"Khardungla- Highest Road in India" Top 5 Page for this destination Leh Things to Do Tip by abi_maha
Leh Things to Do: 101 reviews and 245 photos
We headed from Leh into Khardung La (Khardung Pass, la means pass in Tibetan), with an elevation of 5359 m or 17,582 feet it is the highest motorable road in India. Thankfully by the time we reached Khardung la, we were more acclimatized to the heights and we really enjoyed this trip!! We stayed for almost 40 minutes on the pass thanks to some glorious weather. Some of our military comrades made it all the more memorable by teaching us some Ladakhi dance! The canteen has some awesome noodles and hot tea. You can even try some Momos there.
The pass on the Ladakh Range lies north of Leh and is the gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valleys. The Siachen Glacier lies partway up the latter valley but we didn't go all the way there. Built in 1976, it was opened to motor vehicles in 1988 and has since seen many automobile, motorbike and mountain biking expeditions. Maintained by the Border Roads Organisation, the pass is strategically important to India as it is used to carry supplies to the Siachen Glacier.
Khardong La is historically important as it lies on the major caravan route from Leh to Kashgar in Chinese Central Asia. About 10,000 horses and camels used to take the route annually, and a small population of Bactrian camels can still be seen at Hundar, in the area north of the pass. But these animals are now largely there for commercial riding and while I normally don't enjoy such activities, this time around I did! More on that in another tip.
One caveat is that while the roads in leh/Ladakh are generally of excellent quality, the route to the passes are tough. 5 Kms to and from the pass are largely just roads on loose boulders and so do be mentally prepared for the same.