Ladakh road trip is all about crossing the various 'la' or the mountain passes. Ladakh got its name from the high altitude mountain passes. “La” means Passes and “Dhak” means many, in short, Ladakh literally means land of many passes. Ladakh is always a favorite place for adventure lovers. Ladakh is a place of many high passes. Passes are the natural doors to the other mountains and peaks. These passes are used since many years before, either for herd’s food or for new places to settle down. After some times, these passes are used for trading. These passes are located so high in the mountain that people built temples on these passes, hang the bells and prayer flags to avoid any type of bad luck.
Some of the passes which you can explore while on the tour are:
Khardungla pass is the highest motorable pass in the Leh Ladakh. This pass is situated at the height of 17,582 feet. This pass is situated in the north of Leh district, which gives a way to the Shyok and Nubra valley. This pass was built in 1976 and is connected to the Siachin Glacier. This pass is one of the most important pass north because it is used to transport the goods in and from the Siachin area.
Chang La is one of the most beautiful passes one comes across during Ladakh Trip. If you are going to the famous Pangong Lake, the road will take you to this scenic high altitude mountain pass Chang La which connects Leh Town and Pangong. This pass is also known as pillar of the sky passes and is situated at the height of 5, 425 meterst. An army canteen at the top is ideal place to refresh and Yak rides are also available on the top.
Zojila pass is situated at the National Highway 1, which provides a way to Sonmarg in Kashmir. This pass is on the height of 11,575 feet. As you drive ahead this pass, you will see the tremendous change in the scenery. As you will leave the green hills of the Kashmir, you will see dry mountains in Drass area. This pass is operational only in summers, as in winter this pass is closed because of heavy snow fall.
Baralachala pass is situated in the Zanskar range where it gives a way to Lahul district of Himachal Pradesh and to Ladakh where it joins with Jammu and Kashmir. This pass is situated at the height of 16,040 feet. The view from this pass will show you only Himalayas as far as your view can go.
Fotula pass is situated in the Zanskar range which connects the Srinagar Leh highway. This pass is situated at the height of 13,478 feet. Just near the Fotula pass, the Lamayuru monastery is situated. If you go to visit Lamayuru monastery, don’t forget to visit this pass and vice versa.
Lachulung La pass is located at the Leh Manali highway, and is near the Sarchu and Pangong lake. This pass is situated at the height of 16,600 feet. This pass is located at so much of height that trekkers and hikers face the short breathlessness while climbing.
Namikala pass is located at the Zanskar range, which connects Srinagar Leh highway. This pass is also known as pillar of the sky passes and is situated at the height of 12,139 feet. This pass is on the way to Mulbek valley, where you can see the Maitreya Buddha’s rock craving and a Gompa.
Taglangla pass is located in the Zanskar range on the Leh Manali highway. This pass is located at the height of 17,582 feet. This pass is the resting point for the herdsmen for fodder. Tanglang La is also the second highest motorable road in the world if the BRO road sign atop the pass is to be believed.