Gurudongmar Lake in Gangtok
Enjoy the serenity of the still and crystal clear water.
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Gurudongmar Lake in Gangtok (2020)
Located at a height of 17100 feet above sea level, Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim is the second-highest lake in India. Needless to say, with an altitude of such magnitude, the lake defies all description. Located just about 5 km south of the Indo-China border and about 190 kilometers from the capital city of Gangtok, the lake has a massive shore length of about 5.34 kilometers and a surface area of about 118 hectares. The lake is considered to be a holy lake by both Sikhs, Hindus, and Buddhists and believed to have some divine power. The lake also provides a beautiful view of Mount Siniolchu and Khanchendzonga among other snow-capped mountains. It acts as a source to the river Teesta. Reaching Sikkim Gurudongmar Lake takes around 8-9 hours by road from Gangtok to reach Gurudongmar Lake. The Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim is located en route Lachen, a small town in North Sikkim. A night stay at Lachen is recommended before heading for the lake. It takes around 3-4 hours to reach the lake from Lachen.
Gurudongmar Lake Permit
Visit to the Lake requires a permit due to its proximity to the Indo-China border as the area falls under Restricted Area Permit (RAP). Indian tourists traveling to Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim need to carry a valid permit from the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department and foreign tourists need to take Inner Line Permit (ILP).
The lake has a religious significance for both Sikhs and Buddhists. A surprising fact about the lake is that even in extreme winters, a part of it never freezes. Named after Guru Dongmar, the lake is said to be blessed carrying curative properties. It is a common practice for tourists to carry the water back with them. The Sarva Dharma Sthala is another spiritual attraction close to the lake. It is a temple for all religions. About 9 kilometers away is the Tso Lhamu Lake which is the source of the Teesta River. It adds to the majestic experience.
The best time to visit the lake is between April and June. The weather is quite pleasant then. During the winters, the lake almost completely freezes which is a treat to the eyes. From November to January is also a good time to visit, if one is equipped to handle the cold.
Shopping in Gurudongmar Lake
Enjoy shopping in Lachen, a small hill station near Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim. One can purchase stuff like shawls, hats, handbags, carpets, wooden articles, bags, handicrafts, handmade blankets, and woven handloom products.
Major Attractions Near Gurudongmar Lake
Major attractions near Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim are the Thangu Valley, the Lachen Monastery, the Chopta Valley, and the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary. Lachen Monastery is famous for its Tibet architecture and is a serene and tranquil place. Chopta Valley is one of the most famous trekking destinations and is known for gorgeous and stunning views. Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary houses a wide variety of Rhododendron species and is surrounded by the Himalayan Ranges.
One can enjoy the local cuisine and choose to go trekking as the lake is a base station for several treks. The hill town of Lachen provides a good shopping experience as well. From handlooms to wooden artifacts, it has a lot to offer. The place is famous for its yak wool clothes, carpets, and other woolen products. The Handicraft Center and the Angora Rabbit Farm are famous shopping destinations for artifacts and woolen clothes. Overall, a visit to this sanctified lake is guaranteed to be an experience of a lifetime.
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FAQ's of Gangtok
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Nathula and Gurudongmar Lake are not open to foreign nationals as per the guidelines of Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India since they are located in the international border areas. Whereas, Indian tourists need permit to visit these areas. Permit for Nathula and Gurudongmar lake are issued by Tourism and Civil Aviation Department. Domestic tourists are to contact travel agents.
Yes, one can go to Gurudongmar lake from Gangtok but need to take a permit from Tourism and Civil Aviation Department.
From Gangtok it is 4 to 5 hours (approx.) drive to reach Lachen in North Sikkim. And from Lachen again it is a 3 to 4 (approx.) hours drive to reach Gurudongmar Lake. The only way to reach directly Gurudongmar Lake is by road.
Yes, foreigners can visit Gurudongmar Lake but they need to take Inner Line Permit (ILP).
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