Although many people seem to prefer flying when it comes to travel, there is no denying the fact that road trip is still an amazing way to see the country. And with so many places to visit in December, a road trip is a great way to experience the country in all its varied hues.
There’s a certain charm attached to exploring India by road, especially because a new surprise awaits you at every turn. Being home to a wide variety destinations, the northern part of India happens to have some of the best places to visit in December. Add to that the rivers in the east, majestic monuments in the central India and forests in the south, there are many places that you can visit in December. And with so many roads to discover, just choose a place to visit in December and head out in your chosen vehicle. And in case you are looking to add a dose of adventure to your trip, choose one of these six most dangerous roads in India that offer incredible views and adrenaline rush all at the same time.
One of the toughest mountain roads to cross, the Zoji La is also truly scenic and beautiful. Located at an altitude of 11,000 feet, in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, this pass is situated on National Highway 1 between Srinagar and Leh. Further, this also pass also separates the Kashmir Valley in the west and Dras Valley in the north-east.
The Zoji La is about 100 km from Srinagar and almost 15 km from Sonmarg, which is a vital link between Kashmir Valley and Ladakh. The highway is often closed during winter, although the Border Roads Organisation is working towards extending traffic during the winter season. Driving through this pass in winter, means that thick walls of ice on both side, making it truly a mesmerising destination.
PS: Since this is the second highest pass in India, it poses a lot of dangers like muddy roads, landslides and strong winds, so make sure you are equipped to handle the same. Also, if you are planning to visit this place in December, make sure you check if the roads are open for travel.
Located in the southwestern part of Himachal Pradesh, Kinnaur is not just an amazing place to visit in December but also one of the most dangerous roads in the country. Carved out of rocks, the road is extremely difficult to pass because it is not just narrow, but has sharp hairpin turns as well. However, the cliff-hanging drive through the Baspa river gorge make it truly scenic.
There are multiple villages in Kinnaur that are situated at high altitudes, some even close to 4,000 metres. Although it is a cold and dry region, the best time to visit this place is between July and August. Although the road is closed in December, you can still visit some of the places, considering there’s no snowfall in.
Also, keep in mind that the road is carved out of sheer precipice and the valley is located many thousand feet below. Many times the road is blocked by landslides and to drive through this pass, you need to have a lot of confidence in your driving skills. Keeping all other things aside, this road is truly stunning especially during the winter season, and that is exactly why this is one of the best places to go on a road trip during the month of December.
The highest motorable road in the world, the Khardung La is located at an altitude of 18,380 feet. And this road comes with its own set of dangers. The pass is located on the Ladakh range in the north of Leh and is the gateway to the Nubra and Shook valley. Although the road is maintained by Border Roads organisation, the pass is an important defence road for the country as this is used to carry supplies to the Siachen Glacier. If you can go to this place during December, we recommend you take this road trip.
Did you know that the Khardung La is an historically important road and was an important caravan road between Leh to Kashgar in the ancient times. During the second World War, there was an attempt to transfer war material to China using this road.
Located in the East Sikkim district, the Nathu Pass connects Sikkim with China’s Tibet autonomous region. An offshoot of the ancient Silk Road, the name derives inspiration from the Tibetan words Nathu meaning listening ears, and La meaning pass in Tibetan. The pass can only be visited by Indian citizens only after obtaining a permit from Gangtok.
The road was sealed by India during the Sino-Indian war of 1962, and was later reopened in 2006 after multiple bilateral trade agreements. The opening of this road has reduced the travel time between important Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the region.
The road is truly scenic and there are many waterfalls and lakes that you can visit during your road trip through the Nathu La road. For snow lovers, this is one of the best place to visit in December. After all, the sight of the snow-capped mountains and valleys is simply unforgettable.
Located in Arunachal Pradesh, at an altitude of 16,500 feet, Bum La is one of the deadliest roads in the country, making it a perfect find for adventure enthusiasts. The road is quite dangerous and that is why only four-wheeled vehicles with competent drivers are allowed to drive through this road. A special pass is required to visit this road and we recommend you carry some snacks and water because there are very few places that sell anything on the road. During the winters, it gets covered by snow, making it one of the best places to visit in December.
Please note that the permit for visiting this road can be obtained from the Office of the Deputy Commissioner in Tawang District, and the same has to be stamped in the Indian army cantonment of Tawang. Without this stamp, you will not be allowed through the numerous check posts on the way.
Although most of these roads are just a few places that you can visit in December, we recommend you skip the train and flight and take a road trip through these scenic routes. Have you packed your bags?