The construction of the road was not known to India government until the completion of the construction was announced in Chinese official newspaper in 1957. Part of the reason that India was not aware of the road is that Indian border patrol never successfully entered the area before. After the India Embassy in Beijing reported this to New Delhi in September 1957, India decided to send 2 troops of patrol to locate the exact location of the road. However due to the cold winter in the area, the patrol only started leaving from Leh district in July 1958. The patrol sent to locate the south part of the road reported the location of road in October 1958 but the patrol sent to the north part of the road went missing.
As one of the highest motorable roads in the world, the breathtaking scenery of Rutok county also ranks as some of the most inhospitable terrain on the planet. Domar township—a town of concrete blocks and nomad tents—is one of the bleakest and most remote outposts of the People's Liberation Army at the edge of the Aksai Chin. Near the town of Mazar many trekkers turn off for both the Karakorum range and K2 base camp. Approaching the Xinjiang border, past the final Tibetan settlement of Tserang Daban is a dangerous 5,050-meter-high pass. Tibetan nomads in the area herd both yaks and two-humped camels. Descending through the western Kunlun Shan, the road crosses additional passes of 4,000 and 3,000 meters, and the final pass offers brilliant views of the Taklamakan Desert far below before descending into the Karakax River basin.