Nathu La and Tsomgo Lake

Tsomgo Lake - Tsogmo Lake or Changu Lake is a glacial lake in the East Sikkim, India, approximately 40 kilometers / 25 miles away from Gangtok at altitude of nearly 3780 meters / 12400 feet. The road to Nathu La passes the lake on north side. The Chinese border crossing is only some 5 Indian Postal Service released a commemorative stamp on the lake on 6th November, 2006. Average depth of the lake is 15 meters / 50 feet and the Coordinates are 27° 22′ 31″ N 88° 45′ 50″ E. In Bhutia language it literally known as source of the lake and is situated 2 hours drive from Gangtok, the capital of the state. The lake is about a kilometer is length and oval in shape. It is considered sacred by the local people and it applies to most of the high altitude lake in Sikkim. Home of brahminy ducks, red panda and various species of birds. It's cool, placid water harmonizes with the scenic beauty around. A small temple of lord Siva is constructed on the lake side. This lake remains frozen during then blooms, including the rhododendrons, various species of primulas, blue and yellow poppies, irises etc. The Tsomgo lake derives its water from the melting snow on the mountains around. River Lungtze Chu originates from the Tsomgo lake Sikkim and meets the Rangpo-chu further down its course. During the olden days lamas used to study the colour of the water of the lake and forecast the future. If the waters of the Tsomgo lake had a dark tinge, it foreshadowed a period of difficult time and unrest in the region. The lake has a trout’s and among them is the rainbow trout and if one is lucky you may catch a glimpse at them.

Nathula Pass / Nathu La – Nathu La is a mountain pass in the Himalayas connecting the Indian state of Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region. The pass is situated at an altitude of 4310 meters / 14140 feet). It forms a part of an offshoot of the ancient Silk Road. Nathu means "listening ears" and La means "pass" in Tibetan. This pass is situatednearly 56 kilometers from Gangtok, the capital of Indian state of Sikkim on Jawaharlal Nehru Marg. Only citizens of India can visit the pass, that too after obtaining a permit in Gangtok. Nathu La is one of the three open trading border posts between China and India, the other two are Shipkila in Himachal Pradesh and Lipulekh (or Lipulech) in Uttarakhand. Sealed after 1962 Sino-Indian War, Nathu La was re-opened in 2006 following bilateral trade agreements. The opening also shortens the travel distance to important Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the region.

It has one of the highest motor able roads and is richly covered with varieties of alpine flora and fauna other than the snow. On the Tibetan side two highways i.e. from Kangmar to Yadong and from Yadong to Nathu La are listed in the 2006 construction plans. The nearest railheads are New Jalpaiguri Station in India and Lhasa in China. A tranquil place to visit, Nathu La is open only for Indian Nationals on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. The visitors have to get a permit from the Tourism Department through a registered travel agency including us. With effect from 6 July 2006 trade between border residents of Sikkim Tibet region has been resumed. Tourist expects that touring Tibet will be on the card very soon.