Under normal circumstances driving on Indian roads can be quite nightmarish. The condition of most roads here is far from being desirable and even the most experienced drivers can lose their patience and make a silly mistake that costs them dearly. However, there are some roads that are even worse than others.
Zoji La Pass
This road is situated at a height of 3538 meters and one mistake can propel you down so far that none of your remains will be found. It is so narrow that it is frightening and this is why drivers are absolutely afraid of taking this route. Most of the times, it is under snow sludge that makes it even more difficult. When you are driving between Leh and Srinagar you will come across this road. It serves as a link that connects Ladakh and Kashmir.
This road between Neral and Matheran is pretty smooth but it is still a dangerous journey and that is because of the road’s minimal width. This is why it is important that drivers employ a manageable speed over here.
National Highway 22
It is also known as the Highway to Hell. It is also one of the most dangerous highways in the country. It has been carved out of a mountain and is surrounded all around by tunnels and cliffs, a fact which means that death can come to you at any time. The road is maintained inadequately, which has rendered it absolutely inhospitable. In fact, History Channel has also acknowledged it as one of the deadliest roads in the world.
This is one road where it is normal for drivers to experience nausea and feel short of breath. It is snow covered across the year and the Indian Army guards it because it happens to be quite near to the China border. The climate here – especially the winds – can be severely cold and this is why it is always better to stay protected with medical kits and additional warm clothes.
One of the major problems on this highway is its lack of speed. Drivers have to be extremely patient in order to perform well over here. This road is more often than not filled with snow and when it experiences frost heaves it can cause severe and irreversible damage to vehicles, especially four wheelers and trucks.
Zig Zag Road
This road is located in Sikkim and is at a height of 11,200 feet from sea level. The roads here are too curvy and could cause you significant discomfiture. It does not matter if you are behind the wheels or not. In any case the road is not meant for people with heart-related issues and this is why special permits are needed in order to travel on this one.
Khardung La Pass
The Indian Army monitors this road closely and it is full of hairpin turns that can evoke fear even among the most experienced of drivers. You can enter Nubra Valley through this road. It remains closed every year from October and May owing to poor conditions.
This road is located in Jammu and Kashmir. It is a single lane road and an extremely dangerous one, where the GPS does not work. It is said that one mistake on this road is good enough to cause you to die.
There are plenty of dark and narrow holes on this road, apart from the edge-of-the-seat drives, that make this one of the most dangerous roads in India. Just below the road is the Baspa River, where you can plummet if you make a single mistake, and get gobbled up just like that. At times of extreme snowfall, this road remains closed. Taranda Dhank is one place that is infamous for its mortality rate and so if you happen to pass through this road extra caution is always advisable.
Nathu La Pass
It is the tallest road in the world where vehicles can be driven and also one of the three border posts between India and China where open trading happens. It is 430 km from Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, and 54 km towards the east of Gangtok, which is Sikkim’s capital. Huge snow sludge and landslides make the road a dangerous one and thus bad for driving.
Apart from these, Spiti Valley, Rohtang Pass, Kolli Hills, Munnar Road, Tirupati Ghat, and Mount Abu are pretty dangerous as well.
What makes it so attractive that people take a risk to travel across these stretches?
It is hard to say as to why people prefer to drive through these roads in spite of the accidents that have happened over here and the overall risk factor involved. First of all, it can be said that all these roads provide lovely scenery since they are situated in mountainous areas. Secondly, there is the added factor of the thrill that comes with braving such apparently-insurmountable odds.