Location & Description
In North Sikkim Eastern Himalayas, Gurudongmar is an extrordinarily beautiful tourist destination. The Gurudongmar Lake situated at 17300 ft (17800ft according to some other sources) is one of the highest lakes in the world. It is a pristine mountain lake surrounded by majestic snow peaks. The lake remains mostly frozen during the winter months (November to May).
Gurudongmar lake is considered sacred by both Buddhists and Sikhs. Buddhists believe that Guru Padmasambhava, founder of Tibetan Buddhism blessed the lake on his way back from Tibet. Sikhs believe that Guru Nanak Dev had touched the frozen lake with his stick (dang) to reveal water and hence the name Gurudongmar. Today there is a small temple Sarva Dharma Sthal built on the shore of the lake. The lake is just 5km south of Tibet border and the whole area is under Indian army. There is no habitation, eatery or shops around the place. Usually the army people are very helpful and provide support to visitors when necessary. Travel permits are required to visit these areas. Please visit the Sikkim Govt. website for travel restriction and other useful information.
To reach Gurudongmar, one starts from Gangtok and spends the night at Lachen village. Next day early morning one leaves for Gurudongmar and then returns back to Gangtok or proceeds towards Lachung. Areas around Gurudongmar Lake become very windy with progress of the day. It is advisable to start very early from Lachen, visit the lake and come back before noon.
Journey from Gangtok to Lachen (107km) is upstream along the river Teesta (upto ChungThang) and then upstream along the river Lachenchu. Lachen is the last inhabited place on this route and has some hotels, eateries and shops. Journey to Gurudongmar is upstream along Lachencu. The final stages of the journey is along almost horizontal ground of Tibetan plateau and visitors pass through an unearthly and stunning landscape of frozen rivers, snow fields surrounded by lofty mountains.
The lake being at a very high altitude some special precautions are needed. Please read the companion Gurudongmar Travel Guide for further information.
For brief coverage on Gurudongmar-Yumthang tour you may refer to our travel guide.
For more details wikipedia page you may refer to.