Nathula pass

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We will be visiting darjeeling and gangtok mid december for a week. One of the member in our family carries a foriegn passport but has a PIO. It is not clear to us if with the PIO card, visit to Nathula pass is possible as I read that Nathula is not accessible to foreigners. Much appreciate if someone with any similar experience can advise. thanks in advance. 

sugu (not verified)
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Hi
i am planning to visit gangkot during dec 27 ,28 ,29 .Is it possible to see snow during that time in Tsomgu lake or Nathula pass

vishnu.kumar7's picture
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Yes... Chances are very bright to see snow around Changu lake and Nathula pass...

ratna (not verified)
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Hi i am planning to visit gangkot during dec 28 to 2nd jan .Is it possible to visit during that time in Tsomgu lake or Nathula pass and gurudongmar lake?

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dear ratnna,

 

as snowfall has already started not sure about accessibility of gurudongmar lake and nathula pass....but from past years experiences they will be accessible during that time..

 

pre book your hotels and transport as the time you are visiting is high season..

thank you and regards,

yogesh sapkota

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Gurudongmar lake would not be possible. Chances to visit Nathula pass and Changu lake are not bad. Rest is answered by Yogi already.

+- Vishnu

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Hi Hokie,
                 Is your family member has any document with which he can prove his Indian nationality. Still suggest you to carry all the documents and contact any tour agent. They may figure out something.

                  Thanks for starting this new thread. Hopefully someone with similar experience will comment back.

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

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i would like to go Nathu la and yumthang(zero point) at last week of january. My wife and my 2.5 years children will be with me.
please could you inform me ,whether it is possible considering cold and breathing problem......

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Generally AMS is not a major challenge while visiting Nathula pass and Zero point but still these places are relatively high altitude...you need to keep the note of it.... It will be very cold during January and it will be the primary challenge.... It should not be a problem to visit with your kid if he is in good health.... Reassess the situation once you arrive at Gangtok and then decide...

Ravi Wadhwani (not verified)
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Hello.
I am planning a 4 day trip to Sikkim in mid Feb. Will it be possible to go to NathuLa pass and the lake at that time? Have driven upto KhardungLa and would love to see this historical place. Secondly, any suggestions on the rest of my itinenary more than gratefully accepted.
Furthermore, I have an OCI card--will that be a problem?
Thanks and regards.

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Hi Ravi,
            Changu lake should be accessible but Nathula gets closed sometimes due to heavy snow. Chances to make it to Nathula in February is 50-50... If you get good weather, you will be able to make else you won't...

What is an OCI card ?

Only Indian Nationals are allowed to visit Nathula pass so you should carry your passport or Voted ID card...

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

Ravi Wadhwani (not verified)
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Hi Vishnu.
Thanks for your help.
OCI card--Overseas Citizen of India card. Card holders on par with Indian citizens except for buying agricultural land and applying for a govt job. It is issued to ex-indian citizens/those with Indian ancestory.
Have been trying to find out my status to visit the areas in North Sikkim but the hotel owners are not much of a help. Ringing up the Indian High Commission has been a frustrating experience( surprise, surprise!!). If someone can shed some light on this matter, will be extremely grateful.
Regards,
Ravi.

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Hi Ravi,
             OCI card should help. In case tour agents are not able to procured the permit for you with this card then you can directly go to the Sikkim Tourism office and explain them about the card.All they want to ensure that you are an Indian citizen.

              Hotel owners won't be able to help much in this regard because they may not be aware of this card however few numbers are mentioned in one of our forum which i consolidated from the inputs of the travelers coming from Sikkim... you can try those numbers...

              North Sikkim should not be a problem to visit.. Rules for Nathula are bit stringent..

              Hope its helpful.

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

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Were you able to get an answer re. OCI card holders and their entry permits to Nathula Pass. I'd appreciate your input. Thank you.

Poornima

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I gave up trying to get a sensible answer from the India High Commission; My trip to Sikkim is postponed for now.

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Hi Poornima,
                        Sorry to hear about your plan... I have researched on the possibility of OCI card as a document to prove Indian Nationality... I also did not get any response... I would suggest you to reach out Sikkim Tourism Department by sending a soft copy of the card.... They might be helpful...

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

Ravi Wadhwani (not verified)
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Thanks Vishnu. Can you recommend a good hotel in Gangtok? I have researched the Nettle and Fern and LePrimula. Are they ok?
Ravi.

