About Gurudongmar Lake

A trip to Sikkim is not complete without a visit to North Sikkim, which has some of the most spectacular valley views of the Yumthang Valley, most picturesque villages -- Lachung and Lachen and the Gurudongmar Lake -- one of the most beautiful, spectacular and sacred lakes surrounded on all sides by snow clad mountains.

Located at a height of 17,000 ft, the journey and the destination defy description. The 7-8 hour journey from Gangtok is through lush greenery and waterfalls as one reaches the Lachen village, which is the base for this trip. The excursion to Gurudongmar begins with a 4-5 hour drive through snow clad peaks and mountains till one reaches the Gurudongmar Lake.
Gurudongmar Lake at a height of 17100 ft, is among the top 15 highest lakes in the world and is the second highest lake in Sikkim as well as in India, the first being Cholamu lake at a height of 18000 ft, also situated in Sikkim.  Being the second highest lake in India, the panoramic and scenic beauty of the place is a sight to behold. Named after Guru Dongmar, the lake has a religious appeal.  The view of Mount Siniolchu and Khanchendzonga is breathtaking from that point. The beauty of the lake is awesome and out of the world spectacle. Surrounded by snow clad mountains and crystal clear icy water, it is considered to be a very sacred lake.
Legend has it that, Guru Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Dongmar), touched and sanctified the lake, and thus, even in extreme winter, a portion of the lake does not freeze.  The lake is also one of the sources of River Teesta, which flows through Sikkim, West Bengal and Bangladesh to merge with the Bay of Bengal.
The water of Gurudongmar Lake are said to have curative properties and many tourists carry the water with them on their way back.  Close to the lake, there is a 'Sarva Dharma Sthal', and as the name suggests, it’s a place of worship for all religions.
It takes around 8-9 hours drive from Gangtok to reach Gurongdmar Lake. This lake is in enroute to Lachen, a small town in North Sikkim located  at a height of 10000 ft.   Usually a night halt at Lachen is recommended as it takes around 3-4 hours from Lachen to reach Gurudongmar Lake. The closest village from Gurdongmar Lake is Thangu, at about 14000 ft. Visit to Gurudongmar Lake requires a permit as it located close to the Indo-Tibet border.  
The best time to visit the lake is November to June.  
There is paucity of oxygen at such a height, and thus, staying there for more than an hour is not recommended for most tourists.    
About Rhododendrons

Over a more than 1000 species worldwide Rhododendrons, Sikkim has 36 species acclaimed by the nature lovers, environmentalists botanists and horticulturist. Sikkim holds Rhododendron festival to remind the world of the original habitat of many Rhododendron species and importantly how this Himalayan flowering plant has taken the centre stage in the unfolding world of eco-tourism.   Click here to view Riot of Rhododendron album
Do's & Don'ts
  • Carry sunglasses with polaroid film coating and UV lenses to protect from heavy sun rays and white blindness

  • It's advisable to halt at Lachen as the journey from Gangtok is quite tiresome. Night halt at Lachen and early morning drive to Gurudongmar is recommended. Moreover, it also helps travellers to acclimatise to the weather

  • Carry light snacks, fruits and water as the food might not be to your liking. Don't travel empty stomach.

  • Carry your identity proof with you

  • Also carry medicines for headache, fever etc for your own benefit

  • Carry sufficient woolen clothes to keep you warm as the weather is quite chilly out there

  • Caps and full sleeves clothing is advisable

  • Carry sunscreen of 50 SPF and above
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