Photographer's Note

Posting after quite a while in TE...was undergoing a bout of low motivation and enthusiasm levels :-)

It is not very often that one gets to drive on a road at an altitude of 18380 feet (5602 metres). That is where Khardungla Pass, meaning the ‘Pass of Lower Castle,’ is located on the way from Leh to the Nubra Valley in Ladakh. It is the highest motorable road in the world as signs put up by the Border Roads Organization proudly proclaim.

The Khardungla Pass experiences up to 10 feet of snow in winters, with temperatures dropping to 40 degrees Celsius below zero. Even though temperatures in summers average 20 degrees Celsius, the weather can turn for the worse suddenly. When we crossed this pass in June, snowflakes were falling – an indicator that one needs to be alert to harsher conditions anytime.

One should not expect much to do while here – except walk around a bit and feel the cool air (which can turn windy anytime) against the face and admire the views. It is not advisable to expose oneself to the elements for long anyway at these altitudes.

The views from this pass are no doubt breathtaking – with the Ladakh range to the south and Karakoram to the north. And snow capped peaks at almost touching distance all around. This is just a sample..You may notice the road snaking along the slope on the left.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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