Events and Challenges, Travel

The Anti-Gravity Magnetic Hill : A Remarkable Optical Illusion !

Hello Everyone !! 🙂

This in response to the Daily Post’s One-Word Prompt. Today’s word is : Magnetic

So today’s daily prompt reminds me of the time I was at this place called “The Magnetic Hill”. It was in the North Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir in the Ladakh region. This is a famous tourist spot near the city of Leh on the rugged Srinagar-Leh highway (national Highway 1D).

I spent a wonderful week there with my friends in September 2014 and I have written a detailed post about the awesomeness that is Ladakh.

This is the link to my post : Ladakh : The Pursuit Of Paradise. Do check it out for some amazing shots of this picturesque Himalayan gem.

Here are some of my photos of this so-called anti-gravity wonder known as Magnetic Hill.




Our driver had hyped it up while we were headed there and after reaching we saw a few boards boasting of the gravity-defying nature of this place. We reached there around noon and saw a few other people there who had come to check this place out.

When we reached there, our driver asked us to get out of the car and then parked it at the designated spot. After turning off the ignition, he asked us to check out how the car was moving uphill ! It sure did seem like an uphill slope but close inspection revealed that it was actually downhill !

The place has been named as Magnetic Hill because it is believed that the hill has some sort of magnetic powers that attract the vehicles uphill. There is also a supernatural angle to it, which the villagers nearby have propagated since ages. But both these concepts seemed quite absurd to me so I went ahead and trusted the optical illusion theory. I found it quite interesting and was eagerly interested to know how the surroundings could conspire to make you believe something that is not actually real. So I read about it and came across the concept of gravity hills.

gravity hill is a place where the layout of the surrounding land produces an optical illusion, making a slight downhill slope appear to be an uphill slope. If you look closely at my pictures, you would be able to see the visible uphill slope, but that’s just the different elements of the picture colluding your judgment regarding the nature of the slope.

On reading a bit further I found out that its the obstructed horizon that contributes most to this illusion and that the absence of a horizon makes it difficult to judge the slope of a surface. This is seen quite clearly in my pictures. The mountain at the end of the road makes a pseudo horizon and hence gives rise to the illusion.

Anyway, real or not, we had a wonderful time at this spot and got some amazing pictures as well. It is definitely worth a brief stopover next time you get Leh’d ! 🙂


5 thoughts on “The Anti-Gravity Magnetic Hill : A Remarkable Optical Illusion !”

  1. HA! I knew if I wandered around WP long enough I would find your blog! Amazing little hill there…..I love traveling to odd or strange places and I think this magnetic hill pretty much meets the odd category.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting my blog ! 😊 Ya it was an odd place with all the stories attached to it. But the optical illusion offered such a simple understanding of why it is so.


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