Tsomgo Lake or Changu Lake is perched within mountains at an altitude of 12,400 ft. Located at Gangtok – Nathula Highway only 37 kms. from Gangtok, the Changu Lake is one of the most spectacular landscapes of Sikkim. The lake is highly revered by the local Buddhists and Hindus as a sacred lake. With a depth of around 48 feet and spreading over 1 kilometre, the magnificent Changu Lake romances with its picturesque surrounding. The water of the lake comes from the melting of the snow of its surrounding mountains, which is why, this lake never dries up. In fact, Changu Lake is also the place of origin of Lungtse Chu River. This azure blue lake remains completely frozen during winter.
What to see in Changu Lake:
This oval-shaped deep blue lake is a treat to the eye from a distance. You would get the best panoramic view of the lake after crossing it on the way to New Baba Mandir. During winters the lake remains wrapped in ice, along with its surrounding region. The spectacle is truly breathtaking. The lake remains frozen up to April. In late spring, the lake is surrounded with wild flowers, which create a riot of colours. The rhododendrons, blue and yellow poppies, various species of primulas, irises create a breathtaking effect. The journey to Changu Lake from Gangtok is also quite enchanting, where you can view a number of waterfalls en route.
A small bridge just at the entrance of the lake will take you to a viewpoint cum cafeteria, from where you can view the complete lake and its surrounding mountains. There is also a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva built at the lakeside. You can trek along the lakeside in deep snow during winter or even take Yak rides along the coast of the lake. There is a small rustic market before entering the Changu Lake which sells yak cheese, trinkets and local curios to the tourists. Adventure seekers can also enjoy trekking at the surrounding Kyonqnosla Alpine Sanctuary. You would also get snow boots and gumboots on hire from here. There are few eateries too selling Momos and tea in this area. The Gangtok – Nathula Highway skirts the Changu Lake and reaches the New Baba Mandir and Nathula Point from Serathang.
Changu Lake is shrouded in myths and legends. It is said that in ancient times, the Lamas (Buddhist Saints) used to predict the future by observing the lake’s colour. If the water of the lake had a dark tinge, they predicted the future to be dark and gloomy, full of unrest. The faith-healers of Sikkim, popularly known as Jhakhris also visit this lake during Guru Purnima to offer prayers. But humans are not the only visitors to this lake; it is also home to Brahmini Ducks and a favourite stopover to other species of migratory birds.
Accommodation in Changu Lake:
There is no accommodation option at Changu Lake.
Best time to visit Changu Lake:
During winters (From January to mid May) Changu Lake is complete covered in snow and you can enjoy trekking as well as Yak ride on snow along the coasts of the lake. From October to December, the lake is partly covered in sheet ice and migratory birds can be seen waddling in the lake’s water. From April to July, you can witness a good bloom of flowers. Most of the year, Changu Lake experiences a sparkling weather.