If you are into traveling and especially traveling to mountains, then you must have heard of terms like Highest Lakes in the world, Highest Motorable Mountain Passes in the world, Highest Motorable Roads in the world, etc. Some of us must have dreamed of scaling the world’s highest roads or lakes or mountain passes one day or the other after seeing others doing it or in the wake of our self-belief 🙂 🙂 …


If I drill down further into the niche of travel regions then those who travel within the Himalayas or in India must also have come across one very popular spot in Ladakh claimed to be “The Highest Motorable Pass in the World which is called Khardung La” and is about 40 odd km from Leh in Ladakh region…

Top 13 Highest Motorable Passes or Roads in the World
Top 13 Highest Motorable Passes or Roads in the World

Download your FREE high-resolution version pdf copy of this Highest Motorable Roads or Mountains Passes infographic guide. If, you liked it and found it helpful, please feel free to share it with your family and friends to help them too.

The Myth – Isn’t Khardung La Highest?

Many of us must have seen 1000s of pictures over various websites, and social media platforms with enthusiast travelers like us, including me, posing with the signboard of Khardung La Pass in Ladakh. We all have a great sense of achievement in our life being on the so-called “The Highest Motorable Pass in the world” 🙂 🙂 …

Well, frankly speaking, it isn’t a child’s play to travel approximately 18000 feet from sea level and feel the top of the world. The thin air gives nightmarish situations if things get stuck at that altitude. However, for those of us who have scaled over Khardung La Pass and felt that we were on top of the world, I would like to pause here. I will break your heart a bit by wiping away the myths about the altitude of Khardung La Pass. Its title is falsely claimed to be the Highest Motorable Pass in the world.

Pro Tip: If you are planning to do a self drive to Ladakh, then make sure are aware about the must have things to carry on a self drive trip to Ladakh

On top of Khardung La while traveling to Diskit
On top of Khardung La while traveling to Diskit

Motorable Road or Motorable Pass – Let’s Define

Before going into the details of the world’s highest motorable passes or roads, we must first understand or settle on the meaning of “motorable pass or motorable road”. As defined in one of the articles linked below in the reference section, we define “motorable road or pass” as a pass or a road on which:

  1. Any average experienced driver can drive or ride any car or bike like a hatchback, SUV, sedan, low-powered bike, high-power bike, etc. OR;
  2. Any average experienced driver can drive or ride an equipped motor vehicle such as only a 4×4 SUV, an ATB, or a hefty power bike, etc. OR;
  3. Any greatly expert driver can drive an equipped motor vehicle such as only a 4×4 SUV, or an ATB, etc..;
  4. Only army movement is allowed and is closed for civilians but still considered a motorable pass or where anyone, at least a local native of that place can drive or ride over it with prior permits or permissions…
  5. Whether the road is metalled or tarred or is it an unpaved road or dirt track with rocks on it but in drivable conditions at least for High GC vehicles or bikes or the road is abandoned but once built.

So, you can see that the fact about being the highest motorable road in the world or the highest motorable pass in the world will depend upon, how we define the motorable term.

How do we define it?

Hence, for the sake of brevity of this article, let’s assume we define a motorable pass or motorable road:

As a road or pass where an average skilled local citizen / civilian driver or rider, with permits from army if required, can take an SUV car having high ground clearance (4×2 or 4×4) or an average powered motorbike irrespective of the fact whether the road is metalled / tarred or unpaved / dirt track as long as such a vehicle can be driven and maintain decent connectivity.

Also, to add to the myths, the data shown or written at most of these high mountain passes signboards or hoardings is not in compliance with the modern age technology GPS Devices or SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission). This observation is based on many reports over the Internet whose authenticity I even don’t know or can comment upon.

Many people who have driven over these roads or passes with modern-age GPS systems have also found discrepancies. If you are interested you can read more details of SRTM on Wikipedia.

Lachung La Pass
Lachung La Pass

Top 13 Highest Motorable Passes or Roads in the world

Now, going by the above definition, let’s brief ourselves with the Top 13 Highest Motorable Passes in the world or Roads in the world whose altitude data points are measured in compliance with SRTM or with modern age GPS systems based on the reports present over the Internet. Some of them I have linked in the references outlined below in the article.

