Road trips mean different things to people. From a short weekend drive to long extended vacations; from solo trips to driving with family, we plan them well in advance to try and find the best possible locations to best roads. They are, undoubtedly, the best way to experience the diversity of India.
However, there are a few routes that are more dangerous than others; where harsh climates, narrow roads, and frequent landslides are the norm.
Here is a list of some of the most dangerous roads in India that you may or may not want to include in your next itinerary. They offer spectacular views and unmatched thrill that are hard to resist.
But, before you make any decision, a word of caution: These routes are extremely dangerous and should only be undertaken in a reliable vehicle by skilled drivers who are acquainted with the prevalent conditions.
Zoji La – J&K
Located at an altitude of 3,528 meters, the renowned Zoji Pass comes your way when traveling from Leh to Srinagar. The pass, known as much for its scenic beauty of jagged stones and mountains, is also border-less and very narrow. With regular snowstorms and landslides, it can quickly turn from tranquil to hazardous. Given the nature of danger here, the pass is usually out of commission or severely backed up with traffic. So, it’s best to check all the details before setting off to experience Zoji La at its best.
Chang La – Ladakh
Planning a trip to the famous Pangong Tso? You should know that to get there you will have to cross the snow covered Chang La. Located at an altitude of 5,360 meters it makes most travelers prone to altitude sickness, putting the best of drivers to test. Choose a dependable vehicle like the Ford Endeavour which comes with Terrain Management System and high ground clearance giving you the confidence you’ll need while crossing this treacherous stretch of road.
Kishtwar Kailash Road – Kishtwar District, Jammu
Considered the main gateway to the base camp of the Kishtwar Kailash Mountains, this is a narrow, single lane road that’s carved into the side of a mountain. With rocks jutting overhead, equip yourself with a reliable set of wheels with good top clearance so that you are worry-free to concentrate on the road ahead.
Sela Pass – Tawang District, Arunachal Pradesh
If visiting the second largest monastery in Asia is on your bucket list, then you should know that you will have to pass through one of the most dangerous passes – Se La. The drive to the Tibetan Buddhist town of Tawang, is a steep incline on a long, narrow winding road that is almost always covered in sleet or snow. Though surrounded by breath-taking panoramas, you’d be smart to keep your eyes on the road for this one.
Marsimek La – Chang-Chemno Range, J&K
Constantly contesting Khardung La’s claim to fame of being the highest motorable pass, at 5,777 meters, Marsimek La stands taller than the famous pass by a good 400 meters. Marsimek La definitely wins in the difficulty level. Starting approximately 20 kilometers from Pangong Tso, only 4-wheel drives are allowed to take a crack at this route which is strewn with loose soil and rocks with some of the most severe weather conditions to boot.
Agham–Shyok Road – Ladakh District
Rather than doubling back to Leh to go to Pangong Tso, there is an alternate route to go from Nubra Valley. You can take the Agham-Shyok road that connects Nubra to Pangong and cuts out the extra travel. But, consider this fair warning, the route is less road and more river bed with river Shyok having reclaimed most of the road. This is one hell of a bumpy ride and must be undertaken only if you are traveling in a sturdy SUV like the Ford Endeavour that can handle every kind of terrain with equal élan and robustness.
Zigzag Road – Zuluk, Sikkim
If any road can make you dizzy, it’s this one. Leading from tourist destination of Zuluk in East Sikkim to destinations like Thambi view point and the Tsongmo Lake is the famed “Zigzag” Road. There is more than a hundred hairpin turns in a short span that makes this more of a roller-coaster than an actual road route. Susceptible to landslides, avalanches, and snowfall, it is clearly not everyone’s cup of tea. Drivers, keep your hands on the wheel because this road is like a maze.
So, did this list scare you off? Don’t worry; we have the perfect companion for you:
The #PowerPacked Ford Endeavour is not just a capable SUV ready to take on any adventure but it effortlessly puts you in total control too. The 4WD helps you tackle any surface, on-road or off, at the turn of a dial. Its Terrain Management System lets you shift-on-the-fly to maximise traction and stability so you stay in control.
Caution: These are dangerous roads and are meant for professional/trained drivers who have experience in handling such treacherous terrains. The article is not intended towards motivating people to head on these drives without proper expertise.