La stands for pass or route in Ladakhi language; Khardung is the name of a pass which is touted to be the world’s highest pass at 18380 feet from sea level and is also the world’s highest motorable road but unfortunately that is just a myth. The place is 17582 feet high and is not even the highest motorable road of the region. Passes like Marsimik la, Dungri La, Semo La and numerous other passes come before Kahrdung; throwing it down to the 10th position across the globe let alone first. The highest pass in the world lies in Bolivia by the name of Uturunchu with the scale of 18923 feet.
None of this decreases the charm and beauty of this place which is located at 40 kilometres distance from Leh town which is at 11500 feet only. The temperature here falls drastically, with completely unobstructed height; you are welcomed by brain-freezing wind-chills too. It is suggested to not spend more than 20 to 25 minutes here as it might prove fatal.
As a complete unwelcoming test the car I took to pass the road, got punctured right at the spot, as if it was a godsend test to check if my neurons freeze or not. I spend a healthy hour here during the snow-fall although most of it was inside the car with the back open though as the tyre had to be swapped. I was lucky to not suffer a brain-freeze but I guess the test wasn’t over yet,we drove barely a mile and reached an S-bend where a landslide had happened covering major portion of the road; Wasted another 2 hours watching the army guys and the local people pouring every drop of their strength, to clean the road was nothing less than a magic show.
Finally around evening 4 I could pass the road, the day almost completely exhausted in and around Khardung La but the escapist finally did the inevitable and rolled ahead in a quest for more.