Banihal Pass, also known as the Banihal Qazigund Road Tunnel, is a tunnel located in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is situated in the Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas, at an elevation of 2,850 meters (9,350 feet) above sea level.
The Banihal Pass has a long history, dating back to ancient times when it was used by traders and travelers as a route through the Himalayas. In more recent times, it has gained importance as a vital transportation corridor, connecting the Kashmir Valley with the rest of India.
The Banihal Pass is known for its challenging terrain and harsh weather conditions, with heavy snowfall and extreme cold in the winter months. It is also prone to landslides, which can disrupt travel and make the pass impassable at times.
Despite these challenges, the Banihal Pass remains an important transportation link for the region. It is the primary route for transporting goods and supplies to the Kashmir Valley, and is also used by travelers and tourists visiting the region.
To improve the safety and efficiency of travel through the Banihal Pass, the Indian government has undertaken a number of infrastructure projects in recent years. One of the most significant of these is the construction of the Banihal Qazigund Road Tunnel, a 9-kilometer (5.6-mile) tunnel that runs beneath the pass. The tunnel, which was completed in 2017, allows vehicles to bypass the treacherous and often impassable surface of the pass, providing a safer and more reliable route for travelers.
In addition to the tunnel, the Indian government has also invested in the construction of new roads and bridges in the region, as well as the expansion of existing infrastructure. These efforts have helped to improve access to the Kashmir Valley and enhance the region's economic development.
In conclusion, the Banihal Pass is a vital transportation corridor in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Its challenging terrain and harsh weather conditions have made it a difficult route to traverse, but recent infrastructure projects have improved the safety and reliability of travel through the pass. As a result, the Banihal Pass continues to play a crucial role in connecting the Kashmir Valley with the rest of India, and in supporting the economic development of the region.