Gurudongmar Lake, named after the Hindu Holi saint Guru Dongmar or Guru Padmasambhava.

Gurudongmar Lake is located in north Sikkim at an altitude of 17800 feet is the second highest lake in India after Cholamu Lake at a height of 18000 feet, also situated in Sikkim. Gurudongmar Lake is considered as one of the sacred lakes of Sikkim both by the Buddhist and the Hindus. Guru Padmasambhava or Gurudongmar, the Indian tantric Buddhist conducted rituals here - touched and sanctified the lake. Hence, a portion of the lake never freezes even in extreme sub-zero temperature.  The lake remains milky in colour throughout the year and it is believed that Guru Padmasambhava had touched the lake whilst he visited Tibet from this area.
The journey to Gurudongmar Lake should be started a Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. One have to reach a small village named Lachen, on the backdrop of vertical Himalayas, 107 KM from Gangotk. Gangtok to Lachen is a 7-8 hours of journey through semi concrete and gravel road by car or jeep. While travelling from Gangtok to Lachen numerous beautiful steams and falls can be seen. Generally tourists travelling from Gangtok to Lachen stop at Mangan, the black cardamom capital of the world. A further stopover is made at Chungthang for Tea. After Chungthang suddenly the adorable beauty of north Sikkim welcomes you. The road bifurcation to Lachen and Lachung happens at Chungthang. By 5 PM you will reach Lachen for an overnight stay.

A night halt at Lachen with an adjustment with the extreme cold climate and high altitude it is recommended to proceed to Gurudongmar Lake, another 66 KM drive from Lachen village. The journey from Lachen must be started at early morning before dawn to have a spectacular view of peaks and return back before noon. The mighty Himalaya looks majestic with first crimson red rays of rising sunlight and it may be your lifetime experience.
Kanchenjuncha National Park and conservation area which is not only a paradise in earth but also known for its bright colourful flowers which blooms in summer. Jeep ride or a trek can take anyone to Gurudongmar, trekking can be minimum of 3-14 days depending on the route. Gurudongmar Lake Journey starts at early morning 4:00 PM with a stopover at Thangu for Breakfast.
The north Sikkim visit is never complete if you have not visited Chomalu Lake or the Tso Lhamo Lake. This lake is further 10 KM from Gurudongmar and very near to Chinese border. Due to international border army keeps a tight vigil in this area and a permission must be obtained to visit. International tourists are permitted beyond Gurudongmar.
Due to its healing power and curative properties of the lake water many tourist carry water of this lake back towards their journey. This place lacks of oxygen due to altitude, so it is recommended not to stay in this area more than an hour. The nearest village to those lakes are Thnagu at 14000 feet and one requires a permit to stay in Thangu because of the international treaty.
Thangu valley can be explored on the way back to Gurudongmar. Thangu valley is situated at a distance of 30 km from Lachen and is incredibly lovely place with lush green alpine forest. An annual Yak race is organized within the region and is sort of popular with tourists. Visit the Lachen Gompa here and see simple lives of the native folks called ‘Lachenpas’.
The comparatively undiscovered and untouched Chopta valley is around 30 KM from Lachen. Wealthy with alpine trees, orchids and rhododendrons, bewitching lakes and rivers boost the beauty of Chopta valley. A most well-liked destination with nature lovers, Chopta is additionally far-famed for the many monuments of historical and spiritual importance. Wildlife enthusiasts will spot rare species of animals, plants and birds in Chopta valley. Bird looking at could be a well-liked activity and also the region is good for trekking and different journey sports. The valley, situated at an altitude of 13200 feet, is most well-liked destination for hiking, fishing and water sports. The trek from Chopta valley to Muguthang valley is taken into account one among the simplest. It lies within the larger Himalaya Mountains at an altitude of 15500 ft. Trekkers are assured of scenic landscapes with snow-covered mountain peaks on one aspect and green pine forests and meandering rivers on the opposite. An exciting feature of trip to the valley could be a probability to walk on frozen lake if visiting the place throughout winter.   The valley will be reached from either Lachen village or Magan via Thangu village, which can take concerning forty five minutes to an hour by automotive. Ancient Tibetan Nomadic tribes inhabit the valley throughout summers. Chopta is a restricted area and special permits are required. We recommend to stay additional one day at Lachen and explore Chopta and Thangu valley.
Yamthang valley, located 24 KM ahead of Lachung village is most beautiful and picture perfect location in India and can be reached from Lachen village while visiting Gurudongmar Lake. The distance of Lachung is 46 KM from Lachen village. Yumthang valley is a real beauty. Vast green fields with herds of Yak grazing around, a tributary of river Teesta flowing through, all watched over by giant snow covered mountains on either side together present a stunning view. Yamthang valley is home of discovered 24 spices of Rhododendrons and many other flowers. The valley is the tributaries of the many rivers namely Teesta, Rangpo, Rangeet, Jaldhaka and more. The catchment area of those rivers are formed by glaciers of Lonak, Rathong, Zemu and few more. The zero point (Yumesamdong) must be visited if you want to have an experience of snow even in the months of June. The zero point is located very near to Chinese border and around 26 KM from Yumthang.
A journey to the north Sikkim can be a lifetime experience. So be wise and dedicate some time to so that you can have few days to explore the whole valley. We recommend to plan of itinerary of at least seven days to experience the wilderness of north Sikkim. We can plan a customised travel plan for you where you do spend minimum money and enjoy more.
The world a collection of around 1000 spices of Rhododendrons, out of this around 36 species are found in the valley of north Sikkim. The state of Sikkim organizes a Rhododendrons festival every year attracts not only tourists but nature lovers, environmentalists botanists and horticulturist around the world. Sikkim also promotes and spreads eco-tourism in those untouched areas through this festival.

