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Timings : 24 hrs

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Umling La Pass, Leh Ladakh Overview

Umling La Pass is the most famous highest motorable roads situated at an elevation of 19,300 feet, around 105 km from Hanle Village, which itself is located 275 km from Leh in the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir. If you are a motorbike enthusiast, you would be surprised to know that Umling La is the world's highest motorable road filled with a lot of adventure and thrill. This fascinating pass stretches over a distance of 86 km connecting two quaint villages lying on the Indo-China border namely Chisumle and Demchok. Umling La Pass is a scenic place located in the most beautiful part of India. Situated at such a great height, this place is a must visit for adventurous souls and nature lovers.

Apart from its altitude, the reason that makes Umling La Pass special is the fact that this place is devoid of civilization and lies completely barren. It is spread prolifically and beckons people to explore its beauty. The continuous cold wind that blows here will make you feel refreshed and the state of this place in its raw glory will make you awestruck. Since it is the highest motorable road, Umling La Pass is famous for motorbiking. You can take your motorcycle and have a ride through the Umling La. The picturesque landscapes and variegated rocky mountains will add to the experience of motorbike and make the journey even more magnificent.

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Best Time to Visit Umling La Pass

Situated at such a high elevation, the temperature in Umling La remains in minus throughout the year. In the months of November to Mid-May, the roads are snowbound, as a result of which many people don’t visit Umlingla Pass in those months. In the month of June, the weather is clear and the road to Umling La is also kept open which makes it an ideal time to visit.

Umling La Pass Permit

To travel to Umling La you need a special Inner Line Permit (ILP) which is an official travel document issued by the Government of India to allow travel to the restricted area. This travel permit can be obtained in advance in Leh. Without this permit, you would not be allowed to travel to Umling La. So, make sure to obtain this permit well in advance for a hassle-free travel.

How to Reach Umling La Pass

There are three ways in which you can reach Umling La.

Route 1: Leh to Hanle
This is a general route that people follow to reach Hanle. The total distance is 275 km and it takes about 9-10 hours to reach the destination. In order to reach Hanle the following route has to be followed:
Leh- Karu-Upshi-Kumdok-Chumathang-Mahe-Nyoma-Loma-Hanle

Route 2: Pangong Tso Lake to Hanle
There exists a direct route between Hanle, Tso Moriri and Pangong Tso.  One can exit Ladakh from Tso Moriri towards Manali-Leh Highway after visiting Hanle and Tso Moriri without coming back towards Leh. The following route has to be followed:
Pangong Tso-Man-Merak-Kakstet-Chusul-Tsaga La-Tsaga Village-Loma-Hanle

The overall journey culminates to 176 km and takes 8-9 hours. However, it must also be kept in mind that the above route is meant for Indian citizens as foreigners are not permitted to proceed beyond Man-Merak Village route and must opt for alternative routes to reach Hanle.

Route 3: Hanle- Tso Moriri
After visiting Hanle, one can opt to go towards Tso Moriri through different routes. They are:
Hanle-Loma-Nyoma-Mahe-Sumdo-Tso Moriri
Hanle-Salsal La-Charchagan La-Tso Moriri
Hanle-Salsal La-Kyon Tso-Thitzorbit La-Nidar-Nyoma-Mahe-Sumdo-Tso Moriri

In the first route, the total distance takes 161 km and about 8 hours to reach the destination. The latter two routes take less time, but permits through these routes are very difficult to obtain. Hence, the first route is always preferred.

Vehicles to Opt for

Due to the journey, higher ground clearance vehicles are preferred and 4*4 vehicles will surely add the much-needed comfort and peace of mind. The road ahead of Hanle towards Photi La has some tricky sections in between and then further to Umling La Pass, there could be few water crossings which could be nasty at times. The same goes for the route which goes via Ukdungle as well. Due to the above reasons, either of the vehicles, a Sedan, Hatchback or an SUV, is preferred as all the aforesaid vehicles offer the required space and avoid any obstacle coming in the way which is important for the journey to Umling La Pass.

Accommodation Near Umling La

Since Umling La Pass is located very far from places in and around Ladakh, the closest accommodation would be available in Hanle Village. Many guesthouses and budget hotels are situated over there. In order to book the guesthouses/hotels, a person needs to contact the concerned Online Travel Agency(OTA) and reserve the rooms in advance to avoid overbooking of rooms.

Food at Umling La Pass

The nearest food joints that a person finds near Umling La Pass are located in Hanle Village, Koyul and Demchok. A person mostly finds local dhabas in those regions or near army camps located at Umlingla Pass. If a person is staying in an accommodation in Hanle, he/she can request the guest house or the hotel in that region to pack some food for the journey ahead.

Acclimatisation and Medical Facilities

Since Umling La Pass is far from major places in Jammu and Kashmir, medical facilities may not be available in many places. The nearest care is available in Hanle Village or Rhongo Village, which is not very far from the former village. There are various army camps set up in that region. In case of an emergency, they may provide medical care as well.


1. Being at such a high altitude, the air is very thin. So, if you suffer from any heart condition or respiratory diseases it is advisable that you do not travel to Umling La.
2. Pack enough clothes to keep you warm otherwise the icy temperature here will freeze you to death.
3. Carry extra supplementary oxygen with you as it will help you breathe when the air is very thin.
4. Altitude Mountain sickness is pretty common here, so make sure that you are completely prepared before deciding to travel to Umling La.
5. It is recommended to everyone to pack all the necessary food items for the journey to Umlingla Pass as dhabas or local restaurants may not be available in nearby places.

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