Beyond any doubt, Rohtang Pass is Manali’s biggest tourist attraction. Thousands of people visit Manali each year and not even one can imagine to go back without driving up to the majestic Rohtang. The problem, however, comes in the form of the permit that is required to visit the pass. There is a check post at Gulaba and without the permit; you will not be able to go beyond this point. The number of permits per day is limited to a total of 1300 and it is issued on a first come first serve basis. In this article, I will talk about the different ways that you can apply for the permit and recent updates related to Rohtang Permit 2020.
Also read: How to Plan your Trip to Rohtang Pass
What is Rohtang Permit
Let me being by first explaining what exactly Rohtang Permit is. About a decade ago, Rohtang was free to travel for everyone which meant that thousands of vehicles used to visit the pass every day. This led to a lot of pollution and litter at the pass and en route due to which, NGT (National Green Tribunal) decided to restrict the daily vehicle and tourist movement. As of 2020, only a total of 1300 vehicles are allowed to ply from Manali to Rohtang Pass.
So Rohtang Permit is a permission issued by Manali authorities to a vehicle, either car or motorcycle, to travel from Manali to Rohtang top. The only reason behind doing this is to save the delicate ecology of the pass and stop the environmental damage. There was this one article where I read that even the snow at the top of Rohtang was starting to turn black due to all the smoke coming out of the thousands of tourist vehicles.
Is Permit required for Rohtang Pass for Everyone?
Yes, a permit is required for Rohtang Pass for everyone but there are a few things that you must remember in this aspect.
- Rohtang Permit is issued on per vehicle and not per person basis.
- Permits at SDM office, Manali will be issued all 7 days (yes on Sundays too).
- If 4 people were traveling in one car, you will need to get one permit issued for your car only. That will work for the entire group. You do not have to get 4 permits for 4 people.
- You only need to get the permit if you are traveling from Manali to Rohtang Pass.
- This permit is mandatory for both cars and motorcycles.
- Rohtang permit is not required if you are traveling either from Ladakh, Lahaul and Spiti Valley to Manali. So for example, if you were returning from a Ladakh trip and traveling from Leh to Manali, you are free to travel without the permit.
- You do not need to get Rohtang Permit if you were traveling from Manali to Rohtang by Bus; either the HRTC or HPTDC ones.
- However, if you were traveling by a private tempo traveler, you will still need to get the permit issued for the traveler.
- There is no permit required if you were cycling from Manali to Rohtang.
- Even Himachal registered vehicles are required to obtain Rohtang permit. For example, if you were a resident of Shimla and you car was registered in Shimla, you will also have to get the permit. This applies for both private and commercial vehicles.
- Vehicles registered in all stated, either private or commercial, are free to travel to Rohtang as long as they have the permit.
Types of Permits for Rohtang Pass
There are three different types of permits available for Rohtang Pass right now. The first one is Rohtang Pass Permit and the second one is Special Rohtang Pass Permit. Both these permits fall in the category of “Permit for Tourism Purpose” and this is the category on which the daily vehicle limit applies. If the purpose of your visit is to travel from Manali to Rohtang top and return the same day, then you will need to obtain either of these permits.
The third permit is called “Beyond Rohtang Pass” and is also known as “Permit for travel purpose”. There is no limit that applies to this permit. If the purpose of your visit is to cross Rohtang Pass to continue traveling to either Lahaul and Spiti Valley or Ladakh, then this is the permit you would have to get. I will further explain.
Also Read: How to Plan a Trip to Manali
Rohtang Pass Permit
This is a permit that applies to both commercial and private vehicles. A total of 1200 permits are issued under this category which is further divided as 800 for petrol and 400 for Diesel run vehicles.
What is special Rohtang Pass Permit?
