Photographer's Note

The unsung heroes of the "highest motorable road in the world"...the roadbuilders of Keylong.

The Manali - Leh highway is now a "must do cult" for motorcyclists and tourists the world over and also a crucial military road for the Indian Armed Forces.

Convoys of trucks often numbering into hundreds, dozens of tourist vehicles and several dozens of motorcyclists ply daily on this incredible road.

However the link is fragile and landslides, moving glaciers and falling rocks often close it suddenly and without warning.

A brave band of men, ill equipped and tortured by the harsh sun and cold toil ceaselessly to keep it open. Their faces blackened by the constant smoke from the tar fires their only mechanisation often is the road roller. Everything else is done by hand and painfully!

Hundreds lose their lives to nature every year.

This is a tribute to the men of the Border Roads who keep this fragile ribbon of black open for 6 months of the year before the snows of the Himalayas close it down from October of the previous year to June the next year!

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Additional Photos by Vijay Parmar (ttmountainman) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 89 W: 24 N: 662] (2279)
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