Photi La

Photi La, one of the highest roads in India

Photi La is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 5.524m (18,124ft) above the sea level, located in in south-eastern Ladakh in the eastern Jammu and Kashmir state of India. It’s one of the highest mountain roads of the country.

The road to the pass is very dusty. It’s called Photi La road and starts in the Hanle village. It’s 30km long. The road offers amazing scenery and the Hanle valley can be seen from. The approach is very steep and almost no road and no soul around with very less oxygen. The road is impassable in winters. Great trail for experienced wheelers. Avoid driving in this area if unpaved mountain roads aren't your strong point. The road is a dirt track with last 5 kilometers being a very steep climb. If you cross the pass and continue further, you will reach Umling La.

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. Before you get anywhere near the pass, you will see signposts which say that the ILP permit zone ends and you are not allowed to keep going. If you keep going, you may be arrested and prosecuted by the Indian army.
Pic&Video: codelust


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NOTICE: Due to the spread of COVID-19, many points of interest and roads are closed and travel is not recommended. Please follow all local health authority directives before venturing off, and stay safe.