Sikkim’s natural beauty is best captured by the Nathu La Pass. Almost 14,200 feet above mean sea level, the strategically significant mountain pass was formerly a component of the old Silk Road. On days when the region is not shrouded in mist, visitors can see the meandering path that was once used by mules to bring products from Tibet to India. One location where geography has significantly influenced history is Nathu La Pass. If you’re thinking about visiting Sikkim, you should attempt to stop by this famous location because of its striking mountain scenery and unique flora and wildlife.
For almost 50 years, Nathu La Pass remained off-limits to travellers. With few alternatives for trading between Indian and Tibet of China merchants, it was reopened in 2006. Visit Sherathang, 3 km below Nathu La Pass, if you’re travelling during the trade months (June-September), where you may buy souvenirs at the retail centre.
Thegu is a hut whose road-facing façade is painted with two similar dragons. It is located on your approach to Nathu La. The world’s highest ATM is located at this altitude.
How can I travel to Nathu La pass?
From Gangtok, Nathu La Pass is around 60 kilometres to the east. It should take you close to two hours to reach there if you use Jawaharlal Nehru Road. Your best bet is to set aside a full day because there are so many places to see in and around Nathu La.
There are shared jeep possibilities if you’re travelling during the months with the most tourists. For individuals who are travelling on a tight budget, this works out perfectly. Finding a tour company and renting an SUV, though, is your best bet if you’re travelling in a group. They’ll make it easy for you to organise the excursion.
You require a Protected Area Permit (PAP) in order to enter this area since the pass serves as one of the three trading border checkpoints between the Tibet Autonomous Region of India and China. Foreigners are not permitted in this area, and Indian natives alone are given permits after providing identification confirmation. Your tour guide will assist you in obtaining this permit.
What Time Should I Land?
You should be aware Tuesdays and Mondays are off days for Nathu La Pass.
The best time to arrive Nathu La Pass is from mid-April to mid-June if you’re planning a summer vacation. Remember that temperatures seldom get over 15°C at such high elevations, so make sure you pack warm clothing to fend against the brisk wind.
Summer months have less odds of snowfall and are more likely to provide expansive panoramas of the mountains, arctic flora, and border guards on the Chinese side.
If you’re planning a trip in the winter, keep in mind that if it snows too much, the pass will remain closed. However, your chances of seeing a snow-covered Nathu La increase if you arrive in November. For those who wish to see the mountain pass and its lakes changed by the snow, this is a wonderful experience all on its own.
The army is not very strict about the photographing ban in this border region.
You can have breathing problems because of the thin air because Nathu La is practically in the clouds. If you’re concerned about high altitude sickness, speak to your doctor. Portable oxygen cylinders may also be rented in Gangtok prior to the journey.
Nathu La Pass will without a doubt be the part of your Sikkim journey that you remember the most.
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