Gurudongmar Lake in North Sikkim | A Sacred Experience

Gurudongmar lake
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.
Prayer Flags at Gurudongmar lake
                                                                                               Prayer Flags at Gurudongmar lake
 
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 :)

Image courtesy: Regina Joseph

Cairn at Gurudongmar Lake
 
                                                                                          Cairn at Gurudongmar Lake
 
Gurudongmar Lake North Sikkim
 
Temple at Gurudongmar Lake
 
                                                                              Temple at Gurudongmar Lake

Partially frozen Gurudongmar Lake

 
                                                                          Partially frozen Gurudongmar Lake

Turquoise blue Gurudongmar lake

 
                                                                                               Turquoise blue Gurudongmar lake
 
Gurudongmar lake during summers
 
                                                                                       Gurudongmar lake during summers
 
Gurudongmar Lake from a height
 
                                                                                  Gurudongmar Lake from a height

We 4 adults + child of 8

We 4 adults + child of 8 years are arriving on 25\May\2016 @ New Jalpaiguri Station @ 9 AM. We want to reach directly to Lachen which I understand is 9 hours drive and check in to a hotel.

New Jalpaiguri to Lachen is

New Jalpaiguri to Lachen is quite a long drive. besides you also need to get your permits at Gangtok before heading to North Sikkim. I don't think it all would be possible in single day.

+- Vishnu

SIR I WOULD LIKE TO VISIT

SIR I WOULD LIKE TO VISIT NORTH SIKKIM LIKE GURUDONGMAR LAKE YUMTHANG VALLY  END OF MAY.CAN U GUIDE REGARDING MY TOUR LIKE TOUR OPERATO RATE PER HEAD ETC.WE ARE 2ADULTS ND 1 CHILED(7+). THANKS MADHUMITA DAS(madhumita.dasde@gmail.com)

Yes, you can visit

Yes, you can visit Gurudongmar lake in May. i will send you details.

+- Vishnu

Hi, I am travelling solo to

Hi,

I am travelling solo to Sikkim. Could anyone help me in figuring out, how can i go to Gurudongmar lake from gangtok? Are there any shared taxis available? Also I am planning 1N 2 D trip.

 

Waiting for the repsonse.

No... shared taxis are not

No... shared taxis are not available on this stretch. you will have to hire a private cab or better club with other travelers.

+- Vishnu

dear sir,we r planing for

dear sir,
we r planing for make a bike trip to gurudongmar lake. after njp how much stay should we take? and please guide me how can we reach gurudongmar? we planing on october2016 , is that right time?

Outside Sikkim vehicles are

Outside Sikkim vehicles are not allowed in North Sikkim region. from NJP, you can take road to Gangtok and then from Gangtok to Thangu (which will be a whole day ride) and to Gurudongmar following morning. Yes, October is really good time to visit Gurudongmar lake.

+- Vishnu

Hai sir I am planning to

Hai sir
I am planning to visit yumthang and gurdongmar on September
Is it possible to see snow over there
We two friends are planning to visit there
For only twos it will be a huge amount for hiring a cab
Can u suggest any alterations

Chances to see snow are very

Chances to see snow are very low in September. you will have to hire a private vehicle for the tour to North Sikkim. You can consider clubbing with fellow travelers and share expenses.

Hello,    Me and my friends

Hello, 

 

Me and my friends (5 days) are planning to go to Gangtok, Lachen, Lachung and Gurudangmar Lake from June 7th. Can u please chalk out a plan fo rus so we can visit Gurudangmar and LAchen Lachung by 10th. 

Also, can u get the details of permit. how can we get the permit and how much do they charge usually? 

WHat about the vehicle and transportation? please revert back asap.

 

Thank you.

Hi Priya, Visiting

Hi Priya,

Visiting Gurudongmar and Lachen in June is not a problem. For permits, you can contact any tour agents in Gangtok. Generally all is included in a packaged tour from Gangtok to North Sikkim. Public transport is not available in North Sikkim towards Gurudongmar so most of the tourists prefer to hire vehicle from tour agencies.

