Nathula Pass | Sikkim's most popular tourist destination

 56 Km east of Gangtok, state capital of sikkim,Nathula  pass in Himalayas is located on China-India border.It connects Indian state Sikkim to Tibet Autonomous Region in China. Nathula was once an ancient silk route connecting Lhasa in Tibet to plains of Bengal.

way to nathula pass

On the Way to Nathula Pass


 After Indo-China war in 1962 Nathula pass was closed but after 44 years this pass has been opened in 2006. Since then, Nathula pass sees a huge number of tourist visiting the pass everyday.The best part of traveling to Nathula pass is the travel itself.

Best time to visit Nathula Pass is from March to mid-Nov . During winters  Nathula pass gets heavy snowfall ,leaving it not navigable during that time.Temperature drops to as low as -25 C in Nathula pass during winter season.

Only Indian nationals can visit Nathula pass on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Friday, Saturdays and Sundays.One needs special permit to visit this high altitude pass.This permit can easily be arranged by any local travel agent.

Nathula pass along with Jelpa pass and Donkiala pass is the connecting route for Tibet (now China occupied) , and is the only pass used extensively for goods transport between china and India . China is planning to connect Nathula pass directly to Lhasa.

Nathula pass | Proposed new route for Lhasa

Proposed new route to Lhasa passes through Nathula Pass

Nathula pass business channel china india border north sikkim

Nathula Pass Business Channel | Indo - China Border

 Nathula pass, even though a border area, does not has a "no mans land" normally found in border areas.Here border consists of just a barbed wire and two armies guarding their side of the land.

baba mandir near nathula pass east sikkim india

 Once you reach Nathula Pass you see army settlements on both side of border. You have to leave your vehicle few paces away from Nathula pass. From there you have to climb steps to reach Nathula Pass. It is advised that you don't rush up these stairs, as at 14000 feet, you can get really out of breath. At Nathula, you will get to meet not only Indian soldiers, but Chinese counterparts as well. Don't forget to get a photo clicked with a Chinese soldiers.



Indian flag at nathula pass india

Our 'Tiranga' at Nathula Pass


nathula pass east sikkim china india trade border


on the way to changu lake (tsongmo)

On The Way to Changu Lake (way to Nathula pass)


How to reach Nathula Pass
Nathula pass remains open only to Indian nationals on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. A Ristricted area permit is required to visit Nathula Pass; this permit can be easily arranged by any authorized “Sikkim Tourism” agent. You need to submit one ID proof (driving license, passport, family ration card,voter id,school leaving certificate) and two passport size photograph of each person. One can also get the permit by oneself by requesting for a permission to visit Nathula pass with your id proof and two photographs through Armed forces authorities and Sikkim Tourism authorities (Go to MG Marg and visit  tourist information center right at the entrance of the road.From this place you can get latest information about Nathula pass and rest of the tourist spots). It is suggested that you take some Sikkim Tourism’s agent help. If you submit your ID proof and photographs in evening,you will get your permit ready by next morning. Nathula pass along with Changu lake can be covered in a day trip , If you opt for a reserved taxi upto Nathula pass (Tata Sumo , or Mahindra one) , it will cost you around 3000 rps – 3500 rps , depending upon your negotiation skills.

Nathula Permit issuing officer:
Mrs. Nima Choden
Asst. Director
Mobile: 9775423684

When to visit Nathula pass 
Nathula pass is not navigable in winters as it receives heavy snowfall. Temperatures in Nathula regularly dip to -25 °C in winters.But it is possible to visit Nathula pass in winters too , depends upon your luck , and mostly on weather conditions. If you love snow and can withstand harsh weather conditions , do visit Nathula pass in winters with proper planning , you will get snow capped mountains and a completely frozen changu lake.

