Google

Nathang Valley in simple words can be described as one of the best places to stay at or visit in Sikkim. Nathang Valley is located along Silk Route in East Sikkim. It is a remote hamlet located at a very high altitude around 13,000 ft above sea level with extreme temperature in winters and moderate temperature in summers but that too quite cold because of the height. Nathang Valley can be visited directly from NJP/Bagdogra/Siliguri via Rongpo and Rongli from the east and it is can also be visited from Gangtok’s side. Nathang Valley is the extreme point in east Sikkim other than Nathula Pass. The scenic beauty all around is amazing with snow capped mountains and valleys. If you are planning a trip plan to east Sikkim, Nathang must a place to visit.

Silk Route Sikkim-TravelDias

The Zig-Zag Road

Visit Nathang Valley from NJP/Siliguri/Bagdogra

There are two routes from NJP/Bagdogra/Siliguri’s towards Nathang as follows:

Route 1: NJP/Bagdogra/Siliguri >> Rongpo >> Rongli >> Lingtam >> Padamchen >> Zuluk >> Lungthung >> Gnathang Valley >> Kupup >> Gangtok

Route 2: NJP/Bagdogra/Siliguri >> Kalimpong >> Ramdura >> Ichey  Gaon >> Sillery Gaon >> Pedong >> Reshikhola >> Aritar >> Rongli Bazar >> Lingtam >> Padamchen >> Zuluk >> Lungthung >> Gnathang Valley >> Gangtok

All the places mentioned above are small hamlets which have gained popularity with tourists coming in to this part of Sikkim. Places like Ramdura, Iche Gaon, Sillery Gaon and Reshikhola are located within West Bengal territory and share the border with Sikkim. These places of Bengal on way to east Sikkim or Silk Route have developed popularity because of its own superb scenic view. (Read my Honeymoon trip to Reshikhola). People visiting east Sikkim or coming from east Sikkim towards NJP/Siliguri/Bagdogra must stay or halt for one or couple of nights at Iche Gaon or Sillery Gaon. In these three places on way to Silk Route and entire east Sikkim local people have been developing home stays to facilitate lodging for tourists and provide basic necessities. There are no hotels at these places in east Sikkim except Lingtam. There are two properties at Lingtam and at all other places people are supposed to stay in home stays only maintained by local people.

Zuluk to Nathang Valley

On way to Nathang from Zuluk

There are two ways one can visit Nathang Valley. You can visit Nathang and come back towards NJP/Siliguri else you can transfer to Gangtok via Silk Route. It is not actually required to stay at all places mentioned above. Travel agents try to convince tourists to stay at the place/s where they have tied up with local home stays. I feel there is actually no need to stay at all places. One can cover the entire Silk Route in east Sikkim only by staying at 3-4 places.

If you are looking to cover the Silk Route in short time without visiting Gangtok, I would suggest the following route:

NJP/Bagdogra/Siliguri >> Sillery gaon >> Nathang Valley >> Padamchen OR Aritar OR Zuluk >> NJP/Bagdogra/Siliguri

If you have got more time in hand and want to spend more days along Silk Route, the trip route can be:

NJP/Bagdogra/Siliguri >> Sillery Gaon >> Nathang Valley >> Padamchen OR Zuluk >> Lingtam OR Aritar >> Sillery Gaon >> NJP/Bagdogra/Siliguri

If one is interested to transfer to Gangtok from this side of Sikkim, he can make the following itineraries:

Silk Route Itinerary 1:

NJP/Bagdogra/Siliguri >> Sillery Gaon >> Padamchen OR Lingtam OR Zuluk (via Aritar) >> Nathang Valley >> Gangtok

Silk Route Itinerary 2:

NJP/Bagdogra/Siliguri >> Sillery Gaon >> Aritar >> Padamchen OR Lingtam >> Zuluk >> Gnathang Valley >> Gangtok

There can be several more customized itineraries. Do mail me or fill up the contact form on Contact Us page on my blog. I would gladly help you with all details and customized itinerary.