1. Umling La or Umlingla Pass – 5,799 Mtrs or 19,024 Feet

In 2017, BRO built and opened the world’s highest road over Umlingla Pass or Umling La connecting Chisumle and Demchok villages. Umling La Pass is about 105 km from Hanle Village and about 235 km from Leh. Earlier, civilians were not allowed to travel to Umling La pass.

So everyone had to wait until 2021 when the army and administration started issuing the permits for Umling La or now as of 2023, no permits are required to visit Umling La pass. You just need to pay the Ladakh environment fee.

The route you can take is Hanle to Photi La Pass to Photile Village (57 km). Then follow the route from Photile Village to Umlinga La Pass for about 50 km at an altitude of 19024 feet. You will come across two bridges/ water crossings while going to Umlingla Pass from Photile Village. There is another route from Ukdungle village as well, but it is more of a dirt track only a few kilometers. If you are planning a trip to Umling La Pass, then you must read my comprehensive travel guide to the Umling Pass trip.

Umling La Pass in 2023
Umling La Pass in 2023
Umling La Pass Travel Guide 2024 | 5 Routes to Reach Map | Road Conditions, Permits

2. Road to Uturuncu – 5,777 Mtrs or 18,953 Feet

The road to Uturuncu above col is situated in Potosi, Bolivia which used to be considered as the world’s highest motorable road at a staggering altitude of 5,777 Mtrs or 18953 feet until India opened up Umlingla.

This route has attracted many cyclists all over the world and is the highest cyclable road in the world for sure. The road was built to service a sulfur mine. However, if you live in India and have been to the high villages of Ladakh and Spiti, then by looking at the pictures of roads to Uturuncu, you can judge that such roads are driven mostly by many local natives as well as tourists who are experienced drivers in such terrains of trans-Himalayas.

You can read more on Utruncu at the wiki link. Also, on this blog on the Andes, highlights that a landslide blocked the road for motor vehicles at 5,550 Mtrs a few years back. But, one of the articles I read, states that the road (up to the year 2013 at least) was motorable from Quetena to the col between Uturuncu’s two summits at 5,760m.

3. A Road uphill Mana Pass or Dungri La – 5,610 Mtrs or 18,406 Feet

Mana Pass or Dungri La is situated at the border between Tibet and India in the state of Uttarakhand. Civilians, though native to India, with prior permits from the army can travel up there to reach India’s second-highest Motorable road and third-highest motorable road in the world.

Mana Pass or Dungri La, in itself, is at an altitude of 5,545 Mtrs or 18,192 Feet which is less than the altitude of Marsimik La (number 4 below). However, as per the Mana pass wiki link  “The well-graded gravel-dirt road is higher on the Indian side than the new road on the Tibetan side, and rises to 5,610 Mtrs (18,406 feet) on the Indian side of the border, 250 Mtrs west of the low point of the 5,545 meters (18,192 ft) Mana Pass“. Hence, it can be considered India’s second-highest motorable road and the world’s third-highest motorable road after the road to Uturuncu based on the above assumption that it is still open.

Road to Mana Pass or Dungri La - Top 13 Highest Motorable Passes or Roads in the world
A DoW-ed Bull (bike) at Mana Village of our devil Jiwesh Mishra who shared this picture

4. Marsimek La or Marsimik La – 5,582 Mtrs or 18,313 Feet

Marsimek La or Marsimik La is situated in Ladakh, India where civilians, though native to India, with prior permits from the army can travel and scale this daunting pass at an altitude of 5,582 Mtrs. Getting a permit to Marsimik La is a little easier in comparison to getting a permit to the highest road Umling La or Mana Pass or Dungri La road.

The road to Marsimik La bifurcates through Pobrang on the way to Pangong Tso Lake and is about 20 km from there at a steep climb. People have scaled Marsimik La in their ordinary SUVs (4×2) or average-powered bikes in the past. The altitude mentioned here is, according to SRTM. But you may find different sources of altitude for this pass in various articles over the Internet. Also in its signboard image, I shared below.

Hence, you can say that Marsimek La or Marsimik La is the second-highest motorable mountain pass in the world because the other two in the list above are the high altitude roads, not passes (assuming that the road to Uturuncu mentioned above is not a pass).