 Changu Lake ( Tsongmo )

 From Nathula Pass, one can see deep into Chinese territory, which is dotted with sky touching peaks covered with show. After a 2000 feet downhill, there is a splendid blue water lake called Changu Lake

 It is literally known as "source of the lake " in Bhutia language. Just about 40 kms. away from Gangtok, the capital of the state, this serene lake is situated at an altitude of 12,000 ft on the Gangtok Nathu La highway. It falls in the restricted area and hence an inner line permit is required by Indians to visit this place. Foreign nationals are not permitted to visit this lake without special permission. The lake is about 1 km. Long, oval in shape, 15 meters deep and is considered sacred by the local people.


changu lake completely frozen

Changu Lake ...Completely frozen

how about the weather in

how about the weather in January after 20th ? is it enough 3 days to visit gangtok and Nathula pass, Chanku Lake.

I am panning to visit gangtok

I am panning to visit gangtok on January 1st week.  Could you please help me on below my questions.

1) Is sharing taxi available from Bagdogra Airport to Gangtok? What will be the fare for shared and Hired? 

2) At that time is it possible to visit Nathula pass, Changu lake?

3) Can we get snow fall at this time near M.G Marg? If not, then where we get the show fall?


Thanks in Advance!

I am planning to visit Sikkim

I am planning to visit Sikkim from 19th to 28th March'2016. except North Sikkim

i want to know which place is best in sikkim to enjoy snow and snow fall during this time

We have planned to visit

We have planned to visit gangtok from 29th Dec to 2nd Jan 2016. Will it be possible for us to access nathula pass?

We are visitors from

We are visitors from Bangladesh,we wanted travel from 16th december to 20th december.As we knew foreigners is restricted for Nathula pass and children holders also restricted,so ,could you please suggest best places around to enjoy except resricted places please? so that it is atleast worth visiting those places rather than visit never.Also i heared travel agencies can manage your passes sometimes if you are smart and do exactly they(agent) said to dissguise as indian.Thanking you in replies.

bangaladesh citizens need to

bangaladesh citizens need to obtain Inner line permits to visit sikkim from ministry of home affairs new delhi.

if you are caught chgeating with the ilp's then you are sorted for life 

Please suggest economic

Please suggest economic private taxi option along with contact for pre-booking during my visit in feb

you can reach out Mr sapkota

you can reach out Mr sapkota 7407328887

hi we 09adults and 05children

hi we 09adults and 05children are planning to visit sikkim from 12th to 17th january 2016. We are reaching bagdorga airport on 12th. and we will be returning to bagdorga airport on 17th. kindly tell us the best itinerary.

We are in the group of 20

We are in the group of 20 people planning to nathula on December 19,2015. Is it possible to visit & What are precuations we have take duirng our visit.

Thanks & regards


December will be very cold.

December will be very cold. you can find lots of snow. you should carry proper wollens and good shoes.

+- Vishnu

I want to visit Gangtok,

I want to visit Gangtok, Tshangu Lake, Baba DhamNathula and other places with my wife and 2 child from 21.12.15 to 24.12.2015. How can I reach from NJP to Gangtok and how I will arrange cars for visit my choice place. What will be weather condition at that time.

you can hire a personal cab

you can hire a personal cab or used shared cab for transportation.

december will be very cold in gangtok..

There are shared jeeps from

There are shared jeeps from NJP to Gangtok. these jeeps are regular. December will be pretty cold.

+- Vishnu

will there be snow fall

will there be snow fall during 15-16 December 3015 at Nathula pass ?

there will be snow in nathula

there will be snow in nathula in the time you've mentioned ..

Thanks for adding your

Thanks for adding your inputs, Yogesh.. your comments are valuable..

Hi, We, 4 adults, visiting

Hi, We, 4 adults, visiting Gangtok & Darjeeling 29 Nov to 05 Dec. Request advise itinerary from Bagdogra 29 Nov to Bagdogra 05 Dec. Thanks.

In the span of a week, I

In the span of a week, I would suggest you to spend 2 nights in Darjeeling,2 in Gangtok and 2N/3Ds in North Sikkim. it will pretty much cover all the highlights of Sikkim.

+- Vishnu

Hi, We four adults, reaching

Hi, We four adults, reaching Bagdogra airport 29 Nov 1pm. Intending visit Gangtok 29 Nov to 02 Dec & later proceed to Darjeeling 02 to 05 Dec. Leaving Bagdogra airport 05 Dec 3pm. Request advise itinerary. Thanks.

