LIPULEKH PASS (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – Geography)

News-CRUX-10     15th June 2024        

Context: Indian traders involved in border trade with China through the Lipulekh pass have requested the central government to take up the issue of resumption of border trade through this route.

Lipulekh Pass

  • Location: Lipulekh Pass is situated in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, near the trijunction of India, Nepal, and China.
  • International Connectivity: It serves as a crucial link between the Indian state of Uttarakhand and the Tibet region of China.
  • Altitude: The pass is located at an altitude of approximately 5,334 meters (17,500 feet) above sea level.
  • Terrain and Landscape: Known for its challenging terrain, Lipulekh Pass features steep ascents and rugged landscapes.
  • Strategic Importance: Due to its elevation and strategic location, the pass acts as a gateway to the higher reaches of the Himalayas.
  • Ancient Trade Route: Lipulekh Pass has served as an important trade route for centuries, facilitating commerce between the Indian subcontinent and the Tibetan plateau.
  • Religious Significance: Apart from its role in trade and strategic positioning, Lipulekh Pass holds deep religious significance. It forms an integral part of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, a sacred pilgrimage for Hindus.
  • Opening for Trade:

oLipulekh Pass made history by becoming the first Indian border post to be opened for trade with China in 1992.

oSubsequently, other passes like Shipki La Pass in Himachal Pradesh (1994) and Nathu La Pass in Sikkim (2006) were also opened, marking significant steps in India-China trade relations.