Marsimek La or Marsimik La - Top 13 Highest Motorable Passes or Roads in the world
Marsimek La or Marsimik La Pass. Photo Credit: Mandeep

5. Semo La – 5,565 Mtrs or 18,258 Feet

Semo La is situated in the central part of Tibet and boasts an altitude of 5,565 Mtrs or 18,258 Feet. According to the wiki link of Semo La, “Travellers use this route as an alternative access route to western Tibet and Mount Kailash, especially when mud makes access by the more southern route difficult“. Before the opening of Umling La, Marsimik La, and the road to Mana Pass or Dungri La, Semo La was used to be quoted as the world’s highest motorable road to clear the myths that always surrounded Khardung La Pass 🙂

6. Photi La – 5,524 Mtrs or 18,124 Feet

The latest unknown entry into the world’s highest motorable passes or roads is Photi La pass which is situated in India – Ladakh region at an altitude of 5,524 Mtrs or 18,124 Feet. Photi La is about 40 odd km from an amazingly beautiful place on this earth called Hanle which is present in the Changthang region of Ladakh further away from Tso Moriri Lake.

Photi La Pass in 2023
Photi La Pass in 2023
Photila Pass in 2023

Pro Tip: If you are looking forward to traveling to Ladakh from Srinagar Leh Highway, then do check our guide on planning a trip to Srinagar Leh Highway

7. Dongkha La or Donkia La Pass – 5,486 Mtrs or 17,999 Feet

On number seven, we have Dongkha La or Donkia Pass situated at an altitude of 5,486 Mtrs or 17,999 Feet connecting Sikkim in India with Tibet. This pass is located in North Sikkim having Tso Lhamo Lake or Cholamu Lake (14th Highest lake in the world) very near to it.

Tso Lhamo Lake or Cholamu Lake is considered one of the origins of the Teesta River along with glacial lakes Khangchung and Gurudongmar Lake. It lies about 10-12 km (if I am not wrong) away from the Dongkha La or Donkia La Pass. The Indian Army controls the pass. You need to get special permits to visit this mountain pass. Similar to the Mana Pass permit, it is hard to get the permits. It is all due to the proximity of this pass with the Tibet border. Also, the roads are not the best in shape towards this pass, so a High GC vehicle, preferably a 4×4 is required to drive up there with good driving skills.

8. Kaksang La – 5,438 Mtrs or 17,841 Feet

Next, in the list, we have another least known surprise entry by the name “Kaksang La” pass which is situated in the Changthang region of Ladakh at an altitude of 5,438 Mtrs or 17,841 Feet. It comes on the route from Mahe to Nama – Chusul – Pangong Tso when going over Hora La Pass which comes first as you start ascending from Mahe ahead of Chumathang near Tso Moriri.

On this route from Mahe to Nama – Chusul – Pangong Tso, there are two amazingly beautiful lakes by the names of Yaye Tso and Mirpal Tso as well which will take your soul away by their first sight itself. Again, earlier you needed an Inner Line Permit in Ladakh to visit the region of Nama-Chusul. But as of 2023, there are no permits needed for domestic tourists to visit these routes in Ladakh. You just need to pay the environment fee.

9. Suge La – 5,430 Mtrs or 17,815 Feet

Suge La is situated at an altitude of 5,430 Mtrs or 17,815 Feet present in Tibet about 110 km northwest of Lhasa. The road to the top is in decent condition, and after reaching the top, you get an amazing view of Chomo Gangtse mountain which boasts an altitude of 7,048 Mtrs.

10. Chang La – 5,360 Mtrs or 17,586 Feet

Surprise, surprise, surprise !! 🙂 🙂 … Well, yeah, those of you who have been to Ladakh will be surprised to know that the Changla pass is higher than Khardung La too as per the readings in compliance with SRTM or with modern-age GPS systems. Chang La is quite a beautifully located pass on the way to majestic Pangong Tso Lake in Ladakh, India. It is visited by thousands of tourists every year as soon as the season in May – June starts after the opening of the Manali – Leh Highway or Srinagar – Leh Highway.

