Pakistan is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, and some of its most breathtaking landscapes can be found in the mountainous regions of the country. The numerous passes that connect these mountainous regions offer some of the most scenic and thrilling drives that any adventurer could ask for. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the top 7 famous mountain passes in Pakistan.
- Khunjerab Pass
- Babusar Pass
- Lowari Pass
- Shandur Pass
- Tochi Pass
- Bolan Pass
- Khyber Pass
1) Khunjerab Pass
Located at an elevation of 4,693 meters, Khunjerab Pass is the highest paved international border crossing in the world. It connects Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region to China’s Xinjiang province and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The pass is only open from May to November due to heavy snowfall in the winter months.
2) Babusar Pass
Located in the Kaghan Valley of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Babusar Pass is a popular tourist destination that offers breathtaking views of the Himalayan range. At an altitude of 4,173 meters, the pass connects the cities of Chilas and Naran and is only open from June to September due to heavy snowfall in the winter months.
3) Lowari Pass
Located in the Hindu Kush mountain range, Lowari Pass connects Chitral to Dir in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The pass is famous for its winding roads and scenic views of the surrounding mountains. At an altitude of 3,118 meters, it is one of the most challenging passes to cross due to heavy snowfall in the winter months.
4) Shandur Pass
Known as the “Roof of the World,” Shandur Pass is located at an altitude of 3,719 meters in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. The pass is famous for its annual polo tournament that is held on a ground located in the pass. It connects Chitral to Gilgit and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
5) Tochi Pass
Tochi Pass is located in the Kurram Agency of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and connects Pakistan to Afghanistan. The pass is famous for its winding roads and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. It is one of the most challenging passes to cross due to heavy snowfall in the winter months.
6) Bolan Pass
Located in the Balochistan province, Bolan Pass is a historic mountain pass that has been used for centuries to travel between Balochistan and the rest of the country. The pass is famous for its scenic beauty and historical significance, as it was used by Alexander the Great during his conquest of the region.
7) Khyber Pass
The Khyber Pass, a 53-kilometer (33-mile) long route through the Hindu Kush mountains, has played a crucial role in the history of the Indian subcontinent. Connecting Pakistan and Afghanistan, it has been a key trade and invasion route for centuries. The pass is rich in history and offers stunning views, but its strategic location means that access is often restricted. Visitors must obtain special permission to travel through the Khyber Pass.
In conclusion, Pakistan is home to some of the most stunning mountain passes in the world. From the highest international border crossing in the world to historic routes used by conquerors, these passes offer breathtaking views and an unforgettable driving experience for adventurers who love the thrill of the journey.
Q1: Can tourists drive across these passes on their own?
A: It depends on the pass. Some pass, like Khunjerab Pass, require tourists to hire a licensed guide and a 4×4 vehicle to cross the border. However, other passes, like Lowari Pass, can be crossed on your own. It is recommended to research the specific pass you plan to visit and consult with locals or tour operators for advice.
Q2: What is the best time to visit these passes?
A: The best time to visit these passes varies depending on the location and weather conditions. Most passes are only open during the summer months due to heavy snowfall in the winter, so it is recommended to plan your visit accordingly. It is also important to check the weather forecast before setting out on your journey.
Q3: Are there any safety precautions tourists should take when visiting these passes?
A: Yes, it is important to take safety precautions when visiting these passes, especially if you plan to drive. It is recommended to hire a local guide or tour operator who is familiar with the area and road conditions. You should also carry warm clothing, food, and water, and check the weather forecast before setting out. It is also recommended to travel during daylight hours and exercise caution on winding roads.
Q4: Do tourists need any special documents to cross the border at Khunjerab Pass?
A: Yes, tourists need a valid passport, visa, and NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the Ministry of Interior in Islamabad to cross the border at Khunjerab Pass. It is recommended to obtain these documents well in advance of your trip.
Q5: Are there any accommodations near these passes?
A: Yes, there are accommodations near most of these passes, ranging from budget guesthouses to luxury hotels. It is recommended to book your accommodations in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.