Jalebi bends: 23 hairpin bends on the old road to Fotu La

Jalebi bends is a series of 23 hairpin bends located in the Leh district of Ladakh, India. It’s an epic enthralling road.

Jalebi bends

Also known as Jalebi road or Old route to Fotu La, the road is a masterpiece of design and engineering. The drive is pretty scenic with its 23 hairpin bends. This drive is not for the faint hearted. The curves are very sharp and difficult to negotiate. The paved road twists and turns tortuously into loops and whorls. It’s totally impassable in winters.

The winding mountain drive is 20.5 km (12.73 miles) long, running from Lamayuru down to Khaltse. The road was named so by Border Roads Organisation workers because of the curves of the road resemble that of the sweet dish jalebi. The drive strews down a mountainside with precipitous drops and astonishing landscape views beyond. The journey offers very impressive mountain views into the Moon Land. The view below once you climb up the last loop is quite good too. You have to be very cautious of the traffic around.

Located within the Himalayas Zaskar Range, the road, also called Hangro Loops, is pretty steep topping out at 3.626m (11,896ft) above the sea level. It was the main road to Fotu La mountain pass but it was bypassed by the new NH1 (Srinagar-Leh Highway). The area is prone to rock slides. It’s said to be one of the most sensational roads of Ladakh. Be very careful while driving here as the loops are very steep and sharp.
Road suggested by: Jorge Manuel Gómez Sánchez
Pic: Jayaprakashan K P