Note – Foreign national are not allowed to go further from Thangu.
Challenge the Gurudongmar is a mountain biking expedition which has been designed to challenge the riders endurance,
willpower, team work at the altitude above 14000 feet. Simultaneously to boost the individual caliber, team building and to
provide lifetime experience in outdoor activities.
Gurudongmar Lake is one of the highest lakes in the world, located at an altitude of 17,800 ft. (5,430 m). It lies in the district of North Sikkim in the state of Sikkim in India, only some 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) south of Chinese border. The lake can be reached by road from Lachen via Thangu. This fresh-water lake is located northeast of the kanchenjunga range in a high plateau area connected with the Tibetan Plateau. Gurudongmar lake provides one of the source streams of the Teesta River. The source of Teesta, the Tso Lhamo Lake, lies some 5 km (3.1 mi) to the east. One can seek permission from the army to trek from Gurudongmar Lake to Tso Lhsmo Lake. The lake remains completely frozen in the winter months from November to Mid-May.
Day 1 Arrival at Gangtok overnight stay
Pickup from Bagdoghra Airpot/NJP Railway Station/Chandaragari Airport Nepal. And five to six hour drive to Gangtok, overnight Stay at Hotel.
Day 2 obtain permit for expedition, Short acclimatization ride cum bike check
After breakfast short morning ride followed by bike check, and half day Gangtok sightseeing. To visit Gurudongmar lake every individual local /tourist has to obtain permit from Government of Sikkim.
Day 3 Gangtok to Mangan 52.7 kms
After breakfast early start for Mangan, riding distance for the day will be 52.7 kms. Highest altitude will be around 1900 mts for the day. Overnight stay at Guest House / Home Stay. Mangan is the headquarters of North Sikkim district. The town is connected to the capital Gangtok by a metalled road. North Sikkim is the largest district of Sikkim in terms of area. The town lies in the geographic south of the district. After the opening up of the district, Mangan has witnessed a spurt in its economy, mostly due to tourism. The town opens up the Tibetan Plateau. Mangan also serves the towns of Lachung, Chungthang and Lachen in the far north. Owing to its elevation, the town enjoys a temperate climate.
Day 4 Mangan to Lachen-56 kms
Early Start after breakfast till Tung bridge is generally flat, and after Tung is all climb till Lunch place Chungthang, after Chungthang the alpine vegetation of Lachen valley will give the flavor of Challenge the Gurudongmar with beautiful landscape and ride along the river. Lachen is a town in North Sikkim district in the Indian state of Sikkim. It is located at an elevation of 2,750 metres. The name Lachen means "big pass". The town is being promoted as a tourist destination by the Sikkimese government. The town forms the base to the Chopta Valley and Gurudongmar Lake. An annual yak race, the Thangu is held here in summer. Overnight stay in Hotel.
Day 5 Lachen to Thangu Distance 34.3 kms
Day 5 ride is about gaining altitude and experiencing alpine vegetation with temperate climate. 30kms beyond Lachen lies Thangu at an altitude of around 14000 feet from the sea level.
Months of May and June see this valley carpeted of alpine flowers which are replaced by snow from October up to March. The small picturesque hamlet with scanty population Thangu has recently developed few accommodations with basic facilities. Tree lines disappear at Thangu and start a zone that can be compared only with the unreachable terrain in Tibetan plateau.
Thangu can be an ideal place for the real nature lovers as it provides a base for fabulous trek routes to Chopta valley and Muguthang, a land of the nomadic people. Thangu has a large military base as the place is close to the Chinese boarder. On your way to Gurudongmar lake, this is the last civilian settlement. If you are not an Indian, your tour to the area will be limited to a visit to Chopta valley which is just a couple of Kilometers ahead from here.
Day 6 Thangu Acclimatization / half day hike to CHOPTA VALLEY. Altitude -14000 feet. 4267 metre from MSL
Chopta Valley is a valley situated in North Sikkim in Thangu region. It is located at an altitude of 4,000 metres (13,200 feet) above sea level. It is a popular area for tourism containing alpine vegetation, orchids, rhododendrons and other high-altitude vegetation. The valley is criss-crossed by meandering rivers.
Day 7 Thangu Gurudongmar back to Thangu. 32 kms one way (two way 64 kms)
Today ride will start around 5 am in mourning after one hour ride we will enter into the open Tibetan plateau. The route to Thangu to Gurudongmar is undulating and challenging. The final stretch is a climb to the top where majority to the riders push their bikes(bike and hike). The joy you find after reaching the top makes you feel on the top of the world. The riders are suggested to return back from Gurudongmar before 12 noon after noon the place will be very windy and it became difficult to return back. After returning back we will move towards Lachen .overnight stay in Lachen.
Day 8 Drive back Lachen to Gangtok
Early start from Lachen, lunch at Mangan and overnight stay at Gangtok. One can also directly go to Siliguri from Mangan.
20 kms afterThangu
12 kms after Thangu
8 kms after Thangu