A group of trucks and a flock of sheep try to pass the narrow road near Zoji La Pass

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Roads and highways to get INR 97,000 crore boost, announced honorable Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as he presented the Budget 2016. With current roads in dilapidated state and numerous cases of death tolls on narrow roads with hairpin curves, we sure need better roads and highways.

Talking of the scariest roads in India, some routes are so bad that they can give chills to even the most seasoned drivers. The narrow roads, sharp turns, low hanging cliffs, and harsh climatic conditions can lead them to death bed, instead of the planned destination.

Besides bad maintenance, sometimes the very location of a road makes it a scary drive. Out of the many, we bring you a handpicked list of the scariest roads in India that have claimed many lives in the past. But still, some daring men might see an element of thrill in such drives. Have a look and decide which side are you on!

1. Khardungla Pass: World’s Highest Motorable Road

The narrow road amidst the snowclad mountains near Khardungla Pass that is the highest motorable road in the world

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Where: Ladakh, on the Caravan Route that was once the Silk Route between India & China
What makes it scary: The road is scary for the sheer invincible height of 5,602 m above the sea level. Additionally, the road is not paved and is slippery due to the frozen ice & dirt mix. And then there are the hairpin turns that are nightmares of even the most experienced drivers of the region.

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2. Kishtwar Kailash Highway: Sharp Turns, Overhanging Cliffs, and No Guard Rails

The narrow Kishtwar Kailash Highway with low overhanging cliff and no guardrails that make it one of the scariest roads in India

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Where: Eastern extremity of the Kishtwar district of Jammu
What makes it scary: The road is windy, narrow, and without guard rail for about 150 m. The overhanging cliff is so low that a Tata Sumo or similar car would barely fit. The sharp turns with cliff obstruct the view, making it all the more difficult to make those turns. One mistake and the drop is of about 600 m.

3. Killar – Kishtwar Route: A replica of the Kishtwar Kailash Highway

The narrow road with low overhanging cliff and no guardrails on the Killar - Kishtwar route

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Where: Pangi Valley, Himachal Pradesh
What makes it scary: Much like its twin road – the Kishtwar Kailash Highway – the road runs without guard rails, has overhanging hills & sharp turns, and is narrow. The road is not an easy drive even in broad daylight, let alone at night.

4. Zoji La Pass: Prone to landslides

The multilevel zig-zag road near Zoji La Pass that is narrow and has many sharp curves

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Where: 9 km from Sonamarg, between Ladakh and Kashmir
What makes it scary: The road, at an altitude of 3,538 m above sea level, is frightfully narrow and extremely slippery due to the year-round snow and dirt mix. It gets muddy during the rains and gets blocked during the storms. Besides, frequent landslides have made it one of the scariest roads in India.

5. Chang La Pass: Third Highest Motorable Route in the World

The slippery road amidst the snowclad mountains near Chang La Pass

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Where: Between Pangong lake and Leh in Ladakh region
What makes it scary: At a whooping elevation of 5,360 m above sea level, the road remains snow-covered throughout the year. This makes the road slippery. Also, one can feel the scarcity of oxygen while on this road. The low temperatures in this region add to the travel woes of those commuting through this third highest motorable road in the world.

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6. NH 22 Kinnaur Road: Cut into hard rocks to make Kinnaur accessible

One of the many narrow dark holes and blind turns on the Kinnaur Road

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Where: NH 22, at the start of Kinnaur region
What makes it scary: Taranda Dhank is infamous for claiming several lives. The low overhanging rocks, narrow dark holes, and blind turns make this road highly deadly. One mistake, and the vehicle will fall down into the Baspa River. If not the fall, the collision of vehicles around the blind turns are truly fatal.

7. Rohtang Pass: The Ground of Corpses

One of the narrow stretches with hairpin curves near Rohtang Pass on the Leh-Manali Road

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Where: Leh – Manali Road, 53 km from Manali
What makes it scary: At an elevation of 3,979 m above sea level, Rohtang Pass is the gateway connecting Manali to Leh and Lahaul – Spiti. However, it is the entire route of 479 km that is dangerous. The snow covered roads are prone to landslides, especially in regions that are enclosed with mountains on both sides.

8. Nathula Pass: The Pass of the Listening Ears

An aerial view of the rock-cut narrow stretches of road near Nathula Pass

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Where: Indo-Chinese border, 54 km east of Gangtok, near Tsomgo Lake, Sikkim
What makes it scary: The route is prone to landslides during monsoons and snow sludge in winters. Besides, the curved roads are slippery.

The multilevel zig-zag stretches of road near Nathula Pass connecting Zuluk to Thambi View

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9. Neral – Matheran Road: Slippery Roads and Sharp Turns

The final stretch of road to Matheran that allows automobiles

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Where: Raigad District, Maharashtra – The road begins at Neral at an elevation of 40 m above sea level. The 8.9 km road takes you to Matheran, located at an elevation of 800 m above sea level.
What makes it scary: The average elevation gain is 8.5% per stretch, with a total gain of 760 m. The steep and narrow sections are followed by hairpin turns. Some of these sections are even without guard rails. To add to the woes of the drivers, rains make the roads slippery and may even cause landslides. However, the occurrence of landslides is very rare.

10. Sela Pass: Curvy Leisurely Road to Hell

A snap of the dangerous Se La Pass in the Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh

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Where: Tawang District, Arunachal Pradesh – The road connects the Buddhist city of Tawang Town to Tezpur and Guwahati.
What makes it scary: The high mountain pass is located at an elevation of 4,170 m above the sea level. But its winding design, sharp turns, and slippery curves can be fatal. Moreover, the road is covered in snow for most of the year. This adds to the driving difficulty of the travelers. So it is suggested to drive really slow and not get lost in the panoramic views.

So which of these roads and highways to hell really scare you? Share with us your experiences on these most dangerous roads in India.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Scariest Roads In India

Which is the most dangerous road in India?

There are so many to name just one. Khardung La Pass, Zoji La Pass, Nathula Pass and Kishtwar Kailash Highway are some of the most dangerous and scariest roads in India.

Which is India’s last road?

Dhanuskodi in Tamil Nadu is the last road in India. Famous for its temples and beautiful landscapes, this beach town is just 19 kilometres away from Rameswaram and it will hardly take you 20 minutes to reach there.

What types of roads are most dangerous?

The most dangerous types of roads for all drivers for teens and for all drivers are rural roads or two-lane country roads. They are difficult to get hold off and there are so many unpredictable turns and cuts.

Are there any scary roads in Arunachal Pradesh?

Yes, the road connecting Tawang town to Tezpur and Guwahati is one of the scariest roads not just in Arunachal Pradesh but in all India.

What is the best time to visit India?

The best time to visit India is October to March. However, it must be kept in mind that India is a big country and the climatic conditions and weather differs from area to area. For instance the best time to visit South India is December to February but to visit North India would be October to November and February to April.

What can I do in India?

There are many interesting things that you can do in India depending on what part or city you would be visiting. If you are visiting Agra you can check out the iconic Taj mahal but if you are visiting Jaipur you can see Hawa Mahal. If you plan for a trip to South India then you can see the ever so charming tea plantations in Munnar. You can also experience the highest motorable road in the world that is Khardungla Pass.

Which is the world’s highest motorable road?

Khardungla Pass in Ladakh that once used to be the Silk Route between India and China is the highest motorable road in the world.

Does Maharashtra have any scary roads?

Yes, the Neral – Matheran Road in Maharashtra is one of the scariest roads in Maharashtra. The road is steep and pretty narrow.

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