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What does it feel like at Uming La? World's Highest Motorable Road Umling La Pass height in feet Lekhak Pravin

What does it feel like at Umling La?-World’s Highest Motorable Road

When it comes to adventures regarding travels, Leh and Ladakh stand out as one of the best places to be at. Situated at a height of 19,300 feet above the mean sea level, the Umling La Pass has now become the world’s highest motorable road. 

It is a feat in itself to have the world highest motorable road in India. All thanks to BRO’s (Border Roads Organisation) Project Himank. The best thing about ladakh is that you can never get enough of it, ever. 

Once you visit Umling La, you will be welcomed with scenic picturesque views of the Greater Himalayas on your way and you will have the experience of a lifetime to take away with you. Previously, the title of World’s Highest Motorable Road, lied with the Khardung La Pass

What is Project Himank? 

Project Himank- Border Roads Organisation
Ladakh Roads

Project Himank is one of the many projects of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in Ladakh. The project started in the year 1985 and is responsible for constructing some of the World’s Highest Motorable Roads across the Khardung La, Tanglang La and Chang La passes. The BRO is responsible for the construction of high motorable roads that run parallel to the LAC. 

The Umling La Pass was created as a part of Project Himank and it now stands tall as the highest motorable road. BRO and the hardworking laborers from the rural part of the country deserve to be credited for this feat. Apart from the freezing temperature, the lower oxygen levels up there created a more challenging environment to even survive, let alone carry on with the construction. 

What is Umling La Pass Height in feet?

Well, the world’s highest motorable road is quite a big title to own. This is not just any ordinary road or pass. Umling La pass height is a whopping 5,833 meters above the mean sea level. This makes the Umlingla pass height in feet to be 19,300 feet

Umlingla Pass height is a pretty big number than what meets the eye. The high altitude, along with the beautiful scenic views, brings a critical threat to the health of the travelers.  Umling La elevation is at such a height that it makes breathing quite difficult. 

Where is Umlingla Pass Located?

Well, it might sound strange to you, but the presence of the Umling La pass has not yet been found on Google Maps. All that we know about the way is that the highest motorable pass is situated somewhere between the Chisumle and Demchok Villages in Ladakh. 

Leh to Umling La pass
Umling La Pass Route

The distance from Leh to Umling La Pass is around 230 kilometers. The Leh to Umling La pass distance is not just a mere two hundred kilometers that needs to be covered by road, but it is as risky as beautiful and requires a great amount of precaution too. 

The pass lies close to the eastern sector of the Indo-China Border and is heavily and quite strictly monitored by the Indian Army. Umlingla Pass location not being confirmed on Google Maps makes the adventure even more adventurous.

What does it feel like at the Umling La Pass?

Ever heard of Heaven? Well, some wise traveler had once rightly said, ‘Heaven is in the Himalayas.’ Ladakh serves as a gateway to that heaven. When the cold, sharp winds slap your cheeks through the way from all the directions simultaneously, you are awakened into a sense of solitude that makes every small problem of your life fade away.

The entire area around the Pass is barren and there is no sign of any settlement throughout your journey to the pass. This makes the Umling La a very serene, pure place, untouched by the human race. Well there is something about the mountains that purifies one’s soul. If you’re looking for an adventure to boost your adrenaline, a road trip across the Umling La, must be on your bucket list.

How to Reach Umling La Pass? – World’s Highest Motorable Road

In order to reach World Highest Motorable Road in India, you have an option of 3 different routes through which you can reach Umling La. Let’s explore.

Route 1: From Hanle via Photi La

This is one of the most common routes to Umling La Pass. Hanle is a famous destination for travelers who need to see the Milky Way. It is widely known for its observatory. The travelers begin from Leh and then after a visual retreat at Hanle, they travel towards Umling La from Hanle via Photi La.

The permits required to travel on this route is the normal one, however, one does not get to descend via Demchok without the Special Permit, making the descent difficult.

Route 2: From Fukche via Koyul and Demchok

This route takes you through Fukche, Koyul and the Demchok Village. The drive is considered to be one of the most beautiful driveways of the world. You get to witness the different landscapes changing as you proceed along the Indus.

You can also look at the roads to the other side of the border and even see the neighboring troops. The Chinese part lies in close proximity with the route and offers a sense of pride to the Indian traveling up to the pass.

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Leh to Umling La Pass
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However, the route is not just any route to be traveled upon and thus, the travelers require  various special permits (not the ones that are required on the regular routes) signed by the District Magistrate of Leh, if they want to experience this once in a lifetime trail

Route 3: From Hanle via Ukdungle

This route stands as the easiest one, however, offers a less picturesque view and is a bit uncomfortable. For people who want to explore the best of the roads, the above routes are the best choice. 

However, there’s just a basic permit required to travel through this way. Ukdungle is an Indian Army’s military compound contained within a very short area in the Leh District of Ladakh.

What is the best time for traveling to Umling La Pass?

best time for traveling to Umling La pass
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The roads to the highest motorable pass in the world open in the month of June and close by the month of October. During these two moments, the count of travelers is the least and thus, for me, it serves as the best time to travel to Umling La Pass.

The lesser the crowd, the better the experiences. During these times, you would be able to enjoy the place at your leisure without any interference from the fellow humans. 

Permission required to travel to Umling La Pass

As mentioned earlier in the part where I talked about the routes to Umling La pass, the passes differ according to the routes you choose for your journey. 

For traveling through Fukche via Demchok Village, you will need special permits signed by the District Magistrate of Leh. For traveling through Hanle via Photi La, the regular permit obtained from Leh is sufficient. And for traveling via Ukdungle, a normal permit is enough.

Precautions to take while traveling to Umling La Pass

Firstly, Umling La is not just any pass. It is the highest motorable road in the world. This makes it one of the most extreme roadways for travelers. Umling La Pass altitude of 19,300ft, is characterized by very thin air. At such a height and oxygen conditions, it is difficult for even the normal people to breathe.

Thus, for people suffering from any medical conditions that require a proper intake of oxygen, it is not advisable to make this trip. Health is the real wealth you see.

Secondly, in Ladakh, specially in the higher regions, Altitude Mountain Sickness is quite commonly noted in new travelers. This makes acclimatization equally necessary before taking a trip to the Umling La Pass.

I always prefer Diamox as the best medicine for Altitude Sickness. However, before the consumption of any such medicine, one should consult their doctors. There are alternatives available too.

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umlingla pass height in feet
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Leh to Umling La Pass
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Thirdly, one  should carry extra supplementary oxygen just in case. Owing to the majestic height at which the pass is located, and the thin air conditions, supplementary oxygen becomes quite an important asset.

Lastly, for people traveling from Leh to Umling La pass, the permits need to be in order and it is always advisable to get it done beforehand to avoid any last minute hustle. Also, travelers should carry a first aid kit with them to help them in emergency cases. 

It gets quite cold up there, so proper warm clothing is pretty much required and travelers must pay attention to their health and keep monitoring it, so that they do not miss out on the best experience of their lives; because as I always say, “Experiences are Eternal.”

Also read: What does it feel like at 17,800 feet? 

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