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

 

Can you please send me the

Can you please send me the taxi operator's number for north sikkim tour of 7 days. Here is my itinery...

day 1:Arrival at NJP and depart to Gangtok.

day 2:Nathula pass, Changu lake, Alpine sanctuary, Saramsa flower Pavilion- Stay ay Gangtok

day 3:Phodong-Chumthang-Lachen-Thangu. Night stay in Thangu.

day 4:Thangu to Gurudongmar lake, then to Lachung for stay. 

day 5:From Lachung to Yumthang valley, hot spring and zero point, then same day back to Gangtok.

day 6:Gangtok to NJP

Can you please send me the

Can you please send me the taxi operator's number for north sikkim tour of 7 days. Here is my itinery...

day 1:Arrival at NJP and depart to Gangtok.

day 2:Nathula pass, Changu lake, Alpine sanctuary, Saramsa flower Pavilion- Stay ay Gangtok

day 3:Phodong-Chumthang-Lachen-Thangu. Night stay in Thangu.

day 4:Thangu to Gurudongmar lake, then to Lachung for stay. 

day 5:From Lachung to Yumthang valley, hot spring and zero point, then same day back to Gangtok.

day 6:Gangtok to NJP

Hi!! We are a group of 11

Hi!! We are a group of 11 coming from South India to Sikkim, from 19th April - 24th April, with kids. We are planning to cover Pelling, Gangtok & Nathulla. Have we missed out on anything? Will we get to see snow @ Nathulla? Also what will the weather be like during this time? Will we require heavy woolens? Thank you!

Is it possible to visit East

Is it possible to visit East & North Sikkim by 135 CC Pulsar.

Also please tell me the procedure(from where and how) to get the permission.

Im travelling to gangtok

Im travelling to gangtok tomorrow. Howz the weather der nd in changu lake and nathula pass. Will hv to carry wollen clothes. And is gurudongmar lake accessible now

Dear Sandeep,   You can get

Dear Sandeep,

 

You can get in touch with me over sharadvmc at gmail dot com

 

Regards

Sharad

Hello, Sikkim Trip - I am

Hello,

Sikkim Trip -

I am planning to visit places around Gangtok during Mid april 16 - 23rd April. We are two adults and my kid - 4.5 years old. Below is my itinerary. I would really apriciate if experienced people of this forum and help me check if the itinerary is correct.

Day 1 - Bagdodgra - Gangtok - Rest at Gangtok
Day 2 - Visit places in Gangtok
Day 3 - Nathula Pass, Baba Mandir, Tsomgo Lake, back to Gangtok ( Are there any other places that I am mising here)
Day 4 - Start for North Sikkim trip - Gangtok to Lachen
Day 5 - Lachen to Gurudongmar, back to Lachen and then move to Lachung
Day 6 - Lachung to Yumthang to Zero Point and then back to Gangtok
Day 7 - ** I am not sure what to do here ***
*** Also, I am not sure if I should spend below 2 days in Darjelling itself or should cover something else also***
Day 8 - Gangtok to Darjelling - Sightseeing in Darjelling
Day 9 - Darjelling - JoyRide and Darjelling SightSeeting
Day 10 - Darjelling to Bagdogra

Queries - Apart from above mentioned queries, please suggest
- Will I be able to go with my 4.5 years old kid to North Sikkim ?
- In case my kid wouldn't be allowed for North Sikkim then whole plan gets dropped or it would be only Gurudongmaar that is dropped? Can we still go to Zero Point and Yungthang valley ?
- In case North Sikkim plan is dropped - In those 3 days what other plan can I make or should look out for?

I will really appriciate help on this. Thanks very much.

We are planing to go on the 3

We are planing to go on the 3 week of may. 

21/5 we start from Howrah to Lataguri

22/5 we start from Lataguri to Rishi Khola

23/5 Rishi Khola to Zuluk 

24/5 rest/side seen

25/5 Zuluk go Gangtok Via Adi Baba Mandir /Nathula Pass

26/5 rest/side seen

27/5 Gangtok to Howrah

my question ARE  1. CAN WE DO THIS WITH OUR MOTOR BIKE ?

2. DO WE NEED ANY PERMIT IF YES FROM WHERE ?

3. IF WE CANNOT TAKE MOTOR BIKE CAN WE DO THIS WITH OUR OWN XUV 500 CAR

WHAT ARE THE PROSIDURE ?

4. WHAT ARE THE ROAD CONDISION...(VERY IMP)

 

PLEASE HELP US .

We are planing to go on the 3

We are planing to go on the 3 week of may. 

21/5 we start from Howrah to Lataguri

22/5 we start from Lataguri to Rishi Khola

23/5 Rishi Khola to Zuluk 

24/5 rest/side seen

25/5 Zuluk go Gangtok Via Adi Baba Mandir /Nathula Pass

26/5 rest/side seen

27/5 Gangtok to Howrah

my question ARE 1. CAN WE DO THIS WITH OUR MOTOR BIKE ?

