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Umling La @19,024 ft – World’s Highest Motorable Pass

Umling La, is the World’s Highest Motorable Pass, surpasses Bolivia’s pass with a high altitude of 19,024 ft. above sea level.

Umling La, located in Eastern Ladakh, is a crucial link between Chisumle and Demchok. The route traverses through the renowned Umling La Pass near the Indo-Tibetan Border.

On 16th November 2021, the Umling La Pass was named the world’s highest motorable pass. BRO (Border Roads Organisation) completed the construction as part of project HIMANK, under the Indian Ministry of Defence.

Guinness World Record for being the highest motorable pass in the World.

Umling La Pass plays a significant role by offering direct connectivity to Leh, benefiting residents of Chisumle or Demchok villages. From a defense perspective, it provides direct access to Indian border posts, enabling the swift arrival of military personnel and supplies.

In 2017, a 52 km road was constructed from Chisumle to Demchok via Umling la. The opening of Umling La Pass to the general public in 2017 has grown tourism in Ladakh.

Why must you visit Umling La Pass?

Its significance is unparalleled in terms of both natural beauty and adventure. The breathtaking landscapes that surround Umling La Pass are a sight to behold. 

With towering snow-capped mountains, vast expanses of untouched wilderness, and clear blue skies, this place is truly a paradise for nature enthusiasts.

Moreover, the thrill of conquering the highest motorable pass in the world is an experience like no other. As you navigate the winding roads and steep inclines, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and awe at the sheer engineering marvel.

For those seeking adventure, Umling La Pass offers you a great experience,

  1. The thrill of visiting the World’s Highest Motorable Pass.
  2. Stunning views from Umling La Pass.
  3. Opportunity to explore Demachok, a beautiful Indian village near the Tibet Border.
  4. A quiet moment to relax at the World’s Highest BRO Cafe and Oxygen Cafe.

How to reach Umling La Pass?

umling la

From Hanle:

Main Route (92 km):

  • Hanle – Photila Pass – Chisumle Bridge – Umling La
  • Well-maintained, scenic, popular with tourists
  • Steep sections, good for powered vehicles

Alternate Route 1 (88 km):

  • Hanle – Khuldo – Punguk – Ukdungle – Nurbula Top – Chisumle – Umling La
  • Dirt track, moderate difficulty, follow signs
  • Suitable for all vehicles

Alternate Route 2 (72 km):

  • Hanle – Khuldo – ZSR – Ukdungle – Nurbula Top – Umling La
  • Shortest route, scenic with steam crossings
  • Fewer signboards, consult locals for directions

From Loma/Nyoma:

Route 01 (116 Km)

  • Loma – Koyul – Lekeng Yok – Chisumle – Umling La (116 km)
  • Bumpy dirt track, scenic landscape

Route 02 (132 Km)

  • Straightforward route, reaches Demchok (the last Indian village)
  • Steeper ascent beyond Demchok, high-powered vehicles recommended
  • Army permission may be necessary for Demchok.
Umling la

Best Season to visit Umling La Pass

  • May-September: Pleasant weather, perfect for exploration
  • April/October: Possible, but winter travel is discouraged due to extreme conditions and isolation.

Important Tips for Umling La

  • Travel only during the season.
  • Follow road signs and local guidance.
  • Carry winter gear for unpredictable weather.
  • Obtain necessary permits for restricted areas.

Safety Measures for Umling La

Preparation:

  • Health Advisory: Refer to the Leh district’s official health advisory page for updates and specific recommendations.
  • Acclimatization: Spend time in Leh (2-3 days) before attempting Umling La to avoid Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).
  • Hydration: Drink plenty of fluids regularly to prevent dehydration.
  • Food: Eat light meals every 2 hours to stay energized.
  • Gradual Ascent: Increase altitude slowly and take rest breaks as needed.

Awareness:

  • Symptoms: Be aware of AMS symptoms like nausea, dizziness, vomiting, headache, and fatigue. Descend to a lower altitude if you experience any.
  • Rest: Get sufficient sleep throughout your journey.
  • Itinerary: Inform others about your travel plans and keep them updated.

