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23 Most Dangerous Roads In India For Daring Adventurists

India is an often overlooked but beautiful country that offers a lot of under-the-surface beauty to travelers willing to explore. The main problem is that getting to some of these places requires taking roads that can leave you fearing for your life on every steep turn (especially keeping in mind the way most Indian bus drivers drive). In this article, we’ll cover some of the most dangerous roads in India for daring adventurists because as you probably know from our previous articles, we’re very passionate about the world’s most dangerous roads.

Sounds interesting? In that case, keep reading but first, let’s cover some basics…

Helpful Tips For Traveling On The Most Dangerous Roads In India

  1. Vehicle Check-Up is Non-Negotiable: Before you even think of tackling the most dangerous roads in India, have your vehicle checked by someone who knows more about cars than just the color.
  2. Embrace the Slow Lane: Speed is great, but on these roads, it’s about as useful as a chocolate teapot. Take it slow. The tortoise really had it right – slow and steady wins the race, or in this case, keeps you on the mountain.
  3. Weather Watch: Keep an eye on the weather forecast. The weather in the mountains has more mood swings than a teenager. If it looks bad, maybe give it a day. No shame in chilling at the base camp with a cup of tea.
  4. Pack Survival Gear: And by survival gear, I mean more than just your favorite snacks. Warm clothing, a first-aid kit, a torch, extra food and water, and maybe a good book (in case you’re stuck somewhere scenic, but stuck nonetheless).
  5. Altitude Attitude: High altitudes can make you feel like you’ve run a marathon. Acclimatize properly, keep hydrated, and remember, there’s no prize for reaching the top first.
  6. Keep Your Fuel Tank Full: Petrol pumps are rarer than an honest politician on these routes. Keep your tank full and your stress levels low.
  7. Be Ready for Flat Tires: Those potholes aren’t just there for decoration. Know how to change a tire, or at least have the tools and hope for a good Samaritan with skills.
  8. Local Advice is Gold: Locals know these roads like the back of their hands. If they say it’s not a good day to travel, trust them. They’re like the wise sages of the mountain roads.
  9. Seriously consider driving here: I know Indian bus drivers are crazy but they probably know the road much better than you and are less likely to get an accident. So, maybe use Busbud instead and book a bus ticket for your next trip (you’ll also get 10% off with our link). 
  10. Don’t forget travel insurance: I feel this is a no-brainer but I still have to mention it. Get travel insurance when traveling this road. It’s really not worth the risk, especially with providers like SafetyWing offering travel insurance for as low as $28 per month (for more info, check out our honest SafetyWing review). 
  11. Lastly, if you’re looking for a good deal on accommodation, use our Booking link and get up to 15% off on all properties in India. 

Before visiting, also check out our guide to visiting India for the first time, this list of unusual Indian festivals, and my guide to living in India.

Munnar Hill Station Road, Kerala

Munnar road

We’ll start this list of the most dangerous roads in India with the Munnar Hill Road. Nestled in the Western Ghats, Munnar is a picturesque hill station in Kerala known for its lush tea plantations and breathtaking backwater landscapes in the distance but getting there is quite an adventure. The road to Munnar is infamous for its narrowness and sharp, hairpin bends.

Drive along this road and with each turn, you’re greeted with either a sheer drop or a hard rock face. The road snakes its way up the hills with over 30 hairpin bends, each presenting its own challenge with barely enough room for two vehicles. So when a bus comes around the corner, it’s like a heart-stopping game of chicken.

Kolli Hills Road, Tamil Nadu

Kolli Hills Road

Located in the heart of Tamil Nadu’s part of the scenic Eastern Ghats, this winding, twisting road that cuts through the rugged terrain leading to Kolli Hills one of the region’s lesser-known and most peaceful hill stations (and one of my favorite hidden gems in India).

Conveniently named the ‘Mountain of Death’, this road has 70 hairpin bends (confirmed, I actually counted while flinching behind every single one of them); it’s more like a never-ending spiral that tests the skills and guts of even the most seasoned drivers than it is a road. To make things worse, the area is known for its unpredictable weather. One moment, it’s all sunny and clear, and the next, you’re in a cloud, with visibility down to near zero.

