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 :)
 

Hello vishnu  we 4 friends

Hello vishnu  we 4 friends are planning for a trip to gangtok and north Sikkim that is lachen lachung yumthang gurudongmar lake and a lttle bit sghtseeing of gangtok. we have 5days . so can u suggest me a ittenary and How much sould b our approx budget CoZ we thought of approx 10k each we dnt have any idea. thanks in advance.

10K each head is good enough

10K each head is good enough for 5 days tour... You can spend 2 nights in Gangtok, 1 night in Lachen (for Gurudongmar lake tour), 1 night in Lachung (For Yumthang valley)...

DEAR ,  I HAVE VISITED SIKKIM

DEAR , 

I HAVE VISITED SIKKIM EARLIER IN  NOV-2008, BUT THAT TIME IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE TO GO GURU DONGMAR LAKE DUE TO SNOW FALL.

LET ME GUIDE WHICH IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT THIS PLACE.

 

REGARDS

GAURANG VYAS

April till June mid and then

April till June mid and then August Mid till October end is the time when Gurudongmar will be accessible... September-October is best time...

Hi, I am planning a trip to

Hi,

I am planning a trip to Sikkim-Gangtok between 18th and 25th May 2014. I would need some suggestions on what would be the best Itinerary for this duration.

 

There are plenty of

There are plenty of itineraries in our forum for 6-7 days duration... please check those sample itineraries and let me know if you need any specific information...

Hi

Hi Vishnu,

We(myself,souse,6yr old son) are planning below itinerary from 17thMay to 24th May. 

Please suggest whther it would be comfortable or suggest a better one..

Day 1. NJp to Darjeeling,darjeeling sightseeing..

Day2. Darjeeling Sighseeing. reaching Peling at evening

Day 3.Peling Sighseeing reaching Gangtok at evening.

Day 4. Gangtok sightseeing

Day 5 Gangtok -- Yumthang- 

Day 6 . Yumthang to Gurudongmar lake reaching Gantok at evening

Day 7. Gangtok : Nathula,Baba Mandir

Day 8.Return back to Njp

 

Thanks,

Kaushik

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Kaushik... your itinerary

Hi Kaushik... your itinerary is quite hectic... rather than including all the places of the  region, i will recommend you to stay longer at one place..

Darjeeling to pelling is quite a long trip ..Similarily Gangtok-Yumthang-Gurudongmar-Gangtok is very hectic..

will recommend to skip pelling all together..

do as follow,.

Gangtok-Lachen-Thangu (overnight stay).
Thangu-Gurudongmar-Lachung (overnight stay)
Lachung-Yumthang-Gangtok (overnight stay)

One day tour to Nathula and all

=== Vishnu

HI , i would like to know is

HI ,

i would like to know is the following iteneary possible (16-20th  April'14 ) 

Day 1 : Siliguri

Day 2 : travel form Siliguri to Darjeeling and local sight seeing and travel to gangtok (overnight stay)

Day 3 : visit to tsomgo lake and then travel towards gurudongmar lake -(overnight stay at chungthang)

Day 4 : Continue towards  Gurudongmar lake . Reach there and return back to gangtok on same day. (overnight at gangtok)

Day 5 : Gangtok to Bagdogra (flight 1230 pm) 

 

Thanks in advance. 

Day 2 is going to very

Day 2 is going to very hectic... Visiting entire Darjeeling in one day and then transfer to Gangtok... you should spend at least a night in Darjeeling..

Day 3: again impossible... Changu lake, Nathula pass is one day tour... Gurudongmar is very far... Gangtok to Lachen/Thangu itself is whole day drive..

Day 4:It's possible...you can visit Gurudongmar early in the morning and then drive back to gangtok on the same day...

lot of correction is required in your itinerary.. no point making it hectic just for visiting number of places..

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

Hi,    I am planning to visit

Hi,

   I am planning to visit Gurudongmar Lake during 4th week of Apr this year. Our travelling grp comprises of 2 kids, each about 4 yrs old. Should this be a problem? Will the kids be able to accommodate themselves to the thin air and altitude or would have breathing suffocations? It would be of help if someone who has travelled during this period of the year share their exerience as well. In case there are difficulties, are there any alternatives/Suppliments that would facilitate?

