Karakoram Highway is the highest paved international road and Eighth Wonder of the World

The Karakoram Highway (informally known as the KKH) is said to be the highest paved international road in the world, running between Western China and Pakistan. It's the road to paradise for those who love exploring the mountains, offering a once-in-a-lifetime road trip for adventure lovers.

Karakoram Highway

How Long is the Karakoram Highway?

The two-way road, also known as Karakorum Highway and China-Pakistan Friendship Highway, is 1,300 km (810 mi) long, with 887 km (551 mi) in Pakistan and 413 km (257 mi) in China. It runs through disputed Kashmir from Hassan Abdal (a small town near Rawalpindi and Islamabad) to Kashgar in Xinjiang province, Western China.

Is the Karakoram Highway open?

The road is open all year round, except for the Khunjerab Pass, a high mountain pass at an elevation of 4,693 m (15,397 ft) above sea level, open only between May 1 and December 31 due to heavy snow. Harsh winters with heavy snow can lead to extended closures, while monsoon rains in July and August occasionally cause landslides, blocking the road for hours or more.

When was the Karakoram Highway built?

The road is considered one of the scariest and hair-raising jeep trips globally. Construction began in 1959, and it opened to the public in 1986 after 27 years of corded drilling and construction. During the construction, 810 Pakistani and 82 Chinese workers lost their lives, mostly in landslides and falls.

Is the Karakoram Highway being improved?

Traveling here isn't for the faint-hearted, although transportation has significantly improved in the past decades. Some sections require regular clearing and repair, and occasionally, parts of the road need to be rebuilt. According to China's State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, the road is set to be improved in the coming years. The width of the highway will be expanded from 10 meters to 30 meters, and its transport capacity will be increased threefold. Due to the sensitive state of the Kashmir conflict, the Karakoram highway holds strategic and military importance. In 2010, a part of the road was submerged due to a landslide in the Hunza Valley. In 2015, the damaged road was replaced with the construction of a masterpiece known as the Attabad Lake tunnel. It consists of a series of 5 tunnels nestled at 2,500 m above sea level. The newly built section is 24 km (15 mi) long, comprising two bridges, 78 culverts, and five tunnels with a total length of 7 km at the cost of $275 million.

Is the Karakoram Highway dangerous?

The highest paved international road on the planet doesn't come without its dangers. It is battered by stones, rockfall, floods, and earthquakes. Use this stone calculator to estimate bulk material weight. Some say it is one of the scariest roads in the world. The drive is not easy. It's not advisable to take cars; 4x4 is preferred. Do not attempt this road with a car that does not perform well in the elements. The road is extremely treacherous and requires a vehicle that can hold its own against some of the most unforgiving terrain in the world. Drive with care as this is a mountain road with hairpin curves and potential steep falls of hundreds of meters on the left side and a very unstable mountain with a high risk of rockfalls, especially when raining, on the right side. With absolutely no barrier on one side and a sheer rock wall on the other, the margin of driver error is fairly slim. To make matters worse, the area is prone to floods and landslides. The road is so narrow in parts that only one vehicle can pass at a time, while the other waits on the very narrow edge of the road.

Is the Karakoram Highway worth it?

It is one of the ultimate travel destinations. The drive offers stunning views and serves as a popular tourist attraction. Tracing one of the many pathways of the ancient Silk Road, it's a high mountain road running through the Himalayas, the Karakoram, and the Hindu Kush ranges. It's best traveled in the spring or early autumn. While the incredible views of K2 you see along the way make it a popular tourist route, the 800-mile highway is a nightmare for people who are prone to altitude sickness. The drive can be an incredible journey, as long as you take the necessary precautions and heed weather warnings.

Is Karakoram Highway a wonder of the world?

As a marvel of civil engineering, it's said to be the 'Eighth Wonder of the World' due to its high elevation and the difficult conditions in which it was constructed. The road features scary moments as well as awe-inspiring scenery. Traveling the road proved a massive challenge and also a great adventure. The KKH runs through the highest concentration of soaring mountain peaks and raging rivers in the world and is generally considered to be among the most spectacular areas on our planet. It's the most famous road in the Himalayas and perfect for those who like adventure. Are you fascinated by roads? Or are you looking for interesting facts about them to include in your essay? Or perhaps you are doing research on roads for your research paper? In either case, this article is exactly what you need. And if you need help with your assignments, don't hesitate to use a professional essay writing service. Expert writers can take care of your papers in no time.
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