Lakes in Sikkim
Sikkim has many beautiful lakes dotting its landscape. Most of the lakes in
Sikkim are considered sacred and are revered by the people. The North Sikkim
plateau adjoining Tibet has a number of mountain lakes of which Gurudongmar and
Chho Lamo are the most famous. Chho Lamo is the source of the Teesta River. The
Tsomgo Lake in East Sikkim is the most popular with tourists while Khecheopalri
in West Sikkim is one of the most beautiful and sacred.
:: Tsomgo Lake ::
The most visited lake in Sikkim is the Tsomgo Lake in East
Sikkim. Located 35 km from Gangtok and at an altitude of 12,000 ft, the
ethereally beautiful Tsomgo Lake is a must on every visitors itinerary Embedded
in steep and rugged mountain terrain, the lake is covered with snow cover from
early winter to late spring. Associated with many legends and myths, Tsomgo is
regarded as holy by the Sikkimese. For the tourist a visit to the lake offers a
wonderful outing. Rides on colourfully decorated yaks and mules are offered at
the lake site, which also has a variety of eating stalls serving snacks and
beverages. Snowboots and gumboots can be hired here. The lake also provides the
perfect backdrop for the holiday photo.
:: Menmecho Lake ::
Located twenty kilometers ahead of Tsomgo is the much larger
Menmecho Lake at an altitude of 12,500 ft. It is a stunningly beautiful lake
with snow cover from early winter to late spring. It is surrounded by a rich,
varied forest and some rather interesting rock formations. The lake is famous
for its trout and a farm to cultivate these fish also exists nearby. Fishing is
allowed at Menmecho Lake but you have to obtain a permit from Gangtok and
ascertain the availability of fishing gear. Accommodation for the visitors
coming here is available at the dak bungalow and tourist lodge near the lake.
:: Lampokari Lake ::
The Lampokari Lake at Aritar in East Sikkim saddled on the top of
a hill. This serene Lake, surrounded by lush greenery is considered one of the
oldest in Sikkim and is about 350 meters in length and 75 meters wide. Shaped
curiously like a human foot, this lake, although natural, has been recently
provided with artificial embankment to facilitate boating, a first for Sikkim.
:: Khecheopalri lake ::
Altitude: 1799 meters Another holy lake is Khecheopalri
in West Sikkim. Located between Gyalshing and Yuksum and surrounded by hills,
Khecheoplari Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Sikkim and is considered
as sacred by both Buddhists and Hindus. So hallowed is the lake in local
imagination that it is believed that even birds protect its sanctity by carrying
away any leaf or twig that drifts on to its calm and placid surface. Also known
as the Wishing Lake, it is visited by a large number of people all year through.
The green and clear waters of the lake along with the serene atmosphere make it
a very popular tourist destination. A trekkers hut has been built near the lake
for the convenience of tourists.
:: Gurudongmar Lake ::
At 17,100 ft, Gurudongmar is revered by both Buddhists and Hindus
as a sacred lake. Encircled all around by snow-covered mountains the lake
freezes during the winter, except at one spot said to be blessed by Guru
Rimpoche. The water of the lake is believed to have the miraculous power of
granting children to issueless couples.