Hi Krithika,              

Hi Krithika,
               reaching Gurudongmar lake in the month of April should not be a problem. With respect to Kids, Here is comprehensive document about Acute mountain sickness.

http://thinkingparticle.com/forum/frequently-asked-questions-acute-mount...

One of the travelers was sharing that Army post beyond Thangu may not allow kids to go further till Gurudongmar lake... AMS is quite unpredictable...it may hit..may not hit... Chances are low as travelers don't stay at Gurudongmar for long and recede back to lower altitude soon after visiting the lake..

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

Dear Krithika, I will be also

Dear Krithika, I will be also traveling with my 2 young kids of age 9 and 10 so please do share details of any travel agent you went through for the bookings of tour and hotels. my date are 23rd arival at Bagdogra and Leave NJP on 2nd Night. My email is jograjpurohitatgmaildotcom

Thanks

Dear friend,       I booked

Dear friend,

      I booked my stay and touring through India Beacons.  you can dind details of this travel organisor www.lachen.in. Mr sandeep is the person of contact there. You can refer my name as I already spoke to him about your inquiry. 

Let me know if you need further details.

Have a wonderful trip!!

Thanks

Krithika Ramakrishnan

hi i am planning to visit

hi i am planning to visit gurudongmar lake around 12th april this year.will it be a good vtime?also i will have total 5days.what other places can you suggest? thanks in advance

I think Gurudongmar lake is

I think Gurudongmar lake is reachable in the month of April... its good time... In 5 days, you can visit Nathula pass, Changu lake, Baba mandir... spend 2 days in North Sikkim...and couple of days in West Sikkim (Robong and Pelling)..

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

Dear Vishnu,   I travelling

Dear Vishnu,

 

I travelling to Gangtok in the month of June (19th-25th / 6N/7D) with my family of 6 (which includes my 21 month old daughter). i am willing to cover much of gangtok and neighbouring attractions in 4 days without stressing too much by long hours of mountain traveling. i have reserved 2 days for Darjeeling. Please can you help with an itinery, which does not stress us of traveling and we dont miss much as well...

i know i am asking too much, but your article suggests you are the best person to ask this over internet.

 

Thanks,

Harsimran

Hi

Hi Harsimran,
                   you total have 6 days in hand... I would suggest the following itinerary which will cover all the major attractions of Sikkim..

Day 1) Tour to Nathula pass, Changu lake
Day 2) Drive to Lachen, stay overnight
Day 3) Gurudongmar lake  drive and return back to Lachung.
Day 4) Visit Yumthang valley in the morning and come back to Gangtok..

from here on you can continue Darjeeling part of your trip..

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

Dear Vishnu,   I need your

Dear Vishnu,

  I need your sugegestion for my travel Dates to Sikim and Darjeeling. I will be traveling to Bagdogra on 23rd April noon and will be leaving back on 2nd May night. I will be coming with my 2 young kids of age 9 and 10 so please sugest the itenary and if poosible any reliable tour opperator for all my hotel and transportation.

 

Thanks

You have good number of days

You have good number of days in hand... and April-May is a good time to visit Sikkim/Dajreeling..

I would suggest you to spend 2 days in Darjeeling, 2 days in Gangtok (With Nathula pass day tour), 1 night in Lachung (visit Gurudongmar lake), 1 night in  Lachung (Yumthang valley, Zero point), 1 night in Pelling (Visit Yuksom), 1 night in Rabong...

Sending you detail for tours and hotels..

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

Dear Mr Vishnu, Thanx a lot

Dear Mr Vishnu,

Thanx a lot for your valuable inputs. I plan to visit North Sikkim with my family (wife and two kids aged 15 & 11) in first week of June. After reading ur suggestions i hav planned one night halt at Lachen and one night at Lachung. I need your help on 2-3 issues -

1. Is two night halt enough or should i extend it to three nights (in case u suggest three where shud be the the third night ?)

2. Is first week of June fine to visit these places and sikkim in general (when does the monsoon start ????)

3. How does one plan the trip to North Sikkim....? is it better to book a package or shud one get the reservations etc done by self....In case u know of any tour operator it will be gr8.

thanx again

anshu

I myself with my wife and one

I myself with my wife and one daughter (18 yrs) would like to visit North Sikkim between 8th June to 14th June). I desire to have one family to share my tour. My email id is nkparadkar@gmail.com. 