+- Vishnu

hi vishnu. i stumbled upon ur

hi vishnu.

i stumbled upon ur blog. ur informations are blessings for pipol like me who dont like consuling travelling agents Smile Smile
i am planning a trip to sikkim in last week of april. 25th april onwards.
m travelling with my hubby n child age 6 and my parents.
i will be staying at Singtom Tea Estate in dargeeling,our initial plan was to spend 4 day over here doing nothing Tongue  but since we r travelling all the way to sikkim, thot i shud check it out some other options too.

can u sugget a nice, leisurely 6 day trip which include atleast one snow clad place (wish of my daughter). i am intrested in visiting gurudongmar lake but it seems tooo far frm dargeeling  . and i am unable to find some upscale resorts or hotels in between. (my parents are 5* people)

i am open for all kind of suggestions. that includes skipping dargeeling Smile. feel free to suggest new start point and end point. 

if u can- please mail me . - BTW- we r travelling from mumbai by Air, we r 4 adults and 1 child- age of 6 and we are hard core vegetarians.

thanks in advance,

regards 

 

Hi, I would suggest you to

Hi,

I would suggest you to include Gangtok, Pelling in your itineray if you are planning it for 6 days. I think high end accommodation would not be a problem in these locations. with respect to snow, Nathula pass, Changu lake near Gangtok would be your best chance.

Vegeterian food is not a problem in this part.

+- Vishnu

Want to visit the lake may4

Want to visit the lake may4 2016. Twelve ladies between 55 to 65 years. Will we get permit. All of us want to go. Will they check the age and reject.

Hi Chandra, I think army

Hi Chandra,

I think army checkpost does not allow kids less than 5 years old but not sure if there is any problem with elderly people.

+- Vishnu

Kindly guide whether it is

Kindly guide whether it is safe for asthematic child aged 6 years visit gurudongmar during 2nd week of April

I would personally would not

I would personally would not recommend it.

Hey Vishnu,  Appreciate your

Hey Vishnu, 

Appreciate your patience in answering all the questions. We are visiting sikkim this April for the second time. Our bikes are non sikkim ones. Last time we got permit for Nathula pass. We couldn go to gurudongmar due to weather as we visited in December. So thfis is my question :

Is something changed like non sikkim bikes ll not be given permit? We got it back in 2013 so just confirming. 

 

 

Yes, I think Ourside Sikkim

Yes, I think Ourside Sikkim vehicles are no longer allowed in Gurudongmar lake region.

Dear Vishnu Please tell me Is

Dear Vishnu

Please tell me

Is may end or 1st week of june is better time to visit Gurudongmor lake and Yamthang.

Is inner line permit can be arranged from Sikkim House Delhi.

Thanks

Inner line permit for Sikkim

Inner line permit for Sikkim can be easily arranged from Gangtok. i am not sure whether its possible from Sikkim house.

Yes, 1st Week of June is indeed a very good time to visit Gurudongmar. lots of snow you would see.

+- Vishnu

Hi, I was planning for a solo

Hi,

I was planning for a solo trip to North sikkim on mid of April.

I would need couple of info before going ahead

Is SHARED CABS available from Gangtok to lachen and lachung?

If I reach gangtok around 1 PM in the afternoon, is it possible to get cabs for lachen/lachung/Chungthang? If not shared then private?

If i have to give up on either lachnen or lachung due to time constraints, which one should i let go? (Completely from your perspective)

An estimate of expense for both shared and private package

 

Thanks in advance

Hi Roni, Shared cabs are not

Hi Roni,

Shared cabs are not available in this part.

I think most of the vehicles depart early in the morning. you can not get anything after 1PM

Lachung and Yumthang i would suggest.

Estimate would depend on your travel style.

+- Vishnu

I am planning to visit north

I am planning to visit north sikkim in March end or April.

So, if any tour operator going to north sikkim in this time, please send me the contact details on my mail.

Sure. details are inboxed.

Sure. details are inboxed.

hey,  can  please tellme can

hey, 

can  please tellme can we visit  gurdongmar lake, between 22nd march to 25 th march??

is it open that time?

and  from where do we need to take permit for it

and also let me know if we can visit the place and retrn back to gantok the same day

and i jst checked the tempatre its is showing -14 degree.

can we visit that place?

PLEASE EMAIL ME THE DETAILS TOO

THANKS Smile

Permiit can be arranged from

Permiit can be arranged from the Gangtok itself. I think Gurudongmar is open from March this year. Not possible to visit Gurudongmar and return on the same day.

