Nakee La

The paved road to the top of Nakee La

Nakee La is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 4.769m (15,647ft) above the sea level, located in the Ladakh region of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The pass is traversed by the Manali-Leh-Highway, on the way to Manali from Taglang La. Nakee la Pass is third of the five passes to be crossed while traveling from Manali to Leh. It is between Sarchu and Pang. You've got to be really careful with the wheels because of pathetic road conditions that could test the patience of even the most seasoned drivers. But you really deserve a medal if you've driven on the road.
The surface of the road is paved, but includes some gravel sections. Avalanches, heavy snowfalls and landslides can occur anytime and can sometimes block some sections of the road, being extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice. The ascent to the pass is called 21 'Gata loops'. It’s 23km ascent from 4250m to 4980m to the Nakee-la, with 21 hairpin bends. The road is said to be haunted by a ghost of a tourist who was buried here. People offer cigarettes and mineral water on the spot and then carry on with their journey.

The weather on this zone is harsh and highly unpredictable and it does not take much time for the bright sun shine to change over to moderate to heavy snow fall. There is nothing really special about the pass and most people dont even notice while crossing it. The terrain is very dry after Nakeela with no streams or rivers en route.
Pic: Vipin Vasudeva


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