One of the highest Highway in the world | Fabien Astre

Travel One of the Highest Highway in the World to Leh, India

 

Leh Manali Highway

 

It’s one of the most complicated and challenging roads in the world, approximately 490 km in length this highway takes you through some of the world’s highest mountain passes.

 

The Leh-Manali highway is a must do if you want to discover the altitude landscape of Northern India. This road is the only land connection between the high-altitude town of Manali and the high-desert city of Leh in the Himalayas. So if you wish to visit Leh in Ladakh by land, you have to take this road! Be prepared for an epic journey through the Himalayan landscape.

The road winds through the Himalaya range and crosses some of the world’s highest mountain passes. The average elevation of the highway is more than 4,000 m (13,000 feet)  and its highest elevation is 5,328 m (17,480 ft) at Tanglang La mountain pass, the second highest motorable pass in the world. Due to its elevation, the highway is only opened for about four and a half months of the year, opening in May or June. It is flanked by mountain ranges on both sides featuring stunning natural sand and rock formations. If you look down the slope you will see rusted vehicles that didn’t quite make it. Altitude sickness can occur at this altitude so you should be aware of altitude sickness symptoms.

The journey from Manali to Leh takes about one full day by vehicle. If you rent a car or a motorbike you can take your time and enjoy the stunning scenery of the Himalayan landscape along the 490km long road.

Because of the important position of Ladakh between China and Pakistan the Leh-Manali highway plays a strategic role for India. As the only route to the Ladakh region, it was/still is vital for the transport of military supplies into that region. The highway was built and maintained by the Indian Army, as a result, and is capable of supporting the heaviest of their vehicles.

 


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