Shinku-La Tunnel, also known as Shinkula Tunnel or Shingo-La Tunnel, is a planned motorable tunnel linking Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul Valley and Ladakh’s Zanskar Valley in Northern India. You can stay at a Hotel in Ladakh so you can visit the Shinku-La tunnel..

The Ministry of Defence is creating Darcha-Shinkula-Padum-Nimu as an alternate road to connect Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh through the Border Roads Organisation (BRO). It’d be the third route connecting Ladakh to the main place, following the Manali-Sarchu-Leh and Srinagar-Kargil-Leh highways. After the Shinku-la tunnel is completed, the Darcha-Padum-Nimu or Manali-Padum-Nimu path would become all-weather travel road which would be really the safest and most efficient method of reaching Leh.

Shinkula pass will be the only pass on this new road because the Atal Tunnel, Rohtang, has skirted the 13,050ft high Rohtang pass. The Darcha-Padum-Nimu route, unlike the Manali-Sarchu-Leh highway, has only one mountain pass — Shinkula pass.

The Defense Ministry is putting extra emphasis on this new route because it will make military movement easier even during the winter months. Otherwise, for five to seven months a year, both the Manali-Leh and Srinagar-Leh highways are closed due to heavy snowfall.

Atal tunnel is now the world’s longest roadway tunnel above 10,000 feet. Shinku-la tunnel will be the world’s longest high-altitude highway tunnel if completed. The 13.5-kilometer Shinku-la tunnel is scheduled to open in 2021. (Please note that as of May 19, 2021, the Ministry of Defense has rejected the plan for a 13.5-kilometer tunnel and approved the 4.25-kilometer Shinku-la tunnel, which was studied by BRO many years ago near Shingo La Pass.)

Nimu is located 35 kilometres from Leh and 185 kilometres from Kargil. Along the Manali-Sarchu-Leh route, Darcha is 100 kilometres from Manali (through the Atal Tunnel).

Padum and Nimu are still separated by over 35 kilometres of road. The highway has been renovated to double lanes for about 100 kilometres.

Specifications for Shinku La Tunnel

  • Shinku-La Tunnel is the name of the tunnel.
  • Tunnel length: 13.5 kilometres (Now 4.25 KM)
  • Locations include Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh, and Zanskar, Ladakh’s UT.
  • Lakhang, Zanskar is the North Portal (Now 3 KM before Shinku-la top)
  • Patseo, Lahaul, South Portal (Now just below Shinku-la top)
  • Tunnel elevation (approximately): 14,000 feet
  • Shinkula Pass is 16,580 feet above sea level.
  • Manali-Padum-Nimu, Manali-Padum-Nimu, Manali-Padum-Nimu
  • DPR is currently being completed.

Image Credit :

The ADGBR assesses border highways and the proposed Shinkula tunnel.

Harendra Kumar, the Additional Director General Border Roads (ADGBR), took stock of the current development activities on the Manali-Leh axis and paid a visit to Shinkula pass, where work on a 4.25-kilometer highway tunnel is slated to begin soon.

According to BRO authorities, ADGBR, along with Brig MS Baghi, chief engineer of BRO’s Project Deepak, and Col Uma Shankar, commander of the 38 Border Road Task Force, visited the 16,600ft high Shinkula pass on Wednesday. The Ministry of Defence recently showed an interest in constructing the Shinkula tunnel as quickly as feasible, preferring the 4.25-kilometer tunnel to the 13.5-kilometer tunnel.In recent years, a survey on the feasibility of both tunnels was done, however, the Ministry of Defense was more interested in the shorter tunnel. The tunnel’s construction is expected to begin this year and you must book your stay at a Hotel in Ladakh to get the best experience.

Shinkula’s tunnel will most likely be 4.25 kilometres long, not 13.5 kilometres.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is apparently interested in building a shorter highway tunnel below the 16,600ft high Shinku-la pass on the Manali-Darcha-Padum-Nimmu-Leh axis, bringing all-weather connectivity to Ladakh sooner than envisaged. The detailed construction report for the 13.5-kilometer Shinkula tunnel is due soon, but the Ministry of Defense is much more interested in the earlier 4.25-kilometer tunnel design. Work on the tunnel could begin this year, pending the completion of formalities and the provision of the necessary funds. By 2024, the remaining work on the road between Shinkula and Nimmu should be completed, allowing Ladakh to remain connected to Himachal Pradesh and the rest of the country for the majority of the year.

