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6 Must-Visit Beautiful Lakes in Sikkim in 2020

Educated as a microbiologist, trained as an editor, a quintessential nomad soul grounded to the earth. Loves anything that touches her soul

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A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.

— Henry David Thoreau

Bliss of Solitude

The charming high-altitude lakes enhance the beauty of a place. Running to these picture-perfect lakes for basking in the serenity whenever the brain needs downtime proves to be beneficial, as the experience is refreshing.

A whiff of fresh air soothes the body and calms the mind. These lakes offer perfect settings for exploring oneself and making an inward journey and enjoy the bliss of solitude.

These lakes can also be chosen for vacationing with friends and family.

Sikkim

Sikkim is a northeastern state of India known for wandering clouds, gushing waterfalls, mystic fog, lofty mountains, snowy peaks, mesmerizing lakes, and diverse flora.

Location of These 6 Alluring Lakes in Sikkim

Name of the LakeRegion of Sikkim

Gurudongmar Lake

North Sikkim

Hangu Lake

East Sikkim

Lampokhari

East Sikkim

Khecheopalri Lake

West Sikkim

Elephant Lake

East Sikkim

Tsomgo/Changu Lake

East Sikkim

1. Gurudongmar Lake

Gurudongmar Lake in North Sikkim is a sacred lake known for its splendor. The pristine lake is situated at an elevation of over 17,000 feet tucked in the mountains.

The rugged terrain, the reflection of the surrounding lofty mountains on the lake's water and the blue sky, and the fluttering flags add more beauty to the place.

Even though we wanted to spend there some more time, the low oxygen level and the cold wind compelled us to cut short our stay there.

Best time to visit Gurudongmar Lake

Mid-April to end of May

Mid October to early December

Things to remember

1. Oxygen level is quite low, so do take preventive measures before you head to the lake. You can carry portable oxygen cylinders for safety.

2. Acclimatization plays a key role in such traveling. So, it's better to spend at least a night in Lachung.

3. There are age limitations for children and elderly people.

The pristine lake, snowy peaks, the blue sky create a magical moment

The pristine lake, snowy peaks, the blue sky create a magical moment

The panoramic view of the lake

The panoramic view of the lake

2. Hangu Lake

Have you ever wondered how it would feel to do boating at an altitude of 13,000 feet above the sea level? The cold wind whispering in the ears and ruffling the hair, towering mountains around, and tranquility cease rumination and make you feel contented and happy.

Living in the moment is what the lake in East Sikkim and its surrounding beauty teach. The mind feels rejuvenated and reinvigorated and is in harmony with nature.

Best time to visit the lake

Other than monsoon and winter

Things to remember

Travelers having altitude sickness, fear of water, or unwell are not suggested to opt for boating.

Boating at around 13,000 ft above the sea level with lofty mountains in the backdrop

Boating at around 13,000 ft above the sea level with lofty mountains in the backdrop

3. Lampokhari/Aritar Lake

If you are yearning to escape from the maddening crowd and immerse yourself in the nature amidst the chirping of the birds, visiting this lake would serve the purpose. The lake in Aritar (East Sikkim) is located at an elevation of 4,600 feet above the sea level and its shape resembles a human foot (or boot).

The lake is surrounded by lush greenery and one of the oldest lakes of Sikkim. The water of the lake is green in color that matches perfectly with the surrounding. Dominated by serenity and surrounded by pine trees, the lake offers breathtaking beauty.

Hiking

The shape is clearly viewed from the vantage point of Mankhim (the nearby hilltop). So, hiking can be a bonus.

Unwinding

There are many shady seating arrangements along its bank for visitors to enjoy the beauty of the place. Sitting in the idyllic settings for long hours doing absolutely nothing and soaking in the nature heal the mind.

Strolling

There is a small shrine built on the bank of the lake. Taking a stroll in the peaceful environment cleanses the mind and soul, comforts the fatigue mind, energizes the body, and reacquaints oneself with his/her inner peace.

Boating

The other attraction of the lake is boating, but it has specific timings.

