Khardung La (la means pass in Tibetan) (elevation 5359 m) is a high mountain pass located in the Ladakh region, Jammu and Kashmir, India. The international spelling is used here, but it is locally spelt "Khardong La".
The pass on the Ladakh Range lies north of Leh and is the gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valleys. The Siachen Glacier lies partway up the latter valley. Built in 1976, it was opened to motor vehicles in 1988 and has since seen many automobile, motorbike and mountain biking expeditions. Maintained by the Indian Army\'s Corps, the pass is strategically important to India as it is used to carry essential supplies to the Siachen. Khardong La is historically important as it lies on the major caravan route from Leh to Kashgar in Chinese Central Asia. About 10,000 horses and camels used to take the route annually, and a small population of Bactrian camels can still be seen in the area north of the pass, mute witnesses to history. During World War II there was a futile attempt to transfer war material to China through this route.
When to go
How to reach
Khardung La is located at a distance of 39km from Leh.
The entire distance is uphill and it can take upto 2 hours to reach. A large number of shared taxis are available in Leh. Motorbikes and bicycles are also available for hire. Think twice, thrice, any number of times before taking a bicycle. :-)
Inner Line Permits are required to go to Khardungla. The DC office issues the Inner Line Permits. To avoid hassles and save time it's a good idea to get the permit through a local agent.