Since Leh has connectivity through the air as well, nowadays loads of tourists have also started visiting frozen Pangong Tso over snow-buried Chang La pass in winter too. Do not miss a black tea or tomato soup up there at the Canteen.

Chang La - Top 13 Highest Motorable Passes or Roads in the world
Chang La Pass

11. Khardung La – 5,359 Mtrs or 17,582 Feet

Number eleven on the list is the falsely claimed highest motorable pass in the world named Khardung La pass, situated in Ladakh, India at an altitude of 5,359 Mtrs or 17,582 Feet. I am thankful for the stars that at least it made it in the Top 13 on this list after having so much hype around 😉 😀 😆 …

Thousands of tourists travel every year to this mountain pass, and I assume that it may be one of the most clicked passes in the world for sure with maybe thousands of photographs produced every year by tourists over the Internet who visit Ladakh. Almost, everyone who visits Ladakh does visit Khardung La pass and gets a picture clicked up there with its signboard, see mine too in the article’s first picture ;)…

Almost all kinds of bikes or cars have traveled up there as the ascend to it is not that treacherous as compared to some other even less altitude passes. Do not miss a black tea or tomato soup up there at the Canteen similar to Chang La. You can also get some souvenirs from the world’s highest motorable road from the shop up there at Khardung La 🙂 🙂

Khardung La Pass – Where Snow Galore
Khardung La Pass – Where Snow Galore

12. Taglang La or Tanglang La – 5,328 Mtrs or 17,480 Feet

The second last on the list is Taglang La or Tanglang La pass at an altitude of 5,328 Mtrs or 17,480 Feet which is located in Ladakh, India. It comes on one of the most beautiful & adventurous roads in the world that is Manali – Leh Highway. It is one of my favorite passes in Ladakh.

Like Khardung La, Taglang La is also incorrectly claimed to be the second-highest motorable pass in the world followed by Chang La pass. However, now you are aware of what exactly the order of Chang La, Khardung La, and Taglang La 🙂 🙂

Taglang La or Tanglang La - Top 13 Highest Motorable Passes or Roads in the world
Taglang La or Tanglang La Pass

13. Wari La – 5,312 Mtrs or 17,428 Feet

Last on the list is a desolated pass situated in Ladakh, India which is connecting the direct route from Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso and falls under Nubra Valley at an altitude of 5,312 Mtrs or 17,428 Feet. The climb to Wari La is so desolate that one can feel completely disconnected or lost from the civilized world, especially when traversing the route from Agham village to Sakti village at the base of Chang La pass. Not even a single human soul to spot in miles. It is one of my favorite passes that I have ever been.

Wari La Pass - Top 13 Highest Motorable Passes or Roads in the world
Wari La Pass

Shipki La Pass in Himachal – 4,268 Mtrs or 14,000 Feet

Shipki La Pass is situated at the border between Tibet and India in the state of Himachal. Civilians are not allowed to travel up to Shipki La, and getting a permit from the army to travel to it is extremely difficult. The wiki does not have the correct altitude noted for this pass. DB has mentioned in the comments section below that they consistently measured Shipki La pass to be around 14000 feet odd only. His comments prove my apprehensions were correct 🙂 …

So, it seems that Internet references require a lot of corrections. Even, the ElevationMap website proves that too. So, taking it out of the list and keeping it as originally posted. By the way, I have been as close as Namgia village to Shipki La pass. It never felt like it was the world’s highest road until was surprised to see the data posted over the Internet 🙂


There may be many higher motorable roads or passes built up in China / Tibet / Andes like Ojos del Salado (6,646 Mtrs), Aucanquilcha (6,176 Mtrs), road to Luo La (5,593 Mtrs), Bodpo La (5,767 Mtrs), Jang Rang La (5761 Mtrs), etc.. all mentioned in the articles present in the reference links below.

