Chang La Pass Overview

Situated at an elevation of 17,590 feet, Chang-la Pass is the gateway to the breathtaking landscapes of Ladakh. It is regarded as the "World's third-highest motorable road," which successfully connects Leh to the iconic Pangong Lake. While driving this pass, do not forget to immerse in the mesmerizing views of rugged terrains, fluttering prayer flags, and snow-capped peaks.

In all, this place promises an unforgettable experience, especially for thrill-seekers. Besides its spectacular views, the history of the Chang-la Pass is fascinating, grabbing the attention of many. Legends believe the pass is named after Sadhu Changla Baba. Therefore, a temple is dedicated to Sadhu Changla Baba near the pass. During the winter months between November to April, this pass remains inaccessible due to heavy snowfall and rains. 

If you are a trekker, a biker, or a traveler who loves to challenge themselves with high mountains, a tour to Chang-la Pass will make you feel rejuvenated! When traveling here, you may mark your visit to the world's highest research station set up by the Defence Research and Development Organisation. Chang La Pass remains a symbol of adventure and spiritual discovery, making it a must-visit destination on any Leh Ladakh trip.

Do Read: Things to do in Leh


• The maximum altitude of the mighty Chang La pass is 17586 feet, making it the third highest motorable road in the world.
• A great opportunity to enjoy off-roading at one of the highest passes in India awaits you at Chang La.
• Visit the serene Changla Baba Temple, offering spiritual solace amidst nature.
• Trek towards the Chang-la Pass to satisfy your inner adventure enthusiast for an exceptional experience.
• Delve into the stunning views of the surroundings at the Chang-la Pass in Ladakh.
• Explore the third largest motorable road on a bike for a thrilling experience.
• Visitors can witness the strategic military presence at Chang La, with Indian Army personnel stationed at checkpoints along the pass.

How To Reach

By Road: Leh is the starting point for a road trip to Chang La Pass. The route to Chang La from Leh city centre involves taking the Leh-Manali Highway (NH3). Then, you must branch off onto the road leading to Chang La. The distance from Leh to Chang La is around 75.7 kilometres. The drive typically takes 2 to 3 hours, depending on the road conditions.

By Bus: Regular bus services are not available directly to Chang La due to its challenging terrain and high altitude. However, buses and shared taxis run frequently from Leh to nearby destinations like Pangong Lake, passing through Chang La. The distance from Leh to the pass is 74.3 kilometres and takes around 2 hours. 

By Car: Travelling by private car or taxi is the most common and flexible way to reach Chang La. From Leh, you can reach the pass in around 2 hours, covering 74.3 kilometres. This mode allows you to enjoy the breathtaking scenery at your own pace. Ensure the vehicle is well-maintained and both the driver and passengers are prepared for high-altitude travel. The route from Leh to Chang La is straightforward. However, it demands careful driving due to steep ascents, sharp turns, and occasionally poor road conditions.

Check this out: Leh in September

Best Time To Visit

Chang-la Pass remains open during the summer season. In months between November to April, it remains closed. The best season to travel to the Chang-la Pass is the summer season, between May to September. Apart from this time period, the road is covered in heavy snow making it impossible to cross through.

Suggested Read: Things to Do in Ladakh

Other Essential Information

  • Maximum height: Located at 17586 feet Chang La Pass is the third highest mountain passes in the world
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) is required by tourists to travel to Chang La Pass, which can be easily obtained either by applying online on the official website before commencing your journey or visiting the DC office in Leh to get the permit after you reach Leh.
  • Acute Mountain sickness can dampen your spirits of adventure, so it is advised you consult a physician before starting your journey to get the required medicine prescribed from him.
  • People suffering from Asthma, Bronchitis, and heart ailments are advised to skip this one as the climatic conditions on this route may create difficulties for them.
  • Due to the low oxygen levels at such high altitudes, travelers are advised to not spend more than 15-20 minutes on this route as it may affect their health. Some tourists have complained about feeling out of breath.
  • Mountains generally have dry air, which can lead to dehydration. You must drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.

Must Read: Things to Carry for Leh Ladakh Trip

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