We already know that travel opens up our minds to the wonder of our world, and I know that most of us love road trips, A weekend getaway or week-long adventure trip; whichever sort of drive it may be or whatever season it is, going away with friends and family, is among the most easy-to-take vacations.
The zigzag Gangtok – Nathula Highway is one of the most beautiful mountain roads in the world. Approximately, 60 kilometers from Gangtok, crossing the blue Tsomgo Lake (also known as Changu Lake) and the new Baba Harbhajan Mandir, the road is an adventure itself. If you are visiting Sikkim on a clear day, you also enjoy majestic views of Mt. Chomolhari from Nathula Pass. Tourists visiting Natula Pass abandon their vehicles, few paces away from the pass to reach the actual border. This legendary trade route was closed down in 1961 due to the Indo-China war. Recently, after a memorandum of understanding between the two countries, trading on some commodities has been started recently.
Tourists need to climb approx 90 steps to reach the border gates and memorial. It may be tiresome climbing this high altitude. So, it is always advisable to take it easy and do not rush up the stairs.
The rugged beauty of this pass attracts a large number of tourists every year and is considered one of the most crucial passes on the crossroads of the India-China border. If you wish to have a wonderful exploration of Sikkim, a trip to the famous Nathula Pass should definitely be on your priority list of places to visit in Sikkim. Tourists visiting Nathula Pass need to get the permit done through a local tour operator authorized by Sikkim Government Tourism. And one can visit Nathula only by a vehicle provided by such tour operators.
The region experiences heavy snowfall during the winter season. The temperature may drop down to a sheer minus 25 degrees. However, if you love snow, you can visit Nathula Pass in the winter season. But you need to carry proper woolen garment and follow some important precautions. The view of the snow-capped mountains and snow-covered valleys all around mesmerizes you. May to mid-November is the summer season in the Nathula region and the temperature ranges around 10 degrees Celsius.
Tourists seeking entry permits need to carry original photo ID proof like Passport/Voter Card/Aadhar Card (PAN Card is not accepted) and two passport size photos. Applications for entry permits are done in the morning and the permits are usually issued in the afternoon or the next day. Therefore you should apply for the permit at least one day before your scheduled visit.
How To Reach:
- By Air: Bagdogra Airport, approximately 178 km from Nathula Pass, is the nearest airport.
- By Rail: New Jalpaiguri in Siliguri is the nearest railway head.