Khunjerab Pass

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Khunjerav Pass
Khunjerav Pass.jpg
Khunjerav Pass
Elevation4,693 m (15,397 ft)
Traversed byPakistan N-35.svg Karakoram Highway
LocationPakistan - administered Gilgit–Baltistan / Xinjiang, China
RangeKarakoram Range
Coordinates36°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
Khunjerav Pass is located in Pakistan
Khunjerav Pass
Location of Khunjerab Pass
Khunjerav Pass is located in Gilgit Baltistan
Khunjerav Pass
Khunjerav Pass (Gilgit Baltistan)
Khunjerab Pass
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese紅其拉甫山口
Simplified Chinese红其拉甫山口
Urdu name
Urduدرّہ خنجراب

Khunjerav Pass (Chinese: 红其拉甫口岸; Urdu: درہ خنجراب‎) (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 (Region of Gilgit–Baltistan’s Hunza and Nagar Districts) and on the southwest border of China (the Xinjiang region)


Its name is derived from two words of the local Wakhi language : 'Khun' means Blood and 'Jerav' means a creek coming from spring water/water falling.

Highest Border crossing in the world[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 The roadway across the pass was completed in 1982, and has superseded the unpaved Mintaka and Kilik Passes as the primary passage across the Karakoram Range.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 for heavy vehicles from November 30 to May 1 and for all vehicles from December 30 to April 1.[3]

The reconstructed Karakoram Highway passes thru Khunjerab Pass.

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 of the area from several cities in Pakistan

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]

Highest ATM in the world[edit]

It has the highest ATM in the world on Pakistani side from the National Bank of Pakistan and 1LINK.


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] However no progress has been made thereafter and this project is also not part of the current CPEC plan.

See also[edit]

View of the Khunjerab Pass point at the Pakistan-China border
View of the Khunjerab Pass point at the 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.