Important Mountain Passes in India: Complete Notes [2024]

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Have you ever felt lost navigating a sea of geographical facts while preparing for competitive exams? You’re not alone! Many crucial exams test your knowledge of mountain passes in India.

The mountain passes of the Northern and Northeastern Mountains are one of integral parts of India’s physiography.

These strategic gateways connect regions, influence weather patterns, and hold immense historical significance. However, memorizing a long list of them can feel daunting.

This blog post is your one-stop guide to mastering mountain passes in India. We’ll explore the most frequently asked passes, their locations, and interesting trivia that will make them stick in your memory.

This knowledge will help you ace your exams and vividly picture India’s diverse landscapes. So buckle up, grab your metaphorical map, and get ready to conquer every mountain pass question that comes your way!

What is a Mountain Pass?

Mountain passes are like natural gateways through mountains. When travelling through mountains, you’ll often come across areas where the land dips between two peaks. These are mountain passes. They’re like pathways that allow you to go from one side of the mountain range to the other.

People have been using mountain passes for centuries to travel between different regions. They’re important because they provide routes through otherwise difficult terrain, making trade, travel, and communication possible between communities that mountains might otherwise isolate.

These passes can form in three ways: between volcanic peaks, or by erosion from rivers or wind carving away at the mountains. The Khyber Pass, for example, is a famous historical route shaped by such erosion.

List of Major Mountain Passes in India

Sl. NoMountain Passes nameState
1.Aghil PassLadakh
2.Changla PassLadakh
3.Khardung LaLadakh
4.Khunjerab PassLadakh
5.Karakoram Pass (Qara Tagh)Ladakh
6.Lanak PassLadakh
7.Lungalacha LaLadakh
8.Mintaka PassLadakh
9.Parpik PassLadakh
10.Sasser PassLadakh
11.Imis LaLadakh
12.Bara-lacha-laHimachal Pradesh
13.Chanshal PassHimachal Pradesh
14.Kunzum PassHimachal Pradesh
15.Lamkhaga PassHimachal Pradesh
16.Rohtang PassHimachal Pradesh
17.Shipki LaHimachal Pradesh
18.Kalindi PassUttarakhand
19.Banihal PassJammu and Kashmir
20.Burzail PassJammu and Kashmir
21.Pir-Panjal PassJammu and Kashmir
22.Zojila PassJammu and Kashmir
23.BomdilaArunachal Pradesh
24.Chankan PassArunachal Pradesh
25.Dihang PassArunachal Pradesh
26.Diphu PassArunachal Pradesh
27.Hpungan PassArunachal Pradesh
28.Lipulekh PassUttarakhand
29.Mana PassUttarakhand
30.Mangsha DhuraUttarakhand
31.Niti PassUttarakhand
32.Nathu LaSikkim
33.Jelep LaSikkim
34.Palakkad GapKerala
35.SengottaiKerala
36.Thalghat GapMaharshtra
37.Thalghat GapMaharshtra
38.Bhor Ghat GapMaharashtra
36.Sela PassArunachal Pradesh
39.Kumjawng PassArunachal Pradesh

Mountain Passes in India map [North India]

Major Mountain Passes of India
Major Mountain Passes in India

Major Mountain Passes in India: Key Points

Mountain Passes in Arunachal Pradesh

Bom Di La (Arunachal Pradesh)

  • It is situated near the western boundary of Bhutan in the greater Himalayas.
  • The pass connects Arunachal Pradesh with Lhasa.

Dihang Pass (Arunachal Pradesh)

  • It provides passage between Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar.

Yonggyap Pass (Arunachal Pradesh)

  • It is located near the Indo-China border.
  • It joins Arunachal Pradesh with Tibet.

Dipher or Diphu Pass (Arunachal Pradesh)

  • Diphu Pass lies at the trijunction of the India, China, and Myanmar border.
  • It connects Arunachal Pradesh and Mandalay in Myanmar.
  • It is an important land trade route between India and Myanmar.
  • Diphu Pass lies on the McMahon Line.

Mountain Passes in Ladakh

Mintaka Pass (Ladakh)

  • It lies near the trijunction of the India-China and Afghanistan border.
  • It joins north Kashmir with China.

Parpik Pass (Ladakh)

  • It is located to the east of Mintaka ass on the Indo-China border.
  • It joins North Kashmir with China.

Aghil Pass (Ladakh)

  • It is lying in the north of the K2 peak.
  • It joins the Ladakh region of India with the Xinjiang Province of China.

Khardungla Pass (Ladakh)

  • It is situated near Leh in Ladakh range.
  • Earlier, It was the World’s highest motorable road.
  • Khardungla Pass is the gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valleys.

Umling La Pass (Ladakh)

  • Umling La is a mountain pass in Ladakh, India.
  • The pass is on the ridgeline between Koyul Lungpa and the Indus River.
  • It is the world’s highest motorable road between Chisumle and Demchok, at an elevation of 5,798.251 m (19,024 ft).

Lanak La (Ladakh)

  • Lanak La is a mountain pass in the disputed Aksai Chin region.
  • China administers it as part of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Mountain Passes in Jammu & Kashmir

Banihal Pass (Jammu and Kashmir)

  • Banihal Pass is situated across the Pirpanjal Range.
  • It joins Srinagar in the north and Jammu in the south.
  • A tunnel named ‘Jawahar Tunnel’ was built across this pass.
  • This pass provides a railway link between Banihal and Kazigund.
  • In the Kashmiri language, “Banihāl” means blizzard.

