Younghusband's Track

Younghusband's Track




4,000 Ft.


Hindi, Nepali


Indian & Chinese

Just after crossing the very beautiful Elephant Lake (Kupup Lake), you will reach a tourist spot named Younghusband's Track. From here, a well-worn path leads to the British Army's conquest of Tibet. This was the first expedition to capture Tibet by any European army, led by Lt. Col. Francis Younghusband from the year 1903 to 1904. The British troops set out from Siliguri, went up to Rangpo, Nathang, and then over the Jelep La Pass into Tibet's Chumbi Valley, eventually arriving in Lhasa after a 520-kilometer journey.

History of Younghusband's Track

Younghusband's Track is the track used by the British Army to conquer Tibet led by Lt Colonel Francis Younghusband. On the year 13th of December, 1903, Francis Younghusband with his troops reached Jelep la Pass and stepped on Chumbi Valley. Younghusband had around 1000 fighting troops, 2000 backup troops, 7,000 coolies or porters, and 2,953 yaks, 7,000 mules to carry baggage. Younghusband along with his troops took 5 days to cross Chumbi Valley. They arrived at Tuna, Tibet, on January 7, 1914, after traversing the dreaded Tang La, where temperatures plummeted below - 30 degrees Celsius at an altitude of over 3 miles above sea level. The troops had to stay in Tuna for three months since they were well above the tree line and got frostbite.

In these high mountains, fierce combat raged, and the British were brutal in their slaughter of Tibet's inexperienced troops. 628 Tibetan monk soldiers were massacred in the first major fight at Chumi Shengo, with no British fatalities. More fights broke out soon after in Gyantse and Changlo, with over 3000 Tibetan monk soldiers killed in the end. Lhasa finally surrendered on September 7, 1904, and the Lhasa Convention was signed. Thus, the first European to conquer Tibet was Lord Francis Younghusband.

Best time to Visit Younghusband's Track

The months of summer (From April to June) are considered to be the best time to visit Younghusband's Track due to the pleasant weather travelers usually experience. In the season of winter (From October to March), heavy snowfall is seen in the region.