Safe and sound streets are what they tell us to follow. But, only a few bold at heart take the road less taken. And, you can, too, if you are vying for some adventure with some risk quotient involved. Apparently, there are many dangerous roads in India (so dangerous they can take your life). Nevertheless, don’t miss on this unusual treat the country has to offer. Pack your bags and head straight to the north, most of them are located there. It could be the best or worst experience of your life. But, rest assured it would be memorable. And, this is what we cherish at the end, right? The memories.
Begin the slideshow to know all the chancy hot spots in the country…
1. Zoji La
At the first look, this road would look all innocent with its gorgeous views and panoramic scenery. But, traverse a little bit further and you’ll see its treacherous side coming up. Serving as a major link between Kashmir and Ladakh, this pass gets covered with snow sludge all through the season which makes driving an uphill task. Moreover, the road is freakishly narrow, which just adds up to not only the driver’s nightmare but also of the people in the backseat. Just lose focus for a minute while on this road and you might end up falling down from a height of 3,538 metres! It’s really one of nature’s cruelest joke when you are surrounded with such pure and stunning scenery and there’s fear of death looming which build up progressively with strong winds and muddy roads. Landslides and snow storms are pretty regular on this road! So, fasten your seatbelts tight and keep your fingers crossed (not if you’re behind the wheel).
2. National Highway 22
Don’t let the unassuming name take you in, this highway is more like the way to death. There are a series of tunnels and cliffs which will make you go on a whirlwind ride through the mountains. The lack of maintenance and hazardous conditions just pile more to the ‘shudders’ factor. This road came under international attention as well. It was once featured on the History Channel’s TV series “IRT Deadliest Roads” as well! Essentially a road for fearless this one is! Faint of the heart should stay home.
3. Leh-Manali Highway
Let’s start from something light. This is the road where Kareena and Shahid danced around in the movie ‘Jab We Met’. Now, the dark and dreaded part. In neat terms, this road is a 479 km long spell of trouble, danger, and oh, the shivers. Laden with snow, for the most part, you either drive at a turtle speed or risk dying. And, the worst part is when the snow thaws. Many vehicles have reported irreversible damage in the past. You need energy, determination, and luck to conquer this one!
4. Three Level Zig Zag Road
Up for a deadly escapade? Then, go down (rather, up) this ever-so twisting road. With royal blue covered surroundings, you’ll be moving up in a zig-zag pattern with a racing heartbeat. Think of it as a ride at a fun park, just that here is a danger of serious injuries and reaching even the ‘final destination’. Ahem. But, meanwhile you can enjoy the picturesque views of the Himalayan crown from this part of Sikkim. Worth it at the end, no?
5. Kinnaur Road
Now, this road is infamous for its mad sharp turns and extreme narrowness. Space is so cramped at some points of this road that only one vehicle can pass at a time. While you’re dodging your worst fears in this cliff-hanging drive, you also have to keep yourself sane from the recurrent thoughts of falling into the Baspa river that is running along. Although, the whole road is accident prone, but be extra alert at Taranda Dhank which is notorious for claiming lives! You’re warned.
6. Nathu La Pass
If you think you already have had your worst driving experience, then you got to come here. This is considered one of the highest motorable (located at 14,000 feet altitude) roads not only in India but also in the world! Precarious turns and snowing make the ride highly unpredictable and risky. And, snow sludges and hefty landslides are ‘just part of the routine’. It’s clear that it’s not for the tender-hearted. And, even the collared officials there understand it. You need to get a special permit to take your vehicle up here!
7. Khardung La Pass
Another worlds’ highest (located at 18,380 feet altitude) motorable road, and another set of dangers. Forgetting road risks for a minute, let’s consider the nature’s play at such altitudes. When you go that high, oxygen levels start to drop, weather becomes extremely old, and the air becomes highly thin. Those who suffer from any kind of breathing problem should avoid it at all costs. And, when you become able to brave past all the nature’s ferocities, the terrains start to get you. Even the most seasoned drivers fear their lives on these paths. The hairpin turns will have you go on a mental riot, a deadly one. You are ready for this?
Feeling the daredevil in you coming alive, already? Let it be.
These were some of the deadliest roads in India. Ever been on them or planning to? Do share your experiences/anxieties with us. We’re all ears.
Take a look at the Map of the Dangerous Roads in India.