Gurudongmar Lake in North Sikkim | A Sacred Experience

Situated in northern most part of Sikkim, Gurudongmar Lake offers an experience for a life time. With its majestic emerald blue water, Gurudongmar Lake is surrounded by snow capped mountains and a glacier which shares its name with the lake.  Gurudongmar Lake is India’s second highest lake; the lake is located at an altitude of 17100 feet.  It is 15th highest lake in the world.  Gurudongmar Lake is highly revered by Buddhist, Sikhs and Hindus. Clear water of this sacred lake is believed to have miraculous properties and lake itself has many legends behind it.

Gurudongmar Lake In North Sikkim India's Second Highest Lake

Surrounded by barren and cold landscape;lake is fed by melting glacier. Lake's high altitude poses a challenge for its travelers. You need to be physically fit and more importantly mentally prepared for such high altitudes. Thin air and lack of oxygen supply can leave you wanting for more and more air all the time. But this challenge of hard terrain and the reward of glorious views of Gurudongmar lake makes this trip worthwhile for travelers. 
 
Gurudongmar Lake in North Sikkim
 
Geography of Gurudongmar Lake
 
Gurudongmar Lake is situated in northern most part of sikkim. This part of Sikkim has Tibetian platue as its northern border. This lake is just 5 km away from Tibet (now China occupied). One of the major rivers of north east India, River Teesta, flows through this region. Infact one of the major tributaries of this river has its origin in Gurudongmar lake only.  Gurudongmar lake lies on northern part of Kanchandzonga range. Due to its proximity to China border, this lake area is very sensitive. This entire region is under control of Indian army and you need special restricted area permit to visit this lake. Due to its extreme height, this lake remains frozen during winters. Even in summers you can find some part of the lake as partially frozen. 
 
 
Road Map of gurudongmar lake and cholamu lake
You can reach Gurudongmar lake from Thangu Village
 
Gurudongmar Lake route in north sikkim
An approximate road map from Gangtok to Gurudongmar Lake
 
satellite image of gurudongmar lake
satellite image of Gurudongmar lake
 
Permit and Other Requirements
 
make sure you have the required restricted area permit before heading towards this lake. One can get permit from the tourist information Centre which is situated at MG road in Gangtok. Permits can also be easily arranged by most of the local travel agencies. you must expect extreme whether condition at such a height so be well prepared for this. Make sure you have enough warm clothing with you. Bring a good supply of dry fruits and chocolates with you as you will require extra energy to keep up with high altitude fatigue.
 
How to Reach Gurudongmar Lake
 
Your journey to Gurudongmar lake starts from Gangtok. You can easily reach Gangtok from nearest railway station in Siligudi (New Jalpai Gudi) . You can also take a flight upto Bagdogra airport which is on outskirts of Siligudi. From Siligudi you can catch local taxies (recommended) or buses. If you don't have your own vehicle then contact local travel agencies in Gangtok and ask them for permit and Gurudongmar lake taxy fair. Make sure to consult at least 3 agencies to strike the best deal possible. During your visit to Gurudongmar lake, you are required to stay at a small mountain village, thangu over night. This is a beautiful village and an ideal spot for you to get your camera out of your bag and start shooting some awesome photographs from here upto Gurudongmar lake :)

Hi Vijay,   Planned a trip

Hi Vijay,

 

Planned a trip with family for North Sikkim in the last week of May 2015. Little worried about the recent earthquakes in Nepal and accross North Bengal. Please suggest the road conditions, any adverse effect on the raods and other amenities in North Sikkim, are the raods accessible and open to tourist etc. Also it will be appreciated if you can give me a relaibale contact number of a vehicle who can arrange this trip for us (3N).

 

Thanks,

Sumit

dear sumit, all the roads in

dear sumit,

all the roads in sikkim are open and the weather also is very pleasent now..gurudongmar lake was 80%frozen yesterday

There is no affect of

There is no affect of Earthquake on Sikkim. all the roads are open and places are accessible.

i m planning to visit sikkim

i m planning to visit sikkim on 16th of may but really worried bcoz of the tremours of earthquake as we felt it yesterday also, so plz suggest us is it really safe to travell now???

