Gurudongmar or Gurudamba Lake: Travel Guide

Gurudongmar Lake

Gurudongmar Lake or Gurudamba Lake nestled on the foothills of snowcapped mountains is a sacred Lake in Sikkim. Named after the revered saint Guru Padmasambhava, the lake is considered a holy place for both Hindu and Buddhist. With an altitude of 5183mt, this serene water body appears to be one of the highest lakes in the world. Located 173 km from Gangtok and 5km from the Indo-Tibet border, Gurudongmar Lake is one of the fantastic places being visited by thousands of tourists every year in Sikkim. The emerald blue color of Gurudongmar Lake shimmering under the sun has left many travelers to spellbind with its ethereal beauty.

Be engulfed by the cool winds of the Himalayas while being mesmerized by the unearthly charm of the glacial lake Gurudongmar. By availing Sikkim Tour Package from North Bengal Tourism you can explore other places like Lachen, and Yumthang Valley along with Gurudongmar Lake at a reasonable price.

Facts about Gurudongmar Lake

There is a portion of Gurudongmar Lake that never freezes even when the temperature drops below minus degrees. And there is a legend behind this unfrozen part. As per the legend, during the 15th-century villagers requested Guru Rinpoche to solve their crises of water which they faced every winter, after hearing their pleas he touched a portion of Gurudamba Lake with his staff, and hence the specific portion remain unscathed even during the harsh winter.

Place to Visit near Gurudongmar Lake

Along with this lake, travelers can visit other promising tourist places. A short excursion from the lake will let the travelers explore the following places:


Lachen is an unflappable mountainous village nestled in the northern part of Sikkim. Tucked midst the Skyscraping Mountains, Lachen is perched at an altitude of 2750mt. Secluded far from the hassle of bustling town Lachen has been a perfect place to find solace. The place is the base for the travelers visiting Gurudongmar Lake and Chopta Valley. Lachen in Sikkim is also a must-visit place one should certainly visit if they want to experience a secluded environment.


Encompassed by striking Himalayan Range and awe-inspiring waterfalls, Lachung in Sikkim proves to be a perfect holiday destination. This Himalayan hamlet was described as the most picturesque village of Sikkim by Joseph Dalton Hooker in the popular Himalayan Journal 1855. Lachung Monastery is the most pictorial site here. This Buddhist monastery is the must-visit place for those who seek tranquility and a secluded place to ease their distressed soul.

Yumthang Valley

Yumthang Valley also known as the Sikkim Valley of Flowers Sanctuary is a pictorial valley very close to this lake. Sits at an elevation of 3500 mt., this magnificent valley is dotted with an exquisite collection of Himalayan Flora. Yumthang is blessed with an abundance of nature where visitors will find over 24 species of Rhododendrons which paint the entire valley with a rosy blush during spring. Along with rhododendron trees, the beautiful valley is covered with vibrant Himalayan flowers and herbs making it a treasure house for the botany lovers. Yumthang with its ethereal beauty and the splendid vista of the Himalayan range has become a must-visit place near this splendid lake.

How to Reach Gurudongmar Lake

By Air: The nearest airport to Gurudongmar Lake is in Bagdogra. From Bagdogra Airport it takes approx. 10hrs to reach Gurudongmar Lake. Distance: The distance between Bagdogra to Gurudongmar Lake is 265 kilometers.

By Road: The nearest railway station of Gurudongmar Lake is New Jalpaiguri Railways Station (NJP). It is an overall 10hrs journey from NJP to Gurudongmar Lake. Distance: The distance between NJP to Gurudongmar Lake is 262km.

By Road: To travel directly to this lake from NJP or Bagdogra Airport, travelers can opt for a rented cab or taxi from a reliable car rental agency. Cars can even be hired from Siliguri as well Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim.

Where to stay

Although Gurudongmar Lake is a famous place to visit in Sikkim, it is a semi-arid zone with no sign of settlement around it. The best option is the stay in Lachen. It is a small Himalayan hamlet. With North Bengal Tourism you can book hotels and homestays in Lachen to visit Gurudongmar. Distance: The distance between Lachen to Gurudongmar Lake is 68 kilometers.

Best Time to visit Gurudongmar Lake

September to June is the best time to visit Gurudongmar Lake. Throughout these months, the sky remains crystal clear with its blue hues, the surrounding snow-peaked mountains look magnificent and the lush greenery looks even greener. The lake itself looks unearthly too. During these months, the temperature hovers between - 5°C to 5°C. It is best if visitors avoid traveling to Gurudumba Lake during monsoon season to prevent any misshape due to sudden landslides.

Gurudongmar Lake in March: The weather in March surrounding the lake is cool and dry. The temperature hovers between - 5°C to 7°C. The lake stays mostly frozen.

Gurudongmar Lake in April: Just like in March, the weather of Gurudongmar Lake is April is chilly. Apart from this frozen lake, the surrounding also gets covered with snow. The snow-peaked mountains in the backdrop also look promising.

Gurudongmar Lake in December: December is one of the coolest months in the state. The temperature ranges from maximum 5°C to minimum -27°C. The valley gets covered with thick snow. Those who want to see the lake in the frozen form should surely visit the lake during December.

Some F.A.Q Related to Gurudamba Lake

Q. Is Gurudongmar Lake open now?

It totally depends upon the weather conditions. Sometimes, due to the heavy snowfall the lake becomes inaccessible.

Q. Is this Lake Worth visiting?

For those who want to experience the jaw-dropping beauty of this high elevation lake and want to witness how the snow covered mountains look like from a close proximity, this lake is truly worth visiting.

Q. How do I get a permit to visit the lake?

The permit to visit this lake can be obtained from Sikkim Tourism registered Travel Agent, police check post or the tourism department in Sikkim.

Q. What is the height of this lake?

The height of this lake is 17800 ft. or 5425.44 meter. It is one of the highest lakes in Sikkim.

Q. What are the tourist places to see near the lake?

The tourist places to see near the lake are Lachen, Lachung and Yumthang Valley.

Q. Can older persons and babies visit the lake?

Due to the high elevation, Oxygen level is quite low here which can cause breathing problems to older people and babies. However, children above 8 years can easily visit the lake.


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