Changu Lake: The Beautiful Glacial Lake in Sikkim

  Changu Lake :

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: #introduction
  • Location and Accessibility: Location and Accessibility
  • History and Significance: #history-and-significance
  • Geology and Ecology: #geology-and-ecology
  • Things to Do at Changu Lake: #things-to-do-at-changu-lake
  • Tips for Visiting Changu Lake: #tips-for-visiting-changu-lake
  • FAQs: #faqs


Changu Lake (also known as Tsomgo Lake) is a glacial lake located in the East Sikkim district of the Indian state of Sikkim. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Sikkim and is known for its stunning beauty and spiritual significance.

Changu Lake

The lake is located at an altitude of 12,400 feet (3,753 metres) and is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. The water in the lake is a deep turquoise colour and is said to be very clear. Changu Lake is a popular spot for hiking, picnicking, and bird watching. It is also a sacred lake for the local Buddhist community and is believed to be the source of the Lungtse Chu River.

Location and Accessibility:

Changu Lake is located about 37 kilometres (23 miles) from the capital city of Gangtok. It is accessible by road, and the drive from Gangtok takes about an hour and a half. The road to the lake is well-maintained, but it can be steep and winding in some places.

There are a few different ways to get to Changu Lake from Gangtok. You can take a taxi, a bus, or a shared jeep. The taxi is the most expensive option, but it is also the most convenient. The bus is the cheapest option, but it can be crowded and slow. The shared jeep is a good option if you are travelling on a budget and don't mind sharing a ride with other people.

History and Significance:

The history of Changu Lake is shrouded in mystery. Some believe that the lake was formed by a meteorite impact, while others believe that it was formed by a glacier. The lake is first mentioned in historical records in the 17th century, when it was used as a pilgrimage site by the local Buddhist community.

Changu Lake

Changu Lake is a sacred lake for the local Buddhist community. It is believed to be the source of the Lungtse Chu River, which is considered a sacred river. The lake is also believed to be home to a number of spirits and deities.

Geology and Ecology:

Changu Lake is a glacial lake, which means that it is formed by melting snow and ice. The lake is fed by a number of glaciers, including the Tsomgo Glacier, the Yumthang Glacier, and the Nathula Glacier. The water in the lake is very clear and cold, and it is said to have healing properties.

The ecology of Changu Lake is diverse. The lake is home to a variety of fish, including the snow trout, the mahseer, and the brown trout. The lake is also home to a variety of birds, including the bar-headed goose, the black-necked crane, and the snow pigeon.

Things to Do at Changu Lake:

There are a number of things to do at Changu Lake. You can go for a hike around the lake, go for a picnic, or just enjoy the scenery. You can also visit the nearby Nathula Pass, which is a high-altitude border crossing between India and China.

If you are interested in learning more about the history and significance of Changu Lake, you can visit the nearby Tsomgo Lake Visitor Centre. The visitor centre has a museum with exhibits about the lake, and it also offers guided tours of the lake.

Changu Lake

Tips for Visiting Changu Lake

Here are a few tips for visiting Changu Lake:

  • Be respectful of the lake and its surroundings. Do not litter, and do not feed the fish or birds.
  • Take your time and enjoy the scenery. Changu Lake is a beautiful place, and it is worth taking your time to explore it.
  • Be prepared for the altitude. The altitude at Changu Lake is high, and you may experience altitude sickness. If you are feeling unwell, it is important to descend to a lower altitude as soon as possible.
  • Drink plenty of water. The air at high altitudes is dry, and it is important to stay hydrated.
  • Bring sunscreen and sunglasses. The sun can be very strong at high altitudes, and it is important to protect your skin and eyes.
  • Allow plenty of time for your trip. The drive to Changu Lake can take up to two hours, and you will want to allow time for hiking, sightseeing, and lunch.


  • What is the best time to visit Changu Lake?

The best time to visit Changu Lake is during the spring (March–May) or autumn (September–November). The weather is mild during these times, and the lake is at its most beautiful.

  • What should I wear when visiting Changu Lake?

You should wear sturdy shoes and warm clothing when visiting Changu Lake. The hike around the lake can be strenuous, and the weather can be cold at high altitudes. Be sure to bring a hat, gloves, and a scarf.

  • Is there a fee to visit Changu Lake?

Yes, there is a fee to visit Changu Lake. The fee is currently INR 100 for adults and INR 50 for children.

  • Can I swim in Changu Lake?

No, you cannot swim in Changu Lake. The water is very cold, and it is not safe to swim in.

  • Are there any restrictions on photography at Changu Lake?

There are no restrictions on photography at Changu Lake. However, be respectful of the lake and its surroundings, and do not take photos that could be considered disrespectful.

  • What are the local customs and etiquette for visiting Changu Lake?

When visiting Changu Lake, it is important to be respectful of the local customs and etiquette. Be sure to dress modestly and avoid taking photos of people without their permission.

I hope this article has given you a better understanding of Changu Lake. If you are planning a trip to Sikkim, I highly recommend visiting this beautiful lake. It is a truly magical place, and it is sure to leave you with lasting memories.