“Those who travel to the tops of mountains, half love themselves, and half love oblivion.” -Robert McFarlane
And if you too feel like getting lost in anonymity, there is no better place than the world’s third highest motorable mountain road: Changla Pass. Located in the desert land of Ladakh at an altitude of 17,590 feet above sea level, this is the mountain pass that one has to cross to reach Pangong Tso Lake. This pass is reached by asphalt road from Leh via Kharu and Sekati villages. The native inhabitants or Changpas claim that the pass was named after the temple at Changla Pass, which is dedicated to the sage Changla Baba. Driving through Changla is no easy task, one needs superb driving skills to cross the road filled with thousands of small rivers, especially when the snow starts melting on the upper mountains.
About Changla Pass
Many people do not know that Changla Pass is also a part of the Silk Road. Not only this, Changla also gained fame after Jurassic ammonoids were found here, making it ecologically and historically important. The pass is 15 km long And this the roads are absolutely steep, Due to border disputes with China, unlike other passes in the Himalayas, Changla Pass is maintained by the Indian Army, The best season to drive on Changla Pass is summer, Admit card Open to tourists from mid-May to Octoberbut most of all May and June are pleasant months, Melting snow forming small streams makes your adventurous bike expeditions a little difficult. Too, Altitude sickness is common event here, so you are Suggested not to stay there for more than 20 minutes,
Must read: Dochula Pass, Bhutan: 3 reasons you must visit it
Tourist attractions around Changla Pass
Here is a list of some of the famous tourist attractions around Changla Pass that you should visit on your vacation. Keep scrolling down and reading!
1. Changla Baba Temple
Distance from Changla Pass: 0 km
The temple at the top of the pass is dedicated to Changla Baba. It is not a grand place, but the faith of the natives towards Changla Baba has made it a popular tourist destination. It is said that one must seek the blessings of Changla Baba before starting one’s journey on the pass.
2. Tangste Village
Distance from Changla Pass: 38 km
A picturesque village near Changla Pass, Tangste village has only 126 houses. Situated at the bottom of the gorgeous Tangste valley, surrounded by mountains, and patches of green land along the Harong stream. There’s not much to see, but it’s definitely a sight worth seeing, so don’t forget your camera.
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3. Hemis Gompa
Distance from Changla Pass: 48 km
Reestablished by the Ladakhi King Sengge Namgyal in 1672, Hemis Gompa is a Tibetan monastery of the Drukpa lineage. It is the site of the annual Hemis festival which honors Padmasambhava. This monastery may not look as picturesque as the monasteries of Thiksey and Diskit, but on a misty morning, Hemis Monastery looks enchanting.
Read suggestions: Visit These 19 Monasteries in Ladakh for a Purifying Experience
4. Pangong Tso Lake
Distance from Changla Pass: 150 km
Pangong Tso Lake, shared by India and China, is a landlocked salt water lake that completely freezes during winter. Situated at an altitude of 14,270 feet above sea level, this endorheic basin is home to many migratory birds but does not support aquatic life. Its timeless beauty and inspiring blue color often leaves visitors speechless.
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5. Changthang Plateau
Changthang is a high-altitude Tibetan plateau with vast grasslands and gorgeous lakes. Changpas, home to the semi-nomadic Tibetan people, Changthang shows how people live in harmony with nature in the cold desert. Many people do not dare to cross the land as the weather in this region is highly unpredictable and harsh.
read ahead: Leh Ladakh bike tour: Everything you need to know from the beginning
Are you all excited to see Changla Pass? Known as the third highest motorable mountain road in the world, Changla Pass will definitely be an excellent destination for your next vacation. So, think no more, pack only the essentials, read this guide, plan your Ladakh vacation and head off right away!
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FAQs about Changla Pass
Which is the highest motorable road in the world?
Khardung La is the highest motorable road in the world.
Which is the highest mountain pass in the world?
Kaksang La is the highest mountain pass in the world.
What’s the highest mountain you can drive up?
Mount Evans is the highest mountain you can drive to.
Which is the highest road in the world?
The Leh-Manali Highway is one of the highest roads in the world.
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