Tsongmo Lake An ideal day trip from Gangtok is a visit to Tsango Lake. With an average depth of 50 ft, this spectacular lake is situated 37 km north east from Gangtok at an altitude of 3,752 metres on the Gangtok - Nathula highway. The road with an awesome precipice on one side takes you through the Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary. The snow and the frozen lake make it even more exciting during the winter months.
Tsongmo Lake has perhaps one of the most beautiful landscapes in Sikkim. On the Gangtok - Nathu La highway, Tsomgo Lake is situated at an altitude of 12,400 ft. Also known as Changu Lake, Tsongmo Lake is regarded as a very sacred lake by the local Buddhists and the Hindus. Tsomgo Lake extends to 1 km in length, deepens to 15 meters and happens to be oval in its shape.
In Bhutia language, the literal meaning of 'Tsomgo' is 'source of the lake'. In fact, the etymology tells that 'Tso' means 'lake and 'Mgo' means head. The lake is a residence to migratory birds and brahmini ducks. From winters up to mid-May, the lake remains frozen. In the summers, Tsomgo derives its placid waters from the melting snow of the mountains around.
Between the months of May and August, you can trace a variety of flowers including rhododendrons, primulas, blue & yellow poppies, irises etc. blooming on the banks of Tsomgo. 40 kms from Gangtok, this beautiful lake falls in the restricted area and subsequently, an inner line permit is a requisite to visit this holy lake.
Owing to promotion of tourism in Sikkim, local residents have arranged shops that sell yak cheese, trinkets and local curios here. You can also have the fun of enjoying Yak Ride at this place. To add more enjoyment in your trip, a pavement along the lake takes to a quiescent shed, where you can spend some time relaxing and enjoying the natural splendor.