Magnetic Hill in Leh: Does it Defy All Laws of Gravity?

Magnetic Hill is located near Leh in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.  It is around 30 kms away from mainland Leh and it is on the Leh – Kargil national highway. Magnetic Hill is an extremely famous and mysterious destination.  Not only is the uncanny component of the hill a topic of exploration among backpackers but also among people at large. However, mystery is not the only thing that surrounds Magnetic Hill. Beauty and awe is what inspires travelers to visit here often. In this article we will attempt exploring the place in every possible aspect and will try to know what are the mysteries behind the magnetic hill. Are there any or is it just a geographic illusion ?

Leh and Ladakh as destinations finds place in every traveler’s wish list. The exceptionally beautiful landscapes of both leh and ladakh have featured in top lists of places to visit in India. The craze and demand to visit this region has increased exponentially over the years and it has become the hot spot of all kinds of travelers. 

For any visitor to the region, Leh becomes the base to stay and travel around. There is enough transportation to explore the nearby places from Leh.  There are historical palaces and old monasteries which are worth a traveler’s visit. Ladakh is a fine example of a perfect blend between nature and culture. Therefore, as travelers it should be our prerogative to preserve the natural beauty of the place for future generations.

Magneti Hill
Magnetic Hill is located near Leh in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Photography by Rahul Budhania

Magnetic Hill: An Overview

Location North India
Mode of Travel Magnetic Hill can be reached by road with local transportation available or their your vehicle.
Best time to visit July to September
Temperature Varies between 5 degrees to 25 degrees considering sunny days and snow fall in the upper mountains.
Weather condition The weather is pleasant as long as there’s sunlight. It gets quite cold during cloudy days and after dusk.
State Jammu & Kashmir
Alternate name Straightway to Heaven
Accessibility By road
Nearest place to stay Leh city
Highlights Mysterious phenomena of the Magnetic hill. Roads with beautiful mountains on both the sides
Cost of a single visit Around 500 per person (from Leh)
Nearest Eating Place Magnetic Hill Café & Restaurant

Magneti Hill
Magnetic hill is said to be possessing strong magnetic properties. Photography by Parth Sharma

Magnetic Hill and the Mysterious Phenomena Surrounding it

The major mythological belief attached with Magnetic Hill is that the locals consider this place as a straight way to heaven. As per the myth, if you are a true person, you will be pulled towards heaven by the mystical forces around. If you are not a true person, you will not be pulled ever. It is more or less a supernatural concept so some believe it to be true while others don’t.

To add some scientific justification of it, Magnetic hill is said to be possessing strong magnetic properties. It is this magnetism which is responsible for pulling the vehicles up hill and aircrafts to be shifted on a higher altitude while passing by the area. People experience their vehicles being dragged on road even when the vehicle is turned off. The vehicle starts to move ahead with speed of about 20 km.

A few people say that the magnetic phenomena is felt only when the vehicle is big. Small vehicles like bikes do not experience any pull. There are two major theories that are generally discussed around Magnetic hill. Challenging two scientific approaches, one is of course the Magnetic force which allows vehicles to move on an upward hill without racing the gear or even not turning it on. Second is the optical illusion which plays around with peoples mind. It is claimed that the hill is actually going downward but because of the illusion created by the ambiance of the mountains it works as a natural trick to the eyes. Not defying the rules of gravity but it actually creates an opposite image on the viewer’s mind that it looks like the force is pulling you upwards.

Owing to the phenomena of Optical illusion, a downhill slope appears to be an uphill slope. It depends on the horizon lines and we usually take reference of horizon to mark something as up or down. So it appears to be defying the rules of gravity. 

No one has yet come to a conclusive explanation about what exactly is the justification behind Magnetic Hill. But the optical illusion theory does sound logical.

Magnetci Hill
This place creates an opposite image on the viewer’s mind that it looks like the force is pulling you upwards. Photography by Khanjan Desai

Beauty of a Barren Landscape

Apart from the magnetic attraction of the region, the barren land around Magnetic Hill is so beautiful that you would surely want to visit the place to enjoy a good ride. Usually this place and the highway is not very crowded so spending an hour hanging around magnetic hill is a good idea . You will get really good angles and backdrops for pictures of your choice here. The unique thing about the mountain ranges here is the various different and enchanting colors. Shades of blue and grey are common. Different colors are visible in different seasons. While in Ladakh, always enjoy the routes of journey because they are splendid. 

On the way to Magnetic Hill from Leh, a Gurudwara is located which goes by the name ‘Pattharsahib’. You canhalt there and pay your respect. The army personnel guarding this region always stop by here while heading this way.

Magneti Hill
The Pattharsaheb Gurudwara. Photography by Aman Malhotra

The Magnetic Hill Café & Quad Bikes

The fact that Magnetic hill falls in a barren region so it is advisable to carry some food with you. There is a newly constructed café named Magnetic hill Café & Restaurant here. It is a good (and only) option to have tea/coffee and with some snacks. You can feed yourself with maggie, omelet, bread items, momo etc. Usually a lot of Quad Bikes can be observed near the cafe. Many People who visit magnetic hill try this sport and enjoy quad biking. 

Magnetic Hill
Barren yet gorgeous. Photography by Koushik Anandhan

More Places with Similar Traits like Magnetic Hill

Magnetic hill is not the only place in the world with magnetic energy. There are more to the list reported from various cities across the globe. To name a few, Santa Mystery Spot – California, Cosmos Mystery Area, Confusion hill, Mysterious Road – South Korea etc. 

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Mystery Spot, California. Photography by Kelsa

 

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Confusion Hill, California. Photography by Barbara A Thomason

 

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Cosmos Mystery Area, California. Photography by Nikky

Next time you visit Leh, don’t forget to stop at magnetic hill and experience yourself whether it is magnetism or your eyes are tricked by optical illusion and be amazed by the magical spell of the colorful mountains casting a stunningly peculiar beauty.

Happy wayfaring 🙂

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Magnetic Hill
Prarthi Shah
Prarthi Shah is the Founder and President of ‘Baroda Strickers’ which happens to be a environmental organisation. She is also actively involved in a photography firm that goes by the name‘Karastaan’ as the creative head. Academically, she has finished her Masters in Heritage Management and is currently working as consultant in Ahmedabad University. Prarthi’s interest areas include travelling, photography, music and nature conservation. She has traveled to many places as part of her projects and workshops. Her contribution towards environment is recognized by several awards. She has also performed in several International festivals as a vocalist.

Magnetic Hill  Magnetic Hill

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