Tirupati- Tirumala, Andra Pradesh

Tirupati most dangerous roads in india

The Tirupati Temple in Andhra Pradesh is one of the most beautiful architectural gems of the region but what makes this temple special is that the physical journey to it is also spiritual because you’ll be praying for your life as your bus or vehicles races behind every curve on its way to the top of the seven hills where the temple is located.

The road to Tirupati Temple is a steep, winding path carved into the hills with hairpin bends sharp enough to make a Formula One track seem straight. And to top things off, the incline is steep, meaning you’re either constantly on the accelerator or riding the brakes.

Neral- Matheran Road, Maharashtra

Neral- Matheran Road

This road to Matheran, a popular hill station, is notorious for being as narrow as a dieting snake and full of twists and turns that could make a pretzel jealous. Neral is a town in Maharashtra, and from here, the road to Matheran is about 8 kilometers of pure thrill. It’s like someone took a hill, threw a bunch of hairpin bends on it, and said, “Let’s see who dares to drive this.” The road is narrow, often just wide enough for one vehicle. If you meet someone coming the other way, it’s a game of ‘who blinks first’.

Pune Mumbai Expressway, Maharashtra

Pune Mumbai Expressway

You might be surprised to see the Pune-Mumbai Expressway on this list since it’s one of the country’s finest roads but according to deaths per year, it’s actually one of the most dangerous roads in India. This expressway connects the metropolitan cities of Pune and Mumbai with a combined population of more than 30 million people.

To sum it up, the expressway is a road where speed limits seem like speed suggestions; so you have fast, reckless, and often destructed (by the nice scenery) drivers, motorbikes trying to squeeze in spots that seem physically unimaginable, and monsoon rains for a good portion of the year; a recipe for disaster.

If you’re looking to learn more about Mumbai, also make sure to check out this list of fun facts about Mumbai that will make you change your opinion of the city. 

NH 22, Bihar & Jharkhand

nh22 most dangerous roads in india

NH 22 is a narrow road that snakes its way through the heart of Bihar and Jharkhand. The road is notorious for its sharp bends, unpredictable turns, and the kind of potholes that make you wonder if you’ve accidentally driven into a lunar landscape. And let me tell you about the driving culture here in one sentence. The concept of lane discipline is as mythical as a unicorn on this highway; it’s every driver for themselves, with overtaking maneuvers that would make a stunt driver do a double-take.

Enjoying this post? Then you may also like our list of hidden gems in Delhi and this list of best places to visit in Delhi in winter.

Bum La, Arunachal Pradesh

Bum La most dangerous roads in india

Speaking of the most dangerous roads in India, we just can’t forget about Bum La. Located at a dizzying height of about 15,200 feet, Bum La is close to the China-India border. So, there I am on the Bum La road, and let’s just say calling it a ‘road’ is being generous. It’s more of a rugged, unpaved trail that looks like it was carved out by someone who just decided to wing it. The terrain is a mix of slush, mud, and snow, depending on the season. And guardrails? Those are a luxury that this road hasn’t heard of yet.

The altitude is another ‘fun’ factor. You’re so high up that the air gets thinner, and breathing can feel like you’re trying to suck air through a straw. It’s a good idea to acclimate to the altitude before you embark on this journey unless you fancy getting dizzy at the wheel.

Sela Pass, Arunachal Pradesh

Sela Pass

Situated at 13,700 feet in the Eastern Himalayas (slightly lower but just as dangerous as its cousin, Bum La) the pass connects Tawang and West Kameng in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. The road itself consists of a series of sharp bends, steep inclines, and narrow stretches but (to quote Top Shop) that’s not all.

The pass is also known for its unpredictable climate with cloudy and snowy landscapes, and icy, slippery sections, with visibility often being so low it might just make you feel like driving blindfolded. But just seeing the untouched nature and divine landscapes surrounding the road is worth it (at least it was for me).

Yumthang Valley Road, Sikkim

yumthang valley road india

Known as the Valley of Flowers, Yumthang is a paradise on earth, but getting there is where the plot thickens. Nestled in the northeastern state of Sikkim, this road is like a rollercoaster without a safety harness. The destination, Yumtang Valley, is a floral wonderland and one of the most stunning yet rugged terrains in India and the only word I would use to describe this place is astonishing, (well, except for the road). The path to Yumthang is narrow and often seems to have a personal vendetta against guardrails. It’s like the road builders thought, “Guardrails? Nah, let’s live dangerously”.

