Mana Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 5,610 metres (18,406 ft) above the sea level, located in the Himalayas on the border between India and China. It’s one of the highest vehicle-accessible pass in the world.
The pass, also known as Māna La, Chirbitya, Chirbitya-la, or Dungri La, connects India (the state of Uttarakhand) and Tibet, within the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve of the Zanskar mountain range in the Uttarakhand. Mana Pass led from Badrinath and the source of the Saraswati River along with the Deotal Lake. It’s one of the highest mountain roads of the country.
The road to the pass is a well-graded gravel-dirt road constructed in the 2005-2010 period for the Indian military by the Border Roads Organisation. Unfortunately access to civilians is not permitted as it is only used by the Army and ITBP for carrying supplies to border posts. Great trail for experienced wheelers. Avoid driving in this area if unpaved mountain roads aren't your strong point. 4x4 required. Stay away if you're scared of heights. Expect a trail pretty steep. Wet conditions may make for tough driving along the muddy road. The climb is simply terrible, with a notorius lack of oxygen that tests the organisms and a high degree of steepness. Most people feel altitude sickness at around 2,500-2,800 meters. Near the pass, oxygen is in short supply.
Watch out for sudden loose-gravel breaks. The pass is reached from the south by an extension of National Highway 58 (NH58) that connects Delhi with Badrinath, though beyond Badrinath the graded road is subject to landslides. The road can ripple like a roller coaster track in places where “frost heaves” are caused by seasonal freezing and thawing of the ground. The surface on this gravel road is often loose, especially along the sides of the road.
The biggest problem is the extremely low oxygen for engine combustion. The road is higher on the Indian side than the new road on the Tibetan side, and rises to 5,610 metres (18,406 ft) on the Indian side of the border, 250m west of the low point of the 5,545 metres (18,192 ft) Mana Pass.