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We started from Gangtok at 9 am , then reached Nathula at around 2.00PM. The weather was very cold with temperature of - 4/5 degrees but the wind was a spoil sport. With wind chill factor it was not less than -18-20 degrees. I asked the Indian captain posted there, he said it the morning it was around -16 or so, but then the Sun came out strongly.
While we left the place, the snow fall started and it rained heavily made the area dark. it was very difficult to drive.
The visit to Nathula will be remembered for long time!
Written Mar 20, 2013
We visited Nathula on 16th March'2013. The journey from Gangtok to Nathula took about 4 hours by Toyota Innova to cover 54 kms. It's now a trading point between India and China. This is the part of Old Silk Route!
Nathu La is located on the 563 km (350 mi) Old Silk Route, an offshoot of the historic Silk Road. The Old Silk Route connects Lhasa in Tibet to the plains of Bengal to the south. In 1815, trade volumes increased after the British annexed territories belonging to the Sikkimese, Nepalese, and Bhutanese. The potential of Nathu La was realised in 1873, after the Darjeeling Deputy Commissioner published a report on the strategic importance of mountain passes between Sikkim and Tibet. In December 1893, the Sikkimese monarchy and Tibetan rulers signed an agreement to increase trade between the two nations. The agreement culminated in 1894 when the trade pass was opened.
Nathu La Pass Indo China Border
Nathu La played a key role in the 1903–1904 British expedition to Tibet, which sought to prevent the Russian Empire from interfering in Tibetan affairs and thus gaining a foothold in the region. In 1904, Major Francis Younghusband, serving as the British Commissioner to Tibet, led a successful mission through Nathu La to capture Lhasa. This led to the setting up of trading posts at Gyantse and Gartok in Tibet, and gave control of the surrounding Chumbi Valley to the British. The following November, China and Great Britain ratified an agreement approving trade between Sikkim and Tibet.
Updated Mar 20, 2013
Address: Jawarharlal Nehru Road, Nathula Pass, Sikkim
Nathu La is a mountain pass in the Himalayas. It connects the Indian state of Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region. The pass, at 4,310 m (14,140 ft) above mean sea level, forms a part of an offshoot of the ancient Silk Road. Nathu means "listening ears" and La means "pass" in Tibetan. On the Indian side, the pass is 54 km (34 mi) east of Gangtok, the capital of Indian state of Sikkim on Jawaharlal Nehru Marg and only citizens of India can visit the pass, that too after obtaining a permit in Gangtok.
Nathu La is one of the three open trading border posts between China and India; Sealed by India after the 1962 Sino-Indian War, Nathu La was re-opened in 2006 following numerous bilateral trade agreements. The opening of the pass was expected to bolster the economy of the region and play a key role in the growing Sino-Indian trade but that has not happened. Currently, agreements between the two nations limit trade across the pass to 29 types of goods from India and 15 from the Chinese side. The opening also shortens the travel distance to important Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the region.
Written Mar 19, 2013
for the most part, Sikkim is only accesible by shared jeep.
The Yuksom, Geyzing, Peling (spelling?) circuit is great.. And a hike in to the National Park of Kanchanjunga is amazing.. but takes a few days.
Gangtok is cool too... Tsomgo lake of course, and the view from Ganesh Tok is great~
Amazing area. Good you're going!
Make sure you have your Sikkim permit if you need one!
Written Jun 8, 2011
The weather in Sikkim will be good in daytime but will be cold in the night and January & February is a good time to go.
I spent 13 days in Sikkim and did not get time to do a trek to see Kanchenjunga much because the tour operators in Gangtok will only go with atleast 4 people or more, unless you pay alot of money. So I had to settle for a trip to Yumthang Valley which blew me away with it's amazing scenery, so I wasn't disappointed at all.
The tour from Gangtok to Yumthang Valley is for 4 days and you can book that at the Modern Tours & Treks who run Modern Central Lodge but dont stay there unless the hotel has had a revamp in the last couple of years if not stay at another hotel across the road which has heating & TV. I'm affraid I don't remember how much I paid for the trip it's almost 4 years ago since I went to Sikkim.
If you go to West Sikkim stay in Pelling a very popular place for travellers and only a walk away from the Pemayangste monastery. The last time I was in Sikkim in Febraury 2006 I caught the 3 day Tibetan Loser Festival and it was awesome. Really would suggest to you do some research and find out the dates for the festival next year and if you are in the area at the time of the festival I would highly recommend it even if you only attend one day, it's well worth it.
If you only have 8 days in Sikkim you will not have enough time to do both Kanchenjunga and Yumthang. Kanchenjunga is expensive but my biggest problem was not finding enough people to do the trek with but there plenty going to Yumthang Valley and more people you get into a jeep the cheaper it can be. The tour will take you all the way upto the valley and beyond the mountains is China, we didn't do any trekking on this tour but i'm sure something can be arranged.
There are some photos of my Yumthang Valley tour on my website.
Written Dec 23, 2009
Gochela is a pass from where we can view kanchenjunga at the closest.The trek is a difficult one as we have to walk at 2 am to get to the first viewpoint for sunrise .The view is beautiful with mountains surrounding all sides and the view of the kanchenjunga is better if not closer.
The second viewpoint is 2 hours away and the walk is punishing.You get a better and closer view from here along with the mountains and the blue gocha lake.The pass id 14600 feet and some 5000 m.Kanchenjunga looks massive and pandim shines to glory.
Written May 16, 2009
Thansing and Lamune are the next stops in the trek to gochela the trek is comfortable as very few places are steep climb.Thansing has a trekkers hut and a hut for the chowkidar,the place is beautiful surrounded by barren hills as this place is above the tree line.Lamune is further 2 hours from Thansing the stop before gochela.It has camping grounds but no trekkers hut.
Written May 16, 2009
View of the mountains from Dzongri top.Also one can go for a day hike to Laxmi pokhari (lake) it takes two hours.Its a beautiful lake however not blus in colour as all high altitude lake,its green in colour might be coz of vegetation around the lake .
Updated May 16, 2009
Dzongri meadows is a frequented place by trekkers.The camping site offers great views of the mountain range around.The Kabru,Pandim,Narsing,Tensing Khang and of course the Kanchenjunga the third highest peak.Dzongri has an excursion to the Dzongri Top for a Sunrise view,however we have to get up at 2.30 am to start for the top to be on time for view.
Written May 16, 2009
Tshoka is a small tibetian settlement located 16 km from yuksom.This was our first halt where we stayed in a private dometry for the night.Its a beautiful village with few shops.We have to walk thru the forest path and after we cross the third bridge have to climb steep uphill to reach Bakhim from where we can see yuksom some 4 hills beyond ha ha.Tshoka is 2 km away however it take 2-3 hours to reach.
Written May 16, 2009
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