From Fish Selling to Conquering World’s Highest Road Bihar Woman’s Story

Sabita Mahato: The Woman Who Conquered World’s Highest Road


Which is the world’s highest motorable road? Sabita Mahato asserts that it’s the renowned ‘Umling La Pass,’ where she recently etched her name in the annals of world records. She completed a 570 km run in 19 days to reach Umling La Pass. To put things in perspective, Umling La Pass is built at a height of 19300 ft and this road passes Umling La Pass in Eastern Ladakh. 

Mountains are Sabita’s first love. It is her love for mountains that made her break the world record and shine in the world of adventure sports. To conquer the highest motorable road in the world, she started her journey on the 19th of August and reached Umling La on the 5th of September. 

Rising Above Challenges

Sabita Mahato

Sabita belongs to the Chhapra district of Bihar. She used to sell fish in her father’s tiny shop but soon realised that Sports was her calling. However, her family was against her decision. “It’s often the influence of societal norms that causes family members to become conservative. This is why convincing my family to let me pursue my dreams presented its own set of challenges in my life,” shares Sabita.

No journey is without its peaks and valleys. You must figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. That’s what Sabita did. She was determined to pursue a career in sports and somehow managed to convince her family for the same.

Her passion for sports made her a national-level volleyball player. She then decided to take professional mountaineering training from the prestigious Himalayan School of Mountaineering. That’s how she stepped into the world of mountaineering.

While commenting on the challenges she faced while conquering Umling La, she recalls, “The air in Umling La is thin, which made it very difficult for me to breathe normally. Body and backache were other hurdles. Rising against such challenges, I proved my love for adventure sports and mountaineering.”

Other Achievements To Her Name

  • In 2022, Sabita made history by reaching Umling La on a bicycle. She completed that journey in just 24 days, starting on June 5th and ending it successfully on June 28th.
  • She climbed Mount Trishul in Garhwal (23,359 feet) in 2019. 
  • She also has the Vajra World Record to her name. She became the first and youngest female to travel 12,500 km across 29 states in 2017
  • She is the first Indian girl who has got the title of travelling 12,500 km.
  • She has also toured other countries like Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and Nepal and covered a total distance of around 35,000 km on her cycle.

“My next target is to conquer Mount Everest which is currently not possible due to financial limitations. However, I firmly believe that although my present circumstances may not allow it, with persistent effort and determination, success will eventually come my way.”

The Goal of Sabita Mahato

Sabita Mahato wants to empower every woman in society. She says, “There are many women in society who don’t get the chance to step out of their homes and pursue their goals. My dream is not just to shine as a cyclist, runner and mountaineer but to inspire and empower other women. ”

Sabita believes that mountaineering, in particular, is a sport that isn’t accessible to everyone, and individuals who have a passion for it often find their progress hindered due to financial limitations. However, she is of the mindset that with determination, she can overcome these challenges. 

“I firmly believe that if you have the determination, you can conquer anything. Nothing in this world is impossible.”

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