I am late in responding to

I am late in responding to your query. Yes, there was earthquake and subsequent tremors but Sikkim is not affetced. I would not discourage you to drop your travel. Please carry on. I hope you are traveling Sikkim and enjoying it.

+- Vishnu

Hi, We are planning to travel

Hi, We are planning to travel Sikkim in this Oct with a 3 year old kid, just want to know whether we can take the kid to Lachung & Lachen. We know that we can't risk taking the kid to Gurudongmar lake but can we stay in the hotels of lachen without doing any sightseeing with the kid. Just to inform you we had visited Gulmarg last year in snow & God willingly the kid had no issues with the snow. Thank you.

I do not think there is any

I do not think there is any problem taking kid to Lachen and Lachung however i would not suggest to take your 3 year old to Gurudongmar Lake, Nathula pass. Snow and cold weather is not a primary challenge for kids (for that matter to grown ups), its the altitude which makes these places little more changing. Anything above 12000 feet is challenging for those you had been living in the plains for long.

+- Vishnu

I have planed to visit

I have planed to visit gurdangmar on fast week of june..How will be the weather on this time..please tell me how much possibility is there to reach gurdangmar at that time.

you can visit gurudongmar

you can visit gurudongmar lake in june..the weather will be good.

Hi, I am planning to visit

Hi,

I am planning to visit Sikkim on 9th may to 16th May, 2015. I am bit scared about the Lachen & Lachung road condition after the earthquake. Could you please let me know How is the road condition and are those placess safe to visit?

my travel itinerary is like:11th May, gangtok -> Lachung (Yumthang, Zero Point), 12th May, Lachung -> Lachen (Gurudongmar Lake, Katao), 13th may, back to Gangtok.

Please let me know that the journey will be safe or not during the 11th May to 13th May, 2015, after the earthquake effect? Or do I need to change the plan as soon as posible?

Thanks & Regards,

Sudipta

Dear sudipta, there were no

Dear sudipta,

there were no anykind of damages in sikkim due to the recent earthquake in sikkim..you can go ahead with the planned trip.

Dear Mr Vishnu, Hope you are

Dear Mr Vishnu,

Hope you are doing well.

We are travelling to North Sikkim on 18th of May 2015. Would you kindly advice us about the road condition of Lachen, Lachung and Gurudongmar from Gangtok.

Regards,

Ertadad

ertadad, the road conditions

ertadad,

the road conditions to gurudongmar and yumthang valley  are okay as of today.

we are planning for a trip to

we are planning for a trip to gangtok for north in the month of OCTOBER 2015 from 19 to 26 (5N //6 D) is the month is good to go please sugest , I have heard that for GURUDONGMAR lake 3 yr kids are not allowed by Indian ARMY please suggest.

1-Kolkata-Njp

 

2.Njp-Gangtok

 

3.Gangtok-Lachen

 

4.Lachen-Gurudongmar-Lachung

 

5 Lachung-Yungtham-Gangtok

 

6.Gangtok-Njp-Kolkata

october is one of the best

october is one of the best times to visit north sikkim,,you can plan for the trip

we are planning for a trip to

we are planning for a trip to gangtok for north in the month of OCTOBER 2015 from 19 to 26 (5N //6 D) is the month is good to go please sugest , I have heard that for GURUDONGMAR lake 3 yr kids are not allowed by Indian ARMY please suggest.

1-Kolkata-Njp

 

2.Njp-Gangtok

 

3.Gangtok-Lachen

 

4.Lachen-Gurudongmar-Lachung

 

5 Lachung-Yungtham-Gangtok

 

6.Gangtok-Njp-Kolkata

s panja, gurudongmar lake not

s panja,

gurudongmar lake not possible with a 3yr old kid..you should plan for gangtok and pelling and come back after three or four years for the north sikkim trip

We are planning to Sikkim in

We are planning to Sikkim in mid May from Gangtok for two days,north Sikkim include lichen ,lachung and gurudonmar lake for 3 days and two days in kewzing. Will be a good plan? Will have snow at gurudonmar lake.worth to visit zero point?

Yes, you can see snow around

Yes, you can see snow around Gurudongmar lake in the month of May. Gangtok-Lachen-Gurudongmar Lake-Lachung-Yumthang-Gangtok can be covered in 3 days and 2 nights. Zero point is little further from Yumthang and can be included in the same tour.