Other Attractions

Visitors can feed puffed rice to the fishes in the lake and the swans. There are stalls around the lake that sell the food.

You may prefer boating or strolling, but you cannot ignore the temptation to spend some quiet moments in the idyllic surrounding.

Best time to visit Aritar Lake

All round the year except for monsoon

Sit or stroll, choice is yours, but you will enjoy every moment here

Sit or stroll, choice is yours, but you will enjoy every moment here

Greenery all around

Greenery all around

Aritar is an ideal stopover for travelers heading to Silk Route from Kalimpong. It is approximately 63 kilometers from Gangtok and takes around 3 hours of drive.

4. Khecheopalri Lake

The lake in West Sikkim is considered to be a sacred lake and is revered by both Buddhists and Hindus. It is originally known as Kha-Chot-Palri (meaning the heaven of Padmasambhava). Its shape appears like a footprint from the vantage point. The lake’s local name is Sho Dzo Sho, which means “Oh Lady, Sit Here.”

The lake is rich in biodiversity and home to many fishes. Migratory birds also love visiting the lake.

The walk to the lake from the entry point is through the forest. It is fantastic and relaxing to walk in the pollution-free environment with greenery around and amidst the chirping of the birds.

A lake jetty leads to the front of the lake from where prayers are offered and you can feed biscuits to the fishes in the lake.

The fluttering prayer flags, amazing scenic beauty, and stunning lake create a peaceful ambience that rejuvenate the mind and body.

Best time to visit lake

All round the year except for monsoon

Serenity dominates

Serenity dominates

The lake houses many fishes

The lake houses many fishes

A biodiversity hotspot

A biodiversity hotspot

5. Elephant /Kupup/Hatipokhari Lake

The shape of the lake resembles an elephant and is hence called Elephant Lake. It is situated at an altitude of around 13,000 feet. The lake, also called Bitan Cho by the locals, offers a breathtaking view.

Surrounded by the lofty mountains, this lake in East Sikkim is far from the hustle and bustle of the city and is located on one of the less-traveled roads. It offers a wonderful ambiance to listen to the whispers of the heart.

The view of the winding road, sharp cliffs, misty surroundings, and wandering clouds is a treat to the eyes.

Spending few moments amidst the quiet mountains and the stunning lake is therapeutic.

Best time to visit the lake

All round the year except for monsoon and winter

The elephant-shaped lake

The elephant-shaped lake

6. Tsomgo or Changu Lake

Situated at an altitude of 12,000 feet and dotted with mountains, the pristine lake offers an idyllic view. Tsomgo means “source of water” in the Bhutia language.

A legend goes like this that the Buddhist monks in the ancient days used to predict the future by studying the color of the lake’s water.

Tsomgo Lake is located in the ancient Gangtok‒Lhasa trade route. The oval-shaped lake wears different looks in different seasons, making it attractive round the year. The panoramic vista of the lake and the surrounding hills is a feast for the eyes. The lake remains frozen in the winter.

Enjoy yak safari around the lake and take a cable car ride (ropeway) to witness the beauty of the lake and the adjacent places from the top.

Best time to visit the lake

All round the year except for monsoon and severe winter

The scenic beauty

The scenic beauty

The pristine lake

The pristine lake

A yak with colored woolen in its horns and Ropeway

A yak with colored woolen in its horns and Ropeway

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Prantika Samanta

Comments

Prantika Samanta (author) from Kolkata, India on June 05, 2020:

Sikkim is indeed an incredible place offering beauty and serenity. The spectacular lakes of Sikkim make the place more scenic. I have been to many places in Sikkim, both popular and offbeat, and will continue my travel post the pandemic.

Thank you for visiting my hub and your lovely comment. Stay safe.

Sneha Bhat from India on May 28, 2020:

Thank you so much Prantika Samanta madam for posting this article with detailed descriptions about Sikkim. A visit to Sikkim was one of our best trips ever had in our life. Any traveler would love Sikkim because of its beautiful landscape, climate, food, and so on. You can find a river, mountain peak, India China border, Lachung, Zero points, and many more. Ultimately, a visit to Sikkim will be an adventurous trip.

