Tsomgo/ Changu Lake # PHOTO 101: Landmark

In olden days there were some major landmarks which helped the traders to locate or navigate the mountain passes which were used as open trading border posts but with the passing time, new international trade rules and post 1962 war leading to re-demarkation of boundary with neighbouring China these passes lost their significance. These landmarks were converted into tourist attractions.

Nathu La is one of the major pass on Indo-China border, forms a part of ancient silk route which was sealed by India in 1962 war and again reopened in 2006.This lake is a prominent landmark here.

Nathu La Pass, Indian and Chinese post can be seen here at either side.


In the background of this image is famous Tsomgo Lake or Changu Lake is perched within mountains at an altitude of 12,400 ft. It lies on the road to Nathu La that climbs steeply from Gantok which is 37 kms away. It is a glacier lake which is sacred for local Buddhists and Hindus, is one of the most spectacular landscapes of Sikkim.

Leaving the fir, pine, and birch clad slopes behind; most of the upper reaches of East Sikkim are starkly bare and extremely cold.

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 Changu lake is 48 feet deep and spreads over 1 kilometre,  a major tourist attraction due to 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 is half frozen during Nov to Dec. and completely frozen during peak winters. 

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This magnificent lake romances with nature during late spring when plethora of flowers bloom all over this place. Red  rhododendrons, blue and yellow poppies, various species of primulas, irises create a riot of colors. Wilderness can be witnessed at its best. You will be fortunate to see migratory birds such as Brahminy ducks when it is partially covered with sheet ice.

The lake falls in the restricted area and hence an inner line permit is required by Indians to visit this place. Foreign nationals take special permission to enjoy the flora and fauna of this cool, placid water body.



21 Responses

  1. Been at this place with parents when I was very little 🙂
    Absolutely mind-blowing place, at such altitude, such a mesmerizing view.. And the jeep ride to there was no less amazing <3 <3

  2. So sad about the history of this place, I hate to have inner borders on things. This was a beautiful and soulful place to visit. I admire your travels, S n S. I am glad you have someone to share them with, too!

    1. Yeah even I wanted to post the same with a different angle but then Kashmir album caught my attention. You know there many photos from that place which I am not able to trace. We keep on storing things and then one transfer and packing makes every thing topsy turvy. 🙂

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