Perched between the mountains at a dizzying height of 12400 ft above sea level, the Tsomgo Lake is one of the few high-altitude lakes in India situated on the Gangtok-Nathula highway. This lake is a part of every tourist's itinerary and for a good reason- its overwhelming scenic beauty. Enveloped by steep snow-capped mountains and resting between a bright green carpet of alpine forests, the charming beauty of Tsongmo Lake is bound to leave you in awe. The lake's mesmerising scenic allure combined with its legendary significance to the locals definitely makes it a must visit attraction of Sikkim.
Tsongmo Lake is a glacial lake that derives its water from the melting snows of the mountains around it. This glacial lake is famous for its colour changing waters. Monsoons see a bright aquamarine lake whereas, in the winters, the lake freezes into a translucent cover of ice. As the summer approaches in mid-May, the periphery of this lake is dotted with a thousand blossoming flowers that lend the waters a riot of vibrant colours.
In the Bhutia language, Tso means lake and Mgo mean head and essentially means 'Source of the water', holding immense religious and cultural significance to the Bhutia people. Considered as a sacred lake by the Sikkimese, Tsomgo Lake is associated with many myths and legends. They say the Buddhist monks used to analyse the colour of the lake to forecast the future!
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Tsomgo Lake is situated in Gangtok, which does not have its own railhead. The closest railhead is the Siliguri Railway Station in New Jalpaiguri at a distance of 148 kms. You can take a taxi to Gangtok or take a bus from Siliguri Bus Station which is right next to the railway station. It takes about 5-6 hours to get to Gangtok from here.
There are special cars available for hire that go to the Tsongmo Lake with skilled drivers trained to drive at such high altitudes. Reserving such a 7-seater vehicle will cost you INR 4000 for one round-trip. You can choose to share the vehicle and pay INR 450 per head.
It is important to note that the air at such altitudes is very thin that makes breathing difficult for infants, senior citizens and people with any heart or breathing problems.
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