Magnetic Hills Ladakh - Everything You Should Know
Learned about Newton’s Gravity in Physics class? Well, now you may get confused about how it bends down in front of nature.
While one raids the barren roads of Leh
, a signboard appears indicating “Magnetic Hill- The Phenomenon that Defies Gravity.” A white box marked with ‘Park your vehicle Here’ appears ahead of the board where one can park their vehicles in neutral and see them moving uphill at a speed of 10-20km/hr by itself against the gravity.
The phenomenon is a sensation and attracts hundreds of tourists every month. One can see them enjoying and throwing various facts & theories behind the same. This small stretch is a perfect stopover to record videos, click pictures and take some rest in solace.
Many experts have presented various theories in and against the assumption and tried to find the reason vehicle moving uphill and not downhill against the slope. And they came out with the aspect of Magnetic theory or optical illusion amongst many other reasons.
So, is it really defying the law or some kind of optical illusion? Let’s find out!
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Theories behind the Wonder of Ladakh:
Ever high Superstitious Theory: Whenever you get a chance to discuss the real reason behind the occurrence from a local or an older person, they have a new story to tell. This story deals with a magical path to heaven. Their belief talks about the existence of a road once that used to send those to heaven who did good ‘karma’ or deeds in their life and deserved it. Whereas those who failed to do so couldn’t catch the pace of paradise. Well, who can remark a common superstition?
Theory of Earth’s Magnetic Force: Still not yet proved, but it speaks of magnetic power springing up from the earth’s interior that pulls the vehicle uphill. It is also said that airlines and fighter planes either take a diversion or speed up their jets when they reach near to the patch.
Theory of Optical Illusion: Believed logically by most of the people all around the world, it says that even though the slope is in a downward direction, it appears upright due to the misconception of the terrain. This makes the vehicle go look upslope even when it is being driven down. The theory has gained prominence recently and stirred all the old beliefs to some extent.
Let’s Find Some Quick Facts Before Paying a Visit to Magnetic Hills:
Best time to visit: The best time to visit this place by road trip is during the months of May to September. For rest of the time of year, it may get occupied with snow. Hence it is best to visit Magnetic Hills during May-September.
Distance Between Leh and Magnetic Hills: From Leh, Magnetic Hills is around 30km on the Leh-Kargil-Baltic National Highway.
How to reach from Leh:
Take your bike, car or any other vehicle and hit to Leh-Kargil-Baltic National Highway. After crossing 30km or 40 minutes drive, you will be able to catch the yellow board marking ‘Magnetic Hill’.
Here's our full guide if you're taking a trip from Srinagar to Leh-Ladakh
Permits: Inner Line Permit for Leh
can be easily grabbed from Leh DC office between 9.00 AM to 3.00 PM at a nominal charge of Rs. 200 which includes environment tax and Red Cross Donation as well. Visiting Magnetic Hills would not require any extra permit or pass.
Route Leh-Kargil-Batalik National Highway: While one catches the Leh-Kargil National Highway towards the Magnetic Hills, he will get to pass through major attractions like Hall of fame and Gurudwara Pather Sahib before reaching the destination.
Places to Visit Near Magnetic Hills
Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame
is a museum well built and maintained by Indian Army in order to pay respect and memorize them for life who lost their lives in Indo-Pak war. From grand entrance to museum gallery displaying arms, ammunitions seized by Indian Army from Pakistan, pictures of war heroes and stories of their pride; all are here! One surely fills their heart with pride and love for nation while on a visit here. This museum is present at a distance of 4km from main Leh city and is not a place to be missed at any cost.
Gurudwara Pather Sahib
It was built in the 16th Century, is a charm to look at. The beautiful shrine, 24km from Leh city, leads up to the Gurudwara by multiple steps. The place commemorates the visit of Guru Nanak Dev during his era. Moreover, the holy rock or ‘Pather’ is staying in it and has a sacred story backing up. In fact, Tibetan Buddhists also pay a huge respect to the Gurudwara and thousands of visitors come here every year with hope and respect. Right now, Indian Army is responsible for its regular maintenance.
Sangam of Zanskar and Indus river is a worth to look at while one takes a stopover on the highway. Before reaching the confluence, blue shiny Indus stays along the highway and at a particular point, one can notice muddy Zanskar merging in, forming variations of colors. Adventure seekers love to raft in fascinating waters and notice the meeting closely. This confluence occurs 35 km from Leh city and a mere 15 minutes from the Magnetic Hill.
Alchi Monastery or Buddhist Monastic Complex
was built between 10th to 11th century and is standing beautifully amidst barren and snowy peaks. What interest the travelers most about it is wall paintings, ancient architecture and peaceful aura. Apart from that, one can observe the tall and calm statue of Buddha, wood engravings and bright painted ceilings in the interior. You have to keep yourself on the road for 66km from Leh city to reach here.
