Leh Trip N ALTO …. Yup!! —- Part IV

Khardung La is a high mountain pass situated 37 km by road North of Leh. This is the “Highest Motorable Road in the World”. The sheer scale of things in the Himalaya is mind blowing. No picture can truly capture what one sees.

Highest Motorable Road
Highest Motorable Road

Day 7 : Khardung La Pass

Beautiful Morning, after our breakfast we started our journey towards “The Highest Motorable Road in the World” and after a thoroughly enjoyable drive, we reached Khardungla in good time (We saw “Marmik”, Leh Rodents jumping around here and there). The first 24 km, as far as the South Pullu check point, are paved, but once you cross the North Pullu check point about 15 km beyond the pass and the roadway is primarily loose rock, dirt, and occasional rivulets of snow melt. We heard that 18 men lost their lives while building the road.

Khardungla Tiger (My Lill Alto)

Khardungla Tiger (My Lill Alto)

Khardung La 2

Khardung La 2

According to an Army document, “A glaciated patch of hard frozen ice 500 metres ahead of the pass was spanned by a 110 foot Bailey bridge launched by the Border Roads Organization. It became the highest bridge in the world. It was also unique in that its ends rested on hard ice. After being repeatedly swept away by avalanches, and being re-launched, this path was finally overcome by constructing a wire crated stone masonry causeway in 1994.”

K-TOP 18380 Ft

K-TOP 18380 Ft

BRO : You are on the Highest Motorable Road in the WORLD

BRO -You are on the Highest Motorable Road in the WORLD

At this Altitude, its recommended not to exert yourself much, but the nature all around force you to go beyond your limit and experience it. We spent around 30 minutes there, (I had already started feeling breathless) and then started the journey back towards Leh. Earlier the plan was to visit “Nubra Valley” and come back but due to snowfall and bad weather, we thought better to come back and reserve this for our next trip : ).

Two things that you will notice 1) Marmik (Leh Rodent) and 2) Khardugla Frog …. interestingly created by painting a Frog like Stone… See Yourself

Khardung La Frog

Khardung La Frog

Day 7 : Pathar Sahib Gurudwara

We rolled back to opposite direction and drove till Pathar Sahib Gurudwara, 25 km out of Leh, constructed and maintained by Army. This is most un-gurudwara like in its outward appearance and resembles a mini Army camp. Although the Ladakh’s culture and religion is deeply influenced by Buddhism, the existence of Gurudwara ‘Pathar Sahib’ adds to the region’s religious history and identity.

Inside the Gurudwara

Inside the Gurudwara

Gurudwara 2

Gurudwara 2

Day 7 : Magnetic Hill

The next Stop was around 5 KM further (although we could have covered these two while coming to Leh) to the Megnatic Hill and parked our Alto, turned off the engine, released the Brake and found vehicle moving uphill for a good 10ft without any external assistance (Experience it to believe it!!!)

Two Cute Visitors @ Magnetic Hill (Experience in Truck??)

Two Cute Visitors @ Magnetic Hill (Experience in Truck??)

ALTO @ Magnetic Hill

ALTO @ Magnetic Hill

Day 7 : An evening to remember

Driving through a picturesque landscape, about 30 kms west of Leh, we finally reached the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar river 4 km before Nimmu village (The confluence of the Indus (green water to the left) and Zanskar (brown water to the right) rivers) The swift-flowing Indus and Zanskar rivers also offer rafting enthusiasts excellent venues for white-water rafting in Ladakh. We were told that the frigid waters of the Zanskar at seven degrees Celsius and a series of grade 3 and 4 rapids offered participants a different experience altogether.

Indus-Zanskar Confluence

Indus-Zanskar Confluence


  • Sahil says:

    Hi Shalini , again a very nice post and the supporting pictures say the rest. Visiting Pathar Sahab Gurudwara must be a very nice experience. I too visited a Gurdwara at Martand near Pahalgam. Visiting Gurdwaras in such places is simply very good.


  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    Dear Shalini,


    No words after seeing the pictures & the post.

    Last picture of Indus Zanskar confluence is awesome.

    On highest motor able Road with Alto, Hatts off to you!!!!!

    I sent you a mail in your Gmail Id , Still waiting for your replying.

    • SKoli says:

      Hi Mahesh, Thank You for your nice words…. I am sorry but missed your mail… (If its about “Prayer Stones”, I had replied via comment in Ghumakkar).

      • Mahesh Semwal says:

        No problem, It was not related to Prayer Stones, I will re forward to you.

        Thanks in advance.

  • travellers says:

    Hi Shalini,

    The plot keeps getting more interesting with each sequel. How does the Marmik look? I ask so because we also came across a unique creature short of Gangotri. The locals gave some name for that, but no one seemed to be very sure about our version.

    The snaps are amazing.

    Did the truck also move against gravity on Magnetic hills?

    Thanks for such an interesting article.


  • nandanjha says:

    I guess the ‘Magnetic Hill’ is an optical illusion where you are actually sliding down but you think that its moving up, thats what I seem to have read somewhere. I am not sure though.

    Congratulations for Rohtang La feat :-)

  • Krishnanu says:

    Dear author!
    Salute you for your adventure spirit and awe inspiring effort. As someone has already said that your writeup and description would benefit a lot of fresh travelers and inspire them. If I ever make the effort it would be because of inspiration and courage I gather from you. Hope you continue to travel and allow us the to see glimpses of the world through your camera.

  • GSK says:

    Very tragic what’s happened in Leh, such a beautiful place now in ruins….:(

    My heart goes out to all those affected by this horrible tragedy…….

  • Thanks for posting this comment Shalini. I was expecting it from you. We really get so close and connected with the places we visit.

    It feels so sad to read all about it. May God help people to recover from this extreme tragedy.

  • kush says:

    hi mam was goin on ur picasa pics of this trip ,i just wanted to knw which place is this http://picasaweb.google.com/109322041121313048099/500D?authkey=Gv1sRgCNT1qYz7qq6DyQE#5491103724803999730

  • Sanjay says:

    For such regions which one is better?

    Alto or Wagon R?

  • ajay15111968 says:

    Dear Friends,
    We (Me and my wife 40/34) going to Leh from Delhi by car, We are searching another Couple for the same. We are going to start on 08/08/2012 night to Kashmir Kargil Leh Keylong Manali _ Delhi 17th morning we can come back.
    If interested do massage us.” ajay15111968@rediffmail.com

  • Ritesh Bhateja says:

    Hi Shalini,
    Congratulations for your successful blog here. Your write-ups over the trip to Leh Ladakh are really interesting. I am planning to visit Leh by road as it is one of my dream trips. I require your assistance. Please leave your e-mail ID or kindly drop a test mail to me at ritesh@springwel.com


  • Mary Samuel says:

    Hi ,
    Got inspired by your account and did Chandugarh-Leh trip via srinagar in our alto…It was awesome..Me ,My hubby and our two naughty boys plus 4 huge luggages….
    Will be in Leh for 2 years..Planning to drive down again to chandigarh via manali after two years…
    Hope the trip will be memorable as well!!!

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