Three Level Zig Zag Road, Sikim

dangerous roads in india sikkim

let me take you on a virtual trip down the Three-Level Zig Zag Road in Sikkim, which honestly feels like a real-life version of a video game, except the stakes are way higher. Tucked away in the rugged terrains of the Himalayas, this road is the stuff of both dreams and nightmares, depending on who you ask. Let’s just say, it’s called the Three Level Zig Zag Road for a good reason. It’s made up of a series of sharp, hairpin bends that zigzag down the mountainside. And when I say sharp, I mean 180-degree turns that could make a U-turn seem like a child’s play.

The ‘three levels’ part? That’s because the road descends rapidly through a series of switchbacks spread across three distinct levels of elevation.

Nathu La Pass, Sikkim

Nathu La Pass

If you ever thought, “Hey, I want to drive on the edge of a cliff on one of the highest roads in the world,” then Nathu La is your dream come true. The pass forms a part of the ancient Silk Road, and it’s a key trade link between India and Tibet. But let’s be clear, when they named it Nathu La, which translates to “listening ears pass,” they probably meant you need to listen to every sound your car makes, hoping it doesn’t decide to give up on you.

The drive up to Nathu La is a mix of awe and “oh no!” The road is narrow, winding, and often slick with ice or snow. Guardrails are a luxury that this road seems to have forgotten, and the sheer drops are enough to make you reconsider all your life choices.

Rohtang Pass, Himachal Pradesh

Rohtang Pass

Located about 51 kilometers from Manali, at an altitude of around 13,050 feet, Rohtang Pass is one of the most dangerous roads in India. The name ‘Rohtang’ literally means ‘pile of corpses,’ which sounds like the title of a horror flick but really hints at the road’s treacherous past. The road to Rohtang is infamous for its narrowness, unpredictable weather, and, of course, the occasional landslide just to keep things interesting. You’ve got steep drops on one side and sharp cliffs on the other, and guardrails seem to be more of an afterthought.

Kinnaur Road, Himachal Pradesh

Kinnaur Road

Next on our list of most dangerous roads in India is Kinnaur Road. Located in the northeastern part of Himachal Pradesh, Kinnaur Road is the gateway to the Kinnaur district, known for its apples and beautiful landscapes. But getting there is like playing a game of Mario Kart, except the banana peels are landslides, and the power-ups are nonexistent.

Driving on Kinnaur Road, I can’t help but think that the term ‘narrow road’ was redefined here. The road is barely wide enough for one vehicle, but that doesn’t stop buses and trucks from using it as if it’s a two-lane highway. Driving here felt like they were all in on a secret joke, and I was the punchline.

Spiti Valley Mountain Roads, Himachal Pradesh

Spiti Valley Mountain Roads

As I embark on this journey, the first thing that strikes me is how these roads redefine the term ‘off the beaten path’. They’re more off-road than the road, really. Picture narrow, unpaved paths carved out of the mountainside, with enough bumps and dips to make you think you’re on a camel, not in a car. The Spiti Valley itself is a remote, almost otherworldly destination, known for its stark beauty, ancient monasteries, and vibrant culture. But getting there? It’s like the universe is testing how badly you want to see it.

Enjoying this post? Then you may also like our list of the world’s most isolated countries.

Karcham-Chitkul Road, Himachal Pradesh

Karcham-Chitkul Road

The Karcham Chitkul Road in Himachal Pradesh is one of the most dangerous roads in India where driving feels like you’re in a video game, except you can’t hit the reset button. The road leads to Chitkul, the last inhabited village near the Indo-China border and if I have to describe it in a sentence I’d say it’s a narrow, winding path that clings to the side of the mountains like a stubborn barnacle with a mix of sharp bends, sudden drops, and occasional rockslide which was probably built by someone who thought guardrails are for sissies.

