Lanak La

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Lanak La
China India western border 88.jpg
Lanak Pass is on the southeastern boundary of Aksai Chin
Elevation 5,466 m (17,933 ft)
Location Tibet, China
Coordinates 34°23′38″N 79°32′21″E / 34.3938°N 79.5391°E / 34.3938; 79.5391Coordinates: 34°23′38″N 79°32′21″E / 34.3938°N 79.5391°E / 34.3938; 79.5391
Lanak La is located in Jammu and Kashmir
Lanak La
Location of Lanak La

The Lanak La or Lanak Pass (la means pass in Tibetan and North Indian languages) is a mountain pass in Tibet Autonomous Region, China. It is on the southeastern boundary of the Aksai Chin region that is controlled by China but disputed by India.

India regards Lanak La as its boundary with China, while China considers the Kongka Pass further west as the boundary.[1] Lanak La is a well-established frontier point between Ladakh and Tibet confirmed by travellers from William Moorcroft in 1820 onwards.[2] There are substantial Kashmiri Government records for the area of the Chang Chenmo valley between the Lanak and Kongka passes. In addition to the revenue records, 1908 Ladakh Settlement Report, reports of several survey teams, the Jammu and Kashmir Game Preservation Act of 1951, there are Kashmiri documents relating to the construction and maintenance of trade routes, rest houses, and storehouses in the Chang Chenmo valley. All of them placed the entire valley up to the Lanak Pass within Ladakh.[3] Several travellers wrote in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that the traditional boundary between India and Tibet was at Lanak La.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11] However, American scholar Larry Wortzel states that the traditional border lay at the Kongka Pass.[12]

There were no Chinese troops in the area in 1952,[13] the Indian army patrolled up to Lanak La until 1958,[11] and there was an Indian flag planted there until 1956.[14][15]

In October 1959, Indian troops crossed the Kongka Pass in an attempt to establish posts on Lanak La.[1] This resulted in a clash with the Chinese soldiers posted at Kongka. The incident preceded the Sino-Indian War in 1962.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Maxwell, Neville (1970). India's China War. New York: Pantheon. p. 13. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Richardson, H. E. (1962). A Short History of Tibet. E. P. Dutton. p. 225 – via Questia. (subscription required (help)). 
  3. ^ Fisher, Margaret W.; Rose, Leo E.; Huttenback, Robert A. (1963). Himalayan Battleground: Sino-Indian Rivalry in Ladakh. Praeger. p. 112 – via Questia. (subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ Wellby, M.S. (1898). Through Unknown Tibet. Lippincott. p. 78. ISBN 9788120610583. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ Bower, Hamilton, Diary of A Journey across Tibet, London, 1894
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ Deasy, H. H. P. (Aug 1900). "Journeys in Central Asia". The Geographical Journal. 6 (2): 142 – via JSTOR. (registration required (help)). 
  9. ^ Bruce, C. D. (Jun 1907). "A Journey across Asia from Leh to Peking". The Geographical Journal. 29 (6): 600. doi:10.2307/1776269 – via JSTOR. (registration required (help)). 
  10. ^ "Report of the Officials of the Governments of India and the Peoples' Republic of China on the Boundary Question - Part 2" (PDF). Ministry of External Affairs, India, 1961. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Verma, Virendra Sahai (2006). "Sino-Indian Border Dispute At Aksai Chin - A Middle Path For Resolution" (PDF). Journal of development alternatives and area studies. 25 (3): 6–8. ISSN 1651-9728. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  12. ^ Burkitt, Laurie; Scobell, Andrew; Wortzel, Larry M., eds. (2003). 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. 
  13. ^ Vivek Ahuja. "Unforgiveable Mistakes, The Kongka-La Incident, 21st October 1959" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-11-02. 
  14. ^ Hudson, Geoffrey Francis (1963). Far Eastern Affairs, Volume 3. St. Martin's Press. p. 20. 
  15. ^ "Notes, Memoranda and letters Exchanged and Agreements signed between The Governments of India and China - White Paper VIII" (PDF). Retrieved 30 August 2013.