Chanshal La is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.800m (12,467ft) above the 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 on, barely wide enough for one car at some stretches.
The road to the summit is unpaved. It’s 55.4 km long, running from Petarli towards Dodra. It’s a difficult road, with uncountable turns, twists and 55 sharp hairpin turns with some dangerous dropoffs. The road to the summit was constructed in 2009. Before the advent of this road, the track was merely a rough footpath and mostly unfit for mules. There were many stories of cars and bikes failing to conquer the Chanshal Pass in the past few years with the success stories few and far between.
If you're afraid of heights, it's probably best to keep your eyes forward. 4x4 vehicle required. The ascent is quite steep and for most part, the road is a completely broken dirt trail; with a lot of slush and lose rocks. The high altitude and the shooting stones (huge boulders) can really be very dangerous. It’s the highest peak of the Shimla district.
Accessibility is largely limited to the summer season. The weather on the area is cold and windy throughout the year. From October to April, the road remains buried deep under snow. It is best to avoid traveling during Monsoon. The drive is rather remote. Facilities like electricity, medical aid, hot running water, western toilets etc. are rare to find. Surrounded by the scenic beauty of the Himalayas, the summit gives you mesmerizing views of the surrounding mountain ranges and valleys.
Pic: mohit dr