Nathula Pass


14.6/5(215 Ratings)

Nathula Pass Overview

Ranked 1 of 58 sightseeing in Gangtok

Nathula Pass, located at a distance of 56 km from Gangtok, is a pass on the Indo-Chinese border. Serving as a trade link between India and China, this park also once served as the main access for Sikkim-Tibet trade. Popularly known as the Silk Route, this pass is at an elevation of 14,450 feet and is rich in diverse alpine flora and fauna. The Nathula Pass is divided into terms 'Nathu' and 'La', which mean 'listening ears' and 'pass' respectively.

The trade route was closed down in 1961, as a result of the war between India and China. However, in 2006, the trade between the two countries resumed again after conciliation. Passing the Tsomgo Lake on its way, this pass is one of the highest motorable roads in entire India. Covered with snow for most parts of the year, a special permit is required to visit this pass.

At present, tourists are permitted to visit the pass on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. In addition, the Nathula Pass also reduces the travelling distance to some of the major Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage sites such as Lhasa and Mansarovar Lake.

This pass is also amongst three border posts that connect China and India. The other two border posts are Shipkila (Himachal Pradesh) and Lipulekh (Uttarakhand).

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What travellers are saying about Nathula Pass

Experience scale
  • Excellent 84
  • Very Good 41
  • Good 3
  • Below Average 1
  • Average 1
  • Terrible 0
  • Poor 0
Travellers recommend
  • Best Time: During DayLength of visit: 1-2hrs
  • Length of visit: 2-3hrsBest Time: During Day
Facilities available
  • Food available for purchaseFood available for purchase
  • Bathroom facilitiesBathroom facilities
  • Camera/Video allowedCamera/Video allowed
  • Wearing of shoes/footwear allowedWearing of shoes/footwear allowed
  • Lockers/StorageLockers/Storage

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Reviews and Ratings

Ashish Deora

Ashish Deora5.0/5

15 reviews


Situated at a height of 14300 ft along the borders of India and China a must visit place for tourist. Require pass from military to visit this place usually arranged by tour or transport operators

Ankur P

Ankur P2.9/5

60 reviews

Nice but too crowded

Nathula takes a whole day from Gangtok and you have to prepare for the visit couple of days earlier for things like permits. The place itself is quite beautiful and fun - there's snow everywhere, the misty fog rolls around and the drive is scenic but the experience is somewhat ruined by the large number of people and traffic. Parking is a huge mess and the road to this place is jammed half of the time, leading to lot of waiting time. A lot of tourists visiting here are noisy and undisciplined - even the army guards have a hard time reining them in. When we visited, the place was somewhat dirty with stuff thrown by tourists Some things to note: Camera or Mobile phones are not allowed after the "Welcome" gate, so it's a good idea to keep them in your vehicle. Nathula is around 15000 feet in altitude, some people might have breathing issues, it's advised to take things slow. There are no shops or easily reachable toilets here (especially when the place is covered with snow). The stairs that lead to the border gate are very slippery when there's snow all around - not advised to take kids or old people.

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  • Nice but too crowded
  • Nice but too crowded
  • Nice but too crowded
  • Nice but too crowded

Sandra barros

Sandra barros5.0/5

8 reviews

A must visit

Well organised with decent roads. There are some bad patches. Warm clothes and boots available on hire. Cameras not allowed at the pass. But can be used on-route. Visit if your health is excellent. Not suitable for older people as there is a climb to the point. Vehicles are not allowed after a certain point. But a must visit at least once when in Gangtok. Also visit Tsomg/Changu lake on the way and nearby Baba Mandir.

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Amit Sinha

Amit Sinha5.0/5

23 reviews

Awesome. Experience of being Indian.

The visit to NathuLa was interesting. The road is a bumpy ride and treacherous but interesting and scenic !! The Changu lake at 13000 feet is an absolute treat to the eyes. Frozen with streaks of snow on mountains and sun shine is a dream sight. The view of Kunchenjunga is yet another rare sight on a clear day !! Hats off to the Army- Nathula is a well guarded place where soldiers rough it out- sub zero temperatures, snow, chilly winds and rain- but the smile on the face of every soldier has a lesson !! The Baba Harbhajan Mandir is yet another tourist delight with reverence !!

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Jaffar khan

Jaffar khan5.0/5

1 review

Adventures, Scenic and Nature.

An hour and half drive from city, mountain road and valley of 1000 ft. Mountains covered with snow and long trees. After this you see the iconic indochina border.

Nilab Tripathy

Nilab Tripathy4.3/5

34 reviews

My First Trek into the mountains - An Awesome One!

You have to book a cab which takes around 700 - 800 rupees and go on a roller coaster ride. The roads, the view and the army camps throughout the way are really amazing and when you look back down, you will see that you are literally above the clouds. It's going to be cold, very cold (I am from South India) even when there is no snow around. Nothing much to see when you reach the peak except 3-4 Chinese soldiers parading and few mindless people making slogans but the journey is amazing.

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3 reviews

Spectacular Nathula

I have no words to describe this place ... You need to gain permission from the Sikkim tourism to visit nathula. Awesome view on the way to nathula, beautiful mountains covered with snow and sipping hot tea at the roadside. On the way you will see mesmerizing nature and beauty of god. Small waterfalls on the way to mountains, do spare some time to wait and drink that water. Do carry clothes which can bare extreme cold and not advisable to people who has breathing problem, when you reach nathula do spare some time to play with snow and create memories and interact with Indian and Chinese soldiers. Why do you wanna go out of India when you have heaven in India!

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Bhupender gulati

Bhupender gulati5.0/5

3 reviews

Indo China border

Yes it is a paisa vasool visit.Place is around 57 km away from Gangtok in the upper hills. It is border line between India and China.It is around 14000 ft from the sea level.Due to lack of oxygen travelers may feel uneasiness.All are advised to take heavy woolen clothes because temperature is around 5 degree in June.

Sumit Khanna

Sumit Khanna4.3/5

2 reviews

Great place to visit

It was great place to visit. You would see the indo-china border located at 14, 250 ft above sea level. Very chilling place. Hats off to our soldiers who are there to protect us 24*7. Don't click any photos as it is not allowed otherwise your phone or camera would be taken by soldiers. Do remember to take the certificate for achieving the mile stone.

Vaishnavi kardale

Vaishnavi kardale5.0/5

2 reviews

Nathula pass

Nathula pass is a place which has to be in your travel iterenary. Unfortunately I did not know that the place is closed on Monday and Tuesday and according to my travel iterenary it was destined to be on Monday so we had to skip it. Keep this in notice and make your travel iterenary. But if you are about to be there on Monday or Tuesday you can go to baba Mandir instead

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Photos of Nathula Pass

Nathula Pass, Gangtok

Photo by

Shreyansh Jain

Nathula Pass, Gangtok
Nathula Pass, Gangtok

Photo by

Sumanta Chatterjee

Nathula Pass, Gangtok
Nathula Pass, Gangtok

Photo by

Abhinav Roy

View of the mountains
Nathula Pass, Gangtok

Photo by

Abhinav Roy

View of the mountains

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