For anyone visiting Ladakh or Lahaul & Spiti, crossing Rohtang Pass goes without saying but there are certain people who visit Manali each year to just to travel to this high altitude pass. This pass is a legend in itself and the 50 kms road from Manali to Rohtang is a beautiful drive passing through awe inspiring vistas. In my opinion, it probably wouldn’t be wrong to name Rohtang as the “Most popular high altitude pass in India”. Below are a few tips for travelling to Rohtang Pass that can help you plan your trip better.
The word Rohtang literally means “a pile of corpses”. How it earned a name so notorious is a mystery in itself but the best guess would be that a lot of people must have died trying to cross in old times. It is located in Pir Panjal range and the road over the pass connects the Kullu Valley with Lahaul and Spiti Valleys. The top of the mountain is at an approximate distance of 50 kms from Manali and the ascent is quite steep. The pass is an ancient trade route and there are speculations that this is probably is one of the oldest and most frequented passes of the world.
Best time to visit: The pass is open from May till November. It is not particularly difficult to cross Rohtang however it does have a well-deserved reputation for being dangerous because of narrow and curvy roads, unpredictable landslide, slush due to melting snow, sudden snowstorms and blizzards. The best time to travel to Rohtang would probably be in June, early July or September. May is not really a good month because the pass had just been declared open and the roads aren’t in the best shape. Late July and August is the monsoon season and there is always a risk of landslides and the pass can close at any time. It starts to snow in late October which again creates the possibility of the pass closing down temporarily. So your best and safest bet is to either travel in June, early July, September or early October. September is probably the best month of all as it had just rained in August and the entire valley blossoms under a thick sheet of green.
Places of Interest: The entire 50 kms stretch from Manali to Leh in my opinion is a place of interest. The primary attraction of the valley of course is its natural beauty. Lush green hills, colorful flowers, mesmerizing waterfall and the list is endless. There are several sites in between where you can enjoy paragliding. At the top, there are several places where you can skii. Another activity that you can indulge in is scooters and ATV bikes rides which will cost you around Rs. 2500 for one ride. Paragliding is anywhere between Rs. 1500 to Rs. 3500 depending on the distance and height.
Things to consider: Here are a few things that you must consider before going towards Rohtang. The pass is closed on Tuesday for tourists so you need to plan your journey accordingly. In my opinion, avoid going on the day after as well because there is always a crazy traffic on Wednesdays. Always check on the weather before heading out. If it is raining heavily, best to cancel your plan for the next and stay back at the hotel in Manali. If you have health concerns like Asthama or breathing problem, do not continue all the way to the top. Go as far as your health allows and return. Same thing applies if you start to suffer from acute mountain sickness.
Start from Manali as early as you can primarily for two reasons. One is that you get to view the sunrise while on the way to Rohtang and it is a sight that you must not miss. Second reason is that if you left early, it gives you ample time to enjoy the journey and be back on time. If there is a landslide or glacier slide, then too you will have enough time to be back in Manali if you left early in the morning. If it interests you, you can also enjoy paragliding which you won’t be able to if you started late from Manali.
If you plan on skiing, then hire an instructor from Manali itself. The skiing equipment and instructors available on the way and at the top will charge you much more than what you will pay in Manali. Be prepared with good quality boots for skiing and dress heavily. If you need to rent the snow dresses and boots available on the way, then it is best to purchase the socks and caps from Manali. Trust me; the rent of these two items is more than the actual cost. It is also better to carry snacks and eatables from Manali itself as the price of almost everything at the top is higher than actual.
Private vehicles are no longer allowed towards Rohtang unless you intend to cross the pass and travel towards either Ladakh or Lahaul and Spiti. You will have to hire a taxi in Manali for your journey to Rohtang and it will cost you anywhere between Rs. 1800 to Rs. 3000, depending on which car you chose.
There were plans for constructing a ropeway from Rohtang top to Palchan but that was later scrapped. The idea behind the ropeway was to reduce the daily amount of traffic but there were heavy protests again the idea by local tourist community claiming that it would cause unemployment for hundreds of taxi drivers.
If you are planning to visit the pass in winter, Gulaba is a preferred spot to enjoy the snow. The road till Gulaba remains open throughout the year and you should not have trouble reaching there. A good spot to picnic with the family is the Rahala Falls located at about 16 kms from Manali towards Rohtang.
