Gurudogmar Lake is one of the highest lakes in the world, located at an altitude of 17,800 feet / 5430 meters. It lies only some 5 kilometres south of Chinese border. The lake can be reached by road from Lachen via Thangu. The lake is considered one the most sacred lakes of the region. The beautiful and awe inspiring lake remains milky in colour throughout the year. According to a legend, since the lake used to remain frozen most of the year, it was not possible to use its water for drinking purposes. When the Guru Padmasambhava passed by, while returning from Tibet he was thrsty. Hence he touched a portion of the lake and since then the water does not freeze even in extreme winter. Since water of the lake is considered sacred, visitors carry the 'blessed' water in bottles. The lake can be reached from Lachen in North Sikkim district in the Indian state of Sikkim. Lachen comprises of less than 200 houses. One can find inhabited only during winters. Their owners spend their summers on the alpine pastures bordering Tibet tending to their yaks. There is paucity of oxygen at such a height, and thus, staying there for more than an hour is not recommended for most tourists.
It is a tourist destination with adifference. Tourist visit Lachen to explore Gurudongmar Lake and Tso Lhamu lakes which is situated in a cold desert nearly 65 kilometers from here. Tso Lhamu is not covered by the the permit issued for Gurudongmar Lake. Cholamu lake is at a height of 18000 feet. The scenic beauty of Gurudongmar is classic. The lake has portion of it in liquid state even if the temperature is - 24 °C to - 30 °C, it is said that Guru Nanak once touched this edge to drink water and from then on it never solidifies. A rivulet emerging from the lake, is one of the sources of River Teesta. The waters of this lake are said to have curative properties. Close to the lake, there is a 'Sarva Dharma Sthal' (House of worship for All Religions) for meditation. Chopta Valley is situated at a height of 14500 feet on the way to Gurudongmar. This Valley is also known for its flowers next to the more famous one at Yumthang. Lachen offers a number of tourist accommodations. However a hotel here cannot be booked directly. As per government rule you can visit North Sikkim only by booking a complete tour package.
The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport (IXB) and is nearly 320 kilometers. Chopper service is available for Gangtok from Bagdogra otherwise one has to drive to Gangtok nearly 130 kilometers via National Highway 10. Gangtok to Lachen is 5 - 6 hours drive and requires Inner Line Permit (ILP) and from There to Gurudongmar is another 4 - 5 hours drive. The nearest major railway Station is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) a roughly 320 kilometers. With one night rest at Gangtok and after permit is issued move to Lachen in 5 - 6 hours drive. From Lachung one can visit Gurudongmar nearly 65 kilometers in 4 - 5 hours drive with a stop at 15000 feet army canteen.