6 Most Visited Passes in the Himalayas6 min read
The Himalayas are a magnificent range of mountains which are extremely popular for sports like trekking and motorbiking. To often cross from one mountain to another, we have to go through the shortest routes which are known as passes. These passes are at high altitudes and offer some of the most alluring yet dangerous drives through the passes. The passes are the ultimate attraction of the adventure seekers who are drawn to them like bees to honey. Most people desire to visit the Himalayas for a trekking expedition but are unable to do so because of the very little information available to them. Here, we bring you six of the most visited passes in the Himalayan mountain range so that you can explore and them satisfy the thrill seeker in you.
The Khadung-La pass is the gateway which lies between the Nubra Valley and Shyok Valley. It is situated at an elevation of 5359 metres and is one of the most thrilling and most difficult passes to ride on. While it might not be a typical tourist attraction but it attracts a lot of adventure-seekers as it is one of the highest motorable roads in the world. This pass is particularly more famous among the motorbikes as they can head to Kargil from Manali.
Khardung La also connects various other passes like Lachung, Rohtang and Tanglang la passes which lie on the Leh-Manali highway. This pass serves as the gateway to the famous Siachen Glacier which lies 40 km ahead of the Nubra Valley. The journey through this offers a great view of Leh and the Nubra Valley. The gentle breeze and the thrill of visiting the highest motorable pass in the world will make you feel revitalized. You can go on an exciting trek above the pass to see a picturesque view of the snow capped mountains all around you. The most suitable time to visit Khardung-La pass is during the summer season from May to September.
2. Rohtang Pass
The Rohtang pass is situated at an altitude of 3978 metres on the Manali-Leh highway. This pass is on the Pir-Panjal range of the Himalayas and connects the magnificent Kullu valley with the beautiful Spiti and Lahaul valleys of Himachal Pradesh. Even though the word “Rohtang” means ‘piles of corpses’, this pass continues to be one of the most famous and most visited passes of all times. It also makes the list of the most difficult passes as it is extremely tough to cross this pass due to snowstorms. However, the difficulty in crossing in this pass is what attracts the adventure enthusiasts from all across the world.
The trek on this pass is hauntingly beautiful. To feel the true beauty of Rohtang, you should visit it in the month of November. Even though it feels as if life has come to standstill there, the peace that you will experience within yourself here is absolutely fascinating. The Rohtang Pass remains open from May to November. Though the trek distance is just 20km, the trail is extremely dangerous yet very thrilling to walk upon. A trip to the Rohtang Pass is a must for every adventure seeker and trekking enthusiast.
3. Karakoram Pass
The Karakoram Pass is located at an altitude of 5540 metres in the Karakoram Range. Famously known as the silk route of India, this pass connects India and China. This pass has always remained as one of the most difficult mountain passes of India. The trek in this pass has always been problematic due to the harsh weather conditions and steep slopes. In spite of this, adventure seekers and trekking enthusiasts come to indulge in the thrilling trek of the Karakoram Pass.
Another prominent fact about the pass is the various trading facilities offered to the traders of both the nations. The pass remains open most of the year but there is no motorable road to cross it. The pass remains mostly snow free due to the high speed of the winds that blow here. However, this pass still remains one of the most visited passes of all times.
4. Nathu-La Pass
Nathu-La Pass is one of the most famous passes in India. Located at an altitude of 4310 metres, it connects the Indian state of Sikkim to Tibet. Nathu La pass is famous for being one of the open-trade passes between India and China. The region surrounding Nathu- La pass consists of various Buddhist Monasteries and Hindu temples. Their architectural brilliance is an additional reason for the tourists to visit this pass. Wildlife lovers are attracted to the variety of fauna available here like the snow leopards, Tibetan wolf, and the black-winged kite.
Nathu La pass also has vast expanses of flora and is widely known for the ground orchid which grows here. The magnificent view makes the trek of the Nathu La extremely worth it. The Nathu- La Pass remains open throughout the year but it is best to visit during May and October because the temperature during this time is perfect and you can see the various peaks and valleys clearly. It also remains closed to the public on Mondays and Tuesdays.
5. Borasu Pass
The Borasu pass is located in Uttarakhand at an altitude of 5450 metres. Located in Uttarakhand which is the backbone of all the treks and adventure activities in the country due to the many passes, valleys and mountain peak situated here, this pass is famous for being the most popular trekking mountain passes of India.
This pass offers panoramic views of the valleys, glaciers, and peaks around it. If you are in the mood for challenging adventure, this is exactly where you should head. This trekking trail has been explored thoroughly by adventure enthusiasts. This pass used to serve as an old trade route between the Kinnaur Valley and the Doon Valley, which is very famous for its beauty. The best time to visit the Borasu Pass is from June to September when the weather is perfect for the trek.
6. Parang La Pass
Parang La is situated at an altitude of 5500 metres situated in Himachal Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh is well known for the various passes that it has. This pass is famous for connecting Himachal to Leh Ladakh. The trek here is very well known and attracts a variety of adventure enthusiasts. The trek takes 10-12 days to complete the trail. On top of the pass, one can see the gorgeous view of the Changthang and Spiti Valley. Offering astounding views of the towering mountains and the snow-clad peaks, this trek has everything for a trek lover, adventure seeker, and nature lover. The most suitable time to visit Parang La is during July and September.
To visit these passes (except Parang La and Borasu), you need a permit from the local police which is very cheap and can be easily arranged by your tour operators. These passes provide some of the most exhilarating views of the beautiful valleys and snow-capped mountains of the Himalayan Range. The experience of visiting these passes will be extremely memorable as these views are meant to transport you to a different world together. These passes are sure to leave their mark on you.
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