Well there are Two Passes, either of which has to be crossed in order to drive down to Leh. The Zoji La from the Kashmir side or the Baralacha La from the Lahoul side to get into Ladakh. Actually there is a third one as well. Its called the Kaobal Gali, and it connects Gurez in Kashmir to Drass in via Mushkoh Valley Kargil, Ladakh and hence you bypass the Zoji La.
Gurez and Drass are actually close to each other if you look at them in a Map and the people also share cultural similarities in the fact that they are both Shina speaking people who came down from Gilgit centuries ago. (Thats another Tale for another time). But as of now the Road is off limits to Civilians but hopefully it will open one day for General use.
From those who have taken this Road I hear stories of unparalleled unmatched beauty as some of you must have visited both these places and know how they are. A rare glimpse of the Gurez to Drass Road.
Pics from July 2011. Photo credit Hashim H Zargar
A typical Village in Gurez with most houses constructed out of Wooden logs.
Antique Wooden Hutments
The Mountain scape on the way
Another Village in Gurez
The Road from Gurez to Drass
A quaint Village somewhere on the way
The Hairpins to Kaobal Gali
On the way to the Kaobal Gali