But whether or not they were still motorable roads in the recent past is still not clear because most of them are either abandoned or not allowed for travel. Hence, as per the definition we settled on in the article above, I am just enlisting them here for some remaining unknown or unclear myths/facts even on the above list too 🙂 🙂 …

So, next time you think or say to anyone that you have been to Khardung La, which is the highest motorable pass in the world, then you know how many more passes or roads are still left for you to scale before feeling you have been to the top in the world by a motor vehicle 😉 😉 …

Now, you know where you need to drive ride, or pedal to reach the top of the world, so feel free to share this valuable information with all the travel freaks you admire or know. In the end, all I will say is that there is this travel bucket list for you that I have shared above, so start planning a trip to them at least those of which are in our Indian Himalayas in case you don’t feel like going abroad 😀 😀

Again, download your FREE high-resolution version pdf copy of this Highest Motorable Roads or Mountains Passes infographic guide. If, you liked it and found it helpful, please feel free to share it with your family and friends to help them too.

References Articles

Special thanks to the people/authors/sources mentioned in the below reference articles which have written about the highest motorable roads. Some of them collated data from various reports on the Internet and some cycled with their latest GPS devices and shared those readings all over the Internet in these articles.


I am Dheeraj Sharma - a traveler, techie, and Himalayan lover. Since 2009, I have been helping thousands of travelers every year plan memorable & budget-friendly trips to the Himalayas - Smartly, Safely, and responsibly.


  1. Comments section gets closed in 90 days. To ask your travel questions, you can follow my YouTube Channel for a faster reply or for a much slower reply follow me on Instagram. :)

  2. Though Indian army has built up to 9300′ but riders of BRC Pune including a lady biker achieved and reached up to 18953′ where the board of 24BN ITBP is there. Shruti Singh is name of the Lady biker who recently completed her US 66 route solo ride. See her Instagram GIRL.ON.HIMALAYAN. I could have post her photo but you can get from BRC Pune.

    • Umling La pass is open but right now should be closed of snow. You can go to Hanle with a permit and then travel to Umling La from there. The detailed travel guide is linked in the article above.

  3. Hi there Dheeraj,

    As a foreigner, what’s the highest motorable road I’ll be able to travel to on a motorcycle in the Ladakh region, without special permission from the Army : Chang La or Marsimek La?

    Thx heaps

  4. One of the best and unbiased information i must say.
    It was like a whole new knowledge for me after reading this…..
    Congratulation Mr.Deepak and thankyou.

      • Seems like the incorrect readings of Shipki La’s height is corrected in Wikipedia. Now Shipki La’s height is shown as 4,750 m (15,584 ft) in WikiPedia. However if we search in Google as “Shipki La, Wiki” it still shows that 18999ft height 🙂 . Now its clear that Shipki La isn’t highest motorable road 🙂

      • Sunil Dhir on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        On my recently completed trip to Leh, I crossed couple of high mountain passes on my way, but there was no signboard of signify there names, One was from sumdo to karzok (tso moriri) and there was another one from Karzok ( Tso Moriri) to Tso Kar. Both of them were more than 5000 mtr, but I could not find out there names. Hope you can help me with them.

        • Hi Sunil

          They are Namashang La at an altitude of about 5300 Mtrs just before Kiagar Tso lake after crossing Sumdo and the other Polakongka La Pass pass at an altitude of 4966 Mtrs

        • Sunil Dhir on

          Oh great…thanks..just makes a lot more fun knowing what you have done……driving through that terrain was fun…it was snowing that morning when we crossed it….some memorable clicks…

        • Sunil Dhir on

          Also, I know the tittle talks about the highest passes, but somehow I still want to mention Zoji la. I did cross a few passes on my trip, Khardungla, Chang La, Barlacha La, Tanglang La apart from the two you helped me with, but somehow Zoji has still captured my mindset the most. The high adrenaline access road and the beautiful scenery awaiting you once you reach the top…I don’t know but that was unbelievable in every sense.
          Again I know it might be out of context on this page, but just wanted to mention it….

        • I completely agree with you Sunil, Zojila is one hell of a pass !! In fact, I have always loved Taglang La among all other passes I have been to so far.

  5. Maninder Gahlaut on

    Thanks.. Great feedback.. Now planning to to go to Bolivia to scale the highest motorable road..

  6. Hi Dheeraj,

    I’d like to congratulate you on your unbiased, informative and well-researched post.

    However, I was at Shipki-La in 2015, and had the privilege of visiting the border itself (beyond which was no-man’s land, and then Tibet/China), accompanied by the Indian Army. We measured the altitude on multiple smartphones and a GPS watch, and it was consistently under 14,000 feet (I don’t remember the exact figure).