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Hi Ravi,
            As a budget traveler, I generally stay in cheap accommodations or with locals...  for getting more details on accommodations, i would suggest you to visit the link below...

http://thinkingparticle.com/forum/valuable-inputs-travelers-gangtok-sikkim

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

Ravi Wadhwani (not verified)
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Thanks. Will do.
Ravi.

A ghosh (not verified)
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is it possible to visit nathula, changu, baba mandir from gangtok, and return to gangtok and then reach to njp and get train at 8pm in same day? and can i get entry in 27th march 2013, the day of holi, in nathula pass. plz reply.

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Yes... It is very much possible to visit Nathula pass, Changu lake, Baba Mandir on the same day and return back to NJP by evening... you should start early in the morning (6:00 AM).... 27th March should not be a problem because its Wednesday...

Shankar Halder (not verified)
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Dear Sir,
I shall go to gangtok, nathula pass, changhu etc. So how can i get the permission from the gov.

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Contact any tour agent once you arrive at Gangtok....

John (not verified)
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This is a fascinating post. This pass, prausmebly the low point between mountains, is at 14,000 feet. I've been at that altitude many times, but that's at the top of our mountains! I live at an elevation of 7,500 feet, and that would be lowlands compared to your area. Thanks for sharing this.

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I am glad you liked it...

Bryce (not verified)
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last year, i went to darjeeling with flmaiy and while on the way everyone was telling that we should do the sikkim trip too while we were there...we dint have the time!!!but that gave me the determination to do sikkim in detail.....!!pic is awesome!!!

Suresh (not verified)
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we are planning for Gangtok between April 18 to 21. Can we see snow at that time?

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Chances are good....

Suresh (not verified)
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We will reach Gangtok pm 18.4.13 arount 1 PM and we have to reach Silliguri on 21.4.2013 by night to get train on next day morning (24.4.13 7.00 AM) from NJP.

On 19 April we may visit Nathula route.
On 20 we can go for local sightseeing
On 21 What area we can cover whether Tourist Sports at Siliguri or Peeling?

Please help us.

Suresh

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Hi Suresh,
                   I don't have many days in your itinerary... I will recommend you to skip peeling and visit Kalimpong on last day....

Vishnu

Shubhankar (not verified)
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We are planning to visit Nathula pass between 24-28 February,we have the following queries...
1-kindly advise us as how the weather will be.
2-Will we require heavy wollen Clothes ?
3-How many steps will we have to climb,how steep will they be ,as 2 of us are senior citizens.
4-How much time will it take to cover Nathula pass, Tsomgo Lake & Baba Harbhajan Singh Memorial.
5-At what time should we start from our hotel in Gangtok.

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Hi Shubhankar,
                            Here is my take on your queries..

1) Weather will be chilly specially around Changu lake and Nathula pass.
2) Yes... Heavy woolen clothes will be required..
3) Vehicles goes all the way to Nathula pass and Changu lake.. It does not involve any sort of hiking...
4) 1 full day for this stretch... It can be easily arranged from Gangtok..
5) All the vehicles to Nathula start early in the morning (around 7-8 AM in the morning)..

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

piyal (not verified)
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kindly guide me how to reach lay and ladakh.please help me how to visit ganggotri,gomukh,kedernath and bodrinath and best time to visit.
thanks. please reply soon.waiting.

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Please be specific with your questions and post those in appropriate thread... June to September is the best time to visit these places...

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Dear Vishnu, We are a group of 7 adult person and will visit sikkim in month of may. I have contacted so many tour operator through internet and over phone and finally decided to travel with this package. I am requesting your help for any inclusion and exclusion also tell me whether its good deal or not as it includes nathulla pass and with SUV

 

Day 01: 14.05.13 Tuesday 

Arrival NJP/ IXB/ Siliguri to DarjeelingOn arrival at NJP / Bagdogra / Siliguri you will be transferred to Darjeeling which is one of the most magnificent hill resorts in the world. Evening free to explore this Hill Queen. Overnight stay at Darjeeling hotel.Day

