Rohtang Pass, Himachal Pradesh: How To Reach, Best Time & Tips

About Rohtang Pass

If you are planning a trip to the picturesque valleys near Kullu and Manali, Rohtang Pass must be on your itinerary. The popular vistas point is well known for its unparalleled natural beauty and is one of the most essential attraction points in the region. The pass is located just 50 km away from the main town, and is easily accessible by road. One of the major attractions of Rohtang La is that it is one of the highest passes in the Himalayas. Located at a staggering height of 3978 meters above sea level, the pass offers some of the most pristine views of the Himalayas you will ever get to sea.

As your car climbs on the Manali-Keylong road on your way to Rohtang La, you will see a dramatic change in the scenery around you, and the stunning landscape will leave you breathless. In fact, the mesmerizing beauty of the route and the pass is so spectacular that it has been featured in many Bollywood blockbusters ranging from Jab We Met to Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani.

For people who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and curl up with a cup of tea in the middle of unparalleled natural splendor, Rohtang La offers one of the best options. As your car climbs up the road, the weather will get colder and you won’t be able to help but admire the chilling and dramatic beauty of this place. 
Clear blue skies, fluffy snow-covered mountain peaks, and sprawling landscapes – who can resist such natural wonders? The otherworldly and spectacular Rohtang La pass needs to be seen to be believed.

How to Reach Rohtang Pass

The nearest airport is located 101.4 km away from Rohtang la pass in Bhuntar. To reach the pass from here, it will take you at least 3 and a half to 4 hours.
The good news is that both Kullu and Manali are quite close to the airport. Manali is 50 km away from Bhuntar, and Kullu is even closer – just 10 km away. Therefore, it should be easy for you to find a state transport bus from Kullu or Manali to Rohtang La pass. To reach Manali or Kullu from the airport, you can hire a taxi or cab. 

There are several government and private buses that operate on the Leh Manali highway. If you are willing to shell out a little extra cash, you can even book a semi sleeper bus. Or, if you don’t want to go through the hassle of changing buses, you can simply hire a taxi from the airport to Rohtang La pass, although that may be one of the most expensive options.

Best Time to Visit Rohtang Pass

The best time to visit Rohtang la Pass is from the second week of September to the second week of October. During this time, the pass opens just after monsoons and before it closes for winters. It is recommended to plan your trip during this time, because the summer months, that is May to June, see a lot of tourists in this region. As a result, it gets quite difficult to get a permit to cross the pass. Additionally, there are long traffic jams in Manali, Rohtang, and Gulaba.

Due to increased tourists’ activity, the prices of hotels, restaurants, and taxis also shoot up during these months. If you plan your trip between September and October, you may be able to get cheaper deals. 
As for the rest of the year, Rohtang pass is closed during the winters due to heavy snowfall. During the monsoon months, July to August, the weather is too unpleasant to enjoy any sightseeing or exploring. Hence, we recommend planning your itinerary in September or October so that you can get the most out of your trip.

What Not to Miss at Rohtang Pass

Things to do at Rohtang Pass

Here are some of the most common activities:

1. Trekking – Rohtang pass is a heaven for trekkers. Surrounded by challenging trails, beautiful glaciers, pristine waterfalls, and snow-clad mountain peaks – the pass offers some of the most picturesque trails for trekking. The Manali-Lahaul pass is one of the most popular treks in the region with its Sulphur springs and Bhrigu lake views. 
You can also try other treks like Gulaba to Bhrigu Lake, Batal to Rohtang and Jalori pass. 

2. Sledge rides – there is no way your trip to Rohtang la will be complete if you do not indulge in sledge riding on the snow in a wooden toboggan. Not only will you get to enjoy the picturesque views of the region, but will also be filled with the childlike joy of playing in the snow.

3. Mountain biking – if you love biking through magnificent vistas and don’t mind taking difficult paths, you should try mountain biking through the lesser known routes in the region. The adventurous activity will give you an intense adrenaline rush.

4. Photography – the picturesque vistas of Rohtang attract photography lovers from all over the country every year. The clear blue skies, pristine snow, and magnificent Himalayas – who wouldn’t want to capture all this in their camera?

5. Skiing and tyre drop – again, these are the most common activities pursued in this region. You can get equipment for these fun-filled sports can be found in the shops nearby.

Attractions in and near Rohtang Pass 

Here are some of the best places to visit near Rohtang Pass:

1. Nehru Kund – named after the first Prime Minister of India, Nehru Kund is a natural spring that some believe has healing properties. The water at the spring comes out bubbling from the rocks and it is believed that the source of the spring is Bhrigu Lake. 
The pleasant bubbling noise, along with scenic vistas of the mountain make this place a must-visit destination.

2. Vashisht Hot Water Springs – it is believed that the village near these springs is where Rishi Vashisht used to meditate. The hot water springs are actually Sulphur springs, and people around the area believe that they are a great treatment option for skin problems and other infections. 
Lots of people tend to take a bath here, and for the purpose, separate baths have been constructed for men and women.

