Leh, when the word comes to our mind we can imagine the blissful range of mountains & a great place to travel. Topographically, the whole of the Leh district is mountainous with three parallel ranges of the Himalayas, the Zanskar, the Ladakh and the Karakoram.
There is one place in Ladakh which has left people astonished since many years & still making people left surprised with its extraordinary quality. A small stretch of 30km long road towards Kargil named, MAGNETIC HILL often known as gravity hill, holds the tremendous & astonishing feature of moving your vehicle uphill up to the speed of 20km/hr while your engine is turned off.
Now when you visit Leh, stop at Magnetic Hill and you will be shocked to notice the movement of your vehicle which is nothing but only your mind is being tricked seeing something exactly opposite to how it actually is.
It is strongly believed that the hills have very strong magnetic powers which can pull the cars uphill easily. Also funny to know that even the air crafts that fly over this region increase their altitude in order to avoid magnetic interference. Every tourist driver that passes through here would stop the engine to let the tourists experience how the car still kept moving. Some people are not aware about Magnetic Hill and just pass through here but the ones who do know stop their cars to verify whether what they heard was true or merely a made-up tale.
A tourist may hear various ‘supernatural’ stories regarding this place from the locals here who talk about myths stating that the path lead to heaven. People who deserve heaven would get pulled automatically to heaven & the less deserving would stay left behind.
While some believe in it & some ignore. Scientifically the phenomenon can be explained much better.
You either see something that is not there at all or you see things different than how they physically are. Gravity hill is just one of them.
This is purely a natural optical illusion effect caused by the geographical layout of hills that obstruct the horizon. The short road which looks in direction of uphill is actually towards downhill. This is the reason why cars slowly gain momentum. The hills in front of your eyes at this stretch are naturally laid out in such a manner that they will give you an illusion of moving magically in vehicles with the engines off. Since your eyes cannot clearly see the horizon, there is no way for your mind to contradict.
There are several such mistakenly characterized Gravity Hills all over the world. Several roads that appear to be going uphill while the slant is actually downhill. There are rivers that appear to be defying gravity and flowing uphill which is again an optical illusion because the water is in fact flowing downhill.
- Tulsishyam in Gujarat
- Electric Brae in Scotland
- Gansu in China, are just a few examples of such places.
Now, if you visit Ladakh don’t believe in layman tales & enjoy the ride by saving fuel. 😉
Find reviews of tourists with magnetic hill, here.