Khunjerab Pass

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Khunjerab Pass
Khunjerab Pass Pakistan China.jpg
Khunjerab Pass viewed from the Kashmiri side
Elevation 4,693 m (15,397 ft)
Traversed by Pakistan N-35.svg Karakoram Highway
Location Pakistan - administered Gilgit–Baltistan / Xinjiang, China
Range Karakoram Range
Coordinates 36°51′00″N 75°25′40″E / 36.85000°N 75.42778°E / 36.85000; 75.42778Coordinates: 36°51′00″N 75°25′40″E / 36.85000°N 75.42778°E / 36.85000; 75.42778
Khunjerab Pass is located in Pakistan
Khunjerab Pass
Location of Khunjerab Pass
Khunjerab Pass is located in Gilgit Baltistan
Khunjerab Pass
Location of Khunjerab Pass
Khunjerab Pass
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 紅其拉甫山口
Simplified Chinese 红其拉甫山口
Urdu name
Urdu درّہ خنجراب

Khunjerab Pass (Chinese: 红其拉甫口岸; Urdu: درہ خنجراب‎) or (elevation 4,693 metres or 15,397 feet) is a high mountain pass in the Karakoram Mountains in a strategic position on the northern border of Pakistan-administered Gilgit–Baltistan Hunza – Nagar District on the southwest border of the Xinjiang region of China. Its name is derived from two words of the local Wakhi language : 'Khun' means Home and 'Jerav' means a creek coming from spring water/water falling.

Border crossing between China and Pakistan - administered Gilgit-Baltistan[edit]

The Khunjerab Pass is the highest paved international border crossing in the world and the highest point on the Karakoram Highway. The roadway across the pass was completed in 1982, and has superseded the unpaved Mintaka and Kilik Passes as the primary passage across the Karakoram Range. The choice of Khunjerab Pass for Karakoram Highway was decided in 1966: China citing the fact that Mintaka would be more susceptible to air strikes recommended the steeper Khunjerab Pass instead.[1]

On the Pakistani - administered side, the pass is 42 km (26 mi) from the National Park station and checkpoint in Dih, 75 km (47 mi) from the customs and immigration post in Sost, 270 km (170 mi) from Gilgit, and 870 km (540 mi) from Islamabad.

On the Chinese side, the pass is the southwest terminus of China National Highway 314 (G314) and is 130 km (81 mi) from Tashkurgan, 420 km (260 mi) from Kashgar and some 1,890 km (1,170 mi) from Urumqi. The Chinese port of entry is located 3.5 km (2.2 mi) along the road from the pass in Tashkurgan County.

The long, relatively flat pass is often snow-covered[2] during the winter season and as a consequence is generally closed from November 30 to May 1.[3]

Since June 1, 2006, there has been a daily bus service across the boundary from Gilgit, to Kashgar, Xinjiang[4]

A helpful road-sign giving motorists a perspective about the distances involved

This is one of the international borders where left-hand traffic (Pakistan - administered Gilgit-Baltistan) changes to right-hand traffic (China) and vice versa.[5]


In 2007, consultants[6] were engaged to investigate the construction of a railway through this pass to connect China with transport in Pakistani-administered Gilgit-Baltistan. A feasibility study started in November 2009 for a line connecting Havelian 750 km (466 mi) away in Pakistan and Kashgar 350 km (217 mi) in Xinjiang.[7]

See also[edit]

View of Khunjerab Pass point. a magnificent symbol of Pakistan China friendship at Pakistan, China border
View of Khunjerab Pass point. a magnificent symbol of Pakistan China friendship at Pakistan, China border



  1. ^ 刘欣 (2013-05-03). "重寻玄奘之路" [Rediscover the path taken by Xuanzang] (in Chinese). 东方早报. Retrieved 2017-02-02. 1966年,时任新疆军区副司令员的张希钦在主持修筑中巴公路时,为避敌国空袭,放弃了巴方主张的走宽阔的明铁盖达坂的方案,而取道地势高峻的红其拉甫山口。 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Khunjerab Pass". Retrieved 2016-09-18. 
  4. ^ Road widening work has begun on 600 km (370 mi) of the highway. [1]
  5. ^ Right- and left-hand traffic
  6. ^ Online Asia Times South Asia Feb 24, 2007. "China-Pakistan rail link on horizon." Syed Fazl-e-Haider.
  7. ^


  • Curzon, George Nathaniel. 1896. The Pamirs and the Source of the Oxus. Royal Geographical Society, London. Reprint: Elibron Classics Series, Adamant Media Corporation. 2005. ISBN 1-4021-5983-8 (pbk); ISBN 1-4021-3090-2 (hbk).
  • King, John 1989. Karakoram Highway : the high road to China. Hawthorn, Victoria, Lonely Planet Publications. ISBN 0-86442-065-X
  • Episode 13/30 of the NHK television series The Silk Road, a series originally shown in Japan in the early 1980s.