Here's how you can reach Umling la(19300ft).The world's highest motorable road.

Tripoto

Credits@Fakiraraiders

Photo of Here's how you can reach Umling la(19300ft).The world's highest motorable road. by Prudhvi Raj

After the news came out that BRO has built world's highest motorable road Umling la at 19300ft.I literally want to go there,So after spending a lot of time doing research on the internet and finally knowing the unknowns,I have knitted this article.

What is Umling la?

"La" means pass,So umling la means Umling pass.

Highest point- Umling la top-19300ft

Photo of Here's how you can reach Umling la(19300ft).The world's highest motorable road. 1/7 by Prudhvi Raj
Bro Personnel at Umling la top

Where is Umling la?

In a major feat, the Border Roads Organization (BRO) has constructed the world’s highest motorable road in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, passing through Umling La Top at a height of over 19,300 feet.

The feat was achieved under “Project Himank” of the BRO. Being close to Hanle, the 86-km-long strategic road through Umling La Top connects Chisumle and Demchok villages,These villages are very close to the India-China border in eastern sector.

It is not available on any of the maps as of now.so only way is to rely on GPS Coordinates(32.6930000,79.2718610).

How to reach Umling la?

There are 3 routes to reach:

Route 1: Fukche-Koyul-Demchok-Umling la

Photo of Here's how you can reach Umling la(19300ft).The world's highest motorable road. 2/7 by Prudhvi Raj
Demchok:file photo

Demchok is a village split into two during war in 1962 half of it being lost to china.People cross over to visit relatives and army does not interfere under normal conditions.Being one of the most beautiful routes in entire Ladakh region the drive from Fukche post to Demchok will leave you speechless.The sunlight falling on those colourful mountain walls is just amazing.The montage of hues and river Indus will follow all through.

Photo of Here's how you can reach Umling la(19300ft).The world's highest motorable road. 3/7 by Prudhvi Raj
En route Demchok.Credits:trodly

You can literally see Chinese roads on the other side of the border and you also see Chinese troops carefully observing your every move from their outposts, as the border is just a stone throw away at some places.

Photo of Here's how you can reach Umling la(19300ft).The world's highest motorable road. 4/7 by Prudhvi Raj
Chinese outpost near Demchok

This route takes you to Umling la top from opposite side to the normal route.

CAUTION:

1.There is a lot of ambiguity about this route like Demchok, Fukche and other places will require rigorous special permits(In written duly signed by District Magistrate Leh) in order to enter.

2.Only few people managed to travel on this route.This route is not taken as most of the people don't know that this route exists and another reason being the chance of getting this special permit is 0.001%.

3.You can try your luck getting this permission when you are accompanied by Army men or someone like an IAS officer.Although you have permission you can be turned away from any checkpost if there is an ongoing tension on the border.

4.There are certain roads that leads you straight into china,So be carefulI and also choose your guide/driver who have been to these places.There are some ex-army scout tour guides who had good knowledge of roads and also negotiate well at the check posts.

5.Even after going through all the bureaucracy you will not be allowed to click any pictures, but you can click some pictures from inside the vehicle.

6.Incase you get that special permission please feel free to ask me about plotting the route(This route is not available on any maps).

This is perfect example to the quote "Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations"

Route 2: Hanle-Photi La-Umlingla

This is the most preferential route of all.Turn on your GPS and head straight from Leh to Photi la via Hanle. Hanle is famous for its Observatory and this is one of the few places in India where you can witness Milky way Galactic Center in its full glory.

Photo of Here's how you can reach Umling la(19300ft).The world's highest motorable road. 5/7 by Prudhvi Raj
Source:wikipedia
Photo of Here's how you can reach Umling la(19300ft).The world's highest motorable road. 6/7 by Prudhvi Raj
Birds eye view Hanle.Credits:Jautingglobe

The regular permit which you obtained from leh is enough for this route, you don't need that special permit.But civilians are not allowed to descend to Demchok from Umling la top as it requires special permit.

Route details:

Hanle to Photi la-35km

Photi la to Photile village-22km

Photile village to 1st bridge(on Indus river)-7km

1st bridge to 2nd bridge-5km(2nd bridge is under construction so you need to cross the nalla)

2nd bridge to Umling la-35km(25km mattled and 10km under construction)

Route 3: Hanle-Ukdungle-Umling la

This route takes you directly to 2nd water crossing with out crossing 1st bridge.Normal permit is enough for this route.

Route details:

Hanle to Ukdungle-32km(dirt trail)

Ukdungle to 2nd bridge-28km(2nd bridge is under construction so you need to cross the nalla)

2nd bridge to Umling la-35km(25km mattled and 10km under construction)

I have done all the hardwork in plotting the maps,I am providing the link to the map just click it and it opens straight away in google maps.Click on any of the predefined points on the map and click navigate to.Directions wont work for the red line on the map so you need to turn on your GPS and custom navigate yourself on that red line carefully inorder to reach Umling la.Please be careful not to get lost as there are several misleading routes on your way to Umling la.

Photo of Here's how you can reach Umling la(19300ft).The world's highest motorable road. 7/7 by Prudhvi Raj

Google Maps Link

Weather Conditions:

The temperature remains in minus degrees through the year.So you do your packing right.

Accommodation:

The nearest place you can find accommodation is Hanle.

Best Time to go:

Go as soon as the roads open in June or just before the road closes in October. There are two reasons for this:

1.Less touristy during this time and you will have it all for yourselves.

2.As the 2nd bridge is under construction and also you need to cross other nallas on the way to Umling la, you may find it difficult in peak summer(July&August) as Indus river will be in its full glory.

Precaution:

1. Make sure you have the right permits to travel in certain areas.

2. Acclimatize well before you go to Umling la or else you will find it difficult and better carry supplementary oxygen.

3. The nearest filling station is Karu which is nearer to leh, So make sure you have enough reserves.

I am expecting that pending road will be completed by end of 2018 under normal circumstances and by 2019 it will be flooded by tourists.

Everything mentioned here is based on information made available till December 2017.In future one can expect all the roads to be completed and maps can be available.

6 Comment(s)
Sort by:
Hi Prudhvi Raj, great job in laying out the details to Umling la at19,300 ft. Would be definitely making an expedition to this place. Khardung la was the highest at 18,379 ft was the highest when I have been around Ladakh region with different groups. Have made 6 visits so far to this region. Thanks
Mon 10 08 18, 12:33 · Reply · Report
The suggested route is an overview. has lot of mistakes. Anyone wanna go, plz contact for the exact details
Sat 06 16 18, 13:36 · Reply (2) · Report
Can u help me to edit this...?
Fri 08 10 18, 12:43 · Report
Can u help me to edit this....
Fri 08 10 18, 12:43 · Report
This is an awesome article, and that map too. Thanks for collecting the names of the places here. The only mistake is the name of the river on which the first and second bridge are. I think its Koyul Lungpa, not Indus. Because Indus is on the other side of UmlingLa and Demchok as well. Julley.
Sun 05 20 18, 15:24 · Reply · Report
Any domestic tourist can visit upto Hanle with proper permit and not beyond Hanle.Permit to Umlung La is strictly not permitted due to its sensitivity. Thanks wangchuk Hanle 7051088717
Wed 04 11 18, 19:10 · Reply · Report
Wonderful ! hope to ride with you someday ! will you guide in how to get these permits ?
Sat 03 03 18, 10:31 · Reply (1) · Report
A normal ILP would be enough,One can easily get it in leh.
Sun 03 18 18, 17:38 · Report
Show More Comments