Sela Pass Road Adventure: Navigating the Himalayan Heights

Se La is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 4,198m (13,772ft) above the sea level, straddling the boundary of Tawang and West Kameng districts of Arunachal Pradesh, India. Counted among the top tourist destinations in Arunachal Pradesh, it promises an experience unlike any other.

Sela La

"The Sela Pass Route: Himalayan Views and Challenging Roads

The road to Sela Pass, also known as National Highway 13 (NH13), is the main route connecting Tawang with the rest of India. While the road is primarily paved, certain sections are gravel due to extreme weather conditions. This curvy and winding route provides stunning Himalayan views, but drivers should remain vigilant due to the challenging road conditions.

Tunneling Through the Mountains: The Future of Sela Pass Access

A game-changing bi-lane road tunnel, the Sela Pass tunnel, promises all-year-round connectivity between Guwahati in Assam and Tawang. Expected to complete by 2023, this project by the Border Roads Organization (BRO) will introduce two tunnels, enhancing security and accessibility. These tunnels will navigate through two ridges west of Sela, supported by two additional roads.

Breathing in the Beauty and Thin Air of Se La Pass

Stretching over 100 km (62.13 miles) from Jang to Dirang, the route offers mesmerizing views of snow-covered mountains. The thin air at this altitude can make travelers feel fatigued quickly. Yet, the surreal experience makes it worth the journey. The picturesque Sela Lake, also known as Paradise Lake, is among 101 sacred lakes in the region, revered in Tibetan Buddhism.

The Ethereal Drive from Sela Pass to Tawang: Time and Attractions

Completing the drive without stops typically takes between 3 to 4 hours. However, travelers are advised to make pit stops, such as at the breathtaking Sela Lake, before reaching Tawang.

Braving the Snow: Year-Round Access to Se La Pass

The Sela Pass remains open for most of the year. However, heavy snowfall during winters or landslides can cause temporary closures. Named after a tribal woman, Sela, who supported an Indian Army soldier during the Sino-Indian war of 1962, the pass holds historical significance in addition to its natural beauty.

Pic: Indranil Kundu