Hi Anshu,              My

Hi Anshu,
              My take on your queries..

1) generally 2 nights are sufficient to travel North Sikkim.. one night in lachen and another night in Lachung...if you want to stay 3 nights then lachung is better... you can try to visit Katao but i heard its out of bound for tourists now... spend a liesure day around Yumthang..

2) June is the monsoon season for Sikkim.... First week should be fine but i generally don't recommend people to visit from June mid to August...

3) Most of the tour operator at Gangtok sell North Sikkim packages which include permits, acco, food, vehicle and everything... that's the best way to go to North sikkim...

will drop you email with respect to tour operators and all..

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

Hi Vishnu, We are  planning

Hi Vishnu,

We are  planning to visit North Sikkim in the month of May-June with our two children aged 9 and 3. On our wishlist Gorudongmar Lake is the priority. My first query to you would be is it ok to visit that altitude with a 3 year old? However we had been to Chomgo Lake and Baba Mandir when she was 6 months old!

Please advise,

Thank you, 

Upasana

Here is a detailed guide

Here is a detailed guide about AMS..

http://thinkingparticle.com/forum/frequently-asked-questions-acute-mount...

9 year old should not have any problem but 3 year old..I am not sure... you should consult a doctor.... Gurudongmar lake is pretty high but as you don't stay there so i don't think it should be a problem.. after visiting Gurudongmar lake you can come down to Lachung which is fine...

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

Hi, we are two couple with 5

Hi, we are two couple with 5 and 8 year children. can we plan for Gurudongmar lake

with children subject to poosibilty of open road between 21th march to 27 March 14.

Options:

1. Gangtok - Mangan - Lachen - Gurudongmar lake

2. Gangtok - Mangan - Lachen - Gurudongmar lake + Lachen - lachung - yumthang

2. we plan only up to Gangtok - Mangan - Lachen - lachung - yumthang

3. Gangtok - Mangan - lachung - yumthang

4. Gangtok - Mangan - Pilling - Bagdogra

Visiting Gurudogmar should

Visiting Gurudogmar should not be a problem with 5 years and 8 years old children... have a look at this article about AMS..

http://thinkingparticle.com/forum/frequently-asked-questions-acute-mount...

Gurudongmar should be accessible in the month of March....

Option 2 will be perfect...

Hi, I'm planning a trip to

Hi, I'm planning a trip to Sikkim,pelling,gurudongmar lake this january-18th. Is it a good time to visit? It will be between 18th-26th January.can anybody help me in planning the details of trip.

I too concur with Vijay....

I too concur with Vijay.... Gurugongmar will only become accessible after March end of April Mid depending upon snow condition....

Pelling and other parts of Sikkim should not be a problem...

Sorry for the late response...

Hi Trina,   You will not be

Hi Trina,

 

You will not be able to make upto Gurudongmar lake during the period you mentioned due to snow conditions. 

Hi we are a family of three

Hi we are a family of three with a kid aged 9. We will be reaching bagdogra on 1st June 2014 afternoon and flying back on 7th afternoon .our plans are
Day1 Gangtok
Day 2 lachen
Day 3 gurudogmar and back to Gangtok
Day 4 baba mandir (Wednesday)
Day 5 Gangtok sightseeing and move to darjeeling
Day 6 Darjeeling sight seeing
Day 7 departure.
Problem is we are unable to squeeze in yumthnag can't decide between gurudogmar and yumthnag
Pls advice

Dear Sir/Madam, You must see

Dear Sir/Madam,

You must see the Gurudongmar lake.......... Yumthang you can try another time but that lake is 4 for one time....

So lets choose it .

Thanks

YES, Gurudongmar is one of

YES, Gurudongmar is one of its kind experience...

Yaa... You will need one

Yaa... You will need one extra day if you want to squeeze Yumthang in it... i will personally recommend Gurudongmar to Yumthang...

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

We are planning to visit

We are planning to visit north and east sikkim mid April 2014. Is Gurudongmar Lake accessible that time?

