Gata Loops

The roller coaster road to Gata Loops

Gata Loops is the name of the sharply winding and precipitous ascent in a steep and narrow zig-zag road nestled in the Western Himalayas in the Ladakh region of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It's one of the most famous hairpinned roads in the world.

This roller coaster ride is a series of 22 hairpin bends that takes you to the top of Nakeela La. Its many twists, turns and narrows can pose a challenge to even the most experienced drivers. It is considered as one of the tourist attractions of the Leh Manali Highway. These loops are said to be haunted by the ghost of a dead trucker. The road is not easy, though. Up, down, right, left all the time. The loops are 10.3 km and each loop is between 300-600 meters. The longest loops are the last two ones being 800 meters and a kilometer and a half respectively. The angularly elevated roads facilitate passage by loaded trucks. There are shortcuts across the loops but only small vehicles can pass through them.

This series of 22 amazing hairpin bends is winding and steep. You start at 4.190m (13,746ft) to end at 4.650m (15,255ft). This route is not recommended if your passengers are prone to car sickness. Don’t stuff your belly too much. Eventually, you might feel vomiting temptations. The average gradient is 4.46%. Driving at night, or in poor visibility, is not recommended for drivers unfamiliar with the road. As you travel along the hairpin bends and curves, you’ll feel the adrenaline rush of being challenged by the terrain. The road is suitable to have ride during the months of June, July, August and September. There are high chances of getting affected by AMS (Altitude Mountain Sickness).
Pic: Sunil Dev