A popular winter resort in India, Rohtang Pass is a hub for enthralling sports adventure. This snow-clad paradise lies near Manali and connects Kullu with Lahaul and Spiti. Besides them, Rohtang Pass also serves as the gateway to Pangi and Leh valley. Just like Zojila Pass, Rohtang Pass is the gateway to Ladakh. Not to mention, it is one of the world’s highest motorable roads, and surely has a mesmerizing view of the other gigantic mountains.
Located at an altitude of 3979 meters above sea level, Rohtang is blessed with enormous charisma. This pass offers stunning sights of peaks, glaciers, Lahaul Valley, and the Chandra River. There couldn’t be a better way to make the most of your visit here than indulging in snow adventures like skiing, paragliding, zorbing, sledging, and many others.
History of Rohtang Pass
Many myths and tales have been associated with Rohtang Pass. On one side, people say that it is named after the mighty Himalayan ranges that serve as a connection between Kully and Lahaul Valleys, and on the other, people say that since this is the only gateway between the valleys, it must be made by the Gods themselves.
Locals in Kullu also believe that Lord Shiva himself made this pass, while locals of Lahaul say that the Western Tibetan King, Gyapo Gyasar made it. However, the most famous story that you must have heard is related to its name. The name Rohtang translates to ‘ground of corpses’ due to the large number of people who lost their lives trying to cross it.
Whichever story you believe, Rohtang Pass still remains breathtakingly beautiful and before you plan your trip to this attraction in Himachal Pradesh, here is a comprehensive Rohtang Pass Travel Guide for you.
Why visit Rohtang Pass?
If you are looking to spend time in peace amidst majestic peaks, then Rohtang Pass is an ideal choice for you. Featured in blockbuster Bollywood movies like ‘Jab We Met’ and ‘Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani’, Rohtang Pass is a major destination for adventure sports. If you are an adventure enthusiast, plan an exciting trip to Rohtang Pass. You can indulge in thrilling adventure sports like mountain biking, skiing, paragliding, zorbing, sledging, etc.
Snow lovers are in for a treat at Rohtang Pass. The sparkling white sheets of snow will take all your stress away and put you into a state of blissful stagnation. This pass is also ideal for couples as they can enjoy romantic time with each other. It provides the perfect ambiance to kindle love.
So, if you are looking for a place to spend quality time with your loved ones and witness the most magnificent views, Rohtang Pass is a great place.
How to reach Rohtang Pass?
Take a flight to Bhuntar Airport, which serves as the common base to Kullu-Manali. Located approx. 101 km away from Rohtang Pass, it takes at least 3 hours to reach. Kullu and Manali are situated quite close to this pass and thus, you can easily find a state transport bus from Manali (50 km approx.) or Kullu (10 km approx.) to Rohtang Pass. You can also hire a cab or taxi from Kullu or Manali to reach here.
State-run and private buses also operate on the Leh-Manali highway. If you can afford to spend some extra penny, book a semi-sleeper bus. Or, you can simply take a taxi from the airport to Rohtang Pass. Although, it may be one of the most expensive modes of transport here.
Best Time to Visit Rohtang Pass
For a memorable trip, the best time to visit Rohtang Pass is mid-September to mid-October. It is the time when Rohtang Pass opens post-monsoon and before it gets covered in snow in winters. You can also plan your Rohtang Pass trip from May to June. However, it receives many tourists during this time, and thus, it gets a bit difficult to get a Rohtang Pass permit. You may also see long traffic jams in Gulaba, Manali, and Rohtang.
The price of hotels, restaurants, and taxis around Rohtang Pass also increases in the summer months. Hence, we suggest planning your itinerary in September or October for the best experience.
Rohtang Pass Opening Date
Rohtang Pass opens for only 6 to 7 months of the year i.e. through April, May to October. Due to heavy snowfall in winters, Rohtang Pass remains shut from November to May and therefore, the most number of tourists flocked to Rohtang Pass during summer months.
Things to do in Rohtang Pass
As Rohtang Pass is covered in snow, it provides a great opportunity to adventure seekers to come and indulge in thrilling activities. If you are one of them or not, here are some must-try things to do in Rohtang Pass for the ultimate thrill and excitement –
- Skiing– Ski on the snowy slopes at Rohtang Pass and have a memorable time. The skiing equipment can be found in the shops nearby.
- MountainBiking – Bike through the splendid vistas for the ultimate thrill. It is an intense activity and may give you all the adrenaline rush you are looking for.
