Cholamu Lake: Source of Teesta River
Zadong - Cholamu trek route
Image Courtesy: Regina Joseph
Thanks for the images and information. Do you know if Zadong and Yumesamdong are the names for the same place? On the signboard at Yumthang the altitude of zero point is stated as 14,540 feet while Zadong is supposed to be at an altitude of around 16,000 feet. Could you please clarify this? Up to what point can civilians trek from Zero Point towards Dongkha La pass? Is it also possible to visit Yumey Samdong hot springs?
Also is it true that after reaching Gurudongmar lake via Thangu, one can set on foot to visit Tso Lhamo lake without any special permits?
Zadong and Yumesamdong are the names for the same place? --- Not Sure.
Up to what point can civilians trek from Zero Point towards Dongkha La pass? -- Civilians are not allowed to go beyond Zero point.
Also is it true that after reaching Gurudongmar lake via Thangu, one can set on foot to visit Tso Lhamo lake without any special permits? -- Not at all True. You need a special permit to visit Lhamo lake and I do not think it is easily issued. with ILP, you can only visit till Gurudongmar lake.
I will ask someone else to get answer of your remaining questions.
Lovely pictures there. Could you pls help me with places to stay in North Sikkim or travel agents who are trustworthy. Thanks a ton!
Sure. you will get an email soon.
Can I visit Gurudongmar lake and zero point on April 1st week or will the road be blocked due to snowfall at that time??
Yes, you can vvisit Gurudongmar lake and zero point in first week of April. road gets cleared by then.
You done a good work to all mountain lovers. Well done
Me and three friends are planning to visit north Sikkim on second week of November
Shall we able to see snow and snowfall
We are going to gnathang also. What about the stay in dafter bungalow
What about the weather in November
Shall we able to get budget accommodation in Lachen and lachung without prior booking
Please guide me
You can get accommodation in Lachen and Lachung after arrival as well. Chances to see snow in November are not very low specially in North Sikkim. I am positive that you can see fresh snow at Yumthang and if lucky then snow-fall as well.
I need one info.
I, along with other 6 frinds want to travel Gurudangmar Lake in the month of October 2016. I am planning to start my journey from mangan instead of Gangtok. Rather than staying in lachen (crowded, most of the travellers used to stay at lachen ) I want stay in a secluded hi-altitude place like Thangu vally. I can assure you I/we do not have any physical problem with cold and altitude.
To do so, what to do?
A) A) Is there any accommodation available in Thangu, North sikkim? If yes how to contact?
If no, can i stay in a tent? plz advise me how to book a tent?
B) B) I came to know permission required from Indian army to stay in Thangu vally. If yes, can you advise me how to proceed for the same?
C) C) Though I am planning to go by jeep though I am interested/looking for a short trekking rout (in between 3-4km +/-, I will start from mangan by jeep and want to get down some place lum-sum3 to 4 km before the destination and want to enjoy the trekking experience) to reach Thangu as rest of the members will go by jeep and I will join them at thangue.
Yes, there is accommodation available in Thangu but you can not contact or book in advance. generally available
I don't think you need any explicit permit to stay in Thangu. not sure though
there are milestones everywhere so you can get down 3-4 km before Thangu...
Can you guide me best time to visit Cholamu Lake,
Cholamu lake is out of bound for tourists now.
Hey Vishnu...very well discussed, just a sipmle question are we allowed to take our private vehicles till the Gurudongmar?
i have a jeep so would love to drive it till there
Yes if its a sikkim registration. otherwise No..
Me along with my 4 friends are going to North Sikkim tour during 2nd week of May 2016, after a gap of 2 years. We had already covered Gurudongmar and Yumthang valley.
Can you provide some info about some other places where we should go to be close to nature and far from rush. Dont mind visting the gurudonmar lake.
Would we find snow during 2nd week of May?
Would we find flowers in Yumthang valley?
