Khardung La Pass located at an elevation of 5,359 m (17,582 feet) above the sea level, is a high mountain pass located in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is World's Highest Motorable Road.The pass is strategically important to India as it is used to carry supplies to the Siachen Glacier. These roads are not paved and with the frozen mix of ice and dirt for a road it makes one slippery and narrow trail with very deep valleys right next to you.
Connecting Leh with Nubra valley this pass serves as a gateway to the famous Siachen Glacier. Siachen lies on the north of Leh and about 40 Kms away by road to the Nubra valley.
Khardong La is historically important as it lies on the major caravan route from Leh to Kashgar in Chinese Central Asia. About 10,000 horses and camels used to take the route annually, and a small population of Bactrian camels can still be seen at Hundar, in the area north of the pass.
Khardung La is situated 39 km by road from Leh. The first 24 km, as far as the South Pullu check point, are paved. From there to the North Pullu check point about 15 km beyond the pass the roadway is primarily loose rock, dirt, and occasional rivulets of snow melt. From North Pullu into the Nubra Valley, the road is very well maintained (except in a very few places where washouts or falling rock occur).
The nearest town is Leh which is connected by road from Manali and Srinagar, and daily flights are operated from Delhi. From Leh, a daily bus service to Nubra Valley passes over Khardungla. The ideal method to get to Khardung-la is by taxi or bike. Taking an experienced driver with you is advisable. The two bases on either side of Khardong-la are North Pullu and South Pullu.
Inner Line Permit (ILP) is not needed to reach Khardung La peak, however Inner Line Permit is needed to cross North Pullu to reach Nubra Valley. Inner line permit and can be procured at the DC's office in Leh or through Travel Agents. Travelers must provide photocopies of the permits, to be deposited at each checkpoint.
During winters temperatures drop to -40 degrees Celsius with almost 10 feet of snowfall. During the summer temperatures hover around 20 degrees Celsius but the freaky weather could suddenly turn worse and it may be bitterly cold.