Sea-level to 18,000 feet: Man drives 7000 km to Khardung La Pass in a Nano


Nano to Khardung La (1)

There are few journeys in the world, the ones which will make you think twice before embarking on. A road trip via the Khardung La Pass to the Base Camp of Siachen Glacier in Ladakh, is for sure one of those journeys. Situated at a height of over 18,000 feet above mean sea-level, this Pass has earned itself the title of being the “World’s Highest Motorable Pass”.

Adventure-hungry motorists often take their formidable 4x4s to this location. However, Dr. Varun Vagish from Asansol, West Bengal has driven his own Tata Nano all the way from West Bengal, to the Base Camp of Siachen Glacier in Ladakh; a journey spanning 7000 km and 20 days on a calendar.

Dr. Varun Vagish with his Tata Nano at Siachen Glacier's Base Camp

The man not only visited the Base Camp of the Siachen Glacier, but also drove past several other scenic, yet arduous passes such as Chang La, Zozi La, Fotu La and Namik La. The Nano is primarily a city car, but this particular one possibly stepped well out of its comfort zone. However, credits where it’s due, this car enthusiast’s sheer persistence and confidence seemingly took care of those petty details. This would likely be a journey that he will never forget, nor will his Nano.

Nano to Khardung La (2)

According to Dr. Vagish, “Being a rear wheel drive car, Tata Nano was a mobile powerhouse while climbing the steep inclines of the highest mountain passes. Lowest turning radius also helped me to easily manoeuvre the vehicle on sharp curves. It just took 30 minutes to climb the last 16 kilometres stretch from North-Pulu to Khardung-la, World’s Highest Motorable Pass. In the plains, it was driven more than 800 kms in a day at few instances.”

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