Kongka Pass

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Kongka La
China India western border 88.jpg
Kongka Pass on the disputed border between China and India
Elevation 5,171 m (16,965 ft)
Location IndiaChina border
Range Himalayas
Coordinates 34°20′06″N 79°02′07″E / 34.335°N 79.0353°E / 34.335; 79.0353Coordinates: 34°20′06″N 79°02′07″E / 34.335°N 79.0353°E / 34.335; 79.0353
Kongka La is located in Jammu and Kashmir
Kongka La
Kongka La is located in India
Kongka La
Location of Kongka La
Kongka Pass
Traditional Chinese 空喀山口
Simplified Chinese 空喀山口
Literal meaning Kōngkā shānkǒu

The Kongka Pass (Hindi: कोंग्का दर्रा) or Kongka La (Chinese: 空喀山口), elevation 5,171 m (16,965 ft),[1] is a high mountain pass of the Chang-Chemno Range on the Line of Actual Control.[citation needed] China considers the Kongka Pass as its boundary with India, whereas India regards Lanak Pass further east as the boundary.[2] Sources state that the traditional boundary between Ladakh and Tibet accepted by both sides was at Lanak La.,[3][4][5][6] but modern scholars such as Larry Wortzel and Allen S. Whiting consider Kongka Pass to be the traditional border.[7][8]

Kongka Pass incident[edit]

In October 1959, Indian troops crossed the Kongka Pass[7] in an attempt to establish posts on the Lanak Pass. This resulted in a clash with the Chinese soldiers posted on Kongka Pass. Of the 70 Indian soldiers, nine were killed and ten were taken prisoner. Chinese soldiers reportedly suffered one death. Indian media described the event a "brutal massacre of an Indian policy party." The incident preceded the Sino-Indian War in 1962.[2][9]


  1. ^ "Kongka La". GeoNames. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  2. ^ a b Maxwell, Neville (1970). India's China War. New York: Pantheon. p. 13. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Wellby, M.S. (1898). Through Unknown Tibet. Lippincott. p. 78. 
  4. ^ Carey, A. D. (1887). "A Journey round Chinese Turkistan and along the Northern frontier of Tibet". Proceedings of the Royal Geographic Society. 9. JSTOR 1801130. 
  5. ^ Bower, Hamilton, Diary of A Journey across Tibet, London, 1894
  6. ^ Rawling, C. G., The Great Plateau Being An Account Of Exploration In Central Tibet, 1903, And Of The Gartok Expedition 1904-1905, p 38, London, 1905
  7. ^ a b Wortzel, Larry (2003). Burkitt, Laurie; Scobell, Andrew; Wortzel, Larry, eds. The Lessons of History: The Chinese People's Liberation Army at 75 (PDF). Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College. p. 331. ISBN 9781428916517. 
  8. ^ Whiting, Allen S. (1987). "The Sino-Soviet Split". In MacFarquhar, Roderick; Fairbank, John K. The Cambridge History of China, Volume 14. Cambridge University Press. p. 512. ISBN 978-0-521-24336-0. 
  9. ^ Vivek Ahuja. "Unforgiveable Mistakes, The Kongka-La Incident, 21st October 1959" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-11-02.