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

Hi Mr.Vishnu, Happy to go

Hi Mr.Vishnu,

Happy to go thro your page.I and my husband (aged 60 and 63) booked air tkts from Chennai to Kolkata for a tour from 7th July to 15th July 2015.

We are clueless as to how to plan our tour.We want to visit Darjeeling during this trip.Is it possible to book by train upto Jalpai guri and procceed to Djlg by road? Many netizens  have mentioned abt road blocks due to rain.Is it worthwhile to include Djlg in our trip?And is it safe to book a night travel by train?

As we r new to north east region ,any tips and guidances will be of much help to us.

Thanking you,

Soundhra.

Dear soundhra, you can plan

Dear soundhra,

you can plan for this trip to darjeeling..

there are four  roads to darjeeling from siliguri so landslides will not be a issue at all..

you book train upto new jalpaiguri and then by road to darjeleing

in darjeeling you can spend 2-3 nights exploring the heritage and the town and you can also visit pashupati market mirik lake from darjeeling

Hi I m going to visit Gangtok

Hi I m going to visit Gangtok in month of November between

10 to 15. There are chances of seeing snow in nathula pass?

 

99% chances of seeing snow

99% chances of seeing snow only 1% fluctuations may be there

Hello, I was researching on

Hello,

I was researching on Sikkim tourism and stubmled upon your page and was very excited to go through it. Myself and my famly travel a lot and hence I find this really helpful and this forum makes it possible to share ideas and inputs with fellow travellers. Good job.

We(Myself , wife and 2 kids(one 4.5 yrs and other 8 yrs) are palnning to visiit Sikkim in the last week of Decemeber (26th 2015 until 1/2 Jan 2016). I understand that climate is a bit harsh in Decemeber, but we would like to visit it then so that we can enjoy the snow.

I need help to understand which places can be visited during this time. Since we are planning for 5-5 days we would like to cover the maximum- Our interest include - Nature, Wildlife, cultural/heritages/festivals/ Local ethinic cuisine.. Could you please help in creating an itinerary.

Thank you in advance. Looking forward to your inputs.

 

Regards

 

Krishnakumar

dear krishnakumar, the

dear krishnakumar,

the weather in december may be a bit harsh but you will be able to enjoy a beautiful winter holidays in sikkim

you may plan fr gangtok3nights pelling 2nights and darjeeling 2nights..

prebook accomodation and transport as the time you're visiting is high season.

Hi Vijay, I plan to visit

Hi Vijay,

I plan to visit Gangtok-Changdu Lake-Nathula during the 1st week of Dec 2015 for 4-5 days. I have a few queries:

1) We have Indian passports while my son (aged 11) has USA passport with PIO card. Will he be given entry with special permission?

2) Will there be snowfall during that period?

3) Can you pls suggest a travel itinerary?

Thanks,

Soum

dear sir, your son wont be

dear sir,

your son wont be issued permits with a foreign passports so its better you just submit your passport abd some other documents/undertaking with a photograph for procuring the permits to gurudongmar and nathula.

yes there will be sonw in that period

you can visit gangtok 2 nighyts lachung 1 night and again gangtok 1 night.

i am planing to visir gangtok

i am planing to visir gangtok in 24th, 25th, and 26th..... is thr any chance to get pass for nathula or baba mandir? any chance to see snow? is now rainy sesion has come??

Hi, Our family is planning to

Hi,

Our family is planning to Visit Sikkim and Darjeeling between 18th - 22nd October 2015. We ideallly have 4 Nights with us to visit places .

We re a group of 11 adults (4 of which are senior citizen) and 4 Children aged between 2 Yrs - 11 Yrs .

Can you please help us understand what can be the best iteneary .

We wish to visit Nathula pass - Will it be feasible.

Since we have short time in hnd hence we need some guidance on which are the major spots we can cover.

Can you also guide us on reasonable accomodation at Sikkim .

