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| Last Updated:: 02/01/2015

Sikkim

 

Gurudongmar Lake

 

Description

The Gurudongmar lake is located at an altitude of 4100 m above sea level, alongside a glacial peak known by the same name. It is the largest and the highest lake in the state.

Religious significance


The lake is revered by the local people. It is believed that Guru Nanak rested on the banks of this lake on his way to Tibet. Guru Nanak's footprints, a robe and a water-carrying utensil are preserved in a nearby place called Lachen Gompha. The locals refer to Guru Nanak as Rimpoche Nanak Guru

 

 

 

Khecheopalri Lake

 

Place of Origin: West Sikkim district (nearest town Pelling), Sikkim

 

Description

Khecheopalri lake, also known as the 'wish fullfilling lake' is situated at an altitude of about 6000 feet. The Sikkimese calls it Tsho-Sho-Tsho. It is located on a bifurcation on the road between Gyalshing and Yuksam. The water in this lake is crystal clear. Not even a leaf can be seen floating on the water surface although there is a beautiful dense forest above the lake. It is said that if a leaf drops on the surface of the water it is picked by a bird.

Religious significance

The lake is considered to be sacred both by the Buddhists and the Hindus of Sikkim. From the vantage point of higher ground the contours of the lake look like a footprint - believers hold that it is Shiva's footprint. The placid waters of the lake are visited by many pilgrims and tourists. The lake is surrounded by prayer flags. No water sport or other recreational activities are allowed..
 

Ecological significance

The lake is surrounded by a dense forest cover of temperate vegetation and bamboo and is an important habitat for several bird species. Birds including Baer’s Pochard duck (Aythya baeri), wintering Merganser ducks (Mergus merganser), Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis), Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), Common Teal (Anas crecca) and Tufted Pochard (Aythya fuligula) have been sighted in Lake Khecheopalri.

The lake is protected under the provisions of the places of worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 and State Government notification no. 59/ Home/ 98 dated 26.10.1998. The Khecheopalri Holy Lake Welfare Committee (a local NGO) and the local community have also invested in plantations, improved conservation management of the popular Khecheopalri mela and instituted a grazing ban in the forests surrounding the lake.

Tsomgo Lake

 

Gangtok-Nathu La highway, Sikkim

 

Description

Tsomgo (Changu) lake is a glacial lake located at a distance of 40 km from Gangtok. The word ‘tsomgo’ literally means ‘source of the lake’ in Bhutia language. The lake is about 1 km long and 15 m deep. The lake is situated at an altitude 3780 m and remains frozen during the winter months.

Religious significance


The Tsomgo lake is revered by the local people, who worship their deities in small gumphas near the lake. Prayer flags are hoisted around the lake.

A small temple of Lord Shiva is also built on the lakeside. During the olden times, lamas used to study the colour of the water of the lake and forecast the future. It was said that if the waters of the Tsomgo lake had a dark tinge, it foreshadowed a year of trouble and unrest in the state.

The star-shaped gurudwara (Sri Hemkund sahib) located on the banks of the lake is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for the Sikhs.Hemkund is also sacred for the Hindus. According to Hindu mythology, Hemkund is where Lakshman (Lord Rama’s brother) did his penance. The mythological name for Hemkund is ‘Lokpal’. There is a temple dedicated to Laxman on the banks of the lake.The river flowing through this valley along the path from Gobindghat to Gobinddham is called Lakshman Ganga.
 

Ecological significance


The lake is the source of the Lungtze chu river that meets the Rangpo-chu down its course.


It is an important bird habitat. It is home to the Brahmini ducks besides being a stopover for various migratory birds. During the summer months, the areas adjoining the lake abound in alpine flowers like primulas, poppies, iris and rhododendrons.It is also an ideal habitat for the endangered red panda.


(Source:http://sikkim.nic.in/sws/lack_cha.htm)

Since the lake is located near the Indo-Chinese border, special permit is required to visit the lake.