Lakes & Glaciers of Sikkim – Tsomgo Lake, Teesta River, Menmecho Lake, Lampokari Lake, Khecheopalri Lake

Sikkim is landlocked Northern east state that offers a plenty of reasons to fall for it. This beautiful state is renowned for its enchanting beauty and is blessed with a number of beautiful lakes and glaciers. Lakes in Sikkim are beguiling bodies that attract its visitors.

From enthralling ripples to crystal clear reflections, from adventure to spiritual bliss, from picnics to sole brooding, the beautiful lakes across Sikkim have a lot of things to offer.

Tsomgo Lake:

Located at an altitude of 12,000 ft., Tsomgo Lake is one of exquisite lakes in Sikkim. This ethereal lake is just 39.7 Km away from Gangtok. Locally called the “Changu Lake”, it is nestled amidst fascinating glaciers and majestic peaks. The name means Tsomgo means “Source of water”. This is one of the amazing high altitude lakes in India that becomes extra attractive with the reflections of the surrounding hills on the crystal clear water.

This oval-shaped lake is 15m deep and it is spread around 1 Km. While the winters freeze down this water reservoir, the spring makes this lake a colorful affair with a range of beautiful flowers.

Key Attractions:

  • Yaks and Mules ride
  • The beautiful flowers such as Yellow and Blue Poppies, Primulas, and Irish
  • Migratory ducks like the Brahmini

Best Time To Visit:
Jan to Mar – for snow; April to May – for Orchids and Rhododendrons, and Oct to Dec – Visit the hills.

Teesta River:

The 309 Kms long Teesta River is located at an altitude of 5,330 meters that originates from Tso Lhamo Lake in North Sikkim while Rangeet originates from a glacier of Mount Kabru in the lower Kanchenjunga region.

A different one from all other rivers in Sikkim, Teesta River is amazing to look at when it is completely frozen during winters. In summers, the river is glimmering in the sun rays and displays a perfect abode for blooming flowers.

Key Attractions:

  • River rafting and kayaking in summers
  • Bird Spotting
  • Dikchu bridge on the way to Lachung

Best Time To Visit:
For rafting purpose, the ideal time is April to June. You should avoid the monsoon time (July to September) when the rapids can be very high due to the heavy flow of water. During winter, you can visit this place from November to January.

Menmecho Lake:

Menmecho Lake is yet another the most beautiful lakes of Sikkim that is just 20 Km away from the Tsomgo Lake.

Situated at an altitude of 12, 500 ft, this charming lake is located just beneath the Jelep La Pass. The source of the water is River Rangpo Chu, a tributary of the Teesta River. Surrounded by the Himalayan Mountains and varied forests, the lake is said to change colors every single minute that makes a center of attraction. Thousand of wanderers and trekkers come to visit this place every year to see the ever-changing colors of this charming lake.

During the winters, this river remains covered with the thick layers of snow which makes it eye-pleasing. Just like a beach, the shore of this bountiful lake is fully covered with sand while its water is flourished with trouts. Thus, this place is reckoned as one of the leading cultivation centers of trouts in northern east state Sikkim.

Key Attractions:

Best Time To Visit:
December to January – for snow; May to July – explore this exquisite river.

Lampokari Lake:

Noted to be one of the oldest lakes in Sikkim, Lampokari Lake is 1120 feet long and 240 feet wide boot-shaped lake. Situated at an elevation of 4600 feet, this lake is also known as Aritar lake which is magnificently surrounded by green pine forests. The main highlight of this stunning lake is boating and a pathway which has been constructed around the lake for tourists.

Key Attractions:

  • Boating
  • There is also a small temple dedicated to Guru Padmasambhava on the banks of Lampokari Lake.

Best Time To Visit:
The ideal time to visit this lake is from March to May as the weather remains quite pleasant during these months.

Khecheopalri Lake:

Located 27 Km from Pelling, Khecheopalri Lake is considered to be one of the most sacred lakes of Sikkim. The lake is known by several names such as Kha-Chot-Palri, Wishing lake, & Sho Dzo Sho. Worshipped by Buddhists as well as Hindus, this charming lake is located at an elevation of 38,710 ft and thronged by devotees from all over the world as it is believed to fulfill one’s wishes. If someone prays and sprinkles the water on oneself, his wishes are likely to come true. It is also believed that not even a single leaf can be seen afloat the lake despite the river is surrounded by the varied forest as the birds remove the fallen leaves from the water. The green and crystal clear water of this charming lake along with a scenic view makes it a very popular destination.

