Complete guide to visit Nathula Pass


A Brief Background of Nathula Pass

Nathula Pass is located at an altitude of 14,140 feet and 53kms from Gangtok. It takes about 2 hours to reach Nathula from Gangtok by car. Nathula Pass was the place through which the famous Silk Route used to operate until 1962 when the Indo-China war broke out. Tibet was then part of China. 
Nathula Pass in October 
Nathula Pass 
Photo: Vijayanand7, cc by-sa 4.0 
This used to be the silk trade route between India and Tibet. Lines of mules used to carry silk, gold and many other items from Tibet to India and take daily essentials back to Tibet. 
The route through Tibet goes down the Chumbi Valley to Yathung, a place about 30kms away which once used to be a major trading township (no longer so at present). In fact, on a clear day you can see this route winding down the valley. If you look towards the eastern horizon, you can see the magnificent peak of Chomolhari of Bhutan. 
A fairly steep and long stairway leads all the way to the Indo-China border. When the war broke out between India and China in 1962, the Indo-China border at Nathula was relatively quiet. But in 1965 a firing across the border took place because of a dispute around the location of the fenced border. 
In 1967 a major confrontation took place here between the two countries and many lives were lost on both sides. You will find a memorial here constructed in honor of the Indian soldiers who lost their lives in this battle. The pass and the border was closed down for a long time. 
War memorial at Nathula 
Photo: Abhishek Kumar, cc by 2.0 
After some 44 years of closure, the old Silk Route again reopened on 6th July 2006 allowing limited trade between India and Tibet of China. Items such as wool, raw silk, yak hair, yak tail, China clay, horses, sheep etc can be imported duty free from Tibet of China through this route while 29 items including clothes, tea, coffee, rice etc can be exported to China. This is however limited only to a border trade and participated by 100 odd businessmen. 
Indo-China Border Trade Road, Nathula 
Indo-China Border Trade 
Photo: Sanjoy Banerjee, cc by 3.0 
This Indo-Chinese trade market operates from 1st June to 30th September every year and from Monday to Thursday every week during that period. Trade marts have been set up on both Indian as well as Tibetan territories. 
The Indian trade mart is located at a place called Sherathang about 3kms below Nathula pass. It has a well developed shopping mart and India's highest altitude internet Cafe. Trade mart on Tibetan side is located at Rinchangang

What to see and do

Most tourists visit Nathula Pass to climb the long stairway and reach up to the Indo-China international border to take a look. You should climb slowly and pause frequently because at such high altitude, oxygen level is low and you can otherwise be gasping for breath. 
Entrance to the stairway at Nathula that leads to the border 
Stairway at Nathula 
Photo: Rajan.PITHVA, cc by-sa 3.0 
You can see both Indian and Chinese soldiers guarding the border. The guards are friendly. No man's land doesn't exist here. Even today, mails are delivered across the border on certain days of the week. There is an engraved stone here called Nehru Stone which marks the visit of former Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru who visited Nathua Pass in 1958. 
Last part of the stairway leading to Indo-China border 
Photo: Shayon Ghosh, flickr, cc by-nd 2.0 
Shortly before you reach Nathula, you will come across a place called Thegu and you can see an ATM of UTI bank. This is the highest altitude ATM in India. It's located at an altitude of 13,200ft and mainly caters to the army men posted in the area. It was inaugurated on December 12, 2003. It operates with a generator and a special fuel that does not freeze in such high altitude. 
Vehicle movement on this road is regulated, but you can ask the driver to make a quick stop over, withdraw cash or just check your balance at the ATM and take the slip as a souvenir from the highest ATM in the country. 
If you are here between 1st June and 30th September, visit the Indo-Chinese border trade market that sets up at Sherathang below Nathula. From Sherethang (also known as Sarathang), a diversion leads to Nathula while the main road (i.e. Jawaharlal Nehru Road) continues ahead. 
Nathula pass is a full day trip from Gangtok. And the trip commonly includes two other major attractions that are located along the same route. First is the famous high altitude Tsomgo Lake which is located 37kms from Gangtok and 16kms before Nathula. 
Tsomgo Lake, Sikkim 
Tsomgo Lake, Sikkim 
The other is fabled Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple or commonly known as Baba Mandir which is located further ahead on the same route. This temple has been named after the Indian soldier who died when he was posted here, but the army men here believe that his soul still lives on. 
There is a new attraction which has been opened on this route known as Hangu Lake. This high altitude lake is located between Sherathang Check Post and Baba Mandir at a distance of 50kms from Gangtok. The lake is approximately 1km long and located at an altitude of 13,900ft. 
Hangu Lake, Sikkim 
Hangu Lake, Sikkim 
You need to ask the driver to take you to Hangu Lake, otherwise he will likely skip this one because it is not yet well known. However, once you reach there, the lake is beautiful and surrounded by barren mountains. You can do paddle boating (you need to purchase tickets, Rs. 100/- per person). 
Further ahead of Baba Mandir is another place called Kupup which mostly remains covered with cloud. The usual day trips won't cover Kupup, you need to work it out with the driver and start early so that you get enough time for this visit. 
Kupup has the second highest golf course in the world. Among other things in Kupup, you will find the Gnathang Monastery, and Gnathang War Memorial which was built in memory of the British soldiers who died in a war with Tibet in 1800s. There is also a Helipad at Kupup. 
About 10kms from Baba Mandir as you go through Kupup towards Gnathang, you can visit is the original or the Old Baba Mandir where there is a bunker of Harbhajan Singh. The temple you visited earlier is the New Baba Mandir which was built later for convenience of the tourists. You need to climb a steep stairway to get to the original mandir and the bunker of Harbhajan Singh. 
Old Baba Mandir 
Old Baba Mandir 

