Gurudongmar Lake

1. Gurudongmar Lake, a prime tourist spot in Sikkim, is closed due to safety reasons.
2. Ongoing concerns stem from a recent Glacial Lake Outburst Flood incident.
3. Despite its stunning beauty, tourists are currently unable to visit Gurudongmar Lake.

Gangtok, May 18: Tourists flocking to Sikkim this season find themselves unable to visit the state’s renowned attraction, Gurudongmar Lake, due to ongoing safety concerns.

The picturesque high-altitude lake, known for its breathtaking beauty, remains inaccessible following a Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) incident.

Lachung and Lachen, typically bustling with activity during peak tourist seasons, have seen a notable absence of visitors this year. While Lachung and its surrounding areas have welcomed tourists, Lachen, and particularly Gurudongmar Lake, have remained devoid of visitors.

Despite over 4 lakh tourists visiting Sikkim since January, with a significant portion arriving in the first quarter alone, the route to Lachen and Gurudongmar Lake remains closed. The continued risk of landslides along the scenic route has necessitated this closure.

District Commissioner of Mangan, Hem Kumar Chettri, elaborated on the situation, stating that tourists are currently restricted from accessing Lachen areas due to safety concerns. Efforts are underway to reopen the road; however, the fragile terrain and frequent landslides have caused delays.

Also Read: Landless Tripura Families Spend Nights in Forest to Draw Government’s Attention

The Tourism and Civil Aviation Department reported significant disruptions in tourist activities following the GLOF incident on May 10.

The event, which caused extensive damage across the state, resulted in a notable decline in tourist arrivals, adversely affecting Sikkim’s tourism-dependent economy.

Data from the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department illustrates the impact of the GLOF on tourist inflow.

Domestic tourist arrivals plummeted to 41,905 in October 2023, down from 100,174 in September of the same year. Similarly, foreign tourist arrivals saw a significant decrease, with only 3,744 recorded in October compared to 5,912 in the previous month.

The GLOF in October 2023 caused widespread devastation in Sikkim, triggering flooding in various districts, including Mangan, Gangtok, Pakyong, and Namchi.

The breach of the Chungthang Hydro-Dam on the Teesta River exacerbated the situation, posing significant challenges to the region’s infrastructure and economy.