It was pitch dark outside the bus window. I had the window open as it was a bit hot and stuffy inside the bus. The intoxicating fragrance of Sandalwood floated in along with the fresh jungle breeze. It was 2 AM and I was on a bus which was traveling dangerously over a Ghat section which consisted of hairpin bends. The driver navigated a turn and even before he could steady the bus, a huge rock face stared in front of us and the driver again agilely worked magic on the steering wheel to take a sharp turn. This ritual continued and this was what was keeping me awake. I looked across the bus and realized that for the most part, the passengers were in deep slumber, totally unaware of the scary road that the Bus driver was navigating in. India is full of roads that are a challenge to most expert and skilled drivers.
The terrain of the country with extreme landscapes is responsible for roads that give nightmares even to the most skilled and able drivers. Let us hit the road and traverse through some of the scariest roads in India, which are every driver’s nightmare.
Khardung La Pass
The Khardung La Pass lies at an elevation of 17, 582 feet and is the gateway to the Nubra valley which leads to the Siachen Glacier. Though touted as the highest motor-able place in the world, it is not the highest. However, the road to Khardung La is spread with narrow passes and hairpin bends that challenge the driving skills of any driver and is definitely a road to reckon with. Khardung La Pass is situated about 39 kilometres from Leh in the district of Ladakh. The road is open only between the months of May to September.
This highway connects Manali in Himachal Pradesh to Leh in Ladakh. It is open only during the summer months between May and September. The road is maintained by the Border Roads Organization of the Indian Army and spans across some of the most beautiful landscapes. It also crosses breathtakingly beautiful streams of water formed by the melting ice of the mountains. The average height of the highway is about 13,000 feet and the highest elevation point is 17,480 feet. It is a double lane road which narrows down to about one and a half lane. The fact that there is no divider and you have sheer drops into the valley on one side tests the driving skills and patience of drivers. In stretches, the road is damaged and also prone to landslides making it a dangerous road to drive on. It is commonly known as the road where anything can happen at the next turn. While you are here, make your trip memorable and wholesome by staying at the gorgeous Manali White Mist.
Nathu La Pass
The road that connects Gangtok to Nathu La in Sikkim is another difficult road for drivers to navigate in. The road leads to Nathu La, about 54 kilometres from Gangtok. Nathu La is one of the farthest outposts on the Indo-China border. It is also an Indo-China border trading post. The road meanders through difficult terrains and landscapes. It narrows down as it hugs the rocky mountain faces and vehicles slowly pass over it across areas that are prone to avalanches. In winter the road is blocked due to massive snowfall. The weather in the region is also erratic and a clear sky can change to gloomy darkness within minutes, as clouds sweep over it and the icy winds of the Himalayan ranges blow over it. All these factors ensure that only skilled drivers with knowledge of the terrain and the conditions are able to drive on this road. Army permit is required to reach Nathu La and foreign nationals are not permitted to go there. Plan your stay at the Gangtok Delisso Abode for an unforgettable vacation.
This road lies in Jammu and is a veritable nightmare to even the most seasoned of drivers. The overhanging cliffs and sharp hairpin bends make it difficult to drive on. One false move and you could drop down over 600 metres into the ravine, as some sections do not have guard rails on the side of the road. Danger and death lurk around every bend in this road. If you are not a pro, then this road is definitely not for you.
These are some of the scariest roads that can give nightmares to the most seasoned of drivers, however there are many more in the country that could put the driving skills of the most experienced drivers to test. If intriguing road trips are your thing, check out our 10 tourist spots that beak the laws of Physics for an adrenaline-pumping experience.