+- Vishnu

Hi Vishnu, Can you please

Hi Vishnu,

Can you please suggest which route from Gangtok would be ideal to reach Gurudongmar Lake by own vehicle, I mean i will be driving down from Kolkata. Kindly share me the name of the agency where from i can arrange the permits as well. Is travelling in the month of May first week ok?

 

Outside Sikkim vehicles are

Outside Sikkim vehicles are not allowed beyond Gangtok. you will have to hire a local taxi from Gangtok. Permits can be arranged with help of tour agent in Gangtok. First week of May is good time.

+- Vishnu

We r 4 people wish to visit

We r 4 people wish to visit gurudongmar lake alongwith yumthung zero point katao in may 1st week  this year. will we get snow in any point?

Katao is out of bound for

Katao is out of bound for tourists so you can not visit. Yes, you can visit Gurudongmar and Zero point. There are chances to see snow at Zero point and Gurudongmar lake.

+- Vishnu

Hi Vishnu, I'm Planning to

Hi Vishnu,

I'm Planning to visit Gurudongmar Lake during this month, most probably 25th April 2015.

1) Will it be possible to go to Lacen from NJP Rly Station directly.

2) have any contact to conduct my trip including permit.

Thanks.

@shu

NJP to Lachen in a single day

NJP to Lachen in a single day would be very very hectic. Possible but not recommended at all.

Will send you email about contact for permits.

+- Vishnu

Can you give me some advise

Can you give me some advise on where to get relaible drivers for North sikim visit. Also is it ok to go to gurudongmer lake with 6 year old ?

I do not think there is any

I do not think there is any problem visiting Gurudongmar lake with 6 year old. Will send you details about the driver.

+- Vishnu

HI,  we are planning to visit

HI, 

we are planning to visit gangtok and gurudongmar lake during end of september or early october.

Would like to know if wheather is suitable for 1.5 year old kid?

 

Regards

Gangtok is not a problem to

Gangtok is not a problem to visit 1.5 year old but visiting Gurudongmar will your baby will challenging considering the altitude of the region.

+- Vishnu

I and my family 4 person are

I and my family 4 person are planning to visit gurudongmar and yumthang 15th april to 19th april some advice from you

I think Route is gurudongmar

I think Route is gurudongmar is open. should not be any problem. have a good trip.
+- Vishnu

HI,      Can I reach

HI,

     Can I reach gurudongmar lake from Mangan. We are planning to go from siliguri to mangan, stay one night in mangan and next morning to gurudongmar. Can you mail me the details please.?

Mangan to Gurudongmar will be

Mangan to Gurudongmar will be possible but i recommend people to visit Gurudongmar in the early part of the day. most of the peoplee depart from Thangu or Lachen.

I will reach njp on 03rd june

I will reach njp on 03rd june by 10 am and I have to catch train from Njp on 07th june at 10 am. so i have to reach siliguri by 6th june at night.Is it possible to cover north sikkim or only gurudongmar lake within this time?

you have only 3 nights in

you have only 3 nights in hand so it will be very difficult to visit Gurudongmar lake. Gangtok-Gurudongmar lake-Gangtok will take 2 days and 1 nights (provided very early departure on both days).

Dear sir We are planing to

Dear sir

We are planing to visit dargeling,siligudi

Gantok,nathulapass,and gurudongar lake

We are 3 members m, my husband and dauther age 6 yr

Planing in may 15, pls suggest a plasent trip from starting to end

Pls tell us how many min days will this trip takes.

 

I would suggest you to start

I would suggest you to start from Darjeeling (2 nights) and then head to Gangtok (2 nights). while in Gangtok, you should also visit Nathula pass, Changu lake. From Gangtok, you should take 2 nights and 3 days tour to North sikkim covering Gurudongmar lake, Lachen, Lachung, Yumthang valley. From there, you come back to Gangtok and then down to Siliguri. I hope it is helpful information.

+- Vishnu

Hi, I will be travelling to

Hi,

I will be travelling to North Sikkim during Apr 14 o Apr 18 . Could you please the kind of clothing I need to take. Is it advisable to go to gurudogmer lake,yumthang valley and zero point if the person has weezing problem .