Best Time to visit Nathang Valley

October is a very good time to visit Nathang when the sky remains clear and the weather remains moderate and favorable. If you enjoy chilling weather, you can visit between November and January when the place gets snowfall and the view all around remains nothing but white  which have its own charm. Beyond January, the Silk Route remains closed because of heavy snowfall and re-opens around April. The time of getting the road closed and open depends on nature and no one can predict that. So I am just sharing the general thing and it may change.

Nathang valley Home stay

I have seen most of tourist avoid and skip a mountain tour during rainy season but I feel when it rains on hills, it has its own charm and beauty. I really enjoy the rain on hills. I have visited Nathang during rainy season and I never faced any major land slide or something like that for which we had to wait much long. I guess I was lucky enough because landslides are frequent during rainy season and roads get blocked any time but the BRO and Army takes short time to clear the road. In my last trip to East Sikkim during rainy season we faced two or three small landslides and we had to wait but it was not an headache because we were all friends in a group. I feel if you are carrying your family, it is better if you skip rainy season but if you are a group of friends and young lads, you can surely give a try for the adventure.

Another very good time to visit east Sikkim is April-May when Rhododendrons blossom across the entire region. Nathang Valley remains so colorful and one can see a huge variety of flowers. I highly recommend visiting Nathang during April-May to all nature lovers.

Nathang Valley’s altitude is an issue

As the place is located around 13,000 ft high above sea level, it can be a discomfort for the guys suffer from high altitude sickness. Senior citizens and children may suffer from high altitude sickness. If someone suffers from breathing problem must avoid staying at Nathang and stay at some low altitude places like Lingtam, Padamchen, Zuluk, etc. If staying at Nathang can create an issue it is better you visit the place and stay at anywhere else.

Eagle’s Nest Bunker – The Sunrise and Sunset point of Nathang

If you are staying at Nathang, do not miss the fun of visiting this point known as Eagle’s Nest Point. This point used to be a bunker of the Indian Army to keep an eye on the border activities. It is now an abandoned bunker and tourists enjoy visiting the places. The sunrise or sunset view from this point is so amazing and one can cherish all through life.

BhulBhulaiya – Zig-Zag road of Nathang Valley

The entire stretch from Padamchen to Nathang Valley is superb with amazing scenic view all around but the point of Thambi View Point provides a fantastic view of more than 50 sharp bends of roads from that single point. In winter the roads remain like cold desert, all covered with white and in other times it is not covered with snow but the view is so beautiful. You must spend time at this point and get some snaps.

Permission to visit Nathang and the entire Silk Route

If you are traveling from NJP/Bagdogra’s side, you need to get permit from Rongli check post and if you are traveling from Gangtok’s side, your permit can be issued from tourism office in Gangtok. Tourists are not allowed to visit the stretch without permit because it is a protected area as it shares the border with Tibet occupied by China. Only Indians can visit this stretch and foreigners do not have the luck of visiting the region because it is strictly prohibited.

Making a bike ride along the stretch

If you are planning to enjoy bike riding along the Silk Route in east Sikkim, make sure you take your own bike because permission is not provided for rented bikes or if the owner of the bike is not present. Getting a permit for Silk Route if you are carrying your bike is quite tough. If you try to make it on your own, you must be ready to lose the sole of your shoes. Better is if you ask any local agent to arrange that for you because they make arrangements to clear the permits. If you are a biker, I am sure this journey can be a memorable one. People talk about journeys by bike in Leh-Manali highway but this is beautiful and adventurous too.

nathang valley traveldias

Covering Nathula Pass while visiting Nathang Valley from Gangtok’s side

One can surely cover Nathula Pass – the highest point in east Sikkim and the border point between India and China while visiting from Gangtok’s side. Permission for Nathula Is occupied from tourism office in Gangtok and so tourists traveling from NJP/Bagdogra/Siliguri’s side to Gangtok via Ailk Route would not have the scope to visit Nathula Pass. If somehow one can manage to get the permit done from Gangtok and if that permit can be brought in, then it is possible to visit Nathula from this side of east Sikkim. Nathula Pass remains closed on Monday and Tuesday and so plan accordingly if you intent to visit Nathula.

