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Situated at an altitude of over 17,000 feet, Gurudongmar is one of the highest lakes in India. It is also one of the most famous lakes in Sikkim. Named after Guru Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, the lake is considered a holy place for Tibetan Buddhists. 

Moreover, devotees believe that childless couples can be blessed with a child if they offer their prayers here. One of the most popular places to visit in Sikkim during the Summer season, the lake looks equally beautiful in the winter season when most of the lake is frozen.

Besides, you can also cover nearby tourist attractions like Thangu, Chopta valley, zero point, etc., during your Lachung- Gurudongmar trip.

Gurudongmar Lake Travel Guide

Low oxygen levels due to high altitude and poor road connectivity to the lake can cause breathing problems and motion sickness, which is quite normal. So, it’s important to undergo a precautionary health check-up and acclimatisation to avoid health issues.

Therefore, it’s recommended to include the Gurudongmar visit as an extended Gangtok-Lachung tour. You can break the trip into the following stages.

First Stage: Reaching Gangtok

By Air

The Pakyong airport, inaugurated by India’s Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, in September 2018, is just 27 km away from Gangtok. However, the flights are suspended from here as of December 2022. Therefore, Bagdogra airport, at a distance of 123 km, is the nearest operational airport to Gangtok. 

By Train

Siliguri railway station, at a distance of 113 km, is the nearest railway station to Gangtok. Trains to Siliguri are available from New Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. 

Final Journey to Gangtok

Whether you’re coming by flight or train, you must take a long but scenic 5-hour road trip via NH10. The routes from the airport and the railway station will meet at the Darjeeling More (Darjeeling Square). From here, the long serpentine road with spectacular scenery all around will take you up to Gangtok. 

Local children hitchhiking to their school in passing vehicles by standing outside the SUV doors are a common sight. Yes, Lovelina Borgohain’s inspiring story is repeated every day in this part of the country. Ask for their name and offer some cookies. Someday, well, who knows? 

Club Mahindra Gangtok and Le Vintuna Gangtok are among the best resorts in Sikkim. Stay in any of these resorts and complete touring Gangtok and the nearby places in 2-3 days. 

Second Stage: Reaching Lachung

Rent a taxi and start early from your hotel in Gangtok to reach Lachung. The 121 km distance via Singtam - Chungthang Road would take 5- 6 hours, depending on weather and traffic conditions. Lachung is a very scenic village with beautiful natural attractions all around the place. Stay here overnight or take a day or two for sightseeing and unwinding here. 

Final Stage: Gurudongmar Lake

Hire a cab at Lachung to reach Gurudongmar lake through a 4-hour drive via Gurudongmar Road. Remember, you’ll need a permit from the police check post. Foreigners would need a permit from the tourism department. Return to Lachung after spending some time at the lake. Permits are free of cost and can be availed at Gangtok.

Children below the age of five are not allowed to visit here. 

Gurudongmar is one of those prominent lakes in Sikkim that should be on the bucket list of every Sikkim tour plan. You’ll know why people go on and on about this mystical lake once you see the place with your own eyes. 

 

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