Namika La or Namika Pass is a high-altitude pass in the Zaskar Range of Ladakh. It is located on the Srinagar-Leh highway at an altitude of 3,700 m or 12,139 ft.
Namika La is one of three high passes between Srinagar and Leh, the other two being Zoji La and Fotu La. Its name literally means ‘Pillar of the Sky Pass’.
Namika La is one of the easier passes of Ladakh. The incline is not that steep except for the last few kilometers. The condition of the road is excellent which makes the drive to the top of Namika La much easier than any other pass.
But while it may not find a place in the list of the toughest passes of Ladakh, it is definitely among the most beautiful ones. The views from the top are very scenic and with the excellent road conditions that the pass has to offer, even the drive itself becomes very enjoyable.
How to reach Namika La
Namika La is located on the Srinagar to Leh route. It is at a distance of 253 kilometers from Srinagar and 165 kilometers from Leh.
Irrespective of where you started from, it will be the second pass that you will cross during the journey. If you started from Srinagar, you will first cross Zojila Pass and then reach Namika La.
If you were coming from the Leh side, you will first cross the Fotu La pass and then get to Namika La.
Best Time to Visit Namika La
The road between Kargil and Leh remains open for all 12 months. Hence, you can actually cross Namika La during the peak winter season as well but that will entirely depend on the weather conditions.
There is a high chance of the pass remaining closed between November to March if the weather conditions were not favorable or if there was a lot of snow on the road.
Hence a safer and the best time to visit Namika La is between May to September. This is when all the routes remain open and you will be able to enjoy your journey to Ladakh to the fullest.
Also Read: When is the Best Time to Visit Ladakh
Namika La Road Conditions
The condition of the road near Namika La is excellent. It is a tarred, broad, and well-maintained road all the way to the top of the pass.
The only bad section of this highway is around the Zoji La Pass where the condition of the road is a mix of bad and very bad for about 40-odd kilometers.
But other than that, the road leading to Namika La Pass is an enjoyable drive from both Srinagar and the Leh side.
Jio and Airtel have excellent coverage on the entire Srinagar Leh highway. Both these networks work well at Namika La with 4G data connectivity.
BSNL phones will work as well but their service is not that good. The data speed will be way too slow and even the voice clarity on BSNL can be sometimes bad.
Also Read: Clothes for Ladakh Trip – What to Pack
The nearest hotels are located either in Mulbekh on the Srinagar side or in Lamayuru on the Leh side. Both these towns have comfortable guest houses and also offer the option of homestays.
The hotels in Lamayuru are much better than the ones in Mulbekh though. They are larger in size and much more comfortable.
There are no hotels or guest houses at the top of the pass. You cannot even plan to camp there because the weather conditions will turn extreme during the night making it very unsafe.
Namika La itself is considered one of the tourist attractions of the Srinagar Leh route as well as Ladakh. The views from the top of the pass are very very beautiful and even the drive to the top is very pleasant.
Some other places to visit are as listed below.
- Mulbekh Monastery
- Maitreya Buddha Statue in Mulbekh
- Fotu La
- Hangro Loops
- Lamayuru Monastery
- Lamayuru Moonland
For more details on these places, please take a look at Places to Visit on Srinagar Leh Highway & Things to Do.
I hope the pictures and details above on Namika La Pass in Ladakh were of help. If you have any questions, you can ask in the comments section below. You can also contact me on Instagram to chat with me or subscribe to my YouTube channel and ask a question there.
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