Planning to visit Spiti from Manali by taxi and want to cover rhotang top as well on the way. Bit confused with the permit, tourism or travel to take
Hi Sir, i am planning to visit Manali in Feb 2020 as i cld heard that feb is the best month to visit . Is it possible to visit Rohtang Pass during our visit.
Hi, I am scared of heights. And heard about landslide and curvy roads. How safe it is to go to maza from manali? And can we go on Tuesday?
I want to go rohtang from kasol, can we make it in one day like leave kasol in morning and back in night
We will hire taxi or cab. So Will it be an issue related to permit
If you have the permit already then yes you can make it in a day.
Can you help us plan a trip to manali, Spiti Kinnaur Rohtang Pass from Chandigarh. We will be travelling to Chandigarh on 18th May 2019. A bit confused on framing the best itinerary which would not be so taxing as kids are also there.
Hi Sudipa – How many days do you have in hand for the trip?
Thanks for sharing valuable information with us.
Himachal Pradesh is the heart of India everyone has to visit here at least once in our life. Himachal Pradesh contains very beautiful cities, snow-capped mountain, awesome whether every time and much more.
Such a informative post. Thanks for the post and your valuable suggestions for the questions asked.
We are 5 members, myself, 2 senior citizens ( my mother having asthma and wheezing probelm ) and 2 kids from Chennai. Planning a visit for shimla and manali during 2nd week of december, 2018. My mother little bit afraid because of low temperature. Is it okay for her to visit the snow places there?? Kindly advice.
Also which places are good to visit. Waiting for your reply.
V r planning to go to Rohtang pass by night but cab charges told is v high Plzz advice
The rate told is 8.5k
Don’t travel at night. Take tempo traveler at 1300 per person
Hello there, I planned a trip to manali on bullet.. I want to know if I get beyond Rohtang Pass permit and get back on the next day itself. Will that be an issue???
Means only 1 day for beyond Rohtang pass .. As I have read your posr that Bikes are not allowed for tourism purpose in Rohtang Pass..
Yes it will be an issue. If you get a beyond Rohtang permit, you will have to cross the pass, stay at the other side for the night; and return the next day. There are check posts at both side of the pass who record it and you will be fined if you came back the same day from the top.
If we are visiting Rohtang pass in MID JUNE 2018,approximately how many kilometers we need to walk?We are planning a day trip from Manali,but frankly speaking we are not able to walk much.If its 1 km or 2 kms its ok else it will be difficult for us to enjoy.Please advice.
How much you walk entirely depends on your. The bus will drop you at the near snow point and then you can leisurely walk around.
How much time will it take to visit rohtang pass and come back to manali? I’ll be very grateful if you answered this. We are a group of six and would like to visit rohtang after out trekking trip in solang valley. Is it possible to finish our visit to rohtang pass in 6 hours?
Yes, you can easily do it in 6 hours.
We plan trip with senior citizens… will that be advisable to take them. To rotang…v r planning in may second week…pls suggest…
As long as they do not have any respiratory ailments like Asthma or any coronary heart problems they should be OK to go. But I will still recommend that you take a doctor’s opinion, strongly recommended.
Can we leave from Manali at 10 am for Rohtang?
Will it be too late?
No it is not too late. You can go at 10 as well.
Dear Khan sir,
Thanks for the below information
Can we stay in Rotang pass by hiring a tent in June 2018 as we are planning to come by renting a bike?
Hello Surendra Bhai – There is no accommodation available at Rohtang Pass since it gets way too cold at night.
When exactly roads will open to go for ladakh from Manali
Sometime in May
Hello Sir i won’t to journy in manali in 14 may 2018. With 12 year old girl and 4 year old boy and my wife. so i won’t to see them snow. Is it safe my family in rohtang. Is there snow that time? There is breathing difficulties fill, it is right or wrong? Answer in my email.
Snow this year is not that much but yes, you should be able to find some at Rohtang top.
Hello Vargis Bhai..Is it possible to go from Keylong to Manali on Tuesday.
Hello Santosh Bhai, Yes it is. The pass is closed on Tuesday only for people visiting the pass. For people wanting to cross it over, the road remains open on Tuesdays as well.
Thank You very much Sir
you are welcome Bhai !!!
Hi sir, we are a group of 6 planning to have a one day trip to rhotang pass. We are not much used to drive on mountain terrain as we come from plains. Is it safe for us to hire Enfield’s in Manali and go to rhotang. Please suggest??
Hello Ben – Rohtang Pass is closed right now so you cannot go all the way.