Emergencies:

  • Medical Attention: Immediately seek medical help if you suspect High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) or High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE).
  • Local Services: Familiarize yourself with local hospitals, ATMs, banks, and police stations in Ladakh.

Health Before Travel:

  • Fitness: Maintain good physical fitness before going to high altitudes.
  • Pre-existing Conditions: Avoid travel if you have pre-existing medical conditions like heart problems.

Essential Gear:

  • Snacks: Bring high-calorie snacks like energy bars or nuts.
  • Oxygen: Consider carrying an additional oxygen cylinder.
  • Sun Protection: Use SPF 50 sunscreen to protect against UV rays.
  • Medication: Carry Diamox-250mg tablets (follow health advisory dosage) and a first-aid kit.
  • Clothing: Pack warm clothing suitable for cold weather.

Additional Tips:

  • Check weather forecasts and road conditions before departure.
  • Carry a reliable communication device, like a satellite phone.
  • Respect local customs and traditions.
  • Travel with a responsible tour operator familiar with the region.
Umling la

Accommodation Options in Hanle:

  • Sonam Guest House: This well-known guest house boasts around ten rooms with attached and shared bathroom options, a large dining room, and warm hospitality. Many rooms offer breathtaking mountain views, perfect for soaking in the serenity of Hanle. 

Other Homestays and Guesthouses: Hanle offers several charming homestays and guesthouses, each with its unique character and charm. Here are some to explore.

Why Choose Hanle:

  • Meteoric Charm: The night sky comes alive at the Hanle Observatory.
  • Cultural Tapestry: Hanle Monastery, the local Tibetan culture and traditions has a spiritual aura.
  • Convenient Location: Hanle is the ideal base for your Umling La adventure. The 92 km route via Photila Pass offers well-maintained roads and breathtaking landscapes, perfect for a day trip to Umling La.
hanle

What other places to see on the way to Umling La?

  • Thikse Monastery
  • Karu Village
  • Chumathang Hot Spring
  • Hanle Village and Observatory
  • Photila Pass

Records and Achievements made in Umling La

World Records:

  • 2021: Umling La was officially crowned the Guinness World Record holder for being the highest motorable pass. Below is the image of BRO receiving the prestigious award.

Youngest Travelers:

  • Ayush Negi (15): Youngest cyclist to reach Umling La, conquering 1034 km from Dehradun (India Book of Records).
  • Arjun Pundir (18): Youngest motorcyclist to reach the summit (India Book of Records).
  • Dhyaan Jeevan Easow (3): Youngest to reach Umling La by car, accompanied by her parents.

Unique Attempts:

  • Sept 2023: Ladakh hosted the World’s Highest International Fashion Runway at Umling La, featuring participants from 14 countries.
  • Sabita Mahato: This inspiring woman ran 570 km from Manali to Umling La, setting a world record and adding to her previous cycling record on the same route.
  • Rickshaw Run: Two autorickshaws from Canada and Switzerland crossed the finish line at Umling La, starting their journey in Rajasthan.
  • Pratiksha Das: India’s first female B.E.S.T licensed driver piloted an electric 3-wheeler vehicle (Astro NAVYA) to Umling La, backed by Astro Motors.
  • Lt. Col Y.S Sheoran: Indian Army officer cycled from Leh to Umling La, setting a record not only this he is an officer with multiple records recently he climbed 03 peaks above 8000 meters in just 15 days .
Umling la

These are just a few examples of how Umling La inspires people to push boundaries and achieve the extraordinary. 

so what record-breaking feat awaits next?

What is ahead of Umling La Pass? 

Demchok Village marks the furthest point and final village within Indian territory. From Umling La, the Line of Actual Control with Tibet lies approximately 27 kilometers beyond. Alternatively, a direct route leads out to Nyoma and subsequently to Leh. 

Choosing this option involves traveling approximately 105 kilometers from Demchok to Loma.

Likaru-Mig La-Fukche

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is building the ‘Likaru-Mig La-Fukche’ in Ladakh, aiming to dethrone Umling La as the world’s highest motorable road. 

This 64-km strategic marvel will soar to a breathtaking 19,400 feet, connecting remote military outposts near the sensitive Line of Actual Control.

