At an elevation of 17,586 ft, Chang La is the third highest motorable road in the world. The Himalayan mountain pass is located on the road from Leh to Pangong Tso in Ladakh in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Pass gets its name from the temple dedicated to hermit Changla Baba. La in Tibetan language means a mountain pass. Chang La lies on National Highway 21 also known as the Leh-Manali Highway. Driving up to the Chang La Pass will take you through sheer rock faces on one side and a deep cliff on the other side. The air thins as you climb higher and you might experience headaches or nausea so carry medicine to deal with altitude sickness medicine to avoid health problems. As you reach the top of the Chang La pass, it opens a wide vista of snowcapped mountains.
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As you reach the top of the mountain road you are greeted by a sign of the Indian Army announcing the feat you have just achieved by driving up to Chang La top. The Chang La opens up to the Changthang Plateau. Chang La is on the way to Pangong Lake. An inner line permit is required for visiting Chang La as it is a restricted area. The permit is easily available from the Divisonal Commissioner’s office in Leh. But the permits are issued only for three weeks. You can get the thrill of your life by trekking to Changla Pass. There are a few well known routes but the adrenaline starts pumping on the unexplored routes which were once popular routes connecting India to Tibet. There aren’t any options to eat at the Changla Pass except for teashops where you can also get some biscuits to get refreshed and continue your journey. The best time to visit Changla Pass is between the months of May and October as the route only opens during these months.
Photograph courtesy: Mani Babbar Photography
BEST TIME TO VISIT LADAKH
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Ladakh is as given below. The best time to visit Ladakh is also specified.
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