 

How to Reach Gurudongmar Lake

Gurudongmar Lake By Air: - The nearest airport is Bagdogra, Siliguri, Netaji Subash airport In Kolkata and Kazi Nazrul Islam airport in Durgapur, although Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport in Durgapur is operational but full fazed operation will start in few months. From Siligri reach Gangtok by hired jeep or shared jeep. Gangtok is 114 KM from Siliguri and around 4 hours' drive. Pakyong airport is under construction near Gangtok.

Gurudongmar Lake By Car: - Possible but not recommended. Common people are not as experienced as the local drivers. While going to north Sikkim you must hire a vehicle from Gangtok.

Gurudongmar Lake By Train: - You can take the following trains from Howrah to New Jalpaiguri Station (NJP). Gangtok is 115 KM from NJP by road.

Gurudongmar Lake

Gurudongmar Lake By Bus: - Regular buses ply between Siliguri and Gangtok. Shared Jeeps and trekkers can take you up to Gangtok. A private vehicle (4X4 drive) to be hired to reach north Sikkim valley.

Gurudongmar Lake Where to Stay:-There are several star rated hotels, resorts, guest house and homestay in Gangtog as a staying option. Lachen and Lachung have many options to stay. Few good hotel and resorts located at Lachen and Lachung offers very comfortable stay. There are different types of hotels in Lachen available for families, lovers, kids, and friends and especially for newly married couples who are looking for perfect honeymoon destination. Homestays and resorts offers good rooms with basic facility to stay in this remote valley. Rooms with attached western toilets and no TV, Internet may keep you cut off from the mainland for few days. Few luxury class hotels now have satellite TV, room heater, hot and cold water and power backup. But those staying places are and very homely as few are operated by the family of the villagers. Some duel units which promote community living is also coming up those days. The resorts and homestays offer four times food (breakfast, lunch, evening snacks and dinner) along with stay options. Most of the stay options will deny to accommodate if you do not chose for a meal system.

Gurudongmar Lake What to Eat: - Being a tourist’s paradise north Sikkim have many options to eat- both spicy and organic. Mainly Nepali, Chinese and Tibetan foods are served by the local food joints. Rice, Dal, Momos, Thupkas and rice based dishes are available. Egg and chicken dishes with rice is available but subjected to availability. Roti, fried potatoes, and other local vegetables are available in the eateries.

Gurudongmar Lake When to Visit:- Gurudogmar Lake is not an all-weather spot due to its height and low oxygen level. June to November is best time to visit. December to May is extremely chilly and may not be reached due to extreme weather conations and heavy snowfall. One can even experience a snowfall at zero point at the month of April or May. Even sometimes snowfall happens in the month of June too.

