Twenty Passes of the Dhauladhars | Rendezvous with the Mountain Gods

The rise of the Dhauladhars starts near Dalhousie. I have spent lived a considerable time of my life in Dharamshala and that’s why these white guardians of Himachal have always fascinated me. Childhood Memories, you see!

We did try scaling its peaks during our childhood and fortunately we failed. (Read Indrahar Pass: Meeting an Old Friend for more. )

Only to come back, to know them better, to fall in love with them all over again.

There is one more addition to this list, the Dainkund Pass that connects the lakkadmandi village (near Dalhousie) to the Chuwari Jot. This happens to be the first pass of the Dhauladhars and can be crossed between April and October.

Trek to Dainkund
Trek to Dainkund
Indrahar Pass

I have not trekked much in the Dhauladhars and that’s precisely why I am writing this post. To share with you the eternal joys of the Dhauladhars, the mighty passes of the Dhauladhars. This article will tell you that there are sixteen passes in the Dhauladhars that are still frequented by the shepherds and adventurers alike. But I refuse to believe that this is all these mighty mountains have to offer. My firm belief is that there must be at-least 10 more passes in the Dhauladhars that are no more known to the younger generations.

And if we are to believe our good friend Jango, then the possibilities in the Dhauladhars are just endless. Every peak, every ridge, every moraine is crossable; you just have to have faith. But then that’s our dear Jango and not us.

The passes mentioned in this post are in the order they appear while moving from Dalhousie to Manali. The Dhauladhars ultimately disappear and merge with the Pir Panjals at the rendezvous of two mighty Himalayan ranges of Himachal Himalayas. That very point has been named as the T-Junction of Shikerbeh – Hanuman Tibba by a good friend of mine.

Jalsu Pass Unfinished Road
Trail to the Jalsu Pass – The Flower Valley of Himachal Pradesh

The first three passes tabulated in this list are within Chamba while rest of them link Kangra Valley with Chamba region. If you ever intend to trek in the Dhauladhars, my suggestion would be to start from Chamba because the gradient rise from Kangra side is abrupt and exhausting.

You can must go through the Kangra Gazetteer that provides insightful information about the peaks, passes, and life of the Himachal Himalayas. You can even buy it from the Shimla State Library or any of the 12 District Headquarters of Himachal Pradesh.

1_Passes_Of_Dhauladhars-001 2_Passes_Of_Dhauladhars-001 3_Passes_Of_Dhauladhars-001


The last four passes connect the Chota Bhangal/Kangra region to the Bada Banghal region of Himachal Pradesh, which is one of the remotest regions of the country. Out of these four, the Thamsar Pass is the one that is popular among the trekkers while the other three are used only by the Bhangali’s visiting each other. And all these passes are difficult. 

There are few more that lie not on the primary axis of the Dhauladhars but are popular among the trekkers. The Sar Pass Trek is one of the favorite destinations of the Mountaineering Institute, Manali. It takes you to one of the Seven lakes of the Dhauladhars’; the Dan Sar in the Bhangal Region. Then there is Jaralu Pass, trail to which branches off from the top of the Jalsu Pass and takes you to the Bada Bhangal.

Other than these, there are few more passes that are nowadays rarely used because of road connectivity. The Nohru Pass (Barot to Chota Bhangala) , Bhubhu Pass (Mandi to Kullu) , and Himri Pass (Kullu to Manali). These three passes can be called as an extension of the main Dhauladhars’ as they do not fall on its primary axis.

I have done only two. How many have you done?

With inputs from Rijul Shergill. He has done as many as 14. Five of them in 2013 itself. That’s what these Himalayas do to you. They drive you crazy. Have you gone crazy ever? Give these mountains a chance. 🙂 

Follow Rijul on Twitter.

3 thoughts on “Twenty Passes of the Dhauladhars | Rendezvous with the Mountain Gods”

  1. Tarun ji,I am fully agree with you aby your suggestions to trrk the Dhauladhar from Chamba.One of most adventurous and thrilling trek is Holi to Kalath and Shegri Kullu.Many Lahul trekkers did this trrk

  2. I love this mountain range so much that I won’t rest unless I cross all these passes. Be it the passes on the main Dhauladhar axis or on the side axis I will make it a point that I cross all of them . JAI SHIV SHAKTI , JAI MAA DHAULADHAR

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