Gurudongmar Lake – Magic At 17800 ft

by Ekta


Sep 2, 2019

Located at an altitude of 17,800 ft., the Gurudongmar Lake is amongst the highest lakes in the world.

Gurudongmar Lake is named after Guru Padmasambhava. As per the legends, since the lake used to completely frozen during winter making it unusable, people pleaded the Guru for a solution. Guru agreed and placed his hands on one point of the lake, and it is this point where the water never freezes now.

Tourists usually take an overnight stop at Lachen before starting for Gurudingmar early in the morning. The route from Lachen to Gurudongmar is very scenic, with the landscape changing from lush green valleys to tough snow-clad mountains and clouds giving way to beautiful blue skies.  

As the lake is located very close to the International border, there are restrictions in place and domestic tourists need necessary permit to visit. These permits can be easily obtained with the help of travel agents. International tourists are not allowed to visit the lake. There are army check posts along the way for refreshments and loo breaks. No such facilities at the lake.

There is a small temple of Guru Padmasambhava next to the lake and you can see hundreds of colourful prayer flags from worshippers and tourists alike.

The lake is considered sacred by Buddhist, Hindus and Sikhs alike. Please maintain the sanctity of the area.

Due to the elevation, the air is thinner. This can make one feel breathless and nauseated. Please avoid any kind of exertion.


Gurudongmar Lake

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  • Location: North Sikkim, India
  • Places Visited: Lachen, Gurudongmar Lake
  • Nearest Airport: Bagdogra, WB
  • Mode of Travel: By Road, Hired Car
  • Permit Needed: Yes. Inner Line Permit
  • Stay: Lachung
  • Activities: Sightsighting at the lake, pray, Short hikes around Lachen
  • Stay Safe: Beware of AMS, do not exert a lot, drive safe

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About the Author


A Business Analyst who lives in Pune, Maharashtra. She loves traveling and has acquired the hobby of taking photographs. Believes in living life to the fullest and is always cheerful. Co-owner of Shadows Galore.

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