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Gurudongmar Lake

Discussion in 'Sikkim' started by ChaiNashta, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. ChaiNashta

    ChaiNashta Active Member

    Gurudongmar lake is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Sikkim. Gurudongmar lake is situated at an altitude of 17800 feet above sea level and is an extension of the Tibetian plateau. The stream that leaves Gurudongmar lake later develops into Teesta river which flows through Sikkim , West Bengal, and Bangladesh to later merge into the Bay of Bengal.


    Your Sikkim tour is not complete unless you see this wonderful lake which is surrounded by magnificent mountain peaks. Gurudongmar is one of the highest lakes in the world and second highest in India and Sikkim after Cholamu lake which is 200 feet higher then Gurudongmar lake. Locals believe that a portion of the lake always remains unfrozen due to the blessings of Guru Dongmar after whom this lake is named.

    Guru Dongmar Lake, situated at an elevation of 5,154 m or 17,000 feet, near Mount Khang-Chen Gyao, North Sikkim, is named after the visit of Guru Padma Sambhava in 8th century A.D, who was a founder of Tibetan Buddhism. This Lake is included in 109 Tshochen or major Lakes of Sikkim as per ‘Nay-sol-Text’.

    Guru Padmasambhava is popularly known in Sikkim as “Guru Rinpoche”. Padmasambhava first came to Guru Dongmar Lake as the word- ‘Dongmar Shap Chakpa’ refers to his first visit to this place. There, he examined an omen in the lake and found auspicious to enter into the heartland of Demojong (Sikkim). Guru recognized this Lake as a part of the places of worship of famous Dorje Nyima or Chhoedten Nyima holy place situated northern border of Sikkim. This lake is a landmark of northern door to enter into the Hidden Land of Demojong. This historical fact was confirmed based on the write up given by late Lachen Gomchen Rinpoche, who was spiritual Head of the Lachen Monastery, North Sikkim.

    According to Rinpoche, this lake has been clear like sky with almost visible basin since the last 40years. The Rinpoche further said that it grants boon to any expecting woman. Later, the colour of the lake gradually became whitish due to defilement by human interference. The Lake appears smaller from the place where devotees offer prayer but takes two hours to circumambulate it since its upper portion which is quite wide is hidden behind the hill.

    As per the official record, the Army Sikh regiment deployed at the Indo-China border in North Sikkim constructed a structure called- ‘Dharmasthal’ about the year 1997-98 on the lake shore as a shrine of Guru Nanak as they mistook Guru Padmasambhava to be Guru Nanak a celebrated Saint of the Sikh Faith. This illegal development angered the local Buddhist devotees visiting the site. On constant complaint of the local residents, the government of Sikkim initially constituted a high-level Committee for submitting a report about the status of the Lake. In the light of a written document furnished by Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Gangtok the Committee submits a report establishing a fact that it was undisputedly a Buddhist Place of Worship and nothing to contradict by Sikh Faiths. Following which the matter was settled amicably between Army personnel and people’s representative of Lachen Monastery followed by handing and taking over on 6th July 2001 in presence of the Government representatives including Sub Divisional Magistrate, Chungthang, North Sikkim. Thereafter, a Chowkidar lama has been appointed by Ecclesiastical Affairs Department for taking care of this lake. Today, this lake has become one of the most visited places in Northern Sikkim. In Sikkim, Holy Lakes are revered as abodes the of Gods, Nagas and Yakshas, and whoever seeks blessing with devotion are granted definitely. It is not needed to construct an extra place of worship of one’s faith nearby the lakes for obtaining blessing.

    How to get to Gurudongmar lake :

    Gurudongmar lake is about nine hours drive from the capital city of Gangtok. It is advisable to take some rest at Lachen on the way before heading to Gurudongmar lake which is another four hours drive from Lachen.

    Gurudongmar lake can also be reached using a trek route that goes from Zero point to Gurudongmar lake through Nathula pass.