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Nathu La pass, a Himalayan mountain pass connecting Sikkim and Tibet is about 54 KMs from Gangtok. Nathu La pass is at 4,310 mts or 14,140 ft above sea level. Indian citizens can obtain permit at Gangtok to visit the pass. Nathu La is one of the three open trading border posts between India and China. Historically considered an important pass on the Old Silk Route, Nathu La was reopened in 2006 to bolster the Indo-China relations. Defense personnel surround the area, but the area offers stunning vistas of the valley, exotic flora and fauna and pristine mountain air.
During winter Nathula Pass gets heavy snowfalls and it remains closed to traffic between December and March. Otherwise also accessibility is very unpredictable due bad weather or landslides.