Dos and Don’ts before planning for this adventure
• Since Gurudongmar is situated at a significant height, breathing problems are normal. Refer to a doctor before planning this trip and keep the necessary medicines handy
• Owing to the terrible roads, motion sickness is also normal. Carry the medicine for that too
• Bring along enough woolens because it will be extremely cold. Ensure that your ears and mouth are covered
• On the way to Gurudongmar, you will come across Thangu Village and Chopta Valley. Though there is not much to explore, you get to see the scenic panoramas and lush landscapes
• Ask the driver to stop at Chopta Valley for breakfast. Chopta Valley is at 12000 ft and when you step out from your car, you will feel the difference. Here, you can see the ghost-like tall trees as the silent observer of the snow-covered peaks. You will not find layers of snow in April. Have breakfast here
• The next stop will be Thangu Village that offers breathtaking views of the alpine valley of frozen rivers. Thangu Village is a remote high altitude village of Tibetan Nomads. Since Gurudongmar Lake is closer to China Border, you will find army regiments at regular intervals. It feels safe in their presence. At Thangu Village, another permit is required which the driver will know. You can soak in the warm sun and try to acclimatize your body at 13000 ft
• The next stop is at 15000 ft (6 km before Gurudongmar Lake). Here, the army provides a medical aid room. For those who feel short of breath, they can get oxygen masks here. There are toilets and a small shack that provides water
• At 15000 ft you will know the difference in the oxygen level. Try not to jump around. Walk slowly and if there is even the slightest doubt, refer to a paramedic immediately
• The road after this point is magical. It is curvaceous but properly paved. You will enjoy every bit of this part. It takes around 15-20 minutes more to reach Gurudongmar Lake from here
• Clean as a whistle, the Lake looks like the one from the fairy tales. Spend no more than 35 minutes here because the air is very thin and oxygen is less. Carry an oxygen cylinder with a mask if in doubt.
After enjoying the blissful one hour at the lake, brace yourselves for a rough journey back to Lachung which is 113 km from Gurudongmar. On the way, you can stop at Naga Falls or Amitabh Bachchan Falls and enjoy the view.