In your travels around Leh Ladakh, you will come across fascinating sights which arouse your curiosity to no end. One such sight awaits you in the form of Magnetic Hill in Ladakh, the place where gravity takes a backseat. Lying at a distance of around 30km from the town of Leh, the Magnetic Hill is marked by a yellow signboard which reads “The Phenomenon That Defies Gravity”. It also instructs you to park your vehicles in the box marked with a white point on the road, which is known as the Magnetic Road. When parked at the indicated spot, vehicles begin moving forward at a speed of almost 20km/h.
Magnetic Hill lies on the Leh-Kargil-Baltic National Highway in the Trans-Himalayan region. To the east of the Magnetic Hill flows the Sindhu River, making the surroundings a photographer’s delight.
There are various theories regarding the unique phenomenon of Magnetic Hill, each of which seeks to explain its gravity-defying phenomenon in one way or the other. Let us have a look at some of these popular theories surrounding Magnetic Hill.
The magnetic force theory: The magnetic force theory is also the most widely accepted theory and finds an acceptance among the people. According to this theory, the hill emits a great amount of magnetic energy, thereby pulling vehicles that are within its range towards it. In fact, it’s not just Indians who have had this unusual experience. Travelers from all around the world have testified to having felt an invisible pull from the hill.
This theory stands in complete contradiction to the magnetic force theory. According to this theory, the hill does not possess any kind of magnetic force. On the contrary, it explains the gravity-defying phenomenon as an “optical illusion” which causes the downslope leading to the Magnetic Hill to appear like an upslope. This make any vehicle which goes downhill make it appear as if it were going uphill.
Apart from these two theories, there is a belief among the local people residing in the villages in this region that at this very spot once existed a road which led straight to heaven. Those who deserved going to heaven were pulled to the path while those who didn’t were not.
This gravity-phenomenon can be experienced at the Magnetic Road in Ladakh. At a certain point on the Magnetic Road, a few meters away from magnetic Hill, stands a yellow box where you must park your car in neutral gear. Gradually, you will notice your car moving forward at a speed of around 20km/h without any effort on your part.
Once here, you may also want to try out quad biking. It’s quite a thrill siting on this huge bike which places you quite above the ground.
Magnetic Hill lies at a distance of around 30km from Leh. One can reach this place by hiring private taxis from Leh, a drive which should take you around 38 minutes.
After you have had your share of fun and enjoyment at Magnetic Hill, you might want to check out a few other places which lie in close proximity to this place. One of them is the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar Rivers. The waters of these two rivers meet each other in a place called the Nimmu Valley. It is a magnificent sight to watch.
The other attraction is the Pathar Sahib Gurudwara. Located at a height of almost 12,000ft, the gurudwara is associated with a fascinating legend and visited by Sikhs as well as Tibetan Buddhists who consider Guru Nanak to be Buddhist saint under the name of Guru Gompka Maharaj.