One of the highest lakes in the world, Gurudongmar Lake is set at an altitude of 17,100 ft (5,210 m). The lake is set near to the India-China border. The Sikkim lake is considered one of the most sacred lakes by both Buddhists and Hindus.
The beautiful lake remains milky in color throughout the year. Earlier, the lake remained frozen all the time and there was no water source in the place. It is believed that once Guru Padmasambhava, who brought Tantric Buddhism to Tibet, passed through this region.
On his arrival, people asked him to provide them with a source of water. When he touched some parts of the lake, the snow melted. Since then, water of the lake is considered sacred and people from different parts of the world come here to carry the blessed water. Tourists need to get special entry permit for visiting Gurudongmar Lake.
Here are the details you should know about Gurudongmar Lake Sikkim
Best time to visit Gurudongmar Lake
March to June is the best time to visit Gurudongmar Lake. During this time, the weather here is pleasant and you can see clear views of blue sky and lush greenery around. Also, the temperature at Gurudongmar Lake Sikkim from March to June remains between - 5°C and 5°C.
How to reach Gurudongmar Lake
Gurudongmar Lake is located around 174 km from Gangtok in Sikkim and takes approx. 4 to 5 hours to reach. Private vehicles, shared taxis, jeeps, etc. are available from Gangtok to Lachen. Buses are also available frequently from nearby cities.
Once you reach Lachen, stay the night at Lachen and the next day, drive further 3 to 4 hours to finally reach Gurudongmar Lake via Chopta Valley. Plus, the drive through the mountain roads is mesmerizing.
Tip: Before visiting the lake, get the Inner Line Permit. It is a sensitive area and is located near the Indo-China border.
Do’s and Don'ts at Gurudongmar Lake Sikkim
- Refer to a doctor before visiting the lake if you have any breathtaking difficulties.
- Bring heavy woolens during winters. Ensure to cover your ears and mouth.
- Gurudongmar Lake is located at 15,000 feet from the sea level and thus, the oxygen level decreases. You must walk slowly and try not to jump.
- If you feel even slightly uneasy, reach out to a paramedic immediately.
- Motion sickness is common here. Keep the necessary medicines handy.
- Do not take children below 5 years of age. They are not allowed by the army.
- Gurugindmar Lake in Sikkim is considered a sacred lake. So, be a responsible citizen and do not litter in and around the lake.
Frequently Asked Questions about Gurudongmar Lake
Ans: If you love adventure then you can test your body at its extreme level, just pack some heavy woolen clothings. The journey from Gangtok to Gurudongmar lake via lachen is very adventurous.
Ans: Gurudongmar is considered sacred by Buddhists, Sikhs and Hindus. The lake is named after Guru Padmasambhava—also known as Guru Rinpoche—founder of Tibetan Buddhism, who visited in the 8th century.
Ans: No, foreigners can't visit Gurudongmar Lake due to its proximity to the Chinese border. They can go up to Thangu.
Ans: Due to proximity to the Chinese Boarder, landmines are not uncommon and presence of Indian Army is ubiquitous. Due to high altitude breathing problems may also arise. Tourists are suggested to spend less time at the high altitude and come down to Lachen soon.
Ans. There is heavy snowfall in December and this may cause road blockage. The temperature at Gurudongmar Lake also drops to -20°C. Therefore, it is advised to avoid visiting Gurudongmar in December and instead plan the visit between March and June.
Ans. While at Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim, you can treat your eyes to the scenic beauty, savor lunch at Lachen and then drive to Lachen through beautiful mountain roads. Spend time in the lap of nature, enjoy the peaceful surroundings, and have a chit-chat with your loved ones. Do not forget to click photographs.
Ans. Yes, an Inner Line Permit is required to visit Gurudongmar Lake. It is issued by the Police check post for domestic tourists and in case of foreign visitors, the Tourist Department issues the permit till Thangu. Another permit called Green Lake Trekking Permit is issued by the Tourism Department after obtaining a valid permit from the Ministry of Home Department in New Delhi.
Ans. Gangtok to Lachen is about 114 km and takes you around 4.5 hours to reach. After a night halt, you can continue your drive from Lachen to Gurudongmar Lake, which is approx. 65 km and takes 4.5 hours to reach.