Visit to North Sikkim need minimum 3 days. My trip included visit to Gurudongmar lake, Yumthang valley and Zero point. Click here for Sikkim tour – Part I
Interesting facts about Sikkim:
a)Vehicles of other Indian states are not allowed in Sikkim for sightseeing . Vehicles of other states can enter the state only to drop off the passengers at their hotel/home. Drivers should very well know the local routes and respect army restrictions which is otherwise a punishable offence.
Day 2: Beginning North Sikkim tour by reaching Lachen (base village for Gurudongmar lake)
By road is the only available mode. Private or shared cabs can be hired from Gangtok. I chose for private cab from Sikkim Tours and Travels. Travel time between Gangtok and Lachen is 7 hours covering distance of 95 KM.
Why special visit to a lake:
i. It is one of the highest lakes in the world located at an altitude of 17,800ft
ii. It’s proximity to Chinese border
iii. It’s sacred nature due to the legends associated with Guru Padmasambhava and Gurunanak.
We were riding on SUV owing to the difficult terrain that was waiting to be conquered. Sikkim has mountainous terrain with lush greenery and waterfalls all over.
Gangtok was windy at 19°C while in Lachen mercury had dipped to 11°C. Our body had to acclimatise both to mountain sickness and the temperature. We had early dinner in Delight hotels Royal Lachen and marked it end of day.
Day 3: Our ascent to Gurudongmar
We began our journey at 4 in the morning when temperature was negative and we were shivering. It took 4 hours of treacherous ride through snow clad peaks to reach the lake.
Food available on way to Gurudongmar:
Since oxygen level and temperature is low around the lake, it’s essential that one should not have empty stomach.
The locals will let you buy the least quantity of liquor which will make you feel at ease with the temperature.
I was admiring the locals for hospitality, adherence to rough surroundings, hard-working nature, zeal to stay at native place and still make a beautiful today and better tomorrow.
15 Km before the lake is Indian army base camp.
I bought handful of coffee mugs as a small token of saying THANK YOU.
An interesting fact about this lake is that a part of it never freezes and devotees carry sacred water in containers.
It is advisable to return to Gurudongmar lake army base camp max by 12 noon as the oxygen level dips further. We stayed at the lake for about 45 mins and began our descent to Lachen. During descent we saw alpine pastures covered with rhododendron tree all over. This state has maintained its raw form and is still flourishing.On reaching the hotel in Lachen, had lunch and left for next stop, Lachung.
To be continued in next blog