2. DO WE NEED ANY PERMIT IF YES FROM WHERE ?

3. IF WE CANNOT TAKE MOTOR BIKE CAN WE DO THIS WITH OUR OWN XUV 500 CAR

WHAT ARE THE PROSIDURE ?

4. WHAT ARE THE ROAD CONDISION...(VERY IMP)

 

PLEASE HELP US .

 

We are planning to visit

We are planning to visit Gangtok in June 2015. Is there any chances to  get snow? 

(No subject)

(No subject)

(No subject)

can I visit to sikkim in

can I visit to sikkim in between 29th march to 6th april this year. Will I get there snow so much??? And what clothes should be packed for this days?

I m visiting on 13 june to

I m visiting on 13 june to changu lake....will i gt snow der at chnagu lake or baba mandir??

Chances are very bleak to

Chances are very bleak to find snow in the month of june.

+- Vishnu

Hi,   I am planning to visit

Hi,

 

I am planning to visit gangtok in last week of this May. I would like to know about weather conditions. Also, want to know in terms of safety.

Sikkim is very safe to

Sikkim is very safe to travel. In terms of weather, May will be dry and warm. Highly unlikely to encounter rain in may. One of the best seasons for Sikkim/North Sikkim.

+- Vishnu

Hi, I wanted to know if it

Hi, I wanted to know if it will be feasible to travel with two toddlers of 2.4 yrs and 1 yr old along with my husband to sikkim in the month if may, from mumbai. 

Most likely i will be taking a travel package. 

Thx .

Yes. You can travel with your

Yes. You can travel with your toddlers but i will not recommend to visit Nathula pass, Gurudongmar lake, Zero point, Yumthang with your kids.

I will suggest you to visit Pelling, Gangtok, Ravangla

+- Vishnu

Hi Vijay, Your suggestion on

Hi Vijay,

Your suggestion on below queries would be great help for me!

1.I am planning with my family to visit Darjeeling on 3rd - 6th May & 6th - 10th May Gangtok.

2.I am planning to book YAVACHI HOTEL How far is this Hotel from MG Marg. As per online reviews it is 5mints walk. Is it true?

3. How much would cost for Nathula pass including permit fee? for 4persons 2adults 2Children (11years & 8years)

4. Is Children are allowed to visit Nathula pass?

5.What are the best places to visit in Gangtok for families?

 

Thanks

Syed

 

I have no idea about the

I have no idea about the location of the hotel so can not help much on that question.

There should not be a problem visiting Nathula with your 8 years and 11 years old kids.

Besides Nathula pass, Baba mandir, Changu lake, there are many tourist places for day-tours in Gangtok.

+- Vishnu

HiWhat to pack for Changu

HiWhat to pack for Changu lake & Nathula Pass for a trip in first week April this year?Will heavy woolens be required or just a jacket will suffice?Also- are there other lakes or lesser knows places to see near Changu lake that you can suggest?Shruty

Yes, Woolens will be required

Yes, Woolens will be required for Nathula. Winter extended this year so you should prepare youself for cold weather. There is a lot in and around Changu lake specially on old-silk route but that is more than one day tour. i think i have somewhere mentioned about old siilk route.

+- Vishnu

We r planning to visit

We r planning to visit gangtok in 3 week of may..can we visit  zero point on dat time...will it close for tourist. ....

Zero point will be reachable

Zero point will be reachable in the month of May. No problem reaching there.

+- Vishnu

Hi! I am planning a trip to

Hi!

I am planning a trip to Darjeeling & Sikkim for 8 days in Mid May’15. The following is a tentative itinerary

Day 01 – New Jal pai Guri to Darjeeling Via Mirik
Day 02 – Darjeeling Sightseeing
Day 03 – Darjeeling to Gangtok
Day 04 – Gangtok to Nathula Pass to Changu Lake to Baba Mandir to Gangtok
Day 05 – Gangtok to Lachen
Day 06 – Lachen to Gurudongmar to Lachen to Lachung
Day 07 – Lachung to Yumthang to Zero Point to Gangtok
Day 8 – Gangtok Sightseeing drop to NJP

Following are my qurries:

  •  
    1. Kindly look at the itinerary and suggest if any changes is required.
    2. Wants to book Hotels on my own, hope sufficient hotel category are available at all the places.
    3. Is there any taxi operator available, who can book taxi for entire trip, I had tried some of them but they are more interested to book entire package. Request you to provide the contact details of the same if any available
    4. Will be get snow in Nathula and Gurudongmar lake during that time

Thanks & Regards

 

 

Hi Sharad, I have the exact

Hi Sharad,

I have the exact same itenirary in mind from Gangtok onwards. Right now I am trying to get an estimate on the expense for travel. Hotels are something I would like to book on my visit to Gangtok. 

Any help in this regard will be highly appreciated.