Chances to see snow are high around Gurudongmar Lake and Yumthang valley in second week of May. I am not sure if its flowering season in Yumthang. Autumn and Spring are generally very coloful in the valley. Unfortunately North Sikkim is not entirely open for tourists. Most of the places are out of bound for tourists so you can not go beyond places you already visited.
I came across this page while searching our North Sikkim tour.
I have few questions.
# Is Gurudongmer Lake must-visit place?
# Is the following itiniary good for 6 days North Sikkim Tour?
Day1 Mumbai to Gangtok
Yes, Gurudongmar is indeed a must visit attraction of Sikkim. Itinerary looks doable to me.
I and some of friends want to visit Sikkim in the month of october,please suggest by visiting where we can get snow.
Chances to see snow are very less in October. You can try your luck in North Sikkim. specifically around Gurudongmar lake and zero point.
I am planning to visit Sikkim during 20-26 March. It'd be great if you could answer a few queries I have pertaining to his.
1. Can these 2 lakes be visited during this period?
2. What about Nathu La pass, Pelling and Zero point? Would these roads be open during this time?
3. Is the RAP needed if we decide to trek to Cholamu Lake from Zadong? Also, is this a day-trek?
Cholamu is out of bound but tourists but Gurudongmar can be visited in March this year as there is not much snow.
Yes, Nathula, Zero point and Pelling would also be accessible.
Permits are not issued for Cholamu any longer.
Could you please recommend homestays, campsites or budget hotels in Lachung, Yumthang, Lachen & Thangu/Chopta Valley?
Please contact travel agent, he will easily arrange accommodation at Thangu Valley, Lachung, Yumthang, Lachen & Chopta Valley.
I dropped you an email, please check and revert back. its about travel agents
I wish i can but i had visited it long back when there were very limited accommodation options. I am sure now there are many homestays available.
Let me first thank you for replying to everyone's query very patiently. I really appreciate it.
I along with my family (including parents who are above 60) is planning to visit Sikkim in mid/end May and have decided to visit Namchi, pelling and Gangtok. I am really fascinated to visit Lachen and Gurudongmar lake. I have few queries in this regard.
1. How advisable will be it to travel to Gurudongmar lake along with elderly people and kids (1 year to 5 years)?
2. What is the average temperature during mid/end May?
3. Do we need any permit for Lachen or Gurudongmar lake?
4. Do we need to trek for Gurudongmar lake? If yes, how long and how harsh is the trek?
5. Any other information I need to know.
Thanks in advance.
I think kids below 4 would not be allowed to Gurudongmar but there is no problem visiting with elder people. Be mindful that Gurudongmar is really high altitude and people get hit by AMS. if your parents are having any health issue then there is no point.
May is hot month. can not comment on temperature.
Yes, you will need permit and can be procured very easily in Gangtok.
There is no trek for Gurudongmar lake. Vehicles go till the lake bed.
Enjoy the captivating landscape.
Trekking can be done from yumsdong via Donkiala pass tp gurudongmer and till cholamu(ofcourse currently not allowed)
Thanks for adding your inputs.. really valuable.. keep dropping by
Hey, I'm going to visit north-sikkim at the end of March 2016 (more precisely 23-28 th March). Can you tell whether Gurudongmar Lake will be accessible that time or not?
Chances are very bleak to reach Gurudongmar lake in March. You can visit Lachen, Lachung and Yumthang though.
Hi Vishnu , Best article that I have read till date on North Sikkim travel. Please help me with your expert advice as I am planning a trip to Sikkim in May 1st week . We are 2 couples & the itinerary is as follows. Day 1. Arrive at Bagdogra & then leave for Darjeeling. Day 2. Full day sightseeing at Darjeeling . Day 3. Leave from Darjeeling to Gangtok.Evening at Gangtok. Day 4. Full day sight seeing in Gangtok . Day 5 ~Day 7 – North Sikkim including Lanchen , Lanchung , Gurudongmor , Yumthang valley etc . Day 8. Back to Gangtok Day 9. Back to bagdogra
Should i include pelling also ? Should i choose pelling over darjeeling ? Should I modify my itinerary ? Will i find snow on any of the above places ? Will I have to take prior permissions to visit any of the places ?
