Gurudongmar Lake in North Sikkim

Gurudongmar_Panorama_Processed MGurudongmar Lake is one journey, which you will never forget. Journey from Lachen starts early at 5 am. Its mostly dark at that time. As you start climbing, the sunrays hit the snow peaks creating spectacular mountains of gold. Entry to North Sikkim is only possible on a guided tour, and a travel permit must be organised in Gangtok 1-2 days prior to travel. You would need a copy of your photo id card and 2 photos to obtain the permits for North Sikkim.
The only halt is at Thangu at 13000 ft where a single restaurant will serve you tea, bread butter (the bread has to be carried by the travellers) and maggi. You get to sit around the earthen furnace. Socks made from Yak wool and rubber boots are available on sale/rent.
The journey ahead is into the land of frozen rivers and chilled waterfalls. After about 16000 ft till Gurudongmar is mostly flat land with mountains on all sides. Its a high altitude desert, hardly any vegetation and very stony and dusty. You have to make your own roads here and its very easy to get lost. Because it is a plateau, it is very cold as chilled winds come down the frozen mountain slopes. Don’t exert much as you would be gasping for breath at this altitude, Gurudongmar lake at 17100 ft is mind blowing
Gurudongmar Lake at a height of 17100 ft, is among the top 15 highest lakes in the world and is the second highest lake in Sikkim as well as in India, the first being Cholamu lake at a height of 18000 ft, also situated in Sikkim. Being the second highest lake in India, the panoramic and scenic beauty of the place is a sight to behold. Named after Guru Dongmar, the lake has a religious appeal. The view of Mount Siniolchu and Khanchendzonga is breathtaking from that point. The beauty of the lake is awesome and out of the world spectacle. Surrounded by snow clad mountains and crystal clear icy water, it is considered to be a very sacred lake.
Legend has it that, Guru Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Dongmar), touched and sanctified the lake, and thus, even in extreme winter, a portion of the lake does not freeze. The lake is also one of the sources of River Teesta, which flows through Sikkim, West Bengal and Bangladesh to merge with the Bay of Bengal.
The water of Gurudongmar Lake are said to have curative properties and many tourists carry the water with them on their way back. Close to the lake, there is a ‘Sarva Dharma Sthal’, and as the name suggests, it’s a place of worship for all religions.
It takes around 8-9 hours drive from Gangtok to reach Gurongdmar Lake. This lake is in enroute to Lachen, a small town in North Sikkim located at a height of 10000 ft. Usually a night halt at Lachen is recommended as it takes around 3-4 hours from Lachen to reach Gurudongmar Lake. The closest village from Gurdongmar Lake is Thangu, at about 14000 ft.