India – China Road

The Route of the Hindustan Tibet Road

This road has been featured on the History Channel as one of the most “Deadliest Road” in the world. Built in the 19th century, the Hindustan-Tibet road, also known as the Silk route or the National Highway No. 22, begins from Ambala in Haryana, as an offshoot of National Highway 1.

It runs 40 Km through Punjab and is known as Ambala Chandigarh Expressway. From Chandigarh, it runs north towards Zirakpur and meets NH.64. Thereafter it goes to Panchkula- Pinjore- Kalka and then enters Himachal Pradesh at Parwanoo.

With the change in the terrain, it becomes a mountainous road, full of hairpin bends and continues north-east up to Solan and then goes northwards to Shimla. It joins the NH 88, where it repeatedly crisscrossed and goes along the Kalka-Shimla Rail track, which is a “UNESCO World Heritage Site”.

Then it heads north-east towards the Tibetan frontier from Shimla.

About 569 km from Delhi and 28 km from Sangla, the village Chitkul in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh is the last inhabited village on this road on the Indo-Tibet border.

The road reaches the border town Khab and then runs for a short distance through Namgyal up to the Shipkila pass, and ultimately enters Tibet. Here the Indian side of the road ends at the Line of Actual Control.

In reality, the road does not lead to the actual border. It closes about 90 km before the border and then rest of the road is under the control of Indo Tibetan Border Police, the Indian Paramilitary force guarding the frontiers there.

Tourists Can Only Get to Tibet from India via Nepal by Road

For tourists from India entering Tibet they can travel through Nepal, which has an agreement for the freedom of movement between the two countries, which does not require a visa or even a passport as long as you have valid identification. Indians can also reside permanently in Nepal with no restriction, which makes the country a preferable entry point into Tibet.

The Ledo Road 

The Ledo Road (from Ledo, Assam, India to Kunming, Yunnan, China) was an overland connection between India and China, built during World War II to enable the Western Allies to deliver supplies to China, to aid the war effort against Japan — as an alternative to the Burma Road became required, once that had been cut-off by the Japanese in 1942. It was renamed the Stilwell Road, after General Joseph Stilwell of the U.S. Army, in early 1945 at the suggestion of Chiang Kai-shek. It passes through the Burmese towns of Shingbwiyang, Myitkyina and Bhamo in Kachin state.

In the 19th century, British railway builders had surveyed the Pangsau Pass, which is 1,136 metres (3,727 feet) high on the India-Burma border, on the Patkai crest, above Nampong, Arunachal Pradesh and Ledo, Tinsukia (part of Assam). They concluded that a track could be pushed through to Burma and down the Hukawng Valley. Although the proposal was dropped, the British prospected the Patkai Range for a road from Assam into northern Burma. British engineers had surveyed the route for a road for the first 130 kilometres (80 miles). After the British had been pushed back out of most of Burma by the Japanese, building this road became a priority for the United States. After Rangoon was captured by the Japanese and before the Ledo Road was finished, the majority of supplies to the Chinese had to be delivered via airlift over the eastern end of the Himalayan Mountainsknown as the Hump.

Of the 1,726 kilometres (1,072 mi) long road, 1,033 kilometres (642 mi) is in Burma and 632 kilometres (393 mi) is in China with the remainder in India.

After the war, the road fell into disuse. In 2010, the BBC reported, “Much of the road has been swallowed up by jungle.”