Lipulekh Pass, Photo: Asheesh Sambher - eUttaranchal social

Lipulekh Pass

About Lipulekh Pass

Lipulekh Pass also known as Lipu-Lekh Pass/Qiangla or Tri-Corner is a high altitude mountain pass situated in the western Himalayas with an extraordinary height of 5,334 metre or 17,500 feet. It is an International mountain pass between India, China and Nepal. 

Chaudans valley of DharchulaInternational mountain pass between India, China and Nepal, en route Mansarover

Lipulekh Pass in Adi Kailash

In Uttarakhand, Lipulekh Pass comes under Chaudans valley of Dharchula, a sub-district of Pithoragarh district in the Kumaon region where it links with the Byash Valley of Nepal and with Tibet, an Autonomous Region of China. The famous pilgrimage of Hinudism to Mount Kailash that is also known as Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, traverses from this pass.

History of Lipulekh Pass:

Lipulekh pass has a remarkable history, it has been used by ancient traders, mendicants, and pilgrims traversing between Nepal and Tibet. Where it connects Uttarakhand(India) and Nepal with the old trading town of Taklakot (Purang) in Tibet. Currently, this pass is open for cross-border trade every year from June to September.

Disputes between India-China and Nepal on this Pass:

According to the old documents, the western end of this tri-junction boundary point among Nepal, India, and China by lies in Kalapani dotted in the Nepalese territory, when the boundary agreement between Nepal and China was signed three and half decades ago. Nepal Zeng Xu Yong also told this in a program organized by the Reporter’s Club. These documents also states that Nepalese border up to Limpiyadhura, which is also the source of famous river Kali river which separates India with Nepal. But with the changing time Nepal-China borderline extended further after the finalization of the tri-junction points at Limpiyadhura and Jhinsang Peak.

In 2015,  Prime minister’s Narendra Modi agreed to open a trading post in Lipulekh during his visit to China, which was not welcomed by Nepal. Now Nepal is trying to find the solution of this issue via diplomatic means with China and India.

Some facts about Lipulekh Pass:

  • Lipulekh pass is the first Indian border post to be opened for trade with China in 1992.
  • Lipulekh pass is open for cross-border trade between India and China every year from June to September.
  • Lipulekh pass is also the four officially agreed BPM (Border Personnel Meeting) point between Indian Army and People’s Liberation Army of China which helps in defusing face-offs.
  • In ancient time, it has been used by traders, mendicants, and pilgrims traverse between Nepal and Tibet.
  • It is also the ancient route of Kailash Mansarover Yatra.

Lipulekh Pass trek Itinerary

The trek to Lipulekh Pass begins from Pangu village in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. Pangu has a motorable road that is accessible from bus and taxi from major cities. 

Note: Foreigners are only allowed up to Budhi on this trek. If any Indian want to trek with an inner line then you need a permit which is issued by the district authorities of Pithoragarh for this trek.

Day 1: Delhi - Almora (400 km by vehicle)

When traveling from Delhi, take a bus from Delhi to Almora via Ghaziabad, Kathgodam. It will take around 14hrs to reach Almora. Halt at Almora for the following day.

Day 2 : Almora - Dharchula (207 km by vehicle)

From Almora, take an early morning bus to Dharchula. It will take around 10hrs to reach Dharchula. You’ll have your dinner here and halt for the night.

Day 3 : Dharchula - Pangu (around 50kms by vehicle)

Take an early morning bus from Dharchula to Pangu. Rest and prepare yourself for the next day. The trek commences from Pangu. (Almora from Pangu can be done in a single day too)

Day 4 : Pangu - Gala (25km by trek)

The distance from Pangu to Gala is 25kms. Start the trek early in the morning and halt at Gala. There are plenty of accommodation facilities like tourist bungalow, camps and rest houses available at Gala.

Day 5 : Gala - Budhi (20km by trek)

After having breakfast at Gala, you’ll have to trek for 20kms to reach Budhi. You’ll rest for the night here.

Day 6 : Budhi - Gunji (17km by trek)

From Budhi, you’ll trek further 17km for Gunji. You’ll have your dinner here and stay for the night.

Day 7 : Gunji - Navi dhang (20kms by trek)

An early morning trek for 20kms will lead you to Navi dhang. From here you’ll see the majestic view of Om Parvat. After resting at Navi dhang for a while, you’ll trek towards Lipulekh.

Day 8 : Navi dhang - Lipulekh (7kms by trek)

A further trek of 7kms from Navi dhang, and you arrive at Lipulekh. The majestic view from Lipulekh will make the trek worth every sweat.

The return will follow the same schedule.

Day 9 : Lipulekh - Gunji (27kms by trek)

From Lipulekh, you’ll start an early morning trek to Gunji. You may rest for a while at Navi dhang. You’ll halt for the night at Gunji.

Day 10 : Gunji - Budhi (17kms by trek)

From Gunji, you’ll cover the 17kms trek to Budhi.

Day 11 : Budhi- Gala (20kms by trek)

An early morning trek from Budhi will lead to Gala. 

Day 12 : Gala - Pangu (25kms by trek)

From Gala, you will trek towards Pangu where you will rest and enjoy the completion of your trek.

Day 13 : Pangu- Dharchula (around 50kms by vehicle)

You will leave for Dharchula from Pangu in early morning.

Day 14 : Dharchula - Almora (207kms by vehicle)

The same day, you’ll leave for Almora from Dharchula.

Day 15 : Almora - Delhi (400kms by vehicle)

You trip will end with Delhi as the last stop.

Location & How to Reach Lipulekh Pass

It is easily accessible form Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand from where you can trek to Lipulekh pass a major pass of the Kumaun region situated in the Kali Valley. The nearest rail head is Kathgodam.

Read How to Reach guide for Adi Kailash.

What is Lipulekh Pass famous for?

Lipulekh Pass is popular place for following activities/ interests - High Altitude Mountain Pass, Trekking.

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