Gurudongmar Lake Situated at an altitude of 17,800 feet, Sikkim has one of the highest lakes in the world. Named after Guru Padmasambhava, popularly known as Guru Rinpoche, the lake is considered sacred. One of the unexplored and unknown attractions of Sikkim, this lake is just a few kilometers away from the Sino-Tibetan border.
It is a pristine beauty with breathtaking ambience. The terrain along the way to this lake is quite rough, but it has beautiful alpine pastures and lovely roaderons that add to the natural delights here. Read on to know more about the lake.
About Gurudongmar Lake
Named after the famous Guru Padmasambhava, Gurudongmar Lake is of great importance. The lake is considered sacred by Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists. Legends say that the lake was blessed by Guru Padmasambhava because of the appeal of the local people. Due to its high altitude location, the lake remains frozen for most of the year.
Therefore, the local people sought help from Padmasambhava, who placed his hand on a part of the lake, which stopped freezing even during winter and thus provided drinking water to the people. From this event onwards, the lake was considered sacred and pilgrims began carrying the holy water back in containers.
Another story goes that this Sikh Guru Nanak Dev passed through the lake in the 15th century and when people prayed to him to help him, he touched a part of this lake with his stick and that part of the lake. The part stopped freezing throughout the year. , It is also believed that he blessed the water with strength and virility.
Best time to visit Gurudongmar Lake
If one wants to enjoy snow, the best time to visit Gurudongmar Lake is during winters which is from November to February but it depends on whether the roads are open or not. Gurudongmar Lake Weather 5°C to -27°C. During this the lake is completely frozen.
One can visit here during the months of April and May when the rhododendrons are in bloom and add to the beauty of this already beautiful landscape.
Things to do in gurudongmar lake
The lake is a sight in itself, but what is even more beautiful is the journey towards it. Here are the places to visit near Gurudongmar Lake.
This scenic lake is located in the land of Yak near the Tibet border. The lake is fed by glaciers. This freshwater lake once had clear water that one could see the bottom of the lake, but now the visibility is not as good.
Nevertheless, the place presents itself with beautiful views. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, the views here are breathtaking. Click beautiful pictures with the lake in the background, and add this to your Sikkim trip, as it is totally worth it.
If you like adventure then you can also plan trekking here. One can trek from Gurudongmar Lake to Tso Lhamo Lake in Sikkim. This is again one of the highest lakes in the world and to travel from one lake to another, one needs to obtain a permit from the military.
The lakes are 9 km away, and the trek is not for amateurs or beginners. Whether you are looking for a short trek or a longer walk to complete the circuit, Gurudongmar Lake Trek He is the one to go for.
to arrive Gangtok to Gurudongmar Lake Overnight stay in Lachung is the best option. The distance between the two locations is approximately 100 km and a taxi drive of 4 hours. It is a picturesque hill village and it is always a good idea to stay here instead of taking a direct trip from Gangtok to the lake.
Lachung is a beautiful city with beautiful apple orchards, dense deodar forests and hot springs. Explore these places and one can also visit the 19th century Buddhist Lachung Monastery in the city. You can also check out the popular places to visit in Lachung.
Lachen is the last place one can find accommodation options on their way to the lake, and those not living in Lachung can plan a stay here in Lachen, a beautiful village in Sikkim. The town is a base for those heading to Chopta Valley and Gurudongmar Lake.
Also, since the lake is situated at a great height, it is better to stop and let the body acclimatize to the altitude. One can visit this place during summers and enjoy the annual yak race that takes place here. It is also one of the best places to visit in Sikkim.
5. Thangu Valley
Thangu is 2 hours away from Lachen. This is a beautiful village in Sikkim. With a few huts and an army base, this valley has immense beauty. If one is staying at Lachen for the night, it is the first stop on the way to Gurudongmar Lake the next morning.
Enjoy tea and noodles for breakfast here. In May and June, beautiful alpine flowers can be seen in bloom, while the valley remains covered with snow from November to March.
Are you thinking ‘Is Gurudongmar Lake now open’, If you are planning to visit Gurudongmar Lake, then keep these few things in mind.
- Permits are required to be taken in Gangtok before visiting Gurudongmar Lake and if you plan to get them yourself then keep 1-2 buffer days as this may require running after the authorities. Otherwise the permit can be obtained through authorized tour operators in the state.
- Do not plan a direct trip to the lake from Gangtok, but instead stop at Lachung or Lachen, as it is important for the body to adjust to the different altitudes.
- Pack well according to the weather during the month of travel.
- Carry the photograph ID and at least 2-3 copies of the photograph as they have to be submitted to the tourism office.
How to reach
By Air: Bagdogra Airport in Siliguri is the nearest airport to the lake. A taxi can be hired here to Lachen which is at a distance of 200 km, and from there taxis and jeeps are available to reach the lake.
by Rail: Darjeeling Railway Station is the nearest railway station to the lake and is at a distance of 171 km from Lachen.
by road: Buses are available from various cities of Sikkim to Lachen. After reaching Lachen, you can take a jeep or taxi to the lake.
Gurudongmar Lake is a beautiful lake in Sikkim. Add this to your itinerary while planning your trip to Sikkim. To book a hassle-free travel experience, have your holiday with CrazyIndiaTour and a wonderful time in the lake and its complete journey. Explore the picturesque villages of Sikkim and enjoy a memorable and once in a lifetime trip!
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Frequently asked questions about Gurudongmar Lake
What is the ideal time to visit Gurudongmar Lake?
If you want to visit Gurudongmar Lake, then you should choose the months between November to June as the weather will be pleasant at that time. In Lachen, the summers are quite pleasant and moderate and you can also encounter the annual yak race.
How to visit Gurudongmar Lake?
If you want to visit Gurudongmar Lake, then you have to reach Lachen by taking a taxi. From there you can either stay at a hotel or visit Gurudongmar Lake which is 3-4 hours away from Lachen.
Is Gurudongmar Lake worth visiting during November?
If you are visiting Gurudongmar Lake in the season of November then you will see that the valley is covered with snow. It is open to visitors.
What is the distance between Gurudongmar Lake and Gangtok?
You will have to travel 173 kms from Gangtok to the Indo-Tibetan border, from where you will have to travel another 5 kms to visit Gurudongmar Lake located in Sikkim. The Gurudongmar Lake has shimmering emerald blue waters.
What are the things to do in Gurudongmar Lake?
Sightseeing, trekking, one can visit Lachen, Lachung and Thangu Valley. This place has a lot to offer to its tourists.
Do I need a permit to visit Gurudongmar Lake?
The Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation will provide permits for Gurudongmar Lake and Nathula. If you want to visit these places then you need it.
Can foreigners visit Gurudongmar Lake?
No foreigner will be allowed to visit Gurudongmar Lake or Nathula Pass as it is part of the International Border Area. Necessary permits will be required to visit restricted places like Zero Point, Yumthang Valley and Tsomgo Lake.
How much would it cost to travel to Gurudongmar Yumthang?
If you opt for Gurudongmar Yumthang Yatra, you will have to spend Rs 7810 for a three-day stay.