On the next morning, after breakfast we went for a one day tour. First stop of the day was Mandakini waterfall. The waterfall is really beautiful and a must visit spot. There are stalls around the waterfall and they sell warm clothes, food, coffee, tea etc. We stayed there 30 minutes.
TSOMGO LAKE(CHANGU LAKE)
Then we went to visit beautiful Tsomgo(Changu) lake. It is 38 km from Gangtok and at an altitude of 12,400 ft. Tsomgo means ‘source of the water’ in Bhutia language. Tsomgo lake is open for both Indians and foreigners, however foreign visitors have to be in a group of two or more and have to apply for a visitors permit through a registered travel agency.
If you want to do some shopping like woolen products hand made by locals, then this is the right place for you.
OLD BABA MANDIR
The next stop of the day at Old Baba Mandir. It is located at an altitude of 13,123 ft and above 52 kms from Gangtok. Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple is popularly known as ‘Baba Mandir’.
There is a tragic story associated with this temple. Harbhajan Singh was a sentry of Punjab Regiment. He was posted here as part of border (India-China border) petrol force. October 4, 1968 while he was escerting a mule column from Tuku La, Harbhajan Singh suddenly slipped and fell into fast flowing nullah and drowned. He was searched with all efforts, but his body went missing. On the fifth day of missing, his fellow Pritam Singh had a dream, where Harbhajan Singh himself informed him of his tragic death. He also expressed the strong desire to have a samadhi made after him. Pritam Singh did not pay much importance to his dream. But later, when Harbhajan’s body discovered at the very place, which he mentioned in the dream, all were taken aback. To honour his wish, a samadhi was built at an elevation 4,000 meters, which is known as the ‘Old Baba Mandir’. This samadhi is less visited by visitors. Visitors need to climb 50 stairs to reach the bunker, the site where the samadhi has been built. This was the place where Harbhajan Singh was posted during his service period in Indian army. It is believed that Baba Harbhajan Singh warns the military personnel of impending danger. This belief has made this shrine into a must stop by visitors and military personnel.
NEW BABA MANDIR
The samadhi of Harbhajan Singh has been reconstructed at the junction of Kupup Gnathang road and the trail leading to Menmocho Lake, on November 11, 1982.
We reached back to Gangtok in the evening. After dinner we went to bed early, because our next destination was North Sikkim.