The unnerving and acrid road to Malling Nala
Malling Nala is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.875m (12,713ft) above the sea level, located in Himachal Pradesh, in India. The pass is punctuated with landslides, gushing water and complete chaos. People suffering vertigo are not recommended to look outside… views can be unnerving and acrid.
The road to the summit is asphalted. It’s called NH505. Avalanches, heavy snowfalls and landslides can occur anytime, being extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice. Generally referred to as "The Landslide", this is a stretch where the whole mountainside keeps sliding down leaving a wide break in the road. The drive is scary with loose rocky mountains. Even the edge of the road is made up of slate rocks.
The area is prone to landslides. 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. Even though you’re driving and gradually acclimated to the high altitudes, it’s better to take the usual precautions—avoid over-exertion and drink lots of fluids—to avoid falling ill.
The road is in dreadful condition and requires strong nerves to negotiate it. It’s certainly breathtaking and it has a fearsome reputation. The section over the pass is very narrow, with deep valley on the side & steel inclination. One mistake and it's a free fall to your death. And on top of that rocks & stones keep coming down without any warning.
This road tests the skill, and courage, of any driver. It’s definitely not for anyone suffering from vertigo or a fear of landslides. Stay away if you're scared of heights. The pass is especially treacherous so it would be wise to get some information before you set out on your journey. The difference between day and night temperatures can be extreme. Dress appropriately. It’s also very windy and dry so carry sunscreen and lotions with you.
The road is closed in winters but the skilled locals of Spiti use it throughout the year. This route is not recommended if your passengers are prone to car sickness. A small stream of water continuously falls on this narrow road strip keeping it slippery and an extremely vulnerable place for vehicles. Road gets blocked often due to landslide. 4x4 required. Carry snow chains.
Pic: adiroks skull