The Kishtwar-Killar road, also known as The Cliffhanger, is a frighteningly high mountain trail in the eastern part of Kishtwar district of Jammu. With a length of 114 kms, the Kishtwar-Killar stretch is a really narrow, winding road that is said to be one of the most dangerous in the world.
Here is a dash-cam footage from a vehicle that has trodden on this stretch in the recent past. As can be clearly seen in the video, it’s a tar-less narrow stretch with a great gorge on one side and an intimidating mountain on the other. A look over the edge is enough to give goosebumps to even the bravest. It’s a mind-boggling hundred-meter drop that is just one slight error away. The one-lane road surface is a mix of stone, gravel, and sand. There’s no guard rail anywhere and the overhanging cliff even obstructs your view of oncoming vehicles. This road is really not for the amateur drivers. One really needs to be a braveheart for driving on this stretch.
This road leads to the basecamp of Kishtwar Kailash, which is a 6451 m high mountain. You can reach The Cliffhanger by taking the Rohtang Pass from Manali to the Chenab Valley and then following the Darlang Valley. To make matters worse, there’s a lack of enough oxygen. The last 50 kms of this stretch are the most challenging. Many have named this track as the ‘Almost Killer’ road. The Killar-Kishtwar road starts in the Lahaul Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, at an elevation of 2,524 m and terminates in Kishtwar in Jammu region at a height of 1,638 m above the sea level. The road gets even trickier during rains. It’s almost impossible to use this road in bad weather, even with a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
As you can see in the video, most of the sections aren’t wide enough for two cars to pass. One wrong move can lead to a drop of several thousand feet into the Chenab river. Those who are scared of heights or prone to car sickness should best avoid travelling on this stretch. The driver should have enough experience of driving on challenging hilly roads. One may even need to drive in reverse for several kilometres to have enough room for an oncoming vehicle to pass by. Hence, great reversing skills are a pre-requisite. There are plenty of blind spots and even slight carelessness can prove to be fatal. Even just looking at this well-shot video gives us the chills. What about you?