Thanks in advance .
While looking at your itinerary i do not see any space where you can add pelling. Darjeeling has its own charm so i would not recommend to skip Darjeeling over Pelling. May is not the best time to see snow but you can find it near Gurudongmar lake, Yumthang and Nathula pass. Yes, ILP would be needed and you can obtain it from Gangtok.
Can we get cholamu lake (RAP) in the middle of April'16?
Cholamu is out of bound for tourists. permits are no longer issued.
Vishnu, you are doing awesome job. Keep it up.
We (me + wife + 13 yr old kid) are planning to visit Sikkim in April/May 2016 by our own car Renault Duster (non-AWD), we will be driving from Mumbai.
You said outside vehicles are not allowed in north Sikkim? I was very keen on driving to these places on my own with family.
Can you please confirm? I will want to drive my car as far as possible and if absolutely required will go for tourist vehicle.
I am confused about permits and all as well. We are Indian citizen, kid is US citizen.
Yes. Only Sikkim registration vehicles are allowed for Nathula pass and North Sikkim. With respect to permit, you and your kid would not have any problem if you are an Indian citizen but you will have to hire a local vehicle for the tour.
Could you please suggest that is it possible to go to Gurudongmar and zero point around mid january i.e 14/01/2016 and 15/01/2016?
No... Gurudongmar will become accessible in April mid.
I am planning a trip between 2nd Jan 2016 to 10th Jan 2016, will below places be accesible and what are the chances of these being accesible.
Yumthang Valley and Zero Point and Gurudongmar Lake
you can reach Yumthang and Zero point but Gurudongmar lake would remain inaccessible.
Thank you for providing invaluable info throughout.
I am reaching siliguri by Dec 18th evening around 7 PM.
My plan is to reach lachen the same night (is it possible?) and visit thange, gurudongmar lake, zero point the next day (not sure if it is possible in one day).
And to take bus from gangtok the day after to phuentsholing at the earliest as im planning to visit Bhutan as well.
To summarize, after reaching siliguri on dec 18th (7 PM) i want to visit the places around lanchen, going to bhutan from gangtok and get back to Siliguri on 24th Dec to catch my train. (6 nights and 5 days)
Please let me know the below details.
1. Permissions to get and procedures. (around Lachen and entering sikkim).
2. Travelling charge in bus and hird-taxi (not shared) to reach lanchen and day-trip.
3. Bus and booking details from gangtk to bhutan (phuentsholing).
4. is it possible to stay in monastry in lachen?
Im sorry if too much is asked. As Im visiting with my girlfriend, I just want to have all possible info.
If you prefer any hotels and travels, please send the details as well.
Thank you so much. Hooping to get your reply soon
If you are reaching Siliguri in evening then it is not possible to reach Lachen on the same day. i do not think you will get a taxi guy ready to drive to Lachen in night. Even reaching Gangtok will be difficult.
6 nights/5 days are very less to visit Sikkim and Bhutan. Even 6 days are not sufficient for a comprehensive trip to Sikkim...
Permits are issued from Gangotk. you can get it on the same day.
I do not know the current quotation of package.
I have no clue about staying in Monastery in Lachen. nevertheless there are plenty of accommodation options.
Nice Comment for Cholamu LAke and I have made planned to visit with my family, so suggest me what the good time?
We have palnned a trek to Cholamu LAke on 21st Oct. Please help me with information on how to get permit for the same. The numbes shared in the blog seemed to be wrong numbers.
Thanks in advance
Yes. number might not be working any longer. Cholamu lake is officially out of bound for tourists now. There is no way to get permit.
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