When you look at the snow-capped mountains you desire to reach the top and touch and play with the white sparkling snow ball. When we reached Manali, and looked out of the window we saw the majestic mountains with white peaks as if they were calling to us. We planned a trip from Manali to Rohtang Pass the next day.
This trip does need some planning in advance and cannot be done in a tow. Have questions?? Don’t fret. This guide will answer all your queries regarding Rohtang Pass Manali and make your trip a smooth and memorable ride.
To 50 km north of Manali is the high mountain pass in the East Pir Panjal range of Himalayas at a height of 13058 ft. It is very significant as connects the Kullu valley to Lahaul and Spiti valley.
Even though the distance is mere 50 kms, but the treacherous mountainous road makes the travel time to around 2 hours.
And it might be increased further depending on the traffic. During summer, there have been long serpentine queue of cars held up for hours.
But the serpentine roads lead to scenic vistas, cascading waterfalls, para-gliders soaring in the sky. So if you’re held up in the traffic, get down and capture those moments that you will cherish forever.
Due to heavy snowfall, the pass is closed around December to May for six months. It is better to confirm the dates of opening of the pass.
June and July months of summer are the popular time amongst the tourists, but this means difficulty in getting the permit (might have to wait a couple of days) and traffic snarls.
The monsoon months of July and August are the most dangerous time due to multiple landslides and wet and slushy roads.
The time after monsoons in September – November are great time to visit with fewer tourists as compared to summer. It would be easier to get the permit without much wait and less traffic.
But you need to do some prep before planning a trip to Rohtang Pass:
The permit is valid for one day only (to and fro) for only visiting Rohtang or travelling beyond.
So, either you need to return back to Manali or travel beyond Rohtang Pass towards Leh. There are no lodging options available at the pass.
The tourists need to vacate the pass by 4 p.m.
As per NGT (National Green Tribunal), a permit is required to enter the eco sensitive area of Rohtang Pass to save the damage to it from excessive pollution.
There are 2 ways to apply for the permit:
If you need to apply the permit for your cab/taxi, click the option Rohtang Pass Permit and fill the details in the form.
If you need to apply for your private vehicle, click the option Special Rohtang Pass permit.
If you are traveling beyond Rohtang pass towards Leh or Lahaul – Spiti, then click the option Beyond Rohtang Pass.
2. In person at the SDM office in Manali. – The office opens from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
But there are long queues and waiting to get the permit.
Address: Manu Market, Siyal, Manali, Himachal Pradesh 175131
1.The vehicles visiting Rohtang Pass need to pay permit fees and Congestion charges.
Permit fees = INR 500
Congestion charges = INR 50
2. The vehicles traveling beyond the Rohtang Pass just need to pay the Congestion charges.
Congestion charges = INR 50.
Are you traveling beyond to Leh? Want to experience the challenging Leh – Manali highway? Do get acquainted with all the information by reading Leh Manali Highway – One of the Most Riskiest Highways in India
The print out of the permit is mandatory and is checked at the Gulaba checkpoint along with the Pollution certificate.
Gulaba checkpoint is located about 30 km before Rohtang pass on the Leh Manali highway.
Since Rohtang is covered with snow all through the year, you need to layer up with jackets, caps, gloves. If you would like to go deep in the snow, then snow boots are a must.
The snow suits and boots can even be rented anywhere from Manali to Rohtang Pass. Snow suits are rented from INR 200 – INR 250 along with the boots and/or gloves.
Note: Do check the condition of the boots. If they are torn, then snow can leak in and feet can get wet.
But we highly recommend getting your own warm wear.
At Rohtang pass, you have the option of eating the famous Maggi (instant noodles) and a cup of hot tea at small shacks or vendors.
“Pahadon me aaye aur maggi nahi khayi to kuch nahi khaya” (If you’ve come to mountains and not eaten maggi then you’ve missed something )
But the best option is the small town of Marhi, that is a hub of small roadside eateries popularly called the dhabas. Little before Rohtang, this is the best place you can have a meal and even use the restrooms. The wide variety of maggi from veg maggi, mushroom maggi, gobhi maggi, Chinese maggi and many more will baffle you.
We tried the regular maggi and veggie maggi which was awesome.
You might want to carry some snacks and water with yourself.
Note: We are responsible tourists and don’t litter around.
There are many ways to reach Rohtang Pass from Manali – own vehicle, cab or public transport. But the most common is hiring a taxi/cab.
Most of the hotels can help arrange a taxi for the trip to Rohtang Pass.
Taxi fare –
An eco-friendly option is the electric buses, Himtarang run by HRTC at a fare of INR 600 per person for a return trip. The biggest advantage is that you don’t need a permit.
Click HRTC to book the tickets online.
Another cheap and convenient option is Tempo travelers. Most of the hotels have tie ups and they can plan a trip along with the group of other travelers. They even pick and drop from the hotel and charge INR 500.
Drive your own vehicle only if you are comfortable in driving on mountains and on the treacherous roads.
There were hatchback and sedan cars apart from SUV’s and buses driving up to Rohtang Pass. We even drove our hatchback, but after this experience, I highly recommend driving a SUV to save your car from bumpy patches of road.
Drive carefully and follow the rules. Try not to overtake as this might cause traffic blockage as the roads are narrow and at many places only a single vehicle can pass through.