While on our trip to Sikkim, the best memories I have had about something are Pelling and visiting Tsomgo Lake. We were in Sikkim in March 2017 and being a shoulder season, I did not expect much. However, during our stay in Gangtok, we made a quick plan to visit the Nathula Pass circuit. Though we did not get a chance to go to Nathula Pass, the same route covers some amazing destinations like Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple, Tsomgo Lake and a couple of waterfalls.
A winding, rugged, road with hairpin bands will take you to the Tsomgo Lake. Also known as, Changu lake, Tsomgo Lake is a glacial lake located at the altitude of 12,400 feet in the eastern Sikkim. Tsomgo means ‘the source of water’ in Bhutia language. It is around 40 km from Gangtok and the drive is full of the serene natural landscape. One can neither take the private vehicle nor can self-drive. You need to have a permit and book through a registered travel agency. The arrangements for the same can be done through the hotel. It is better to arrange for the permit a day prior. Foreign nationals need special permits.
Tsomgo Lake is known for its color-changing patterns in every season. In winter the lake is frozen while in spring there is a riot of colors because of the abundant flowers near the lake. The sacred Tsomgo Lake is believed to have healing qualities hence to offer prayers Jhakris (faith healers) congregate every year on Guru Purnima which coincides with Raksha Bandhan as well. We saw the color change in a single day rather in a couple of hours.
Snowboots, Gumboots, Traditional dresses are available on rent. Lake site also has some traditional food stalls. One can also enjoy a ride on beautifully decorated Yak.
The best time to visit the lake is around April-June. Leave as soon as possible in the morning as you need to be back by 3 pm. Usually the weather starts getting bad post noon. Also, there is a long line for permit check which takes a lot of time.
Do not forget to carry the extra pair of clothes, warmers and camera. Click and capture the moments of joy with a bowl of hot noodles and momos.