Prantika Samanta (author) from Kolkata, India on May 14, 2020:

Sikkim is indeed one of the beautiful states of India. It's my favorite vacation destination as I feel a connection with the place. I'm sure you too will love the place.

Great to know you have traveled other North Eastern states. Once the current crisis gets over, I'm planning to visit North Eastern states.

I have been to Guwahati and want to visit the other places in Assam, it's beautiful.

Vikram Brahma from Assam, India on April 20, 2020:

Hey Prantika, you have given so much valuable information about different lakes of Sikkim. I always wanted to visit Sikkim as my older sister born in Gangtok. And I will in the near future I will definitely get the chance to visit this beautiful state. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful article. Sikkim is the only state of North East India where I haven't visited yet. :)

Prantika Samanta (author) from Kolkata, India on April 10, 2020:

Thank you, Meenal, for visiting my hub.

Sikkim is a beautiful place blessed with scenic beauty.

Meenal from Singapore on April 10, 2020:

It was lovely to see these pictures. Real treat for eyes.

I will refer this article again when i plan to visit Sikkim.

Prantika Samanta (author) from Kolkata, India on March 10, 2020:

Thank you, Niks, for your kind words and the motivation. Glad to know that you have liked the hub.

Niks from India on March 10, 2020:

You are one of the best travel writers. A wonderful description that makes the readers imagine the place. Authentic images. Keep taking us on the virtual tours just like that.

Prantika Samanta (author) from Kolkata, India on February 29, 2020:

Thank you so much, Peggy. I find lakes interesting , especially high altitude lakes, as I get to see the lofty mountains and lakes together. The beautiful lakes, silence and breeze speak a lot. One of my favorite places to unwind and connect with myself.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 27, 2020:

Every one of those lakes you featured in this article is gorgeous! Thanks for showing them to us and giving us more information about each of them. Lakes will always have special meaning to me. My grandmother lived on a lake in Wisconsin, and I remember the fun my family had swimming there in the summertime and ice skating on it in the winter. Boating was also fun.

Prantika Samanta (author) from Kolkata, India on January 28, 2020:

Thank you, Arunava, for visiting my hub and commenting. I like your suggestion and will write about the other lakes in my future articles.

Prantika Samanta (author) from Kolkata, India on January 28, 2020:

Thank you, Abitha, for visiting my hub. Glad to know that you have liked my hub. These lakes are indeed beautiful.

Abitha from Chennai, Tamilnadu on January 28, 2020:

Pranitka,

It is wonderful to visit these lovely Sikkim lakes through your eyes! What picturesque views!

Arunava Mishra from Kolkata on January 27, 2020:

Excellent informative blog. Here I add few more names which are less popular but beautiful lakes. Those names are: Keushong Lake, Kathok Lake, Sumendu lake etc.

Prantika Samanta (author) from Kolkata, India on January 09, 2020:

Thank you Sumit. Each lake in Sikkim has a charm of its own. Some of the lakes are glacial and many of the lakes are revered by the people of Sikkim. The spectacular lakes with lofty mountains in the backdrop offer breathtaking views and travelers find these lakes a preferred destination for chilling. But as travelers it is our responsibility to keep the lakes clean and do not disturb the ecological balance. This, in turn, may affect us adversely.

Prantika Samanta (author) from Kolkata, India on January 09, 2020:

Lakes are the best places to visit and declutter our mind. Tensions, pressures, and stresses have become our companion which lower our morale and impact our confidence. These lakes with lofty mountains in the backdrop calm our mind. Also, the picturesque views of the lakes and the surrounding places are feast for the eyes.

Sumit Chakrabarti from Kolkata on January 04, 2020:

Another outstanding travel content piece! I really did not have any idea that Sikkim has so many lakes! My notion has always been that the state, being a mountainous region, has numerous mountains only. All the lakes seem to have clear and pristine water. I have particularly liked the first one, Gurudongmar Lake as the picture simply looks stunning with a snow-capped mountain range in the background. The write-up has perfectly illustrated the trip with beautiful words and even more beautiful images. Loved it!