    I know a smartphone isn’t the last thing in terms of GPS accuracy, but the rest of the measurements we took (at Rohtang, Kunzum, Chandertal etc.) were reasonably close to the claimed figures (within a hundred feet).

    That said, the pass itself is glorious, and the army bunkers at the end of the road overlook a gorgeous range of mountains, most of which are in Chinese territory. Absolutely stunning.

    Best regards,

    PS – If you search for Shipki La on http://elevationmap.net/ and then zoom out and follow the road till the border, the elevation contours suggest around 4100m.

    Exact location of Shipki-La (end of road) 31.826906471658255 N, 78.72334957122803 E

    • Thank you, DB for the suggestions. This proves my doubt too. I could not believe it as well and your findings prove my apprehensions were correct. It never looked like that much when I tried to go up though we returned after few KMs of Namgia Village. Wish one day will visit the region.

      I will make the necessary amendment and link it back. I no longer need to update the picture now 😉

      • New Highest Motorable Road : Umilng la ( 19,000ft ) . Just watched its video in YouTube ( By Xtreme Moto Adventures ) . Umling La is in Ladakh between Chisumle and Demchok near Hanle

        • Thanks for the reminder, I need to update the blog post with it just got off my mind :).

          Umling La pass is about 105 KMs from Hanle Village. If you have a permit to visit Hanle, then there is no extra permit required and if you are coming from Koyul side then you need to have a permit for passing Koyul as well. Refer DoW Maps for Hanle and Koyul routes: DoW – Maps of Ladakh | Nubra Valley & Changthang

          The route you can take is Hanle to Photi La Pass to Photile Village (57 KMs) and then follow the route from Photile Village to Umlinga La pass for about 50 KMs at an altitude of 19300 feet. You will come across two bridges/ water crossings while going to Umlingla Pass from Photile Village. There is another route from Ukdungle village as well but it is more of a dirt track only all the way except few KMs.

        • The article has been updated with Umling La. I will write a detailed post with GPS coordinates of Umling La and how to reach Umling La in coming days. Thanks for reminders !!

  7. Deborah Azzopardi on

    Hi thanks for this article…I’ve seen many videos of what is claimed to be the highest motorable road (Khardung La – Manali to Leh) in the world and I think that apart from thinking they are reaching such a target, most people take this trip because of the beautiful scenery. If you had to choose, which of the above roads would you consider offering the best experience in terms of the scenery, experience of riding etc?

    My boyfriend and I will be travelling on our own adventure bike later on this year and were thinking of doing this. We will get to India mid September. Do you think we will be risking finding this road closed? Do you recommend we choose another route?

    • Hello Deborah,

      I will still suggest the roads in Ladakh are much beautiful than the actual destination and hence, will not shy away from the trip to Khardung La and Chang la if I have never been to these places. September is a very good time to visit Ladakh and you should be able to enjoy the journey with less tourists around you and vibrant colors of nature in Ladakh. There isn’t any risk of finding road closed in September.

  8. Ted Spirakis on

    Great article but unfortunately it just shredded the truth of my stories about having traveled the highest motorable passes in the world: It’s obvious I have not.

    Oh well, my stories about Ladahk and my travels there make for good conversation with friends and family, so I’ll just keep telling them I have traveled them anyways, and hope they never question me, nor learn the truth!

    Cheers, and Happy New Year!

    Ted Spirakis

    • Thank you Ted and yeah, I know it has happened to many of us too. Wish they had more accurate instruments at the time of installing those boards. But, like I said the above list is also not so accurate as there could be many unnamed or unknown passes still left.

      Since, you have been to these places even getting to these places is not a joke and take some beating.

      Very very Happy New Year to you too 🙂

  9. Kunal Priyadarshi on

    Why is Shipki La not even in the list? I guess it is the highest motorable road in the India. It is an altitude of 5,669 m (18,599 ft) on the India-China border. The border is no longer open for non-residents but is motorable and is used by the Army.

    • Yes, Navneet already pointed out in comments below, some confusions up there and hence it did not make up to the list. It will be soon.

  10. Donkia La Pass is not a motorable road for sure. Can you please mention any example where it has been showed as such?

