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Kupup Lake: The Elephant Lake

Up in a very high altitude, almost 14,000 feet above the sea, amidst the snow-capped Himalayan mountains of Sikkim, gleams the dark blue Kupup Lake. It bears an interesting shape of an elephant and is indeed spectacular. The locals call it ‘Bitan Cho’ and ‘Hathipokhri’ and consider it a holy lake. If you are journeying through the Old Silk Route to Dzuluk and Jelep La Pass, this destination is a must-have on your itinerary. It comes just before the Baba Mandir – another popular tourist destination of Sikkim. It’s pointless to try and describe the charisma of the place in words. The Kupup Lake is beyond beautiful; it is a heaven in itself. It is close to the Indo-China border and has always offered nature lovers and adventure fanatics the much-desired joy of a thrilling tour. If you ever plan an Old Silk Route tour, don’t forget to stop by this nature-laden utopia.

How To Reach The Kupup Lake

The journey would begin from Gangtok or directly from Siliguri if you start early. You will have to travel by car to reach here. You need to apply for an innerline permit to visit any place beyond Rongli, a small market town in Sikkim. Kupup Lake is part and parcel of all tours to the Old Silk Route, Nathu La and Jelep La Pass.

Things To See And Do In Kupup Lake

  • Admire the serenity, peace, and silence.
  • Sip hot tea by the side of the lake.
  • Observe the interesting shape; the right side resembles the trunk of an elephant and the left side a tail.
  • Pay a visit to the 18-hole Yak Golf Course, which has been accepted by the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest of its kind.
  • Play ice-hockey at the Ice Hockey Ground.
  • Carry a binocular to view the beautiful Memencho Lake at a distance.
  • Reach Tukla Valley and enjoy a panoramic view of Mount Kanchenjunga.
  • Visit the Baba Mandir from here.
  • Journey to the Younghusband track; it’s a beaten track used in the past by the British Army to invade Tibet during 1903-1904.

When Is the Best Time To Visit The Kupup Lake?

From January to mid May, the Kupup Lake remains completely frozen. Then, from mid May or April to July, most of the ice melts you’ll notice a rich growth of flowers, especially rhododendrons in the surrounding valley. July to September is not a recommended time because of the monsoons. During October to December, a thin layer of ice covers the lake. Thus, except the rainy season, it is always a good time to visit the sparkling Kupup Lake. Please note that accommodation facilities are currently unavailable here.

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