Khardung La being one of the most popular destinations in Leh and the gateway to Nubra and Siachen glacier, one might encounter a lot of traffic and army convoys on the way and it is best to start off the journey early in the day to avoid as much traffic as you possibly can. The drive to Khardung La can get very bumpy as the weather and landslides that frequently happen here doesnt augor too well for well maintained roads! Having said that the drive to the summit of Khardung La is relatively easy compared to a few other rides in Leh. Road beyond South Pallu is in bad condition & gain in altitude is substantial and the elation of reaching the Khardurng la top is mind numbing!
Mountain Passes in Leh Ladakh
Leh is the land of valleys and mountain passes offering breathtaking views and panorama to remember for a lifetime! There are many passes on the way to Leh and in Leh. The most famous amongst the mountain passes in Ladakh is the Khardung La pass which is the gateway to Shyok and Nubra valley.
The Chang La pass on the way to the premiere destination in Leh; Pangong Tso, is famous for the free tea served by the Indian Army!
The Marsimek-La pass built by ITBP at 18634 ft also makes unsubstantiated claims of being the highest motorable pass in the world! Marsimek-La is on the northern-most tip of the Plateau 35 kms from Pangong Tso.
Located about 75 kms from Keylong, Baralacha La at an altitude of 16,040 feet across the Bhaga river is the start point of several treks in Leh Ladakh region which include the famous Suraj Tal trek and Chandra Tal trek. It is always advisable to cross Baralacha La pass before noon. The melting of snow on the higher altitudes of this pass makes it difficult to cross it as the day advances.
Tanglang La Pass
Tanglang La on the Manali - Leh highway at an altitude of 17582 ft is the highest point on the highway. Tanglang la is like the gateway to Leh on the Manali - Leh route. Gata Loops and Tanglang La are the highlights of the Manali - Leh highway. Like most of the mountain passes in Leh on Tanglang la also there is a small temple and a marker stone whith the altitude of the pass mentioned on it!
Chang La Pass
The gateway to Changthang, Chang La at 17,590 ft is the third highest motorable pass. At the pass there is a shrine dedicated to Chang La baba after who the pass is also named. Tangste is the nearest settlement. Indian army serves tea here free of cost to tourists visiting Chang La pass!
Zogi La Pass
Zoji la Pass is one of the highest mountain passes on Srinagar - Ladakh highway about 100 km from Srinagar ahead of Sonmarg. Zoji la pass remains closed to traffic for nearly six months in a year due to heavy snowfall in winter. (Opens by April end)