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Tsomgo Lake

Basic Information

Elevation - 3780 meter
Latitude - N 27° 22'
Longitude - E 88° 45'

Getting There

38 km from Gangtok, Tsomgo Lake can be visited as part of a half-day sightseeing tour from Gangtok. No overnight accommodation is available and you must return to the Capital town by the evening.

The famous lake of East Sikkim is known by many names. Commonly tourists refer to the lake as Changu. Other versions of the name include Tsomgo / Tsongo Lake. The lake is located 38 kilometres from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim and takes about 2½ hours to reach by car. The word Tsomgo in the Bhutia language means the source of a lake. The lake is about one kilometre long, 50ft deep, oval and is situated at an altitude of 3780 meters.

The lake remains frozen throughout the winter up to April's end. Snowfall is also common in this area even during the summer months.

The Tsomgo Lake is considered extremely sacred by the local people. The place is a paradise for bird lovers with a large number of Blue Whistling Thrush, Redstarts and Forktails around.

The Tsomgo lake is host to several migratory birds prominent among which are the Brahminy ducks. The migratory birds use the lake as a stopover on their way to the Indian plains from as far as Siberia during the winter months.

About 26 kilometres from Gangtok en route to Tsomgo is the Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary. The sanctuary with an area of 4 square km has a wide variety of flora and fauna.

The Rhododendron flowers remain in full bloom during April and May allowing breathtaking views to the visitors. The way to Tsomgo Lake is famous for several beautiful waterfalls.

According to legend, The Lake was originally situated several kilometres away. An old woman who used to live at Tsomgo one night dreamed that the lake was to move to its current location. The old lady informed her friends but they did not pay heed to her words.

The lady milked her yak, poured the milk on the ground as an auspicious sign and left the place for Lhachungkar. Just before leaving, she saw an old lady with milk-like white hair entering Tsomgo. Immediately after this Tsomgo Lake was formed. The friends of the old lady are believed to be submerged in the lake along with their herd of yaks.

East Himalaya

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