Nathula, one of the highest drive roads in the world, is a mountain pass in the Himalayan peaks that co-joins Sikkim and China. Nathula Pass is situated on the Indo-Chinese border and is one of the biggest tourist attractions in India.‘_Several tourists flock here every year for trekking in the valley and enjoying the scenic beauty. There are a number of waterfalls that gush along the way from Gangtok to Nathula. It also offers an opportunity to see beautiful snow peaks encircling the area.
Situated on the Indo-Tibetan border 14450 ft. above sea level, Nathu La is one of the most important Himalayan passes in the country. Nathu means _„?listening ears_„? and La means _„?pass_„?, the mountain pass is situated at a few kms away from Gangtok in Sikkim. Nathu La is one of three open trading border posts between India and China and is famous for its picturesque beauty and beautiful environment. The temperature here remains low for most parts of the year and Nathu La becomes a hotspot for tourists during summer. The cold wind blowing across at great speed is a phenomenon worth experiencing in Nathu La. A number of waterfalls are present on the way from Gangtok to Nathula. Tsomgo Lake is a popular tourist destination in the region and though it does not have human inhabitation, the place is a home for birds like black eagle, blue whistling thrush, redstarts, folk tails, tit-babblers, etc. The region also supports Himalayan wildlife like Tibetan gazelle, snow leopard, yaks, Tibetan wolves, etc. Nathu La has a rich variety of flora apart from a spectacular wildlife range.
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Nathula Pass experiences heavy snowfall during winter. The temperature of this area may drop down to 25 degree C. If you really love snow, you can visit Nathula Pass in winter with thick woollen garments. May to mid November is the summer seasoning Nathula, when the temperature ranges around 10 degree C.
Air: The closest airport to Nathula is Bagdogra airport and it is connected to cities like Delhi and Kolkata. From there you can hire a taxi to reach Gangtok, which is well connected to Nathula by road.
Rail: The nearest railway station is in Jalpaiguri, 98 kilometers from Gangtok. You can take a taxi from here to reach Gangtok.
Road: Nathula is well connected by road to Gangtok. You can take a taxi from Gangtok to reach Nathula.
You have to travel on foot at Nathula Pass. You can hire taxis to go see the nearby places.
There is no accommodation option at Nathula Pass for tourists. You have to reside at the hotels in Gangtok. Mayfair Spa Resort, Hotel Norkhil, Royal Plaza, Chumbi Residency, Hotel Rendezvous, Sidlon Residency, etc. are some of the hotels close to Nathula pass.
The Gangtok _—– Nathula Highway is one of the most beautiful mountain roads of the world and it great for sightseeing. About 70 kms from Gangtok, across the Tsomgo LakeŽ_and the new Baba Harbhajan Mandir, the road is an adventurous one. On a clear day, you can also enjoy spectacular views of Mt. Chomolhari from Nathula Pass.
Many tourists come here every year for trekking in the valley.
There are no shopping places here. But there are several shopping arcades in Gangtok famous for the woollen carpets and local handicrafts. You can also buy painting, art work, etc. from here.
The place does not have any culture or population as it a border pass. To experience the culture to Sikkim, one has to visit Gangtok.
The place does not have a nightlife. You can experience the nightlife of Sikkim at Gangtok though which has many clubs.
A few tea stalls and food corners are present at Nathula. To enjoy the local cuisine you have to see Gangtok. The local cuisine of Sikkim includesŽ_Gya Thuk or Thukpam, Phagshapa, Momo, Ningro along with Churpi, Sael Roti and Gundruk. These are dishes one must try while visiting Gangtok. Chaang is the popular drink of the place.
Nathula has no restaurants. Some of the good restaurants you can find at Gangtok are Gangtalk, 9'INE, Taste of Tiber, Tangerine among others.
Nathula is best seen on a trip to Gangtok, just 24 kms away. Reach Gangtok and leave early for Nathula at 8am. Have your breakfast at a nearby restaurant on the way. Reach Nathula Pass and enjoy the beauty of the place. You can trek in the valley too if you want. After visiting the pass, take a tour to the Tsomgo Lake. Return to Gangtok in the evening and have your dinner at a nearby good restaurant. The next day you can see Gangtok.
During the years Nathu La remained closed, the only people permitted to cross it was a Chinese postman with an Indian military escort to handover letters from either side of the border. The reopening of Nathu la Pass coincided with the 71st birthday of the 14th Dalai Lama.
It is advised not to rush up the stairs, as you may go out of breath after sometime.Ž_ Carry woollen clothes with you. Take permit before itself from the authorities to visit Nathula Pass.