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Why Ladakh Is Known As The Land Of The Passes

Ladakh has always been the dream destination for all. Ladakh has always been a “Mystery land” to some and “Moonland” for some. The stunning valleys, the magnificent mountains and the breathtaking views of the landscape call every traveler to explore. Whether you are on a bike trip with your friends or just spending a solo vacation in the bosom of the mountains, you will come across the singing mountain passes here. I went on my first trip to Ladakh in 2015 with Thrillophilia, you can get more details about different Ladakh trips on their website. As the name says Ladakh where “La” means mountain passes and “ Dakh “ means in many, so it literally means the land of many passes. These passes are natural passage to the snow capped mountains and the incredible peaks. Since ages, these passes have played a major role among the people residing in this region. Slowly people started using this passes for trading. As the passes are high up above in the mountains people started building temples and monasteries to avoid any terrible circumstances. So, today lets know a bit more about these mountain passes which has fascinated the people around the world.

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1) Khardungla Pass

Just like mountains fascinate you likewise this astounding doorway to Shyok and Nubra valley will blow your mind. Also, known as the highest motorable road according to BRO (Border Road Organization0, Khardungla Pass is the most well-known pass in the world. Standing tall at an altitude of 18, 379ft this pass is located 40 km from Leh. It is also called ‘Pass of Lower Castle’. Offering the best picturesque views of the bright mountains and the swinging valleys, this pass has become the favourite pass among the bikers. One can see Tibetan prayer flags flying here which adds more beauty to this region. Khardungla pass is a dream destination for the bikers. Once in a lifetime, they make it a point to visit this land on a bike trip. There is also an army canteen up in the pass where one can stop for a tea and snacks.

Altitude: 18,380ft

2) Taglang La

Standing tall at an altitude of 5328m above sea level in the Zanskar Valley lays another mountain pass, Tanglang La. This pas is the second highest motorable pass in Ladakh after Khardungla Pass. Home to the nomadic Changpa herdsman this pass is adjacent to the Leh- Manali highway; Tanglang La can be reached via 21 Gata loops. Soak in the breathtaking view of the region and admire its scenic landscapes. Feel that adrenaline rush as you take the sharp bend while you drive through the road. One can find various signboards on the road which helps you to know some details about the pass and its altitude.

Altitude: 17,582ft

3) Chang La Pass

If you are planning to visit this Land of Joy there is another pass which is a must visit for you. Famous for its high altitude mountain passes, Chang la is another pass which will make your vacation special. Situated at an altitude of 5,306 ft, Chang La Pass is the third highest motorable pass in the world. This famous pass was named after the Sadhu Changla Baba and a temple was built in his name. The pass is known for its stunning scenic beauty and attracts tourist from around the world. This pass is also the gateway to the Changthang plateau situated in the Himalayas. If you want to try Yak riding then it is the best in Chang La.

Altitude: 17,586ft

5) Baralacha La Pass

While exploring the majestic beauty of Ladakh you will come across another pass which is a must see attraction for you. Located at an altitude of 16,040 ft, there is another mountain pass Baralacha La Pass in the Zanskar range, Jammu and Kashmir. One can find various mountain ranges like Pir Panjal, Zanskar and the Great Himalayas here all meeting at an altitude of 16,000 feet. This is another highest mountain pass in Ladakh and is about around 73 kilometres away from Keylong on Manali - Leh road. If you go a few kilometres then one can find Bara-lacha Pass towards Manali is the Bhaga river. There an also a lot of treks that are which are commence here. Some of them are Suraj Tal trek and Chandra Tal trek.

Altitude: 16,040 ft

6) Zoji La pass

It is said that nature offers you some of the best views which can be cherished for a lifetime. And if you are one of those who is planning to capture some best shots on your lenses then here is your chance. Located at an altitude of 11, 649 ft, Zoji La Pass is another pass which is a must visit for you. This pass is considered as the second highest pass after Fotu La this comes while crossing the Srinagar-Leh National Highway. Soak in the amazing beauty of the region and click some amazing pictures of the mighty Himalaya Mountains. This pass is also said to witness the heaviest snowfall during the winters. Marvel at the sight of the valleys and the breath in the mountain air as you cross the pass.

Altitude: 11,649ft

7) Fotu La Pass

Another mountain pass which has gained a lot of attention among the people around the world is the Fotu La Pass. Situated at an altitude of 4, 108 ft this is another mountain pass which is referred as the highest mountain pass on the highway. Marvel at the incandescent beauty of the region as you slowly ride through the pass. This mountain pass comes in between Leh and Kargil. As you ride towards eastward you will slide down to the town of Lamayuru, one of most beautiful place in Ladakh. This place is also called Moonland. One can also find the Prasar Bharti station which serves the locals residing in Lamayaru.

Altitude: 13,479ft

8) Lachulung La Pass

Separating the valleys of Tsarap Chu Chu and the Tozay, lies this another famous pass, Lachulung La. This is another mountain pass which is famous among the people across the globe. Standing at an altitude of 16,600ft this pass is very close to the Sarchu and Pangong Lake. Feel the thrill as you ride through the road along with your friends while exploring each and every detail of the pass. The mountain air will definitely feel you more relax. For the adventure buffs this will be a double treat as you will be getting a chance of hiking here. Spend some time exploring the beauty of nature and make some of the best memories of a lifetime.

Altitude: 16,616ft

9) Namikala Pass

Another pass which has gained a lot of attention from the tourist around the world is the Namikala pass. Connecting the Srinagar-Leh highway and situated at the Zanskar range lies the famous Namikala pass. Also, known as the piller of the sky passes this pass is located at an altitude of 12,139ft. You will find this pass on your way to the Mulbek valley. Every year a lot of tourists come to visit this pass to witness the renowned rock carvings of Maitreya Buddha as well as a Gompa. One will enter Kargil once they pass this pass, so this is very well known pass among the people in Ladakh. Mostly this land is barren but one can find vast greenery once they past this pass. One can also find a number of the signboard on the way giving some useful information.

Altitude: 12,198ft

10. Marsimek-La Pass

Nestled at an elevation of 18,953 ft, in the Chang-Chemno Range, lies another highest motorable pass in the world, Marsimek-La Pass. This pass is located 20 km away northeast of the north-west tip from the famous Pangong Lake. Marsimek-La Pass is also regarded as the shortest route to the contested Kongka Pass area. The road this pass has disastrous conditioned and only 4 wheeled are allowed with dignified drivers. One can also find a small temple named "Chak Mandir” which has the picture of Lord Shiva. This famous road to Marsimek La was built in 1983 under the supervision of Sonam Paljore. The tracks will challenge you with the sharp loose soil and lots of prickly pebbles and big rocks all around. One has to be very careful as you climb the road. But once you reach there you will be mesmerised by the amazing beauty of this whole place.

Altitude: 18,314 ft

So, this time don't miss a chance to visit this magnificent land and explore the beauty of its dazzling landscapes. Each and every passes and the region gives you a different perspective of the whole region. Make your vacation a special one as you plan a visit to this one of a kind destination this time.

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