An awe-inspiring road to Chanshal Pass through remote areas

Chanshal Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3,800m (12,467ft) above sea level, located in the Shimla district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. To reach the summit, you will be driving on some of the narrowest roads you have ever been on, barely wide enough for one car in certain stretches.

Chanshal Pass

How long is the road to Chanshal Pass?

The road to the summit, also known as Chansal La, is entirely unpaved. It spans 55.4km (34.42 miles) from Petarli to Dodra. The route is challenging, characterized by countless turns, twists, and 55 sharp hairpin turns with some perilous drop-offs. If you have a fear of heights, it's best to keep your eyes forward. A 4x4 vehicle is essential. The ascent is notably steep, and for the most part, the road resembles a broken dirt trail filled with slush and loose rocks. The high altitude combined with falling boulders poses significant risks.

When was the road to Chanshal Pass built?

The road to the summit was constructed in 2009. Before this road, the path was primarily a rough foot trail, largely unsuitable even for mules. There have been numerous accounts of cars and bikes struggling to traverse Chanshal Pass in recent years, with successful attempts being the exception. However, the summit, amidst the breathtaking beauty of the Himalayas, offers captivating views of nearby mountain ranges and valleys.

Is Chanshal Pass open?

Nestled in the heart of the lesser Himalayas, this is the highest pass in the Shimla district due to its elevation. It's mostly accessible during the summer months. The pass is open from May to November and remains snow-covered for the remainder of the year. Traveling during the monsoon season is not advised. The winds can be so forceful that they might knock you off your feet, so it's best to avoid the edges of the mountains.
Pic: mohit dr