De-mystifying India’s Magnetic Hill

Sci-fi, both in books and in blockbuster films, has always fascinated us and shows no signs of abating anytime soon. But what if we told you there is a place in Himalayan Kashmir that defies nature’s basic laws? Have you ever heard of such a thing? Expect a gasp! It’s the Magnetic Hill in India’s Ladakh region. Magnetic Hill is located 30 kilometres from Leh on the Leh-Kargil Baltic National Highway in the Trans-Himalayan region, at an elevation of around 11,000 feet above sea level. Because of this strange phenomenon, the hill has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Leh area. It is this location that protects the mystery by allowing people to witness the magic! However, there is much more to it than meets the eye.

India’s Zero Gravity Zone

Magnetic Hill India

There is a small stretch of road with a steep hill ahead that allegedly pulls vehicles towards it even when the vehicles are in neutral and not turned on. It just happens without any outside help or tricks of the eye! Many travellers have described their startling experience of feeling their car move at about 20km/hr after shifting into neutral. Most people thought the car was on autopilot. Because of this unusual occurrence, locals refer to this road as the road to heaven.

Even with no engine turned on, these stationary vehicles are pulled upwards at a speed of 20 km per hour, and what’s more astonishing is that even helicopters and aeroplanes are jerked when they come within the radius of the hill. Even Indian Air Force pilots are advised to fly at higher altitudes to avoid magnetic hill interference and avoid accidents. What is the mystery surrounding this hill?

Theories behind The Mystery Of Magnetic Hill

Many theories and explanations have been proposed to explain the mysterious Magnetic Hill phenomenon. Here are a few of the most common:

The Myth 

Magentic hill ladakh

The people of Ladakh believe that “the magnetic road is a straightaway to heaven.” They believe that there was once a road that led to heaven. They believe that the road was once used to transport those who performed good deeds, or ‘karma,’ to heaven. Those who did not fulfil their karma never made it to the land above.

[Also read: The Bone Chilling Mystery of Roopkund Lake]

The Science

There are not one but two plausible scientific explanations behind this majestic magnetic hill.

The Magnetic Force Field Theory

This is a reasonable theory that states a magnetic force field emanates from this specific hill and attracts whatever objects come into contact with it. The magnetic hill region has also been known to cause problems in aviation systems, forcing the Indian air force to divert all of its air routes in the past. 

The Optical illusion Theory

Another well-known theory coexists with the force field theory. This states that because of the terrain, the car appears to be moving upwards, but in reality, the location is downhill, causing the objects to ‘roll down’ rather than being drawn towards the hill.

Regardless of the various theories, Ladakh Magnetic Hill continues to pique the interest of tourists. It is also true that military and commercial aircraft do not fly above the Magnetic Hill area. This is to avoid any magnetic interference during in-flight communications. Simply park your vehicle inside the marked box to experience nature’s geological wonders.

Best time to visit the Magnetic Hill

Magnetic Hill in Ladakh (Leh)

The best time to visit Magnetic Hill in Ladakh (Leh) is from May to October. Tourists can enjoy the area at its best during these months because the temperature will be mild, ranging from a low of 7 degrees Celsius to a high of 22 degrees Celsius.

How To Reach Magnetic Hill Leh in Ladakh

By Air

Magnetic Hill is 32 kilometres from Leh International Airport, the nearest airspace and well-connected to major Indian airports. You can book a taxi from the airport to Ladakh Magnetic Hill on the Leh-Kargil-Baltic National Highway.

By Rail

Leh is the nearest railway station, 700 kilometres from Ladakh. Railways connect Jammu to Delhi and other major Indian cities. The remaining distance is reachable by taxi.

By Road

If you are travelling from Delhi, the Manali-Leh highway is the most direct and convenient route to Leh. State buses and private buses frequently run between Himachal Pradesh and Leh Ladakh. 

Places to visit near the Magnetic hill

  • Gurudwara Pathar Sahib – This Gurudwara was built in 1517 to commemorate Guru Nanak Devji’s visit to this location. According to legend, the rock bears the imprints of Guru Nanak Devji’s shoulders, head, back, and feet. The Indian army currently maintains this location.
  • Basgo Monastery – The Basgo Monastery can be found in Basgo, Leh. It is a Buddhist monastery that was built primarily for the Namgyal rulers. And, as a result of its popularity, this monastery attracts a large number of tourists in the form of devotees each year.
  • Phyang Gompa – This is a Buddhist monastery in Fiang village, Ladakh, about 15-16 kilometres west of Leh. 

Every traveller should put the magnetic hill on their itinerary if they want to experience a mix of India’s mysticism and thrill. Don’t worry about how to head back to the airport or railway station after your trip. The easiest way is to download a safe and trusted car booking app so that on your way back, the only thing on your mind is all the memories you’re going to carry throughout your life!

Last Updated on January 17, 2024 by Swati Deol

About the author

Shabari, a modern-day wanderer, seeks out the hidden stories within the world's serene landscapes and vibrant cultures. She views each person as a living, breathing tale, a unique signature in the grand narrative of existence. With an insatiable curiosity for local customs and traditions, Shabari explores the rich drapery of humanity wherever her journey leads. Her passion is to unravel the secrets of tranquil temples, scale majestic mountains, and share the ancient wisdom they hold. Join Shabari on her quest for solace amidst the world's quiet corners and let her writing transport you to the heart of these captivating adventures.

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