NAKEE LA PASS – High Mountain Pass

Photo of NAKEE LA PASS – High Mountain Pass 1/1 by Neeraj Dhiman

NakeeLa Pass (altitude 15,547 ft | 4738 mtr) is a mountain in the Zanskar Range. This pass connects the Himachal Pradesh districts of Lahaul and Spiti to the J&K Zanskar Range.

The third of five crossings to cross on the way from Manali to Leh is the Nakee la Pass. It is located between Sarchu and Pang. Because of the poor road conditions, even the most experienced drivers must exercise extreme caution behind the wheel. But if you’ve driven on the road, you truly earn a medal.

The road’s surface is paved, however there are occasional gravel parts. Avalanches, severe snowfalls, and landslides can occur at any moment and can sometimes block some portions of the road, making them highly dangerous owing to ice patches. The approach to the pass is known as the ‘Gata loops.’ The Nakee-la is a 23-kilometer rise with 21 hairpin turns from 4250m to 4980m. The route is supposed to be haunted by the ghost of a visitor who died here and was buried. People sell smokes and mineral water on the spot and then go on their way.

The weather in this zone is severe and very unpredictable, and it doesn’t take long for a dazzling sun shine to turn into moderate to heavy snow fall. The pass is nothing spectacular, and most people don’t even notice it when they over it. After Nakeela, the landscape becomes quite dry, with no streams or rivers to cross.