Cholamu Lake - India's Highest Lake

Cholamu Lake: Source of Teesta River
                                                                    Cholamu Lake: Source of Teesta River

Cholamu lake: Highest lake of India

                                                                                 

Cholamu lake Sikkim

 

 

Zadong - Cholamu trek route
 

Cholamu lake

 

Frozen Cholamu lake

Image Courtesy: Regina Joseph

Hi sir We are 7 friends think

Hi sir

We are 7 friends think about to go in north sikkim in 27 th October...pls help me ...

1.we want to strart our journey from chungthang to thangu via lachen...and want to stay 1night(28th sep)..then next day from there go to gurudongmarg lake and then by trekking to cholamu lake and from there zero point yumesamgdong and want to stay 1night(29th sep)....is it be possible????

2.or if u start from chungthang to yumthang via lachen and want to stay 1night(28th sep)..then next day from there go to zero point yumesadong and want to trekking towards gurudangor lake via cholamu lake....what is better???

3.if trekking permission needed from where we can get the permission???

4.night stay is possible (means hotel/rooms) in yumthang or thangu valley????

 

Sir. We r going to Sikkim

Sir. We r going to Sikkim from 15-17thMay.Will stay at Gangtok. Two families with adult children. Can you tell us if we cannnot visit Cholamu lake then any other similar lake to enjoy the nature's beauty.we r planning a visit to Nathula pass. What time should we leave for Nathula pass and what all is to be covered on the way to Nathula pass. what type of clothes do we need.

Sorry for the late response.

Sorry for the late response. Cholamu lake is out of bound for tourists so you can not visit. There are day tours for Nathula pass, Changu lake and Baba Mandir. All of these 3 places can be visited as a day tour.

Hi Vishnu, Thanks for taking

Hi Vishnu,

Thanks for taking the trouble of answeringf all the questions.

I see that you have written it many times that "Cholamu lake" is out of bound for Civilians.

But I have access to few senior officers from Indian Army and I believ that they can help to get a permit.

Now my question is,

a) What kind of permit is required to visit Cholamu Lake? Is it called Restricted Area Permit (RAP)?

Cool What is the process to apply for permit to visit Cholamu? Which office grant that?

c) If I get a permit to visit CHolamu Lake, can I hire any Sikkim registered vehicle and go there? Or we need to mention the registration no. of the vehicle during application?

Thanks a lot

Hi, I hope i would have been

Hi,

I hope i would have been in the position to answer these queries. I do not know if there is really any process to get the permit. I do not think its RAP. I know some people had visited the Lake through connection but No one had shared the details so wish you best of luck.

Sorry could not address your queries.

+- Vishnu

Dear Vishnu,  1. if i am

Dear Vishnu, 

1. if i am driving from gangtok to gurudongmar lake, what is the last point till where we are allowed to drive our own vehicle ?

i mean apart from permit, is there any precisr rule of hiring their car after a certain point enroute gurudongmar ?

 

2. which is the nearest point/village to stay overnight near gurudongmar lake, so we can reach the lake early morning ?

3. How much time the permits procedures take ? is it quicky accessible or we have to do permit work a day prior ?

4. if i am starting my journey from gangtok, how many days should i keep to visit

 * nathula paas

 * gurudongmare lake ( with one day prior over night stay )

   and back to gangtok ?

______

Only Sikkim Registered

Only Sikkim Registered vehicles are allowed to places where ILP is requred.

2- Thangu

3- it should be taken one day prior

4- 5 days (2 full day travel time from Gangtok/North Sikkim)

CAn i ride a scooty from

CAn i ride a scooty from siliguri to gantok , gangtok to nathula ?????

Chances are less. you will

Chances are less. you will need special permission.

Hai sir I am going to visit

Hai sir
I am going to visit north sikkim on april third week
I am interesting to visit dzongu too
Whats your opinion
How many days need to stay there for
Cholamo is still out of bound for civiliance

Yes. Cholamu is out of bound

Yes. Cholamu is out of bound for civilance.

But my driver offered us the

But my driver offered us the permission for cholamu on april third week

There is no road till

There is no road till Cholamu. He will take you till Gurudongmar and will take money saying it is Cholamu lake. It is very common among drivers in Sikkim to promise anything.

Hi Vishnu, Thanks for the

Hi Vishnu,

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?

Thanks,

D

Zadong and Yumesamdong are

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.

Hi Vishnu,  Lovely pictures

Hi Vishnu, 

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

Sure. you will get an email soon.

Can I visit Gurudongmar lake

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

Yes, you can vvisit Gurudongmar lake and zero point in first week of April. road gets cleared by then.

Hai You done a good work to

Hai
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
Thank you

You can get accommodation in

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.

Hi..Vishnu   I need one

Hi..Vishnu

 

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.

D

 

 

Yes, there is accommodation

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...

+- Vishnu

Hi Vishnu, Can you guide me

Hi Vishnu,

Can you guide me best time to visit Cholamu Lake,

With regards

 

Cholamu lake is out of bound

Cholamu lake is out of bound for tourists now.

