Tourists who are planning to spend their holidays on Sikkim travel cannot miss to visit the marvelous Gurudongmar Lake situated in the northern part of the state. Positioned at an elevation of more than 17000 feet above mean sea level, this tarn is among the highest of its kind all over the world. It is the second highest Indian lake after Cholamu lake, which lies at an altitude of about 18000 feet above mean sea level. Surrounded by breathtaking terrains, this lake offer spectacular views of luxuriant valleys, lush green forests and pristine water bodies. This exquisite site is a delight for nature lovers as well as peace seekers.
An ideal getaway from the humdrum of city life, this tarn attracts hordes of tourists from the state and beyond all-year round.
Besides, not only is this destination a spellbinding visual treat, but the journey to this site is also a memorable experience. Tourists pass through dense alpine forests, carpets of colourful flowers and cascading waterfalls during the 7 to 8 hours trip from Gangtok – the capital of Sikkim to Gurudongmar. Once travellers reach Gurudongmar, they undertake an enthralling excursion via snow-clad peaks and soaring mountains to reach the splendid water body. After reaching the lake, tourists behold captivating natural beauty unleashed in the form of lofty peaks, rolling hills, deep valleys, icy water and alpine forests. Some of the most popular sights, which attract tourists here are the spectacular views of Mount Khanchendzonga and Mount Siniolchu.
Apart from nature enthusiasts, adventurers and wildlife lovers, this place is also flocked by historians and pilgrims. Named after Guru Dongmar, this tarn has religious significance and it is considered sacred. There are several stories and legends associated with this holy water body. One of the most popular stories says that Guru Dongmar, who is also known as Guru Padmasambhava, performed the sanctification of this lake. It is believed that it is because of this holy ritual, a portion of the tarn does not freeze into ice even during extreme weather conditions.
A Sarva Dharna Sthal has been built near the tarn that is a prominent site for followers of all religions. Besides, the water of this sacred tarn is also believed to have curative powers.
This placid water body is one of the sources of River Teesta, which flows via the state to West Bengal and finally merges with the infinite Bay of Bengal. The best time to visit this mesmeric destination is between the moths of November and June. After opting for best tour packages, it is advised that tourists should consider taking several medical precautions. This is because due to the extreme height of this place, there is a dearth of oxygen here. Staying for more than one hour is not recommended for all, especially kids, elderly and patients of high/low blood pressure. Experienced travellers recommended carrying masks and proper woollen clothes for protection against the icy breeze, low oxygen content and extreme weather conditions.