The beautiful Leh will be on the bucket list of any avid traveller. And here you can find one of the bewildering places on the earth – the Magnetic Hill. Let’s unfold the mysteries that are buried in the magnetic hill where vehicles move up the hill even when their engines are turned off.
This perplexing road, known for anti-gravity phenomenon, is 30km away from Leh city. The vehicles on this road, which is part of the Leh-Kargil highway, wind up the hill, defying gravity, even when their engines are switched off. It is believed that this unique marvel happens due to the peculiar magnetic effect of the region. This phenomenon can help vehicles pick a maximum speed of 20km per hour.
The magnetic hill, which is around 14,000ft above sea level, is also known as ‘Mystery Hill’ and ‘Gravity Hill’, and the Sindhu River flows on the eastern side of the hill.
Many stories doing rounds
Though there is a scientific explanation to this gravity-defying act, the local residents have a different tale to narrate. The villagers of Ladakh believe that this road is the pathway to heaven and those who are eligible are pulled towards the heaven. But people who are ineligible can never find this road, according to the villagers.
What science says
There are two theories that explain this anti-gravity phenomenon. One theory states that the hill has a strong magnetic effect and this pulls the vehicles uphill. In fact, the magnetic field is so strong that the Indian Air Force planes avoid flying over this region.
Another popular theory is that it is an optical illusion. According to this, the hill doesn’t have a magnetic pull but it creates an optical illusion that makes a downhill road look like an uphill road.
A board is installed in the region announcing the place where this mysterious marvel could be experienced. The car should be stopped at a yellow box marked on the road and one could see the vehicle slowly moving uphill from that point.
When to visit
Though the road is open throughout the year, the best time to visit the magnetic hill is from July to October. During this period, the road will be very clear and driving will not be a problem.
Dos and don'ts
The magnetic hill is part of a barren place, which is 30km away from Leh, and the area is quite secluded except for few tourists. Though there are few homestays in the region, it is better to stay in one of the hotels in Leh and proceed to the magnetic hill. Make sure that you carry adequate quantity of food and water as there are hardly any food joints and restaurants near the hill.
Mount Aragats in Armenia too has a gravity-defying phenomenon akin to the magnetic hill in Leh.