Senchal Lake, Darjeeling: One of the highest Lakes in the world and one of the most scenic and popular picnic spots of West Bengal State is the Senchal Lake – 10 kilometres southeast of Darjeeling at about 8000 feet above sea level. This Lake is straight out of an artist’s dream and has the look and ambience of a secret Lake which is concealed from the world by emerald green and dense forest. Though it is nestled on top of a beautiful dense verdant hill, the Lake is not easily visible from around it until you get really close to it. Such Lakes are a rarity and become a favourite theme of Hollywood directors who exploit such wonders for a vaster world theatre.
From Lake Senchal, you can see several other dense vegetated slopes of Darjeeling in the 360 degree panorama with the thick clouds drifting by. And if you’re lucky and the skyline is clear, you can see the Kanchenjunga Mountains when you climb up one of the slopes around the Lake.
The feeling of being around a vast water body in cool atmosphere at a high altitude, surrounded by lush green hill slopes is an amazing feeling – a must-do in Darjeeling.
Apart from adding beauty to the Darjeeling hills capes, the Senchal Lake also serves as a reservoir of drinking water for the whole of Darjeeling City. Being a part of the Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary, the lake falls within the Sanctuary enclosure and is governed by West Bengal Forest Department.
The best way to optimize the trip to the lake is by witnessing the Kanchenjunga-Sunrise at the Tiger hill (which is very close to the lake) at 5 am and then spend the rest of the morning till noon or beyond at the Senchal Lake. Picnics at this spot are much sought after.