Tsomgo Lake in Sikkim
© Dipankar Ghose/WWF-India
In Sikkim, WWF-India has chosen Gurudongmar and Tsomgo as conservation sites. 


Located at an altitude of 5,183 m asl, this is the biggest glacial lake located in the northern district of Sikkim. It is the source of the stream Chhombo chhu, which ultimately meets another stream flowing from Tsho Lhamo and together forms the Teesta River. This wetland is also considered as one of the most sacred lakes of the state because it was blessed by Guru Padmasambhava. In spite of all this, this lake is still not spared by the following threats:
  • Garbage accumulation near the lake due to unregulated tourism
  • Inadequate infrastructure for functional public toilets
  • Inadequate awareness among the locals and visitors about the lake and how to keep it clean
© Dipankar Ghose/WWF-India
Blue sheep or Bharal, distributed widely throughout the trans-Himalayan region, is one of the major prey species of the Snow Leopard and other predators
© Dipankar Ghose/WWF-India


Found at an altitude of 3,700 m asl, Tsomgo Lake is one of the 11 sacred high-altitude lakes in Sikkim, notified by the State Government in 2001 as ‘a religious place more than 100 years old’. Besides, teeming with rich floral and faunal species, the wetland receives huge flocks of waterfowl (about 10-15 at one time) which use this site for halting and transit. The factors that threaten this wetland are:
  • Widening of the road due to the opening of the Nathula trade route
  • Army vehicles parked near the lake, leading to accidental leakage of diesel and petrol into the lake
  • Increasing number of tourists and lack of awareness among them and the locals regarding the lake
  • Increased garbage accumulation due to careless littering
  • Inadequate infrastructure for functional public toilets and the absence of drainage management
© Dipankar Ghose/WWF-India
Rheum nobile, also called Sikkim Rhubarb is a unique plant species found in Sikkim
© Dipankar Ghose/WWF-India
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