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Situated at an altitude of 12,400 ft. with a distance of 38 km from the town of Gangtok, Changu Lake is a major global tourist attraction. WIth ethereal views of surrounding mountains, Changu lake is also famous with the name of Tsomgo lake which means “source of water” in Bhutia language. The lake derives its water from the melting snows of the mountains surrounding the lake. Of legendary beauty, the lake looks different at different seasons. In winter the placid lake remains frozen with the area around it covered in snow while in late spring the profusion of flowers in bloom adds a riot of colors around the lake.
The lake is a sacred site for the people of Sikkim as they relate it to many of their beliefs and myths. It is believed that in olden times, Buddhist monks would study the color of the water of the lake to forecast the future.
Tourist attractions at the lake site include joy rides on decorated yaks and mules where kiosks offer a variety of food and drinks. There is also a small Shiva temple on the bank of the lake. As the lake is located in a restricted area it is essential for all Indians visiting the area to obtain permits. In the case of foreign nationals special permit is essential.
With the month of winter subsiding around May, the periphery of the lake sees a bloom of flowers of the species of Rhododendrons, Primulas, blue and yellow Poppies, irises, and so forth.
The best time to visit Changu lake in the summer months is between April to mid-June and pre-winter that is months from October to November.
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