Visit to the Holy Changu/Tsongmo Lake After 9 Years
This wasn’t my first visit to the Changu Lake as I have been there. On an excursion with my teachers & friends in 2008. The best trip I could remember with such beautiful memories getting refreshed with my visit there after 9 years. It will really be great if I could plan a trip with everyone who was with me on that trip back to Gangtok. Which is quite a task now as they are busy with their lives and it’s really tough to track them all.
Reaching Changu Lake
You can’t just plan a trip to Changu Lake you need to have proper permits before you can cross the check post. Where you’re in time is recorded and later you need to exit the same before the sun sets. We had no trouble in getting the pass as the driver already queued in the morning at around 6 AM to get it for us. This is the benefit of taking a tour at a place where you are not a local. I enquired if people can get passes for bikes and yeah, this was not before but now people can. Take their bikes for a ride around the Changu Lake and even Nathula Pass. You need to provide a photo and xerox of a government ID proof beforehand to your driver as it is required for you to get the pass.
Getting a permit for Nathula requires more than a day which we were short of as we were there for just the weekend. We started at 8 AM after a hefty breakfast as we didn’t expect any food stops on our way and back. It was a 36kms journey which would take 1 and a half hours if we don’t get any jams in between. As it was quite a touristy day with many cars around.
Waterfall on our Way – Kyongnosla Waterfall
Sikkim is known for its beautiful waterfalls. And Kyongnosla is one of them at a height of 10,000 feet the icy cold water just pours at extreme speeds. A spot on your way to just stop and relax for a while, maybe sip a cup of tea or dress in the traditional wear and click some photos wearing them with the beautiful waterfall in the background.
The Holy Changu Lake – Story Behind it
The view of Changu Lake depends on the time of year you visit it. In winter, it stays frozen and the rest of the year you can get a glance of the clear water. No boating or other activities are allowed here or most of the other lakes because they consider this holy. With the story of this old woman who once dreamt that the place was going to get flooded. And she tried to pull everyone out of the place, but they didn’t believe her. Later, when she left the village the whole area was flooded that night and no one survived. Nowadays locals from Sikkim visit the place to pray for the spirits of the dead. Also, people believe that in olden days Buddhist monks were able to predict the future studying the colour of the water of the lake.
Before reaching the lake there are shops where you can have a quick snack or rent some warm clothes, shoes and gloves if you don’t have any. As it was cold when we reached the place and not that crowded except the Yaks there. Nothing much had changed since my last visit to Changu Lake. Except for the ropeway which was not there on our last visit. We didn’t go for the ropeway but would suggest to try that out as the view would be a great one with the lake around.
Yak Ride at the Changu Lake
It was the main activity we were there for the Yak ride. They charge you depending on the distance you wish to go and back, which starts from 450 INR to 1600 INR. We chose the short one as I don’t think much of a difference would be there while you go up to the road just next to the Changu Lake. My hands were freezing with the phone in my hand as the back was a metallic one. But still, we got the shots we needed covering both sides of the story of the lake and the Yak ride. And enjoyed the ride with the beautiful Changu Lake on our side.
The day has not finished yet and I will be posting the next part of the day tomorrow where we headed to the next place you must visit if you are in this part of Sikkim. So do not forget to subscribe my blog to be the first one to read that.