- Trekking– Rohtang Pass is a trekker’s paradise. Try one of the most famous treks, the Manali-Lahaul trek, and witness sparkling glaciers, pristine waterfalls, and snow-laden peaks.
- Sledging– Your trip cannot be completed without sledge riding in the snow. Enjoy the picturesque views and have childlike joy while playing with the snow.
Rohtang Pass Permit
To cross Rohtang Pass, you need a special permit. It is for the taxis and vehicles visiting Rohtang Pass for tourism purposes and is valid for 24 hours only. Moreover, only 800 petrol vehicles and 400 diesel vehicles are permitted to pass through it daily. You must know that pass is closed for maintenance on Tuesday and thus, no vehicles are allowed on this particular day of the week.
The Himachal Tourism allows you to apply for this pass online. You only need to apply for 1 permit to pass through Rohtang Pass to and fro. Please note that the government does not allow unlimited passes and allow only a certain number of passes for each day. Therefore, it is advised to plan your trip well in advance and get your Rohtang Pass permit as soon as possible.
Here are the documents you need to apply for Rohtang Pass Permit –
- Valid ID proof.
- Pollution Under Check (PUC) Certificate.
- Vehicle registration rate.
- Proof of hotel booking.
Rohtang Pass Permit Fees -
- Car & Jeep: INR 500 + INR 50 as congestion charge
- MUVs: INR 500 + INR 50 as congestion charge
- Buses & HM: INR 500 + INR 100 as congestion charge
Rohtang Pass Tunnel
Rohtang Pass Tunnel or Atal Tunnel was inaugurated by our current PM Narendra Modi on 3 October 2020. Situated at an altitude of 3,000 meters in Himachal Pradesh, Atal Tunnel is the world’s highest motorable tunnel, and provides new strength to the country’s border infrastructure.
Built by the Border Roads Organization (BRO), Atal Tunnel is 9.02 km long and connects Manali to Lahaul-Spiti Valley. As Rohtang Pass is closed for nearly 7-8 months throughout the year, Atal Tunnel provides connectivity to the landlocked valley of Lahaul-Spiti between November and April.
It is because of the Atal Tunnel, the distance between Manali and Leh is reduced to nearly 46 km and only takes about 4 to 5 hours to reach. It is a tourism booster and has also become significant for military and armed forces visiting Ladakh.
Is Rohtang Pass Dangerous?
Yes. It is a fact that Rohtang Pass is one of the most dangerous roads in India and is quite challenging for any vehicle to pass through. It is in dreadful condition and requires nerves to pass it. Meandering turns, steep drops with no barriers, landslides, and rockfalls all add to the recipe of a disaster.
There are long traffic jams of military trucks, vehicles, trucks, and goods carriers on the tight roads and rough terrain of Rohtang Pass. However, it is a daily scene on this pass. People who are visiting either Manali, Kullu, Leh, or any nearby areas have Rohtang Pass on their itineraries.
You can visit here to enjoy the beautiful sights of mighty peaks, sparkling glaciers, Lahaul Valley, and the Chandra River. The twin peaks of Geypan are also visible for Rohtang Pass.
Places to Stay in Rohtang Pass
Rohtang Pass does not have any places to stay. If you want, you can bring your own tent and set up a camp by the roadside. For a comfortable stay, you can visit Manali, which is the closest town. Here, you can find luxury resorts, riverside cottages, deluxe hotels, and 3-star budget properties. For a budget stay, you can also find homestays and get an insight into the local culture.
Here are some of the places to stay near Rohtang Pass –
- Snowflakes Resort (approx. 18 km away)
- The Cider (approx. 11 km away)
- Solang Valley Resort (approx. 10 km away)
- Allure Grand Resort Manali (approx. 12 km away)
- WelcomHeritage Urvashi’s Retreat (approx. 12 km away)
Places to Eat in Rohtang Pass
You will not find any restaurants or eateries at Rohtang Pass. So, it is advised to carry your own food and drinks while crossing the pass.
Tips for visiting Rohtang Pass
- As Rohtang Pass sees a lot of traffic jams, leave early and keep buffer time in hand while passing through Rohtang Pass. You might be stuck for hours. In such cases, you may need to walk to the main spot and it will take extra time.
- Due to high altitude and rough terrain, the pass gets colder as the sun sets in. So you must reach the pass while it is still daylight.
- Wear warm clothes and carry some extra woolens with you. Pack some snacks with you too and if possible, carry a thermos of hot tea or coffee too.
- You must compare the rates of snow clothes set by the government, in case you are planning to rent them.
- At such an altitude, you might get altitude sickness. Therefore, it is advised to carry necessary medications with you.