02: 15.05.13 Wednesday

Full Day Sight Seeing in DarjeelingEarly Morning at 0400 AM visit Tiger Hill famous for sunrise over Mt. Kanchendzonga, on  the way back visit Ghoom Monastery, Batasia Loop and back to hotel. After breakfast visit Himalayan Mountaineering Institute,  PN Zoological Park (closed on Thursday) Tenzing Rock, Tibetans Refuge Centre (closed on Sunday), Tea Garden (outer view), Ava Art Gallery and Japanese Temple. Overnight stay at Darjeeling hotel

Day 03:  16.05.13 Thursday

Darjeeling to Pelling After breakfast transfer to. One can enjoy the spectacular Eastern Himalayan Range from Pelling.It is the entry point for major destinations in West Sikkim which has great historical and religious history surrounding these places.There are several places of interest in and around Pelling while it is recommended that one can walk around the area amidst the woods. Overnight stay at Pelling hotel

Day 04: 17.05.13 Friday

 Pelling sightseeingAfter breakfast start for full day sight seeing which includes, Rimbi Falls, and Kanchenjunga falls, Khecheopalri Lake (a sacred lake and a pilgrimage centre for all faiths and is about 2 hours drive from Pelling, also known as wish fulfilling lake), Darap Village and after lunch visit Pemayangtse Monastry ( wild sublime lotus…it is the premier monastery and the oldest of Sikkimand was patronized by the Royal Family and belongs to the Nyingmapa order – visit on the top floor to see zanthong pheri,a replica of Heaven built in wood), Rabdentse Ruins(the second capital of Sikkim,one has to walk through a bird sanctuary to reach  this spot).Overnight stay at Pelling hotel.

Day 05:  18.05.13 Saturday

Pelling to Kalimpong & sightseeingAfter breakfast transfer to KalimpongKalimpong is a pretty hill station with majestic Himalayas in the background and gently rolling hills around. It has a relaxed and unhurried air about it.Kalimpong lies between the plains of the Dooars and the hills of of Darjeeling – Sikkim Himalayas. After check in Visit Durpin Dara Monastry,Golf Club,Pine View Nursery,KaliMandir OR Dello,Hanuman Mandir, Durga Mandir,Mangal Dham,Pine View. Kalimpong is a pleasant and safe place to spend a holiday. Overnight stay at Kalimpong hotel

 Day 06: 19.05.13 Sunday

 Kalimpong sightseeing to GangtokAfter breakfast transfer to Gangtok. Arrival at Gangtok & transfer to hotel its strategic location,a strong Buddhist presence and heady cultural offerings make the First City of SikkimGangtok, a tempting insight into this stimulating land. Mt.Khanchendzonga….orchid nurseries…After check in visit Bakthang Falls, Enchey Monastry, Do-Dul Chorten, Institute of Tibetology (world’s largest treasury of invaluable old Tibetan books & manuscripts on Buddhist philosophy and religion), Flower show and cottage industry ( the convenient place for souvenir hunting).  great shopping - Overnight stay at Gangtok hotel

Day 07: 20.05.13 Monday

 Gangtok to Lachung:- Pick up at 10:00 A.M from stand at Gangtok & transfer to Lachung (one of the most beautiful and a picturesque village in the area and is covered with snow during the winter months), altitude 8610 ft). Enroute Visit Tashi View point, Kabi Lunchuk( the blood brotherhood treaty signed between the Bhutia chief Khye Bhumsa and the Lepcha chieftan Thkong Thek in the 13th century) Seven Sister falls, Naga Falls, Mangan( North district headquarters), Singik view point, Chungthang.Lunch on the way. Overnight dinner & stay at Lachung hotel

Day 08:  21.05.13 Tuesday

Excursion to Yumthnag Valley & Back :- Early Morning visit Yumthang-valley (known as Valley of Flowers), The locals believe that Yumthang is the summer grazing ground of the yaks & winter playgrounds of yetis. On the way back visit the Hot Spring considered to have medicinal properties. Back to resort for lunch. Rest of the day free.Overnight stay at Lachung hotel.

