Navigating one of the world’s most dangerous roads; tips to help you tread through


  • If you’ve been planning a drive through the Ladakh valley, Nubra is a must. We suggest you skip Khardung-La , which is now tourist central, and instead head through Wari-La. The vistas are nothing short of awe-inspiring, although you might need a dedicated 4x4.

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  • Narrow mountain passes are give way to stunning snow clad peaks interjected with muddy slopes and green valleys. If you are planning the trip in anything other than an SUV, a sump guard is probably a must.

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  • Streams of water from the dissolving snow, make interesting water crossings. Keep the revs up and try not to pass through without changing the throttle input and you should cross through without the slightest hindrance.

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  • If you’re in Diskit, there are camp-sites like this one with streams from the shyok river flowing through, expect no network connectivity and a chance to reconnect with your soul away from the bedlam of the city.

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  • At Nubra do check out Shyok river, it’s one of the few that locals still use as their direct source of drinking water. Its connected with a series of locks to various parts of the Diskit region.

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  • We took the Mahindra Thar, mostly because it’s unstoppable off-road and rudimentary as far as mechanicals is concerned. Worst case scenario most things on the Thar can be fixed with ample application of duct-tape and a hammer.

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  • Just before you reach the top of Wari-La the pass gets tricky with sharp switchbacks, black-ice and muddy streams. Our top tip here is switch to 4-Wheel drive, if that’s not an option then keep revs above 2000 rpm, don’t ride the clutch and whatever you do don’t stop on a slope.

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  • If the city is getting too much to handle pack your bags and head for the hills, literally. Wari-La and Khardung-La close in September. The best time to head out is at the end of August after the rains.

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