There are a few things one should be aware of while going from Gangtok to Nathula Pass. Perched at an altitude of 14,140 feet and 56 kilometres ahead from Gangtok, this pass lies along the ancient path of the 'Old Silk Road' that was once an essential connecting artery of the main Silk Route. India was connected to Lhasa, Tibet via the Silk Route. As Nathula Pass lies near to the border of India and China, one can see the soldiers' posts of both the countries.
Read on to know more about the dos and don'ts one must be aware of before visiting Nathula pass.
Permit to Nathula Pass
Being a politically sensitive and disputed region, Nathula Pass is a protected area and can only be visited with a valid permit. Permits are issued in Gangtok by various tour operators. One can get it beforehand if you do not wish to wait for a day. The requirements are - a Photo ID and two passport size photographs. While one can issue a permit for their own private vehicle, a vehicle provided by a tour operator is advisable.
How to Reach Nathula Pass
Nathula is located on the Jawaharlal Nehru Road, 56 kilometres from Gangtok. It takes nearly three to four hours to reach Nathula Pass from Gangtok. You can go for a round trip that will take you to beautiful places on the way like Tsomgo Lake and Baba Mandir.
Best Time to Visit Nathula Pass
The best time to visit Nathula Pass is between May to October as the weather remains pleasant and refreshing. The temperature fluctuates between a good 10°C to 15°C. It does not snow during this period, so one does not have to worry about the blocking of roads.
Visit to Nathula Pass is permitted in the winters as well but the conditions are harsh. The temperatures drop to a freezing -25°C. If you plan to visit Nathula during winter, pack your bags accordingly. That is to say that you must carry heavy winter wear, snow boots and thermos.
Sightseeing in Nathula Pass
You can visit the border trade market at Sherathang. Another place quite near Sherathang is Kupup. Kupup is actually a golf course and the second highest golf course in the world. You can also visit a local gompa by the name Gnathang Monastery and the Gnathang War Memorial built in the memory of all the British soldiers who laid their lives in a war with Tibet in the seventeenth century.
Safety Precautions to Take While Visiting Nathula Pass
While Nathula Pass may the prize, the journey from Gangtok to Nathula Pass is nothing short of a wondrous experience in itself. Let us know about your experience down in the comments below of your visit to Nathula Pass.