Sela Pass

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Sela Pass
Se La
Tawang Gate.jpg
Sela pass Gate in April 2015
Elevation4,170 metres (13,680 ft)
LocationArunachal Pradesh, India
Coordinates27°30′17″N 92°06′17″E / 27.50480843°N 92.10469818°E / 27.50480843; 92.10469818Coordinates: 27°30′17″N 92°06′17″E / 27.50480843°N 92.10469818°E / 27.50480843; 92.10469818
Sela Pass is located in Arunachal Pradesh
Sela Pass
Sela Pass is located in India
Sela Pass

The Sela Pass (more appropriately called Se La, as La means Pass) is a high-altitude mountain pass located on the border between the Tawang and West Kameng Districts of Arunachal Pradesh state in India. It has an elevation of 4170 m (13,700 ft) and connects the Indian Buddhist town of Tawang to Dirang and Guwahati. The pass carries the National Highway 13 (previously NH 229), connecting Tawang with the rest of India. The pass supports scarce amounts of vegetation and is usually snow-covered to some extent throughout the year. Sela Lake, near the summit of the pass, is one of approximately 101 lakes in the area that are sacred in Tibetan Buddhism. While Sela Pass does get heavy snowfall in winters, it is usually open throughout the year unless landslides or snow require the pass to be shut down temporarily.

Sela Pass in August, 2018
Zomdong Na Village - In the middle of Sela Pass
Sela Lake
View from Sela Lake
A vehicle negotiating Sela Pass


Sela Pass crosses a subrange of the Himalayas that separates Tawang District from the rest of India.[1] The pass is 4170 m (13,700 ft) high[2][3] and is situated at a distance of 78 km from Tawang town and 340 km from Guwahati.[4] While the Border Roads Organization (BRO) of India works to keep the pass is open throughout the year, it may shut down temporarily after landslides and during heavy snow. Summers at Sela Pass are not very cold but temperature in winter can dip down to -10 degree Celsius.[5] Sela lake is a large lake located on the north side of the pass at an elevation of 4,160 metres (13,650 ft).[6] This lake often freezes during the winter and is drained Nuranang River, a tributary of the Tawang River. Limited vegetation grows around the lake which is used as a grazing site for yaks during the summer.[3]

Panoramic View of Sela Pass


Sela Tunnel, Government of India announced the funding for construction of all weather road transport tunnel in 2018-19 budget.[7] Construction will start in January 2019. [8] The under-construction Bhalukpong-Tawang railway, expected to be completed by december 2022, will also pass through here.


Sela Pass is a sacred site in Tibetan Buddhism. Buddhists believe that there are about 101 sacred lakes in and around the pass.[1][2]


According to legend, a sepoy of the Indian Army named Jaswant Singh Rawat fought alone against the Chinese soldiers near the pass during the 1962 Sino-Indian War. A tribal woman named Sela who had brought food and water to him is said to have killed herself upon seeing the dead body of Jaswant Singh Rawat. Singh was posthumously awarded the Maha Vir Chakra for his courage and devotion to duty.[1][3]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Sela Pass". Pan India Internet Private Limited (PIIPL). Retrieved 2013-04-19.
  2. ^ a b "High Altitude Sela Pass–Backbone of Tawang District". Sankara Subramanian C ( January 21, 2011. Retrieved 2013-04-18.
  3. ^ a b c "Sela Passmountain pass". Retrieved 2013-04-18.
  4. ^ "How To Reach Sela Pass". Travelomy. Retrieved 2011-06-19.
  5. ^ "Sela Pass". Travelomy. Retrieved 2011-06-19.
  6. ^ "Other Important Attractions of Tawang District". National Informatics Centre, Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh). Retrieved 2013-04-18.
  7. ^ Sela pass tunnel, Economic Times, 1 Feb 2018.
  8. ^