This article is all about famous passes of Indian peninsula, mountain passes of Deccan Plateau including Aravali, Vindhya range etc, popular mountain passes of eastern Coromandel and western Sahyadri ghats, famous mountain passes of south India. The peninsular India, specially Deccan Plateau is defined by Eastern Ghats of Coromandel, Western ghats covering the western coast of India, Aravali in nortwest between Gujrat and Rajasthan, Vindhya and Satpura ranges in central India. Most of these mountain ranges are not continuous and provide saddle points, pass or Col which is used to cross these mountains from ancient times. The three most important passes connecting the remaining India with the western coastal region (sandwiched bwetween Western ghats and Arabian sea) are Thal Ghat, Bhor Ghat and Pal ghat (Palakkad). These three passes were used for navigation and transportation from ancient times.
Famous Mountain Passes of Deccan Plateau (Peninsular India)
Asirgarh Fort Pass
This pass lies in Satpura Range and is located near Burhanpur district of Madhya Pradesh. This is actually a fort that was strategically built by king Asa Ahir of Ahir dynasty to control the pass connecting the north India with Deccan Plateau. Because of fort’s strategic location near the pass, it is also called as “Key to the Deccan”. In the medieval times this fort and pass was considered as the gateway for entering Deccan and Southern India.
This is a famous historical pass in the Aravali mountain range of western India. This is located 40 Km from Udaipur of Rajasthan state. The name Haldighati is coined because of the yellowish soil. This pass is historically very important because one of the the most famous battles in Indian hisory was fought here. The battle of Haldighati between Maharana Pratap of Mewar and Mughal forces of Akbar lead by Man Singh was fought near this pass.
Famous Mountain Passes in Western Ghat
Thal Ghat Pass (Kasara Ghat)
- Height – 585 meter
- Connects – Mumbai to Nashik
This is a famous mountain pass in Sahyadri range of Western Ghats. This pass is located in Kasara, Thane district of Maharashtra and lies en route to Mumbai from Nashik. Western ghat mountain ranges are not continuous and provide passage (pass) at various locations to reach from eastern part to western part of these range. One of these pass is Kasara ghat, while other important passes are Bhor ghat, Palakkad (Pal ghat) etc. This pass provides both road and railway connectivity from east to west.
Bhor Ghat Pass
- Height – 622 meter
- Connects – Mumbai to Pune via Khopoli
Bhor ghat is a mountain pass which is located near Khandala, Maharashtra which is the famous hill station of Sahyadri range. The old Mumbai Pune Highway Nh4 mostly and some parts of new Expressway are built of this Bhor ghat pass. This passage provides easy connectivity between Mumbai and Khopoli. A number of tunnels are seen along this route and this also provides very beautiful natural scenery during monsoon periods.
Palakkad Gap (Pal Ghat)
- Height – 140 meter
- Connects – Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu to Palakkad, Kerala
This is low altitude mountain pass located in Palakkad in kerala. Palakkad is situated in Western ghats and surrounded by Nilgiri hills and Anaimalai hills from north and south respectively. The southern part of western ghats virtually separates entire Kerala from Tamil Nadu except the passage of Palakkad gap.There are two feature which separates this pass from other mountain passes – i) the height is relatively very low, ii) the width of this pass is comparatively very large (30 Km) as opposed to the narrow widths of other passes of India. From ancient times the Palakkad gap was used to gateway to the coastal parts of south India specially Kerala from Tamil Nadu. There are historical evidences which prove many Tamils migrated using these pass in medieval times and settled in and around Palakkad. This pass was also used for trading purposes.
Amba Ghat Pass
- Height – 610 meter
Amba ghat is a mountain pass in sahyadri mountains of Western ghats which connects Ratnagiri district to Kolhapur. This pass is located near Sahuwadi of Kolhapur district. National highway 204 goes along this pass. Recently this place has become more popular for paragliding activities.
Chorla Ghat Pass
- Height – 800 meter
Chorla ghat mountain pass lies at the trisection of the borders of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa. This pass is situated about 54 Km west of Belgaum district of Karnataka and about 50 Km northeast of Panji, capital of Goa. This place is attraction center for nature lovers because of the serene beauty of Sahyadri range. Wildlife enthusiasts finds this place fascinating because of the presence of wolf snakes in this area.
Malshej Ghat Pass
- Height – 700 meters
This pass is situated about 150 Km from Pune district of Maharashtra and is closer to the borders of Ahmednagar and Thane districts. Malsheghat can be reached while travelling from Kalyan to Ahmednagar. This pass is also located in Sahyadri range of Western ghats. Malshej ghat is popularly known for its wild life including different varities of birds. This place provides immense natural beauty and different points of attraction during monsoon periods. Popular Shivneri Fort and Harishchandragad fort are close to Malshej ghat.
- Height – 750 meters
This mountain pass also lies in the Sahyadri range of western ghats which is situated near Junnar and just 55 Km from Kalyan. This pass connects Pune district with the historically important Junnar city. Shivneri fort which lies in Junnar is the birth place of Shivaji, the great Maratha ruler. In ancient times during the rule of Satvahans in this region this pass was used for trade and commerce. Toll was used to collect from the traders crossing this pass. There are a number of caves along the pass in which inscriptions of various Hindu Gods worshiped by Satvahan rulers are drawn. The most important features of this pass are – i) stone pavement throughout the pass, ii) Big Pot carved out by cutting stone to collect the toll, iii) a number of water cisterns cut in rock throughout this pass.
This is a mountain pass which connects the talukas of Mulshi and Tamhini in Pune district. This passage is located on the verge of Sahyadri mountain range of western ghats. This place is known for its scenic waterfalls and lush greenery during monsoon periods.
Amboli Ghat Pass
- Height – 690 meter
Amboli ghat pass is situated in Western ghat mountains and is located in Sindhudurg district of south Maharashtra. Amboli ghat pass provides passage that connects Sawantwadi of Maharashtra to Belgaum of Karnataka. Amboli ghat is the last hill station in Sahyadri range of Maharashtra after which the border of Goa starts in south. Amboli ghat is known for its wild life, dense hilly forests, Hiranyakeshi temple and a number of waterfalls.
Kumbharli Ghat Pass
- Height – 625 meter
Kumbharli ghat is a mountain pass of western ghats which provides connectivity between Konkan and Desh regions of Maharashtra. It provides passage between Ratnagiri and Satara districts. Kumbharli ghat is known for a number of waterfalls during monsoon season. One of the other attraction is the nearby Koyna lake and Dam.