I guess it should be

I guess it should be accessible by Mid-April...

Vishnu thnks for prompt

Vishnu thnks for prompt reply.MY package is for 10days/9 nights which includes darjeeling(tiger hill),Gangtok(Baba mandir,Tsangmo lake),Pelling(all local sightseeings,Chardham),Lachen(chopta valley,gurudongmar lake) and lachung(yumthang valley).So please suggest .Even if i do not visit gurudongmar lake but rest of the places will be fine in this time.What abt roads to Lachen and Lachung?Will these roads will be open at this time?

Gurudongmar might not be

Gurudongmar might not be possible during March but Tour is still good and has a lot which will occupy you...

Rest of the places would be accessible and fine to visit... Lachen and Lachung should not be a problem...

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

Hi Vishnu.I am planning to

Hi Vishnu.I am planning to visit Gurudongmar lake on 9 march.Can u please suggest if it is the right time to visit?

Generally road to Gurudongmar

Generally road to Gurudongmar gets cleared by Mid-April but yes, there are chances to make Gurudongmar lake during March as well... I once tried in the last week of Feb and could not make it due to too much of snow on the road.... If you visiting sikkim to visit Gurudongmar lake only then i will suggest to postpone your plan...

Hello, Is the Gurudongmar

Hello,

Is the Gurudongmar lake accessible in first week of january?

Thanks in advance... ur article is really informative.

Nope... Gurudongmar will not

Nope... Gurudongmar will not be possible in the first week of January....Reaching beyond Thangu will be very challenging...

Hi Vishu, planning to visit

Hi Vishu,

planning to visit Gangtok and north sikkim (me and my wife) from 8th Dec till 14th Dec.

Is it possible to visit Gurudongmar Lake on that time frame like 2nd week of december.

I drafted our Iteranry as:

day1:8th dec:Reach Gangtok by noon from NJP.Stay at Gangtok.
day2:9th dec:Excursion to Tsomgo Lake & Baba Mandir
day3:10th dec:Gangtok to Lachen-On the way stop for sightseeing spots like Tashi View Point, Kabi Lungtsok, Naga Waterfall, the Confluence of Lachen Chu & Lachung Chu at Chungthang.By evening reach Lachen.
Day4:(11th dec-Wednesday) From Lachen visit Gurudongmar Lake,Chopta Valley and Transfer to Lachung.
Day5:(12th dec-Thursday)Lachung to Yumthang Valley Excursion and transfer to Gangtok
Day6:(13th dec-Thursday)Gangtok local sightseeing.
Day7:(14th Dec)-Transfer to NjP

Please provide your suggestion on this iternary and its possibilities.

Gurudongmar might not be

Gurudongmar might not be accessible...rest seems fine...

1. is snow avail at

1. is snow avail at gurudongmar or else where?
2. what about sharing convence from gangtok or any travel agency provide sharing basis tour package?

1) Gurudongmar remains

1) Gurudongmar remains snow-bound from Mid-October to April Last....
2) Sharing conveyance will be difficult to get for Gurudongmar lake...

Dear Folks I intend to visit

Dear Folks
I intend to visit Gurudongmar Lake in coming puja holidays. I shall be travelling alone and wish to join a group. I am told that travel agents/arrangers at can provide such opportunities. Pl advise me about such travel agents/ tour arrangers/ hoteliers at Gangtaok or their contacts at Kolkata whom I may discuss now rather than wait till I reach Gangtok.

Best regards
DDe

Hi DDe, clubbing

Hi DDe,
clubbing tourist is done on demand basis... sometimes if there is another group who has a seat vacated and ready to tag anyone along then it happens... Getting Fellow travelers for North Sikkim tour is a routine affair for agents... but none can assure you upfront... you will have to try for it after reaching gangtok... chances are high in my personal opinion...

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

Hi Guys, We(two) are going to

Hi Guys,

We(two) are going to Gurudongmar lake by bikes from Kolkata. We will be leaving Kolkata on 19th Oct.

If anyone interested, please call me.
Ph: +91-869 747 6378

Have an awesome trip guys...

Have an awesome trip guys... please share your experience once you are back...would love to read trip reports and see photographs... hope you find fellow bikers..

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