The mountainous capital of Sikkim, Gangtok is a really popular destination. The place became a part of India in the year 1975. The most popular places of interest here would be the lakes near Gangtok amongst all the elements put together. There are many of them and each one is laden with breathtaking natural beauty. While you are planning a vacation to Gangtok, do include a visit to one or more of these lakes to make your holiday a memorable time to cherish forever.
Top 10 Lakes Near Gangtok To Visit On Your Vacation
The modern capital of Sikkim, Gangtok is a cozy brimming hill station with so much to offer. The topography of this place is that of a descending hill in steep tiers. The mountain ridge here is layered with different aspects of a hill station and a city combined. What adds on this ever buzzing traditional yet modern hill town is an abundance of natural beauty that is visible in the mountain ranges around. The lakes near Gangtok also add a whole lot of charm to this beauty. These points of interests are quite popular amongst the tourists who come here to enjoy boating, sit by the riverside to absorb the natural beauty, and enjoy a picnic excursion with their family and friends. Check out our comprehensive list of lakes around Gangtok and include them in your itinerary for this amazing destination.
1. Tsomgo Lake
Tsomgo Lake is a glacial lake that is located in the eastern part of the Sikkim district. It also goes by the name of Tsongmo Lake or Changu Lake. The place is a beautiful sight to relish and provides wide panoramic views of the amazing scenery around. It is situated around 40 kilometers from the capital city of Gangtok. The elevation of this spot is around 3,753 meters. It is frozen for the entire winter. The amazing characteristic of this place is its change of colors. Apparently, the lake changes colors according to the changing seasons. This is the reason why this place is held in a position of great reverence by the local Sikkimese people. Out of all the Gangtok lakes, this one is the most popular amongst the tourists. Include a visit to Tsomgo Lake in your itinerary and enjoy a fun trip.
2. Khecheopalri Lake
Another mesmerizing lake to go to near Gangtok is Khecheopalri Lake. This place was originally known as Kha-Chot-Palri which translates to the heaven of Padmasambhava, an 8th century Buddhist master. The place is located around 147 kilometers west of Gangtok city. The area is that of West Sikkim. There is a village nearby the lake with the same name. There are many legends and stories surrounding the lake, the most talked about it being a hidden treasure that was blessed by Guru Padmasambhava. An interesting feature of this lake is that by the end of the day there are no leaves afloat the surface. The birds meticulously pick it up somehow and everything seems clear as crystal.
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3. Gurudongmar Lake
This mesmerizing lake is located at an altitude of 17,800 ft or 5,430 meters, making it one of the highest lakes in India and the world. The place has a huge religious significance and is considered as a sacred site amongst Buddhists, Sikhs, and Hindus. Gurudongmar Lake was named after Guru Padmasambhava, an 8th century Buddhist master. He was the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. This site is also claimed to be blessed by the Guru Nanak, a revered spiritual leader of Sikhism. While you are here, click many pictures and feel mesmerized by such splendid beauty.
4. Bidan Chu Lake
This beautiful lake is situated on the route from Gangtok to Zuluk en route Nathula Pass. An amazing sight to relish in the enchanting state of Sikkim, Bidan Chu is one of the many mesmerizing lakes near Gangtok. While you are planning for a vacation to Gangtok or many destinations within Sikkim, you can include this beautiful lake in your itinerary. It is located at an altitude of 4,114 meters above sea level. It is, in fact, the highest village in the region. The months from May to June and the month of October are ideal to pay a visit to this spectacular place. Grab a taxi from Gangtok to get here.
5. Cholamu Lake
Considered to be the highest lake in India, Cholamu Lake is located at a whopping height of 5,330 meters. One of the best lakes near Gangtok, this surreal lake is located in proximity from the Indo-Tibet Border. This is the reason why you would require a permit to get there. The North Sikkim area is less explored where this lake is situated. So, this place can become one of the exciting parts of your journey as it is something that is not covered by many. The lake is located around 180 kilometers from Gangtok and it can take a long while to get there. This place can be included in your itinerary if the duration of the trip is longer and you are covering multiple destinations in a single trip. It is advised to cover this lake while visiting Gurudongmar Lake as it is just a short distance from it.