Zoji La (Jammu and Kashmir)

  • This Pass provides an important road link between Srinagar, Kargil, and Leh.
  • The road passing through this pass has been designated the National Highway I.

Mountain Passes in Himachal Pradesh

Debsa Pass (Himachal Pradesh)

  • It provides a link between the Kullu and Spiti districts.

Bara Lacha La (Himachal Pradesh)

  • Bara-lacha la is a high mountain pass situated in the Zanskar range.
  • This pass connects the Lahul district in Himachal Pradesh to the Leh district in Ladakh.
  • The Leh–Manali Highway traverses the pass.
  • A water divide is formed between the Bhaga River and the Yunam River by the Bara Lacha La pass.

Rohtang Pass (Himachal Pradesh)

  • Located on the Pir Panjal Range.
  • It provides a road link between Kullu, Lahul, and Spiti Valleys.

Shipki La Pass (Himachal Pradesh)

  • This pass connects Himachal Pradesh and Tibet.
  • The river Sutlej enters India through this mountain pass.

Mountain Passes in Uttarakhand

Lipu Lekh (Uttarakhand)

  • This pass is situated near the trijunction of Uttarakhand (India), Tibet (China), and Nepal borders.
  • Pilgrims use it to Kailash-Mansarovar.

Mana pass (Uttarakhand)

  • This pass is near the north of the holy place of Badrinath.
  • This pass connects Uttarakhand with Tibet.

Mountain Passes in Sikkim

Nathula pass (Sikkim)

  • This pass is situated on the border of India and China.
  • It is a part of the ancient Silk Route.
  • It connects Sikkim with Tibet.
  • This pass is an important trade route between India and China.

Jelep La pass (Sikkim)

  • Jelep La is a high mountain pass between East Sikkim District, and Tibet Region, China.
  • It connects the route of Lhasa to India.
  • The pass is about 4 km south of the Nathu La pass.
  • ‘Jelep-la’ is a Tibetan word that means “The lovely level pass.

Mountain passes in India map [South India]

Mountain Passes of South India
Mountain Passes of South India

Mountain Passes in South India

Palakkad gap or Palghat gap (Between Tamil Nadu and Kerala)

  • Palghat Gap is a mountain pass located in the Western Ghats.
  • It connects Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu and Palakkad in Kerala.
  • This mountain pass is between the Nilgiri and Anaimalai Hills in Tami Nadu.

Sengottai gap (Tamil Nadu)

  • Sengottai is a town in the Tenkasi district, of Tamil Nadu, India.
  • It is considered the gateway of southern Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Thal Ghat Gap (Maharashtra)

  • Thal Ghat gap is also known as Thul Ghat or Kasara Ghat.
  • It is a section in the Western Ghats near Kasara in Maharashtra.
  • The Thal Ghat is located in the busy Mumbai–Nashik area.

Bhor Ghat Gap (Maharashtra)

  • The Bhor Ghat Gap was used as an ancient trade route by the Satavahana Dynasty.
  • It connects the Choul, Revdanda, and Panvel ports located on the Konkan coast and the surrounding areas of the Deccan plateau.
  • This ghat lies on the Mumbai Pune Highway.

Importance of Mountain Passes

  • Shortcut through the mountains: Mountain passes are the easiest way to travel across mountain ranges.
  • Highways of history: For thousands of years, people have used passes for trade, travel, and settling down.
  • Perfect for villages and forts: Passes are often flat areas surrounded by mountains, making them ideal spots to build villages and defend against attackers.
  • Connecting cultures: Passes bridge different regions, allowing people and ideas to flow freely. Imagine a mountain pass as a giant doorway!

FAQs on Mountain Passes in India

Q 1. Which is the highest motorable mountain pass in India?

Ans. Umling La Pass is the highest motorable mountain pass in India. It was inaugurated in August 2021 and is now the highest motorable pass in India.

Q 2. Which are the important mountain passes in Southern India?

Ans. There are 4 important mountain passes in Southern India: Shencottah Gap, Bhor Ghat, Thal Ghat, and Pal Ghat.

Q3. How many mountain passes in India?

Ans. There are more than 66 mountain passes in India, here we have discussed only the important ones.

Q4. Which is the largest mountain pass in India?

Ans. Dungri La Pass or Mana Pass (5,608 m) is the largest mountain pass in India.

Q5. Which pass connects Kashmir and Tibet?

Ans. Zoji La Pass ( 13,000 feet) connects the valley of Kashmir with Ladakh.

Final Thoughts

So, you’ve conquered the key points about mountain passes in India! Remember, these natural corridors aren’t just geographical features – they’re vital links that shaped history and continue to influence trade and travel. Many mountain passes in India also double as strategic points, often housing border control or military installations.

Knowing these mountain passes can give you an edge in your competitive exams – especially when questions touch on history, geography, or strategic locations. Regularly visit this site for even more helpful content to ace your exams!

Do you find this information helpful? Please Share it with your exam buddies! And if you have any questions about mountain passes in India, comment below.


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As a professional blogger and passionate educator, I am driven by a deep-seated desire to share knowledge and empower others. With years of experience in the field, I am committed to providing valuable insights and guidance to aspiring learners. My passion lies in helping individuals discover their potential and achieve their goals. I am also a firm believer in the power of motivation and strive to inspire others to pursue their dreams with unwavering determination.

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