Nathang Valley Home Stay Accommodation

There are no hotels or resorts in Nathang valley and one can not expect luxury at that altitude. Nathang is a remote hamlet as I have already said. There are only home stays developed and maintained by local people. Accommodation facility in Nathang Valley or any other place across east Sikkim is very limited, so I would suggest booking your accommodation in advance to confirm your lodging. Though there is no luxury bit still people there try their best to satisfy the guest in every possible way. You can’t get a geyser but you can surely expect hot water provided at all home stays at your demand. There is not much variety of food but they provide simple food with great care. People of Sikkim, especially who live at remote hamlets are so simple and friendly. They are so polite and humble. They will always be at your service. It is a shame for us that some tourists who belong to much more developed section of society behave so rudely with them. I have seen people with high temper because they are not getting all like what they get at hotels and resorts. It must be clear to all travelers or tourists that place like east Sikkim is so remotely located at such a height where daily life is a struggle; we must not expect what we get in our city life.

If you have any query or need assistance, do not hesitate to contact me by the form present on “Contact” page or simply by mailing me.

For more updates on Sikkim and Silk Route, stay tuned to TravelDias.

Do share this post on your Facebook and other social media profiles so that travelers like you can reach up to this write-up which will help in framing the east Sikkim tour.  Keep traveling, keep smiling. Cheers …! 🙂

 

22 Comments

  1. pankaj saha June 18, 2015 8:26 pm

    really nice !! while reading i was able to connect the trip.

     
    Reply
  2. Krishnendu Das October 14, 2015 3:46 pm

    Hi Abhijit,

    Thanks for your awesome article. We are planning to Visit Nathang for 4 days in December. I need a little favor. Can you please provide some contact information for the Homestays in Nathang. you can send me mail at krishnendudas24@gmail.com. we will be really grateful.

    Thanks in advance. 🙂

     
    Reply
    • Abhijit Gupta October 19, 2015 7:33 am

      Hi Krishnendu,

      I have mailed you contact details of 3 persons. Please check your inbox and I am sure any one of them can manage all you need. Reply to the same mail if you need any further information.

       
      Reply
  3. PRATIK CHAKRABARTI November 11, 2015 2:22 pm

    Hi Abhijit,

    We,a group of 10 people, are willing to make the Silk Route tour in the 3rd week of March.Can you please give me an idea of the weather in this region at that time?Also can you provide me the contact nos. of homestays?Are homestays available in Lungthung?
    Thanking you in advance.

     
    Reply
    • Abhijit Gupta November 19, 2015 5:15 pm

      Weather will be very cold. There are high chances of snow. Generally snow remains till mid March. I can surely provide you contact details of home stays and vehicles. Mail me at “uvreachedavi@gmail.com” with reference to this communication. Yes, Home stays are available at Lungthung but I would suggest you to skip the place and stay at Padamchen. Thanks, Abhijit

       
      Reply
  4. Virender December 21, 2015 2:28 pm

    Hi,
    Can we do silk route in 2-3 days from bagdogra and cover nathula and tsogmo and come to Gangtok? Planning to travel in January last week and February first week.

     
    Reply
    • Abhijit Gupta February 20, 2016 8:42 am

      Wish I could help you but I was stuck with other things and I just checked this comment. Please don’t mind and let me know if you need any information in future. Keep traveling and stay healthy.

       
      Reply
  5. Ayan Dey December 25, 2015 10:06 pm

    Hello Mr. Gupta. Kudos for giving all of us such details about old silk route. My son is 9 years old and wants to witness snow fall. So i was thinking about visiting old silk route in the month of december. I would like to request you to please guide me regarding the trip by rendering me the details of places to stay, vehicles that can be availed as well as their probable rates and contact numbers. I will be obliged if you kindly mail me all the details at my mail id ayandey19@gmail.com.
    Thanking you in anticipation
    Regards
    Ayan

     
    Reply
    • Abhijit Gupta February 20, 2016 8:42 am

      Wish I could help you but I was stuck with other things and I just checked this comment. Please don’t mind and let me know if you need any information in future. Keep traveling and stay healthy.

