North Sikkim

Tripoto
18th Jul 2014

Gurudongmar Lake

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Gurudongmar Lake from a distance

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

On the way to Gurudongmar Lake from Thangu

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

On the way to Gurudongmar Lake from Thangu

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Multi religious temple at Gurudongmar Lake

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Gurudongmar Lake

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Gurudongmar Lake

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Gurudongmar Lake

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Gurudongmar Lake

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Gurudongmar Lake

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

On the way to Yumthang Valley from lachung

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Yumthang Valley

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Yumthang Valley

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Yumthang Valley

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Yumthang Valley

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Loyal friends

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Yumthang Valley

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

This the last civilian habitable point before Lake

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Breakfast at Thangu

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

On the way to Gurudongmar Lake from Lachen

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

On the way to Gurudongmar Lake from Lachen

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

On the way to Gurudongmar Lake from Lachen

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

On the way to Gurudongmar Lake from Thangu

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

On the way to Gurudongmar Lake from Thangu

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

The Holy Gurudongmar Lake

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

The Holy Gurudongmar Lake

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Around The Holy Gurudongmar Lake

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

At The Holy Gurudongmar Lake

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

The Holy Gurudongmar Lake

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

The Holy Gurudongmar Lake

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Climbing down is easy but getting up is not

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

The Holy Gurudongmar Lake

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

On way back from the lake

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

The Holy Gurudongmar Lake

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

First glimpse of the Yumthang Valley

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Yumthang Valley

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Yumthang Valley

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Yumthang Valley

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Yumthang Valley

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Yumthang Valley

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Yumthang Valley

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Yumthang Valley

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

On the way back to Gangtok from Lachung

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

A cow staring at a village down

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

They do not hesitate to give you company if need b

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

momos and coffee on the way to New Jalpaiguru

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath
Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath
Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath
Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath
Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Yumthang Valley

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Yumthang Valley

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

This road in Yumthang valley goes till Zero Point

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Love Birds

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Wild Horses

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Wild Horses

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

moments to cherish

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath
Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath
Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Operated by the Indian Army

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Yumthang Valley

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Yumthang Valley

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Way back to Gangtok

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

Among the mist and clouds

Photo of North Sikkim by Anupam Debnath

After we got down from the train at NJP staion (398 ft above sealevel), we did not realise that at the end of that day we would be hitting the bed at a height of 12000 ft. and within a few hours the next morning we would be standing at a height of 17,800 feet staring at the 2nd hightest lake of India and the 14th highest in the world. Gurudongmar lake was the destination around which our whole trip was built up.

North Sikkim offers you beautiful and pristine lakes (India's highest lake is very close to Gurudongmar but access is denied to ordinary travelers), sky high mountains, charismatic valleys, misty roads and a glimpse of the hardships that the Indian Army personals have to face in order to protect our borders. Although it is difficult to reach Gurudongmar and lot of people suffer from health issues on or while reaching the spot (air has very low oxygen content) and children and elderly people are not recommended, once you reach the spot trust me when I say this - IT IS WORTH IT.

We got down from the train and booked a cab (they are in plenty at the station). We reached Ganktok in 4 hours where our friend and driver Sonam Sangpo was waiting for us.
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
Photo of New Jalpaiguri by Anupam Debnath
We did not spend a moment in Gangtok and headed straight for Lachen. Our train was late by 4 hours and that had put the whole plan of covering Gurudongmar Lake (through Lachen) and Yumthang Valley (through Lachung) in jeopardy. But u need not worry when you have a local friend like Sonam Sangpo. He drove us in the dark of the night (not recommended) to ensure that we spend the night at Lachen and out trip goes on as planned. We reached Lachen at around 10 pm and food and accomodation was arranged by Sonam. Lachen is a very small and sleepy hamlet where travellers spend the night to acclimatize before leaving for Gurudongmar Lake. At night the only sound that comes to your ears are that of a small waterfall few kms away. Lachen is nothing less than a fairy tale village where the princess would take shelter after running from the beast (read everyday work life) and the people would shower her with all kinds of help and support.
Photo of Lachen by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Lachen by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Lachen by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Lachen by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Lachen by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Lachen by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Lachen by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Lachen by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Lachen by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Lachen by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Lachen by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Lachen by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Lachen by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Lachen by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Lachen by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Lachen by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Lachen by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Lachen by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Lachen by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Lachen by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Lachen by Anupam Debnath
This is the last spot where you will find civilian settlement on the way to Gurudongmar Lake. Perfect place to have breakfast and then leave for the holy lake. It is at a height of 14000 ft and if you want some last minute shopping, this is the place.
Photo of Thangu by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Thangu by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Thangu by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Thangu by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Thangu by Anupam Debnath
After passing through barren landscape and seeing the signs of life vanish slowly, we reached the final spot. The first view of the holy lake id simply priceless and not explainable in words. I never felt so elated and stunned on reaching any place before. The place has a touch of divinity every where but with beauty comes hardship. The oxygen content is so low that you can feel it in every single step. I saw some people coming out of their car, felt dizzy and sick and went back into the car to leave. They were devoid of an up close and personal view of the lake (one needs to climb down the stairs to reach the lake). The lake is the source of one of the rivers that joins others to become Teesta. It is surrounded from all sides by picturesque mountains as if they were protecting something very special. This needs to be in the bucket list of every traveler. All through the route, there are Indian Army Camps with army men relentlessly rendering their services for the nation in inhuman conditions. Could not help but respect these brave souls. Indian Army operates a cafe on the way to Gurudongmar Lake which is supposedly the highest cafe in the world.
Photo of Gurudongmar lake by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Gurudongmar lake by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Gurudongmar lake by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Gurudongmar lake by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Gurudongmar lake by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Gurudongmar lake by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Gurudongmar lake by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Gurudongmar lake by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Gurudongmar lake by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Gurudongmar lake by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Gurudongmar lake by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Gurudongmar lake by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Gurudongmar lake by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Gurudongmar lake by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Gurudongmar lake by Anupam Debnath
We headed straight to Lachung from Gurudongmar lake which would be our night halt before heading towards Yumthang valley the next morning. As usual and as unplanned, accomodation was arranged by Sonam Sangpo. When you get a driver like Sonam, your trip becomes all the more awesome and you end up making one more friend.
Yumthang valley is another beauty in itself. Mist cladded mountains and valleys, wild horses strolling briskly all around. It gives you a feeling of mini Switzerland(not a comparison but just a reference). It is place where you can spend a good amount of time and then head for other adjoining places like Zero Point, Katau and an hot water spring. This valley is also known as valley of flowers but we did not find much of an evidence to verify that. Nevertheless, the trip to Yumthang valley is a uber pleasant experience that you would love to capture in your camera.
Photo of Yumthang Valley by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Yumthang Valley by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Yumthang Valley by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Yumthang Valley by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Yumthang Valley by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Yumthang Valley by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Yumthang Valley by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Yumthang Valley by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Yumthang Valley by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Yumthang Valley by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Yumthang Valley by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Yumthang Valley by Anupam Debnath
Photo of Yumthang Valley by Anupam Debnath
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