Instagramming Sikkim: Tsomgo Lake, Namchi and Pelling

No wonder, Sikkim was amalgamation of natural splendors and rich Sikkim’s-Tibetan culture. Due to extreme temperature and snow covered mountains, this state remains at the top of every traveler’s list. Embarking on such an expressive place I had planned a tight schedule of 10 days to Sikkim, I had limited time to explore, and what I saw, completely astonished me. Walking down the MG road of Gangtok and wandering through Buddhist monasteries brought some unexpected culture and food. Driving down the unpredictable roadways covered by icy mountains, adorable waterfalls and photogenic foggy land at -6 degree C temperature had made me to write exploring lachung beyond our reach.

And now instagramming sikkim: Tsomgo Lake, Namchi and Pelling. My next stage was about visiting Tsomgo – pristine exotic lake and Namchi, Pelling – quiet serene and wonderful side of Sikkim. I want to say it as

Photographic journey to Tsomgo lake, Namchi and pelling

These exotic places provides perfect challenge to test our photographic skills and learn more skills. After all choosing some of my favorite photographs out of those that I had clicked on this trip will surely leave you with the glimpse of this tranquil trip.

Tsomgo Lake or Changu Lake

Tsomgo Lake has always attracted tourists with its magical charm of flawless Lake and picturesque snow capped mountains. In Bhutia language, Tsomgo means ‘source of Lakes’. If you are a photographer, you can’t miss Changu Lake. Changu Lake – hypnotic glacial Lake encircled in icy mountains offering you a stunner at an altitude of 12,000ft. It has crystal clear water with the reflection of icy mountains is a year round attraction.

It took us 3 hours long bumpy – eye catching journey from Gangtok as it drives through various waterfalls. In addition it is very close to Indo-China border  therefore, we had to obtained a tourist’s permit from police check-point.

Myths about Tsomgo Lake

Have a chat with Sherpa present at Changu Lake, they had a mysterious story to tell: once this place was the shed of yak, and tribal people reside here. One night an old lady had a dream; this village would be drowning into the water soon and no sign of life will be there. The same thing happened and the whole village submerged into water. Today, people of Sikkim visit this Lake and pray for those dead souls. All this gives great memories of what is the significance of life.

Grab your camera and snow boots, follow your passion and capture every bit of it. This is what I will make you feel through the series of snapshots:

Taxi-view-Tsomgo-Lake
View of roadway to Tsomgo Lake from my Taxi
Reflection of icy mountains on Tsomgo Lake
Reflection of icy mountains on Tsomgo Lake
icy hill top
View of an empty Sherpa’s house on the hill
Mother by the side of Tsomgo Lake
Portraying my mother by the side of Tsomgo Lake
View of roadway to Nathula along with Tsomgo
View of roadway to Nathula along with Tsomgo
Perfect shot of snow capped mountain by the side of Tsomgo Lake
Perfect shot of snow capped mountain by the side of Tsomgo Lake
Village where nomad Sherpa reside with thier yaks
Village where nomadic Sherpa and army reside with their yaks
Yaks drinking holy water of Tsomgo Lake
Yaks drinking holy water of Tsomgo Lake
Kyongnosla-waterfall
Kyongnosla waterfall on the way to Tsomgo Lake
Spectacular closeup of waterfall
Spectacular closeup of waterfall
waterfall on ground
Testing my photographic skills
mesmerising view of chill waterfall
mesmerising view of chill waterfall

Namchi

My journey of Sikkim would had been incomplete if I had not encountered Namchi – a place in the way to Pelling from Gangtok. This place is known for its Temi Tea garden, rock garden and 135 ft high Samdruptse Statue (opposite to Namchi hill). Samdruptse statue is located at Samdruptse hill (In Bhutia language it is known as ‘whishing hill’). Samdruptse is a statue of holy Guru Padmasambhav (Rimpoche). Its foundaiton was laid by his holiness Dalai Lama. The statue is painted with copper, pink and bronze color which turned it in the most spectacular view from various places of Sikkim. This Statue resembles similar with Hindu God Shiva.

Namchi also organizes popular Namchi Mahotsav (cultural and food festival) in October. So to experience deeply the culture of Sikkim or Buddhist you can plan your trip accordingly.

