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Notable passes of the Himalayan range

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Origin of the Himalayas

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Title:Notable passes of the Himalayan range
Credit:Compiled from multiple sources by Pragya
In a mountain range, a pass is the ‘saddle-point’ between regions of higher elevations that allow easy passage through the range. Many of them have roads constructed over them to facilitate transport. The rugged terrains of the Himalayas present a formidable barrier to all travelers and explorers. Thus, the passes have played a key role in trade, migration, as well as military invasions. Many of these passes are historically significant, for instance, those forming parts of the famous Silk Road. Some of the important Himalayan passes include:

Khardung La (5,602 m)
Located in Ladakh, it is the gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valleys
It is officially the world’s highest motorable pass.

Semo La (5,565 m)
It is situated in Central Tibet and gives access to Chang Tang region
It can be used as an alternative route to west Tibet and Mount Kailash.

Tanglang La (5359 m)
It is in Ladakh and is reached via the famous 21 Gata loops
It is the second highest motorable pass in India after Khardung La

Changla (5,288 m) It is on the route to Pangong Lake from Leh It is named after the hermit Changla baba, to whom the pass temple is also dedicated.

Baralacha La (4,890 m)
Connects Lahaul to Ladakh
It is on National Highway, connecting Manali to Leh.

Nathu La (4,310 m) Connecting Gangtok, Sikkim to Lhasa, Tibet Forms part of an offshoot of the ancient Silk Road.

Jelep La (4,267 m)
Connecting Gangtok, Sikkim to Lhasa, Tibet
Forms part of an offshoot of the ancient Silk Road.

Se La (4,195 m)
It is in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
It was a battlefield during the Indo-Chinese War of 1962.

Rohtang La (3,978 m)
Connects the Kullu Valley with the Lahul and Spiti valleys of Himachal Pradesh
It is the oldest and most frequented pass of the region.

Zoji La (3,528 m) Connecting Srinagar to Leh Only Western entrance to the highlands of Ladakh
Banihal (2,832 m) Connecting hill areas of Jammu to the Kashmir valley
Banihal pass remains snow covered during the winter, and Jawahar tunnel is used instead.
The most famous mountain passes in this region are the Khyber and the Bolan passes. However, these do not fall within the Himalayan range. Khyber pass lies in the Safed Koh range, linking Pakistan and Afghanistan, while the Bolan pass is through the Toba Kakar range of western Pakistan. History mentions both as important trade routes of the region. Many of the famous invasions into southern Asia, including those of Alexander the Great and the Mughals, occurred over the Khyber pass.