An important pass on the crossroads of the Indo-China border, Nathula Pass forms a part of an offshoot of the Old Silk Road. Things haven’t changed much and the pass still indulges passing tourists in pretty much the same way as it once catered to traders and merchants. Take a trip to Nathula Pass to escape the monotonous squalor of the big city life.
Located on the Old Silk Route, Nathula Pass connects Sikkim to China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. It was sealed for almost four decades after the People’s Republic of China suppressed a Tibetan uprising in 1959. However, when the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited China in 2003, talks to open this strategic route were resumed. The Nathula Pass, as it stands today, was reopened in 2006 and has, ever since, served as an official Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) point.
Best Time to Visit
Summer (April – mid-June) and Autumn (October – November)
weather: The temperature in the region drops as low as -25 ° C during winters. The minimum temperature during the summer months is approximately 10 ° C. June to September is the off-season because of the monsoon and the looming threat of landslides.
Visiting Days:- Wednesday- Sunday
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.
By Road: Nathula Pass is located 54 km east of Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. The only way to reach the pass is through a drive from Gangtok. Sturdy vehicles such as Innova, Bolero, and Scorpio are available for rent in Gangtok. You can also share a cab till Nathula Pass with other tourists. The road from Gangtok to Nathula Pass is steep and slippery. It is decently maintained, except in a few places.
Who all can Visit
Only Indian nationals with a valid permit can visit the Nathula Pass.
How to get Nathula Pass permit? A permit can be obtained by applying to the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department. You can apply through a registered travel agency. A photo ID proof and two passport size photographs are required for the same. The Nathula Pass permit cost is INR 200/- per person.
Where to Stay
The only accommodations available are in Gangtok, which is approximately 56 km away. Both budget and high-end resorts and hotels are available easily.