Rohtang Pass reopens for tourists

May 24, 2017 at 9:27 am

All those heading to Manali can now breathe a sigh of relief, you can now travel to Rohtang Pass and see and play in the snow.

Until now, tourists were only allowed to go till Marhi and beyond that, only locals could travel.

However, now that a 200 car parking lot has been constructed amidst snow at Rohtang Pass. District Administration feels, it is time to let the tourists travel up to Rohtang.


Each day 1,200 vehicles (800 petrol and 400 diesel) will be allowed to go up to Rohtang Pass for tourism. Additional 800 vehicles will be allowed to cross Rohtang Pass in order to travel to Lahaul, Pangi, Spiti and Ladakh.

Permit for both is available online at and since there is a lot of demand for a permit to travel up to Rohtang Pass and a limited number of permits each day, half the permit will be issued online between 12 pm to 3 pm and rest between 5 pm to 12 am.

For those wondering about the status of Manali – Leh Highway, the highway is closed as of now. However, it is expected to reopen fairly soon with the last stretch of the highway being cleared of snow at Baralacha La.

Intially road conditions will be fairly poor, so all those planning to head to Ladakh, please plan accordingly.

Permit for crossing Rohtang, now available online!

May 23, 2017 at 1:55 pm

For travelers heading to Ladakh, Spiti, Lahaul and Pangi Valley from Manali, Manali Administration has made life a little easier by putting the permit for crossing Rohtang Pass online.

Until now, you could get an online permit for Rohtang Pass, only if you were going to Rohtang Pass for tourism. If you were planning to go beyond Rohtang Pass, you had to get the permit from SDM Office in Manali or from the Gulaba Check Post.

Now you can get this permit online, by visiting the following URL,


The permit would be issued to a maximum of 800 vehicles per day and that includes motorcycles, cars, passenger vehicles and goods vehicle. Since the permit can only be obtained 2 days in advance, it is a good idea to book it as soon as you can, in order to avoid a headache later.

Motorcycles, cars and passenger vehicles will have to pay Rs. 50 congestion charge for obtaining the permit, while goods vehicle will have to shell out Rs. 100.

Vehicles which are 10 years or older, will not be issued permit i.e. you cannot cross Rohtang Pass from Manali side. However, if you’re coming back from Leh, Spiti, Lahaul or Pangi, there is absolutely no issue and you should be able to cross without any restriction.

New for this year is the restriction on issuance of a permit on Tuesday. Until last year, tourism activity at Rohtang Pass was banned on Tuesday, due to it being dedicated to maintainence of Rohtang Pass. However, vehicles heading beyond Rohtang Pass were allowed to ply on the highway, early in the morning and late in the evening. It remains to be seen, if similar measures are put in place this year as well or if Tuesday becomes a complete no-go day for Rohtang Pass.

People who are planning to outsmart the system by getting a permit for crossing Rohtang Pass and then returning from Rohtang Pass after having fun i.e. use it as a Rohtang Tourism Permit will have their vehicles blacklisted and likely a fine too would be imposed on them. Since this permit is strictly meant for vehicles going beyond Rohtang Pass.

You need to be fairly careful while filling the above form because in case your documents do not match the details in the permit application, you will be turned back from the Gulaba check post.

Overall a welcome move by Manali Administration, though it remains to be seen if the plan to limit number of vehicles crossing Rohtang Pass has a negative impact on tourism and causes headache to travelers this season.

Permit for Rohtang Pass to be available online

April 14, 2017 at 9:42 am

As per the order issued by National Green Tribunal, driving to or beyond Rohtang Pass requires a permit from the SDM Office in Manali.

Until last year, if you wanted to travel to Rohtang Pass for sightseeing, you could apply for the permit online. However, if you wanted to travel beyond Rohtang and explore Ladakh, Lahaul, Spiti or Pangi, you had to procure the permit from the SDM Office in Manali.

This was a regressive policy, since the permit for up to Rohtang Pass were issued only to Himachal Vehicles (mostly Manali taxis) and was limited to certain amount of vehicles per day (400 diesel and 800 petrol vehicles this year).


Travelers heading to Ladakh and other places beyond Rohtang had to either get the permit made in advance through a travel agent or spend precious time getting the permit made in Manali.

This year though, this would no longer be the case.

With the ease of getting the permit made online, travelers can plan their trips without having to allocate time for permit procurement process in Manali and can start off early in the morning to reach their destination comfortably and without getting stuck in traffic snarls.

A word of caution for those who own a vehicle which is 10 years or older, you won’t be allowed to cross Rohtang from the Manali side, due to NGT guidelines. You can however, cross from the other side i.e. you can cross Rohtang when you’re coming back from Leh.

Ladakh digitally reconnected after 2 months!

March 31, 2017 at 1:13 pm

On the 25th of January, Ladakh became digitally disconnected to rest of India, due to optical fiber cable getting severed at Zoji La. Since the high altitude pass is currently buried under heaps of snow, it was next to impossible for BSNL officials to restore connectivity.

Accepting this unique and treacherous challenge, Indian Army’s team, consisting of army aviators, signals and avalanche panthers team took on the task to restore Ladakh’s connectivity with rest of India.

After detailed reconnaissance and planning, this team was put to task on the 20th of March and began its operation to restore civilian and defense communication.

After 9 days of numerous helicopter sorties and working in several feet of snow and temperature far below freezing, Indian Army team managed to restore communication link between Ladakh and Sonamarg on 29th of March.

While the digital connectivity between Ladakh and rest of India has finally been restored, this incidence has only heightened the need for better connectivity through multiple routes to Ladakh. So that this remote and sensitive region of India, no longer becomes digitally disconnected from rest of India for such a long time.

4 tunnels to improve road connectivity to Ladakh

March 2, 2017 at 11:54 am

Soon 4 new tunnels will be under construction in Ladakh to improve its road connectivity to rest of India. At the moment, Ladakh is completely cut off from rest of India by road for 5 months every year!

This poses a security risk for India since Ladakh is the only place where Indian Army faces off Pakistani and Chinese Armies.

Three of these new proposed tunnels are to come up on the Manali – Leh Highway.

1. 14.78 km long tunnel under Lachung La.
2. 11.25 km long tunnel under Baralacha La.
3. 7.32 km long tunnel under Tanglang La.

inspection route for Tanglang La tunnel

inspection route for Tanglang La tunnel

These tunnels will not only help BRO keep the Manali – Leh Highway open during the dead of winter, these tunnels will also significantly reduce the distance.

The fourth tunnel is to come up under Shingo La, the only pass on the Manali – Darcha – Padum – Nimmu – Leh all-weather highway, which is currently under construction.

Work for Zoji La tunnel, which is supposed to help keep Srinagar – Leh Highway open is supposed to begin soon. However, the project has run into multiple controversies, due to lack of interest shown by the bidders and is likely going to be constructed by Government of India.

These 4 new tunnels will be constructed by the same consortium, which is currently working on the Rohtang Tunnel and feasibility studies for them will be done soon.