A little valley known as Katao can be found in North Sikkim at a height of 13500 feet, about 144 kilometers from the vibrant and comfortable metropolis of Gangtok. Due to its extremely cold climate, Katao Valley is one of North Sikkim's most remote places and is still largely unknown to tourists. Katao has piqued the curiosity of numerous travelers since it is perched on Donkila Hill and surrounded by snow-capped mountains such as Sargila, Katao, and Great Alpine, as well as Domong and Jema hills. As the starting point for all outdoor pastimes like snowboarding, skiing, snow tubing, and stone grinding, Mt. Katao is referred to as a heaven for all snow sports enthusiasts.
It wouldn't be inappropriate to refer to Katao as the Switzerland of India given the expansive vista of snow-capped mountains and the tranquil atmosphere at the highest point of North Sikkim. The Chinese international border is close to Katao. Being a military base and being close to the Indo-China border, access to Katao is prohibited. However, for an extra fee, visitors can obtain a pass to visit this heavenly location blanketed in white and experience the tranquil beauty of Katao. The route to this picturesque valley, Katao, is full of breathtaking scenery, and the picturesque view of the ever-changing terrain has entranced many people.
The road towards Katao is a bit scary but thrilling the sharp bend and bumpy ride can give cold chills to the travelers traveling to Katao for the first time. The awe-inspiring sights of the sparsely covered valley with poppy, primulas, and rhododendron amidst the snow-clad mountain have ensnared the heart of many travelers. A military checkpoint is nearby Katao, which is around 24 kilometers from Lachung. Over the past few years apart from them being the winter destination of Lachung pass it has also become a tourist destination.
Inflate your lungs with the cold chilly winds while basking in the splendid sight of the snow-covered grounds and majestic mountains glittering under the sun like they are covered in precious jewels. Katao valley lulls the senses of travelers with its surreal beauty and also due to lack of oxygen it is the winter wonderland of Sikkim. Katao is an ideal place to relish the charm of the highest point of North Sikkim whilst admiring the work of the Indian Army for keeping us safe on the treacherous border.
March to June is considered to be the best time to go for Katao Tour. Throughout these months, you can expect the weather to be quite soothing. The vibrant view of the blooming flowers makes the places more fascinating to the eyes of the visitors. Monsoon dominates the region from July to September. Because of the heavy rainfall, you can expect frequent landslides on the route leading to this destination. Winter enters Katao at the beginning of December and stays until February's end. It is quite a great time if you want to enjoy adventure activities.
By Air - Bagdogra has the closest airport to Katao. North Sikkim's Katao may be reached in 8 hours from Bagdogra Airport. There are 222 kilometers between Bagdogra and Katao.
By Train - NJP is the closest train station to Kato (New Jalpaiguri Station). From NJP to Katao, the travel takes about 8 hours. NJP and Katao are separated by 217 kilometers.
By Road - By immediately renting a car from NJP or Bagdogra, travelers can travel this distance to get to Katao. With the help of North Bengal Tourism's car rental service, tourists can quickly and affordably take a cab from NJP to Katao or a vehicle from Bagdogra to Katao. Some tourists may make an overnight stop in Gangtok to divide the distance to Katao and obtain the required inner line permits. From Gangtok, it takes 5 hours to get to Katao. There are 128 kilometers between Gangtok and Katao.