Khyber Pass, a historical road in Pakistan.

Khyber Pass in Pakistan
Khyber Pass in Pakistan

The Khyber Pass is a historical road in the Peshawar region of Pakistan. This a mythical road, part of the ancient Silk Road. Nowadays it is known for being a road to different kinds of traffic and a strategic place.

Where is the Khyber Pass located?

The Khyber Pass (also written Khaybar, or Khaibar) is situated in the Peshawar region of Pakistan. It links Pakistan to Afghanistan.

It crosses the Safed Koh mountains.

You can situate the road on the map below:

Enlarge the map

Some information about the Khyber Pass.

Road description:

The Khyber Pass is a mountain pass located at an elevation of 3510 feet (1070 meters) with a two-lane, one-way asphalted road.

It is a climb of approximately 57 kilometers (35 miles) between the mounts Safed Koh and Kachmund. As already written, it is one of the main passages between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and then, links the cities of Peshawar, Jalalabad, and Kaboul.

The cost of construction for the road was quite high, 2 million pounds sterling at the end of the 19th century. Indeed, the road is built on complicated fields and it was hard for the British engineers that designed the road.

On this road, you will drive through 34 tunnels, 92 bridges, and a huge amount of turns. The narrowest passage is only about 16 meters (53 feet) and the largest one is more than 1,5 kilometers (0,9 miles).

History of the Khyber Pass

The first time that this mountain pass was mentioned in history was when Alexander the Great passed through this pass in the 4th century B.C. to conquer India. Since then the pass was used by all populations living there, including the well-known silk road with their caravans, the Persian and Mongols, the British, and even in our days with the war in Afghanistan, NATO forces use this road.

The road was built in 1879 by the British Empire. There was also a railway achieved in 1925 that does not work anymore today.

How to get to the Khyber Pass?

The majority of the road is situated in Pakistan, so it is better to drive from there to the Afghanistan border. In order to join the road, you should get to Peshawar city and drive to the Jamrud Ford. Then, take road number 5 to the east in the Jalalabad direction.

You can easily find the itinerary of the drive on this map:

A preview of the drive:

Either if you are planning to drive the Khyber Pass or not, you can take a look at this youtube video where you can discover the road:

Is the Khyber Pass open?

The pass is normally open all year round but it can be closed in winter because of weather conditions. Indeed, snowstorms are common in the area in winter.

Additionally, be aware that local drivers may drive recklessly, so it is important to be prepared for this possibility.

The traffic is very dense on this road as is it the major road between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is also the road that connects the Indian subcontinent to Central Asia and the Middle East. Lots of trucks and buses pass here and can be stocked in the waiting line to cross the border.

The Khyber Pass is a historical way for the transit of people and goods. Even today, a lot of time after the legendary silk road, it remains the major route between different countries and is the entry point to the Indian subcontinent.

Pictures credits: By James Mollison – James Mollison, CC BY-SA 2.5,

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