At an altitude of 18,379 ft, Khardung La is considered to be the world’s highest motorable road. It is gateway to Shyok and Nubra valleys in Ladakh. Situated in Ladakh, the high mountain pass is in the Karakoram Range. Khardung La (La means pass) is at a distance of about 40 km from Leh city. This is the favorite destination among motorcyclists.
The pass offers mind blowing views of the valley and the roads winding up the mountain. The pristine air, scenic vistas and the feeling of being on top of the world have made Khardung La a popular tourist attraction. It figures high as a must visit for every tourist visiting Leh. At khardungla you can experience snow even in the June month which is the warmest month in India.
Traffic on the road to Khardung La is regulated to ensure smooth flow of vehicles. Vehicles from Leh towards Khardung La are allowed only from nine in the morning to one in the afternoon while traffic from Khardung La towards Leh is allowed to travel via the pass from one in the afternoon to five in the evening.
The road from Leh to Khardung La is asphalted for about 24 km till the South Pullu check post but from there the road is made up of gravel and dirt track till the North Pullu check point. Tourists require the Inner Line Permit (ILP) to cross the pass which can be obtained from the District Commissioner’s office in Leh. Make sure to keep as many as six photocopies of your permit as every check point needs a copy of your permit before letting your through.
The weather is highly unstable and can change surprisingly fast leaving you stranded for hours or even days so you need to come prepared for the worst when planning to visit Khardung La.
Food at Khardungla
Staying at so high pass more then 15 minutes is not allowed. Oxygen level is very low at this altitude, so just take few photo here and descend as early as possible. You will only find the Indian army persons at the pass because they are well acclimatized to these conditions. So there is nothing to eat at the khardungla. Nearest eating point is the northpullu or southpullu or the khardung village.