Pangsau Pass

Pangsau, Arunachal Pradesh

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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-Burma(Myanmar) border. The pass offers one of the easiest routes into Burma from the Assam plains. It is named after the closest Burmese village, Pangsau, that lies 2 km beyond the pass to the east.

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.

During World War II the pass became famous because of the Stilwell 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 Roadwas lost to advancing Japanese forces).

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.

The Pangsau Pass Winter Festival is a global village event organized every year in Nampong, Arunachal Pradesh.

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