Sunday, February 5, 2012

Guru Dongmar Lake

This Sunday will sees the return of Sikkim Sojourn, my journeys in and notes about Sikkim, India. I resume writing my travelogue over Sikkim from the day when I visited Guru Dongmar Lake. Enjoy the post !

 Guru Dongmar Lake

Location Board besides the lake

Sitting in the SUV and moving forward, we see the greenery melt away before our eyes. Giving way to a brown and barren horizon where the air is cold and thin. As we leave the civilization behind and move through the heart of Himalayas, the silence is palpable. Only the howling wind and the noise of tyre's disturb it. It is in this solitude that we realize our presence in this inhospitable yet fascinating country, and we realize that we are in the realm of Mother Nature.

 Brown Hills with ice caps lay besides the Guru Dongmar Road. These hills are located in such a location that  man has rarely ever walked over them

From the SUV

Brown Barren Horizon

We appreciate that this is a place where man does not toy with the nature but vice-versa. While making every movement, while taking every breath we understand that this is a place which we cannot master, just respect. While moving through the valley where the unpaved GuruDongmar road ran parallel to the heavily mined border with China; I realized that I was at the outermost edge of India
Since ages people have passed through this ancient path. Borders have been drawn and re drawn, but the immortal panorama unfolding before our eyes has remained the same. The conditions kept challenging us just as it challenged everyone before. This land has seen many a travelers walk across its breast to visit the turquoise colored speck of water across its brown horizon and will continue to see people walk across it. It will continue to challenge everyone. If you win you can get a glimpse of serenity, harmony, and through it a glimpse into your inner soul.

Information board about the lake

A shot of the snow laden Khangchengyao Ranges (these ice caps remain under perma-frost*) (*permanent ice cover)

See the reflection of the nearby snow laden Khangchengyao Ranges on the lake's surface

After visiting this jewel of a lake and seeing the snow capped peaks, the quietness of the environment in which we only hear the howling of the winds and our breath we realize why a holy Buddhist sage like Guru Dongmar settled at this place for many years and meditated. A temple stands at the place where he sat. This lake has got an aura of enchantment and observing its beauty will make you completely forget the troubles you faced while getting here.

Entrance to the Temple or Gurudwara where Guru Dongmar sat and meditated and where Guru Nanak visited (during his third journey) to provide support to the Karmapa Nyingmapa sects who were forced out of Tibet by the Gelugpa sect. His footprints, a water carrying utensils and a robe is still preserved in Lachen Gompa (Lachen is the Base town for reaching this destination).

Prayers written on the wall of the Temple in Tibetan script

Before leaving this place Guru Dongmar keeping the wishes of people in mind touched a part of the lake and ensured that it would not freeze during winters. Till date the lake stands testimony to his miracle. It is believed that the water of this lake has medicinal values and people who visit it take some before returning. 

The portion of Guru Dongmar Lake which never freezes even during winters

The No Nonsense Travel Advice
Guru Dongmar Lake
Sikkim, India
5136 mts/17100ft above sea level
When to Visit
Days of Visit
Tours start from Gangtok only on Mondays and Tuesdays
You require
Only Indian citizens can visit after getting a Permit from the Army, as the lake is next to China border
Altitude Sickness could be a bother
Base Town
Lachen (2750 mts) or Thangu(4267 mts)
 Visit the official website of Sikkim Tourism for more information.

Om Mani Padme Hum

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