Pangsau Pass
Elevation1,136 m (3,727 ft)
LocationPart of Changlang district in Arunachal Pradesh on India–Myanmar border
Coordinates27°14′51″N 96°09′22″E / 27.2476°N 96.156°E / 27.2476; 96.156
Pangsau Pass is located in Myanmar
Pangsau Pass
Pangsau Pass
Location of the Pangsau Pass
External videos
video icon Making the road from Ledo (Stilwell Road); Pangsau Pass. 8:30min. Filmed in 1942-43 by Gyles Mackrell[1]

Pangsau Pass or Pan Saung Pass, 3,727 feet (1,136 m) in altitude, lies on the crest of the Patkai Hills on the India–Myanmar border. The pass offers one of the easiest routes into Burma from the Assam plains.[2] It is named after the closest Burmese village, Pangsau, that lies 2 km beyond the pass to the east. To the east of Pangsau Pass, India's undisputed easternmost point "Chaukan Pass" lies and to the east of Vijaynagar in the Changlang district.


Further information: Stilwell Road and North-east Indian railways during World War II

Early era

During the 13th century, it was the frequently used route by Ahoms, a Shan tribe, for their arrival and settlement in Assam in India.[citation needed]

British raj era

The British in the late 19th century looked at the pass as a possible railway route from India to Myitkyina in north Burma through the Hukawng Valley, all of which were part of the British Empire at the time, but no railway was built.[citation needed] In the 19th century, British railway builders had surveyed the Pangsau Pass, which is 1,136 metres (3,727 feet) high on the India-Burma border, on the Patkai crest, above Nampong, Arunachal Pradesh and Ledo, Tinsukia (part of Assam). They concluded that a track could be pushed through to Burma and down the Hukawng Valley. Although the proposal was dropped, the British prospected the Patkai Range for a road from Assam into northern Burma. British engineers had surveyed the route for a road for the first 130 kilometres (80 miles).

During World War II the pass became famous because of the Stilwell Road (Ledo Road) connecting British India to Nationalist Chinese forces fighting the Japanese in China. The pass was the large initial obstacle encountered by United States General Joseph "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell's forces in their effort to build a land route to supplement The Hump air route (after the other land route, the Burma Road was lost to advancing Japanese forces).Slim, William (1956), "Chapter IX: The Foundations", Defeat into Victory, London: Cassel, pp. 168–195

The Stilwell Road began at Ledo, Assam, the railhead, and passed through Tirap Gaon, Lekhapani, Tipong, Jagun, Jairampur (the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh boundary and beginning of Inner Line), and Nampong before switchbacking steeply upwards through densely forested hills to the pass, 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) away. The distance from Ledo to Pangsau Pass is 61 km (38 mi). Because of the fierce gradients and the mud, which made getting up to the pass difficult, it was nicknamed "Hell Pass" during the war.[3]

Present era

The Pangsau Pass Winter Festival since 2007 is a joint India-Myanmar 3 day annual global village event organized during the 3rd week of January every year in Nampong, Arunachal Pradesh. It showcases diverse cultures of Northeast India and Myanmar including folk songs, folk dances, arts, crafts, ethnic foods, and traditional sports, and culture of Tangsa Naga tribe. Tangsa Rongrand War dance, Lungchang dance, Wancho dance, Bihu Dance, and Bamboo dance performances are held.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Centre of South Asian Studies - Mackrell Collection - Film 12 Archived 2012-07-12 at
  2. ^ Gazetteer of north-east India, Govt. of India
  3. ^ Donovan Webster, The Burma Road
  4. ^ Pangsau Pass Winter Festival: Going beyond the Frontier, Northeast Now, 7 December 2018.