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    A path cut out of snow near Rohtang Pass

    50 km to the north of Manali into the Eastern Pir Panjal lies Rohtang Pass, nature’s perfect spectacle. It connects two beautiful valleys of Himachal Pradesh – Manali and Lahaul & Spiti. The name Rohtang means ‘ground of corpses’ and it was assigned to this pass because of the number of people who lost their lives while trying to cross it in the past. Yet it is thronged by countless travelers during the span of 6 months when it is accessible and is open to the public.

    Adventurers and biking enthusiasts reach here braving slippery roads, their dangerous curves, and sometimes extremely rough weather. The reward for this effort is being greeted by snow-capped mountains, breathing in fresh mountain air, and experiencing the thrill of a challenging journey.

    Here, I present you all the hows, whys, and wheres of Rohtang Pass. Sit back tight and enjoy the gorgeous ride!

    Rohtang Pass – The beauty

     A village tucked in the hills near Rohtang Pass

    The strategic location of the pass coupled with the spellbinding escapade of nature all around makes Rohtang Pass so popular. The imposing peaks of Geypan can be seen looming large on the pass. It also acted as an ancient trade route between the either side of Pir Panjal range.

    As the route beyond Rohtang is accessible only for a span of 3 months (July-September), the road holds significance to people coming from Lahaul valley. This is the time when they transport staple crops and potatoes to the market in Kullu and sustain on the earned money for the remaining part of the year.

    Besides, Rohtang Pass serves as the gateway to Pangi and Leh valley. Enchanting sights of glaciers, snow-covered peaks, glaciers, and rivers continue to amaze nature lovers as they ride the bottlenecked roads that are unforgiving and don’t entertain novice drivers.

    Rohtang Pass – The challenge

    The treacherous path leading to Rohtang is mostly mud and snow

    Image Source

    Rohtang Pass lies beyond the habitable world that continues to enchant travelers. At a grueling altitude of 13000 feet, the pass is a gateway on Manali-Leh highway. Enroute, places like Rani Nallah are daunting obstructions that make the journey tricky.

    Situated 6 km before the pass, the nallah is a major irritant for people traveling to Rohtang. The toughest is a 2 km nightmarish stretch that’s only slush and mud all the way along.

    Rohtang Pass tunnel work in progress

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    Given the rough weather conditions, the Rohtang Pass is closed for public use for the most part of a year. Every new season, the road crew has to struggle with their GPS to dig out the road buried under the layers of snow. Landslides and sluggish weather conditions keep challenging travelers with new difficulty levels.

    The Government of India has now started building an 8.8 km, two-way tunnel that will bypass the Rohtang Pass trek and create an alternate year-round link that will be much safer and faster.


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    Best time to visit Rohtang Pass

    River Beas flowing through the Kullu valley

    Rohtang Pass weather: Temperature in the region during summer is between 20 & 32 degrees, while during winters the mercury drops down to -2 degrees with the maximum temperature going up to 18 degrees.

    Best season to visit Rohtang Pass: May to October is the ideal time to visit Rohtang. This is when tourists can comfortably take up activities like mountain biking, skiing, and snow scooter riding at the famous Snow Point.

    How to reach Rohtang Pass

    A path cut out of snow near Rohtang Pass

    The road from Manali to Rohtang Pass is one of the most scenic roads that you’d find anywhere across India. While traveling along NH 21 leading to Rohtang is a memorable experience. You are advised to move forward in the company of expert drivers or for the best, hire a taxi.

    By rail: Joginder Nagar railhead at a distance of 104 km from Manali. From Manali, you can either hire a taxi or take a state transport bus

    By road: Private taxi or HRTC buses run frequently from Manali to Rohtang Pass, which is almost a 2-hour ride.

    One has to take a Rohtang Pass permit to travel up to and beyond Rohtang. This is a mandatory permit for all the travelers traveling to the pass. A charge of INR 500 + INR 50 (congestion fees) has been imposed by National Green Tribunal on every vehicle traveling to Rohtang.

    There are two kinds of permits, one is for traveling up to Rohtang Pass and the other one is for traveling beyond Rohtang Pass, which is mainly for travel purpose. Online permit for traveling up to Rohtang is available.

    5 Beautiful places to visit near Rohtang Pass

    1. Solang Valley: The adventure hub

    People trying paragliding in Solang valley

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    A popular destination for skiing in India, Solang valley is in the close proximity to Manali, hence Rohtang Pass. During winters when heavy snowfall lashes the valley, it becomes perfect for skiing and sliding on heavy snow. In summers when the snow melts, activities like parachuting, zorbing, paragliding, and horse riding become popular.

