How to Reach Gurudongmar? One of the highest lake of the world
Travelling to Gurudongmar Lake, one of the pristine high altitude lake on the North of Sikkim situated at an altitude of 17800 feet or 5430 meters above the sea level, is an lifetime experience. It is one of the highest altitude lake of the world. The Gurudongmar Lake is a holy place for Hindus and Buddhists. It is considered to be a pilgrimage site. It is one of the most popular tourist destination in Sikkim attracting thousands of tourists yearly.
In this Guide we will provide the details of the Gurudongmar lake including information about the travel and transportantion, permits , time of visit, accomodations and things to care for.
Travel to Gurudongmar by Air
It is absolutely not possible to reach Gurudongmar by Air. One can travel to Gangtok partially by air. The pakyong greenfield airport is also an option but it has very few flights. Currently it is operational and contains couple of flights ina week. It is very hard to get a flight in ones preferred schedule. You can refer to our guide on How to travel to Gangtok for details instruction on reaching Gangtok by air. Bagdogra Airport which is in Siliguri about 100 Kms from Gangtok is the only nearest Airport available. The distance of the nearest airport Bagdogra from Gurudongmar Lake is 290 kms away. However the Pakyong Greenfield Airport is only 210 kilometers from Gurudongmar but it really is not an interesting option to choose.
Travel to Gurudongmar by Train
Again the nearest Railway station is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station at Siliguri which is 280 Kms away from Gurudongmar Lake. You will need to reach gangtok before proceeding to Gurudongmar Lake. You can check out our guide on how to Reach Gangtok by Train to know the full details. The distance between gangtok to New Jalpaiguri Railway station is about 110 kms only. Thereis a change in future after completion of the Railway project by Indian Government, the distance may reduce upto 70 kilometers.
Travel to Gurudongmar by Road
The journey to Gurudongmar Lake from Gangtok is a long 170 kilometers trip and a challenging one. One needs to reach lachen, the nearest town to Gurudongmar Lake. We have a Guide to help you travel to Lachen which you may find handy. One is advised to hire an experienced driver who is familiar and skilled to drive in such deadly terrain. The most easy and conevient way to reach Gurudongmar Lake is to hire a private vehicle or grab a taxi from Gangtok. The journey typically takes around 6 to 7 hours depending on the weather conditions.
Hiring a private vehicle
Hiring a private vehicle is the most easy and conevient option to choose from. Visitor can get a car or jeep with an skilled driver from Gangtok. The cost of the journey is totally dependent on the duration that you prefer and the type of vehiclesopted for. Visitors can expect a minimum cost of INR 10,000 or more depending on the season and vailability of vehicle.
Shared Taxi are also available. But shared taxi can be booked through travel agents only. The travel agents will provide a medium to collaborate all the tourist optiing for shared taxi. Once the capacity is full they will book the taxi and you will need to pay the small amount for the shared taxi. Another option is You can grab a general shared taxi to Lachen from Gangtok. The cost of shared taxi from Gangtok to Lachen is about INR 500 or more. The journey takes around 5 to 6 hours to reach Lachen. Visitors need to hire a private car or shared taxi through travel agent from Mangan to reach Gurudongmar Lake.
Public transport are rarely an option. One can get a bus from Gangtok to Mangan. Mangan is the Capital city of Mangan District in Sikkim.Taking a bus from Gangtok to Mangan is possible, but the buses are infrequent, and traveling in buses in hilly areas can be uncomfortable and time-consuming. Upon reaching Mangan, it is necessary to hire a shared or private taxi to reach Gurudongmar Lake.
Tips to travel to Gurudongmar Lake
Due to its high altitude, Gurudongmar Lake has a low concentration of oxygen, which can make breathing difficult. Visitors are advised to acclimatize themselves by spending a day or two in Gangtok before proceeding to Lachen and spending another day or two there before visiting the lake. Despite acclimatization, some visitors may still experience breathing difficulties. Therefore, individuals with pre-existing medical conditions or a history of breathing problems should avoid visiting the lake. Additionally, it is not recommended for children and the elderly to take this trip.
Warm Clothes are absolutely necessary. Due to high cold, the temperature are pretty low even in summer. Visitors are advised to carry warm clothes , gloves and a cap to protect themselves from chilling cold.
Few necessary medications are absolutely mandatory. Altitude sickness are most common among visitors. Pills are general cold and motion sickness are also advised. It is better to consult a doctor before taking the trip to Gurudongmar Lake.
The road are steep and winding to the extent that a normal driver can barely finds his way right. It is advised to hire an experienced and skilled drived to pave the way through the mountains.
The Gurudongmar Lake is a sacred place and is an important pilgrimate site for both Hindus and Buddhists. Visitor are requested to respect the local culture and traditions. Any deviation from normal behaviour will result in attracting penalties and fines.
Gurudongmar Lake is a serene and excellent destination that attracts thousands of visitors every year. Although the trip is challenging, the breathtaking views of the waterfalls during the journey make it worthwhile. Snow-capped mountains surround the lake throughout the year, making the trip an unforgettable experience. Visitors should follow the travel guide and show respect for the local culture and traditions. Furthermore, it is advisable to plan the trip well in advance and undergo all necessary medical checkups.