Special Rohtang Pass permit is issued for private vehicles only, with a white number plate. Commercial vehicles cannot apply under this category. A total of 100 permits are issued under this category broken down into 60 for petrol and 40 for Diesel run engines. I think the idea for keeping this separate is to reserve a quote for tourists traveling by their own vehicles because the permits usually gets booked fast by taxi drivers and travel agencies. It applies for both cars and motorcycles and it does not matter which state the vehicle was registered in. Motorcycles cannot apply under this category. This is reserved for 4 wheeler vehicles only.
Together, a total of 1300 permits are issued for the above mentioned two. This is further divided into 860 permits for petrol vehicles and 440 for Diesel vehicles. There is no division between Rohtang and Special Rohtang permits and the daily quote of 1300 covers both of these together.
What is beyond Rohtang Pass Permit?
Beyond Rohtang Pass permit is the one that you will need to get if you are traveling from Manali to either Ladakh, Spiti or anywhere in Lahaul Valley. There is no daily quote for this type of permit and these are issued as many as required.
Also Read: How to Plan a Trip to Shimla
How does the Permit Work
There is a check post at Gulaba where you are required to submit your permits and then there is another check post on the other side of the pass. So the way it works is that if a vehicle is visiting only Rohtang Pass, an entry will be made for it at the time of going to Rohtang and then again at the time of returning. If a vehicle was going beyond Rohtang Pass then an entry will be made at Gulaba check post and then another entry at the check post on the other side of the pass.
You cannot play around with the permit really because the fines and penalties are huge. For example, a lot of people thought that they will get Beyond Rohtang Permit since there is no limit to it and return from the pass itself without crossing it. They were caught on the way back and were imposed a hefty fine.
You cannot also try to cross the pass at night or really early in the morning. There is a check post just before Palchan and you will be sent back if you reached there before 5.30 AM. You may actually even get fined for trying to sneak out in the dark.
Is Rohtang Pass Closed on Tuesday?
Yes, Rohtang Pass remains closed on Tuesdays due to maintenance work. Hence, you will not be able to get a permit for Tuesday. This applies for all three types of permits including Beyond Rohtang permit. So if you were actually on a trip to either Ladakh or Spiti, you will not be able to cross Rohtang Pass from Manali side on a Tuesday. However, if you were returning from Manali to Leh, you will be allowed to travel. The restriction is only for vehicles traveling from Manali side.
Rohtang Pass Permit Cost
vehicles applying for Rohtang Pass or Special Rohtang Pass permit will be required to pay a sum of Rs. 500 as permit fee and Rs. 50 congestion charge, so a total of Rs. 550 per permit. Buses and Heavy motor vehicles will have to pay Rs. 100 for congestion charge so a total of Rs. 600 per permit.
Vehicles applying for Beyond Rohtang Permits will only have to pay a congestion charge of Rs. 50. Goods Vehicle will have to pay Rs. 100 as congestion charge.
There will no refund if you do not use or try to cancel your permit.
Also Read: Manali Taxi Rates
Documents to submit for Rohtang Permit
A copy of your vehicle’s pollution under control certificate, registration certificate, and your driving license will be required to get a permit for Rohtang Pass.
How to Get Rohtang Pass Permit
There are two ways to obtain a permit for Rohtang Pass. The first one is to get it in person from SDM office in Manali, and the second one is to get it on the online portal. There is also the option of a mobile app but it can only be used to check availability of permits, validate your already issued permit, check status of your permit, and to download a copy of it. You cannot apply for the permit using mobile app. To get the permit, you will still either have to visit the SDM office in person, or visit the website.
How to get Rohtang Pass Permit Offline
Let me first talk about how to get permit for Rohtang pass in Manali in person from the SDM office. The process is a simple one really. You will need to visit the SDM office and deposit your documents between 10 AM till 1 PM. The permit will not be handed over to you immediately and you will again have to visit the office between 3 PM to 5 PM to collect your permit. So yes, the process will eat up your entire day and will remain the same for both visiting Rohtang and beyond Rohtang Permits.
How to get Rohtang Pass Permit Online
Now let us discuss how to apply online for Rohtang pass permit online. I will break the process down step by step.
