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Lachen – Guru Dongmar Lake At an altitude of 8500 ft Lachen is alluring in its simplicity. Not yet as big a tourist destination as Lachung, it retains a freshness which is very appealing. The village comprises of less than 200 houses, earlier inhabited only during winters by their owners who spend their summers on the alpine pastures bordering Tibet tending to their yaks. Lachen is the starting point for some of the most interesting treks in North Sikkim as well as the gateway to the holy Guru Dongmar and Tso Lhamu lakes. You can visit the Lachen Gompa here and sample the simple village life of the ‘Lachenpas’. Nature has numerous beautiful aspects and one of these facets comes alive at Lachen. This small hamlet rests on a verdant plain land that is segregated by cavernous ravines of Lachen. The multi-hued mountains, along with snowy peaks and black cliffs, appear to rise from Lachen. Lachen is inhabited by very less number of people. There are good arrangements to make the accommodation for the tourists comfortable. Lachen also has its own monastery that serves to the religious desires of the dwellers. A trek route to the Green Lake and Kunchenjunga National Park starts from Lachen. Chopta Valley and Gurudongmar Lake are also accessible from Lachen by trek.

Guru Dongmar Lake Situated at a height of 17,800 feet, it is considered one the most sacred lakes by the Buddhists and Hindus alike. The beautiful and awe inspiring lake (190 kms from Gangtok) 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, the local residents are reported to have approached him for providing source of water. The Guru obliged. A portion of the lake touched by him does not freeze in extreme winter. Since water of the lake is considered sacred, visitors carry the 'blessed' water in bottles. Gurudongmar Lake is the largest, and the highest lake in Sikkim. The very appearance of serene waters of the lake brings a sense of relief to the beholder. Situated at an elevation of 17,100 feet (5,148 m), Gurudogmar Lake rests on the northern side of the Khangchengyao Range, in a high plateau area next to the Tibetan Plateau. Gurudongmar Lake is a watercourse of high reverence for the Sikkimese and Buddhists. Gurudongmar Lake is conceivably one amongst the highest lakes, not only in India, but in the whole world. Gurudongmar Lake got its name from Guru Padmasambhava, who is known by the name of Guru Dongmar as well. Gurudogmar Lake is located in close proximity to the Indo-China Border in the northern part of Sikkim. Gurudongmar Lake is a sacred lake that is visited by many pilgrims place annually. From November to Mid-May, the lake continues to be frozen with the exception of one small part of the lake that is believed to have been touched and sanctified by Guru Padmasambhava. The rivulet, budding 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), where some time can be spent in peaceful meditation.

For local sightseeing it is advised to use your Taxi / Cab that you have used to travel upto Gurudongmar. You can retain your vehicle, use it for sightseeing and also proceed to the next destination. Getting a local taxi for sightseeing is difficult and expensive.

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