  11. bhai you missed Shipki La here. It is at an altitude of 5,669 m (18,599 ft) and is motorable 🙂

    • Navneet bhai, I highly doubt on the elevation of Shipki La pass. It does not seem to be that high. Need to go through some facts here but yeah never realized if that could be at that height. I have went up to Namgia village and from there Shipki La is just 20 KMs. It was not even around 3200 Mtrs at that stage where Namgia is. So, let’s check out and update this article 😀

      Damn your “Paar ki Nazar” 😉

      • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shipki_La



        • Yeah bhai, it seems like so. Citing these references will add this, seems like even by knowing and almost going up there, never realized it to be that high 😀 😀

        • Seriously saying, even I did not know that but then I read an article which mentioned this. I did some research online ad found that to be true.

          Here are a few more links.



          However I found another link which says that that “On India’s side, the Shipki La Pass is 15,000 foot tall.”

          Sharing that link too. But this is the only link which says that and I dont know which one to believe.


    • Navneet bhai, have updated the list but still would like to go up there and verify about the altitude. Next time you plan, do take the altimeter to note its altitude 😉

  12. Muktagopal bhattacharyya on

    I have gone through the article. You have mentioned that road to Uturuncu in Potosi, Bolivia as the highest motor able road in the world. But So far I know, it is not motor able. One can approach by cycle only in some stretch of this road. Mana pass though consider as motorable but can not approach by four wheeler. After one Km. from MANA village, the road is not approachable safely by a four wheeler. The motorable road should be that road which can be approached by a four-wheeler safely. Therefore this article requires to be modify as per the actual road condition.

    • Thank you Mukta. Please read the details provided in the article about Uturuncu, especially the last line. If you have been there after 2013 or have a valid source after that road conditions, I Will update the article.

      Regarding Mana Pass being not motorable by car and by bikes only?? Well, we call them motorbikes, isnt? Some of the roads trucks cannot climb, so should we say there are not motorable. Also, as I clearly said in the article there is too much subjectivity with the word motorable, so given one’s baseline the data is above in the article. I have been to many of them above and most of them Photi La, Kaksang La have roads that puts heart in your mouth. Same is true for Mana pass and I also know friends who have done Mana pass by both bikes as well as cars 🙂

  13. hello, I would like to know in which of above mentioned routes Army permits are required and what is the procedure for that, If you could ans in detail then it will be of great help. tanmaypisolkar@gmail.com plz drop me a mail.


    Recently, I have been to these terrains and extremely thrilled. The vehicle I drove was Endevour Ford. I don’t know how you can drive a sedan or a small car and be comfortable, as mentioned above. Highest points conquered……wow…

    • Kunal Priyadarshi on

      Its only 17582 as per survey by GOI and the claims of 18380 ft is actually false.

  15. Rudolph FRurtado on

    You have written a encyclopedia on Ladakh and now the highest navigable roads in the World. Mr Dheeraj.Sharma you have thankfully set the World records right regarding the highest mountain roads and hope the same is corrected on the tourist sign posts that are now all over the Internet.I was surprised to read that “Chang La” road is at a higher elevation than ” Khardung La” pass .Any way its not everyday that we humans traverse through some of the 12 highest motorable roads in the World and anxiously awaiting to travel over these mountain passes on my visit to Ladakh in July 2016.

    • Very true Rudolph, the joy is to enjoy this journey and even though these are not the highest motorable roads but passing by them is a proud moment in itself in one’s life.

  16. Hi Dheeraj,
    Good information. to know.

    I recently visited Gangtok(North SIkkim too). Have visited Ladakh twice.
    Most of the tourists are not aware of basic etiquettes. and so sad.. many of them are educated.
    Ex: Throwing plastic bottles, plastic covers etc on road(literally wherever they want to throw).

    And, at NJP railway station, there was a train with many CRPF staff(Going for an election duty, I guess).
    I felt very bad after seeing them, doing similar things. (Throwing almost everything on railway platform).
    I observed, there were few dustbins and really empty even after the train left(I believe, There were about 1000+ CRPF members in that train).

    “No plastic campaign” is very much needed to keep the places clean(The high passes, where more people might start visiting).

    Just similar to Dow causes, it would be good if “No plastic”/keep it clean awareness is available in DoW website.