3. Hadimba Temple – the four storey Pagoda is believed to be the home of the footprints of Goddess Hadimba. The architecture of the temple and work behind the stone figurines is worth checking out, and the lush greenery around the area is simply spellbinding.

4. Marhi – this is a lesser-known tourist destination about 35 km from Manali. It is famous for its water sports and pristine natural beauty. Most people head on to Marhi if the Rohtang La pass is closed due to heavy snowfall. You can enjoy water-sports activities here, and soak in the mesmerizing beauty of the Himalayas.

Other Essential Information About Rohtang Pass

- Location:
Leh Manali Highway, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India

- Height: 3978 meters above the sea level.

- Rohtang Pass Snowfall Time: 
There is a heavy snowfall in the region around the Rohtang La Pass in winter months, that is, from November to March. That is why, it is not recommended to visit the region during this time, as the pass will be closed during these months. If you are planning a trip, you should wait until the summer months, that is, between May and June, and September and October.

Rohtang Pass Open Date: Even though the pass is open till the beginning of December, there is a very good chance that it will be closed by the second week of the month. This is because as winter approaches, heavy snowfall in the area is more likely. This will result in obstruction of the highway and visitors won’t be able to cross the pass without putting their lives in danger. 

If you are planning to visit the region, it is recommended to wait until the summer months when the weather will clear up and the snow will melt. It is usually recommended to plan your trip between May and June and September and October. 
In 2019, the pass opened to visitors on 1st June. It can be expected to open around the same time next year.

- Distance from Nearest Airport: the closest airport to Rohtang La Pass is located near Bhuntar, which is nearly 100 km away. However, the airport is only 10 km away from Kullu and 50 km from Manali. Once you get off your plane at the airport, you can take a taxi or cab to reach Rohtang La pass. You can also take a state transport bus, or drive yourself, if you are confident enough.

History of Rohtang Pass

There are many myths and tales associated with how the pass came to be named as such. 
Some people say that the pass is named after the majestic mountains of the Himalayan ranges that serve as a link between Kullu and Lahaul valleys. On the other hand, there are still others who suggest that since the pass is the only gateway between the valleys, it must have been carved by the Gods themselves. 

The locals in Kullu believe that Lord Shiva created the pass, while those in Lahaul think that Gyapo Gyasar, the Western Tibetan king made the pass. But the most common story of how the pass came to be can be guessed from its name. In Ladakhi, the name means ‘pile of corpses.’ The pass got this name because of the large numbers of people who died while trying to cross it.

Rohtang Pass Permit 

To cross the gorgeous pass, you need a special permit. Fortunately, you can apply for it online.
The Himachal Tourism website allows you to apply for the pass and it is valid for 24 hours. You need only 1 permit to pass through Rohtang La to and fro. However, it should be noted that the government does not grant an unlimited number of passes, and there are only a limited number of passes available each day. So, it is recommended to plan your trip well in advance and get your pass as soon as possible.

You will need the following documents to apply for the permit:

- Valid proof of identity
- A pollution check certificate for your vehicle that is up to date
- Vehicle registration documents that show the date of registration

Rohtang Pass Tunnel 

Rohtang pass tunnel is being built under the Rohtang Pass on the Leh-Manali Highway. The tunnel is planned under the eastern parts of the Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas. 
The length of the tunnel is 8.8 km, and it is supposed to be one of the longest tunnels in the country. The tunnel will significantly reduce the distance between the towns of Manali and Keylong, by nearly 50 km.

Since the pass has to be closed for almost 8 months throughout the year, the tunnel has been planned to keep it open during the winter months. The Leh Manali highway will be routed through the tunnel after construction is finished. 
The excavation work of the tunnel was finished in October 2017, and construction is supposed to wrap up in December 2019. Located at a height of 3100 meters above sea level, the tunnel will reduce the traversing time for the pass. Right now, it takes nearly 4 to 6 hours to reach and come back from the Rohtang la pass, but once the tunnel is completed, it will take only 30 minutes. 

Places to Stay in and near Rohtang Pass

Here are some of the most comfortable places to stay in and near Rohtang la Pass:

1. The Orchid Inn – located just 9 km away from the Rohtang pass, the cozy and comfortable inn is famous for its affordable room rates. Additionally, the friendly staff is ready 24x7 to make your life easier. The hotel offers the best of the amenities you can ask for, and some of the most stunning views of the region. All this – at a budget. What more could you ask for?

2. One Ski Resorts by One Hotels – situated 8.5 km away from the pass, this hotel is a bit more expensive, but it makes up for every penny by the mesmerizing views of the Himalayas around it. It is also one of the most well-equipped places when it comes to modern amenities and facilities.

3. Burua Valley Retreat – this resort is located 9.5 km away from the pass, and it offers affordable rooms to tourists who are traveling on a budget. Additionally, the hotel is completely smoke-free and has a warm and cozy décor that will take away will your travel exhaustion.