You may plan as 29th to

You may plan as
29th to Gangtok
30tg day trip to tsongmo lake and nathula pass and baba mandir
1st Gangtok ss
2nd:Gangtok to Darjeeling via Namchi ss
3rd day trip to Mirik and pashupati(Nepal )
4th Darjeeling ss
5th:Darjeeling to Bagdogra for return journey

We are planning to visit

We are planning to visit sikkim in 2nd week of january 2016. Is it possible to visit nathula.

Nathula may not be accessible

Nathula may not be accessible in 2nd week of Jan

I along with my wife are

I along with my wife are visiting Sikkim during 27-31 Dec, 15. To cut the cost of local transportation and sightseeing we will like to have shared taxi with like minded travellors. Interested persons may please indicate....


you can use sharing

you can use sharing taxis..prebook accomodation as it is high season

Hello! Please suggest where


Please suggest where shall I visit (i mean in which part of the state of Sikkim) so that I can experience ice there. Also please suggest what where shall I stay in order to have a easy accessble route to that place. I am planning to visit Sikkim/gantok mid-Feb, 2015.



North Sikkim and tsongmo lake

North Sikkim and tsongmo lake will have snow in Feb..

Hello Vishnu,  I am starting

Hello Vishnu, 

I am starting from NJP on 20th Nov morning and would like to cover places like Zuluk, Nathang valley, Nathula, Tsongmo lake and Gangtok. 

Please suggest the best route to take (Gangtok-Tsongmo-Nathula-Zuluk) or the reverse. I have around 3-4 days to travel in east Sikkim (Is it feasible to cover all these places in 3-4 days??). I am a single person, so I would also like to know if I can get shared taxi to visit these places. Also please suggest the places where I should stop overnight and places that can be covered during the day. 

Many thanks.

sriram,   you can cover all



you can cover all these places in a 2n/3d trip from njp to dpo not get shared transport for the tour youve need to hire a vehicle.

Hi Vishnu,    Thanks. Few

Hi Vishnu, 


Thanks. Few questions

1. Is Nathula accessible from Kupup at this time of the year? I heard this route might be blocked due to excessive snow at this time of the year. I am travelling on 20th Nov 2015

2. If I am planning to hire a private vehicle, is there a chance that I can get travel partners to share the journey with me?


Nathula remains accessible in

Nathula remains accessible in November however you need to be lucky to find fellow travelers for Old Silk Route.

we are planning to visit

we are planning to visit Gangtok in mid feb 2016. we will be staying for 1 day & 2 nights. What all possible places we can cover in one day & mode of transport.

would all places accesable at that time.

what are the bus timings form gangtok to NJP station as our traing timings are 1.30 afretnoon.

Are shared taxis also available from gangtok to NJP or siliguri


Please provide your valuable advise


Uma Shankar

1 day and 2 nights would not

1 day and 2 nights would not be sufficient to visit all the places in and around Gangtok. Nathula mat not be accessible in February but rest all places would be accessible.

Yes, Shared Taxis are available between Gangtok and NJP.

+- Vishnu

We are planning to visit

We are planning to visit Gangtok from 14th Nov to 18th Nov 2015. The itenary is as mentioned below, pls. confirm if changes need to be done in itenary. We are famaily of 5 perons (Self, Wife, Daughter (aged 4), Father in law(aged 71) & Mother in law (aged 60) travelling to Gangtok. How is the temprature climate in mentioned period in Nov month.


14th Nov: Arrive at NJP station & proceed to Gangtok. Local sighseeing & MG Market road.

15th Nov: Trip to Nathula pass via Baba Mandir & Tsomongo lake visit. Can we take daughter & In laws along with us at Nathula pass. If daughter is not allowed then whether any facilities are there for In laws along with daughter to stay back at Baba Mandir / Tsomongo lake, so as we can proceed to Nathula pass & take them on return journey.

16th Nov: Trip from Gangtok to Lachung, then local sightseeing & overnight stay.

