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

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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

Hi there... I m planing to

Hi there...
I m planing to visit Darjeeling, gangtok n nathula pass in the month of May 2016.
I will be starting from my hometown guwahati assam in my own vehicle (Scorpio ) my quarries are
1. Do I have to get pass before entering sikkim?
2. From where do I get this passes?
3. Can i drove my suv to gangtok?
4. Can i drive to nathula?
5. For nathula where n how do i obtain passes?

No. You can go till Gangtok

No. You can go till Gangtok without any Permit. Permits are issued from Gangtok. You can take help from any tour agent at MG road.

Yes, you can drive till Gangtok.

Only Sikkim registered vehicles are allowed till Nathula pass.

Nathula passes are issued from Gangtok.

+- Vishnu

HI,FRIEND   i palanning for

HI,FRIEND

  i palanning for the trip to nathula pass on 28th may 2016(saturday) is this Possible to take a permit before or i can come there directly and book for the permit. is there any way to get permit at the earlist. or anu online way for the getting the permit. 

There is no possibility

There is no possibility online. Its recommended to get the permit one day before your trip to Nathula pass. Permits can be easily arranged with the help of any tour agent at MG road.

+- Vishnu

Dear, do we need to carry

Dear, do we need to carry winter wear to visit Sikkim, Darjeeling and all other nearby places during last week of April. 

Yes. carry woolens..

Yes. carry woolens.. sometimes April is really cold.

I will reach Gangtok on 23rd

I will reach Gangtok on 23rd April 2016. Want to go to Cchangu lake, Baba Mandir and Nathula pass with my 6 yrs old son on 24th. Is it possible? Will I get snow?  Is it advisable to go to Gurudongmar lake with my 6yrs old kid? Which id proof to carry for chhangu permit?  Is pan card ok? Weather forecast showing rain in Gangtok.

I think there is no problem

I think there is no problem going with 6 year old. Pan card would not work. you need voter ID or passport. I don't live in Gangtok so no idea on real time weather.

I will be going to Gorugogmar

I will be going to Gorugogmar on 24th May 2016 with my wife and two kids (11 yrs and 7 yrs). Looking for a family to share the cab with us.

 

jit_sam@rediffmail.com

Good luck. you can try it

Good luck. you can try it once you are in Gangtok.

I am visiting Gagtok on 27th

I am visiting Gagtok on 27th July & be there till 1st July 2016.

 

Please suggest how i should plan places to visit.Darjaling then Gangtok etc

 

regds

2 days in Darjeeling and 2

2 days in Darjeeling and 2 days in Gangtok would be fine for your trip.

+- Vishnu

Is it possible to see snow

Is it possible to see snow fall near Nathula pass in the end of april 2016?

Chances are almost nill but

Chances are almost nill but you never know..

I want to visit Changu Lake,

I want to visit Changu Lake, Baba Harbhajansing Mandir, & Nathula in between 21st April to 23rd 2016 with 2.4yrs. kids. Is it possible??

SNOW are availble in changu Lake or Baba Mandir??

You will find snow around

You will find snow around Nathula pass but visiting nathula with kids younger to 4 is not allowed. you can go till Changu lake.

+- Vishnu

Will there be snowfall in

Will there be snowfall in nathula in may around 26/5/16.is it safe with kids aged 12yrs

 

Chances of snowfall are zero

Chances of snowfall are zero in May but i think no problem visiting with 12 years old kid.

Is it possible to get a

Is it possible to get a shared cab to travel to north sikkim in 2n/3d package consisting lachen, gurudongmar, lachung, yumthang, zero point?

I don't think shared cab

I don't think shared cab would be possible. You can try to club with other travelers though.

Hi! I am going to visit

Hi! I am going to visit Nathula on 14.05.2016 with my wife and my five years old children. Is it possible to get a shared cab for the tour?If possible then may you please help me providing some travel agency to contact for?

For Nathula you can book

For Nathula you can book taxis on per seat basis from any tour agent in Gangtok. I think you will get permit to go nathula pass with 5 year old kid.

