The most treacherous pass in the world

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iol travel sep 1 Zojila mountain pass AFP The Zojila Pass in Indias Kashmir is not a route for the faint-hearted.

Srinagar - Used as a route between Ladakh and Kashmir, the Zojila mountain pass is 3 474m above sea level and enclosed by Kashmir valley on one side and Drass valley on the other.

The narrow road is on the western section of the Himalayas mountain range and is part of the 440km route from Srinagar to Leh.

It is said to be one of the most dangerous passes in the world, not just because it is so narrow and has no barriers, but also because vicious winds and heavy snowfall often affect the region.

The route is a lifeline that keeps the people of Ladakh in touch with the rest of the world, but it is often closed during winter because of heavy snowfalls, which can be 15m to 24m deep.

There have been more than 60 landslides on the pass.

In 2009, the police had to rescue 350 people stranded on the road due to heavy snowfall.

Eleven tourists were killed in 2012 when their vehicle skidded off the road into a deep gorge.

The road reopens in late spring, but travellers still witness violent winds because of the conical shape of the valley.

Even though the road is highly perilous, Zojila is actually the second highest pass, after Fotu La on the Srinagar-Leh National Highway, which rises even higher, to 3 900m above sea level. – Daily Mail

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