Namchi's - Temi Tea Garden
Namchi’s – Temi Tea Garden
Portraying my mother with tea gardens
Portraying my mother with tea gardens
Tea plucking workers
Tea plucking workers
Holy Samdruptse Statue at Samdruptse hill
Holy Samdruptse Statue at Samdruptse hill

hand

Samdruptse close up image
Samdruptse close up image
Photo credit - Rock Garden Namchi
Photo credit – Rock Garden Namchi

Pelling

While thousands of travelers and photographers explore India’s vibrant beauty, there are certain places in India which are not being traveled yet. Pelling is one of such places. Nested at an altitude of 7,200 ft and blessed with the blessings of world’s third highest mountain range i.e. Kanchenjunga range, this place renders some unpredictable experience for adventurers and photographers.  You will find fewer tourists so this place is quiet and serene, not much commercialized as compared to Gangtok.

It was about 115km long road trip from Gangtok and as I was there in autumn season so the whole Pelling was almost converted into the carpet of alpine vegetation and numerous waterfalls. In winter season, Pelling is in the blanket of snow. It is the best place for trekkers to undertake the treks of Sikkim.

My best part of the journey was living with locals at their home to know about their culture. Through the series of photos i will show you some of the spectacular view of Pelling.

Blend of Kanchenjunga range with clouds
Blend of Kanchenjunga range with clouds
Hardly captured clear view with my small camera in the evening
Hardly captured clear view with my small camera in the evening
Scary view of Kanchenjunga at rainy night from my hotel
Scary view of Kanchenjunga at rainy night from my hotel
first sun rays falling on Kanchenjunga - Captured from my room's window
first sun rays falling on Kanchenjunga – Captured from my room’s window
Less populated Pelling view
Less populated Pelling view
Less watered Rimbi Waterfall near Pelling
Less watered Rimbi Waterfall near Pelling
Mesmerising view of Kanchendzonga waterfall
Mesmerising view of Kanchendzonga waterfall
Belief of Khecheopalri Lake:

Khecheopalri Lake is also known as ‘Wishing Lake’. It is believed that once a Lepcha girl was blessed by lake goddess (TARA) and gave her a precious gem which was mistakenly fallen into this lake and never found. So locals believed that Lake had some powers hidden in it and so this lake is wish fulfilling lake.

Wishing lake
Khecheopalri Wishing lake
Khecheopalri Lake is known as wishing lake - wish anything
Khecheopalri Lake is covered with dense forest and praying flags
Myth of stone arrangement

Myth that how effectively you support stones over stones without making them fall is the comparative height of your home (number of storeys) in coming future. You can see what I had made , a large storey of stones. I wish I could get that much big house. wink) wink)

Belief - these small stone arrangement belief
Belief – these small stone arrangement belief
instagramming Sikkim: Tsomgo Lake, Namchi and Pelling
Insect trapped by Pitcher plant

Finally I would say that Sikkim is a magnificent hill station of India. It has every reason to be called as nature’s personified. It’s hills, snow capped mountains, beautiful frozen lakes and lush green waterfalls and forests, all of these makes it a perfect vacation paradise.

Finally my instagramming Sikkim: Tsomgo Lake, Namchi and Pelling comes to an end.

Camera used: Fujifilm’s Digital Camera FinePix S1000fd at f/5 and 6mm focal length.

Read my: Amazing things to do in Sikkim 

I’m burning with curiosity to know, have you being to Sikkim? Do you want to visit Sikkim now?

Just comment and share your feelings regarding Sikkim with me….

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43 comments

  1. Elizabeth O

    Your photos are fantastic. The scenery and beauty of the area almost took my breath away.

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks a lot Elizabeth!!

      Reply

  2. Angela Milnes

    This really does look like a beautiful place to visit. I love the beauty of the area!

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks for liking the photos. I wish you could visit it soon. Thanks for commenting.

      Reply

  3. EG III

    The beauty of India is that the more I read about the country, the more I find out about magical places like Pelling. At 7200m asl, I’m sure that some people may have trouble adjusting, but I’d love to go there and experience hiking through that mountain range.

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thank you very much for the comment EG!! You are right some may find it difficult to adjust at high altitudes but the warm hospitality offered by locals will help you to trek every mountain range!!

      Reply

  4. Denice Joyce Diaz

    I love your waterfall image’s. So mesmerizing! I haven’t heard of this place but it looks like it is a must visit place.

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Yes definitely it is a must visit place. It is a road-less-traveled. There are more beautiful waterfalls but the best one is what I’ve shown.

      Reply

  5. Queen Thrifty

    Wow simply beautiful and amazing at the same time I really appreciate you share! Wow~

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks a lot for your comment Queen Thrifty.

      Reply

  6. Lindsey

    How gorgeous is this place. It is certainly an instgrammers dream come true.

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Haha very true! A perfect place to instagram your dreams!! Thanks for liking, Lindsey.

