The Most Difficult Trucking Routes in India

Vaishnavi M

Truck drivers in India face a range of challenges when transporting goods to destinations with diverse weather and landscape conditions. From desert regions to mountainous areas and coastal regions, the country has a wide range of climates and terrain that can make transportation difficult. Overall, the task of ensuring timely delivery of goods to various destinations within India can be challenging and dangerous for truck drivers.

Here is the list of the most challenging and tricky routes of Indian Highways 

1. National Highway 22 (Himachal Pradesh)

National Highway 22, also known as one of the “world’s most dangerous routes” runs from Ambala through Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh to Khab on the Indo-Tibet border. Along this journey, travelers will be treated to a feast for the eyes with breathtaking mountain views, including rivers, temples, high cliffs, and tunnels. However, the road is not without its dangers, with its numerous twists and turns. National Highway 22 was also mentioned in the History Channel’s “IRT Deadliest Roads” TV series 

No railings, the road gets narrower, the bends gets sharper at most places unpredictable, high cliffs and poorly maintained road.

3. Zoji La Pass

Zoji La Pass, but passing this Pass is not a piece of cake it’s at an altitude of approximately 3,528 meters above sea level connecting Ladhak to Kashmir, one single misbalance or wrong judgement will take you back to the sea level don’t know alive or not. Usually, this road is occupied by oil tankers and other type of trucks. This highway is also closed during winters due to heavy snowfall.

Frightfully narrow and covered in snow slush all around the season, high winds, excessive snowfall.

4. Rohtang Pass

Rohtang Pass is a mountain Pass located at an elevation of 3,980 meters on the eastern end of the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas. It connects Manali to the Kulu Valley and the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys. The road is frequently used by truck drivers transporting construction materials and daily necessities to the people living in the region, making it a vital lifeline for the local community.

Traffic congestion, heavy snow falls and rain with continuous sliding of hills, dangerous bends and curves, sludge roads

5. Mumbai-Pune Expressway

Mumbai-Pune Expressway known as one of the “busiest roads of India”. Its India’s first six-lanes concrete road featuring five interchanges. The highway is 94.5 km long connecting the capital city Mumbai to the financial capital Pune and this highway also serves as a crucial link between the cities of Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Belgaum, Hubli and Bangalore to Mumbai facilitating transport of cargo to these regions.

Road accidents attributed to human errors (In the first 10 years since its opening, there were 1,758 accidents with more than 400 fatalities), large volume of traffic, Heavy landslides and frequent robberies.

2. Leh-Manali Highway 

The Ladakh to Manali highway is a challenging 458 KM stretch in northern India that is only open from May to October due to snowfall blocking the high passes. This two-lane highway runs from Ladhak, Jammu Kashmir and Manali in Himachal Pradesh with some stretches lacking a road divider, requires skilled and experienced driving to navigate the numerous bridges, narrow lanes and streams including fast-flowing ones without bridges. The highway offers stunning views of nature, but also comes with a risk of danger.

Slippery and slushy road due to rain and snow that leads to landslides and traffic jams, narrow lanes, ice-cold streams, numerous Bailey bridges.

6. Khardung La Pass

Khardung La Pass it is one the “world’s highest motorable road” with an elevation of 5,359 m (17,582 ft). The pass is on Ladakh range connecting Ladakh and Kashmir. It also forms a gateway to Nubra Valley, beyond which lies the Siachen Glacier. The pass is strategically important to India as it is used to carry supplies to the Siachen Glacier.  The highway remains closed annually from October to May due to severe weather conditions.

The roads are slippery due to the frozen ice, altitude sickness is a serious health concern, traffic congestion on narrow one-lane sections, washouts, landslides and road accidents.

7. Munnar Road

The winding and twisty Munnar road, is located in the Idukki district of Kerala and travels through the western ghats, reaching an elevation of 1700 meters at its highest point. The road is surrounded by beautiful tea estates, while the smell of tea captures your attention at the same time driving in this road is not everyone’s cup of tea. It can be challenging to navigate, especially for inexperienced drivers. Only skilled drivers should attempt to drive.

Sharp steep with narrow zigzag turns, the road is dark at some places, Fog starts approaching during nights making the vision blind even with the lamps on.

8. Kinnaur Road

The Kinnaur road in Himachal Pradesh, India is a treacherous and challenging route, particularly for heavy vehicles. It winds through the Baspa River gorge in the Kinnaur district. Passing over wobbly suspension bridges and cutting through hard rock cliffs will make any driver bite their nails. One particularly dangerous section is known as the Taranda “Dhank” which features a steep, vertical drop down to the Satluj River. Drivers, especially those operating heavy vehicles, must be alert and careful at all times.

Roads are narrow and deadly, heavy snowfall blocks the way annually from October to May, frequent landslides, mountain edges look a lot more jagged and you will encounter streams, waterfalls, ice and/or boulders.

9. Kotdwar – Dehradun bypass

Kotdwar is a commercial hub located in the Uttarakhand region of India, situated at an elevation of 395 meters above sea level at the base of the Shivalik range. The city is an important stop for many trucks transporting goods, as it is a major center for commerce in the region.

Mountain region features dangerous bends that require careful handling, the road can become congested due to its popularity with tourist, Careful steering and control is necessary to safely navigate the road.

10. Nathu La Pass

Nathu La is a mountain pass located in the Himalayan peaks that connects Sikkim and China. It is situated at an elevation of 14,450 feet above sea level on the Indo-Tibetan border and is one of the “highest motorable roads in the world”. Nathu La is one of the three open trading border posts between India and China and is known for its stunning beauty and low temperatures. The name “Nathu” means “listening ears” and “La” means “pass.”

Extremely dangerous heavy snowfall occurs during the winter months, Landslides are common during the monsoon season, there is a lack of infrastructure including access to water and resting places.

11. Jammu Srinagar Highway

The highway that connects Srinagar and Jammu is a crucial road link that allows access to the Kashmir Valley from the rest of India. It is located in the northernmost segment of NH44 and is vital for the transport of essential goods, including food grains, to the region. Traffic on the highway is monitored by control rooms in both Srinagar and Jammu. However, the road is closed for six months due to heavy snowfall.

High alert zone due to terrorist activities, landslides and avalanches.


India has many roads that can be challenging to navigate, particularly for heavy vehicles like trucks. These roads are often a combination of breathtaking beauty and potential danger. To safely drive on these routes, it is essential for drivers to have a good understanding of the road conditions and possess the necessary driving skills and judgment.

One response to “The Most Difficult Trucking Routes in India”

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    Good Job Vaishnavi – Had a great time reading this blog and got to know about these difficult routes. Keep up the good job!!!

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