Top 10 Mountain Passes in Himalayan Region
Mountain passes are known as saddles, cols, hauses, notches, gaps, bealach or Gaelic. Passes is a path through a mountain range or above a ridge. The length of passes may be small, comprising sharp inclines to the pinnacle of the pass, or basins of extensive length.
There are some significant Mountain Passes are as:
- Nathula Pass:A mountain passes in the Himalayan Mountain Range at an elevation of 4,310 meters above sea level in East Sikkim, India. The word Nathu refers to listening ears and La means pass in Tibetan language. This pass is also known by the name of Natu La, Ntula, Natula or Nathula and it create a part of old Silk Road. Nathu La is connecting Indian state of Sikkim with China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. This pass is one of the three business check posts between India and China along with Lipulech in Uttaranchal and Shipki La in Himachal Pradesh.
- Khardung La Pass: Situated at an elevation of 5,359 meters north of Leh on Ladakh Range. This pass is visited by thousands of biker every year. It is regarded as world’s highest motor-able pass. There are miles of barren landscapes, small settlements, meandering rivers.
- Karakoram Pass: Karakoram means Black Gravel in Turkish language. The Karakoram Pass is situated in a ridge amid two mountains and breadth is 45 meters at at an altitude of 5,540 meters. Karakoram is comparatively easy pass because of the steady climb on both sides and lack of summer snow and ice. This pass is situated between India and China in the Karakoram Range. Karakoram is the highest pass on the ancient caravan route between Leh in Ladakh and Yarkand in the Tarim Basin.
- Zojila Pass: A mountain pass is located at an altitude of 3,528 meters on national highway in middle of Leh in west Himalayan Mountain Ranges and Srinagar. Zojila Pass is second tallest pass following Fotu La pass on the Srinagar-Leh National Highway. Zozila is known as Zoji Pass in English language or only Zojila because of La means pass in various Himalayan languages. The name of pass in North India is Darra.
- Kunzum Pass: Situated at elevation of 4,551 meters on the eastern part of Kunzum Range of Himalaya and connects Kullu & Lahaul valleys with Spiti Valley. Travelers can take extensive views of Bara-Sigri Glacier, world’s second longest glacier. Explore rustic charm of Losar, the first inhabited village in the Spiti Valley situated at a height of 4,085 meters. Must visit a temple located on the top of the pass devoted to Goddess Kunzum.
- Pir Panjal Pass: The Pir Panjal Railway Tunnel or Banihal railway tunnel is an 11.215 km (7 mile) railway tunnel located in Pir Panjal Range of middle Himalayas in Jammu and Kashmir, India, north of Banihal town. This is India’s longest railway tunnel and takes approx ten minutes to cross the tunnel and Asia’s third longest railway tunnel ( Taihang Tunnel in China is longest and Lulianghsan Tunnel in Shanxi, China is second longest).
- Rohtang Pass: A high mountain passes on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas connecting Kullu Valley with the Lahul and Spiti Valleys of Himachal Pradesh, India. Rohtang means pile of corpses.
- Shipki Pass: Referred as Shipki La Pass is a mountain pass situated in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh in India and Autonomous Region of Tibet. The Sutlej River moves into India from Tibet via Shipki pass. This is the third boundary post of India for doing business with China following Nathula pass in Sikkim and Lipulekh pass in Uttarakhand.
- Banihal Pass:Banihal Pass: A pass across the Pir Panjal Range at 2,832 m of elevation. It separates the Kashmir valley from the outer Himalaya and plains to the south. This pass remains covered by heavy snow throughout the year. Banihal means blizzard in Kashmiri language. The road from Jammu to Srinagar traversed Banihal pass until 1956 when Jawahar tunnel was constructed under Banihal pass. The road now passes through the tunnel and the Banihal pass is no longer used for road transport.
- Jelep la Pass: High Mountains pass between India and Tibet in East Sikkim District of Sikkim. It connects Lhasa to India. A famous lake named as Menmecho Lake lies below Jelep La Pass. Jelep-la is Tibetan name which means the lovely level pass, because of easiest and most level of all the passes between Tibet and Sikkim.