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Nathang Valley Tourism And Travel Guide
15.3° C / 59.5° F
May to October
1 to 2 Days
Bagdogra Airport, West Bengal (190 kms)
New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (187 kms)
A beautiful village nestled in the eastern regions of Sikkim, Nathang Valley can be visited as part of a trip to the old Silk Road, which served as a major trading route between India and China. Originally inhabited by Tibetan yak herders who would bring over their yaks to graze when the Jelepla Pass was open, the region gradually grew a name for itself among travelers for its mesmerizing landscapes and opened a gate for thriving tourism to make its place among the Nathang natives.
Situated at an altitude of more than 4000 m, Nathang is the second highest region in Sikkim where tourists are allowed to stay. However, at such a high altitude, a certain level of acclimatization is required to enjoy the beauty of the valley to its full extent. It is advised to make regular stops at strategic locations to allow the body to adapt before reaching the highest point in the route. Here is a comprehensive travel guide to help you plan a trip to Nathang Valley.
How to Reach
The Bagdogra Airport in Siliguri, West Bengal is the nearest airspace available from Nathang Valley. Outside the airport, public and private transport can be arranged to take you to Nathang via various connections.
The New Jalpaiguri Railway Station is the closest railhead from Nathang Valley, operating regular trains from all major destinations in the country. From the station, all forms of public and private transportation are available to connect you to Nathang Valley.
Taking the road to Nathang Valley can be done via two routes, both of which reach Padamchen – the entry point to Silk Route. One route goes through Rongpo and Lingtam, while the other goes through Kalimpong, Reshikhola and Aritar to reach Padamchen. The only way to reach Nathang Valley via road is through the option of shared or private jeeps available for hire.
Weather & Best Time to Visit
Summer (April – September):
In the summer season, the months of April and May are the best time to travel to Nathang Valley. The whole region is covered with colorful blossoms of rhododendron and wildflower blooms as the snow thaws out after the severe winter season. Heavy rains occur during the monsoon month of July to September and it is best to avoid traveling in this weather due to possibility of landslides.
Autumn (October – November):
The months of October and November are very cool and pleasant, being a great time to visit Nathang Valley. The skies remain clear with minimal precipitation and the weather is favorable for all sightseeing activities.
Winter (December – March):
Winters in Nathang Valley are quite extreme, with subzero temperatures predominant throughout most of the season. Snowfall is also common during this weather, with the valley getting buried under thick layers of snow that leads to shutting down of the entire Silk Route during the months from January to March.
Things to Do
Watch the Sunrise and Sunset:
The beauty of Nathang Valley lies not only in its surroundings, but also in the numerous areas that offer breathtaking dawn and dusk views from different vantage points. One such area is the Thambi viewpoint that is also known for providing some amazing views of the Kanchenjunga. Lunthung is also a region situated close to Thambi that is known for its viewpoints.
Visiting Nathang Valley usually features as a stopover for those traveling the entire Silk Route circuit. The hilly terrain of the valley would appear perfect for those looking for some active walkabouts before continuing on their journey, with the weather offering great opportunities to trek almost all year long as well.
Visit Old Baba Mandir:
This temple dedicated to Captain Harbhajan Singh, who was an Indian army soldier, is a monument revered by the soldiers in the area who worship Baba Harbhajan Singh and believe he lost his life here while protecting his fellow soldiers. A widely visited area by tourists, the locals believe the ‘Baba’ still protects them in this inhospitable environment.
Where to Stay
Nathang Valley is a remote village with no options in hotels and resorts. The best way to make your visit here truly an unforgettable one is to find the opportunity to stay with the locals in their own homes, most of which have been turned into commercial homestays. It is a good form of business for the natives as well, and provides the travelers with the most authentic experience of what life is like in this part of Sikkim. Nathang Residency, Pinasha Homestay and the Sunset Homestay are some of the best accommodation options to check out while in Nathang Valley. The Daftar Bungalow is also a great place to stay with an interesting bit of history attached to it.