A motorable tunnel connecting the Lahaul Valley in Himachal Pradesh with the Zanskar Valley in Ladakh in Northern India is called the Shinku-La Tunnel, sometimes known as the Shinkula Tunnel or the Shingo-La Tunnel. 

In order to connect Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh, the Ministry of Defence is building Darcha-Shinkula-Padum-Nimu through the Border Roads Organisation (BRO). Following the motorways linking Manali, Sarchu, and Leh in Srinagar and Ladakh, respectively, it would be the third route. The Darcha-Padum-Nimu or Manali-Padum-Nimu route will become an all-weather travel road when the Shinku-la tunnel is finished, making it the safest and most effective way to go to Leh.

Image credits: constructionworld.in

Since the Atal Tunnel, Rohtang, has avoided the 13,050-foot-high Rohtang pass, Shinkula pass will be the sole pass on this new road. In contrast to the Manali-Sarchu-Leh highway, the Darcha-Padum-Nimu road only contains one mountain pass, the Shinkula pass.

This new route is receiving special attention from the Defense Ministry since it will facilitate military transportation even during the winter. Otherwise, because of excessive snowfall, both the Manali-Leh and Srinagar-Leh roads are blocked for five to seven months each year.

Atal tunnel is currently the world’s longest highway tunnel over 10,000 feet. If finished, the Shinku-la Tunnel will be the longest high-altitude roadway tunnel in the world. In 2021, the 13.5-kilometer Shinku-la tunnel is slated to open. (Note that as of May 19, 2021, the Ministry of Defence has accepted the 4.25-kilometer Shinku-la tunnel, which BRO explored many years ago at Shingo La Pass in place of the 13.5-kilometer tunnel proposal.)

35 kilometres separate Nimu from Leh and 185 from Kargil. Darcha is located on the Manali-Sarchu-Leh road 100 kilometres from Manali (through the Atal Tunnel).

There are still more than 35 kilometres of road separating Padum and Nimu. For nearly 100 kilometres of the route, new double lanes have been installed.

Facts about the Shinku La Tunnel

The tunnel’s name is Shinku-La Tunnel.

The tunnel is 13.5 kilometres long (Now 4.25 KM)

Locations include Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh, and Zanskar, Ladakh’s UT.

The North Portal is in Lakhang, Zanskar (Now 3 KM before Shinku-la top)

South Portal, Lahaul, and Patseo (Now just below Shinku-la top)

14,000 feet is the approximate height of the tunnel.

At 16,580 feet above sea level, Shinkula Pass.

The phrase “Manali-Padum-Nimu” is repeated three times.

Currently, DPR is being finished.

The proposed Shinkula tunnel and border roadways are evaluated by the ADGBR.

The Shinkula pass, where construction on a 4.25-kilometer highway tunnel is due to commence, was visited by Harendra Kumar, the Additional Director General Border Roads (ADGBR), who also took stock of the ongoing development efforts on the Manali-Leh axis.

According to BRO authorities, ADGBR visited the 16,600-foot-high Shinkula pass on Wednesday accompanied by Brig MS Baghi, the chief engineer of BRO’s Project Deepak, and Col Uma Shankar, the commander of the 38 Border Road Task Force. The Shinkula tunnel should be built as soon as possible, according to the Ministry of Defence, which would rather build the 4.25-kilometer tunnel than the 13.5-kilometer tunnel. 

A survey on the viability of both tunnels was conducted in recent years, however, the Ministry of Defense showed greater interest in the shorter tunnel. You can make your journey more experiential and fun by staying in our Luxury hotel in Ladakh.

Instead of 13.5 kilometres, Shinkula’s tunnel will probably be 4.25 kilometres long.

A BRO officer claims that although they have not received an official announcement that the MoD has selected the shorter of the two planned tunnels, they have heard this information verbally from the headquarters. In order to save money and time, BRO undertook a survey of the tunnel close to Shinku-la. He said, referring to the Atal tunnel as an example, that building this tunnel will no longer be a challenge for BRO.

A Chinook chopper is used to conduct an airborne inspection of the Shinku la tunnel.

An airborne electromagnetic survey of the Shinku La mountain range has started with the help of a Chinook helicopter. This survey will help engineers create the DPR for the 13.5 km long Shinkula tunnel being built on the Nimu-Darcha-Padum axis between Ladakh and Himachal, and you can stay in our Heritage hotel in Ladakh to experience the true spirit of the location.

The aerial survey of the treacherous alpine area between Himachal’s Lahaul and Ladakh’s Zanskar has been assigned to a joint venture between Denmark’s Sky TEM and Ahmedabad’s Anandjiwala Technical Consultancy.

The Chinook helicopter of the Indian Air Force (IAF), which is towing a 750kg antenna, is scouring the mountain range. Up to 800 metres beneath the surface of the mountain, the antenna’s electromagnetic scanner is capable of reading and recording structural data. Engineers will examine the scanned data to assess the structure, presence of metals, and kind of strata before awarding the tunnel tender.

According to the DPR, the Shinku-la Pass will contain a 13.5 kilometre long tunnel.

At a height of 16,600 feet above sea level, between Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh, the longest highway tunnel in the world will be constructed. The detailed project report (DPR) for the 13.5-kilometer tunnel will be finished by October 15; after that, bids will be called over the winter, and work will start the following year.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has assigned National Highways and Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (NHIDCL), an undertaking corporation of the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways, with creating the DPR for this vitally important tunnel. The DPR is due on or before October 15th, per the company. According to NHIDCL officials, the principal survey is complete, and the locations of the north and south entrances to the tunnel have also been decided.

An alternate route to Ladakh via Shinku-la is being built by the Border Roads Organization (BRO). BRO plans to build a highway tunnel below the Shinku-la pass since it receives a lot of snow in the winter, allowing traffic to move across the pass all year.

The Darcha-Shinkula-Kurgiakh axis was originally proposed as the location for a small 4- to 5-kilometer tunnel, but the engineers have changed their minds. According to sources, NHIDCL planned to construct the tunnel at Patseo along the Manali-Sarchu-Leh axis. The south entrance to the tunnel would be at Patseo, some 30 kilometres from the settlement of Darcha in Lahaul, while the north entrance would be in Lakhang, in the Zanskar valley.

Although this tunnel will be much longer than the last one, it will cover a lot more territory. In advance of the start of construction of a new traffic tunnel, the DGBR travels to Shinkula Pass.

The development of the tunnel under Shinkula pass, the BRO’s second most prestigious project after the Atal Tunnel in Rohtang, was examined during Lt Gen Harpal Singh’s visit to the Darcha-Shinkula pass route in the Lahaul valley on Tuesday.

As the BRO works to improve border road infrastructure by building the third road to connect Ladakh with the mainland via Shinkula, the DGBR made its first visit to the pass to inspect the condition. The Defense Ministry wants the construction on this new route to be finished as fast as feasible in comparison to the Manali-Leh and Srinagar-Leh motorways.

This route will also be the most secure one to transport military supplies to Ladakh because the road axis is completely away from the border. The BRO’s next significant project will be a traffic tunnel beneath the city, according to the DGBR’s visit to Shinkula.

Similar to Rohtang and Zojila crossings and located 16,600 feet above sea level, Shinkula pass has heavy snowfall during the winter. The route couldn’t be made all-weather, thus a tunnel was required under the pass. Construction on the Shinku La Tunnel is anticipated to start in less than two years after the detailed project report (DPR) has been completed.

Driving through this city’s traffic tunnel would be an incredible experience, and you could do it while staying luxuriously at a hotel in Ladakh.


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