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How To Reach Nathang Valley
At more than 4000 m altitude, a small hamlet by the name of Nathang Valley is one of the most mesmerizing regions on the old Silk Route in eastern Sikkim. What was once inhabited solely by Tibetan yak herders is now a favorite among travellers visiting this part of Sikkim, looking to soak up some of the tranquility of this remote village.
Popularly termed the ‘Ladakh of the East’, Nathang Valley boasts some pristine landscapes and lovely mountain views that could very well beat any commercial hill station in the country. Moreover, the route to get to this scenic space will prove just as enthralling as the beauty of the valley itself. Read on to know more about the most convenient ways to reach Nathang Valley.
While the Pakyong Airport in Gangtok is the nearest airspace from Nathang Valley, it currently operates flights to and from Guwahati and Kolkata only. The Bagdogra Airport in Siliguri, West Bengal is the next closest option, from where buses and private transport can be arranged to take you to Nathang through a number of connections.
For travellers who enjoy train rides, the nearest railhead from Nathang Valley is the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station. From here, Nathang is reached via road with the help of private or public transport available outside the station. The road journey from the station to the destination is a pretty scenic one and includes some lovely slopes and ghats.
Reaching Nathang Valley by road can be accomplished via two routes. Both routes reach Padamchen, which serves as the entry point to the Silk Route. Padamchen is also the region where the pass to visit the Silk Route can be obtained.
Starting from Bagdogra/Siliguri/NJP, one route goes through Rongpo, Rongli and Lingtam; the other route goes through Kalimpong, Reshikhola, Aritar and Lingtam. The scenic beauty of these regions makes for great stopovers with lodging options available here as well. Additionally, the terrain of these roads obligates the use of 4-wheel drives; public transport is available only in the form of shared or privately hired jeeps.
Nathang Valley is a small hamlet that is usually explored as part of a trip to the old Silk Route. Since most travellers reach here in groups through shared or private jeeps, that is the only means of travel in the region. Tourists are free to explore nearby locations on foot as well. It is a small village so for the most part, you will not be needing any vehicles to commute from A to B.