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Sikkim - Changu Lake or Tsongmo Lake of Sikkim
Changu Lake, which is also known as Tsongmo Lake:
Changu, this serene lake is situated at an altitude of 3774 meters on the Gangtok Nathu La highway. Just about 40 km away from Gangtok, Changu Lake is one of the most imperative reasons why tourists get attracted to Gangtok. The Lake looks marvelous with its long stretched area spreading over one km in length and half km in width. The 50 feet deep lake gets motionless as it is covered up with ice in winter. The lake falls in the restricted zone and hence an inner line permit is required for Indians to visit this place. Foreign nationals are not permitted to visit this lake without special permission. Trekking lovers can trek to a height of 7000 feet from the plains in two and half hours. Tourists who are not fond of walking can hire yak, and pony. Between May and August it is possible to see a variety of flowers in blooms, including the Rhododendrons, rare orchids, various species of primulas, blue and yellow poppies, irises etc. A small temple of lord Siva is constructed on the lakeside.
Foods and teas are available at the lakeside but it’s safe to carry lunch packets along with you. Tsechung lodge is the best option to stay overnight.
About 13 km from Changu is Serathang. The road got bifurcated here. One road goes to Nathula, situated at an altitude of 14400 feet and the other one goes to the border of India and Tibet. Indians get permission to go to Nathula on specific days like Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. To view the beauty of the frozen Nathula, tourists flock to it every year. The doorway of Nathula is closed for asthma patients, patients with high blood pressure, weak hearted people and children below 10 years of age. If you are carrying a camera, then don’t forget to leave it in your hotel room because you are not permitted to carry your camera due to security reasons.
In remembrance of the supernatural powers of the soldier Harbhajan Singh who died in Tista River in 1962, Indian Government had built a temple, about 4 km away from Serathang, at an height of 12, 400 feet, called Baba Harbhajan Singh Mandir. It is believed that the paranormal existence of Harbhajan Singh is being used many times in security issues even long after his death. The temple gets crowded in every Sundays and Tuesdays for taking his blessings. Indian Government has decided to pay his salary every month even after his death due to his supernatural activities, and seemingly, he is still on duty.
The Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary, about 9 km from Harbhajan Singh temple towards the city, distributed over an area of 4 square km, is situated amidst the natural environs of Rhododendron, Silver fur, and orchids. The sanctuary looks mesmerizing during May-August when flowers bloom in the sanctuary.
Aritar Lake, in the middle of greeneries, blue elephant lake, Helipad view point, Lovers point, Renak Monastery and Mankhim temple are the nearby coveted destinations. The vista of Kanchenjunga from Mankhim temple view point is breathtaking. Aritar Lake resort, Hotel Aditya, Hill view resort, and Peace Top Resort are the notable hotels in Artar Lake region.
Fambong Lho wildlife sanctuary, covering an area of 56.6 square km, at a distance of 20 km from Gangtok, can be reached by trekking 6 km from Pangthang and Pangthang is located at a distance of 14 km from Pangthang. The three storied wooden watch tower offers an awesome view of wild life animals like Panda, Himalayan Black Beer, etc. Take permission and make arrangements for a night stay in forest bungalow of the sanctuary.
If you want to buy a momento of Sikkim trip then shopping in the Institute of Cottage Industries will give you sweet options. Caps of fur, different kinds of shoes, chair, sofa and carpet are famous here. Shopping at New market will give you plenty of options for the item that you will be interested for to buy.
Changu Lake is accessed from Gangtok by a lot of vehicles. It will cost you near about 180 rupees for a trip to Changu. But if you want to book a car solely for your family then it will cost you anywhere between 500 to 1700 rupees depending on the capacity and quality of the car.
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