Welcome to the breathtaking Tsomgo Lake, the ‘Source of Lakes’, located just 40 km from Gangtok on the way to Nathula Pass.
Let me tell you, this lake is no ordinary body of water. At an altitude of 12,000 ft above sea level, Tsomgo is the most visited place in Gangtok and for good reason.
The lake is oval in shape, approximately 1km long, and has an average depth of 50 ft. It was created by melted snow from the surrounding mountains, and a river called Lungtze Chu was formed from the lake, which then flows into Rangpo-chu. According to legend, spiritual gurus of Sikkim used to study the water’s color to predict the future of the state, making the lake sacred to the locals.
But let’s talk about the real reason why you should visit Tsomgo Lake – the sheer natural beauty. Majestic silver firs and pine trees surround the gorgeous glacial lake, and every season brings new colors to the water. From sapphire blue in spring to a dark inky green in winter, the lake never fails to impress. Monsoon season brings mists that add to its mysterious aura, and springtime welcomes a riot of colors with a variety of flowers. If you’re a bird lover, the area is a paradise with rose finches, yellow-bellied fantail flycatchers, golden eagles, and a host of migratory birds.
And if you’re lucky, you might spot musk deers, gorals, red pandas, and even leopards and Himalayan black bears!
During winter (Jan to mid April), the lake gets frozen and offers a breathtaking view of snow-capped mountains all around. In April and May, you can see a variety of flowers including various types of Rhododendrons and Orchids. And on your way from Gangtok to Tsomgo Lake, you can stop by Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary to witness a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Let’s not forget about the folklore surrounding this magical lake. According to legend, an old woman yak herder had a dream that the barn where her yaks lived would soon be flooded with water. She left the place, but her friends refused to believe her. As soon as she left, an old woman with flowing snow-white hair entered the valley, and the place was filled with water, drowning her friends. This woman with white hair is believed to be the guardian deity of the lake that later came to be known as Tsomgo.
Now, some travel tips. Don’t forget to carry a valid ID proof and wear proper shoes. It might be snowing, so wear warm clothes and carry enough water and snacks. The high altitude might make you feel a bit woozy if you’re not well acclimatized, so take it easy.
In conclusion, Tsomgo Lake is a must-visit spot in Gangtok, offering natural beauty, folklore, and a spiritual connection to the locals. So what are you waiting for? Come and experience the magic of Tsomgo!