A day trip to Tsomgo Lake and Nathula pass by staying in Gangtok
Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, puts every visitor in awe of its astounding natural beauty sprinkled with soaring Himalayan peaks, tranquil alpine lakes, fascinating waterfalls and vivid Buddhist monasteries. This little town is enumerated amongst the most harmonious holiday destinations in India and calls for numerous tourists every year, who especially travel here looking for immense quiet and peace, away from the monotones of chaotic city lives.
For every adventure junkie, Gangtok is the perfect place. Paragliding, parasailing, mountain biking and river rafting are very popular and provide every adventure lover with the much-required dose of fun, thrill, and excitement.
Whether one is a holiday seeker, a honeymooner, or an adventure lover, he or she is sure to fall in love with this whimsical little city, taking back home tonnes of wonderful holiday memories to cherish forever.
Access to Gangtok:
By air: The nearest airport is Bagdogra at a distance of 124km and this airport is connected to many cities such as Delhi, Kolkata etc. From Bagdogra Airport, you can hire a cab or board a shared taxi to reach Gangtok.
By rail: The nearest railway station to Gangtok is about 148km away in NJP (Siliguri). From the railway station, you will get hired taxi or shared cabs upto Gangtok.
By road: You can also reach to Pelling by booking a private car or by public bus.
The Distance from New Jalpaiguri Railway station to Gangtok is 120km
Best time to visit Gangtok: September to June is the correct period to explore Gangtok.
Tsomgo Lake and Nathula pass are one of the complete awe of rustic scenery and draw attention of the visitors.
About Tsomgo Lake: Tsomgo Lake, popularly known as Changu Lake is the glacial lake in East Sikkim.
It is aligned within mountains at an altitude of 12,400ft. The name Tsomgo means ‘source of water’. It is one of the most amazing lakes in Sikkim and cherished by the local Buddhists and Hindus as a sacred lake. The water of the lake is replenished by the melting of the snow of its surrounding mountains.
Distance from Gangtok: it is 40kms away from Gangtok.
Coordinates: 27° 22′ 31″ N 88° 45′ 50″ E
How to reach Tsomgo Lake from Gangtok: The only way to reach the lake is through a drive from Gangtok.
Bulky vehicles such as Innova, Bolero, and Scorpio are available in rent from Gangtok.
You will also get hired taxi to reach Tsomgo Lake from Gangtok.
Taxi fare: 600-700 rupees per person
When can you go?
January to March-
During these months this lake is covered with the pristine sheet of ice.
April to September-
During this time the snow starts melting and you start to feel the cool weather of the lake.
October to December-
The lake starts freezing again from October and from this time you can explore the partially frozen water of the lake.
Best time to visit Tsomgo Lake: You should leave Gangtok by 7:30 to 8 am and reach the lake by 10 am so that you get clear 2 hours to enjoy, as in the afternoon the weather starts getting bad.
Weather: During summer, the temperature of Changu Lake goes above 20◦C
During winter, the temperature of Changu Lake dips below 0◦C
Permission for a trip to Tsomgo Lake: You need a special permission from Sikkim Government authorized Tour Operator to organize the trip. Photo ID proof (Voter Card/ Adhaar Card/Passport) with two passport size photos are required for each trip.
Best sightseeing places near Tsomgo Lake:
1. Baba Mandir
3. Kyongsola Alpine Sanctuary
4. Tseten Tashi Cave
Flowers that are seen in this lake: Primula flowers
Availability of Food near Tsomgo Lake: Tea, coffee, hot Tibetan noodle soup etc.
Where to stay during a trip to Tsomgo Lake?
Chas Hotels Narayani Continental – Best budget hotel in Gangtok
About Nathula Pass: It is an important pass on the crossroads of the Indo-China border that forms a part of an offshoot of the Old Silk Route.
Nathula Pass is located at an altitude of 4302m and it is one of the most favorite hotspots for the travelers. Several visitors come here every year to enjoy the picturesque trek to the valley while listening to the lyrical waterfalls astounding the road from Gangtok to Nathula. Take a break from your hectic life and plan a trip to Nathula Pass to explore the beauty of nature.
Distance from Gangtok: Nathula pass is situated 54kms away from Gangtok.
Coordinates: 27.3866° N, 88.8309° E
How to reach Nathula Pass from Gangtok: From Gangtok, you will get bulky vehicles such as Innova, Bolero, and Scorpio in rent to reach Nathula Pass.
You can also hire a cab or a taxi to reach Nathula Pass.
Taxi/cab fare: 450 per rupees person
Visiting Days: Wednesday to Sunday
Permission for a trip to Nathula Pass: You need a special permission from the Sikkim Government authorized Tour operator to organize the trip. A photo ID proof and two passport size photographs are required.
Permit cost: 200/- per person
Best season to visit Nathula Pass: April to Mid June (summer) and October to November (winter)
Temperature: During summer, the temperature goes above 10◦C.
During winter, the temperature dips below -25◦C
Best sightseeing places near Nathula Pass:
1. Baba Harbhajan Singh Mandir
2. Mera Bharat Mahan Hill
3. Mandakini Waterfalls
4. Staircase to Indo-China Border
Where can you stay during the trip to Nathula Pass?
Frequent questions to be asked:
Q. Which vehicle is suitable for such hilly and risky road conditions?
A. Bolero, Scorpio, Innova etc are the suitable vehicles for such hilly and risky road conditions.
Q. Will there be snow in April last week?
A. Yes, you will be able to see ice on Nathula Pass and Tsomgo Lake in the last week of April.
Q. Are the winter clothes and boots available there?
A. Yes. Jackets, boots, hand gloves, caps etc are available at the shops on the way of Nathula Pass and Tsomgo Lake. You can hire or simply buy those winter clothes for further use.