9 Mountain Passes in India

  • Post last modified:1 October 2021
  • Reading time:9 mins read

A mountain pass is known as a narrow passage between two mountains. The passage is the connectivity for both sides of the mountains and the geographical region around that. In ancient ages, mountain passes played an important role in providing access to various trades and cultural exchanges.

Mountain Passes in India

  1. Nathula Pass
  2. Rohtang Pass
  3. Mana Pass
  4. Jelep La Pass
  5. Bara Lacha La Pass
  6. Shipki La Pass
  7. Khardung La Pass
  8. Chang La
  9. Lipulekh Pass

Nathula Pass

Nathula Pass is situated in the Himalayan mountain range. It connects the state Sikkim with the Tibetan region of China. The elevation of the pass is around 4300 meters above sea level. In ancient times Nathula Pass was a part of the old Silk Road. In the word Nathula Pass, Nathu means listening ears, and La means pass. The name is derived from the Tibetan language.

There are several check posts between India and China. One of them is Nathula Pass. The Nathula Pass was closed in 1962 during the Indo China war. It was reopened in 2006. Nathula Pass strengthens, not only the communication and accessibility portal but also the trade between India and China. It is one of the most important connectivity for Hindu and Buddhist religions around both countries.

Rohtang Pass

Rohtang Pass is located around 51 kilometers away from the city of Manali. It is a connection between Kullu Valley with the Lahaul and Spiti Valley. It is located in Himachal Pradesh. The elevation of Rohtang Pass is 3978 meters. It is located in between the Chenab and Beas river basins. Rohtang Pass has a polar climate and sometimes it has no falls also during summer. Due to dangerous and unpredictable snowstorms, the Rohtang Pass is one of the dangerous passes in India. The pass is open for the tourist from May to November.

The pass is located in the Pir Panjal mountain range of the Himalayas. In 2016, the state government of Himachal Pradesh started issuing permits for tourists to travel to Rohtang Pass to prevent its pollution levels. Sometimes it is very difficult to travel to Rohtang Pass. So the government has set up a broadway between Kothi village which is in Manali and Rohtang Pass. That will reduce the number of vehicles which are visiting Rohtang Pass and therefore reducing the pollution level.

Mana Pass

Mana pass is located in the Himalayan mountain range. It is on the border of India and China. It is one of the highest vehicle-accessible passes in the world. The Mana pass is also called Banna Wala. Manali is located within the Nanda Devi biosphere reserve. It is in the Mana village which is located 52 kilometres away from the Hindu pilgrimage town of Badrinath Uttarakhand.

The roots can be traced back to ancient times where it was used to transport goods from between Uttrakhand and Tibet. In 1954 India and China signed an agreement to allow travellers to travel between two countries to Mana Pass. Mana Pass can be accessible by an extension of NH 7 which connects Fazilka and Badrinath.

Jelep La Pass

Jelep La Pass connects the Indian state of Sikkim to the Tibet autonomous region of China. The elevation is 4267. It is located in East Sikkim district. The passes forty kilometres away from Nathula Pass. In the Tibetan language, it means lovely pass.

Bara Lacha La Pass

The elevation of Baralacha La Pass is around 4890 meters. It is a mountain pass in the Zanskar range. The pass connects the Lahaul district of Himachal Pradesh with the district of Ladakh. It is situated on the Manali highway.

Shipki La Pass

It is one of the border posts between India and China. It is located in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated on the banks of the river Satluj when it enters into India from Tibet. It was one of the most important spots of the ancient Silk route. It is one of the highest motorable roads in the world. The elevation is around 5669 meters. Nowadays the pass is used for small traders between the locals across the border.

Khardung La Pass

It is the highest motorable pass in the world. It connects with the Siachen Glacier. It is located in Ladakh. It is a part of the Ladakh Range. The border road was built in 1976 and in the past, it was maintained by the border Road Organisation.

In 1988, it was opened for the public. It is a dream for the adventurous people who want bike and Jeep Safari expeditions. The elevation is around 5602 meters. This Pass is equally very important for India as India provides supplies to its armed forces who are located in Siachen Glacier, which is the highest battlefield in the world.

Chang La

Chang La connects Ladakh and Tibet. The elevation is around 5360 meters. It is the second-highest motorable pass in the world. In summer there are melting glaciers on the road. It makes a challenge for the bike riders to pass. It is situated on the route of Pangong Lake which is a very famous tourist spot. Due to the lack of oxygen and the higher elevation, it is not advisable to spend more than 20 minutes on the pass. It may raise certain health issues.

Lipulekh Pass

The Lipulekh pass is on the border between India’s Uttarakhand state and the Tibet region of China. The elevation of the Lipulekh pass is around 5200 meters. It is situated in the tri-junction of India, China, and Nepal. This pass is used by the pilgrims to Kailash and Manasarovar. The pass is the first border post to be opened between India and China in the year 1992.

Pass is open for cross border trade between June and September every year. Since 2014 it is also used as the official border personnel meeting point between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army of China for regular consultation and interaction between the two Armies to improve the relations.

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