A Little Trip to Changu Lake - Blaber Blogger

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A Little Trip to Changu Lake

Tsongmo lake or most popularly known as Changu lake is a glacial lake  in East Sikkim, which is about 40 kilometres away from Gangtok. I was there in Gangtok for few days, so I thought that a visit to this popular tourist spot in Sikkim would be a great idea, especially when I am so near the destination so I planned this trip.

      Initially, I had thought I would go visit this place driving by myself, but after knowing some facts I gave up this idea. Tsongmo Lake is located at an altitude of 3,780 metres from the sea level and the road that goes up to this place, is a very narrow one, going along cliffs and high hills, which an amateur driver like me wouldn’t be able to drive so I thought to take up the help of a professional. I went up to this travel agency in Gangtok a day before, to book a vehicle. One needs to submit their photographs and identity cards (photocopy) to make a pass to visit this tourist spot and I gave my documents as well as my friend’s who were accompanying me in this visit.

      The next day, after having a heavy breakfast of chicken momos and noodles, I left from Gangtok around 8am in the morning, with my pass to visit, ready with the driver. It was summer everywhere but it was still cold. As we climbed up the hills, I came across various popular tourist spot of Gangtok like Tashi view point and Ganeshtok and taking the road via Burtuk, we drove up hill. The road was veiled by a thick mist, and clouds covered the sky. I was only praying that it doesn’t rain, as that would ruin our trip as well as there would be a risk of landslides in the way that would block the road that goes to Changu. After we reached a distance, I came across army camps, and then a check post where our pass was checked and allowed entry towards our way to Changu. As we climbed higher and higher the road became really narrow and a foot away was the deadline which would make the car fall really down the hill. Okay, now I understood why a driver like me wouldn’t be able to drive. It was getting really cold, and the driver stopped the car at a place, when we were had almost reach Changu lake for some refreshments. I got down quickly and order a cup of hot tea as that seemed to be the ultimate treat I would give myself in the cold weather. I was wearing a trouser, a cap and a leather jacket but we could take warm clothes for rent, though I was quite okay with what I was wearing but my other friends did rest some jackets, caps, ear warmers that actually would be really essential in the cold weather. I saw lots of tourists were even renting gum boots, which actually would be handy while walking in the snow and having fun in the snow covered hills, so even I thought I would take a pair with me. So after a cup of tea and getting everything we needed, we headed our way to Changu. It was about 10.45am, when we actually reached the place.
     I actually expected this place to be a quiet one, in the hills but contradictory to my belief, it was flooded with cars and tourists as this was supposed to be the peak season of tourist inflow. Well we were lucky enough that it did not rain though it was really cold and the place was actually covered with snow, though it wasn’t snowing there as such. As I got down from the car, I was surrounded by people asking me if I could take a ride in their yaks. Firstly, those yaks freaked me out, huge hairy animal, something like a huge bull that hadn’t had a haircut since ages and had long horns which was painted red. I hurriedly said NOO!! As I actually wanted to walk around and see places instead of taking ride in yaks, not that I was actually scared.

     There I was, 3,870 metres above, in this breathtaking place, surrounded by beautiful snow-capped mountains and hills and a sky blue colored lake. Yes, this was the destination, Changu Lake, the place which I had always heard about, so serene and beautiful. I just took my camera out and started taking pictures of the lake, the hills around and yes also those yaks which actually did start to amuse me, so I even took a little ride in it. Then, it was time for me to explore the place, so I just crossed this little footbridge near the lake, which was decorated with Buddhist shrines and flags, and went to the other side of the lake, which was heavily covered by snow, which was flooded by tourists, busy snow-fighting and taking slides in the hills. I actually was so excited that I ran up the hill in the snow and then just slipped and had a natural snow slide down, which was so sudden and little frightening but fun. Then the kid in me had woken up and I was all busy playing with the snow, throwing snow balls at my friends and even played with little children there who were some tourists visiting from South India. Those kids actually became so fond of me that they continued playing snow fights with me and called me up to take pictures with them, and I was all busy playing, taking pictures and my hands seemed to be so lifeless due to cold.

      As this place was located at a very high altitude, some people had problem breathing, and I also did feel a little discomfort in my chest, though it wasn’t such an issue. After about an hour, I was all done, cold, tired and very hungry. I was looking around for some good place to eat but didn’t find any place as such with good food. So, I just went to this little tourist canteen over there and first asked for a cup of tea and a bowl of maagi. Well, for a guy like me, that wasn't surely enough, so I asked for another bowl of hot chicken soup and some chicken momos. The food wasn’t so good but it didn't really matter as hunger had hit me so hard that in a few minutes, I was done eating with everything.

    The road to Nathu La passed the Changu Lake, and Nathu La, which is in the Chinese border, was just about 18 kilometres by road from Changu. I gave up the idea of visiting that place, as it was monsoon so taking a risk driving all up there, would delay our journey, and have the risk of a rainfall causing more problems while returning back to Gangtok. It was about 1.30 pm and I thought we needed to return back.
     Therefore, after taking some random photos of places around, I called the driver and suggested to go back to Gangtok. We returned back the rented stuffs and headed our way back. The weather seemed to turn bad as we headed back and the road seemed even more scary, as I looked outside the window, where I could see hills around and then when I looked down, I knew not where it was, but just down and down, and I was like, okay! Hope my car doesn't fall down. Well, it was really cold and getting in the car, I actually dozed off for an hour maybe, and when I woke up, I was almost there. It was about 4.30pm and I was there back in Gangtok, after this amazing trip. It was amused that in such a small time span of just a day, I visited such a lovely place and had an awesome trip. I did not buy any souvenirs up there in Changu as all those items were brought from Gangtok itself and was available in Gangtok in abundance for a cheaper rate.

     I suppose, everyone visiting Gangtok should take a trip to Changu lake such an amusing views and actually the snow, which was the main attraction especially for me.

1 comment:

  1. Very beautiful lake. Thanks for sharing lovely pictures. Gangtok has an amicable cultural fusion and people live peacefully in spite of the diverse ethnicity and religions. On a tranquil walk down the street in Gangtok, you can catch the whiff that comes from the lush tea plantations. Explore all best places to visit in Gangtok.


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