       
      Reply
  6. S.K.Baral January 27, 2016 7:24 am

    Hi Abhijit
    Your post is very informative and nicely stated. Our full family is planning to visit sikkim during May 26 th. to June 4th 2016. Our family group will have 8 persons. Out of which 2 persons are Sr, Citizen & 2 children, We have planned our route,starting from NJP -zuluk-nathang valley-gangtok-lachung-yumthung-lachen-njp. I request you to inform me about suitable homestay at nathang Valley/zuluk. Also pl. let me know if you have any other suggestion about the route. I shall remain thankful for all your suggestion. You can reply to my Mail address.baral_suniti@yahoo.co.in.
    Thanks in Advance

     
    Reply
    • Abhijit Gupta February 2, 2016 6:58 pm

      Hi,

      As you have senior citizens and children with you, I would suggest you to climb the altitude gradually. It is always suggested to spend minimum 2 nights at any place before you go Nathang valley. It is better if you avoid staying or spending night at Nathang valley as you have senior citizens. The entire Silk route is beautiful and staying Padamchen would be better option. You can spend nights at Sillery Gaon and Padamchen in east Sikkim. Then you can transfer to Gangtok via Silk Route. From Gangtok yiu can transfer to north Sikkim covering Lachen, Lachung and the places of interests from these 2 locations. I must let you know that if you have children below 5 years of age, you will not be given permit to visit Gurudongmar Lake. This lake is visited from Lachen and it is the main attraction from Lachen. If you can’t visit this lake then there is no need to stay at Lachen. You can visit Lachung only and from there you can go for a day excursion to Yumthang Valley and Zero Point.

      You can mail me at “uvreachedavi@gmail.com” for more information. If you mail me drop me the mail with reference to this communication.

       
      Reply
  7. saumya sarkar August 7, 2016 3:52 pm

    We want to visit from NJP to ariter to rishikhola to juluk to ganktok via nathan vally then NJP in 4 nights 5 days package

     
    Reply
  8. saumya sarkar August 7, 2016 3:53 pm

    We want to visit from NJP to ariter to rishikhola to juluk to ganktok via nathan vally then NJP in 4 nights 5 days package cost by a vehicle for 6 persons.2 double bed required

     
    Reply
    • Abhijit Gupta August 26, 2016 7:31 am

      Approx. transport cost: Rs 3,500 per day for a reserved vehicle and Rs 850 per head per day in home stay including lodging and all food. Cost varies with the season.

       
      Reply
  9. Amit Naskar January 16, 2017 8:18 am

    hi
    i am planing this february,middle weak with my bike. my plan is njp> Sillery Gaon.>”zuluk> nathang vally> Lingtam> gangtok > njp. can i go in this time? and need a parmit for bike?

     
    Reply
    • Abhijit Gupta January 17, 2017 12:17 pm

      You will not get permit. The Silk route connecting Padamchen to Gangtok is already closed due to heavy snowfall. If you are carrying your bike, you will not be allowed to travel from Lingtam check post. If you want to take your bike, you must have your permission from Gangtok tourism office. You can plan in April-May. I must let you know that getting permit for personal bike and car is really a tough task at Gangtok tourism office. Better you get this done by any agent in return of some money.

       
      Reply
  10. Monojit Saha April 14, 2017 2:16 pm

    Hello Abhijit,

    Lovely article.
    Was thinking about a short trip to the old silk route in the 1st week of May, 2017. Will be obliged if you kindly mail me some details at my mail id ms.culrockn@gmail.com.
    Thanks in advance

     
    Reply

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

  • Navigation

    SITEMAP
    TRAVEL UPDATES

    Review by traveler

    April 2, 2015

    *****/5 stars

    Thank you Abhijit for all those information. Your details really helped me in completing my journey with a very satisfying note. Will consult you next time for sure.

  • Mail Me

    uvreachedavi [at] gmail [dot] com