Gurudongmar Lake What to see and do:- Gurudongmar Lake, Chomalu Lake or Tso Lhamo Lake Thangu and Chopta Valley, Ancient religious monuments in Chopta Lachen Village Walk and Monastery,Chungthang Confluence, Lachung Village Walk and Monastery,Twin Waterfall,Bhim Nala Waterfall Yumthang Valley,Hot Spring near Yumthang, Zero point (Yumesamdong),Phodong Monastery (on North Sikkim Highway- 38 KM from Gangtok), Seven Sister Waterfalls (on North Sikkim Highway- 32 KM from Gangtok),Kanchenjungha Range on first sunlight Bird watching, Wildlife, Experience snow in Zero Point, Simple life of Nomadic tribes,Nature Walk, Riverside Walk, FishingTrekking

Gurudongmar Lake Nearby Attractions:- East Sikkim, West Sikkim, South Sikkim

Gurudongmar Lake Hospital / Chemist Shop:- There are no Hospital in Lachen or Lachung, only private doctor is available. Carry your own medicines.

Gurudongmar Lake Bank / ATM ONo Bank or ATM nearby, so carry sufficient cash.
Dress to carry:- The valley is moderately cold in summer but it may be extremely cold in Gurudongmar or Zero Point. Both light and heavy woollen and windproof jackets must be carried. Kids and elderly must have proper thermal wear. Not recommended for winter visit but if you want to enjoy snow and walk on the frozen lakes of rivers you may visit in winter – very heavy woollen is required as temperature goes 12-15 degrees below zero.

The suggested itinerary from Siliguri. (Only for Indian Tourists):-

Day-1:- Siliguri to Gangtok by road and night halt at Gangtok (4 hours’ drive)
Day-2:- Gangtok to Lachen and night stay at Lachen (7-8 hours’ drive)
Day-3:- Visit to Gurudongmar Lake and Chomulu Lake and night at Lachen (6 hours’ drive)
Day-4:- Visit to Chopta and Thangu valley and night stay at Lachung (4 hours’ drive)
Day-5:- Visit to Yumthang Valley and Zero point and night halt at Lachung (4-5 hours’ drive)
Day-6:- Early morning Lachung to Gangtok by road (7-8 hours’ drive) and after lunch Gangtok to Siliguri by Road (4 hours’ drive). Or Stay at Ranipool (12 KM from Gangtok) or Martam (20 KM from Gangtok) or Singtam (30 KM from Gangtok) or Rongpo (40 KM from Gangtok) and proceed for Siliguri on Day-7.

Lachen (Alt 9175Ft / 2750M), Gurudongmar Lake(Alt 17375Ft / 5225M) , Chomulu Lake(Alt 18000Ft / 5245M) (if weather permits and permission is obtained), Chopta (Alt 13625Ft / 4100M) and Thangu Valley (Alt 13325Ft / 4000M), Lachung (Alt 8075Ft / 2425M), Yumthag Valley (Alt 11925Ft / 3575M) , Zero Point (Yumesamdong) (15300 Ft / 4664M ) Package Tour (Duration 6 Days 5 Nights)

 

Detailed Tour Plan:-

Stay at: - Hotel Mandarin Residency / Hotel Doma Residency (Non view) or equivalent.

Stay at: - Hotel View Point/ Hotel Bayul or equivalent.

Stay at: - Hotel View Point/ Hotel Bayul or equivalent.

Stay at: - Hotel Golden Valley / Season House / Hotel Fortuna / Cliff view or equivalent.

Stay at: - Hotel Golden Valley / Season House / Hotel Fortuna / Cliff view or equivalent.

 

Food Plan: -Breakfast, Lunch, Evening Snacks, Dinner (Since Buddhist culture is existing in the valley we recommend for pure veg food throughout the stay)
Veg Meal Menu –
Breakfast: - Bread Butter and Bread Jam (packed)/ Veg Noddle’s, Tea / Coffee, Veg Thupkas, Tea / Coffee.
Lunch: - Rice, Dal, One Vegetable Curry (Any one- Peas, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Beans etc.) Potato fries, Salad, Papad.
Evening Snacks: - Veg Pakoras, Veg Momos, Tea / Coffee /
Dinner: - Rice / Roti, Dal, Veg Fries, Veg Curry (Any one- Soya-bin Chunk, Dry Peas, Dry Bengal Germ etc.), Mixed Salad, Curd.

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Pictures of Gurudongmar Lake | Yamthang Valley | Thangu Valley | Chopta Valley