The View from the Seven Highest Mountain Passes on Earth

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Image: Praful Tripathy

Khardung La shot from a few metres above the pass.

Dizzying heights, rarefied air and brutally cold temperatures. That’s the Himalayas and surrounds for you – home to the highest peaks on earth; the highest mountain passes too. We’ve compiled seven of the highest that are accessible – passes only the toughest would traverse on foot and only the boldest of drivers dare navigate.


Image: Himalayan Camping

Ghosts of the perished: Place littered with bones on the way to Karakoram Pass.

High in these mountainous regions of India, China and Tibet, the views are spectacular but the drops often abrupt. Shrines and colourful prayer flags adorn the way, blessing the surrounding landscape and hopefully the fortunes of those travelling through it.

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Image: Fanghong

7. Tanggula Pass – 5,231 m (17,157 ft)

First up, a well known pass in the Tibetan Tanggula Mountains, Tanggula, which ascends to a mighty height of 5,231 m (17,157 ft) above sea level, just to the south of the tiny village of Wenquan. The Qinghai–Tibet Highway reaches its highest point of 5231 meters here, but it is more famous for being the highest point attainable by rail transport.

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