Yes, -14 degree is normal for Gurudongmar but you can visit it.

+- Vishnu

Hi,We planning a bike trip to

Hi,
We planning a bike trip to gurudongmar lake. Is it accessible by bike on 22 or 23 March 2016. Is it possible to get permet at Gurudongmar checkpost directly without any permit from gangtok? I'm planning to go directly from Gangtok to Lachecn and then get permit from Army check post there. Is it possible to do so?

you will need a permit from

you will need a permit from Gangtok and outside sikkim vehicles are not allowed in North Sikkim. Not possible to get a permit from Army Check post.

Hi, Thanks for the

Hi,

Thanks for the information and suggestions provided. It's really so helpful for nature lovers. I am travelling to Sikkim between 8th to 16th April 2016. And want to visit North Sikkim in between 10th to 12th. Kindly provide me best tour operators and their contact details.

 

Thanks in Advance,

 

Regards,

Sid

April is indeed a very good

April is indeed a very good time to visit Sikkim. details have been emailed to you, please respond as soon as possible

+- Vishnu

Hi, We are planing to visit

Hi,

We are planing to visit Gurudongmar Lake on 23rhd March. Is it possible to visit the Lake site? Plz suggest whether it is possible to visit from Gangtok to Gurudangmor Lake without Staying at Lachen..

With Regards

Kirti Swagat Mohanty

Not possible to reach

Not possible to reach Gurudongmar lake in March. you should wait till April mid. you can go till Lachen, Thangu nevertheless

Updating the reply: this year it seems that Gurudongmar willl be accessible in March itself.

+- Vishnu

Hi Gurinder, Could you please

Hi Gurinder,

Could you please let me know if Gurudongmar lake will be open by 9 April, 2016?

Thanks,

Vishal

vishal, 100% gurudongmar will

vishal,

100% gurudongmar will be accessible then..also april and october end are the best times to visit north sikkim

Hello, Is it possible for us

Hello,

Is it possible for us to visit Gurudongmar lake on 21st of march 2016?? Plz reply

avinandan, gurudongmar lake

avinandan,

gurudongmar lake will be accessible by 1st week of march

There are bleak chances. they

There are bleak chances. they try to keep the road open by end of March. will depend on snow situation this year.

+- Vishnu

Hey..it seems like you are a

Hey..it seems like you are a itenary doctor so taking my chances to ask similar question.

I am planning to visit Gurudongmar around 23-24 February, 16. Are the roads open?

I am open for and adventure as well if there is some risk involved, have done similar trips before, just tell me if there is any ways possible... I really raally want to visit the lake.

 

No chance. Roads remain

No chance. Roads remain closed in Winters. you can visit the lake during summers. its not about the risk involved. after Thangu, you can walk if you want.

I am visiting Sikkim between

I am visiting Sikkim between 17-23rd of February and has planned for various locations like Lachen, Lachung, Nathula, Gurudongmar. I had a talk with travel agents in Sikkim and they say that it is possible to go to Gurudongmar in mid Feb. Kindly guide.

I am sure that person is

I am sure that person is lying. Gurudongmar is accessible through out the winter. no point making any advance payment for this trail.

+- Vishnu

Hi, I would like to visit

Hi,

I would like to visit Gurudongmar lake during the first week of April. Please let me know if the road conditions are motorable during this time?

Roads are always bad but

Roads are always bad but always motorable. I think road to Gurudongmar will get open by April first week.

+- Vishnu

I would like to visit North

I would like to visit North Sikkim - Gurudongmar Lake - yumthang Vally - Zero Point etc for 2 night 3 days on 30 March to 1 st April 2016. can you guide me regarding my tour like Tour Operator, Rate per head etc.

 

we are 2 adult and i chield (6 year).

 

Thanks

Somnath Gorai

somnathgorai@gmail.com

 

Gurudongmar lake might not be

Gurudongmar lake might not be possible in March end but still there is little chance. I dropped you email with details.

Whether any charges  required

Whether any charges  required for the permit of Visit Gurudongmar Lake

Yes. you need an inner line

Yes. you need an inner line permit and charges are nominal.

+- Vishnu

Can it possible to visit

Can it possible to visit Gurungmar Lake by a Travra Car?

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