Hoping to hear back from you.

Regards,

Sandeep

Hi Sharad, I must say that

Hi Sharad,

I must say that you have done decent research in planning the itinerary. Itinerary is perfect and very much do-able.

I will send you the number you requested.

You may see some snow around Nathula pass, Gurudongmar lake or zero point in May.

+- Vishnu

we 5 are going to

we 5 are going to darjeeling,sikkim,nathula pass on 15th march(sunday) for 5 night 6 days .

please tell me will nathula pass will open by 15th because it is closed now.

also tell me where should be go first gangtok or darjeeling since we have flight from bagdogra at 12pm.

please tell best places to visit most beautiful.

Seems like it snowed a lot so

Seems like it snowed a lot so chances are less to find the road open to Nathula pass.

Hi Everyone, Will

Hi Everyone,

Will Gangtok-Gurudongmar Lake , then back to Gangtok possible in a single day ? How to avail the shared taxis for this ?

Is Gangtok-Palling a good option to end the tour then back to NJP ?

Gangtok-Gurudongmar-Gangtok

Gangtok-Gurudongmar-Gangtok will not be possible in a single day. You can not find shared taxis for north sikkim circuit. I think you should club with other tourists.

If you do not have many days in hand then Gangtok-Pelling is good option.

+- Vishnu

We 4 friend visit gangtok on

We 4 friend visit gangtok on 12.4.15 for 3night 4 days. Our tour itenary are as follows ...

12.4.15 - njp to gangtok morning. Rest day gangtok local sighting seeing

13.4.15 - changu nathula & baba mandir. Overnight stay gangtok.

14.4.15 - pelling & rabangla. Overnight at gangtok.

15.4.15 - return to njp for back to kolkata.

Please tell is it possible to collect pass for nathula for sunday on previous day? 

In a single day is it possible to visit peĺling & rabangla?

What is the share taxi rate for changu, naghula?

 

 

 

Yes. Permits for Nathula can

Yes. Permits for Nathula can be arranged with the help of any tour agent in Gangtok. your itinerary seems do-able to me.  Shared taxi for Nathula tour generally cost 800-1000 INR per person.

+- Vishnu

HI                          

HI                                                                                                                                                                                              I am planing to go gangtok on 11th march.Is it possible to go NATHULA TOUR & NORTH SIKKIM TOUR ?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 REGARDS                                                                                                                                                                                    AMITAVA

Nathula should be possible

Nathula should be possible but i am not sure if you can visit North Sikkim.

+- Vishnu

Hi I am planing to visit

Hi

I am planing to visit sikkim at mid of may 2015..pls tell me weather we find snow at nathula and zero point during that time...

May be you can see some snow

May be you can see some snow at Zero point. near Nathula, you can see some snow at peaks.

+- Vishnu

Hi, Could you kindly suggest

Hi,

Could you kindly suggest an itinerary for 4-5 days in Sikkim during 1st week of April with a 2.6 year old toddler ?

Regards,
TJ

I do not think there is any

I do not think there is any problem going with your 2.6 years old. I would however not suggest you to go Gurudongmar lake/other high altitude places with the infant. for 4-5 days, you can visit Darjeeling, Gangtok and Pelling.

+- Vishnu

I have planned holiday in

I have planned holiday in first week of march to gantok,what woolen clothes are during these days???

what does winter clothers

what does winter clothers ?jacket? or only woolen cardigan?

will suggest to carry

will suggest to carry jackets.

Yes, Woolen cloths will be

Yes, Woolen cloths will be needed if you are planning to visit in March first week. Evenings and mornings will be quite chilly.

Hi Vishnu, I m planning to

Hi Vishnu,
I m planning to have a short trip to Sikkim from 16 to 19 march 2015. Unfortunately, I do not have passport or driving lice or ration card or voter id.. All I have is pan card + school leaving certificate + birth certificate.
Plz suggest if I can still manage to get a permit to visit at yumthang valley or gurudongmar lake or changu lake

It would be a problem to get

It would be a problem to get Inner line permit without Voter ID/Passport/Driving License/Aadhar card. You need to submit a document which can prove that you are an Indian citizen.

+- Vishnu

hello... i am visiting

hello... i am visiting gangtok on 28th feb 2015(saturday).. we are a group of 5 people. we would like to visit Nathula pass-Changu lake- baba mandir on 1rst march 2015(sunday).. can u please give us an estimate cost during this period ?? do i have to book a whole car or can we share ?? Thank You in advance

I think i am late in

I think i am late in replying. It is difficult to estimate the tour cost. Generally tour agents charge 800 inr per person for the tour to Nathula pass.

Hi Vishnu, We are planning an

Hi Vishnu,

We are planning an office trip to Gantok on 15th April'15 with family.Our plan is to visit the changu lake-baba mandir-nathula pass on a single day.Please suggest will it be to heavy to plan the visit on a single day as we will be having kids with us.

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