Srini (OCtober 2023)
Hello, thank you for the detailed article. It was very helpful. Is it advisable for my parents (67 and 62 years old) to travel to Nathula? Any special care to be taken?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2023
They can visit if they are medically fit and have no health issues, otherwise not recommended.
Siva (June 2022)
Your site is very excellent and informative. I wish to have some more information as I have planned visit to Gangtok:
1. What will be the expected weather in Nathula Pass around 10-15th July,2022.?
2. Whether share taxi will be available to visit Nathula Pass during mid July?
3. How much (approx.) they charge per person for the above visit?
4. How much charge (approx.) for a reserved vehicle, for two person?
I shall be grateful if you reply as I am finalising my tour programme.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2022
July to September is the monsoon season in Nathula and showers are expected. Shared taxi to Nathula depends on prevailing demand, July is generally considered off-season in Sikkim. However, you can contact a couple of tour operators in Gangtok and check the availability of a shared tour of Nathula around that time. The shared fare is around Rs. 800-1000 per person, reserved fare in Tata Sumo/Bolero is around Rs. 5,500.
Gunesh Apte (March 2022)
Hello Raj, I found your website very unique and interesting and also your journey from corporate world to this travel web site. We have planned Sikkim trip in last week of April, and are planning the trip with a cab operator. They are telling us that, we need to always share a vehicle (SUV) in the last 4 Kms travel to Nathula, and I am trying to find a way out for this.
Is there any way by which we (a family of 4) can book a cab and travel till the end in an independent vehicle not shared with other 3-4 people. I heard that, due to limited permits, we must share vehicle with others, but I am not comfortable to do this in these pandemic days. I need your guidance on this matter. Thanks.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2022
Hi, although about 75 vehicles are allowed to visit Nathula Pass per day, it is not necessary to share a vehicle with others if you book a private trip. It is not difficult to get vehicle and tourist permits if it is done in advance. The vehicle permits are given on a first-come-first-serve basis to the operators and sometimes in rotation. Not sure which cab operator you are interacting with, I suggest you also talk to a few other reputed tour operators in Gangtok. You will find the list of well-known operators in the article Gangtok Sightseeing Tours under the last section (i.e. Tour Operators).
Praveen Gupta (March 2020)
Hi Raj ji, I want to plan a visit for nathula pass in 8th april 2020 with my family including two daughters aged 16yrs and 14yrs old. I want to know which documents will be need for my daughters as they are not adults yet. I have Aadhar cards of both only. Thanks in advance.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2020
Hello, Aadhar is no longer accepted as an Id Proof for Nathula. One needs a Voter's ID Card or a passport. In any case, permits for Nathula have been temporarily suspended effective March 5th, 2020 as a measure of protection against Coronavirus... Nathula pass being a corridor to Tibet of China.
Manoj Lakhanpal (February 2020)
Thanks Raj. Information in the web site is very exhaustive and rates have been updated as of Jan 2020. Two of us want to visit Nathula on 23/02/20 (Sunday). I wanted to check on following:
1. Is Nathula open these days.
2. Are shared cabs for Nathula available at this time
3. We are reaching Gangtok on 21/02/20 (Friday) at about 3 pm. Will we have enough time to apply for permit for going to Nathula on 23/02/20 (Sunday).
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2020
Hello, this is the peak winter time and routes are often closed due to heavy snowing. You can visit Nathula if routes are open. Shared trips are usually not available around this time due to lack of tourists. You will have enough time to get the permits.
D Harsha Vardhan (January 2020)
Hello, I would like to ask some questions about Protected Area Permit documents.
Q1) Do all the Travelers in a group require Photo ID proofs? Because one of our traveler doesn't have Photo ID proof but only has AADHAR CARD
Q2) Do we need to carry Original Photo ID or a Xerox copy is enough for the permit?
Q3) Is Nathula pass open in March 2nd week?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2020
Hello, yes all travellers need valid photo ID proofs. You should carry both original and photocopies. Nathula Pass has its own weekly closure days (Monday and Tuesday), otherwise, it is usually open in March unless there is no roadblock or other army activities.
Anandaraman (September 2019)
Dear Raj, Thanks for the nice website, we are 14 members planning to visit Gangtok on 2nd OCT, 2019 to 5th OCT, 2019. In our group we have one infant of 2.5 years old. Shall we plan for Nathula pass on 3rd OCT.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2019
Hi, no you should not, infants below 5 years are not officially allowed in Nathula.
Tavisha (May 2019)
Hi Raj, Thanks for sharing very informative details. Just wanted to know is Driving license considered as ID proof for Nathula pass. Also can you please advise whom to contact in case if someone has a real emergency?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) May 2019
Hi, yes driving license is a valid ID proof. You should go down to the check post or get in touch with a security officer if there is an emergency.
