Another Feat: India Builds World’s Highest Road In Ladakh; Higher Than Everest’s Base Camp

by Shatakshi Gupta

India has built the world’s highest road in eastern Ladakh. The road passing through Umlingla Pass in eastern Ladakh has an altitude of 19,300 feet above sea level.  The Ministry of Defence gave this information on Wednesday. Earlier the highest road in the world was in Bolivia. The road near the Uturuncu volcano here has an elevation of 18,953 feet above sea level. The road at Umlingla Pass was constructed at an altitude of 19,300 ft betters than the previous record of a road in Bolivia at 18,953 ft.

“Umlingla Pass is now connected with a black top road to enhance the socio-economic condition and promote tourism in Ladakh,” the government said.

Moreover, the project also ensures access to sensitive military areas including the world’s highest battleground at the Siachen Glacier and Pangong Tso Lake whose waters span the de facto India-China border.

This road has been constructed at an altitude higher than Mount Everest Base Camp. The height of the South Base Camp located in Nepal is 17,598 feet while the North Base Camp located in Tibet is located at an altitude of 16,900 feet. It is also above the Siachen Glacier which has an altitude of 17,700 feet above sea level.

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The conditions where this road has been constructed were very challenging for such construction work. During winter, the temperature here goes down to minus 40 degrees Celsius and the oxygen level is about 50 percent of the normal places.  BRO has completed the construction work of this important road despite such circumstances.

Provides strategic connectivity:

With the completion of this road, the Umlingla pass is now connected by a black top road.  This 52 km long road connects important towns of the Chumar sector of Eastern Ladakh.  According to the government, this road will prove to be a boon for the local people as it will provide an alternative and direct route connecting Leh to Chisumle and Demchok.

Road built under ‘Project Himank’ :

Project Himank is a project of the Border Roads Organisation(BRO) in the Ladakh region of northernmost India that started in 1985. Under the project, BRO constructs and maintains the roads and related infrastructure in Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control.