Thursday, September 1, 2011

Nathu La

Today I had booked myself for a day trip to Nathu La pass. The trip was on a sharing basis. There are 10 (yes ten 10!) passengers in a jeep (Sumo/Bolero). Wasn't as uncomfortable as the thought of it!
We had an early start. Reached the taxi stand by 7.30 and started off within half an hour. There were 3 other groups with me in the jeep - a group of 2 elderly couples, a family of 3 and a newly wed couple. Seemed nice people, and luckily none of them was obese :P
After covering a short distance we were held up due to road repair work being done by BRO.

Spent the hour clicking around

As we moved ahead the road quality started deteriorating. In fact the road became almost non-existent! We passed the Tsamgo Lake but did not stop there. The plan was to take a break there on the way back. Some snaps from the car

Also came across 2 small lakes next to each other just before Nathula. Surprisingly one was frozen while the other was not!!!

Finally reached the India-China border at Nathu La

Was surprised to see that just a weak barbed wire separated the Chinese soldiers from the Indian territoy. In fact the Chinese soldiers were happy to pose for Indian tourists and one of them was carrying a camera too! Another aspect worth noting is that there are no tourists on the Chinese side!

Some more snaps at Nathu La

Before leaving NathuLa I picked up an unique souvenir - a signed 'Certificate of Visit'. A good initiative by the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA).

Next stop was the Baba Harbhajan shrine. The water here is believed to have miraculous effects in curing ailments. Not much around for the non-believer though!

Last stop was the Tsamgo Lake. The weather had turned overcast and could not get any clear snaps!

There drive back to Gangtok was made eventful by a mechanical breakdown of the jeep. Daylight was fast fading and we were still in the hills. The time we lost in the morning due to the road closure was hurting us. To make matters worse, suddenly smoke started emanating from under the jeep. There was an unmistakable smell of something burning. All of us got off in panic. The brake pads had overheated. After a half an hour break, we restarted hoping that the brakes hold on. Luckily they did :)

Back in Gangtok, spent the evening around MG Road. The next day I was to leave for North Sikkim


  1. Newly wed trip to Nathu La! Interesting. Also, the Chinese tourists not being there is deceptive. The Chinese are notorious touristers :P

  2. Maybe the borders are out of bounds for them