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India’s Highest Lake Gurudongmar on a Motorcycle: Route, Paperwork, Tips & More

At 17,800 feet above sea level is the majestic Gurudongmar, India’s highest lake, and reaching the place on a motorcycle is every biker’s dream

If you are a biker/rider/motorcyclist in India, you are probably done with the Gurudongmar motorcycle trip. If not, we are sure you want to reach the place someday on your motorcycle or scooter. However, given India is a massive country, it is hard to navigate through states and cities to reach the majestic lake. Therefore, to ease your adventure, in this article; we have jotted down the important points to reach the frosty lake. 

Why is this article important? 

The Gurudongmar lake is in Sikkim, a small state in the North-eastern part of India that does not receive many visitors from faraway states of India. Not to forget, the lake sits close to the Indo-Chinese border and therefore; the area is continuously under the surveillance of the Indian defence forces. A visitor must carry several documents and official passes to reach the lake. 

Wherever you are, you must reach Siliguri; the Gateway of North-East India

Whether you are coming from Delhi, Mumbai or Chennai;Reach the city of Siliguri in the state of West Bengal. After reaching Siliguri, a visitor needs to ride 115 kilometres of serpentine roads to reach Gangtok. The distance is not much, but the tricky route, tough terrain, and weather condition makes the journey of around four to five hours. 

Halt in Gangtok, get the official permit

To reach Gurudongmar lake, one needs to visit Gangtok’s Sikkim Tourism office in Mahatma Gandhi Marg. An individual will have to provide his or her address proof (Voter card/Aadhaar card) along with two stamp size photographs. For the motorcycle or scooter, all the papers such as RC, pollution and insurance must be submitted. Once submitted, the office will provide an official permit. 

Do not try Gurudongmar in a day

After obtaining the permit, one must leave for Lachen from Gangtok the following day. An individual must leave Gangtok by 3-4 a.m. and ride 110 kilometres to Lachen; a ride of around 6 to 7 hours. After reaching Lachen, one must rest for the day and leave for Gurudongmar the following day, which is a ride of around 80 kilometres. Note that there are no petrol pumps after Lachen. 

One can spend a few hours at the lake, but because of low altitude and lack of oxygen, we do not suggest any visitor to spend over two hours. Last but not the least, the journey back is via the same route. 

Rohit Chatterjee

An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, Rohit Chatterjee is a bona fide moto-enthusiast who has worked with several media houses in his brief career. Chatterjee mostly writes features and news articles related to automobiles and motorsports. When not working, he is found on the interstate clocking over 100kmph on his NS200!
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