“Mountains are calling, and I must go.”
John Muir wrote down the feelings into words which we all feel after getting exhausted in the routine of daily life. We need an escape and what could be better than the cold desert of Indian, Ladakh. Whether it’s the beauty of mountains, thrill, adventure and wanderlust, Ladakh keeps everything at upscale. Every mountain pass in Ladakh comes with new challenges, and every turn is a new victory. There is a common saying about Ladakh “A place where the journey is as beautiful as the destination “.
While driving through the mountains passes in Ladakh, one feels like driving in the clouds. It is no metaphor but the truth as you are actually at an altitude where clouds are, so yes it is officially driving in the clouds.
If you are a traveller who has a dream of riding on the mighty mountain passes of Ladakh, we have a list of the most stunning passes of Ladakh. So, go ahead and take the scenic route!
1. Baralacha La Pass
Remaining at a stature of 16,040 feet at the junction of Zanskar, Himalayas and Pir Panjal ranges. Did you know that Baralacha La is the starting point for numerous treks like Suraj Tal and Chandra Tal trek?
We would recommend you to cross this mountain pass before noon as the slow melts down by then and turns into a water stream making it tough to cross. Although, if the flow is quite high, we would suggest you head back to Jispa if coming from Manali.
2. Khardung La Pass
Famed as one of the highest motorable passes in the world, Khardung La is one of the most famous places to visit in Ladakh. Located at a distance of 40 km from Leh, Khardung La pass resides at an elevation of 18, 380 feet. Moreover, it is the entryway to Shyok and Nubra Valley. Every biker who visit this famous pass has a story to tell of his/her own. Maybe when you visit you make one for you too?
3. Chang La Pass
Visiting Ladakh? Visiting Pangong Tso Lake? This is not a question to ask. No Ladakh trip is complete without visiting this magical yet serene saltwater lake. To reach Pangong, you have to cross the Chang La Pass which is named after the saint Changla Baba.
This pass isn’t just the pathway for the lake, but it also acts as the gateway for Changthang plateau. If Yak riding excites you, Chang La pass is the place to do so. What is its altitude? Well, it stands at a summit of 17,586 feet. One visit to this pass and you’ll be doomed by its beauty.
4. Zoji La Pass
Situated on the national highway 1D at an altitude of 11, 649 feet, Zoji La pass connects Leh with Srinagar. Termed as one of the most dangerous passes in the world, Zoji La tests the limits of the travellers. But in the meantime, it pampers you with exemplary beauty of the place all around.
5. Pensi La Pass
This mountain pass in Ladakh is known as the gateway to Zanskar and connects the Suru Valley to the Zanskar Valley. You’ll find this pass at the beginning of Ladakh on the Srinagar route. Pensi La Pass is located at an altitude of 14,436 feet featuring the striking gorgeous views that will bewitch your mind with its enticing beauty.
If you wish to explore the lakes around Pensi La Pass, there is a lovely glacier at the range and there is monastery sets in the outskirts of Pensi La Pass - Rangdhum Monastery, which is around 25 km from Pensi La Pass. This mountain pass is located very close to the Kargil.