East Sikkim Tourist Places
The Tsomgo Lake, Nathula Pass, and Baba Mandir are the top tourist attractions of East Sikkim. These destinations are not only the geographical treasures but also have historical and political significances.
Tsomgo Lake, Nathula Pass and Baba Mandir can be reached from Gangtok. For that first reach New Jalpaiguri railway station from any part of India. From NJP take a car to reach the capital city of the Indian State Sikkim – Gangtok.
From Gangtok you can book a package for Tsomgo Lake, Nathula Pass and Baba Mandir tour. Tsomgo and Baba Mandir are accessible every day but Nathula is permissible for only for five days in a week except Monday and Tuesday. To visit Tsomgo Lake, Nathula Pass and Baba Mandir you have to apply for the permission with a copy of any of your photo ID proof and two copies of recent passport size photographs. Your Hotel owner or your tour operator will collect all this on behalf of you and will get the required permit. The package charge may be around INR 750-1,000 (depending on the season) per head. Tsomgo is around 38 Km from Gangtok and Nathula Pass is 56 away from Gangtok.
On our trip we first go to Baba Mandir croosing the Changu Lake. We don’t stop here first and went up straight to Baba Mandir.
This is one of the most significant destinations of East Sikkim. It is a shrine of Baba Harbhajan Singh a soldier of the Indian Army who died close to the Nathula Pass. The Old Baba Mandir is located in the Kukup Valley(Bunker) where he was posted and the new one is built close to the Changu Lake. At around 56 Kms from Gangtok, this temple is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty.
From Baba Mandir we move further upward to visit Nathula Pass.
NATHULA PASS :
Nathula is a high mountain pass in the Himalayas. It connects the Indian state of Sikkim with China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. The pass is situated at an altitude of 14,140 ft above the sea level and it is a part of an offshoot of the ancient Silk Route. On the Indian side, the pass is 56 km east of Gangtok, the capital city of Indian state of Sikkim. Only the citizens of India can visit the pass and that too after getting a permit from Gangtok.
On our way back to Gangtok, we visited Changu or Tsomgo Lake. We stopped here for a while and take a short walk around the lake.
Tsongmo or Changu Lake is a glacial lake in the East Sikkim located at an altitude of 12,400 ft. The word Tsongmo Lake means “source of lake”. It is a natural lake on top of mountains. The Lake is oval in shape, 1 Km long and fifteen meter deep. The lake freezes completely during winter.