      Reply

  7. alisonrost

    I can’t stop looking at your photos .. they’re incredible! I’m so impressed by the beauty of India. If I’m ever lucky enough to travel there I’d especially love to visit the ‘Wishing Lake’ It has such a magical story. (ps: i love that you included some photos of your mom too!)

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Ohh you comment made my day Alisonrost! Wishing lake or the whole Sikkim will not at all disappoint you. I wish you’d visit India soon..!! And it was the perfect combination of my mom pic with the surrounding.

      Reply

  8. Dreammerin

    All pictures are breathtaking! Love all inspirations in that post! Just well done! Great job!! Keep it up!

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks a lot for liking my pictures Dreammerin! Thanks for your wishes.

      Reply

  9. MELANIE EDJOURIAN

    Oh wow the photos / location are truly stunning. Those really are instagrammable pictures aren’t they!

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Yes they are imstagrammable and in-fact I’ve already uploaded these photographs on instagram as well. Thanks for liking the location and photos Melanie!!

      Reply

  10. Alice

    Oh! That’s really a rough road ahead but really beautiful pictures here. Thanks for the share!

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks for liking my photographs Alice!

      Reply

  11. elenasts

    This place is magical. I will definitelly put it on my bucket list. Although I am afraid to admit but I haven`t heard about it before. Good thing I came across this article.

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      I always feel good when someone got aware about a new worldly destination because of me. I’m glad you like it and want to put in your bucket list. Thanks for your comment Elenasts!!

      Reply

  12. Ana De-Jesus

    Namchi is beautiful, it has so much glorious natural bounty. I really like the look of the tea garden and the sharp contrasts in terrain that you see along the way!

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks Ana! I hope you enjoyed the post.

      Reply

  13. Carol Cassara

    You won’t have a difficult time appreciating the beauty of this place. Everything is just stunning and you’re going to be in complete awe! I love how you captured the sights!

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks a lot for such a lovely comment Carol!! Yes mountains and snow are my favorite… and these are truly stunning. I had spent time in searching the right place for right pictures.

      Reply

  14. Oh Beehave!

    Your pictures look spectacular! I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel to India last year, but it was a quick trip, only 4 days in total (and we were in the South – Coimbatore and Ooty the whole time). I would really love to go back and tour more of the North, and perhaps even go trekking in Nepal as well. I’d like to add Tibet to the list too, but it looks like it’s so expensive to get there!

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Ohh you have been to queen of South India – Ooty!! Oh my god! You must have had a great time out there. I’ll suggest to first trek the mountains of Sikkim and then Nepal because I guess the difficulty level rises as you visit Nepal treks.

      Reply

      1. Oh Beehave!

        Thanks, I’ll remember that! Yes, Ooty was beautiful, but we were only there for one night (it was quite cold too, which was a bit of a surprise!) I can’t wait to go back one day 🙂

        Reply

        1. prateekgoel

          My best wishes with you, Oh Beehave!!

          Reply

  15. Mal IntoTheCity

    I love that title photo, these mountains look stunning!

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Ohh..Thanks a lot!! I’m glad you like it.

      Reply

  16. Joanna

    The scenery up there is the mountains is so pretty, with all the snow and the crisp look of the lake. Your mom looks like she is very cold, sitting on that bench. I have been to India three times but I didn’t got a chance to get off the beaten path yet. I would love to though and go explore Sikkim.

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Haha you got me!! My mom was actually feeling too cold out there, but for the click she was ready to sit on that!! The whole destination is photogenic destination.
      I’ll wish you could visit Sikkim next time as you visit India next time.
      Thanks for your comment Joanna!

      Reply

  17. Amazing things to do in Sikkim - Roadaviator

    […] think there’s lot more to share about Tsomgo Lake, so I have decided to show you up in Instagramming Sikkim […]

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      I traveled Sikkim in April 2014.. But now it is even more fasinating!

      Reply

  18. Akshat

    Bhai Awesome work…Great Going..This Is something new in todays era…

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks a lot Akshat Bhai!! This had meant a lot to me

      Reply

  19. Prassun Goel

    It took my breath away! Really a feast for the eyes!
    Really amazing place to visit atleast once in life. It made me remind of song aaj ibaadat as after such amazing beauty all i am recalling is “Jo mangi thi uss dua se guftgoo ho gayi”.
    Really visiting there is like someone’s dream is coming true.

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks a lot for your kind words Prassun!! And nice poetry that you have dedicated to this place!

      Reply

  20. Shivam Dixit

    Nice work man

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks dear friend Shivam!

      Reply

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