How to visit Nathula

You can visit Nathula from Gangtok by either a reserved or a shared vehicle. There are no hotels or stay provisions in Nathula because it is an international border, so you need to make a day trip from Gangtok. 
Vehicles from Sikkim government approved tour operators are only allowed for Nathula. You can not self drive your own vehicle to Nathula Pass or take a city taxi. 
Nathula pass is located at a distance of 53kms from Gangtok and is part of East Sikkim. From Gangtok one needs to travel along Jawaharlal Nehru Road which goes all the way towards Nathula pass. It takes about 2 hours to reach Nathula Pass from Gangtok by car. 
Road to Nathula Pass 
Road to Nathula Pass 
Photo: Abhishek Kumar, flickr, cc by 2.0 
Although most part of the road to Nathula has now been tarred, some sections of the road are not good. Also in winter, there can be problem of heavy snow. So, only Jeep or SUV type vehicles (like Bolero, Scorpio, Sumo, Innova etc) are suitable and allowed on this route. 
You should ideally start at 7am (and latest by 9am) because you will need to reach the 3rd Mile Check Post (located 6kms from Gangtok town at an altitude of 6,600 ft) by 10am. This is where the first permit checking is done and they usually won't allow vehicles to pass after 10am. It usually takes 15-20 minutes to reach 3rd Mile Check Post from Gangtok town in normal traffic conditions. 
Earlier you leave, more time you can spend at the various destinations. Note that you must leave the Nathula area latest by 5pm. It starts getting dark in the hills here by 5:30pm. No tourists are allowed in Nathula after 5pm. Also note that, sometimes due to unexpected snow, landslides and other road conditions, traffic gets held up for hours on this route. 

Nathula by reserved vehicle

You can take a round trip tour package from an authorized tour operator in Gangtok. There are numerous tour operators here and you should avoid contacting a street-side small operator who are usually middle-men and operate through larger operators. You can alternatively contact the front desk of your hotel who too can arrange the tour through a bonafide operator. 

Nathula by shared vehicle

Tour operators also operate such tours in groups in high season that operate on per person rate (i.e. on sharing basis). This is a more affordable option. However the permit process is the same. In low season, shared vehicles are usually not available due to lack of demand. 

