Magnetic Hill Leh-Ladakh – Mystery Explained

magnetic hillThose who had watched Television recently must have seen a Bajaj Motorcycle Ad, in which a footage about Magnetic Hill, Leh-Ladakh is shown.  And here is the fact file about Magnetic Hill.

Can anyone ever imagine the movement of a vehicle up a steep mountain, with its ignition off? Sounds quite unbelievable!   Well, this magnet magic can be experienced while you are traveling to Leh-Ladakh.

Leh is one of the two districts that constitute Ladakh, the other being Kargil. It is a part of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir.  This place is called as the MAGNETIC HILL which is 30 km away from leh town.

In the Magnetic hill, you can see for yourself vehicles moving up at a speed of 20 km/ hour with the engines off.

To reach the Magnetic Hill, Ladakh, you need to take the Leh-Kargil-Baltic National Highway. Leh is approximately  360 KM away from Jammu.  The hill lies at a distance of 30 km from the town of Leh, at an elevation of around 14,000 feet above sea level.

Location of Magnetic Hill:

magnetichill1

Magnetic Hill, Leh Ladakh location

Visit this google map if you are more curious about Magnetic Hill’s topography.

Bill-Board by Local Administration

magnetic hill

The local administration has also put up a bill board to help tourists recognize the Magnetic Hill. The board clearly states the whole phenomenon. So you can also enjoy a first hand experience as you reach the hill. Place your vehicle on a specific spot on the road with its engines off and you will soon notice the vehicle moving up at a speed of 20 km/hour.
Impact on Helicopters and Aircrafts

Mystery Explained:

Magnetic Hill is a place where the layout of the surrounding land produces the optical illusion that a very slight downhill slope appears to be an uphill slope. Thus, a car left out of gear will appear to be rolling uphill. There are hundreds of gravity hill locations around the world.

magnetichill2

The slope of gravity hills is an optical illusion, although tour guides may claim natural or even supernatural forces are at work. The most important factor contributing to the illusion is a completely or mostly obstructed horizon; without a horizon, judging the slope of a surface is difficult as a reliable reference is missing. Objects one would normally assume to be more-or-less perpendicular to the ground (such as trees) may actually be leaning, offsetting the visual reference. The illusion is similar to the well-known Ames room, in which balls can also appear to roll against gravity.

This is a remarkably common illusion that is found in numerous locations around the world.  Usually it is a stretch of road in a hilly area where the level horizon is obscured.  Objects such as trees and walls that normally provide visual clues to the true vertical, may be leaning slightly.  This creates an optical illusion making a slight downhill look like an uphill slope.  Objects may appear to roll uphill.  Sometimes rivers even seem to flow against gravity.

There are several things that enable us to sense which way is up.  The balance mechanism in our inner ears is one system we have, but visual clues are also important and can be overriding.  If the horizon cannot be seen or is not level, then we may be fooled by objects that we expect to be vertical but that really are not.  False perspective might also play a role.  If a line of trees get larger or smaller with distance away, our sense of perspective is thrown off.  Objects far away may seem smaller or larger than they really are.

Watch this video to know more about Magnetic Hill, Leh-Ladakh

Source : Wikipedia

  • Leslie Menezes K/Villa Thane [M.S.]

    It was a wonderful experance I had personally had during my visit to Leh recently. When I told my friends about it in Mumbai they simply laughed at me.It was like Believe it or Not.Thanks for the information.

  • Sudhir

    Hi
    I stayed at Leh for 2 yrs. Have seen this Hill three times and tried to understand the phenomenon with various methods -such as throwing water on the road to see -in which direction the water goes and water level checking to check the slop – Yes, it is nothing but optical illusion – very slight downhill slope appears to be an uphill slope.

    Otherwise – Leh is a beautiful place to visit – CAUTION :- IF YOU DRIVING DOWN – TAKE ONE HAND HELD OXGEN CAN — Headache means lack of oxgen – immediately take some oxgen

    Have a nice day!

  • unbelievale, it is true? i wish to see it my eyes and i think a very rediculous and mysterious space is this

    oh, is it is un believable,

  • tapan k banerjee

    real life illusion,indeed. thanks for projecting it & explaining the riddle.

  • B. Singh

    Unbelivable. One day I wish to see it with my naked eyes. Offcourse with my spects.