Zakir Hossain (March 2019)
Dear Sir, We are from Bangladesh, want to visit Nathula pass. Can we get the permission to visit Nathula Pass?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2019
Foreign nationals including Bangladeshis are not allowed to visit Nathula Pass.
Biju Nair (February 2019)
Hello sir, Thank you for the very informative website that you are maintaining. Understand from local taxi operators that access to Nathu la and Tsomgo are currently closed. Is there any site, official or other, from which we can verify the open / close status?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2019
No, there is no such website providing current status of Tsomgo/Nathula route.
Jahidul Islam (December 2018)
Hi, I'm a Bangladeshi citizen. Can I visit Nathula pass in 1st week of June, 2019. If yes what is the procedure for taking permission. Please mention.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2018
All foreign nationals are prohibited from visiting Nathula Pass and Bangladesh nationals (along with that of China, Myanmar and Pakistan) require special approval from Home Ministry (Delhi) to visit any part of Sikkim.
Bineeta (October 2018)
Dear Sir, We are going to Gangtok on 25th December 2018. Is it possible to get shared vehicle for Nathula at that time. What will be the charges. Do we have to pay separate charge for permit to Nathula for shared vehicle or driver will arrange our permit. Whether normally Nathula will be accessible at that time. How many passengers are allowed in shared vehicle including Driver.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2018
Hello, both reserved and shared day trips to Nathula/Tsomgo are offered by registered tour operators. While reserved trip is offered as a full package, the shared trip price is on a per person rate, and both include permit charges along with vehicle. A vehicle like Xylo, Sumo etc usually takes up to 7 persons apart from the driver. Shared trips are usually available in high season when there is good demand for such trips. Some times the route remains closed in December-end due to snow.
K Desai (August 2018)
Hi Raj, I am planning to take solo trip to north east in first week of October 2018. would it be safe for a solo woman traveler to take nathula pass. Further shared vehicle would be available during this period and again is it safe generally in shared vehicle to travel alone on this route?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2018
Hi, yes it's usually quite safe in shared jeeps. October being a high tourist season, there will be shared jeeps.
Kakoli Chakraborty (June 2018)
Hi...can I visit Gangtok and Nathula in mid July with 7 month old baby??? Please advise.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2018
Hi, firstly you should not visit Nathula Pass with an infant. In fact it is not recommended to visit Nathula with a child below 6 years. Mid-July is in heavy monsoon time. So avoid Nathula anyway... there are good chances of land slides. You can however visit Gangtok.
Vinod Kumar (June 2018)
Hello Raj, your write-up on Nathu La Pass is extremely informative. We are planning visit in mid June, along with our daughter who is 7 years old. Please suggest if it would be ok to visit Nathu La with our daughter. Thanks.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2018
Hello, 7 years of age is usually okay. Below 5 years is not advisable.
Probhat (April 2018)
Hi Raj, Thank you for sharing lots of information. Only one information I need... are there any registered tour operators in Siliguri for Nathula pass as we are reaching Siliguri on Saturday night and only Sunday is there for nathula pass. we are again coming back on Wednesday. So, we have no other options. Thanks .
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2018
Hi, 'registered operator' here means local tour & travel operators having offices in Sikkim and registered with Sikkim government. No operator out of Sikkim is registered for conducting tours in protected areas of Sikkim. However, if you go through an operator in Siliguri, they can arrange the tour through a local Sikkim based operator and take a commission.
Mukesh (April 2018)
Hello Raj, Thanks a lot for sharing lot of information. We are planing to visit Nathula pass on 21 April, so my question is: what about permit if we take shared vehicle as we don't know vehicle detail before a day? as mentioned in the site, we should apply for permit a day before. Thanks,
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2018
Hello, shared vehicles to Nathula are also operated by registered tour operators. So you should book the tour through one of them while in Gangtok and they will take care of the permits. You should book minimum one day in advance.
Kritee Sukhija (December 2017)
Hello sir , I know you receive a lot of msgs but hoping u would reply . M travelling for Nathula on 22nd December 2017 with my parents aged (55 ) . Is it advisable since I read that there cn be oxygen problems . Please advice . Thanks.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2017
Hi, while age of your parents is not a concern, the breathlessness problem or altitude sickness is more of an individual issue ... some have the problem while many do not. One should take it really easy and slow while climbing the stairs at the pass. For additional precaution, consult a doctor. Medicines like Diamox (or any Acetazolamide) can help.
Pavan Kumar V (November 2017)
Hello Sir, We are a group of 4 Indian citizens who wish to visit Nathula pass . We are riding with our bikes. I read somewhere that we MUST have travel agent for document submission in order to receive permit. Can you please clarify on that? Is it ok if we submit our own documents without a travel agent? Thanks
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2017
For taking self driven bikes to protected areas such as Nathula, you need to get special permission from the Sikkim Home Department in Gangtok. You do not need to go through a tour operator for taking your personal bike. But bear in mind that permission is not always granted and is issued on a case to case basis.
