We planned to stay in Gangtok for two days and then will move to North Sikkim and Gurudongmar Lake. We decided to do the Nathula Point and enjoy the Sikkim Roads. We knew about the Permits and all, so we shared our Photos and details with Mr. Hari (our Last day Driver) and he arranged almost everything for us and A car as well. Mr. Bharat was today's pilot, who took us to Nathula Point and places on the way. Nathula's point is an INDO-CHINA Border point where travellers/tourists can have a look at another side of the border.
7. Nathu La in East SikkimNathu La is a pass within the East Sikkim that connects with Tibet. Nathu La was re-opened in 2006 after the 1962 war and is a major traveler attraction for Indian travelers to Sikkim. The area is endowed with stunning mountain views and a beautiful Changu Lake, the route is additionally opened for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. One is able to travel right up to the border checkpoint and greet the soldiers. Indian citizens with a valid permit pass can visit the Pass.
Nathu La Pass Nathu La Pass is only 6 km from the china border and hence it is a restricted area. Indian nationals can visit with permits from local tourism offices that may be applied by local guides. The pass is situated at over 16000 ft in a snow filled and difficult to reach territory and is reachable only during certain times of the year subject to road conditions. The view is well worth it. One can see Chinese soldiers across the fence from the Indian side. The local urban legend is that Chinese soldiers gives drugged smokes to Indians and are warned not to accept anything from them. Urban legends of Yeti, the abominable snowman thrive around this area. So look out for foot prints in the snow. 😀On the same route as Nathu La are two more features. The first landmark on the way is Changu Lake, also known as Tsomgo lake. It is fresh water lake which freezes over during the winter. The second landmark is a temple dedicated to martyrs of Indo-China war.
The next day after a hefty breakfast, we headed towards Nathula Pass - a symbol of pride for every Indian. Our cab driver gave us a hard time, saying we may not get a chance to visit the iconic place. But, as always luck worked for us and we reached Nathula with no such hassle. The high altitude showed tit-bits of it's presence, but it didn't affect us much. The Indo-China border sure had a certain charm and our heart was full of pride when we got a chance to speak with the soldiers there. The whole day went in a complete bliss!Next day early morning was all about ropes, gears, helmet and our efforts to accommodate our backpacks on the bikes! The handsome beasts, aka Himalayan bikes, were waiting for us to shift our journey from four wheels to two wheels for the next four days and let me share a word of advice. Exploring the north Sikkim? You must experience it on bikes, trust me! The next four days were what my dreams are made of!
Nathula pass is the border between India and China, which was closed now. For visiting this, you have to take permit from Military through a travel agent. You have to submit your Voter ID and you passport photo to get the permit.Nahtula pass is about 4,310 m above mean sea level, so the oxygen availability is low. Not recommended for aged people and heart patients. It forms a part of an offshoot of the ancient Silk Road which was closed now. It is one of the three open trading border posts between China and India.You can see both the gates of India and China’s. But photography is prohibited here (but saw many clicking). You have to climb around 50 steps to see the gates. Please carry popcorn packets when you visit Nathula(). Eating Popcorn somehow helps you not getting any breath problems. (Yes, it helps). There you can find a canteen. A hot chai at those freezing cold temperature helps u. Don’t forgot to carry thick warm clothes and other woollen things to withstand those low temp.