Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim is one of the world’s highest lakes, rising to a height of 17,800 feet. The lake is revered and was named after Guru Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche. This lake, one of Sikkim’s undiscovered and untapped beauties, is only a few kilometres from the Chinese-Tibetan border. It has stunning surroundings and is in excellent condition. The route to this lake is fairly rough, but it is lined with exquisite rhoderons and alpine pastures, adding to the charming beauty of the area.
Concerning Gurudongmar Lake
Gurudongmar Lake is significant because it bears the name of the illustrious Guru Padmasambhava. The Hindus, Sikhs, and Buddhists regard the lake as holy. According to legend, Guru Padmasambhava blessed the lake as a result of locals’ interest in it. The lake was frozen for the majority of the year because of its high-altitude location. As a result, the locals enlisted Padmasambhava’s assistance. Padmasambhava put his hands on a section of the lake, which ceased freezing even throughout the winter, and provided the people with drinking water. Since this happened, pilgrims have been bringing containers of the holy water back from the lake, which is now thought to be sacrosanct. Another story is as follows When the locals prayed to Sikh Guru Nanak Dev for assistance in the 15th century, he traveled through the lake and touched a section of it with his walking staff. As a result, that section of the lake stopped freezing all year round. He is also credited with bestowing vigor and strength upon the river.
When is the best time to visit Gurudongmar?
The greatest time to visit Gurudongmar Lake if one wishes to experience the snow is during the winter, which lasts from November to February, however, it depends on whether the roads are open or not. The temperature in Gurudongmar Lake fluctuates from 5°C to -27°C. The lake is fully frozen at this time of year. You may visit this place in April and May when the rhododendrons blossom and further enhance the splendor of the already stunning surroundings.
Activities at Gurudongmar Lake
The ride there is just as gorgeous as the lake itself, which is a sight in and of itself. Here are some tourist attractions close to Gurudongmar Lake.
This picturesque lake may be found near to the Tibet border in the Yak country. Glaciers feed the lake. The clarity in this freshwater lake isn’t as good as it once was, when one could even see the lake’s bottom. However, the location provides one with beautiful vistas. The scenery is spectacular, with snow-capped mountains surrounding the area. Add a visit to the lake to your Sikkim itinerary so you may take lovely shots with it as the background.
You can also organize a trek here if you enjoy exploring new places. In Sikkim, one can walk from Gurudongmar Lake to Tso Lhamo Lake. This lake is among the tallest in the world, and the Army must provide a permit in order to walk from one lake to another. The journey is not for amateurs or novices because the lakes are 9 miles apart. The Gurudongmar lake trip is the one to choose if you’re looking for a quick hike or a lengthy stroll to do a circuit.
The best option for getting to Gurudongmar Lake from Gangtok is to spend the night in Lachung. It takes a 4-hour cab ride to travel the approximate 100 kilometers between the two locations. Stopping here is always a good option rather than taking a direct route from Gangtok to the lake because this is a charming mountain village. Beautiful apple orchards, thick pine forests, and hot springs can be found near Lachung. While in town, explore these locations and pay a visit to the 19th-century Buddhist Lachung Monastery. You can look into Lachung’s well-known tourist attractions.
While traveling to the lake, Lachen is the last spot to discover lodging alternatives. Those who are not staying in Lachung might arrange to stay here in this lovely hamlet in Sikkim. For people traveling to Gurudongmar Lake and Chopta Valley, the town serves as a base. Additionally, because the lake is located at a significant elevation, it is preferable to stop and give the body some time to adapt to the altitude. The location is also accessible in the summer, when one may take in the annual yak race that is held there. This is also among Sikkim’s top tourist destinations.
Routes to reach Gurudongmar Lake
By air: The closest airport to the lake is Siliguri’s Bagdogra Airport. Lachen, which is 200 kilometers away, may be reached by cab, and from there, taxis and jeeps are available to take you to the lake.
By Rail: Darjeeling Railway Station, which is 171 kilometers away from Lachen, is the closest railhead to the lake.
By Road: There are buses that go between Sikkim’s various cities and Lachen. Once at Lachen, one can take a taxi or a vehicle to the lake.
Tips and tricks
- Before visiting Gurudongmar Lake, one must obtain the necessary licenses in Gangtok. If you decide to obtain the permits on your own, allow yourself 1-2 days extra because you may need to chase down the authorities. Otherwise, one can obtain the licenses through state-approved tour operators.
- It is recommended to stop at Lachung or Lachen instead of traveling directly to the lake from Gangtok because the body needs time to acclimatize to the higher altitude.
- Consider the weather throughout the month you will be visiting when packing.
- Bring several copies of your ID and photos, as you will need to turn them in at the tourism office.
The best months to visit Gurudongmar Lake are between November and June since the temperature is good during those months. The yearly yak race may be seen at Lachen, where summers are mild and pleasant.
You will need to take a taxi to Lachen in order to visit Gurudongmar Lake. From there, you have the option of staying in a hotel or travelling the three to four hours to Gurudongmar Lake.
When visiting Gurudongmar Lake in November, you will notice that the valley is completely covered in snow. Visitors are welcome here.
From Gangtok, you must travel 173 kilometers until you reach the Indo-Tibetan border, and then you must travel an additional 5 kilometers to the Sikkim-based Gurudongmar Lake. The water of Gurudongmar Lake is a dazzling emerald color.
Traveling, touring, and seeing Lachen, Lachung, and Thangu Valley are all options. For visitors, this location has a lot to offer.