India, 18th October, 2022: HistoryTV18’s latest documentary, ‘Modern Marvel: Atal Tunnel’, is a marvelous tale of indomitable human courage and modern wonders of engineering. In this movie you will see for the first time how this challenge accomplished in some of nature’s toughest conditions set a world record!

The tunnel, passing through the Pir Panjal range in the Western Himalayas of India, was dedicated to the nation on October 3, 2020. It is the longest highway tunnel located at the high altitude of the world. At an altitude of more than 10,000 feet above sea level, this 9.02 km long tunnel and road-link connects Leh in the strategically important Ladakh region to Manali via Keylong in Himachal Pradesh. It was not possible to reach beyond Rohtang Pass due to heavy snowfall lasting about seven months in a year. This pass, popularly known as Rohtang-La, whose name means the field of corpses in the local dialect, has earned its name by becoming the end of many lives over the centuries. This route, built by making a tunnel under this pass, is now bringing necessary all-weather connectivity to the people of Lahaul and Spiti of Himachal. Both the valleys were till now cut off from other parts of India for months. Now this vast region and its people can remain connected to the nation and the rest of the world throughout the year.

The idea of ​​this tunnel came when the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee met his childhood friend Arjun Gopal, a resident of Lahaul, at the beginning of the new millennium. But it took many years for this project to start. And it gained momentum only when the Modi government increased the pace of its construction to five times the pace under the previous governments. At the inauguration of the Atal Tunnel, Prime Minister Modi while expressing his commitment to accelerate the progress and progress of the country said, “When we have to move fast on the path of development, when the people of the country have a strong desire for development, then the speed has to be increased.” 

Tunneling 10,000 feet in the Himalayas in the midst of blizzards, avalanches, and nature’s fury was not only an ambitious idea, but something like it had never been attempted before anywhere in the world. But this was exactly the kind of mission that a special branch of the Indian Army, the Border Roads Organization (BRO), was set up to accomplish. Since 1960, BRO has been working to connect challenging places and borders in the far flung areas of India. The main mission of this organization was the construction of the tunnel and the construction of a new highway to run on it. In view of the growing challenges on India’s national security and the country’s defense, the failure of the project was unthinkable. The Longest Tunnel Project at High Altitude was successfully completed with everyone’s cooperation, after a decade of facing tough challenges in one of the toughest terrains in the world.

HistoryTV18’s half-hour thrilling show, uncovers facts that people are unaware of and how this mission was accomplished, shedding light on the enormity of the project. This documentary is a victory saga of the spirit of never giving up on challenges like the Himalayas.

The documentary depicts not just success but also trials and failures – from a collapsed roof to torrential floods and obstacles caused by the corona pandemic. Overcoming nature’s tests and looming obstacles, the tireless efforts of 750 project officials, engineers, geologists, seismologists, drilling experts and over 3,000 employees made this dream a reality.

Regarding the importance of the tunnel, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh says, “I would say for its strategic and national importance, it is really a great boon for our country. The construction of the tunnel has economic benefits as well as it is very important from the social point of view as well.”

 In the documentary, Defense Secretary, Ajay Kumar and BRO Director General, Lt Gen Rajeev Choudhary are also making us aware of the importance of the tunnel. The Chief Engineer of the Atal Tunnel Project, KP Purushottam, is sharing his experience on the incident that happened hundreds of meters inside the mountain. The photos and footage captured during the construction make the story more alive and as a good backdrop the aerial footage of snowy mountains shot in 4K and high definition is enough to be mesmerizing.

Avinash Kaul, Managing Director – A+E Networks | TV and CEO-Broadcast, Network18 says, With ‘Modern Marvel: Atal Tunnel’, the team at HistoryTV18 once again brings to life an inspirational story of modern India with great production value that is historically significant, entertaining and is thrilling. Atal Tunnel is undoubtedly one of the great modern wonders of 21st century India, in its construction we have seen the making of history. We are extremely proud to have the opportunity to tell this story.”

Watch Modern Marvel: Atal Tunnel on 20th October at 9 PM only on HistoryTV18 and HistoryTV18 HD.


Watch the story of the construction of the world’s longest tunnel at High Altitude premiere on 20th October at 9 PM on HistoryTV18.

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