    – Rohith

    • Hi Rohith,

      Thank you for suggesting it brother, I am moving this post under the thread of DoW Causes Feedback. We would definitely build somethign around it.. Yes, the heart bleeds to see such sad state of tourist mindset everywhere.

  17. Marsimik is higher


    • Kunal Priyadarshi on

      Dungri La (Mana Pass) gets an elemation of 18,406 ft on SRTM where as Marsimik La gets an elevation of 18,314 ft on SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission). So, Dungri La (Mana Pass) is higher than Marsimik La. Moreover, Dungri La is the Highest Motorable Mountain Road in World and Marsimik La is the highest Motorable Mountain Pass in World. 🙂

  18. Nandakishore Ks on

    Do we need to take permit to reach Mana pass ? We are planning to next week there in 4 wheeler. If permitted till where we can go ?
    I read somewhere we need to take permission at SDM office, Joshimath and few places people suggested from Army.

    Please suggest, what has to be done for this ?

  19. Rahul Singh on

    I have a asome pick of ladaks on my sweet alto , no body goes to ladak by alto car (kanpur to delhi to ladakh )
    If u interested send me mail

  20. Hey iam planning to visit at leh in 1st week of Aug will u plz tell me will I get snow fall there while travelling anywhere?

  21. Chirag sadhnani on

    Hey. I had messaged you a month ago about visiting leh. Now i am facing a problem. I wanna visit ladakh on the 12th of june. First of all how are the weather conditions out there?
    I have a return ticket from leh to mumbai with a halt at srinagar on 24th. I need at least 12 days. But if i check the rates of mumbai to leh air tickets its about 20k. And thats way too expensive. please tell me the alternative ways to travel to leh on 12th june.

    • Chirag sadhnani on

      Sorry halt at amritsar* Please help me out with the same

    • Chirag, can you please share your travel plan from Mumbai to Delhi and then from ex. Delhi how many days do you have? Can you fly to Srinagar or fly out of Srinagar?

  22. hitchwriter on

    But why have you guys not listed Khardungla in the list at whatever place you feel it rightly fits??

  23. Now that you’ve penned it down, we soon have to start a “Save the Dungri La! Save the Marsimik La” campaign!

    • Ha Ha Ha, Madhu, spot ON but it ain’t that easy to get permits for Mana Pass and Marsimik La, many people may not travel I believe as they get more attracted by the beauty of Pangong Tso first 😀

      • Very true Dheeraj. 🙂
        We just hope that it skips the eyes of Travel Magazines and above all else movies. There seems no explanation needed on how our hearts bleed when we even think about what happened to Holy Pangong post 3 Idiots. I haven’t been there in the past 2-3 years, but i can have a fair idea after learning from friends here & elsewhere. Everyone today is so reluctant to go to Off-Beats, that’s not a problem. But they wanna go Off Beats to freak out. That’s the problem. That’s one reason why I personally want most places to be kept secret or their access made really difficult. Some places are better left unknown than destroyed. That’s just my opinion.
        The hysterical crowd going there and shredding those sanctuary’s virginity is one thing. But the deeper problem is, once something gets the crowd’s attention, so will it attract the commercial establishments’ attention as well. After that the Super Rich Mob will wanna own a piece of land there. That puts a greater risk for the locals there in most cases, most of them have to move out & above all else, the sustainability of that spot becomes a big question mark.
        Given the nature of Mankind, we just keep taking more and more until that place says “I have nothing more to give” and move to the next.
        Permissions et al are just only for a matter of time. Once the Govt knows there is revenue, it would relax anything. For eg., we know over half of Pangong belongs to China & we have access to it without even an inner line permit. Kargil, Natu La and even parts of Baramula, we can just get there.
        I’m sure you won’t take it as I’m critiquing the article Brother. But the real issue here is, you and me journey to the Himalayas to get humbled. But the irony is, not everyone does so. They’d go any far to give them an ego boost.

        • In 100% agreement with you brother !! You have cracked the bottom line… Just hope that things remain good and roads remain as difficult as today so that it is not an easy access to everyone. I am very happy that army has controlled the movement through Chusul road too and Hanle, this will protect them for much longer period.