 

Thanks ,

Smriti Pandey

 

Smriti Pandey nathula pass

Smriti Pandey

nathula pass not advised with kids less then 5yrs old.

there are lot of accomodation options in sikkim

you can plan for gangtok 2 nights and 2 nights in darjeeling

Hello Sir,   I and my wife

Hello Sir,

 

I and my wife are planning to visit Gangtok in thr last week of September. From Sept Swpt 29th. Are there chances of seeing snowfall during that time. Is it advisable to visit Gangtok then. Thanks in Advance!

yes you can visit sikkim in

yes you can visit sikkim in september last week the weather will be pleasent .chances of seeing snow is very low..

 

Thanks a lot!

Thanks a lot!

Hi Yogee !!   We are 5 adults

Hi Yogee !!

 

We are 5 adults and one infant coming gangtok from 21st june to 26th june.

Can you please give me some idea about cost for the packages:

1)Gangtok->Lachung->Yumthang->gangtok. 2day/1night = ???

2)gangtok->somgo lake->nathula pass->gangtok = ???

*we would prefer personal vehicle i.e. tata sumo/mahindra maxx/xylo/scorpio in good condition

Also is Lachung open to visit at this time ??

and we are travelling along with an infant, I hope there would not be any problem because of high altitudes Smile

Pl reply......

dear nek, lachung is not

dear nek,

lachung is not accessible and is to be avoided now because there can be landslides anytime..nathula pass not advised with child below 5yrs old.

Thanks yogee for your prompt

Thanks yogee for your prompt reply.

then please suggest me itenary for gangtok and nearby places with cost idea.

i was really planning for nathula pass and lachung but you said lachung is not accessible at this time and nathula should be avoided to visit with an infant. 

Can we visit tsomgo lake with infant ??

also local places in gangtok ??

you can plan for gangtok 3

you can plan for gangtok 3 nights and pelling/darjeeling for 2 nights

We're planning to visit

We're planning to visit Sikkim from 8th to 11th Sept'2015 . We've already brought our tickets. But here, you replied to a question that September is not the perfect time for snowfall. So, please suggest me the places ( an itinerary if possible for you to command ) where I can get snow. 

Yes, September is not the

Yes, September is not the best time. highly unlikely to get snow in September. the only place where you have little chance is Zero point.

+- Vishnu

hii,  i m visiting gangtok at

hii,

 i m visiting gangtok at 24 july with my frnds,will it be possible to complete the whole sikkim in 4 days,is this the right time to visit at gangtok,please provide me full information to visit the sights in this july season

 

 

4 days are very less to visit

4 days are very less to visit entire Sikkim. for 4 days, you can visit Gangtok and Pelling. July will be rainy season as well.

+- Vishnu

Hi, Few questions 1. Some

Hi,

Few questions

1. Some people I know are telling that in darjelling no major places to see except the sunrise on tiger hill and toy train. Further, we cannot see sunrise due to clouds in late june. pls advice.

2. we are planning from 24 to 30 june. is it good time? if so, pls suggest some cheap travels. We are 2 people in 25-30yrs. We wish to visit best places preferably yumthong and gurudongmar. pls suggest itenary for us considering time and climate.

3. pls tell us any specific things to carry - i got to know to carry 5 passport photos, medicines. pls advice.

thank you very much

1) Yes, chances are thin to

1) Yes, chances are thin to have clear sky in the month of June. Sunrise at Tiger hill is the highlight of Darjeeling.

2) Gangtok-Gurudongmar-Yumthang-Gangtok will take 3 days and 2 nights.

3) passport size photos will be needed for permit.

+- Vishnu

Hi.. We are planing for

Hi.. We are planing for visiting gangtok dergeling n lachung.. At 10th july.. Is it safe to visit this time.. Is there heavy rain fall.. Where we get snow.. N we need to take woolen cloths.. Or we get it or rent.. Pls help us thanx..

Yes. its safe but you should

Yes. its safe but you should prepare yourself for heavy rain. Chances to see snow are very low in July.  no need to heavy woolens. I am not sure if you can get it on rent.