Sangla Road, Himachal Pradesh


Speaking of the most dangerous roads in India, we can’t forget to talk about the Sangla Road in Himachal Pradesh. It’s one of those roads that like to play a game of ‘scare the driver’. Located in the Kinnaur district, this road is notorious for being as narrow as the line between bravery and, well, insanity. It’s a path that twists and turns through the mountains, offering stunning views that you’re too nervous to look at because, you know, you’re trying to stay on the actual road.

Leh –Manali Highway, Himachal Pradesh & Ladakh

Leh –Manali Highway

Buckle up, because this isn’t just a road trip; it’s an epic saga on wheels. Spanning about 490 kilometers across the rugged terrains of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh, this highway is like the final boss level in a video game where the scenery is stunning, but the challenges are real. The road is a mix of smooth tarmac and ‘oh look, the road’s gone’ stretches. It’s like the road plays hide and seek with you. One minute it’s all smooth sailing, and the next, you’re navigating through gravel, hoping your car doesn’t decide to just give up.

Kishtwar Kailash Road, Jammu & Kashmir

Kishtwar Kailash Road

If you ever find yourself on the Kishtwar Kailash Road, you’re in for a treat, and by treat, I mean a hair-raising, palm-sweating driving experience that’ll have you rethinking your life choices. This road is to driving what bungee jumping is to a Sunday picnic – extreme, thrilling, and not for the faint-hearted. It’s a narrow, unpaved road clinging to the side of a sheer cliff. And when I say narrow, I mean if-your-car-is-a-few-inches-wider-you-might-as-well-just-fly narrow.

The road leads to the base of Kailash Peak, a sacred spot in the region, and it’s as if the road was designed as a test of faith. There are sections of this road where guardrails are non-existent, and the only thing between you and a sheer drop is, well, air. 

NH1 (Srinagar- Leh), Jammu & Kashmir

Srinagar- Leh

The highway connects Srinagar in the Kashmir Valley to Leh in Ladakh, and it’s about 422 kilometers of dramatic landscapes, unpredictable weather, and the kind of twists and turns that would make a salsa dancer dizzy. The road takes you through some of the highest mountain passes in the world and can be described as nature’s own version of a test track, with steep inclines, sharp descents, and narrow sections where two cars can barely pass without doing a little mirror dance. 

But it’s not just the layout of the road that adds to the thrill. The weather here is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get. One minute it’s sunny and clear, and the next, you’re in the middle of a cloud, or worse, a snowstorm. Visibility can drop faster than my phone’s battery life.

Chang La Pass, Ladakh

Chang La Pass

Located at a staggering altitude of about 17,586 feet, Chang La is one of the highest mountain passes in the world certainly one of the most dangerous roads in India. Forget about all the places you might have read in one of your typical travel magazines, this pass is the ultimate highway to heaven. The pass connects Leh to the Pangong Lake, another gem in the Himalayas. But getting there, oh boy, it’s a mix of excitement and “What have I gotten myself into?”

The road to Chang La is a series of narrow, winding paths carved out of the mountainside. Calling them ‘roads’ is a compliment. They’re more like trails that decided to aim high in life – literally.

Khardung La Pass, Ladakh

Khardung La Pass

Khardung La is another mountain road, well, it’s debatable if it should be called a road, honestly… It’s a mix of rugged terrain, narrow stretches, and of course, the infamous Gata Loops; a series of 21 hairpin bends that snake up the mountain. The Gata Loops are the ultimate test of skill, patience, and your vehicle’s brakes. Every bend is a suspenseful moment, offering stunning views that you’re too nervous to enjoy fully. It’s like Mother Nature is saying, “Here, have some breathtaking beauty, but watch your step!”

Zoji La Pass, Ladakh

zoji La Pass

Last but certainly not least, we complete this guide to the most dangerous roads in India with the Zoji La Pass. The road, if you can call it that, is narrow, treacherous, littered with hairpin bends, steep drops, and sections so narrow that you wonder if you should have just brought a horse instead. The real ‘fun’ begins with the weather. At this height, it’s as unpredictable as a plot twist in a mystery novel. One minute the sun is shining, the next you’re enveloped in fog, or worse, a snowstorm. And let’s just say that when it snows, the road doesn’t get slippery; it becomes an ice-skating rink for cars.

How did you like this list of the most dangerous roads in India? Did you ever drive on any of them? Do you know of any other roads we should include to this list? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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