Day 09: 22.05.13 Wednesday

 Lachung   to Gangtok:- After breakfast departure (8.00 am,) for  Gangtok  ,en route witness the Beautification of the wonderful  Bheema & Twin Falls. Overnight stay at Gangtok hotel

Day 10:  23.05.13  THURSDAY

Gangtok to Nathula Pass, Tsomgo Lake & Baba Mandir:- After breakfast day excursion to the oval shaped Tsomgo Lake (40 kms from Gangtok departure in the morning) - situated at a height of 3,780 mts. with an average depth of 50 ft and home to the Brahminy duck and several migratory birds On the way stop at Kyongnosla The cool water of the Lake is perfectly attuned with the scenic beauty around. Travel to Baba Mandir another 17 kms beyond Changu lake.Return to Gangtok.  Overnight halt at Gangtok Hotel

Day 11:  24.05.13 Friday

Gangtok to South Sikkim After breakfast day excursion to South Sikkim covering Temi Tea Garden,Samdruptse Monatery & Chaar Dhaam. Return to Gangtok.  Overnight halt at Gangtok HotelDay

Day 12:  25.05.13 Saturday

Gangtok to NJP / IXB / Siliguri:- After breakfast transfer to NJP/ IXB/ Siliguri for return journey

 Package Includes:  Accommodation in two super deluxe double rooms with two extra mattress & one same bed  / Daily Bed Tea, Breakfast at  Darjeeling,Gangtok and Pelling / All meals at Lachung / visit to Yumthang valley from Lachung / all intermediate transfers / 1 ss at Pelling / 1 ss at Gangtok / 1 SS at Darjeeling/ visit to Changu Lake & Baba Mandir / visit to South Sikkim / Pickup and drop from NJP / Siliguri  or IXB / all taxes.Package Excludes: - whatever not mentioned in the above inclusions, ,Yumesamdong,Katao,’o’ point, tips, porter-age, mineral water, room heater, entry fees at ss points Any personal expenses  occurred during any unfavorable condition Vehicle provided: - ONE Xylo/Innova/Scorpio/ for all transportations. TWO - Maruti van/ alto/similar for Gangtok ss

TOTAL COST: - Rs.1,20,000/-

Yumesamdong,Katao,’o’ point – NO TRAVEL AGENTS CAN INCLUDE THESE THREE POINTS IN A PACKAGE, IT IS ALWAYS NEGOTIABLE WITH THE DRIVER( it is the rule of the local Dzumsa/Panchayat of Lachung), we dare not interefere

I will give tour operator details for benefits to other if forum rule permit me

pdm1811's picture
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Dear vishnu

 

Also like to ask you for some good veg restaurant around this places as our package not include with meal.

 

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Vegetarian food will only be a problem when you are in North Sikkim... Otherwise it should be OK... Pelling, Darjeeling and Gangtok have got handful of vegetarian restaurants..

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Itinerary seems fine to me... It is very much do-able and not very hectic..... I can not comment on the quotation that you got because it involved a lot of details... Do let us know about the experience once you are back from Sikkim Trip....

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thanks vishnu....sure i will do it. give me some traveling advice do and don'ts during tour, shopping tips, what n where to buy.

Venkat Iyer (not verified)
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Dear Traveler,
I got to see your Sikkim itinerary, I would love to get a package somewhat same, infect I also tried to contact few travel agents but did not get proper reply, I have booked my flight tkts from CCU to IXB and back which makes 10 nights in Sikkim. we are only 2+1Kid.

I would be very grateful if you could forward me your tour operators details.

Thanks and Wishing you happy and safe touring...

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Dear Venkat,

 

You are always welcome, as there might some rule for not promoting business in forum. you are kindly requested to mail me and I will love to do the same. my email id is pdm1811@gmail.com.

Dear Vishnu......Kindly give us some guidance over forum's rule....

 

Regards,

Pradip 

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Hi Pradip,
                  Please read the forum rules from the link below.

http://www.thinkingparticle.com/admin-pages/tos

Regards
Vishnun Kumar

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I'll request you all not to promote any tour operator on thinking particle...

Venkat Iyer (not verified)
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Dear Vishnu,

Noted your concern and will respectfully adhered to forum terms & conditions....

Venkat

Rajitha (not verified)
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We(11 members) are planning to visit Gangtok and Darjeeling for 6days and 5 nights(from 2nd may to 7th may afternoon).
we enquired so many travel agents. they have given package like this

May 2nd– Day 1
Morning by 6:15 Am arrival in Njp Railway Station . Pick up from the Railway station and Transfers to Darjeeling. On arrival in the Darjeeling Check-in to hotel Shopping and rest of the day at free at leisure. Night halt at Darjeeling.