17th Nov: Proceed to Yumthang Valley & Zero point. Then proceed back to Gangtok.

18th Nov: Proceed back to NJP railway station.

sorry for late

sorry for late response.

Itinerary seems perfect to me. Yes, there are facilities for Kids and old age people to stay back at Changu lake.

+- Vishnu

i am planning to visit

i am planning to visit gangtok in 26 nov 2015 planning to visit nathula changu & baba mandir on 27 nov what is the approx cost for 2 adults  will i get snow there?

You may get snow around

You may get snow around Nathula pass in November... There are shared taxis to Nathula pass and Baba Mandir. I guess they charge 800 INR per seat...



1.Do Bike Riders are Allowed

1.Do Bike Riders are Allowed in North Sikkim(Gurudongmar,Yumthang)???

2.Will Nathula,Gurudongmar and Yumthang Opened in December-14,15,16 Days???

3.What Was Status of the Above Places in 2014 December? Till When they were Kept Open for Tourist?


Nathula and Yumthang would be

Nathula and Yumthang would be accessible in December mid but chances to reach Gurudongmar are very bleak. Outside Sikkim vehicles are not allowed in North Sikkim so you need to hire bikes from Gangtok itseld.

I have no idea about last year. Nathula and Yumthang remains accessible through winter baring days when snow blocks the road. Gurudongmar remains closed during winters..

+- Vishnu

We are planing to visit

We are planing to visit Sikkim in December 25 , 2015 for 7 day's with 2.5 year's old child, please give me advice .....

What exactly you want to know

What exactly you want to know ?. December end is very cold and many places may be inaccessible

We are 3 adults and are

We are 3 adults and are reaching Baghdogra at around 1500 hrs on 19th Nov 2015

we shall return to Delhi from Baghdogra on 23rd Nov 2015 by Indian Airlines Flight leaving IXB at 1520 hrs.

Can you suggest an itinary for this 

I would also like to know i have a postpaid Airtel connection, whether the data and voice talks will be able to be made on this in Sikkim.




Yes. Your phone will not have

Yes. Your phone will not have any problem in Sikkim. it will work absolutely fine.. For four days, i will recommend you to visit Darjeeling and Gangtok only. I would suggest a one day trip to Nathula pass, Changu lake etc.

HI i am reaching Darjelling

HI i am reaching Darjelling on 15th April2016.Plan to have 2 days stay in Darjeeling. THen plan to move Gangtok and Nathula Pass,Tsongma Lake.

We are 3 member: 2 adult and 1 four year child.

Does 4 year child is allowed to go Nathulla Pass?

ALso is there any snow fall expected in April.

Most probably, your 4 year

Most probably, your 4 year old will not be allowed for Nathula pass... Chances to see snow in April are very less..

+- Vishnu

Dear Team,   Please let me

Dear Team,


Please let me know if i can take my 1 yr old kid for Nathula Pass, we are 3 Adults one 6 old kid and 1 year old Kid.


Please advice, Thanks




Hi Santhosh, One year old

Hi Santhosh,

One year old would not be allowed for nathula pass.

+- Vishnu

Hi   I am planning to visit



I am planning to visit Sikim from 12-18 Nov. Would it be correct to go to Gangtok directly from Bagdogra on 12 Nov and finish off sight seeing and Nathula pass in three days at Gangtok? If so how long would it take to reach Gangtok from Bagdogra.


Secondly on the return leg I intend covering Pelling and Darjeeling 15-17 Nov. Is it feasible. If so what would betravel time and do you advice any halt enroute to avoid long journeys?

Any chances of seing a bit of snow at Sikkim between 12-18 Nov.





Bagdora to Gangtok should

Bagdora to Gangtok should take nearly 3 hours. Yes, 3 days are sufficient for Gangtok city sightseeing and visiting Nathula pass, Changu lake etc.

Gangtok to Pelling and stay there for at least one night and then Pelling to Darjeeling.

Chances to see snow are low in November however you can see snow at and around Nathula pass.

+- Vishnu

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