6 days in Sikkim and my mind was completely blown by the State. The hospitality, the flora, the mountains, the rivers, the people, the culture, the roads - you name it and it was hard to find anything wrong in it.
But the one place I was particularly looking forward to visit was the Indo - China Border Post at Nathu La. Having been to an army school, I've always had a connect with the armed forces and anything related to them always ignites a fire in the belly.
The Nathu La Pass is just 55kms from Gangtok. But getting there requires a tourist permit from the Tourism Department of the Sikkim Government. Permits are granted to a limited number of tourists on a daily basis for which the paperwork needs to be done in advance with the help of travel agencies registered with the Tourism Dept. Since Nathu La is a major attraction point, nearly all the major hotels in Gangtok have liaison with a registered travel agency for the permits. However ONLY INDIAN CITIZENS are allowed to visit the actual LAC. Others can visit only upto Tsomgo Lake.
For the paperwork, you will need 4/5 passport-sized photographs and 3/4 copies of your Identity proof. The cost of the permit is Rs.500/- per person. Hiring a car for the day costs approximately Rs.7,000/- and the trip shall also cover the Tsomgo lake (AKA Changu Lake - approx. 15 kms before Nathu La) and the Baba Mandir (another 12 kms from Nathu La).