Pradeep (November 2017)
Great website, Raj, storehouse of information on Darjeeling and surrounding areas. We will be in Darjeeling during second week of February. Will you recommend visiting Sikkim during this period? Planning to hire motorcycle from Siliguri for the trip, can I ride to Nathula on motorcycle at that time?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2017
Route to Nathula and north Sikkim are usually closed during February due to heavy snowfall.
David (October 2017)
Hi Raj, I'm planning to travel to Gangtok 21-23rd December with my mother aged 70 from Australia. Is it advisable for my mother is visit Nathula based on her age? Additionally, it is likely the roads will be closed due to snow in December? If so, if the roads are blocked does this prevent visiting Tsomgo, Baba Mandir? Kind Regards.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2017
Hi, only Indian nationals are allowed up to Nathula with Protected Area Permits. It is not quite advisable for a 70-year old to visit Nathula anyway. Road blocks due to snow is a definite possibility around that time... holds true for Tsomgo and Baba Mandir as well, but you may be lucky. You can only decide once in Gangtok.
Abhinash Kumar (August 2017)
Hi Raj, Thanks for your informative website. I am planning to travel to Gangtok from 10th Dec for three days. I am also planning to visit Nathula pass. So, please let me know whether it is open during this time. Also, I want to know whether shared cabs are available during this time to Nathula and other places (since it is winter). As we are two persons, I think taking a private taxi would be expensive for us.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2017
Often the route to Nathula remains closed in December due to snow, otherwise you can go. You are quite unlikely to get a shared tour in such off season, you need to plan a private tour.
Ankita (May 2017)
Sir, I came across your article about Nathula pass also. You have mentioned that we need to make the permit a day before or send documents to tour operators if we plan to visit the next day of our arrival. But Sir, if we are travelling alone, I mean independently and want to visit Nathula pass the very next day of our arrival what should we do?? How do we in that case make the pass?? Please help me out. I want to visit Nathula pass, Changu lake and the temple at a go.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) May 2017
You can not visit Nathula Pass other than through Sikkim govt. authorized operators.
Mamatha P (March 2017)
Hi, Thanks. It was very informative. We are planning to visit Nathula pass during 2nd week of May 2017. Will we able to experience snow as we are coming from South India we do not want to miss touching snow :), Please help.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2017
Snow in Nathula is unlikely in May unless you are very lucky. April beginning is a better time for snow.
Ramkumar (January 2017)
Hi Raj, Thanks for your informative website. I am planning to travel to Darjeeling and Gangtok from 26th Jan till 31st Jan. I am also planning to visit Nathula pass. So, please let me know whether it is open during this time. Also, I want to know whether shared cabs are available during this time to Nathula and other places (since it is winter). As we are two persons, I think taking a private taxi would be expensive for us.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2017
Nathula route can be closed due to snow. Shared jeeps (i.e. group tours on per person rate) usually operate in high season. You won't likely get that in January.
Selvam Cyril Abraham (May 2016)
Dear sir, Your advise and suggestion will be very helpful for us. So I humbly request you to reply. In our tour, 4 people are senior citizen aged from 60 to 69. Is it advisable for me to take them to Nathula pass on 18th may 2016. Secondly is it possible to cover tsomgo lake, baba mandir and Nathula pass and we have to catch the train at 9.00 pm on same day at new jalpaguri onward journey to Kolkata.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) May 2016
While catching the train is possible, but you may be cutting it too fine. Suggest you make a trip to Tsomgo lake and get back to Gangtok by early afternoon so that you have enough time for transfer to NJP. As for seniors, they can make it, but going up the long flight of stairs at Nathula is not advisable.
SV Varun (September 2015)
Dear Sir, Planning to visit Gangtok and Darjeeling in end of February 2016. we are aged about 52 years My doubts are: 1) whether I can see the snowfall at Nathula at that time 2) is it advisable to visit nathula during last week on February 3)whether any road obstructions at that time.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2015
Route to Nathula is often closed around that time due to heavy snow.
D S Bansal (September 2015)
Dear Raj Sir, Planning to visit Gangtok and Darjeeling in jan 1st week 2016. My doubts are:
1. Does it rain during this period? 2. Is Nathula pass open during this period?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2015
It doesn't rain that time. But route is likely to be closed due to snow.
Jitendra Kumar Pandey (July 2015)
Dear Raj, Is it advisable to travel to Tsomgo lake, Baba mandir and Nathula pass in mid October with kid of age 21 month. I have heard about the problem of low level of oxygen and very low temperature there. Kindly advise me. It will be of great help. Thanks.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) July 2015
You should avoid Nathula with kids (actually kids below 5 are officially not allowed at Nathula although one can take an infant at one's own risk), and with Tsomgo and Baba Mandir you should be extremely cautious and take all necessary measures. Better to avoid. There have been ample cases of kids having problems including nausea, headaches etc. Lack of oxygen is the main issue.