Hi Can we reach darjeeling on

Hi
Can we reach darjeeling on the same day after visiting nathula pass .. How much time does it take to reach darjeeling from nathula pass

Yes. most of the tours to

Yes. most of the tours to nathula pass starts early in the morning. you can visit Nathula pass and then head to Darjeeling in the afternoon.

hi, is possible to travel

hi, is possible to travel changu lake under 4 yrs kids.

No problem visiting Changu

No problem visiting Changu lake with 4 year old kid however you can not visit Nathula pass and Gurudongmar lake with kids.

+- Vishnu

I am from Bangladesh. Can you

I am from Bangladesh. Can you please inform me how coule i arrange permission gangtok travel. Can you help me please.

For Gangtok you would not

For Gangtok you would not need any permit but you can not visit any other area where ILP is required. you can not visit Changu lake, Nathula pass or North Sikkim

Can i get permit for Changu

Can i get permit for Changu lake, Nathula pass

i want to visit Baba

i want to visit Baba Mandir,Nathula and Baba Mandir.

Is is possible to visist and back to NJP on same day? How much time will approx take to visit 3places.?

It is standard day tour from

It is standard day tour from Gangtok. It takes 7-8 hours depending upon halt at each location.

Hi, I m from the North East,

Hi, I m from the North East, Shillong, Meghalaya, I along with 5 other of my friends are planning for a road trip with our bike to Sikkim in the Month of April, so can we get perrmit to travel to Nathula pass by my own bike, and if yes than what will be the procedure to do so (documents and other formalities)..

I don't think it is possible

I don't think it is possible to get permit for vehicles with registration outside Sikkim. No idea how to get permit in this case.

Hii,  This is durga prasad &

Hii, 

This is durga prasad & i am planning to visit nathula on 2nd of april 2016.

Is that day is convineant to visit?

as i have seen in weather forecast that on 2nd april 2016 their os a cloudy weather and 

There is a chances of rain on that day.

Please suggest me wether i shoulf plan on that day or not & what is the chances of snow at nathula.

Please suggest me.

Yes, April is good time to

Yes, April is good time to visit however there was lot of snow last week so Nathula pass, Gurudongmar lake are closed this week. If already there then enjoy the nature and mountains.

We are going nathula pass in

We are going nathula pass in the month of may around 13 so will it be possible to view nathula

Yes. it would be very much

Yes. it would be very much possible

Hi we are planning to visit

Hi we are planning to visit Nathulal pass on May 14 with my 3 years kid can we find snow at that time, does the 3 years kid allowed

Kids younger to 5 are not

Kids younger to 5 are not allowed.

Hi, I am planning to visit

Hi, I am planning to visit Sikkim on 29th May, 2016. Can I seen snow in Nathula Pass?, or where can I see snow during that time?

 

Yes. Nathula is very much

Yes. Nathula is very much possible. Chances to see snow are high around Nathula pass and Changu lake.

Do we can get permission for

Do we can get permission for nathula pass from Darjeeling

you can get permission for

you can get permission for Nathula from Gangtok only.

+- Vishnu

Hi I am looking to travel to

Hi I am looking to travel to Nathula and some places around. I am an auto journalist working with a magazine, planning of doing a story on the pass and areas around and I need a little help. Could you please share your number with me, would like to speak to you if it is possible.
Thankyou

You can email me your

You can email me your queries. will be happy to help.

is it advisable to take kids

is it advisable to take kids one 5 years and another3.5 to changu lake and baba mandir  28th march 2016.

I think Changu lake and baba

I think Changu lake and baba mandir are fine to visit to with kids but you can not travel to Nathula pass with kids, infants.

+- Vishnu

Which tour plan around

Which tour plan around Darjeeling/Gangtok/North Sikkim are best during May 20 to May 27 along with places likely to have snow. We are 2 families with 4 young boys/girls between 13-21.

For seeing snow in May, you

For seeing snow in May, you should visit Nathula pass and North Sikkim (Gurudongmar lake). In 7 days, you can visit Darjeeling, Gangtok and North Sikkim (Lachung, Lachen, Yumthang).

+- Vishnu

Hi, planning a ride on my

Hi, planning a ride on my Bullet to Gangtok on 11/12 October. Can we ride to Nathula Pass? What will be the weather conditions?

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