Sikkim, one of the most heavenly states of Northeast India, entices wanderlust travelers with its simple yet rustic charm. The meandering roads that reveal sun-kissed woodlands at every turn, the mighty snow-clad Himalayas, the warm and friendly locals, and the overall raw beauty of this destination take your breath away.
Being a versatile state, Sikkim is not only famous for its magnificent monasteries and Himalayan landscapes, but also for its tranquil and hauntingly beautiful lakes. Although Sikkim is filled with many attractive locations to explore, a quick picnic along the banks of one of these tranquil lakes will certainly leave you overwhelmed and exhilarated. So here are our picks of the 5 amazing lakes in Sikkim that you simply shouldn’t miss out on visiting on your next vacation in this state.
Striking the right balance between raw natural beauty and spirituality, the Gurudongmar Lake is surrounded by mountains covered in several layers of milky-white snow. Perched at an altitude of more than 5,100 meters, it is famous for its crystal-clear waters that mirror the clear blue skies studded with fluffy clouds. This magical destination along with its views of Mount Khangchendzonga and Siniolchu will undoubtedly provide you with a sense of peace.
Named after Guru Padmasambhava (also affectionately known as Guru Dongmar), this lake holds a special place in the hearts of ardent followers of Buddhism and Sikhism. Want to know something interesting?
A part of Gurudongmar Lake never freezes despite the frigid temperatures of the winters because legend believes that it has been blessed by the Guru. To add to that, the locals believe that the lake has healing properties and it has the power to bless childless couples with children. A scenic car ride or an enthralling trek will take you to Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim and certainly leave you mesmerized.
Also Read: Sikkim Travel Guide
The Tso Lhamo Lake is located just a stone’s throw away from the Indo-China Border and is renowned for being one of the world’s highest lakes. In fact, you have to receive a special permit from the Army to visit this location and only Indians are allowed to experience the grandiosity of this lake. This lake is one of the most important lakes in Sikkim, owing to the fact that it is the source of the mighty Teesta River.
The tough ascent to this lake that winds through rock terrains makes this slice of heaven an unspoiled and untouched location. However, all your efforts are well rewarded when you reach the lake and immerse yourself in the splendorous nature that engulfs this fantastic location.
The paradisiac landscape endowed with snowy mountain peaks, stunning glaciers, and the still waters offers you a chance to capture some incredibly beautiful snaps for your Instagram. Isolated from the mainstream towns of Sikkim, basking in the sun along the shores of this lake will certainly be one of the most cherished moments of your life.
The Khecheopalri Lake, a holy site for Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims is blessed abundantly by Mother Nature. The ultimate delight for all nature lovers, adventure junkies (mainly trekkers), and solace seekers, this lake is believed to have wish-fulfilling powers. All you need to do is sprinkle some of its water on yourself, pray wholeheartedly, and wait for the magic to happen.
The hypnotic sounds of the bells and the prayer flags fluttering merrily in the cold breeze calm your mind. Say goodbye to your worldly worries and submit to spirituality. A visit to this lake will also give you a chance to interact with the friendly locals of this area.
They will narrate some interesting mythical stories to you that revolve around the theme of how the birds that inhabit the region are the protectors of this mesmerizing lake. What’s more fascinating is that you can’t see even a single leaf floating on the surface of the lake despite it being surrounded by dense woodlands. The locals claim that the birds pick up the fallen leaves and keep the lake spotless. So, don’t forget to check out this intriguing yet beautiful lake during your trip to Sikkim.
Interested to go on a spiritual journey of self-discovery in Sikkim? Go ahead and read our blog on 7 Monasteries In Sikkim To Visit For A Tranquil Holiday.
Located at a staggering height of 3,810 meters and sandwiched between the hills that lie beneath the Jelepla Pass, the Menmecho Lake is among the must-visit lakes in Sikkim. The best part about this lake is that it’s not frozen throughout the year. You can expect to see drastically different yet equally alluring scenery at different seasons. While the landscape is adorned with snow-capped hills during cold winters, one can witness the wonders of the lush green pine forests that surround the lake during the springs and summers.
The Menmecho Lake that remains filled to its brim due to the melting snowy peaks is popular for being the source of the Rangpo-chu River, which is one of the most prominent tributaries of the Teesta River.
The shoreline of this magnificent lake is strewn with sand (just like a stunning beach) and the glassy waters are teeming with trout. That’s the exact reason why this color-changing lake is considered to be one of the best trout cultivation centers in Sikkim. Several tourists as well as trekkers routinely visit this lake every year and spend some enjoyable moments at the lodges that are located around this lake.
Also Read: 7 Unique Things To Do In Northeast India
Our list would seem incomplete if we didn’t talk about the famous Tsomgo Lake which is also popularly known as the Changu Lake. The landscape surrounding the lake is straight out of a fairy tale. The tall pine trees, the ghostly silver firs, and the vibrant wildflowers that are scattered across the shoreline add to the beauty of this lake. Want to know something fun? As the seasons pass, the lake as well as its surroundings change completely!
While the surroundings brighten up during the summers, the lake is enveloped in thick mist during the winters and the surroundings are nothing less than a winter wonderland. Imagine the kind of pictures you could capture at this location!
To add to that, this lake is a paradise for all bird lovers. Don’t forget to grab onto a pair of binoculars before heading to this lake as it is visited by a diverse and exotic species of birds throughout the year. If this wasn’t enough, the Tsomgo Lake holds a special place in the hearts of all Sikkimese natives and is considered extremely holy by faith healers or Jhakris. Make your weekend magical by setting out on a snowy adventure and trekking through the enchanting trails that lead up to the lake.
Think that you’re head over heels in love with Sikkim? Well, it's not very surprising considering the fact that this gem of a state is studded with magnificent Himalayan mountains, raging rivers, quaint hill stations, buzzing marketplaces, diverse flora and fauna, and magical lakes. Don’t wait for much longer and start planning a vacation to Sikkim right away!
Which Is The Largest Lake In Sikkim?
The Gurudongmar Lake is not only the largest lake in Sikkim but also one of the highest lakes in the entire world.
Which Is The Best Month To Visit Sikkim?
The best time to visit Sikkim is between March to November as the weather of Sikkim tends to be extremely pleasant during these months.
How Do I Get Permission For Nathula Pass?
You will have to obtain a permit to visit Nathula Pass by submitting an application to the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department. You can always choose to get this work done via a registered travel agency.
Are Foreigners Allowed In Sikkim?
Foreigners visiting Sikkim must mandatorily obtain the Inner Line Permit (ILP) based on their Indian Visas. This permit is issued free of cost by various offices like the Sikkim Tourism Offices, Foreigners Registration Offices, Indian Missions, District Magistrate’s office, etc.
Is Ola Available In Gangtok?
Cab services like Ola and Uber are not available in Gangtok as a result of which you’ll have to hire local cabs while roaming around in Gangtok.
How Many Lakes Are There In Sikkim?
According to the Nyasol Text, there are 109 sacred lakes in Sikkim, though it is difficult to identify them all since many of these lakes are located in inaccessible locations.
Where Is The Tsomgo Lake Situated?
The Tsomgo Lake is located in the East Sikkim district which is 40 km from Gangtok.
What Is The Climate Of Sikkim?
Sikkim enjoys a temperate climate with the average temperature ranging between 18 °C to 28 °C.