When it comes to Ladakh there’s three things to talk about: breathtaking scenery, Buddhist monasteries and the brilliance of BRO who make this beautiful dry desert amusingly accessible.
The Border Roads Organisation (or BRO to its many friends) builds in the places where others won’t tread.
Its mission is to take on the toughest terrain in India’s border regions, and build and maintain roads for the military to ensure India’s security. BRO doesn’t stop there, it also has the best sign writers in the subcontinent: perhaps the world.
“After whisky, drving risky”, “Feel the curves, don’t hug them”, “This is not a rally or a race, drive with Grace” and “Be Mr Late than late Mr”, are amongst BROs best.
Since its formation in 1960, BRO has busy tarmacing mountain passes, building bridges, creating tunnels and taking on whatever nature has to throw at it on the furthest reaches of India’s borders with Pakistan, Tibet, China and Burma. And creating super signs to keep motorists safe.
It’s a big job. BRO has 3,565 km on roads on its books, but there is no one better. With over 50 years of experience, BRO claims it can build roads everywhere; except in the sky.
So, what’s on its CV? BRO has constructed the world’s highest mountain pass which is open to the public, Khardung La Pass in Ladakh, at 18,380 ft. But has gone even higher for the military, building a road on the Mana Pass,the Indo Tibetan Border, at an altitude of 18,399 Feet. It’s that high at these two passes that you can only stay up there for 20 minutes without feeling the effects.
Not only do BRO go up high and build roads where it is hard to breathe, they battle the snow and ice on the Jammu-Srinagar Highway and the Leh-Manali Highway every year until they are beaten back and nature does what it wants to do.
BROs strapline is that it creates, connects and cares. The road signage shows that it does that with a smile. Enjoy some more super BRO road signage below.