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Lachen is the sister village of Lachung in North Sikkim and is the base for tours to Gurudongmar lake and Chopta valley. Situated at an altitude of 8838 ft, the small town is a good 6 to 8 hours drive from Gangtok (depending on road condition) along the North Sikkim highway. Lachen stands on a grassy and bushy flat land separated by deep gorges of river Lachen-Chu from where rises the pine clad mountains with their snowy peaks and black cliffs. The village comprises of nearly 250 houses, earlier inhabited only in winters by the owners who spend the summers on the alpine pastures along the Tibet border tending to their herd of yaks.

Tourists has to travel from Gangtok city to Lachen valley or Thangu valley on first day (the nearest village where accommodation is available) by booking a full or Shared Vehicle. A journey to the Gurudongmar Lake starts early in the morning around 4.30 am from Lachen and it takes around 4 hours via Thangu valley ( a breakfast point). Vegetation is very limited and the road is through stony moraine like unpaved path. Due to proximity to the Chinese Border, landmines are common and presence of Indian Army is ubiquitous. Due to high altitude breathing problems may also arise. Tourists are suggested to spend little time at the high altitude and come down to Lachen soon. Mostly visitors are not allowed to stay in the lake after 11.30 am due to heavy flow of winds.

Gangtok to Lachen valley : 128 kms.
Lachen to Thangu valley : 30 kms.
Thangu valley to Gurudongmar Lake: 38 kms.

Toruists have stay at Lachen valley or Thangu valley on first day (the nearest village where accommodation is available).

Permit and Entry Rules
Due to high altitue and lack of oxygen childrens below 8 years aren't allowed to visit the lake and any tourist with heart diseases / problem are suggest not to visit this lake.

Indian : Indian tourists visiting Yumthang Valley require special permit to visit Yumthang valley. This special permit are provided by Travel Agents in Sikkim, Goverment Authority to visit Yumthang valley. To create permit the visiter has to provide below documents:
Passport Size Photo : Two Passport Size photo for each members above 5 years.
ID with Address Proof : An ID with valid ID proof xerox copy is require to create permit. for each members above 5 years. (for eg. Aadhar card, Voter ID, Passport, Driving License with Address part)

Foreigner : are stricly not allowed to visit the Gurudongmar Lake due to proximity to the Chinese Border. Foreigners are allowed only upto Thangu Lake to visit with below documents.
Passport Size Photo : Four Passport Size photo for each members above 5 years.
Passport : Two Xerox copy of Passport is required.
Visa : Two Xerox copy of Visa is required.
Inner Line Permit (ILP) : Two Xero x copy of ILP is required also required. This ILP is created in sikkim border either in Rangpho or Melli before entering sikkim.

Thangu Valley : Both Indian and Foreigner are allowed to visit Thangu Valley.

Best time to Visit Gurudongmar Lake
Best time to visit Gurudongmar Lake is during the months of March, April, May, June, October, Nov. Most of the roads remains closed during the month of July, August due to heavy rainfall and landslides. Also some of the tourists don't prefer to visit Gurudongmar Lake in the months of December, January and Febrary due to cold climates.