Permits can only be applied for next 6 days from the current date.
- Go to the web portal https://rohtangpermits.nic.in/
- You will be presented with 4 options at the home page.
Rohtang Pass Permit
- Click on Rohtang Pass Permit if yours is a yellow number plate taxi or any other commercially registered vehicle; and you just want to visit Rohtang Pass. Booking window for Rohtang Pass Permits opens at 10:00 Hrs and 16:00 Hrs. These are the only two times when you can apply for this and trust me, it gets booked really quick.
Special Rohtang Pass Permit
- Click on Special Rohtang Pass Permit if it is your private white number plate vehicle; and you just want to visit Rohtang Pass. Special Rohtang Pass Permit remains open at all times and you can book a permit through this option at any time for the next 6 days provided that the quota is not yet finished. Motorcycles cannot apply from this option.
Beyond Rohtang Pass
- Click on Beyond Rohtang Pass if you plan on crossing Rohtang Pass and continue traveling to Lahaul, Spiti or Ladakh. Window for Beyond Rohtang Permit remains open from 12 noon to 12 midnight only. So if you are visiting between 12 midnight to 12 noon, the portal won’t give you a link to apply.
Also Read: Manali Bike Rental Rates
Manali Entry (Green Tax)
- Click on Manali Entry if you just want to pay the Green Tax required for entering Manali. This will not give you the permission for visiting Rohtang. This entry fee is paid at a check post just before you enter Manali. This would have to be paid irrespective of whether you want to go to Rohtang or not. So yes, if you applied for Rohtang Permit, you will have to pay Manali Entry fee as well. You can pay it online but my suggestion would be to not do so. You will anyways have to cross the barrier and it would be better to just hand out the fee to the person there. Even if you paid it online, you will still have to get in the line and show them he receipt which will consume an equal amount of time.
- Now depending on which option you chose, it will take you to the next page where the related rules and charges will be mentioned. It will be the same information that I covered in the article above.
- Assuming that you found an option to apply for the permit on either of these pages, you will click on “Click to Proceed for Online Payment of Taxes / Fees”
- On the next page, you will fill out all the necessary details and hit “Submit”
- After submitting the form, you will receive an OTP on the given mobile/email address in the following screen. Enter that OTP on the next screen.
- After entering the valid OTP, you will be redirected to the Payment Gateway where you will pay for your permit.
- After making the payment, you will be redirected to print permit screen from where you can take a print out of the permit issued.
Rohtang Permit App
A mobile app for Rohtang Permit was launched in 2018 and it can be downloaded from Google Play Store. It is available for both Android and iOS devices/mobiles. Using the app, you can check the validity of your permit by entering the permit number, vehicle number and date of journey or by scanning the barcode on the permit. The app can also be used to check the availability of Rohtang Pass permit on a certain date. Using the app, you can also print a copy of your permit.
The option of applying for a permit is not yet available in the mobile app. It could be a feature coming in the near future but cannot be commented on right now.
Rohtang Pass without Permit
The only way to travel to Rohtang Pass without worrying about the permit is by the Bus service provided by Himachal government. Please read Manali to Rohtang Pass Bus Service : HPTDC & HRTC and Rohtang Pass Electric Bus : Fare, Schedule & How to Book for more details.
Rohtang Pass Permit Rules
- Vehicles found in violation of the above law will be fined and black listed.
- Your vehicle should also not be over 10 years old or else you will not get the permit.
- In a week (Tuesday to Monday) only 3 permits can be obtained for each vehicle.
- Maximum of 2 permits per device/ ip-address is allowed in order to cater the public at large.
- You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org any query related to Rohtang Permit Issuance.
Rohtang Permit 2019 – Conclusion
That mostly is all that you need to know about Rohtang Permits, the rules related to it and how to get one. I hope the information above was of help. If you have any questions; or need any other details; please feel free to ask in the comments section below; or at our Community Forum; and I will be glad to answer.