Top Ten Highest Motorable Roads in India – Details Inside!
Connect with us


Top Ten Highest Motorable Roads of India – Details Inside!



Find out the highest motorable roads in India! Know the details of these highest motorable passes located in India along with their altitude from sea level.

For adventure lovers, the high of riding or driving on some of the highest motorable roads is second to none. It’s a matter of pride for Indians to know that a majority of the world’s highest motorable roads are constructed in India, all of which are constructed and taken care of Borders Road Organization, a part of the Indian Army.

Following are the ten highest motorable roads present in India. All these passes are constructed in the Himalayan region, with nine of them present in Ladakh.

1. Umling La – 19,300 ft

Umling La highest motorable road in India

Currently the highest motorable road of India, the Umling La was under construction since 2017 in the Eastern part of Ladakh close to the Indo-China border. Fully operational from August 2021, this road connects two small towns of Chisumle and Demchok in the Chumar sector of Eastern Ladakh. Constructed at a height of 19,300 ft, the 52 km long Umling La has surpassed Bolivia’s record of 18,953 ft to become the world’s highest motorable road. It is even higher than the base camps of Mt Everest. The road is currently closed for civilian usage.

ALSO READ: Best Bikes for Road Trips and Long Distance Rides in India

2. Dungri La – 18,406 ft

Dungri La

Popularly known as Mana Pass, the Dungri La is situated within the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, which is located 47 km from the town of Mana and 52 km from the town of Badrinath in Uttarakhand. In ancient times, the Dungri La was used as a trade route between Uttarakhand and Tibet. The Dungri La is officially used by pilgrims and indigenous travellers to travel between India and Tibet (part acquired by China), as per an agreement between China and India dating back to 1954.

3. Marsimik La – 18,314 ft

Marsimik La highest pass in India

Also called Lankar La, the Marsimik La is a high mountain pass constructed in the Chang Chenmo Range of Eastern Ladakh. It is located 20 km northeast of Lukung, which happens to be the northwest tip of the Pangong Lake in Ladakh. The road is usually clear of accumulated snow during the summers and early autumn despite its high altitude. The Marsimik La is in between the shortest route between Lukung and Kongka pass and runs at just 45 km away from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China.

4. Photi La – 18,124 ft

Photi La Pass highest motorable roads in India

Present in the South-Eastern part of the Ladakh region, the Photi La is not a properly constructed road with plush tarmac. This dusty road starts from the Hanle region in Ladakh and is around 30 km long. The very steep climb for the last 5 kilometres, dusty surface, lack of oxygen and proximity to LAC makes it one tough pass to conquer. The road is currently not allowed for the regular civilians to travel on, and if you still intend to ride/drive on this road, be prepared to be prosecuted by the Indian Army.

5. Dongkha La – 18,156.2 ft

Dongkha La highest motorable pass in India

Also known as Donkia Pass, this is the first high motorable road which is located outside Jammu and Kashmir or Ladakh region. Present in North Sikkim, this high mountain pass within the Himalayan range connects the state of Sikkim with Tibet. This high motorable road offers a spectacular view of the Tibetan Plateau and is nearby to the Tso Lhamo lake which is the source of Teesta river. The first person to cross this road was Joseph Dalton Kooker, who crossed this road in 1849.

6. Kaksang La – 17,841 ft

Kaksang La highest motorable road in India

This high mountain pass is located in the Leh district of Ladakh region and connects the remote villages of Mahe to Nama, Chushul and Pangong Tso. While this road is open for motorists with regular ILP required, this 67.5 km long road itself is a treacherous one with extreme climatic hindrances like lack of oxygen, avalanches and heavy snowfall. This road usually remains isolated but offers a couple of scenic views with lakes like Yaye Tso and Mirpal Tso coming in its entire stretch.

7. Chang La – 17,688 ft

Chang La highest motorable pass

The Chang La is situated in the middle of the road which connects the town of Leh to Shyok river valley and Pangong Tso. One of the most prominent stops for tourists who travel from Leh to Pangong Tso, the Chang La welcomes one with steep climbs, water streams and dirt and slush filled patches. These challenges do make the road a very desirable one to ride on for motoring enthusiasts. However, due to its high altitude, it is not advisable to stay at Chang La for more than 20-25 minutes.

8. Khardung La – 17,583 ft

Khardung La highest motorable pass India

This might come as a surprise to many people reading this list, for the fact that Khardung La is recognized by many as the highest motorable road in the world. However, the fact is that it is 3 ft lower than even the Chang La. The road was opened in 1988 and is one of the major tourist attractions in the Ladakh region. Around 39 km away from Leh, Khardung La connects the two of Leh to Shyok and Nubra valleys and is majorly used by the Indian Army to carry supplies to Siachen Glacier, which lies partway up the Nubra valley.

9. Taglang La – 17,480 ft

Taglang La highest motorable roads in India

Much like the Khardung La, the Taglang La also holds a misconception of being the second highest motorable road in the world. However, the fact is, it is the 12th highest in the world. Located in the Ladakh region, Taglang La is considered as one of the major stops in between the road from the town of Leh to Manali. This is one of the most well-paved high motorable passes in the region of Ladakh, with good sceneries and small streams making the overall driving experience quite adventurous.

10. Wari La – 17,428 ft

Wari La highest motorable roads in India pass

The last one to top in the list of ten highest motorable roads of India, Wari La too is located in the Ladakh region, specifically in the Nubra Valley. The pass connects the villages of Tangyar and Sakti, which come in between the highway stretched between the town of Leh and Nubra Valley. This unpaved road has steep trails and sections, which becomes really hard to ride on during winters.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *