S 3 | Sohra, Sandakphu & Sikkim


Still Learning ©
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Tso Lhamo Lake is highest lake of India at 17400 feet, but permission is NOT given at Gangtok or Mangan to visit this. People say that it is impossible to get permission to visit Tso Lhamo. You are given permit to visit up to Gurudongmar Lake only. But only going ahead by 8 km you can reach Tso Lhamo Lake.

To get little more details about the area, you have to look at this Google map picture.

The straight road ahead of diversion of Gurudongmar Lake goes to Kerang Military area, but a right side road before military area goes towards Dongkha La via Tso Lhamo Lake.

Since new road construction is going on between Gurudongmar Lake bifurcation towards military area and also towards Dongkha La via Tso Lhamo Lake, the check post of army is not there at present. So nobody is there to check you or stop you. There are many construction vehicles and constructions workers around.

So the idea is you get the Permission for Gurudongmar and then visit Tso Lhamo also. But be careful not to go towards Kerang military area as shown in google picture above. Ride towards Tso Lhamo before military area on right side road only.
You can also see Dongkha La from far.

Riding just 8 km will take you to a different world of peace and a special but restricted place of India.

Now coming back to my ride….

Riding ahead the good tar road ended and there were two roads. One was old road and another new road was under construction. Many construction workers were there.

Further zooming I could see a different looking mountain from there. I could see a road on it also.

Riding ahead I saw the Kerang military area and I took the right road before that. I was riding fast on that under construction off road fearing that somebody will stop me.
At 9.50 am saw this rare n restricted beauty.

And the road ahead further was going towards a mountain pass.

I could see some yaks grazing on other side of the lake.

We found a small off road going towards lake and went there.

View towards left side.

I could see prayer flags on Tso Lhamo Lake’s bank. This means people have come there and offered prayers in past.

If one Indian has visited this place & offered prayer flags, then why can’t another Indian visit the same place? I don’t understand this. If you are having contacts in army or with politicians they you can visit restricted place otherwise not. It is said that our constitution gives equality for all, but is this followed practically?

Anyways I was lucky enough to visit this highest lake of India at 17400 feet.

Now I could understand all the four signals which God gave me.

1) First I saw the truck with construction workers.

2) Secondly the info board at Gurudongmar Lake mentioned that this Sacred Lake is said to have divine powers to fulfill the wishes of devotees who visit the Lake.

3) Thirdly my bike did not start while coming back from Gurudongmar Lake and then again starting after changing by back away from Gurudwara.

4) Fourthly I saw a biker going towards Tso Lhamo Lake side and his bike also did not start till I talked with him.

So by the Grace and Wish of God all these things happened and He made me visit Tso Lhamo. All these things came to my mind and I started crying at the banks of Tso Lhamo Lake. This was very emotional moment for me. I thanked God & those four riders from the bottom of my heart. They were like Messenger of God to me.

It was an achievement for me. It was a big day today. I could visit both highest and second highest lakes of India on same day. I had already visited Suraj Tal of Ladakh, which is third highest Lake of India at 16000 feet.

I was very happy and delighted by this surprise of God.

Those riders were doing prayers and hoisting/putting flags on the banks.

And yes let me introduce them also.
The first kind rider who met me near Gurudongmar is Mr. Parik Ghising.

And three kind riders were Mr.Karma Tenzing, Mr. Anand Banerjee and Mr. Avimanyu Banerjee. I am mentioning word kind because they were kind enough to take me with them. Long live biker brother hood.

Colorful prayer flags at the banks of the Lake.

Some differently shaped mountains nearby.

Karma Tenzing told me that these hanging/hoisting of prayer flags there was very important as Tso Lhamo Lake is the holiest lake of Sikkim.

He also asked me to join for prayer flags hoisting. You can also see the band aid on my left palm …courtesy Sandakphu fall.

Other riders also joined in flag hoisting. Prayer flags are also called Lung dhar.
Prayer flags are hoisted for happiness, long life, prosperity, luck and merit. The ancient Buddhist prayers, mantras and powerful symbols are displayed on the prayer flags produce a spiritual vibration that is activated and carried y the wind across.

These prayer flags have all five basis energy elements…..earth, water, fire, air and space.
Yellow = Earth, Green = Water, Red = Fire, White = Air & Blue = space.

This is Mr.Karma Tenzing with those elementary flags.

Some scenic beauty around that area.

And our five bikes parked there.

And another view of pristine lake along with Dongkha La Pass.

So in this trip I could see the 5th highest mountain pass of the world…Dongkha La, which is at 18000 feet above sea level.

India’s Highest Lake …. Tso Lhamo Lake at 17400 feet above sea level.

And could meet great riders and who became my friends.

By the way that man on left side with golden boot is a nomad who was gazing those yaks. O:)

I took at video at Tso Lhamo Lake also.

It was 10.20 am and it was time to leave so that I can reach back at last check post before 12 pm. These four riders went to see Gurudongmar Lake and I went riding back to army check post. I reached there at 11.05 am. I could not find Harsh there, he must have gone to Thangu as I went to Tso Lhamo Lake and he must have waited for me for sometime at this check post. I took back my original papers from check post and had a coffee and some food at Café 15 Thousand.

The water bottle with Gurudongmar lake holy water fell down once in the off road towards Thangu. But I could notice it and bring it to Thangu. I reached at Thangu and Harsh was ready with luggage tied up on bike. We paid room rent of Rs.600 and food charges extra to the old couple.

Weather was foggy and we could sense rain falling in some time. Harsh started early and then I packed my luggage and rode around half hour late than him towards Mangan.

I took picture of that water crossing between Thangu and Lachen. After that it started raining slowly so camera was kept inside main bag.

In Chungthang, I met with Mr. Tega at 4pm. Cyclist Manish Lakhani introduced him to me and gave me his number. I had a talk with him before start of trip. So I decided to meet him on my way back at Chungthang.

He told me that while going towards North Sikkim, we should take permit from Mangan. You can get it in 2 hours. While it takes 2 days in Gangtok.

While riding further towards Mangan it started raining slowly. I showed my permit papers again on way down at Toong/Tung check post. Harsh had told here that another rider is carrying papers and he was allowed to pass from here. I requested Tung check post officer to give back original permit paper to me as momento and take photo copy instead and he agreed.

I had to ride very slowly in the land slide area as due to rain it was very slippery. I reached Mangan at 6pm. Harsh had already checked in the same Guddu’s Lodge. We had dinner at same old hotel. We had come down again to 4200 feet. Harsh was also feeling ok now.

We also took bath in hot water at hotel. We went to sleep early as we had to reach 3rd mile check post of Gangtok before 9.30 am tomorrow.

This was my ride map for the day.

Google GPS link:-

Click HERE for next update.

Coming up….next…. Ride to Gangtok and harassment by Police Department for Permit for Nathula & Zuluk.
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