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Published: December 5th 2019
Trip to Chongu (Tsongmo) Lake
Continuing from earlier blog; I had not organised any activities in Sikkim and the best part of second evening was spend visiting the various travel agents. Thank fully they were all near or around the MG Marg (often in a small lane leading from it. Many of the agencies were not very interested as did not organise group tours and solely catered for private tours. He had another tourist from Malaysia who was in the same position as I was. The agent then organised our permits etc. Even if there was nobody else, we could still go together with the guide/driver. This of course reduced the cost by half.
I received a text from the agent that I will be picked up from the hotel at 0830. We started dot on time; curled up through the steep roads and stopped for permit authorisation at a check point. There was a long queue of some 50 vehicles; but things moved fast.
We were both very disappointed that we could not go to Gurudongmar like or Nathula Pass as they were on the sensitive India/Tibet border and were off bounds for foreigners. But we knew
Even as a drive the trip to the lake was worth it. There were umpteen peeks on the way and the road was trying to cling on to the sides of the hills. We had to climb from 2000m to nearly 4000m. The BRO (Boarder Roads Authority) had done a good job making these areas accessible. On the way there a lot army settlements and vey little population. Many parts of the road was under construction and at times it was just a rubble path.
It took us more than 2 hours of climbing to get to the lake with a stop for tea. When we got there all we could see was a small bit of water as a thick fog covered the lake. This cleared up later and we could see the whole of the like in its glory even though the sun could not penetrate through the clouds. Here also was a reminder that we are almost in Tibet with a raw of Yaks decorated and ready for a ride. They were a pretty sight lined up on the shores. There was a cable car station to go to a nearest mountain-top but
we realised that if we went up we would be in the clouds. But the station itself (higher) gave the best views of the lake.
The lake had a nice story of origin. It was not a glacial lake and was not that large. The water was clean and cold though one could see some marks of modern civilizations in the form of tourist rubbish. With the chilly wind blowing through the entrance gap we found it very cold. It was strange that it was not so bitterly cold at the cable car station, may as there was no breeze, and was pleasant.
We spend nearly 2 hours here. All the time there were vehicles passing by on their way to Gurudongmar like and Nathula Pass. We got back to Gangtok before 1400 hrs which gave us a lot of time to look for the activities for following days.
Tot: 1.574s; Tpl: 0.016s; cc: 10; qc: 50; dbt: 0.0136s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb