Discover India Series: Gurudongmar Lake, Sikkim
A Lake in the Clouds
High-altitude lakes, or Alpine lakes, are often much different from the ordinary ones that you would find in your city. They are more spectacular because of the crystal-clear water that mirrors the clear blue sky. Usually found amidst the mountains, it is as pure as you can imagine because of the cold weather that slows down the growth of algae and moss in it. One such lake that is located amidst the vast range of the Himalayas is Guru Dongmar Lake in Sikkim. If you are planning to travel North-East in India, visiting this lake is one of the best things to do in Sikkim.
Before we get further, here are some quick facts you must know:
Guru Dongmar Lake is suitable for two kinds of tourists:
It has a stunning view with such pristine clear water that you can see its bed even from the middle of the lake. Surrounded by snow-clad mountains, it is one of the most majestic places to visit in Sikkim. The two well-known peaks in Sikkim - Mt Siniolchu and Mt Khangchendzonga – are right adjacent, which often reflect on its crystal-clear water on a bright sunny day.
In India, with its rich spiritual heritage, it is quite rare that a pristine beautiful lake like this doesn’t hold its spiritual significance. Legend says that once a great saint was passing by this lake when the people from nearby villages surrounded him and expressed their problem of availing drinking water from the frozen lake. Upon that, the saint touched Guru Dongmar Lake with his staff and since then the water has never been frozen to date.
Centuries-old Folktales like these always pass on orally within generations and most creeds and religions associate with them through their respective saints. The same is the case with Guru Dongmar Lake. Sikhs believe that the saint was Guru Nanak, while Buddhists believe that it was Guru Padmasambhava. Nevertheless, the lake still holds a spiritual significance among Sikhs, Buddhists as well as Hindus.
Getting to Guru Dongmar Lake is not that easy, yet adventurous. Few points to note to get to this lake are:
High Season: April to June
Low Season: November to January
The best time to visit this lake is often considered between April and June when the weather is quite pleasant, and the sun is bright. Snow uncovers the vast green lands while remaining present only on the mountain peaks giving tourists a spectacular view.
The low season is between November and January when the weather is almost freezing. Yet the passes are open and you must prepare yourself with heavy warm clothes to stand against the unpredictable snowfalls and chilly winds.
While visiting this lake so far away, you must also plan to cover nearby attractions to create more memories.
Few more places that you can visit alongside are:
To visit Guru Dongmar Lake, you need to stay at Lachen. Along with basic amenities, most of the resorts in Sikkim have wooden flooring, heaters, hot water bags, geysers and in-house generators to make your stay warm and cozy. Apart from the few luxurious resorts, there are many low-budget hotels as well. Club Mahindra has two of its resorts in Sikkim – Club Mahindra Gangtok and Club Mahindra Baiguney, where you should book your stay while heading to Guru Dongmar Lake or while returning to more magic to your holiday.
Visiting high-altitude places often requires some prior preparations. Your journey would be without any hassle if you keep the basic things in advance like:
You must first acclimatize yourself at Lachen for a day or two before you start for the higher altitude lake.
Apart from clicking pictures and sharing them with your friends, don’t forget to disconnect yourself from digital devices for a while and immerse yourself completely into the mystical nature of the place as well as staying for a bit at Club Mahindra properties in Sikkim.
Wish you a wonderful time!
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