Changu Lake/ Tsomgo Lake – A lake at 3753meters impossible you eill say but it is a fact. Changu Lake is 38kms. From Gangtok on the Gangtok Nathula High Way which forms a part of the old trade route from India to China. Before 1962, caravans of mules carrying goods used to ply on this rout. The road has less gradient and the vegetation adopts an alpine nature. About a kilometre ahead of Kyongnosla and about five minutes walk from the road side is the Tseten Tashi cave which is about twenty feet high and so named after a naturalist of Sikkim who was also the private secretary of the Chogyal.
Changu Lake is cool placid water harmonises with the scenic beauty around which is doubled by its reflection in the lake. A small temple of Lord Siva is constructed on the lake side. Primula flowers and other alpine vegetation grow around the lake, which has an average depth of 15 meters, lend a pristine beauty to this place. During the winter months the lake becomes frozen. The lake itself derives its water from the melting snow on the mountain around. During the olden times lamas used to study the colour of the water of the lake and forecast the future. If the waters of the lake had a dark tinge it foreshadowed a year of trouble and unrest in the state. The lake has a few rainbow trout and if you are lucky you may catch a glimpse at them.
Changu Lake which is hardly 20kms. Away from the famous Nathula Pass and about 400 kms. From Lhasa, falls in the restricted area and hence an Inner Line permit , which can be obtained from the Police through the Tourism Department Of Sikkim is required by visitors to visit this place, Foreign Nationals are also permitted to visit the lake.
Baba Mandir – this temple lies on the road between the Nathula and Jelepla Pass. There is a touching story behind the establishment of the temple. Harbhajan Singh was a soldier in the Punjab Regiment. In October 1968 while escorting a column of mules carrying provisions he fell into a stream and drowned. A few day latter he appeared in the dream of colleague of his and expressed a desire that a monument in his memory be built. His colleagues in the regiment considered the dream to be auspicious and felt that if they fulfilled his desire he would protect them from aggression and mishap. The temple was built and has over the years acquired the status of a place of pilgrimage. Visitors leave a bottle of water which they then arrange to collect a few days latter. It said that drinking the water is wish-yielding.
Nathula Pass – Nathula at 4320meters (14400ft) remained as the major Pass connecting Sikkim to Tibet till 1962. It was through this pass that trade between the ywo countries used to be carried out with trains of mules carring wool, gold, rock salt and borax and taking back essential items of daily use from India. From Nathula yathung the erstwhile famous trade post in the Chumbi Valley in Tibet is just 30 kms. Away. During the clear weather the road winding down the Chumbi Valley can early be seen and on the eastern horizon looms the Chomolhari peak that is situated in Bhutan. The Chinese soldiers are also visible a few metres away from the barbed wire that makes the border between the two countries. The exchange of mail taken place every Thursday and Sunday with the Indian post man crossing over to the Chinese out post and meeting his counterpart to carry out the transaction. An engraved ston also known as the Nehru stone marks the visit of the Late Prime Minister of India Jawarlal Nehru to Nathula in 1958. The Nathula border was quite during the Indo China war in 1962. In 1967 there was a major confrontation in which many lives on both side lost. A memorial has been built in honour of the Indian Soldiers who lost their lives in this battle. The trade route through Nathula was reopened on 6th july 2006 for a few items.
The Nathula Pass can be visited by Indian tourists only on selected four days a week.