Hey Vishnu...very well

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

Thank you Smile

Yes if its a sikkim

Yes if its a sikkim registration. otherwise No..

+- Vishnu

Hi bro Me along with my 4

Hi bro

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?

Thanks

Chances to see snow are high

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.

Hi Abhisek, I came across

Hi Abhisek,

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

  Day2  Gangtok

Start for excursion to Tshangu Lake Further 10 kms from Tshangu Lake on lays the legendary Baba Mandir. Tshangu Lake: situated at a height of 12400Ft / 3780 Mts / 43Kms in 3Hrs one way, with an average depth of 50 ft. The cool water of the Lake is perfectly attuned with the scenic beauty around. NEW Baba Mandir: at an altitude of over 13,000 feet. It was built in memory of a soldier in the 23rd Punjab Regiment, who drowned in a stream near the spot. Legend says he later appeared in a dream to one of his colleagues where he requested that a temple be built in his memory. Return back to hotel in the evening. Overnight at hotel Day3  Gangtok - Lachung(125 kilometres/ 7 hours) Check out of the hotel at Gangtok and proceed to Lachung. On the way visit Tashi view point, Kabi Longtsok, Seven sister’s water fall Singhik view point.  Arrive in the evening at Lachung. Check into the hotel. Overnight at the hotel Day4  Lachung - Yumthang - Lachung (25 kms/1 hour 30 minutes way ) Gangtok (125 km/6 hrs ) Proceed for a half day excursion to Yumthang Valley. On the way visit the Hot Spring and Singba Rhododendron Sanctuary. Hotel transfer to Gangtok. On the way, see Bhim Nala water fall & Twin water fall. Arrive in the evening at Gangtok and check into the hotel. Overnight at the hotel. Day5  Gangtok - Darjeeling (125 kilometres/5 hours) Proceed for half day sightseeing to Droul Chorthen, Research Institute of Tibetology, Directorate of Handicraft & Handloom (Closed on Sunday), Flower Show. Afternoon transfer to Darjeeling (7380 Ft / 2250 Mts, 125 Kms / 05 Hours) Upon arrival at Darjeeling, check into your hotel. Day6  Darjeeling Early morning (approx. 4.30 AM), you will visit Tiger Hill before the break of dawn, to see the sun rise over Mount Everest, the highest mountain peak in the world (subject to clear weather). On your way back stop at the Ghoom Monastery, the holiest monastery in Darjeeling and Batasia Loop.  You will be driven Japanese Temple, Peace pagoda, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute & Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoogical Park(Closed on Thursday) Later visit the Tibetan refugee help centre. Visit to Happy Valley Tea estate Evening return to your hotel or walk around the streets of the colonial city Darjeeling. Overnight at the hotel. Day7  Darjeeling - Bagdogra (90 kilometres/3 hours and 30 minutes) - Bagdogra - Depart

Yes, Gurudongmar is indeed a

Yes, Gurudongmar is indeed a must visit attraction of Sikkim. Itinerary looks doable to me.

+- Vishnu

Hi Vishnu I and some of

Hi Vishnu

I and some of friends want to visit Sikkim in the month of october,please suggest by visiting where we can get snow.

pls reply.

Chances to see snow are very

Chances to see snow are very less in October. You can try your luck in North Sikkim. specifically around Gurudongmar lake and zero point.

+- Vishnu

Hi Vishnu,   Great

Hi Vishnu,

 

Great article!

 

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?

 

TIA. Cheers.

Cholamu is out of bound but

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.

+- Vishnu

Could you please recommend

Could you please recommend homestays, campsites or budget hotels in Lachung, Yumthang, Lachen & Thangu/Chopta Valley?

Please contact travel agent,

Please contact travel agent, he will easily arrange accommodation at Thangu Valley, Lachung, Yumthang, Lachen & Chopta Valley.

Thanks bruceleon.

Thanks bruceleon.

I dropped you an email,

I dropped you an email, please check and revert back. its about travel agents

I dropped you an email,

I dropped you an email, please check and revert back. its about travel agents

Hi Sudip, I wish i can but i

Hi Sudip,

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.

+- Vishnu

Hey Vishnu Let me first thank

Hey Vishnu

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

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.

+- Vishnu

Hi, Trekking can be done from

Hi,

Trekking can be done from yumsdong via Donkiala pass tp gurudongmer and till cholamu(ofcourse currently not allowed)

Thanks for adding your

Thanks for adding your inputs.. really valuable.. keep dropping by

Hey, I'm going to visit

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

Chances are very bleak to reach Gurudongmar lake in March. You can visit Lachen, Lachung and Yumthang though.

+- Vishnu

Hi Vishnu , Best article that

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 .

Regards

Anurag

Hi Anurag, While looking at

Hi Anurag,

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.

+- Vishnu

Dear Vishnu, Can we get

Dear Vishnu,

Can we get cholamu lake (RAP) in the middle of April'16?

Regards

Joy

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