+- Vishnu

we reach on 27th july at njp

we reach on 27th july at njp for 4days tovisit darjelling &gangtok so i need advice about weather all are age about 40 + females so send reply  soon

July is peak monsoon time so

July is peak monsoon time so you should prepare yourself for heavy rain.

+- Vishnu

you can visit gangtok and

you can visit gangtok and darjeeling in 4 days in july

iuts monsoon season so you can expect rains every evening..

its better ytou hire one cab from njp-njp for a comnfortable trip

We are reaching gangtok on

We are reaching gangtok on 18th june, will return to njp on 21st June evening is there any possibility of snow at any tourist point in gangtok during this period. If yes then where should we go to encounter snow.

Also, please send some tours n travels contact no. at reasonable price.

Chances to see snow are very

Chances to see snow are very bleak. I have sent an email with details. Please revert on the same.

+- Vishnu

almost no chances of seeing

almost no chances of seeing snow at that time in any place of sikkim

contact myraidtrails.

can I get Snow in nathula

can I get Snow in nathula from 1st june to 15th as i planned to visit in this period.

Is it safe to travel with infants to north sikkim and gurudongmar lakezero point and also nathula in this time period?

 

north sikkim roads towards

north sikkim roads towards yumthang lachung and zeropoint is closed due to a heavy landslide..

you will not get snow during the time of your visit

I am planning to visit

I am planning to visit darjeeling, gangtok and lachung between june 16 to 22. how is weather at that time. will we get snow at lachung or nathula at that time.

 

You can see some snow at

You can see some snow at Nathula pass but chances are very bleak at see snow at Lachung. May be at Yumthang.

+- Vishnu

the weather is okay during

the weather is okay during daytime but rains during evenings..

It is posdible to visit

It is posdible to visit nathula pass and other bear by lake and return back to njp to catch the night train on 10 of june 2015

if your train is after 8pm

if your train is after 8pm then you should be able to make it

Sir I am going to Gangtok and

Sir I am going to Gangtok and darjeeling from 2 July to 7 July please advice and tell me about weather conditions

jitin, heavy rains may be

jitin,

heavy rains may be expected in the time you are visiting sikkim

It may be monsoon time in the

It may be monsoon time in the month of July so you can expect some rain.

+- Vishnu

have planned to visit Sikkim

have planned to visit Sikkim between 6th June to 11 June. reaching Gangtok on 6th evening. Could you pls suggest me an itinerary?

for 5 days, you can visit

for 5 days, you can visit Gangtok, Nathula pass and Pelling.

+- Vishnu

hi i am planning to visit

hi

i am planning to visit gangtok from 18 to 24 june 2015 along with husband and my two kids (5 yrs and 9 yrs). will that period be good to visit gangtok and darjeeling. 

dear pooja, looks like the

dear pooja,

looks like the monsoon has arrived early this time.but wrather should be fine by the time you visit

 

Yes. Till June end, its ok to

Yes. Till June end, its ok to visit Sikkim however you may witness little rain on the way. Its good time in my personal opinion.

+- Vishnu

Iam planning to visit Nathula

Iam planning to visit Nathula pass and Changu lake on june 13th/14th 2015.

Kindly help me with the following:

1) So kindly provide me a travel agent number so that we can make a prior arrangement for permission without any hazle.

2) I have checked the hotel travel desk and they are charging close to Rs 7000. So is it a fixed price or is there a nominal fare for the travel.

3) Any chance of snow in nathula pass during the time of our visit.

Kindly share the details.

Thanks,

1) Sure i will drop you a

1) Sure i will drop you a mail.

2) 7000 INR for what ??

3) No. Chances are very less to snow at Nathula in June

+- Vishnu

We friends r planning for

We friends r planning for gangtok trip..
so will there b snow in march?? Tsangu lake nathula pass yamthung and zero point.this mention place we wanna go.
so plzz inform wheather there will b snow or not..
thank u..

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