Khardung La is a mountain pass located in Ladakh of Jammu and Kashmir. This pass lies on the Ladakh range, which is located north to Leh. This mountain pass is located 5,359m above mean sea level and thus, this is one of the world’s highest mountain pass that can be scaled on a vehicle.
The pass stands as a gateway to many attractions like Shyok Valley, Nubra Valley, Siachen Glacier and others. You can find many camels here. Every year, thousands of bikers visit this pass to scale the highest mountain pass that can be scaled on a vehicle. You can also take bicycle tours during summer. Although the route to the pass is closed during winter, the pass is open throughout the year. There is an army post on the pass where people stop to enjoy a steaming cup of tea. There is also a temple on the route. Once you are on the route, you can enjoy scenic backdrop, glaciers, interesting winding of roads and rare grazing livestock. People stop to take a selfie with the sign post that says the name of the pass. Carry petrol in a can as, you cannot find any petrol bunk on the pass. There are no restaurants, shops or hotels on the route. The route between pass and valley (back and forth) spans 80 km and it can be scaled within a couple of hours if you are not planning for stopping for long.
Khardung La to Wari La is a very difficult pass that avid bikers try to cross. It would take 11 hours to complete back and forth travel in this route. Some drive to Pangong Lake and camp for the night after enjoying sunset.
The best time to visit the place is summer. Summer starts in June and ends in September. During this season, the roads will be dry, glaciers will be visible and most importantly, the route will be less dangerous. You can find a few colorful vegetation during this season. From October to May, heavy snowfall can be enjoyed making it hard to experience most of the adventure activities. Even if you are visiting during summer, pack woolen clothing. During winter, people visit the place for adventure biking and to enjoy Nubra Valley.
The mountain pass lies 39 km away from Leh. This route has paved roads for most of the distance up to the South Pullu check post. Beyond the post, it is just loose rock, snow and dirt. You can reach this pass from any surrounding city via heavy truck, motorcycle, jeep and others. Special permit is required for riding on the pass. The nearest large town is Leh. Leh is connected with Manali and Srinagar via road route. Leh has a domestic airport. The permit for scaling the pass can be obtained from Leh. It takes three hours to reach the pass from Leh. You can find bus service from Leh to Nubra Valley. From the Valley, you can reach the pass via jeep, SUV or bike. The road route is closed from October to May due to snow slide and heavy snowfall.