Avyukth Krishna from Bangalore on January 03, 2020:

I've always been intrigued by lakes . There's something about them that just makes even the most troubled minds , calm and serene. Through this article i learnt about a variety of lakes at different altitudes and also the ways to explore them . Thank you so much . I think every nature lover should read your articles to discover new places of visit ..

Prantika Samanta (author) from Kolkata, India on January 03, 2020:

Thank you, Prateek. Famous for its picturesque landscapes, snow-clad mountains, diverse flora and fauna, Sikkim also has beautiful high-altitude lakes. The land has something to offer to all kinds of travelers. It's a romantic getaway, ideal for family vacation, and paradise for trekkers or ridge walkers or hiking enthusiasts. If travelers looking for group trips or slow traveling or adventures, Sikkim should be kept in mind. River rafting and para gliding are also the other attractions of Sikkim. Glad that you have liked it and, if possible, explore the land and soak in the nature.

Prateek Jain from Madhya Pradesh, India on January 03, 2020:

Already I have read and loved your many articles in visit to Sikkim, Gangtok and many lakes out there. Very well presented mam. You have the magic to turn every topic interesting. Also you have included maps over there which gives the visitors an extra help in reaching the target point.

Prantika Samanta (author) from Kolkata, India on December 16, 2019:

Thank you, Nitin. I am glad that you have liked the article. Please do visit Sikkim and witness its mesmerizing beauty.

Nitin Khaire from Mumbai on December 16, 2019:

What a beautiful article describing the wonderful places you have visited. I love the serene lakes and majestic mountains in your images. This article motivates me to visit these places at least once in my lifetime.

Prantika Samanta (author) from Kolkata, India on December 15, 2019:

Thank you so much and I am glad that you have liked the article. The lakes are beautiful and they will not disappoint you.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on December 15, 2019:

Lovely images and descriptions. I enjoyed reading about these lakes, hope to visit these someday.

Prantika Samanta (author) from Kolkata, India on December 13, 2019:

You are most welcome.

Maxwell Kamlongera on December 12, 2019:

Thank you, Prantika!

Prantika Samanta (author) from Kolkata, India on December 12, 2019:

Thank you so much, Maxwell. Glad to know you have liked the article. would suggest April and May and October to early December would be the ideal time to visit the place.

Prantika Samanta (author) from Kolkata, India on December 12, 2019:

Thank you, Murali. Im glad that you have liked it. October and November are ideal months to visit the places.

Maxwell Kamlongera on December 11, 2019:

I enjoyed the read alongside the pictures! All the lakes are quite beautiful.

Which would be your top recommendation of the pick, and is there a time of the year where it's best to visit these lakes?

Halemane Muralikrishna from South India on December 11, 2019:

Hi Ms Prantika, lakes are very beautiful. It may be chilling now, let me pay a visit during the summer or next October-November. Your article is very nicely written and engaging. Thank you.

Prantika Samanta (author) from Kolkata, India on December 11, 2019:

Thank you so much. I am glad that you have liked the article.

Liz Westwood from UK on December 11, 2019:

This is a very well-illustrated and well-structured article. You have showcased these lakes very well.

Prantika Samanta (author) from Kolkata, India on December 11, 2019:

Thank you so much.

Prantika Samanta (author) from Kolkata, India on December 11, 2019:

Thank you so much.

Prantika Samanta (author) from Kolkata, India on December 11, 2019:

Thank you so much.

Prantika Samanta (author) from Kolkata, India on December 11, 2019:

Thank you so much.

Abhay singh from mumbai on December 11, 2019:

Great and awesome details about the best places.

Vidya21 on December 11, 2019:

Excellent article, Prantika. Beautiful place.

Rohan on December 11, 2019:

Wow !! amazing content .

Suchismita Pradhan from India on December 11, 2019:

Awesome Prantika,beautiful place,lovely article.

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