Forbidden things attract us the most, be it forbidden activity that we feel like doing, or forbidden places that we want to visit. There is some other charm if you get to visit a location that has restricted all sorts of civilian movements. But there is still a lot that you can know about that particular place anyway. I am talking about the Shipki La Pass here. This is one such location that is not very easy to visit and there are many reasons for it too. The strategic location of this pass, the geographical importance and the history attached to it are some of the major reasons why this is an attractive site.
To be specific I don’t know whether it would be possible for you to visit this location, but let me share information about the Shipki La Pass. It is tough to obtain a permit for this location anyway. However if you are still interested to know everything about the Shipki La Pass then keep on reading this article. In this article I will mention all the necessary information that you probably need to know about Shipki La Pass. I will mention here information like Shipki La Pass situated in which state, which areas does it connects to and much more. This will be a helpful read for you if you are interested in exploring this region by visiting there or simply by reading about the spot.
Shipki La Pass
Shipki La Pass located in which valley and Shipki La Pass in which state?
Shipki La Pass is located in the Kinnaur district in the state of Himachal Pradesh in the Sutlej Valley.
Overview of Shipki La Pass
Shipki La Pass located in Himachal Pradesh is a mountain pass on the Indo- Tibet border. The Sutlej River enters into India through this pass from Tibet. This location is strategically very important as it is a border post for trade with China. This pass is the third Indian border post for business and trade with Tibet after the Nathula Pass in Sikkim and the Lipulekh border in Uttarakhand. Also this pass is an offshoot of the ancient and most iconic Silk Route. This pass is located really close to the Khab Village. The Shipki La Pass height is 12, 972 feet above sea level and makes it an alluring site because of its elevation. Also the Shipki La Pass connects between the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh with the Tibet Autonomous Region in the People’s Republic of China.
Trade was established in Shipki La in 1993 after it was closed in 1962 after the Chinese attacks. At present this pass is only accessible for traders for small scale local trading. You will need a special permit if you are trying to cross the border. However, for non-resident people this border is not open anymore. But still there are some travelers who prefer to visit this area who are travelling to Tibet through Nepal. Civilian movement along with photography is something that the Army doesn’t allow here.
How to reach Shipki La Pass
Even though there is no assurance if you would actually be able to reach this location because of permission issues, if at all someone gets the permit then let me tell you how you can reach here.
You can reach Shipki La from Manali or Shimla. If you are travelling from Delhi then the route would somewhat be like this. First Delhi then Ambala, then Shimla, Narkanda, Rampur, then Pooh and finally you will reach Shipki La. It would be a journey of a total 650 km and it would be advisable to carry this journey in about 3 days. On the first day you can start from your base location to reach Shimla and stay there at night. Then on the 2nd day you can start your journey again from Shimla and reach Reckong Peo. And on the 3rd day start from there towards Nako. After reaching the Khab village you will reach Shipki La.
However the route via Manali is a little different. If you start from Delhi, reach Chandigarh, then Manali, then Kunzum Pass, Kaza, Shankar, Tabo, Nako, then Khab Bridge and finally you will reach Shipki La. Again this will be a 3 day journey and here the total distance you need to cover is 900 km.
Shipki La Pass Permit
You would not be able to obtain a permit to visit the Shipki La Pass unless you can present a very strong reason to visit there. As the location is on the India- Tibet border it is a very strategically important position. Because of that, civilian movement is not permissible here. However if at all you are getting the permit then there are two ways to obtain it.
First option is to obtain it from the DC Office in Reckong Peo. And the second option for you is to get it from the ITBP Commanding Officer in Pooh. If you have someone you know from the ITBP or from the Himachal Administration you can get a permit to visit here for a short span. But again everything depends on your luck.
Best time to visit Shipki La Pass
The ideal time to visit Shipki La is from early June to late September. On your trip you will also be able to visit the other noteworthy points nearby. These spots are the Kinnaur Valley and Spiti Valley. If you are visiting during winters then you need to take care of the routes though. As many roads via Shimla and Manali remain closed during the peak winter season due to snowfall.
Undoubtedly the Shipki La Pass is one of the most interesting areas to visit. But alas visiting the area is not a cake walk. It is almost not possible to visit here only if you are not lucky enough. Then you might obtain a permit to visit here. It is one of the most important trade routes in India and therefore the restrictions are also there. You really need to try your luck to see whether you are able to visit this area or not.
So if you are in Himachal Pradesh you can try to visit the area. But make sure you obtain the permit. However even after getting the permit you can be sent back so keep that in mind too. I hope you gained knowledge about this location after reading this article. Let me know what you guys think of this alluring location. Also let me know if you are feeling intrigued enough to visit here as well.