Magnetic Hill

Perhaps you’ve picked up some super powers while on the gompa trail; or maybe it’s just magic. Just 30 km from Leh, on the Sinagar-Leh Highway (en route to Lamayuru monastery), something magical will happen to you. There’s a white square painted on the road that says ‘park your car here’. A signboard painted yellow warns you that you are about to experience a phenomenon that ‘defies gravity’. You are also instructed to shift your vehicle to neutral gear and then simply wait. Slowly, your vehicle will start to move – only not in the direction you expected it to. It will start to roll – uphill.

Magic? Well, don’t kill the mystery for the kids but there is nothing magnetic or magical about ‘Magnetic Hill’. This is an optical illusion, where the alignment of the road with the landscape makes a slight downhill slope appear uphill. The illusion is facilitated by the fact that the horizon is not visible and hence you have no reference point to gauge the slope of the road. Hence the ‘magic’!