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 Rohtang pass from Manali 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 the fresh mountain air, and experiencing the thrill of a challenging journey.
Rohtang Pass – The Beauty
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 either side of the Pir Panjal range.
As the route of Rohtang pass from Manali 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. The Rohtang pass open date is June 1. Besides, Rohtang pass from Manali 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
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.
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
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 Rohtang Pass temperature going up to 18 degrees.
The best season to visit Rohtang Pass is May to October. Rohtang pass best time to visit for bikers is the month of August, according to reliable sources. 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
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. This is one of the highest mountain passes, and if you are wondering about Rohtang Pass height, then it lies at an altitude of 3,978m.
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 Best Places To Visit Near Rohtang Pass
If you are headed to Rohtang Pass from Manali, then here are some pretty places that you can check out. Read on, to find out more about them:
1. Solang Valley – The Adventure Hub
A popular destination for skiing in India, Solang valley is in 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 became popular.
2. Rahala waterfalls – Picture Perfect!
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 bus is recommended.
3. Chandra And Bhaga Rivers – A Breathtaking Confluence
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. 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 And Spiti valley – Nature Lover’s Favorite
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.
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5. Khoksar village – Find Your Cozy Abode Here
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 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:
This is the top adventure sport to try in Rohtang Pass. If you are an adventure seeker, then you will surely enjoy Heliskiing.
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Flying over snow covered mountains is what makes paragliding one of the most exciting things to do in Rohtang Pass. Fly in the air and feel free like a bird.
3. Snow Scooter Driving
Another exciting activity in Rohtang Pass is snow scooter riding. If you are visiting Rohtang Pass in 2019, then do try this activity.
5 Best Places To Stay At Near Rohtang Pass
Areas near Manali are always the first priority for 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 stay:
1. Highland Park
Located on the banks of the River Beas, at an altitude of 7,500 feet above sea level, The Highland Park Valley Resort is Manali’s best-kept secret. Ensconced in the lap of nature, just 4km from the Mall, this attractive and peaceful resort is spread across 8000 square yards of untouched natural beauty. Surrounded by majestic snow-capped mountain peaks, acres of aromatic apple orchards, and gorgeous coniferous forests, The Highland Park truly captures the essence of the region and the stunning Manali Valley.
Distance from Rohtang: 10.7 km
Tariff: INR 5600 per night onwards
Location: Nehru Kund, Manali
2. Golden Tulip
Offering a multi-cuisine restaurant, River View, Golden Tulip Manali is located in Manāli. The Manu Temple is 1 km, the Hot Spring Temple is 2 km and the Manali Bus Station is 2.3 km. Each room here will provide you with a satellite TV and a seating area. There is also an electric kettle. Featuring a shower, private bathroom also comes with a hairdryer and free toiletries. You can enjoy mountain view and garden view from the room.
Distance from Rohtang: 12.4 km
Tariff: INR 4500 per night onwards
Location: Club House Road, Old Manali
3. The Orchards Green
Set in Manāli, The Orchard Greens has a garden and terrace. Featuring a 24-hour front desk, this hotel has an on-site restaurant. Hidimba Devi Temple is 2.2 km while Circuit House is 2.7 km from the hotel. All units in the hotel are fitted with a flat-screen TV. The private bathroom is equipped with a bath or shower. At The Orchard Greens, every room comes with bed linen and towels.
Distance from Rohtang: 14.2 km
Tariff: INR 2750 per night onwards
Location: Log Huts Area, Manali
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4. Geto Hotels And Resorts
Attached with a balcony, the rooms at Geto Hotels are equipped with a heater, tea/coffee maker and flat-screen satellite TV. The attached bathrooms come with a shower. The hotels and restaurant provide services like breakfast buffet, laundry, and concierge. A meeting space is available. Guests can take a relaxing stroll in the garden. Car rental and day trips can be arranged at the tour desk.
Distance from Rohtang: 10.8 km
Tariff: INR 2500 per night onwards
Location: Nehru Kund, Manali
5. Snow Valley Resorts
Tall pine trees and fragrant apple orchards surround Snow Valley Resorts, an eco-friendly resort in the pollution-free zone of Manāli’s Log Hut Area. Free Wi-Fi is available in all areas. Meals can be enjoyed at The Terrace rooftop cafe and Valley View multi-cuisine restaurant. A flat-screen TV, personal safe and fridge are included. En suite bathrooms are equipped with hot-water showers. Enjoying cool mountain air, all rooms come with a fan, as well as heating during winter.
Distance from Rohtang: 14.2 km
Tariff: INR 2400 per night onwards
Tips To Visit Rohtang Pass
- You’ll need an entire day for Rohtang Pass, including traveling to and fro.
- Travel to and fro in the daylight itself, since it can get difficult to drive on that uneven road in the dark.
- Opt for a tough, sturdy vehicle for going to Rohtang.
- Carry adequate woollens and snacks. Pack a thermos of hot tea or coffee too if possible.
- Buy snow clothes, skiing and other equipment only from government certified and authorised dealers on the way.
- Get a proper health check-up done beforehand.
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. Calling your friends already? Ride safe and enjoy to the fullest!
Frequently Asked Questions About Rohtang Pass
A. Rohtang Pass is famous due to the thrill it gives when one rides motorbikes through the pass.
A. Rohtang Pass connects Kullu Valley with the valleys of Lahaul and Spiti.
A. Rohtang Pass is dangerous because it has low visibility conditions due to heavy mist.
A. The Manali to Leh road usually opens by mid May, but it depends on the weather conditions.
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