The great Indian mountain ranges offers some of the most beautiful but dangerous road drive through the high altitude passes or Ghats. These High Mountain passes and deep valleys play a very important role in trade, travel,war and migration.
There are many passes situated through the mountain sub ranges and hills, some of them are well known such as Changla Mountain Pass Ladakh,nathula pass Sikkim,Sela pass Tawang and the most popular Rohtang Pass on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas in Manali.
The Dungri la pass or Mana Pass is the high altitude mountain pass and the highest motorable road with an elevation of 5,608 m (18,399 ft). Dungri La Pass connects India and Tibet, located in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve of the Zanskar mountain range in the Uttarakhand.
Marsimik La at northwest tip of Pangong Lake is one of the highest motorable passes in the world. The high mountain pass lies with in the Chang Chemno Range.
The Borasu Pass connect the Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh in the Himalaya Mountains at an elevation of 5,450 m (17,880 ft) near the border with China. The high elevation mountain pass was an old trade route between amazing Doon valley and Kinnaur valley.
The Chang La pass of Ladakh in high altitude mountain pass with an elevation of 5,360 m (17,590 ft) on the route to Pangong Lake from Leh. Chang La Pass is one of the second highest motorable road in the world connects Indus Valley to Pangong Lake region. Changtang plateau is well known for its high altitude giant lakess and vast highlands of great Himalayas.
The great Khardung La pass is located near the Leh in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. Khardung La Pass on the Ladakh Ranges connects the Shyok and Nubra valleys at north of Leh. Khardung La is one of the highest motorable pass and one of the highest motorable road and seen many motorbike and mountain bike expeditions.
The Debsa Pass of is high mountain pass of 5,360-metre (17,590 ft) in the Himalaya mountains and connects the Kullu and Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh. Beautiful Spiti Valley is a desert mountain land between Tibet and India at north-eastern part of Himachal Pradesh in the Himalaya mountains, Debsa pass runs round the the Parbati River valley in Kullu.
The Himalayan pass connects the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand to Purang in Tibet at elevation of 5,334 m (17,500 ft). Lipulekh Pass links the Vyas and Chaudans valleys to Tibet region, It is also used for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra of Hindus to the Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar.
Tanglang La high mountain pass in Ladakh region is known as world’s second highest motorable pass. Taglang La Pass is another most famous pass in Leh Ladakh region at an elevation of 5,328 m.
The majestic high altitude pass is situated across the rupin river in Uttarakhand, starts from Dhaula in Uttarakhand and end at Sangla in Himachal Pradesh. The un inhabited Rupin Pass located at an elevation of 4650 m (15,250 ft) in the great Himalayan ranges and consist of deep dark valleys,icy slopes and snow fields.
Bum La Pass in Arunachal Pradesh was a historical route and covered with heavy snow. A special permit is required to visit Bum La Pass, located 37 km from Tawang.
Kunzum high mountain pass connects the Kullu Valley and Lahaul Valley, stands at the elevation of 4,590 m.
Saach mountain pass in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh connects the Chamba valley with Pangi valley. The pass is the shortest route to Killar and gateway to the Pangi Valley.
The major Nathu La pass connects Sikkim to Tibet region at an altitude of 4,310 m (14,140 ft) in the Himalayas mountain ranges. Nathu La Pass is one of the three open trading pass between the Indian and China, other two are are Shipkila in Himachal Pradesh and Lipulekh in Uttarakhand. Nathu La Pass is located near to important Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage sites and offers a wide range of Flora and fauna including endangered ground orchida, snow leopard, Tibetan wolf and black-winged kite.
Jelep La Pass is situated in the East Sikkim District at an elevation of 4,270 m (14,009 ft). The high mountain pass connects Sikkim, India to Lhasa of Tibet region, It is one of the scenic route with the forests of rhododendrons alongside of India and the Chumbi Valley on the Tibetan Plateau.
The frozen Sela Pass is situated at an elevation of 4,170 m (13,680 ft) in Tawang District of Arunachal Pradesh. Sela Pass connects Tawang to rest of India through Tezpur and Guwahati, It receives heavy snowfall in winter but remain opens throughout the year. The high altitude mountain pass is a very difficult terrain cross but the only Gateway to the Tawang and Buddhist Tawang Monastery.
The most famous Rohtang Pass is situated in the Pir Panjal Range of great Himalayas and connect two most beautiful valleys of Himachal Pradesh near Manali. Rohtang Pass connects Kullu Valley with the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys at an altitude of 3,978 m (13,051 ft) on Manali-Leh Highway. Rohtang Pass open from May to November only and rest of time it is very difficult to cross due to snowstorms and avalanche.
The high elevation Chanshal Pass connect Dodra Kwar and Rohru in the Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh. The highest mountain peak of Shimla is situated in Chanshal Pass at an elevation of 4,520 m (14,830 ft). Other major mountain passes of India are Lachungla Pass ladakh,Zoji La Pass,Namika La and Fotu la passes between Srinagar and Leh highway or the National Highway 1(NH 1) and the Banihal Pass across the Pir Panjal Range.
Other least know High Altitude Mountain Passes and Trek Route of India also include:
Parang La – 18307.09 ft
Sin La – 18,028 ft
Sasser Pass – 17,753 ft
Manirang Pass – 21,631 ft
Karakoram Pass – 18,176 ft
Banihal Pass has only Kashmir Railway route and one of the major tunnel of India known as Jawahar Tunnel and the Pir Panjal Range has recently opened India’s longest rail tunnel as Pir Panjal Railway Tunnel.