|| Gurudongmar Lake, North Sikkim ||
It’s all about the experience that you can have for your lifetime if you ever think of peeking into the Northern part of Sikkim, India. The hills over here will not come on strongly spewing its gut and vigor, rather it will make u face and feel its subtle royalty with its beauty. You can mesmerize your eyes with the vast tranquil horizon of godly beauty, thinking yourself to be able to achieve the most. And yes, all this is possible if you take the plunge to arrive at Gurudongmar Lake in North Sikkim.
- Starts from Gangtok (capital of Sikkim) by Tata Sumo/other SUVs only – to Lachen; Drive of 123 km or approx. 6 hrs
- 1 Night stay at Lachen
- At around 4 am, from Lachen to Gurudongmar Lake – Drive of 66.3 km or approx. 3 hrs.
- Best season:
- November 2nd half and February to March – if you love to see the extremes in the snow
- October – November 1st half and April – May – if you want a favorable weather with colorful rhododendron blooms.
- Need to take Inner-Line permit for the car, and each of the passengers to visit the lake.
- Permissions can easily be obtained providing ID cards and P/P size Photos of the tourists, generally arranged by the local travel agencies
- Photography is prohibited in some of the places in transit; except this, no restriction is there
Must have’s as basics:
- Proper Warm clothes for -2/3○C
- Anti-vomiting tablets
- Hot water in flasks
- Lachen is not a very developed town, so there is limited availability of hard drinks. It is better to carry your own drinks if you have taste for premium brands.
- There is a paucity of oxygen at such heights, and thus, staying there for more than an hour is not recommended for most tourists.
- Due to proximity to the Chinese Border, landmines are not uncommon and the presence of Indian Army is ubiquitous.
It would be a tough road travel from Gangtok to Lachen, as not only it is a journey of 4-5 hrs, but the roads are also not so well maintained due to the ever changing of mountain structures.
But one will definitely like the scenic beauty the road offers. It is surely the right welcome hinting you towards a more alluring view and refreshing exploration. To start off you will be treated with an awesome sight of Mount Kanchenjunga and other peaks shining in golden colors (during the sunrise) amongst the floating clouds and lush greeneries. At each turn, you will feel like you are viewing a new scene.
By the time you will reach to the outskirts of Lachen it will be evening. So there is no option to go out. A good and cozy hotel, with a warm invitation, is what you least can expect. Moreover, it is advisable to take a good night’s sleep to get ready for another level of adventure.
Starting at around 4 a.m. in the morning, with the peek of golden peaks, one will get surely energetic. The wind and nature will look too reposeful in the first hour, after which when the sun starts shining, each of the mountain turns will show you a new picture. It feels like a series of oil paintings are going in slides. The hills will be more energetic and vivacious in their mood, welcoming you as a guest who wants to explore horizons.
The roads are not well constructed, and with the snow, it becomes a bit risky. So a well-experienced driver is always preferred.
Breakfast at Thangu valley. It occupies a very broad valley at the junction of Thangu Chu, Chopta Chu, & Lassur Chu, situated at an altitude of 14000ft. A single restaurant will serve you tea, bread butter (the bread has to be carried by the travelers) and boiled noodles.
The road from here turns out riskier, and the nature – more Pristine. The sun rays making the snow valleys blush like a lady being kissed by her man. At some place the roads, half covered in snow, holds two opposite textures of the cliffs. It shows just like two different personalities joined together for some better reasons. The temperature outside the windows of the car will become really too cold and freezing for keeping the hands out for taking any photos. But this can be assured that you will be tempted to do this few times to feel the freeze at least.
By the time you reach the Gurudongmar Lake, you may feel accomplished. But after coming out of your car and walking up to the adjacent temple of the lake (The car cannot go very close to the Lake and the temple area), you will be spell bounded looking at the vast horizon of the white beauty of snow.
The lake, surrounded by small hills spreads its own aura to all its visitors. It extends itself open for the eyes to capture its beauty. The wind running through your eyes and ears will be sharing your joy of reaching the ‘Jannat’.
You will feel like in between the epiphany of remembrance, taking part in a dance of euphoria. In that extreme chill also, the veins will be stimulated with the rush of high voltage of exuberance. You may realize your life to be too small amidst this huge lake to relish this beauty.
Finally though the terrain is hostile with unpaved roads which make the journey hectic, it is the experience of a life-time that you will carry back with you to share.
[The writer went to Gurudongmar Lake during March 2015]
If you want to know more stories of Sikkim, visit: Peaceful Rumtek