The Sela Pass (more appropriately called Se La, as La means Pass) is a high-altitude mountain pass located on the border between the Tawang and West Kameng Districts of Arunachal Pradesh state in India. It has an elevation of 4170 m (13,700 ft) and connects the Indian Buddhist town of Tawang to Dirang and Guwahati. The pass carries the National Highway 13 (previously NH 229), connecting Tawang with the rest of India. The pass supports scarce amounts of vegetation and is usually snow-covered to some extent throughout the year. Sela Lake, near the summit of the pass, is one of approximately 101 lakes in the area that are sacred in Tibetan Buddhism. While Sela Pass does get heavy snowfall in winters, it is usually open throughout the year unless landslides or snow require the pass to be shut down temporarily.
Sela pass Gate in April 2015
|Elevation||4,170 metres (13,680 ft)|
|Location||Arunachal Pradesh, India|
Sela Pass crosses a subrange of the Himalayas that separates Tawang District from the rest of India. The pass is 4170 m (13,700 ft) high and is situated at a distance of 78 km from Tawang town and 340 km from Guwahati. While the Border Roads Organization (BRO) of India works to keep the pass is open throughout the year, it may shut down temporarily after landslides and during heavy snow. Summers at Sela Pass are not very cold but temperature in winter can dip down to -10 degree Celsius. Sela lake is a large lake located on the north side of the pass at an elevation of 4,160 metres (13,650 ft). This lake often freezes during the winter and is drained Nuranang River, a tributary of the Tawang River. Limited vegetation grows around the lake which is used as a grazing site for yaks during the summer.
According to legend, a sepoy of the Indian Army named Jaswant Singh Rawat fought alone against the Chinese soldiers near the pass during the 1962 Sino-Indian War. A tribal woman named Sela who had brought food and water to him is said to have killed herself upon seeing the dead body of Jaswant Singh Rawat. Singh was posthumously awarded the Maha Vir Chakra for his courage and devotion to duty.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sela Pass.|
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- "Sela Pass". Travelomy. Retrieved 2011-06-19.
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- Sela pass tunnel, Economic Times, 1 Feb 2018.