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Travel is Oxygen
Nathula Pass


Nathula Pass

We were fortunate to get a permit to visit Nathula pass on the first day when the local authorities started issuing permits after almost a month, when the due to heavy snow, visitors were not allowed.

The drive from Gangtok passes through beautiful terrain of winding roads. We were mentally getting ready to brace cold weather at Nathula which is at more than 14,000 ft. It is convenient that one can pick up warm gear on the way on a rental basis. The stopover also meant fresh and hot momos with chai.

As we started approaching Nathula pass, which is part of the old silk route for border trade, the terrain around was just unbelievable. It looks so beautiful while driving but then it is so harsh for the soldiers who are responsible to stay put in such harsh conditions to defend the border. There is a short climb to the pass from the parking area and the path was mostly covered with snow which made climbing quite slow. Once we were up, we chatted up with the ITBP people who were doing their duty. The memorial plaque up there mentions the names of the soldiers and officers who made the supreme sacrifice during the conflicts with China in 1962 and 1967. You come back with the respect for our armed forces certainly up several notches.

Our driver mentioned that he was a proud Tibetan and his forefathers lived there. After the Chinese occupation, the family moved to India. They follow Dalai Lama and hope that one day their land and culture will be restored to them.