 meters deep. The lake gets filled with pure and clean water from the melting snows of the mountains surrounding the lake. Of fabled beauty, the lake looks different in every season, in winter the peaceful lake remains frozen with the area and mountains around it all covered in snow while in late spring the abundance of flowers in bloom covers the whole area in wonderful colors and aroma around the lake.
This area is restricted and hence an inner line permit is mandatory to visit this place. You need to submit a photo copy of any the ID proofs (Voter ID, Passport, Driving License or any other id card issued by the Government of India / State Government) along with passport size recent colour photographs. Note that PAN card or Aadhaar card are not accepted in Sikkim.
Tsomgo Lake (Changu) is conceived sacred by the inhabitants for myths and beliefs associated with the lake in Sikkimese culture. One of the oldest myths connected with the lake is that in old times the Buddhist monks used to study the color of the water of this lake to forecast the future. The Tsomgo lake (Changu) also keeps an important place in the lives and culture of the Jhakris [faith healers] of Sikkim who assemble here every year on the day of Guru Purnima, which concurs with the festival of Raksha Bandhan, from all over the country to offer their special prayers which are believed to give them more closeness to the God.
This lake is also a habitat for the red pandas and numerous rare species of birds which fly here in the beginning of the spring season and remain until the fall. You can enjoy colorfully decorated Yak and Mule rides here and take a tour around the lake and nearby places where you can really enjoy the delicious snacks, food and beverages. For the tourist a visit to the Tsomgo lake is a really refreshing and rejuvenating outing. Best time to visit this place is March to May and October to December.