6. Green Lake
Green Lake is another natural wonder in Sikkim that can be visited to enjoy an enthralling vacation. It should be noted that getting to this lake can be quite a task, but worthwhile, especially for those who love to hike and trek. You can include a visit to this place in collaboration with Gangtok and Lachen. Pair this place with other lakes around Gangtok. You would be amazed to know it is located at an altitude of 1,437 meters. The place offers breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga and other magnificent peaks. Accessible through a hike from Lachen Village, the experience of getting to this lake is amazing. The enchanting feeling of relishing the beauty of the lake after reaching adds a whole lot to the entire experience. Lachen is about 6-7 hours long drive from Gangtok.
7. Lakshmi Pokhari Lake
Lakshmi Pokhari Lake is quite a popular place amongst the travelers and tourists visiting Gangtok. This pristine water body is naturally formed located inside a crater that is said to carry Gods soul within its transparent and calm waters. One of the many lakes near Gangtok, this place can be clubbed together with other places of interest while taking an excursion from Gangtok towards Pelling. The lake is situated at a high altitude offering mesmerizing views of Khangchendzonga mountain, Kok Tang, Pandim and Narsing. While you are here, you can check out the monasteries nearby.
8. Menmecho Lake
Amongst the many lakes near Gangtok, Menmecho Lake is quite famous. Located at a distance of about 60 kilometers from Gangtok, this lake is accessible through a 4 kilometers long narrow winding road beside Baba Mandir. Either take a private taxi or a shared one to get here. This high altitude lake is surrounded by the beautiful pine forests and sloped. The lake is fed by melting waters of the icy mountain. It acts as a source of river Rangpo-chu.
9. Tso Lhamo Lake
Amongst the many lakes around Gangtok, Tso Lhamo Lake can also be visited while on a trip to Gangtok. This option is viable when clubbed together with other cities and towns as well. A beautiful lake in North Sikkim, it is located at an altitude of 5,330 meters. The source of this lake is the surrounding snow-covered mountains. It in turn becomes the source of the gushing Teesta River. It shall take about 7-8 hours for you to get to this mesmerizing lake.
10. Raj Kathok Lake
Raj Kathok Lake is situated near Yuksom that is around 121 kilometers from Gangtok. Considered as the soul lake of Lama Kathok Kuntu Zangpo (A Buddhist Monk), this lake was said to be sanctified by him to use as a medium to connect with the divinity. The water of the lake is crystal clear and pristine. The lake offers panoramic views of the places around. The prayer flags all around, pasture lands and the lush green foliage around make for a great backdrop to this lake. Amongst the lakes around Gangtok, this one treads on an off-beaten path. The ones who want to experience something extraordinary can enjoy their time here.
Go on and check out these beautiful lakes near Gangtok and also the many around it. There are plenty of mesmerizing natural beauties and lakes to explore in Sikkim. Feel one with nature while enjoying the beauty of these amazing places. Indulge in boating and enjoy snacking on the tastiest of dishes at the snack bars around these lakes. You could enjoy a delightful picnic experience here by the lakeside with your friends and family as well. Go ahead and book your vacation to Gangtok with TravelTriangle and enjoy the beauty of its many enthralling lakes.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Lakes Near Gangtok
Which lake near Gangtok, Sikkim allow camping?
Day and night camping is permitted near Gurudongmar Lake for domestic and international tourists. Yet, you have to bring your camping kit or hire for rental from Gangtok City.
Is it necessary to carry AMS medication to visit high-altitude lakes in Gangtok?
Most of the lakes near Gangtok are above 10,000-ft AMSL. The people with acute mountain sickness or AMS must carry medicines as prescribed by a doctor for your Gangtok lake tour.
Does the lake waters in Gangtok freeze during the winter season?
Yes, lake waters in Gangtok freeze during the winter season. You must visit in-between September to March to see the frozen lakes in Gangtok.
Is it possible to see glacier lakes with ice throughout the year in Gangtok?
Yes, you can find the glacier lakes with ice during the winter season. The high-altitude mountain lakes in Gangtok have ice throughout the year.
What are all the recreational activities that tourists can enjoy near the lakes in Gangtok?
The tourists can enjoy recreational activities like angling in lake waters, bird watching, boating, lakeside camping, lakeside hiking, lakeside trekking, and photography near the lakes in Gangtok. Visiting the lakes in Gangtok through trekking trails is one of the adventure activities that tourists can do near the lakes in Gangtok.
What is the best time to visit Gangtok?
You must visit the lakes in Gangtok during the summer season. April to July is the best time to visit by all ages of people, once in the Gangtok tour.
Are there food and beverages facilities available in lakes near Gangtok?
No, you have to carry sufficient food, and water to explore the lakes in Gangtok.
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