Dec 15, 2022
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Zoji La Pass Road, Kashmir, India

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Zoji La is a high mountain pass located in the western section of the Himalayas in the Indian union territory of Ladakh. It is located on the Srinagar-Leh National Highway, which is the main road connecting the Ladakh region to the rest of India. The pass is situated at an elevation of approximately 3,528 meters (11,575 feet) above sea level, and it is known for its rugged and challenging terrain.

Zoji La is a key transportation route in the region, as it connects the Kargil and Leh districts of Ladakh. The pass is usually open from May to November, depending on the weather conditions. During the winter months, the pass is usually covered in snow and is not passable.

Zoji La is also a popular destination for adventure seekers, as the area offers a variety of outdoor activities such as trekking, mountain biking, and rock climbing. The pass is surrounded by high peaks and snow-capped mountains, and the views from the pass are breathtaking.

NameZoji La Pass
StateJammu and Kashmir
Mountain RangeHimalayas
Coordinates34° 16' 44" N 75° 28' 14" E
RoadSrinagar - Leh (India National 1)

The Zoji La Pass is part of the National Highway 1 of India, the road that connects the Indian capital, Delhi, with the border city of Attari, very close to Pakistan. This pass is the second highest step of Jammu and Kashmir, after the Fotu La Pass, which reaches 13477 ft (4.108 meters). It also serves as the union between the Indian region of Buddhist and Tibetan influence of Ladakh (in dispute between India and Pakistan for years) and Kashmir. Zoji La Pass has a long history. As early as the 14th century, Prince Rinchen Shah (1320-23) of Ladakh used this route to reach Kashmir, establish himself and become the first Muslim king in the area.

Do I need a permit to visit Zoji La Pass?

Driving through the Zoji La Pass can be challenging due to the rugged and winding road that passes through the pass. The road is narrow and has steep inclines and declines, and it can be slippery and hazardous due to the high altitude and the possibility of ice and snow. In addition, the pass is located at a high elevation, which means that the air is thin and the weather can be unpredictable.

It is recommended to drive through the Zoji La Pass with caution and to be prepared for the challenges of the road. A 4WD vehicle is not strictly necessary, but it can be helpful in navigating the rough terrain and handling the steep inclines and declines of the pass. It is also a good idea to bring warm clothing, food, and water, as well as any necessary medical supplies and equipment in case of emergencies.

Zoji La Pass is a really dangerous mountain pass

Zoji La Pass is a really dangerous mountain pass

Trucks in Zoji La Pass

Trucks in Zoji La Pass, Henkie P

Zoji La Pass under construction

Is Zoji La Pass open now?

The Zoji La Pass is not always open to traffic due to the challenging and rugged terrain of the region, as well as the harsh weather conditions that can occur in the area. The pass is usually open from May to November, depending on the weather conditions. During this time, the road is generally clear and passable for vehicles.

However, the Zoji La Pass can be closed to traffic due to various reasons such as landslides, snowfall, and other natural disasters. It is also closed during the winter months due to heavy snowfall, which makes it impassable for vehicles. If you are planning to travel through the Zoji La Pass, it is recommended to check the latest road conditions and weather forecasts before embarking on your journey.

Zoji La Pass in Google Maps


Do I need a permit to visit Zoji La Pass?

In general, you do not need a special permit to visit the Zoji La Pass. The pass is a major transportation route and is open to all travelers. However, if you are planning to visit the Zoji La Pass as part of a tour or as part of a larger trip to Ladakh, it is possible that your tour operator or travel agent may require you to obtain a permit.

In addition, if you are planning to visit certain restricted or protected areas in Ladakh, you may be required to obtain a permit. These areas include the Nubra Valley, the Pangong Tso Lake, and the Tso Moriri Lake, among others. Permits for these areas can be obtained from the District Commissioner’s Office in Leh or from authorized travel agents. It is always best to check with your tour operator or the local authorities for the latest information on permit requirements.

Asia · India · Kashmir · Ladakh

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