Thanks,

Aarthi

 

 

Considering the winter shift

Considering the winter shift this year, i hope you would need warm cloths if you are planning to visit Gurudongmar lake, Yumthang valley etc.

+- Vishnu

Hi Vishnu,   I am planning

Hi Vishnu,

 

I am planning honeymoon trip in 1st week may (gangtok, gurudongmar, yumthang, darjeeling). 

Can you suggest a compact itenarary covering all good points in, around and enroute the above from Siliguri/NJP and back.

Also, please suggest good tour operators whom I can contact. Are local tour oparators or ones like makemytrip better?

I will need a private vehicle through the entire trip and 3 star or equivalent hotel stay.

 

Many thanks,

Devarshi

Hi Devarshi, Yes, i will

Hi Devarshi,

Yes, i will provide you details about agents on your email.

If you have a week time then you should cover Darjeeling, Gangtok, Gurudongmar lake, Lachen, Lachung, Yumthang, Zero point.

+- Vishnu

Hello Vishnu, You are a

Hello Vishnu,

You are a treasure trove of information and write very well. Your blog on Kuchch helped us a lot in planning our trip in dec.

Now we r planning a trip to north sikkim and need your help.

Are 2N/3D enough to cover?

Our tentative itinerary -

1. arrive Gangtok on 16th april mid day ( taking helicopter:-),

2.  17/4 Local sights (have visited gangtok earlier anf have seen all monestaries etc)

3. 18/4 Nathula pass and lake

4. 19/4 To Lachen

5. 20/4 Gurudongmar lake, return to Lachung

6. 21/4 Zero poinr Yumthang valley,

7. 22/4  return to gangtok/ siliguri

8. Return from Bagdogra

Please advise if it is ok.Can we cut down yumthang and zero point as it may be similar to Guru lake?

Will there be enough time to finalise the travel agency and get permits after arriving? could you recommend anybody?

Any other suggestion will be most welcome.

Thanks

Smita

 

I would not suggest to cut

I would not suggest to cut down Yumthang, Zero point. I will also not suggest to exclude Gurudongmar lake. All three locations are must to do in Sikkim. Yes, I will send you some pointers on email.

Itinerary seems pretty much do-able and April is indeed quite good time to travel.

+- Vishnu

Hi, I and my husband planning

Hi,

I and my husband planning for Sikkim trip on 2nd Apr-5th Apr. Please could you help us best places which can be covered in 4 day plan. We willr each NJP on 2nd Apr morning and need to catch return train from NJP on 5th Apr evening.

 

 

Also,if any package is suggested.

 

Thanks,

Niks

For 4 days, i would suggest 2

For 4 days, i would suggest 2 nights in Gangtok and 2 nights in Pelling. There is no point going further to North Sikkim and making the tour unnecessarily tiring. I will mail you information about package.

+- Vishnu

Hi Vishnu,   Your blog is a

Hi Vishnu,

 

Your blog is a wonderful read. We are 4 persons planning to visit Gurudongmar in May. Please suggest a good tour operator or any single person local who can arrange the permit, car and stays. 

In gangtok we can manage, but gangtok-lachen-gurudongmar-lachung-gangtok , we need help on this track.

 

Shall be eagerly waiting for your reply friend.

 

thanks,

debayan

 

the tour is pretty much

the tour is pretty much do-able in the month of May. i will send you details.

+- Vishnu

Going to Sikkim on 13th

Going to Sikkim on 13th April, 2015. Hope to visit Gurudongmar Lake after that. Is there any possibility of having snow on the way? Whether a 2N-3D package will be enough to complete the Gurudongmar-Lachung-Yumthang circuit?

There may be chances that

There may be chances that road to Gurudongmar became open mid-april. It snowed a lot late in the season this year so you will definitely find a lot of snow. Yes. 2 Night and 3 days package is enough to complete the circuit.

+- Vishnu

We are going to North Sikkim

We are going to North Sikkim from 4th March to 8th March. We want to visit Gurudongmar Lake. Will it be open at that time? As per Gangtok Hotel, it is currently open. Can you please confirm that?

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