IMPORTANT MOUNTAIN PASSES IN INDIA

Table of Contents

IMPORTANT MOUNTAIN PASSES IN INDIA

MOUNTAIN PASSES:

 

Passes are the navigable channels/routes available at mountain ranges
ensuring the connectivity between different places within a country or neighboring countries.
Generally passes are found just above the source of the river acting as drainage divide,
important human settlement sites, defensive outfits settlements, helping for trade, movement of
people(Natu la Pass- Sikkim), transport (Khyber pass- Pakistan and Afghanistan), etc.

Passes and Valleys may seem similar but there exist some differences between them. A
pass is a gap, or break, in high, rugged terrain such as a mountain ridge. It forms when a glacier
or stream erodes or wears away, the land between areas of higher terrain.

A valley is a low area between hills or mountains often with a river running through it. In
geology, a valley or dale is a depression that is longer than it is wide. Valleys also support
settlements in the winter (Kashmir Valley).

PASSES IN INDIA:

 

Broadly two categories of Mountain Passes are found in India-

1. Himalayan (Himalayan Range from west to east)
2. Deccan (Western Ghats)
Major passes:
There are about 60 known passes in India wholly, out of which widely known are Nathula Pass,
Karakoram Pass, Zozila, Shipkila Pass, Pal ghat, Boar ghat etc.

HIGHEST PASS: Kalindi Pass, the highest altitude mountain pass located at 5,950 meters
elevation. It connects Gangotri (Uttarakhand) and Gastoli (Karnataka).

LOWEST PASS: Jelep la Pass connecting Sikkim and Tibet is situated at an elevation of 4,386
meters.

Some important Mountain Passes and their features:

Sl.No NAME LOCATION FEATURES

1 Nathu la Pass Sikkim

● India-China Border
● Reopened-2006
● Part of Ancient silk route
● Trade focused

2 Shipki La Pass Sutlej Gorge(Himachal
Pradesh)

● Himachal Pradesh- Tibet
● To Trade with China

3 Jelep La Pass Chumbi valley (Sikkim)

● Sikkim-Lhasa(Tibet)

4 Khardung la Leh

● Second highest motorable
pass
● Leh-Siachen Glacier
● Remains closed during
winter

5 Tang la Ladakh

● Third highest motorable
pass

6 Aghil Pass North of Mount Godwin

-Austen(Karakoram)
● Ladakh-Xinjiang(China)
● Closed during winter

7 Chang La Ladakh

● The highest pass in the Himalayas
range
● Ladakh-Tibet

8 Lanak La Aksai Chin (Ladakh)

● Ladakh-Lhasa
● Chinese built the road on this
pass to connect
Xinjiang-Tibet

9 Imis La Ladakh

● Difficult terrain steep and
slopes
● Ladakh-Tibet

10 Baralacha La Jammu & Kashmir highway

● Manali-Leh

11 Trails Uttarakhand

● End of pindari glacier
● Pindari valley- Milam
valley
● Very steeped and rugged

12 Lipu lekh Uttarakhand

● Uttarakhand-Tibet
● Important trade border
with China
● Route for Manasarovar
pilgrims

13 Mana Pass Greater

Himalayas(Uttarakhand)
● Tibet-Uttarakhand
● 6 months of snow cover this
area

14 Mangshadura Uttarakhand

● Uttarakhand-Tibet
● Prone to landslides
● Manasarovar pilgrims
cross this route through the
kuthi valley

15 Muling La (Gangotri) Uttarakhand

● Uttarakhand-Tibet
● Snow-covered for 6 months

16 Niti Pass Uttarakhand

● Uttarakhand-Tibet
● Snow-covered for 6 months

17 Debsa Pass Himachal Pradesh

● Spiti Valley-Parvati Valley
● Highest mountain pass
between Kullu and spiti of
Himachal Pradesh

18 Rohtang Pass Himachal Pradesh

● Kullu-Spiti-Lahul
● Good road Transport

19 Bomdila Pass Arunachal Pradesh(East of
Bhutan)
● Arunachal
Pradesh-Lhasa(Tibet)

20 Dihang Pass Arunachal Pradesh

● Arunachal
Pradesh-Myanmar(Mandal
ay)

21 Diphu Pass India-China-Myanmar
border
● Lies on Mac Mohan Line

22 Pangsau Pass Arunachal Pradesh

● Arunachal
Pradesh-Myanmar
● The easiest route to Myanmar
● Lie on Patkai Bum hill
region

23 Banihal Pass Pir panjal Range(J &K)

● Banihal-Qazigund
● Jawahar Tunnel is located

24 Zoji la Pass Srinagar

● Srinagar-Kargil-Leh

25 Burzil Pass Kashmir

● Astone valley
(Kashmir)-Deosai Plains
(Ladakh)

26 Pensi La Greater Himalayas

● Kashmir Valley-Kargil

27 Pir Panjal Pass Jammu & Kashmir

● Closed after partition
● Shortest road distance
between Jammu and
Kashmir valley

28 Bhor Ghat Maharashtra

● Palasdari-Khandala
● Satavahanas widely used
this

29 Thal Ghat (Kasara
Ghat)
Maharashtra

● Western Ghats region
(Kasara)
● Mumbai-Nasik

30 Pal Ghat Tamilnadu

● Western Ghats region
● Tamilnadu-Kerala
● An important role in Human
Migration

31 Shencottah Gap Madurai (Tamil Nadu) ● Madurai
-Kottayam(Kerala)

●Importance Of Passes:

1. Enhance Trade (Both between Countries and Within Country)
2. Transport of goods and services
3. Channel for migration
4. Settlement options for defense organizations and natives of that region
5. Passes pave way for the development of the region

Hence passes have wide uses if used properly and there is a need for enhanced
concentration over their maintenance renewal and rejuvenation etc to reduce accidents on
such highest passes ensuring safe and free movement of people, measures to check illegal
trading and poaching measures need to be taken care of in such areas especially at the border
areas with China, Myanmar, etc.

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