July 16th, 2018 by OYO Team

Changu Lake, also called Tsomgo Lake or Tshangu Lake is a glacial lake which translates to ‘Source of Lake’ in the Bhutia language. Located in the East Sikkim district, 40 km from Gangtok, this beauty in blue is perched at an altitude of 3780 m. The azure colour of the lake turns into ice white in winters. The journey to this one of the most beautiful lakes of the Himalayas is highly adventurous, as the road is quite steep and gains elevation rapidly.

A mix of adventure and natural beauty, the journey to Changu Lake or Tsomgo Lake is one of the most exotic highlights of travelling through Sikkim.

Places To See Near Changu Lake

  • Nathu La Pass


The Nathu La is a Himalayan pass that connects Indian border to the border of Tibet in China. Its elevation is 4310 m, hence the presence of oxygen is low. Since Nathu La is a restricted area, only Indian tourists are permitted to visit here, that too with special permits. What makes it more exotic is the fact that the pass lies on the old Silk route.

  • Baba Mandir

Baba Mandir is a shrine dedicated to martyred Indian soldier Harbhajan Singh. The brave army man who died during the Indo – Sino war is believed to protect the soldiers stationed at this harsh terrain of India and China border through his spirit. The intrigue of this place increases with the fact that Harbhajan Singh is respected by Chinese soldiers too.

  • Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary

Kyongnosla is a wildlife sanctuary located 31 km from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. The exotic and rare Red Panda can be spotted here, along with beautiful birds like Blood Pheasants. You will find colourful rhododendrons and orchids along with trees like Juniper and silver firs. It also gives gorgeous views of the city of Gangtok.

  • Jhakri

Jhakri or Banjhakri, as it is often called, is a theme park in Gangtok. This park is based on a shamanistic (magical religious healing) theme, has a beautiful waterfall and is full of greenery all around. It has magnificent and elaborate sculptures as per the ideas of shamanism.

  • Tseten Tashi Cave

It is a natural, 20 ft high cave located only at a kilometre distance from Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary. Named after the famous Sikkimese naturalist Tseten Tashi, the cave has a passage that leads to the top.

Best Time to Visit Changu Lake

January to March

The Tsomgo Lake is a thick and pristine sheet of ice during these months. You can enjoy a yak safari on the snow along the bank of the lake.

April to September

The snow starts melting in April, and you begin to see frozen lake return to its original state. The colourful rhododendrons and orchids around the lake during this time make it a sight to behold.

October to December

The lake starts freezing again from October. During this time the migratory birds from the coldest corners of the world take refuge in the partially frozen water of this lake.

Changu Lake Weather

Summer (April to September)

Summer heralds with the start of melting of the ice. The weather is pleasant and the temperature goes above 20 degrees Celsius in peak summer months like June.

Winter (October to March)

The start of freezing of the lake marks the onset of winters. The temperature dips below 0 degrees and the lake is entirely frozen by January.

Travel Tips

Changu Lake is a protected area owing to its proximity to the Chinese border; hence a Protected Area Permit is required to travel to this place. Indians can get their permits from the Police Check Post, and foreigners can get theirs from the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department and Police Check Post.


About OYO Team

We’re people who love to travel and it’s a pleasure to share our experiences from around the world with you here. You’ll see our favourite destinations, quirky stays and budget stay. Also the best wedding banquet halls and the most lit party destinations. You’ll also find insightful opinions about why we travel in the first place and what it’s really like out there. Enjoy the blog and please tell us what you think - feedback welcome!