Tsomgo Lake is just 40 km away from Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim. It is the post popular & most visited tourist attraction to visit from Gangtok. Another 16 km drive will take you to Baba Mandir Harbhajan Singh Mandir (Baba Mandir) & Nathula Pass. The lake gets frozen in the winter. Tsomgo Lake temperature varies from -15oC to 22oC in different season in the year. The temperature may be as low as -20oC in certain days in winter depending on the weather condition. Elevation of Tsomgo Lake is approx 12,000 ft & spread over 60 acres in the Himalayan Mountains.
Tsomgo Lake – a complete guide
‘Tsomgo’ in Bhutia language means ‘Source of lake’. It is an oval shape lake & stretched over 1 km. surrounded by high mountains. The lake is created by snow melted eater & has an average depth of approx 50 ft. According to local belief, colour of the lake changes from time to time & the spiritual gurus used to forecast future of the state by observing the changes. So the lake has a religious value & considered sacred by the local people. There are many migratory birds available around the lake. If you are lucky enough you might spot rare animals like red panda.
Changu Lake Passenger Ropeway
There is a cable car at Tsomgo Lake on the way to Baba Mandir at an elevation of 14,500 ft. It offers an amazing panoramic view. The ropeway operates from 8 am to 3 pm.
Best time to visit
The lake freezes during winter. From January onward it stars freezing & last till mid April. It is a good time to visit for the tourists who want to see snow. During spring (March & April) the Changu booms with rhododendron, orchid & various types of other flowers. So April is considered to be the best time to visit Tsomgo Lake. In autumn i.e. October November & December, just after the monsoon, the weather remains clear. You can get the best view of the lake & the surrounding hills. Monsoon the area gets a huge amount of rainfall. More over there will be a good chance of landslide during monsoon.
Tsomgo Lake temperature & weather
Winter – January & February are the coolest months & the temperature ranges from -15oC to 10 oC. It receives a good amount of snowfall during this period.
Spring – March & April is the time for flowers & snow. Temperature ranges from -5oC to 15oC.
Summer – May & Jun are the warmer months. Temperature ranges from 3oC to 21oC. There will be a chance of occasional rain fall during this time.
Monsoon – July to September is the rainy season. The area gets apron 1200mm rainfall in a year. Most of t occurs during this period.
Autumn – October to December the weather remains very pleasant with least possibility of rain & landslide. Temperature ranges from -5oC to 18oC.
How to reach
You can reach Tsomgo Lake from car from Gangtok. It’s only 40 km from the Sikkim capital (2 hours). The nearest airport of Gangtok is Bagdogra (IXB) approx 125km & railway station in New Jalpaiguri (NJP) is approx 120km away.
Tsomgo Lake permit
Indian & foreign tourists need a Protected Area Permit (PAP) to travel to Tsomgo Lake. Indians need to produce a photo ID card (Voter ID/ Passport) & passport size photographs.
Foreigners need to produce copy of RAP* (Restricted Area Permit) & passport size photographs.
- Restricted Area Permit (RAP): Foreign nationals need Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to enter Sikkim. They need to to produce photocopy of Passport (front & Indian visa page) & passport size photograph.
- For foreigners it’s compulsory to hire a local guide to visit restricted areas.
- Single foreigner is not allowed to visit Tsomgo Lake or any other restricted area.