Planning a road trip with your friends? Check the following list of top dangerous roads of India to see if your road trip includes passing through that road. Where the incredible roadway system of India entails many travellers to pack their bags and leave for the mountains or the beaches, there includes many such roads that are marked unsafe for travellers due to their tricky paths. Know more about them
1. Zoji La
The Zoji La is affirmed to be one of the world’s most dangerous roads. The high mountain pass is etched at an elevation of 11,575 feet above sea level. Located in the Kargil district of Ladakh the pass is said to be extremely difficult to drive to. It is marked as the most treacherous passes in the world. The pass is known to be a connecting point from the Amid Lake to Srinagar. Therefore, it is frequently known as the entrance to Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. The road to the summit is called the National Highway 1 (NH1). It is one of the most stunning passes to encounter that offer some of the most stunning sites to encounter. Also known as Zojila or Zoji La, the road stretches up to 25.8 kilometres. The road is said to be extremely narrow in its width, which is the reason why heavy vehicles find it difficult to cross it. The Zojila Pass also leaves many shivering with sheer nervousness. This is the reason why it is the riskiest pass of this region. During a storm, the pass turns an unformidable place to visit as it gets extremely muddy and challenging to drive. If you wish to visit this pass then it is advisable to take a car. It is open 6 months in a year as it snows the latter part of the year.
Located in the Raigad district in Maharashtra, the Neral-Matheran is one of the steepest mountainous roads in India. The road is etched at an elevation of 130 feet above the sea level. The length of the mountainous road stretches up to 9 kilometres. When driving across this road one has to be extremely careful. The condition of the road is said to be such that anyone driving has to keep their eyes on the road and maintain their patience level throughout the time they are crossing the Neral-Matheran road. Many people’s driving skills are tested on this road, hence people with great skills and experience should only opt for driving around. Being an asphalted road, it has many hairpin turns and curves. It starts in Neral, (Town in Raigad district) which is at an elevation of 130 feet above the sea level till Matheranat an elevation of 2,600 feet above the sea level. The road has some steep and narrow sections that however may allow more than two cars to pass through at the same time, but there aren’t any protections or guard rails in some parts of the route.
3. National Highway 22
Another dangerous road of India is the popular National Highway 22. Featured under the ‘IRT deadliest road’, the National Highway 22 is surrounded by various tunnels and steep cliffs around. They are said to have many narrow paths and sharp turns. The highway bends at many places, making it extremely unpredictable to judge and drive. This is the reason why it has been named as one of the most dangerous roads in India. Etched from a large mountain, the area is said to be extremely prone to accidents, therefore the authorities have implemented some strict rules for travellers passing through the highway. The road stretches till the Tibet border, which is why it is known as the Hindustan-Tibet road. It offers people driving through with some of the most astonishing views and sights that will surely leave you in awe. But, if you are scared of heights then you should definitely avoid looking down. The NH-22 has no guardrails hence, you are exposed to a massive drop of over 100m. Therefore, visit the NH22 either with a professional driver who is used to driving around such roads or avoid going through this stretch due to its highness on the dangerous metre.
4. Chang La Pass
The entrance point to the mighty Changthang plateau in the Himalayan region is the popular Chang La Pass. It is located at a height of 5360 meters and is marked as the third-highest drivable Pass in India. Etched at an elevation of 17,590 feet above the sea level, the pass is located in the Northern region of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. It is popular for being the highest mountain roads in the country. Being the main gateway of the Changthang Plateau, the pass is located on the 134 km-long roads between the Pangong Lake and Leh. There are numerous times when the Changla Pass is shut for visitors. Hence, you should confirm the conditions before heading out to travel. The Chang La pass is said to be accessed by any form of vehicle whether it is a four or two-wheeler. The area is guarded by the India Army as it falls close to the border of China. The pass is covered in a thick blanket of snow most times of the year. Therefore, if you plan to visit here you should do that in the summer months only. It is open from May to October.
An important thing to keep in mind is that you spend not more than 20 minutes as there is an increase in altitude which causes a lack of breathlessness.
5. Rohtang Pass
Etched at an elevation of 13,054 feet above sea level is the Rohtang Pass. The pass is located in eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalaya. Every year the road crew members face great difficulty in digging out the road as it gets buried under many layers of snow. It’s only through GPS that they are able to figure out its exact location. This area has been prone to landslides for a larger period of time. Located at a distance of 53 kilometres from Manali, the Rohtang Pass connects the Kullu valley to Lahaul and Spiti. It also acts as the entry point for Leh. As it has been marked for being one of the most dangerous roads in India, the government has planned to build a tunnel to avoid accessing it. The locals of this region strongly believe that if you want to venture on this road you will surely require nerves of steel. Hence, any vehicle passing through needs to be extremely careful. The road remains inaccessible for five months due to heavy snow. It is also exposed to strong winds, steep cuts, landslides and much more. Many tourists choose to take this route as it helps in reaching Ladakh.
