Many of us have always dreamed to drive/ride to Leh and Ladakh. Many have even conquered the same by braving the treacherous conditions. For those of you who have always been excited about travelling to these places, there’s good news for you! BRO or Border roads organization has constructed the highest motorable road in the world situated at an altitude of 19,300 feet.
Where is it?
Built by BRO or Border Roads Organisation, the Umlingla Pass is situated in Eastern Ladakh. It’s a 52 km long tarmac that stretches through Umingla Pass and connects important towns in Chumar sector of Eastern Ladakh. Its altitude of 19,300 feet is higher than many other Indian passes. To put things into perspective, it is higher than the base camp of Mount Everest. The north base in Tibet is at 16,900 feet, whereas the south base camp in Nepal is 17,598 feet. The summit of Mount Everest is a little over 29,000 feet. It is also much higher than the Siachen glacier which is at 17,700 feet. With this, India has bettered the record previously held by Bolivia’s road at 18,953 feet. “It will prove to be a boon to the local population as it offers an alternate direct route connecting Chisumle and Demchok from Leh. It will enhance the socio-economic condition and promote tourism in Ladakh,” said Ministry of Defence in a statement on Wednesday.
The development of infrastructure and roads in places like Umlingla Pass is difficult due to harsh and tough terrain coupled with extremely low temperatures. For example, the temperature drops to 40 degrees below zero in winters. Even the oxygen level at this altitude is much lower than in normal places. One can easily expect the oxygen to be at or lesser than 50% compared to normal places. “The BRO has achieved the feat due to the grit and resilience of its personnel who work in treacherous terrain and extreme weather conditions,” the ministry stated. We couldn’t agree more with the ministry of defence. It truly is a feat and a proud moment for India to bag the award for the highest motorable road in the world.