Key Attractions:

  • Camping and trekking
  • There is a walking trail from Pelling to Khecheopalri which takes around 5 hours to reach the destination.
  • Also, this lake is just 24 Km from Pemayangtse Monastery which is a must-visit place

Best Time To Visit:
The best time to visit this beautiful lake is from the month of February to March when the weather remains quite pleasing. Also, various festivals are celebrated during these months.

Gurudongmar Lake:

Gurudongmar Lake is nestled amidst snow capped mountains and peaks at an elevation of 17,100 ft above the sea level. This lake is the second highest lake in Sikkim which is reverted by Buddhists, Sikhs, and Hindus as a sacred lake. It is believed that worshiping this lake grants children to the couples who can’t have children. Another mythology says that one of part of this sacred lake is blessed by Guru Rimpoche. That particular spot never freezes down no matter how the low temperature is. Thus, Gurudongmar Lake is the most unique lakes in Sikkim that deserved to be explored.

Key Attractions:

  • Chinese Tibetan Border: It is just a few kilometers away from the lake.
  • Lachen is the small and beautiful town in North Sikkim
  • Thangua, a tiny hamlet with a large army base and village huts

Best Time To Visit:
April to May are the best months to go to this place. Beginning of December is also a great time to see the frozen lake en-circled with snow-capped mountains.

Cholamu Lake:

Situated at a height of 18000 feet above from the sea level, Cholamu Lake is one of the highest lakes in Sikkim. This surreal lake is also very near to the Indo-Tibet border, and one needs a special permit from Sikkim police/administration and Army to visit this exquisite lake. Tucked away in North Sikkim, this lake is less explored, and thus its natural beauty remains unsullied.

Key Attractions:

  • Natural beauty all around
  • Picturesque locations
  • This lake is a short distance away from Gurudongmar Lake.

Best Time To Visit:
The best time to visit this lake in May, June, And October. The weather remains pleasant and the roads are clear during these months.

Samiti Lake:

While on the beguiling Goecha La trek, one can witness Samiti Lake – A frosty lake in the Onglathang valley. Located at an altitude of 4250 meters, this lake is surrounded by the snow capped mountains and lofty peaks. It is one of the tiniest lakes in Sikkim that is cradled between two mountains. The lake gets completely frozen during the winters. Its enchanting charm compels the trekkers to take a stop during their trek through this beautiful region.

Key Attractions:

  • Goecha La Trek
  • Overnight stay camp beside the Samiti Lake

Best Time To Visit:

Kathok Lake:

Kathok Lake is a serene lake in Yuksom (West Sikkim) where one can spend endless time in the quietude of nature. Reckoned as the cleanest lake, it is one of the most popular lakes in Sikkim. Though this lake is small in size, it is large on beauty with refreshing vibes and clear waters offering visitors with a surreal experience.

Also, it is believed that any wish made besides this sacred lake with a pure soul never goes unheard by the God. Every year, there is a grand celebration held beside this holy lake to thank the God for fulfilling the wishes of the people.

Key Attractions:

  • There are a few monasteries nearby this charming lake such as Dubdi monastery and Tashiding monastery
  • Khangchendzonga National Park which is just 34 Km from this place. This park mainly attracts wildlife lovers and photographers.

Best Time To Visit:
March to May – These months are considered to be the best time to enjoy the scenic beauty of this surreal lake amidst the pleasant weather.

Lakshmi Pokhari Lake:

This pristine lake definitely by its name, the scenic beauty that Lakshmi Pokhari Lake offers to the visitors surely makes them believe that it is the home of Gods! Situated in the West Sikkim, this is one of the best lakes in Sikkim that mesmerizes the visitors with its enthralling beauty and awestruck views of the majestic Khangchendzonga Mountain, Narsing, Kok Tang, and Pandim.

Key Attractions:

  • Kathok Wosel Ling Monastery has situated nearby this lake.
  • Flora, fauna, and avifauna in the Khangchendzonga park.

Best Time To Visit:
Visit this lake during the months (March to May) to witness its pristine beauty.