Not only will it boost national security, but it also marks another feat for the BRO, surpassing their own record set by Umling La. And get this – an all-women unit of BRO combat engineers leads the construction, setting a powerful example!

It’s a year of exciting road projects for the BRO, with the Shinku La tunnel and Nyoma Airfield promising further advancements in connectivity and strategic infrastructure.

More information soon on these projects, subscribe to us now.

Permissions and permits required to reach Umling La

You can register and pay your fees online.

As a visitor, your responsibilities are,

  • Always respect local communities and their culture.
  • Keep your environment neat and clean.
  • Never harm any flora and fauna.
  • Follow the designated path to avoid trespassing.
  • Get the required permission and permits as necessary.
  • Promote and help Locals where you eat and buy from locals.
  • Avoid photography and videography where it is restricted.

Refer to a quick guide for all Visitors from the administration.

Mobile connectivity during the trip

In Ladakh, postpaid connections are your only option for reliable mobile service. 

While you may have some connectivity in the city, traveling to remote areas like Hanle will leave you completely off the grid. Even on the way to Umling La, network coverage becomes scarce.

The only exception is Hanle itself, where BSNL postpaid users might catch a weak signal. 

Once you venture beyond Hanle, however, expect complete radio silence, except for perhaps a spotty connection in Nyoma.

Here are some of the important official links that you can visit and which will be helpful for your Ladakh Adventure is as follows:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do we require a permit to visit Umling La?

    Nowadays Permit is not required to visit Umling La, but its a good habit to collect all the information and check for the latest guidelines on official webpage, Where you can online register yourself at https://www.lahdclehpermit.in/

  2. Who built the World’s Highest Motorable Pass?

    The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) under Project HIMANK by the 753 Border Road Task Force (BRTF) constructed the World’s Highest Motorable Pass in Ladakh.

  3. Where is Umling La located?

    Umling La is in Eastern Ladakh near Demchok village, the last village of India close to the Line of Actual control with Tibet.

  4. How far is Umling La from Hanle?

    Umling La Pass is around 92 Km from Hanle if you take the Hanle-Photila route to reach Umling La Pass.

  5. What is the Distance from Leh to Hanle?

    The distance from Leh to Hanle or Hanley is about 275 km from Leh. It takes 7-8 hours.

  6. What is the altitude of Umling La? 

    Umling La’s altitude is 5798.251m (19,024 ft 0.73In).

  7. What are the coordinates of Umling La Pass?

    The coordinates for Umling La is 32°41′56″N 79°17′04″E.

  8. What is the Temperature in Umling La?

    During summer, the temperature in Umling La varies from 5 to -15 degrees Celsius. In winter, the temperature goes down to -30 to -40 degrees.

  9. What is the distance between Umling La and Leh?

    The distance from Leh to Umling La is 350 Km approx.

  10. Umling La Pass is near to the border of?

    Umling La Pass is in Eastern Ladakh near the Demchok village, the last village in India close to the Indo – Tibet Border. 

  11. Do we have a mobile network in Umling La?

    While at Umling La, you won’t experience any network connectivity. Cellular coverage only becomes available in Hanle village. Even then, only BSNL-postpaid connections work in some areas of Hanle.

  12. When was Umling La opened to the public?

    Umling La, the opening year is 2021.

Videos on Umlingla

Umling La Pass Web Story


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joshimilestoner
joshimilestonerhttp://joshimilestoner.com
I am a certified mountaineer and a passionate explorer traveling worldwide pursuing my adventures which have taken me to the far corners of the globe, I am from the hills known as Devbhoomi "Lands of God - Uttarakhand", I have a deep love for the Himalayas and always believe in living a simple life, I am not just exploring but also documenting my incredible journeys through travel blogs and informative videos.Let's Join Joshi and get ready for an unforgettable global expedition with Joshi Milestoner as your guide.
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1 COMMENT

  1. One of the best website… where you will find detailed information about all the treks. One stop shop to get detailed information. Joshi ji keep it up. Danke for posting such amazing blogs and videos on your website ans youtube channel.

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Umling La: World’s Highest Motorable Pass @19,024 ft.