Every exit is an exotic entry to something else
Nature has its best secrets kept behind the firewall of mountains. I consider myself lucky to be able to experience and see one of those best kept secrets, India's highest altitude lake - Gurudongmar Lake, North Sikkim.
Although Tso Lhamho (aka Cholamu) lake is the highest altitude lake in the country at an unbelievable height of 5,930 metres (over 18,500 feet) from sea level. However, to reach Cholamu Lake, we need to get Restricted/Protected Area Permit (RAP) from three government departments Sikkim Police and Administration, Sikkim Tourism and the Indian Army. As the area is close to the Tibetan border, foreigners are not allowed and no permits are issued.
Therefore, the closest one can reach is the spectacular Gurudongmar lake at a humongous height of 17,400 ft from the sea level. Here is how you should experience Sikkim - home to glaciers, alpine meadows and thousands of varieties of wildflowers.
Unarguably one of the most beautiful places in India, Sikkim is a delight because the people are sweet and warm and the monasteries and ropeways are a delight for the kids.
How to reach Gangtok ?
Buses ply till Siliguri (West Bengal), 115 Kms from Gangtok. From here, you have to share a cab/Jeep (Rs. 300/person) or you can hire your own cab at Rs. 2,500/, which will take another 4 hrs to reach Gangtok in normal traffic.
Trains will also stop at New Jalpaiguri, near to Siliguri. From here again, you have to take car/ Jeep.
The nearest airport is Bagdogra which is around 15 Kms from Siliguri. Either you can hire a direct cab from Bagdogra to Gangtok (2500-3000/) or you can go to Siliguri Tenzing bus stand for shared taxis.
What to see ?
Gangtok comes with fully loaded package to keep you at your toes the whole day! From beautiful mall road that comes with fancy cafes and traditional restaurants to mesmerising view points throughout the city including centuries old gompas. It is a state free of patriarchal norms where women have an equal stead in the market