May 3rd – Day 02:- Darjeeling (Local sightseeing)

Early Morning at 4.00 am visit Tiger hill (sunrise point over Mt. Khanchendzongna), on the way back visit Ghoom Monastery & Batasia Loop. After breakfast half day city tour covering Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, P.N. Zoological Park (closed on Thursday) Tenzing Rock, Tibetan Refugee Centre (closed on Sunday), Tea Garden (outer view), and Japanese Temple. Afternoon free at leisure or you can enjoy shopping by own. Night halt at Darjeeling.

May 4th – Day 03:- Darjeeling – Gangtok (About 120 kms/ 04 Hrs. drive)

After breakfast drive to Gangtok. On arrival check-in to your hotel. Afternoon free at leisure or you can enjoy shopping by own. Night halt at Gangtok.

May 5th – Day 04:- Gangtok (Trip to Tsomgo Lake + Baba Mandir) + Nathula Pass

This Morning 07.30 A.M start for a half day trip to Tsomgo lake (12400ft), which is only 32kms from Gangtok City, the lake is almost about 1Km long and 15 mtrs. deep. The lake is considered sacred by the local people, Further 12Kms visit the Baba Harvajan Singh Mandir.Later drive for Nathula Pass. Evening free at leisure or you can enjoy shopping by own. Night halt at Gangtok.

May 6th – Day 05:- Gangtok Local city tour
This Morning after breakfast visit Tashi View Point, Ganesh Tak, Hanuman Tak, Rumtek Monastery or Bonjhakri Falls, Dro-Dul Chorten, Institute of Tibetology, Flower show and Handicraft Centre. Evening free at leisure or you can enjoy shopping by own. Night halt at Gangtok.

May 7th – Day 0:6- Gangtok – NJP Rly Stn (About 125 kms / 04 Hrs. drive)
Morning free for packing & personal activities. After breakfast check out from hotel and transfer to NJP railway station
By 2:30 pm Train from Njp to Kolkata

Total package costing 86,000/- (for 11 pax)

GST 3.09% extra on total bill amount

Hotel Used :

03 night Hotel The Royal Residency at Gangtok on CPAI ( With Complimentary Breakfast )
02 night Hotel Seven Seventeen at Darjeeling on CPAI ( With Complimentary Breakfast )

Vehicle Used: 02 Non Ac Sumo / similar except Gangtok sightseeing by 03 Maruti Omni/similar as per itinerary Not on Disposal Point to point basis.

SUPLEMENTARY CHARGES

1) For Nathula Pass : 5,500 Per vehicle @ 5,500x2=11,000/-

Please can u suggest any changes required for this trip as well as in cost also.
Because we are feeling expensive.

vishnu.kumar7's picture
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Seriously I don't know much about the cost of packaged tours in Sikkim.... Your quotations seem quite high...you can get fair idea about the pricing from the comments on the following forum...

http://thinkingparticle.com/forum/valuable-inputs-travelers-gangtok-sikkim

==== Vishnu

amose prabakar (not verified)
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I am planning to visit Dec 31st,1st jan 2014 at Gangtok & 2nd , 3rd Jan 2014 at Darjeeling whether I can see the snow fall at that time, I am alongwith my children are in the age of 13 years & 11 years kindlb advice the safety measures

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Hi Amose...  I don't think there is any problem visiting Sikkim with kids....

Witnessing snow-fall is entirely luck based.... Chances are however very bright... You are staying for 4 nights.... Keep the hopes alive...

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

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Hi Vishnu,

                I have just joined your blog, I have query regarding visit to nathula pass, I want to visit changu and nathula on the same day, is that possible and then return to gangtok?  I am planning the trip around mid feb, will that be feasible to visit nathula? How much it costs for the day trip  to changu and nathula if possible? Waiting for your reply.. Thanks in advance.

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Hi Abhishek,
                    YES, Changu lake and Nathula pass is generally done together in a single day... that;s the standard trip...

Accessibility to Nathula in Feb depends on snow condition however Changu remains accessible most of the time.... If snow blocks the road then you may not be able to reach Nathula pass..

All the tour agents at Gangtok arrange permits and vehicles for Nathula tour (Nathula, Changu lake, Baba Mandir).... You can either hire a private jeep or book a seat in shared jeep going to Nathula ... Both options are possible...

Regards
Vishnu Kumar

 

Guest (not verified)
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ARE HELICOPTER RIDES FROM BANGOGRA TO GANGOK FUNCTIONAL? HOW IS THE WEATHER CONDITIONS DURING FEB-MARCH

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