Fares to Nathula

Fare updated: March 2022 
The cost of Nathula tour can vary depending on season. During high season (like April to June, and October to November) shared vehicle would cost about Rs. 1000 per person for a combined tour of Tsomgo lake, Baba Mandir and Nathula including permit fee. 
A reserved vehicle like Sumo or Bolero would cost around Rs. 7,500 - 8,000/- including all permits. Reserved Scorpio or Innova would cost around Rs. 10,000/-. 
If you are a couple, you can ask your hotel manager in Gangtok if any other couple in the hotel would be willing to travel with you in the same vehicle and share the cost. Likely that the hotel can make such arrangement and as a couple you need to pay only half the cost. So this is a semi-shared option. 
None of the above tours (shared or reserved) include food. So it is a good idea to carry some dry snacks and water. If you have left the hotel without taking breakfast, you can stop at a roadside settlement known as 15th Mile located along the way about 30kms from Gangtok and about 1hour 20 minutes away. There are several stalls and budget eateries here. 
15th Mile on the way to Tsomgo/Nathula 
15th Mile 
You will find many tourist vehicles parked at 15th Mile. You can get momos, Maggie noodles, toast, omelet, tea etc at these eateries. There are some food stalls and eateries at Tsomgo lake as well where you can take your lunch. 

A note of caution

Because of the high altitude at Nathula, oxygen level in the air is quite low. Few (adults or children) can face breathing problems at Nathula. If you already have breathing or other health problems, you should consult a doctor before the visit and take adequate precautionary measures. Acetazolamide Tablets can help cope with high altitude sickness (consult a doctor for use and dosage). 
Depending on your health condition, you may also consider carrying portable oxygen cylinders. A small one lasts for about 15 minutes. If you start having breathing problems, you should immediately come down. You will get portable oxygen cylinders in Gangtok at medical stores. Your hotel can also arrange if necessary. If unused, they are returnable but refund is usually partial. 
Note that Nathula Pass being an Indo-Chinese border area, photography and videography are not allowed. However tourists do take pictures and this prohibition is not strictly implemented. 

Permits for Nathula

Note that Nathula is a protected area. Foreign nationals, NRIs or even OCIs are not allowed here. Indians require a valid Protected Area Permit (PAP) to visit Nathula. 
You need to get the permit done through a tour operator authorized by Sikkim government (there are plenty of them in Gangtok). And you can visit Nathula only by a vehicle provided by such a tour operator. You can not take a city taxi or a self driven vehicle to Nathula... you won't be allowed. The permit is issued by the Sikkim Tourism Department in Gangtok / Police Check Post. 
You will need photo ID proof such as Passport / Voters Id Card (PAN card is not accepted) and two passport size photos each. Update: Effective September 2019, Aaadhar card is no longer accepted for issuing Protected Area Permits to Nathula. 
Application for permits are done in the morning and the permits are usually issued in the afternoon or sometimes next day. So you should apply for the permit at least one day before your planned visit. Note: Journey to Nathula starts in the morning. 
If you do not want to spare a day in Gangtok for the permit, you should then send your documents (photo copies) and self photos to your tour operator in advance to get the permits done before you arrive. Permit cost includes Rs. 200/- per person for the form provided by the tour operator (it can vary) and additional Rs. 20 for the permit itself. 
NOTE: Permits are not issued to children of age 5 years or below (officially not permitted). Some travel agents might suggest otherwise and you may be tempted to take your infant at your own risk... this is not recommended at all. There are good chances that you might be stopped along the way at a check post and disallowed to proceed any further with the child. 
For more information about permits, read Sikkim permits for restricted & protected areas

Best time to visit Nathula

First you should note that Nathula is open only from Wednesday to Sunday of the week. It's closed on Mondays and Tuesdays to public. Good time to visit is between May to October when the temperature hovers between 10 to 15°C during day time. However, you won't usually get any snow during this time. On a clear day you can see the entire pass and the landscape with towering mountain peaks in the background.  
Winter starts from November and intensifies between December to February. November and December are also good months to visit Nathula. However in peak winters, heavy snowing takes place and the temperature can easily go below -25°C. 
Often the route to Nathula remains closed during winter when it snows heavily. However if the route is open and you make a visit during the winter, pick up snow boots and heavy winter-wears along the way. There are stalls at 15th Mile that offer such snow gears on rentals. 
There are good chances that you can get snow at Nathula between November to mid-April. However, the two months November and March are great time to see Nathula covered in snow when the weather is enjoyable and not too harsh. The route usually remains open on these two winter months. From May onwards the snowing usually stops although there can be exceptions on certain days. 

Recommended Resources

Check out the eBook on Darjeeling & Sikkim, it's a great resource to plan your tour and get deep insights into various attractions in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Sikkim including trips, tours and rides. 

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Visitors' Reviews/Comments

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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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.