Khardung La/pass is located in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. The pass lies north of Leh and is the gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valleys. The Siachen Glacier lies part way up the latter valley. Built in 1976, it was opened to public motor vehicles in 1988 and has since seen many automobile, motorbike and mountain biking expeditions. Maintained by the Border Roads Organisation, the pass is strategically important to India as it is used to carry supplies to the Siachen Glacier.
It is positioned at an altitude of 18,379 ft. and is also known as the ‘Pass of Lower Castle’. The place offers amazing picturesque and attractive views of valleys. In addition, Tibetan prayer flags add numerous colors to the scenic beauty. Khardung La is a strategically important pass lying on a caravan road from Leh to Kashgar. In earlier times camels and horses took this trade route to supply goods and valuables. Today it is used to carry supplies to Siachen Glacier and is of high logistic importance to Indian army. The nearest reachable town to this pass is Leh which is linked to Manali and Srinagar.
Bikers from all over the world visit this mountain pass on their motorcycles and do mountain biking which is a refreshing and remarkable experience for lifetime. Also, there is an army canteen where tea and snacks are offered and there is also a souvenir shop nearby from where you can get memento of your tour.
Khardung La is situated 39 km by road from Leh. The first 24 km, as far as the South Pullu check point, are paved. From there to the North Pullu check point about 15 km beyond the pass the roadway is primarily loose rock, dirt, and occasional rivulets of snow melt. However, this pass is in better repair than many of the surrounding passes such as Tanglang La. From North Pullu into the Nubra Valley, the road is very well maintained (except in a very few places where washouts or falling rock occur). Hired vehicles (2 and 4-wheel-drive), heavy trucks, and motorcycles regularly travel into the Nubra Valley, though special permits may need to be arranged for travellers to make the journey.