Indian & Chinese
Nathang valley also spelt as Gnathang Valley is a realm of paradise standing at the height of 13,500 ft. It is undoubtedly a magnificent spot from where everything else can be shrugged off from mind. The valley was the hometown of the traditional yak herders from Tibet. This is the highest place in East Sikkim. The snow-capped mountains and the mesmerizing valley are something out of the world. Nathang is the most favoured offbeat place in East Sikkim. The natural high-altitude phenomenon has enriched Nathang Valley within all possible way.
Once a home town of the Tibetan yak herders it is one of the remote places in the eastern part of Sikkim and being in its isolated nature it attracts more of the tourist community. Nathang valley falls under the remarkable Old Silk Route circuit which increases the value more of it.
Tourist Places to visit in Nathang Valley
Lungthung or also known as Dhupidhara is one of the popular places among travellers near Nathang Valley. The viewpoint standing at the height of 12,500 ft. has a fabulous view of Mt. Kanchendzonga. It is well visited by the bird enthusiasts as Monal the national bird of Nepal can be sighted here. Moreover, Aritar, a small hamlet just a few kilometres away from Nathang Valley. The place possesses the highest lake of Sikkim with boating facility known as Lampokhri Lake or Aritar Lake. Here one may get the opportunity of trekking and hiking.
However, the most popular tourist attraction of this point is Changu Lake or Tsomgo Lake. The lake has been created by a melted glacier. It is around 1 k.m. long and the density is 50ft. in an oval shape. The lake is declared as a holy lake and to visit here a lot of travel enthusiast gathers together. Situated just a few kilometres away from Nathang Valley Eagle's Nest Bunker is an abandoned army bunker turned into a tourist spot offers a vista of the whole range of Mt. Kanchendzonga, Western Bhutan, Tibetan plateau, China and the mighty Brahmaputra river.
Old Baba Mandir is another sightseeing attraction near Gnathang Valley. To honour martyr Sepoy Harbhajan Singh Old Baba Mandir has been created and well maintained by the Indian Army. On the top of the temple you can find the bunker of Sepoy Harbhajan Singh. Another centre of attraction around Nathang Valley is the Nathula Pass. This is the gateway of India and China and opens only for the Indian nationals. It remains accessible on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Gyamochen is a viewpoint unlike Lungthung. It is just 5 k.m away from Nathang Valley which has an amazing view for the snow-capped mountain ranges with Mt. Kanchendzonga.
Things to do in Gnathang Valley
Apart from visiting the stunning places, there are more things to do in Nathang Valley. The adventure seekers found Nathang always on their priority list. The glorious natural substance offers a rational environment for trekking. Serious trekkers can have more difficult option to be done as this place is full of varieties including the high-altitude treks.
Hiking to the viewpoints like Lungthung, Gyanmochen is a kind attraction of Nathang Valley. Hikers often visit Nathang for the ultimate adventurous exposure. Aloof of these all a simple wandering towards the lakes like Menmecho lake, Kupup lake gives some spiritual experience to the mind as the natural substances always have given us the potentiality to evolve through nature.
Accommodation in Gnathang Valley
Accommodating in Nathang valley is quite simple as the new build houses meant for lodging are provided with all the modern facilities like cushioned bed, 24 hours of electricity, attached western bathrooms, solar water heater with concrete made walls.
Depending on the choice of the tourist there are traditional homestays also available which is also not less in service.
Talking about the food, it is quite basic and healthy and above all it's all organic. It's way better than anything at this point of nature. Foods can be served according to the preferences of the tourist or can be served by them according to the schedule. You may ask for both veg and non-veg food as per your requirement.
How to reach Nathang Valley
There are no direct flight and train to Nathang Valley. The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) and the airport is Bagdogra Airport. One can hire a car from the car rental services directly towards Nathang Valley. It takes around 6 hours by covering 170 k.m. from Siliguri.
Best time to visit Nathang Valley
Visiting Nathang in summer will be pleasant in the month of April to June. Because of its high-altitude nature, the weather remains cold throughout the year. So, in summer, it becomes very energetic to visit Nathang.
Avoiding monsoon will be wise but if still willing to go to witness the green forest and the surprisingly beautiful landscape one should be very careful about the roads as due to heavy rainfall the roads remain blocked due to landslides.
Finally, when the winter arrives it's been welcomed by the snowfall for which a lot of travellers gathers just to experience the astonishing view of the snowfall at Nathang Valley. From October to March wanderlusts come over the place for witnessing the snow-capped mountain range menacing above the Tibetan Plateau.