    Must Read: 15 Popular Places To Visit In Manali & Its Precincts

    2. Rahala waterfalls: Picture perfect!

    The free flowing Rahala waterfalls near Rohtang

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    A popular but rarely photographed waterfall, Rahala is 16 km from Manali towards Rohtang Pass. The beauty of the waterfall is its breathtaking descent from an altitude of 2500 meters. This nature’s beauty is an absolute treat for shutterbugs.

    Given the slippery roads and narrow curves to negotiate, the drive to Rohtang from here is as tough as it gets. Hiring a cab or a bus is recommended.

    3. Chandra & Bhaga rivers: A breathtaking confluence

    The confluence of Chandra and Bhaga rivers near Rohtang

    As the glaciers in the Shivalik Ranges of lesser Himalayas melt, they flow downwards holding their course and become Chandra and Bhaga river. They later flow across the Spiti valley and after their confluence, are known as Chenab. The confluence is so perfect that it presents a stunning view for the onlookers.

    The river falls to the south of the Rohtang Pass and is a must-visit for everyone traveling up into the lesser Himalayan region.

    4. Lahaul & Spiti valley: Nature lover’s favorite

    The glorious view of Lahaul & Spiti valley

    2.5-hour drive, covering 145 km along the NH 505 takes you to Lahaul & Spiti valley. The Himalayan mountain desert is located in the northeastern Himachal and happens to be the land that connects India with Tibet. Dotted with monasteries and nature’s escapades, the valley is often frequented by nomads and backpackers.

    Must Read: Test Your Grit, Take The Spiti Valley Trek


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    5. Khoksar village: Find your cozy abode here

    Koksar village as seen from the highway

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    19 km beyond Rohtang is Khoksar- a picturesque village in Lahaul district, which also happens to be the coldest place in the region. The village has some amazing dhabas in the region and is indeed a recommended place to stay. If you are traveling during summers, there are chances that snow would have melted away and the vision beyond Rohtang will leave you mesmerized with its allure!

    Top 3 things to do in Rohtang Pass

    Rohtang Pass is all about soaking in nature’s might and beauty. Apart from trekking across the rustic terrain, there are a plenty of adventure activities in Rohtang Pass.

    There are many tourist attractions at the pass remains but Rohtang snow point remains the hotspot. It is here that you have spoiling options of exciting things to do in Rohtang Pass. The most thrilling adventures that you can enjoy here are:

    1. Heliskiing is the top adventure sport to try in Rohtang Pass

    Heli skiing at Rohtang Pass

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    Suggested Read: Let The Skiing Begin: Skiing In Manali Vs. Skiing In Gulmarg

    2. Flying over snow covered mountains is what makes paragliding one of the most exciting things to do in Rohtang Pass

    Paragliding at Rohtang Pass

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    3. Another exciting activity in Rohtang Pass is snow scooter riding

    Snow scooter at Rohtang Pass

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    5 Best places to stay near Rohtang Pass

    Areas near Manali are always the first priority for the travelers planning to visit Rohtang Pass. Experts recommend that if you plan to stay in the vicinity of Manali then you are recommended to leave your hideout by 5 am in the morning to avoid the long traffic jam on the highway.

    Here are some of the highly recommended hotels near Rohtang that will account for a comfortable.

    1. Highland Park, Nehru Kund, Manali

    Highland Park in Manali overlooking mountains

    Distance from Rohtang: 10.7 km

    Tariff: INR 5600 per night onwards

    Website | Reviews

    2. Golden Tulip, Club House Road, Old Manali

    A quaint view of Golden Tulip in Manali

    Distance from Rohtang: 12.4 km

    Tariff: INR 4500 per night onwards

    Website | Reviews

    3. The Orchards Green, Log Huts Area, Manali

    The Orchard Greens near Rohtang surrounded by lush meadows

    Distance from Rohtang: 14.2 km

    Tariff: INR 2750 per night onwards

    Website | Reviews

    Suggested Read: A Blueprint To Make Honeymoon In Manali A Timeless Experience

    4. Geto Hotels & Resorts, Nehru Kund, Manali

    An awe-inspiring view of nature from Geto Hotels & Resorts

    Distance from Rohtang: 10.8 km

    Tariff: INR 2500 per night onwards

    Website | Reviews

    5. Snow Valley Resorts, Manali

    A view of Snow Valley Resorts near Rohtang Pass

    Distance from Rohtang: 14.2 km

    Tariff: INR 2400 per night onwards

    Website | Reviews

    A rejuvenating trip to Rohtang Pass is the best remedy for your weary soul. Plan your customized trip to Manali now, and get a glimpse of this heaven on earth.


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    Category: Himachal