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 :)
 

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?

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?

 

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?

Chances are very bleack. I do

Chances are very bleack. I do not think you can make it to Gurudongmar during march.

Thanks a lot friend!!

Thanks a lot friend!! Information you've shared is very helpful for future travellers like me.

1. I am interested to visit Gurudongmar Lake particularly.

I'll like know if I can take my own bike or car with PB (Punjab number) as such

or will I require a seperate permit for taking my own vehicle "besides" restricted area permit to visit Gurudongmar Lake.

Or is it not allowed at all and our only option is to hired taxi from Gangtok.

I am planning to make stay at Gangtok, Lachen, Thangu, Chungthang whichever is convienent at that time.

2. Can you suggest any homestay options cause I am interested to expierence local lifestyle. 

3. It'll be very helpfull if you can shared contacts of any hotels on budget side. 

Thanks and Regards!

1 - Only Sikkim vehicles are

1 - Only Sikkim vehicles are allowed to visit Gurudongar/ North Sikkim. you will not be able to drive in your Punjab vehicle beyond Gangtok. you will have to hire a private taxi

For Gurudongmar, you should wait till April-Mid.

2 - There are homestays in all the villages. I will send you few details over the email.

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

Will Gurudongmar lake be

Will Gurudongmar lake be accessible during Mid of March?

Chances are very bleak.

Chances are very bleak.

Dear Vishnu, We are a family

Dear Vishnu,

We are a family of 9 with 2 children. We are Planning to travel in Sikkim in April 2nd week to Gangtok-Nathula, Lachen-Gurudongmar, Lachung-Yomthang, Pelling & Darjeeling. No roaming in Darjeeling is planned.  Request you to suggest if the iterinary is ok or tough. Its for 8 nights/9 days. Also suggest changes if any. We are having 6 yr old and a 70 yr old but both healthy. Thanks.

regards,

Prashant

I think you should spend 2

I think you should spend 2 nights in Gangtok. 3-4 nights in North Sikkim with Lachen and Lachung 1 night each.

Remaining time can be spent in Pelling. 8 nights and 9 days are good time for covering Sikkim comprehensively. There are plenty of sample itineraries on our forum. you can refer those and make a plan.

+- Vishnu

Hi Vijay, Earlier I visit

Hi Vijay,

Earlier I visit Sikkim twice, both around November & got very scenic view of Sikkim, both the time North Sikkim. In Changu I also got Snow fall... !!

I am planning to visit Sikkim in Jan'2015 (3rd till 6th) this time. I am planning for North Sikkim (Lachung & Lachen if possible) & Changu Lake, Is it possible to get to Gurudongmar at this time & what about yumthang ? Is it possible to go till Nathula, .? On which days Nathula trip is not possible ? (Monday & Tuesday ?)

Pls advice. !!

Thanks in Advanced !!

Gurudongmar would not be

Gurudongmar would not be possible in January. You might reach Yumthang if weather permits. Nathula will also depend on road condition.  Nathula is closed on monday, tuesday and friday.

+- Vishnu

Hi! I'm visiting Sikkim in

Hi!

I'm visiting Sikkim in February last week. My itinerary is set to visit nathula pass on friday. could you please confirm if what you're written above is correct? Nowhere have i read that Nathula is closed on friday including on the sikkim tourism website. 

Thanks in advance

13lu

Sorry. My mistake. Nathula

Sorry. My mistake. Nathula remains closed only on Monday and Tuesday.

Hi, Nathula is not accessible

Hi,

Nathula is not accessible hopefully at the time you'll b visiting sikkim. Today I I went to Changu trip..Currently sikkim tourism is only providing permit till Changu Lake, even Baba mandir is not accessible due to heavy snowfall.

Thanks Sourav for you

Thanks Sourav for you comment.

HI, I and my friend are

HI,

I and my friend are planning to visit gurudongmar and yumthang in the 2nd week of january 2015, can we make it? or will the roads be closed at that time ?

you can not make it by road.

you can not make it by road.

hey vishnu, which all snow

hey vishnu,

which all snow places in sikkim will b accessible in jan first week?

and will the roads be clear to visit yumthang and lachung?

You may reach Lachung if

You may reach Lachung if there is not much snow else route gets blocked very often. For Snow, Nathula pass and Changu lake will be more accessible options.

+- Vishnu

Hey! We are planning to go to

Hey! We are planning to go to sikkim in the 3rd week of december, 2014. Will it be possible to go to Gurudongmar lake? 

chances are very bleak. I

chances are very bleak. I think you can go as far as Thangu but not beyond that.

+- Vishnu

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.