Beauty upholds itself hiding in the serenity dwelling between the laps of mountains, kissed by the blowing wind, shinning like a mirror gazing at you is the Gurudongmar Lake. This lake is situated at an altitude of 17100 ft. in North Sikkim second highest in India and in top 17 highest lakes of the world.
It is popularly known for its immaculate religious importance and a belief in lot of people, that the water has healing powers. Near the lake you will see a place called “Sarva Dharma Sthal” it means a place for worshipers of all religion. I loved the name, as I truly believe religion should always bring us closer to God and not divide us through boundaries.
Before you start the journey there are important pre requisites for a hassle free journey:
- Permit needed to visit this lake as it is close to Indo Tibetan border
- Bring your identity proof
- Carry glasses with Polaroid and UV protection lenses to withstand heavy sun rays
- Take some light food and water as journey is quite long
- Sunscreen with high SPF
- Medicines for nausea or any other frequent illness you have
Now that you have everything ready, let’s get started.
Most important of all cover as much as you can yourself, its really cold out there.
How to reach Gurudongmar Lake?
At this height humans can’t possibly survive for long, so the residence nearest to this place is Thangu village which is located at 14000 ft. but this is again a very small village to take a stay.
It takes close to 9 hours to reach this place from Gangtok, which would make the journey tiresome, the best staying option is Lachen a town located at 10000 feet, you can reach the lake in 4 hours from here.
We took a night halt in Lachen and started early around 4.30 in the morning for Gurudongmar Lake. You can sleep in the car for some time but don’t sleep for long otherwise you will miss the most spectacular views of this adventurous journey.
We stopped at Thangu for breakfast, please use the washroom otherwise you won’t get any till you reach and come back. You get Maggi and coffee in breakfast and have to pay for using washrooms. I was amazed to see people put locks to their washrooms as they are located outside of their house.
Locals are really welcoming and nice people, haven’t seen such hospitality anywhere. I was astounded by seeing so much of contentment with so less. In a one room house the entire family stays happily.
The day we visited there was slight snow on the roads that morning resulting in a jam. Our car got stuck, drivers were helping each other, our driver also tried a lot of times but the tyre was stuck in snow. That moment, I was wondering will I be able to make it, I didn’t want to go back empty handed.
Kudos to our driver he managed to get the car out and we made it but lot of others were still stuck, we reached our final passing, which was the highest military base camp. Salute to all soldiers who are protecting the country and staying at such extreme locations.
As we passed the gate, I was flabbergasted by the view, saw landmines for the first time in my life and finally reached to this dazzling Gurudongmar Lake which was partially frozen at that time and sparkling like a mirror.
It is not recommended to stay here for more than an hour as oxygen is scarce and you might feel dizzy after sometime.
Wind blows so high and loud shows you the power of the nature, you feel so tiny standing in front of these huge snow covered mountains. I was spellbound by the charismatic lake and enjoyed the silence, the view is still in my eyes and one of the best experience ever.
I returned with this awesome memory which I will cherish for life. The adventure was not over yet, the roads are really tough to drive and for miles you will not see humans. Always check with your driver that he has a spare tyre you might need one in the journey as we did.
Just look at the poor tyre but thanks to God our driver was our lifeline, he fixed it quickly and we came back enjoying the beautiful way.
Several waterfalls and greenery adds to the beauty of the journey.
Best season to go
As you read there could be odds like snow or storm it better to go in a favourable season well, November to June is the best time to go.