Road trips are one of the most loved activities for travellers who are interested to take the lesser-known path. India never fails to surprise visitors with its dangerous roads that are gut-wrenching and spine chilling. No wonder, taking these roads offer an experience of a lifetime. Here is a list of the 13 scariest roads in India that are perfect for a thrilling road trip.
Located at an altitude of 17,000 feet, Gata Loops is one of the scariest roads in the lap of Western Himalayas. The zigzag road comprises of a series of 21 hairpin bends and leads visitors to the top of a high altitude mountain pass, Nakee La. It is often said that the road is haunted by a ghost and travellers must pay tribute to his soul. With each loop measuring between 300 to 600 meters, the journey through Gata Loops is incredibly thrilling. The last two loops are the longest and are regarded as the most dangerous of the lot.
Snuggled in Koli Hills, Kolli Hill Road is one of the extremely dangerous roads in the country. This winding road is a series of 70 hairpin bends leading to Kolli Malai, a mountain range at an elevation of 4300 feet above sea level. With a length of 46.7 kilometres, Kolli Hill Road is engineered to perfection dating back to the British era. The narrow zigzag road with continuous twists and turns is a thrilling experience. Draped in lush green forests, Kolli Hill Road reward travellers with exhilarating views of the surrounding.
Three Level Zigzag Road is often regarded as one of the scariest roads in the world. It is nestled in the Himalayas and comprises of over 100 continuous hairpin bends in 30 kilometres. The roads start near the quaint village of Zuluk and travelling through this road gives visitors an adrenaline rush. The Three-Level Zigzag Road leads visitors to the Thambi Viewpoint which stands at an elevation of 11,200 feet above the sea level. It is also one of the most beautiful roads that offer unparallel views of the snow-covered Kanchenjunga. Three Level Zigzag Road is not for the faint-hearted.
Commonly known as the ‘Highway to Hell’, National Highway 22 is one of the deadliest roads in the world. It rests at an altitude of 11,575 feet and passes through the Indian states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The road spreads over an area of 459 kilometres and has been featured on one of the TV series in History Channel. This road is not only about steep gorges but also comes with unpredictable turns that are scary and dangerous. National Highway 22 cuts through a mountain and is one of the finest examples of architectural brilliance. Hence, a journey through this road is an experience of a lifetime.
Nestled in the Leh – Srinagar Highway, Zoji La Pass is one of the high mountain passes that are scary and nerve-wracking. It is located at an altitude of 11,575 feet and looks grime and eerie. The 9 kilometres long Zoji La Pass remains closed in the winter months due to heavy snowfall. This winding pass offers ample opportunities to the travellers to admire the scenic beauty of the Himalayan terrain. Zoji La Pass came into limelight after being invaded by the Pakistani raiders in the year 1948 during their mission to capture Ladakh.
Resting in the lap of the Himalayas, Sangla Road is one of the adrenaline rushing roads in the world. The steep, narrow road with cliff-hanging at the edges remains closed during winter. But even during other times of the year, the trail looks terrifying. People have to be very careful while driving on this road. One wrong move and they will be falling in the abyss.
Located at an elevation of 15,200 feet at the Indo China Border near Tawang, Bum La Pass is one of the notable attractions in Arunachal Pradesh. Prior permission is necessary for accessing the pass. Bum La Pass is a combination of the hazardous condition and sharp hairpin bends. No wonder, driving on this road feels scary as well as thrilling. Bum La Pass is one of the least explored areas and experiences the first snowfall of the season. It is a treacherous route and only SUVs are allowed to traverse in clear weather.
Nestled at an elevation of 13,050 feet, Rohtang Pass is one of the highest mountain passes in India. It rests at a distance of 51 kilometres from Manali and is prone to avalanches, landslides and mists. In the winter months, Rohtang Pass is buried under layers of snow. Hence, it remains closed. Rohtang Pass links Kullu Valley to the landlocked Keylong region. Hence, traffic is common on this road. It is also one of the popular tourist attractions in Himachal Pradesh and offers mesmerizing sights of the snow-capped peaks and glaciers.
Suggested Tour : 9 Days - Manali Leh Ladakh Tour
The road connecting Manali and Leh is one of the most dangerous roads in India. The road covers a length of 479 kilometres and consists of some of the deadliest mountain passes. Leh Manali Highway is often considered treacherous because of the uncertain weather, bone-chilling cold and no residents in the area. The road is prone to landslides and avalanches, resulting in frequent closures and bad road conditions. It is one of the most challenging drives and tests the patience of the drivers. No wonder, the drive is spectacular and offers a memorable experience.
Suggested Tour : 9 Days - Trip to Leh Ladakh from Manali
Located at an elevation of 15,582 feet, Khardung is one of the highest mountain passes in Ladakh. It is a steep trail with deep valleys at the edges. Hence, it cannot be attempted by amateur drivers. Due to its great height, travelling on this road often causes nausea and acute mountain sickness. Traffic congestions, landslides and accidents are common on Khardung La Pass. Hence, you have to be prepared while crossing this narrow, treacherous road. Khardung La Pass is usually closed between October and May due to heavy snowfall in this region.
Suggested Tour : 7 Days - Leh Khardungla Nubra Valley Tour
Covering an area of 114 kilometres, Kishtwar Road is another terrifying road lying in the lap of the Himalayan terrain. It is a narrow road that passes through the side of a cliff and one wrong step might lead to an accident. The side of the road has no guards and it is so narrow that even cars might find it difficult to fit in. The last 50 kilometres track is very scary and requires a lot of courage to pass through this road. Kishtwar Roads should be avoided during the rainy months as the track becomes slippery and highly prone to accidents.
Lying in the Indo-China border, Mana Pass is a Himalayan pass located at an elevation of 18,478 feet above sea level. It is snuggled in the Nanda Devi Reserve a few kilometres from the quaint town of Mana in Uttarakhand. The trail is steep and often causes altitude sickness. Mana Pass must be avoided in the wet months because it becomes muddy and often results in road accidents. Mana Pass is one of the highest motorable roads and links India and Tibet.
Constructed by Sher Shah Suri, Grand Trunk Road is one of the ancient roads in the history of South Asia. The road starts at Kabul, Afghanistan and continues to the Indian state of West Bengal. Grand Trunk Road served as a major trade route between India and other foreign countries. It is completely different from the other roads mentioned on this list. Neither it is located at a higher altitude nor does it have hazardous road conditions. But traffic congestion is a major problem for travellers driving on this road. Careful measures have to be taken before traversing the Grand Trunk Road.
Have you ever taken any of these scary roads? Do share your experience with us!