Essential Information About Magnetic Hills
Before visiting Leh
and Magnetic Hills, one must get prepared for fuel, mobile connection, ATM, medical aids etc.
It is to be noted that Only Postpaid connections work in this hilly range but overall, a good mobile connectivity is noticeable here. Usually, BSNL and Airtel have one of the best coverage and can be opted to be in regular touch with family and friends.
Since Magnetic Hills are at a high altitude of 14000 feet, travelers may face breathing or blood pressure issues. Apart from that, any kind of emergency is always welcomed at Sonam Norbu Memorial (SNM) hospital which is well equipped with good medical services. Apart from that, many medical shops are present in the Leh market and it is always advised to purchase prescribed medicines only. Moreover, it best to get acclimatized by avoiding smoke, eating the right food and consume enough water to keep the body energy balanced.
Money is a definite necessity when you travel and ATMs become right hand in the time of need. And Leh and Kargil markets include proper ATM cubicles to solve the money needs.
Get your vehicles refueled for the unlimited excursion at various pump stations while moving towards Magnetic Hills. Various petrol filling stations of IndianOil and HP are present within the Leh city and the highway catching Leh-Kargil-Batalik National Highway.
Minimum Duration for Visiting Magnetic Hills
If you have hit Leh already, you need a minimum of 2 hours to drive towards and come back after enjoying various theories and observing the magic of Magnetic Hills.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What is Magnetic Hills in Ladakh?
A magical patch of Earth, at a distance of 30km from Leh, shows a phenomenon opposite to the gravity. The vehicles parked at a certain point begin to move uphill by self when parked in neutral. This patch is known as Magnetic Hills as it is still believed that phenomenon occurs due to earth’s strong magnetic force that pull vehicles up.
2. How does Magnetic Hill work?
Well, certain theroies are backing up the phenomenon. Some believe that it is due to the magnetic pull of Earth whereas some say it’s nothing but an optical illusion. The theory of optical illusion is gaining more popularity that describes the position of terrain being mistakenly identified. It also says that terrain is marked downhill only, but average optics perceive it as an uphill.
3. Is Magnetic Hills still an Illusion?
To call it an end, Yes! The most recent and most believed theory of being an illusion seems quite logical. It is so as magnetic properties are not yet proved at the site but it is well proved that geographic terrains can play with the eyes really well.
4. Should I add Magnetic Hills in my itinerary?
Of course! One must not miss this place and observe the nature and its magic with own eyes, that is surely going to get a deceit.
If you're travelling from Delhi to Leh
, check out our detailed guide.
5. Is there really a magnetic pull?
Well, it is not yet proved. And this is why most suitable theory lies behind Magnetic Hill is an optical illusion.
6. What will I experience there?
Travel 30km from Leh towards Kargil. You will find a board marking Magnetic Hill with a white box nearby on road. Park the vehicle in neutral and you will see it moving uphill by itself at a speed of 10-20km/hr. Capture or form videos the moment and rewind back in future for amazing memories.
If you're planning to stay in hotels check out our guide to hotels in Leh
7. What are the other places I should visit in Ladakh?
In the macro region of Ladakh
, Leh is a prominent district from where many attractions can be visited. Apart from Magnetic Hills, one can enjoy the view of Zanskar river confluence, Zanskar Valley, Pangong Tso lake
, Khardung-la pass
, Nubra Valley
, Spituk Gompa and Hemis National Park
, Shanti Stupa and Hemis Monastery. From exploration to adventure, attractions to pilgrim center, Ladakh stands high in all.
8. What else to do around Magnetic hills?
Once you are finished with magic of Magnetic Hills, you can look for Hall of Fame being a proud Indian. Apart from this, Gurudwara Pather Sahib shall be considered which falls 8km from here and actually comes ahead of Magnetic Hills if you are traveling from Leh. Moreover, you can drive ahead to view Zanskar & Indus confluence and Alchi monastery. Experience the mesmerizing views around, get clicked and soak yourself with the beauty of nature.
9. Is there any timing to visit Magnetic hills?
Though Magnetic Hills fall on the Leh-Kargil-Batalik National Highway, yet it is best to visit the same between 8.00 AM to 5.00 PM. Moreover, plan your Leh-Ladakh Tour
in the months of May to September as roads are blocked due to snowfall and temperature in Leh-Ladakh
is also low for the rest of the months.
10. Is Magnetic Hills also known as Zero Gravity place in India?
Well, Yeah! It is opined that Magnetic Hills defy the law of Physics, Gravity. Also, it is said this occurs due to a strong magnetic force of Mother earth.