World’s many high altitude lakes dwells in Himalayan range, and among them, many falls in India. Cholamu Lake is one of them, and this is the world’s 14th highest lake and India’s first highest lake. With 18000 feet from sea level, it makes the lake to come in the “list of highest lake”, and if you come downwards, like around 300 feet from Donkiala pass, you’ ll get to see an almost frozen lake.


Donkiala pass is just 5 km from Tibet border, and this is the north most Sikkim route that leads to the border. This area is not only army sensitive rather an important geographical area of Cholamu lake. Here Chinese army always puts an pressure on International border.

In spite of being so beautiful, and a perfect place for tourists, the area is off limit, and not all are allowed to visit. As it falls just 5-6 kms from Tibet border, only Indians can visit that too on a special permit by the army, without permission no one is allowed to visit this place. Indians only get the permission to visit these two lakes that fall in this region, one is Cholamu lake and the other is Gurudongmar lake.

Getting permission for visiting Cholamu lake


If you ever plan to visit Cholamu lake with your family or friends, i would recommend you to opt for Gurudongmar lake, because any day it’s easier to seek permission for this lake rather than Cholamu lake. Generally no one wants to take risks of their lives in such treacherous terrain , like no travel agency wants their vehicles and man to face any sort of trouble so if you contact them, they’ll normally be giving the excuses regarding permission and all.

In order to collect Restricted Area Permit, you need to do the following-

1.You need to submit the documents of your vehicle, if you take of your own.

2.Visit, The Department of Home, Government of Sikkim, situated at Tashiling secretariat, Gangtok.

3.Tel. nos.



4.Get your documents submitted at the office, with photographs and whatever required.

5.You’ll be getting many copies, keep your one’s with yourself and submit others to the required persons. And it’s even recommended to keep sufficient copies with yourself to be at the safe side.

How to go Cholamu Lake:


October and November are considered the best months for visiting this lake because you can expect a clear sky this time. And if you plan after monsoon it will be a bad idea because the roads and everything is so wet and foggy it’s difficult to visit at that time.

To reach here:

Firstly you need to be at Gangtok, the journey starts from there. You can reach Gangtok from Siliguri or NJP because that’s the nearest station and airport-Bagdogra (Siliguri)


If you go by your own vehicle:

Chungthang-22km>Lachen-30km>Thangu-40km>Cholamu lake.

Some facts about cholamu lake:

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1.This is India’s highest lake and in world it comes to no. 14,

2.The depth is(maximum) 18.33 feet,

3.Near Gurudongmar lake, around 45 min. drive.




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