Tsomgo Lake or Changu Lake Travel Guide

Tsomgo Lake aka Changu Lake

Changu Lake also known as Tsomgo Lake is a glacial lake located in the Eastern region of Sikkim in India. Perched at an altitude of 3780mt Changu Lake is considered one of the sacred places in Sikkim. Derived from the native language the word 'Tsomgo' means 'source of the lake'. In fact, the etymology tells that 'Tso' means 'lake' and 'Mgo' means 'head'. Changu Lake is an oval-shaped lake that is approximately 1km wide. With an average depth of about 50 ft. Changu Lake is fed by the melting snow from the mountains around the lake. Changu Lake is the major source of rivers like Lungtze Chu and Rangpo-chu.

With the Sikkim Tour Package of North Bengal Tourism, travelers can witness the ethereal beauty of Changu Lake and its surrounding places.

Legend of Changu Lake

According to the myth the spirituals gurus of Sikkim used to study the color of the water of Tsomgo Lake to forecast the future of the state. So the lake is considered sacred by the local people and plays a significant role in the life of the spiritual believers.

Places to Visit near Tsomgo Lake

From Lake Tsomgo, travelers can visit other prominent sightseeing attractions near it. The most visited ones are as written below.

Nathula Pass

Merely 17 km distance away from Tsomgo Lake, Nathula Pass is a worth visiting tourist attraction. It is one of the highest motorable passes that connect Sikkim and Tibet. The name of the place signifies two words where Nathu means "Listening Ears" and La means "Pass". The place is famous for its breathtaking beauty and environment. The snow-covered mountains neighboring Nathula look astonishing from here because of the high altitude of 4310 meters.


The capital Town of Sikkim is also a promising destination near Tsomgo Lake. The distance between Gangtok to Tsomgo Lake is around 45 km. Gangtok; the most happening destination in Sikkim is full of pictorial and worth visiting sites. The iconic MG Marg let the visitors enjoy a leisure walk and have some shopping. Travelers can visit Ganesh Tok to worship Lord Ganesh and to enjoy a great panorama of the valley.

Himalayan Zoological Park

Himalayan Zoological Park is certainly a must-visit place for wildlife lovers. Nestled amidst the mountains, the park is equipped with some of the finest and rarest wild animals such as Snow Leopard Cat, Goral, Himalayan Palm Civet, Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan Monal Pheasant, Himalayan Red Panda, and Crimson-Horned Pheasant. For all of them, Red Panda is the center of attraction here.

Baba Mandir

Merely 17 km from the lake, visiting Baba Mandir should not be missed. Named after the martyred Indian army soldier Harbhajan Singh during the Sino-Indian War, Baba Mandir attracts thousands of tourists as well as devotees every year. It is believed that even after the death of Harbhajan Singh, the spirit of him still protects and patrols at the border. After entering the village, visitors will get to see a huge photo of Harbhajan Singh which is being worshiped here. The temple also exhibits all his belongings.

Things to Do In Changu Lake

Apart from exploring Tsomgo Lake, travelers can indulge themselves in lots of outdoor activities.


Sikkim is quite popular among trekking enthusiasts as this Himalayan state offers some of the most challenging trekking routes. Trekkers can trek to this lake and can also trek through the fascinating trekking routes leading to some beautiful destinations.

Yak Riding

Yak riding is one of the most loved activities near Tsomgo Lake. The riding of this is also possible at Chopta Vally, Lachen and Lachung. In Sikkim, the Yaks have been domesticated for centuries. However, in recent years, the Government of Sikkim has decided to use this animal to promote adventure tourism. Enjoying the yak riding surrounding the lake is truly magnificent.

Bird Watching

The lake is truly a paradise for bird watchers as several prominent migratory birds use the lake as a stopover on their way to the Indian plains from as far as Siberia during the months of winter. The worth noting migratory birds can be sighted here are tufted pochards, brown-headed gulls and the famed brahminy ducks.

How to reach Changu Lake

By Air: The nearest airport to Changu Lake is Bagdogra airport. It is an approx. 6hrs journey from Bagdogra to reach Changu Lake. Distance: The distance between Bagdogra to Changu Lake is 160 kilometers.

By Rail: The nearest railway station of Changu Lake is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP). From NJP it takes overall 6hrs to reach Changu Lake. Distance: The distance between NJP to Changu Lake is 156 kilometers.

By Road: With the car rental service of North Bengal Tourism, visitors can rent a car from Bagdogra to Changu Lake or hire a taxi from NJP to Changu Lake at a reasonable price. Traveler can also break their journey time to reach Changu Lake by halting overnight in Gangtok. Distance: The distance between Gangtok to Changu Lake is 40 kilometers. Siliguri to Changu Lake distance is 158 kilometers.

Best Time to Visit Changu Lake

April to June: During this time of the year the aquamarine color of Changu Lake showcases the reflection of snowcapped mountains bounding this sacred lake. Visitors can also spot migratory birds like Brahimy Duck.

July to September: During this time of the year, the road leading towards Changu Lake becomes more prone to landslide due to unexpected heavy rainfall. The monsoon strikes the place heavily. It is recommended not to visit the lake during these months.

October to March: During this time of the year, the entire lake freezes, and the thick sheet of ice shimmers like precious jewels under the sunlight. Winter is also the best time to visit Changu Lake to partake in activities like yak riding and trekking while witnessing the panoramic view of the snow-capped Himalayan range.

F.A.Q on Tsomgo Lake Travel Guide

Q. Is Tsomgo Lake Worth visiting?

The lake is truly worth visiting. The atmosphere, surroundings, and natural beauty everything of the lake captivate the travelers towards it.

Q. Is Tsomgo Lake open now?

Tsomgo Lake is open for tourists every day. However, it was closed due to the CoVid-19 Pandemic.

Q. Is a permit required to visit Tsomgo Lake?

The lake falls under a protected area and because of this, travelers are required to obtain an inner line permit. To get a permit, a voter id card and two passport size photos are required.

Q. How do you get to Tsomgo Lake?

Travelers can reach the lake quite easily from its capital town, Gangtok. To directly reach the lake from NJP or Bagdogra Airport, a rented car is a great option.

Q. Is Changu Lake and Tsomgo Lake same?

Yes, they are. It is a glacial lake in Sikkim approximately 40 km distance away from its capital town Gangtok.

Q. Can older people visit the Lake?

Older people those who have no any underlying health condition can surely visit the lake. However, those who have breathing difficulties should abstain from visiting it.


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