According to a BRO official, they have not received any official statement of the tunnel’s finalisation among two suggested tunnels, but they have gotten a verbal message from the headquarters that the MoD has chosen the shorter tunnel. BRO conducted a survey of the tunnel near Shinku-la since it was less expensive and took less time to complete. Building this tunnel will no longer be a challenge for BRO, he remarked, citing the Atal tunnel as an instance.

With the help of a Chinook helicopter, an aerial assessment of Shinku la tunnel begins.

With the assistance of a Chinook helicopter, an airborne electromagnetic survey of the Shinku la mountain range has begun, which will aid engineers in the development of the DPR for the 13.5km long Shinkula tunnel being built on the Nimu-Darcha-Padum axis between Ladakh and Himachal and you must book your stay with Hotel in Ladakh to get the real feel of the place.

The aerial survey of the dangerous mountain region between Himachal’s Lahaul and Ladakh’s Zanskar has been entrusted to a joint venture between Denmark’s Sky TEM and Ahmadabad’s Anandjiwala Technical Consultancy.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is scanning the mountain range with a Chinook chopper carrying a 750kg antenna. The electromagnetic scanner on the antenna can read and record structural data up to 800 metres below the mountain’s surface. Before granting the tunnel tender, engineers will analyse the scanned data to determine the structure, presence of metals, and strata type. 

The Shinku-la Pass will have a 13.5-kilometer-long tunnel, according to the DPR.

The world’s longest highway tunnel will be built between Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh, at a height of 16,600 feet above sea level. The 13.5-kilometer tunnel’s detailed project report (DPR) will be ready by October 15, tenders will be issued during the winter season, and construction will begin the following year.

National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL), a Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways undertaking corporation, has been tasked by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) with preparing the DPR for this strategically critical tunnel. The DPR must be completed by October 15th, according to the business. The major survey has been finished, according to NHIDCL authorities, and the site of the tunnel’s north and south entrances has also been finalised.

Image Credit : Pbs.twimg

As an alternative, the Border Roads Organization (BRO) is constructing an all-weather road to Ladakh via Shinku-la. Since the Shinku-la pass gets a lot of snow in winter, BRO intends to construct a highway tunnel underneath the pass to allow traffic flows all year.

Previously, a modest 4 to 5 km long tunnel was suggested to be built on the Darcha-Shinkula-Kurgiakh axis, but the engineers have decided to build it in a different place. NHIDCL wanted to build the tunnel at Patseo on the Manali-Sarchu-Leh axis, according to sources. The tunnel’s south doorway would be in Patseo, about 30 kilometres from Lahaul’s Darcha village, as well as the tunnel’s north gateway will be in Lakhang, within Zanskar valley.

This tunnel will be about three times as long as the previous one, but it will cover far more ground. The DGBR pays a visit to Shinkula Pass in anticipation of the start of work on a new traffic tunnel.

Lt Gen Harpal Singh, Director General Border Roads (DGBR), visited the Darcha-Shinkula pass road in Lahaul valley on Tuesday to assess the progress of the tunnel beneath Shinkula pass, the BRO’s second most prestigious project after the Atal Tunnel in Rohtang.

The DGBR visited the pass for the first time to assess the existing situation, as the BRO works to reinforce border road infrastructure by developing the third road to connect Ladakh with the mainland via Shinkula. When compared to the Manali-Leh and Srinagar-Leh highways, the Defense Ministry is eager to complete the work on this new route as soon as possible. 

Since the road axis is fully away from the border, this route will also be the safest road to Ladakh for military supplies. The DGBR’s visit to Shinkula confirmed that BRO’s next major project will be a traffic tunnel beneath the city.

Shinkula pass, at 16,600 feet above sea level, receives considerable snowfall throughout the winter months, similar to Rohtang and Zojila passes. A tunnel under the pass was needed to make the road all-weather. The Shinku La Tunnel’s detailed project report (DPR) is being prepared, and construction is likely to begin within two years.

This traffic tunnel under the city would be an amazing experience to drive along as you stay comfortably at the Hotel in Ladakh

Leave a Reply