6. Khardung La pass
Etched at an elevation of 5,359 meters, the Khardung La pass is one of the most enchanting sites to witness. It is largely known to be an unexplored region. However many adventure enthusiasts choose to visit it to witness its picturesque surroundings. It is located in the Leh district of the Indian Union Territory and has an elevation of 5,359 meters. It is mostly popular for being the highest motorable pass all over the world. Lying on the major caravan route, the Khardung La pass links Leh to Kashgar in Central Asia. It was during the second world war, an attempt to transfer war well was made through this route to China. It was then in the year 1976 the Khardung La pass was constructed and was made accessible to public motor vehicles in the year 1988. The pass is maintained by the Border Roads Organisation. It acts as an area of great strategic importance as it is used to carry goods to the Siachen Glacier. The Khardung La pass is also marked as one of the most dangerous roads in India due to its astonishing height, steepness and frequency of landslides.
7. Three Level Zigzag Road
Just a look at the image of the three-level zigzag road will lead to believing in its dangerousness. Known to be one of the dizziest roads in the world, the Three Level Zigzag Road can be found near a small village named Zuluk or Dzuluk in the historic Old Silk Route from Tibet to India in the Indian state of Sikkim. The road stretches up to thirty kilometres and has around a hundred hairpins. This makes it one of the most famous hair pinned roads in the world. The Three-Level Zigzag Road has many uncertain drops and hairpins that leaves to an extremely dizzy ride. The road leads people to the Thambi viewpoint which is at an altitude of 11,200 feet above the sea level. At this point, you get to witness the impeccable view of the Three Level Zigzag roads. During the winter season, when heavy snow covers the roads, the view that you will get to witness is absolutely unexplainable. However, if you wish to experience the dizziness and the astonishing views, you will have to get a special permit on a prior basis. People that experience nausea should surely skip this trip.
8. Killar-Kishtwar Road
The Killar-Kishtwar Road located in the remote region of the Indian valley serves as one of the most dangerous spots in India. Its steep mountain trail has been often described as one of the most terrifying. The road stretches up to an area of 114 kilometres. Located in the eastern region of the Kishtwar District of the Jammu region, the road forms a part of the part of the National Highway 26. The road is extremely narrow in width and has no guard rails to protect up to 100 miles. The surface of the road has been made out of gravel, stones and sand and it’s carved into the side of a cliff. The cliff hangs extremely low at 2,000 feet and it becomes extremely difficult to allow cars to drive. The rocks hanging below further obstruct the view of the coming traffic. The condition of the road is described as one of the most dreadful and dangerous, hence anyone attempting to drive up here should possess not just great skills, but patience and courage too. The Killar-Kishtwar road acts as the main entry point to the basecamp of Kishtwar Kailash.
9. Gata Loops
A scary story runs around the Leh-Manali Highway around the Gata Loops. The Loops contain a series of twenty-one hairpin bends that lead one to the top of one of the highest motorable passes in Ladakh region known as Nakee La. Located at an altitude of 17000 feet above sea level, the Gata Loops is surrounded by some of the most stunning snow-clad peaks and cliffs. A popular myth follows around the Gata Loops that states that there is a ghost of a truck driver that is present in the 22 hairpins. The ghost is said to be there to disturb any passerby. Therefore, to avoid that every tourist is supposed to pay tribute to the ghost dwelling in a small hut atop the pass by giving him some offers. The haunted hairpins are known to be extremely difficult for people who attempt to drive on it. The entire stretch measures up to 10.3 kilometres, whereas every loop measures between 300 to 600 meters. The longest loops are in the last part that measures up to 800 meters. There are some shortcut roots in the Gata Loops that can be accessed by small vehicles.
10. Mana La Pass
The Mana La Pass is a high mountain pass located in the Himalayas on the border between India and China. The pass is etched at an elevation of 18,314 feet. The pass is regarded for being the highest vehicle-accessible passes in the world. Also known as the Māna La, Chirbitya, Chirbitya-la, or Dungri La, the pass connects the Indian country and Tibet. Named as one of the highest mountain roads of the country. Constructed between 2005-2010 for the Indian military, these roads offer a great experience to adventure travellers. But if you are someone who is not comfortable driving on unpaved mountain roads then you should definitely avoid going. It is marked as a dangerous road for having a staggering height and steep trail. During the rainy season the muddy trail gets highly difficult to maintain your balance on, therefore either you should avoid it or hire a person who is experienced around the area. People with respiratory issues or any heart condition should also avoid it due to its altitude which entails 40% less oxygen.