Nathu La is an international high mountain pass at an elevation of 4.310m (14,140ft) above the sea level, located in the Himalayas, on the border between China and India.
The road over the pass is paved and it links the Indian state of Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region. Nathula is open for Indian nationals on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sundays. The visitors have to get the permit to visit the place by applying to the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department through a registered and recognised Travel Agency. Foreign nationals are not allowed to visit Nathula. Photography is strictly prohibited. One can find ATM facility here which is the worlds highest Automated Teller Machine (ATM).
The pass, also called Nathula, Natu La or Natula, is one of the three open trading border posts between China and India and is located 54 km (34 mi) east of Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim and 430 km (270 mi) from Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. The road is mostly paved but pretty steep.
The road over the pass can be closed anytime when the access is not cleared of snow. Avalanches and heavy snowfalls can sometimes block some sections of the road and can be extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice. During the months of may-june when it rains quite heavily landslides occur very frequently. Nathula Pass experiences heavy snowfall during winter.
Pic: debasish borgohain