Places to Eat in and near Rohtang Pass

Here are some of the best restaurants near Rohtang la pass:

1. Manali Sweets – it is one of the most popular dhaba in the region and for good reason. Manali sweets offers some of the most affordable dishes that are exceptionally tasty too. Enjoy an endless stream of masala chai, snacks and sweets here without burning a hole in your pocket.

2. Lazy Dog Lounge – the restaurant is as unique as its name. Enjoy fine continental cuisines, large olive and cheese pizzas, and veg penne pastas. The lounge is perfect for getting some comfort food and warming up in the cold weather.

3. People – this small joint is almost hidden from the world, in its little corner. But it is also the place to find some of the tastiest and cheapest food in the region. That is why, People is a perfect place to eat for backpackers and budget travelers.

 Road Trip to Ladakh Via Rohtang

A Ladakah trip from Manali via Rohtang is quite famous. the Manli-Leh highway offers some of the most stunning  and picturesque views of the Himalayas. 
Here are some of the highlights of the trip:

2. Start your day off in Manali. this hill station showcases some of the most stunning views of the Himalayan peak, and you can try skiing and paragliding here.

3. Head over to Rohtang pass. This scenic route is the gateway to Lahaul, Spiti, and Leh. Take pictures of the snow-capped mountains, and enjoy the singing of the Chandra river flowing right next to you.

4. Reach Keylong – the laid-back region where natural beauty is abundant in its most pristine form. Explore the lush green Bhaga valley, and then head over to Jispa. Located right next to the Chandra River, Jispa is truly rich in fascinating trails and lush green jungles.

5. The next stop is Dracha. Explore this picturesque Himalayan village, before moving on to Zongzing Bar – one the highest roadside bars in the world.

6. Your next stop is Baralacha La. Standing at 16000 feet, this place sees the confluence of the 3 valleys. You can also start the Suraj Tal trek here.

7. Next stops are Sarchu and Gata Loops. Check out the pristine beauty of Lachulung la, and then head over to Pang. Soak in the breathtakingly beautiful scenery, and then head to Upshi. Explore goat farming and experience bliss like never before.

8. Your next destination is Karu, after which you will enter the mesmerizing and paradisiacal valley of Leh Ladakh. The dream destination is a paradise for thrill lovers, adventure seekers, and adrenaline junkies. Experience natural beauty like never before and soak in the dramatic landscapes.

Tips for Visiting Rohtang Pass

Here are some tips for visiting Rohtang la pass:

1. Keep some extra time aside when visiting the pass to account for delays. As the pass sees a lot of tourists, it is common for traffic to be stuck for hours. In such cases, you may need to walk to the main spot, and it will take some extra time.

2. Make sure you plan your trip so that you reach the pass while it is still daylight. The path is quite difficult, the roads are winding, the altitudes are high, and it gets colder as the day progresses. So it is better to start early during the day so that you can come back in time.

3. Make sure you wear warm clothes as it gets quite cold in the mountains. Additionally, it is recommended to keep a thermos of tea or coffee, and pack some snacks too.

4. If you are planning to rent snow clothes, make sure you compare the prices with the fixed prices decided by the government.

5. Since oxygen levels are low in the mountains, you may get altitude sickness. Pack some necessary medications for such cases.

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People Also Ask About Rohtang Pass

  1. Why is Rohtang Pass famous?

    Popular among tourists for its unparalleled natural beauty, Rohtang la also holds a strategic importance in the country because of its geographical location. It is the gateway to the Keylong district in the Lahaul valley region of Himachal Pradesh.

    This valley is otherwise completely landlocked and cannot be accessed in any other way. Additionally, the pass also acted as a trade route between the people on the opposite sides of Pir Panjal range. So, it holds quite a lot of significance from the point of view of tourism, history, and geography.
  2. How far is Rohtang Pass from Manali?

    Manali is nearly 51 km away from Rohtang pass, and you can cover the distance between the two location in 2 hours. However, the Leh Manali Highway may be closed due to heavy snowfall in winters, so it may take longer to cover the distance.
  3. How far is Solang Valley from Rohtang Pass?

    Solang Valley is located nearly 45 km away from the pass, and it will take you nearly 2 hours to reach the valley from the pass.
  4. Do we need a permit for Rohtang Pass?

    Yes, you do need a permit to enter Rohtang la area. It can be obtained from the tourism website of Himachal Pradesh government. It should be noted that only a limited number of permits are granted for each day, so you should book your permit well in advance.

    Additionally, the permit is not granted for Tuesdays as the region is closed on this for maintenance work.
  5. How much time does it take from Manali to Rohtang Pass?

    It will take you about 2 hours to reach Rohtang from Manali, by car. If there is snowfall and the roads are blocked, or if there is a traffic jam, it may take longer.
  6. Can we take your car to Rohtang Pass?

    Yes, you can take your car to the pass if it is less than 10 years old by getting a permit for it. For vehicles older than 10 years old, you have to travel from Srinagar side and come back to Manali said, because permits for older vehicles are not granted.

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