Sir actually I’m planning to do it in second week of may 2018
Then yes you can rent motorcycles in Manali and go. It is quite Ok and lot of people do it each year. Just go slow, carefully and you will be OK.
Hi sir : can easily get rohtang pass permit in summer vacation? it is extremely difficult to get then what is other option to visit rohtang on the desired date?
Hello Haresh – Yes you can visit the pass and permit though a little difficult is not really that impossible to get. You can apply for it online too, 2 days before the travel date.
See this article.
Sir, I wanted to know if Rohtang Pass will be open during February or not ? And what will be the conditions of the road ? Will it be safe to visit Rohtang in February?
Rohtang Pass is closed in winters. It opens sometime in April each year.
Hello Sir! Your blog is really helpful. Thankyou.
Can you please tell if going to Rohtang pass is safe for girls. We are a group of 4 girls of college traveling from Delhi to Manali and we wish to go to Rohtang pass. Kindly let me know if it’s safe
Hello Preeti – Manali to Rohtang is a day trip and yes, it is quite safe. When are you planning to go because the pass can get closed anytime now.
Thanks for such informative blog sir. Can you please tell shall we carry warm clothes like jackets to rohtang paas and manali in the months of late september and early October?
No you will not need heavy woolens Abhinav. Just carry light woolens and a good windproof jacket.
Such an informative blog sir.. thank you for taking ur time to reply to d questions of curious travel lovers..
I’m planning to visit manali, rothang and nearby areas( open to visiting other famous spots in HP too) during pooja holidays btwn Sep 30 to Oct 3.
*Is there any possibility of seeing snow anywhere? Because many are saying those area will be barren at that time..
*are sport activities like paragliding & scooter still available??
*Will d scenery b lush green or autumn Brown??
*is there any rope car facility anywhere?? A relative of mine told he used rope car to reach d top but doesn’t know d name of that place.
*Is shimla a better option or shall I combine both??
As I will b travelling with my parents, excessive tràvelling in short time can’t b done.
Please help me in formulating a plan sir, because v are coming from Chennai & it’s gonna b a long trip.
Thanks in advance.
Waiting for ur reply to book tickets ☺
Hello Fouzia – Thank you for your encouraging words, I really appreciate it. Coming to your questions,
1. You may find some snow at Rohtang top, nowhere else.
2. Yes. You can either book it from Manali itself or will find several paragliding sites on the way to Rohtang. Better book it from Manali.
3. It will be more like green fading away, not lush but not brown either.
4. I do not know of any rope car sites in Manali.
5. Since your time is limited, I would advise against mixing both. Chose one place.
How will you be traveling? I am assuming that you will hire a private taxi, correct?
Your blog is very informative. Thanks for the same. I am planning to visit Manali and go to Rohtang pass around 4to 7 th of April. Will it be open at that time. We wanted to enjoy the snow there.
Rohtang Pass usually open towards Mid to Late April. Highly improbable that it will open by 4th – 7th March.
Hello sir ! Few of my friends n i hv decided to visit HP fr trekking in last week of september and while there we have decided to visit rohtang pass too.my Query is that what will be the best time to start journey and also do we need permits if we rent HP registered bikes ?
Sir it would really help us if you could take some of your precious time out and answer my query ! Thank you sir
Hello Abhijeet – Last I heard, HP registered bikes too were required to obtain permit for traveling to Rohtang Pass.
We will be at Manali from 21 – 23 Jun. Want to go Jispa and return to Manali. Night stay at Jispa.
Will it be possible ?. Family with 4 members (with my two daughters 18 and 12 years). Tent will be easily available or we have to book early.Kindly guide us to enjoy Spiti Valley. Please guide on alternate.
Hello Mr. Trivedi,
Jispa is Lahaul valley, not Spiti. Yes there are a couple of camp sites there that you can stay at without prior booking. Please refer to the article below and look for the Jispa information on the page.
Thank you very much Sir,
Can we night stay at Keylong and back to Manali ? because there are many hotels. What will weather condition at Keylong and on the way. Please give some tips while journey to Keylong.
Yes you can Mr. Trivedi. Weather at Keylong and on the way will be moderate at this time during day but cold at night. Carry several cottons, a few light woolens, one heavy windproof jacket with hood, pair of gloves and you will be all right.
Thanks for your reply Vargis, yeah we have plan to visit rohtang pass, solang and any other places which will be covered by 24th-27th june 2017, if you have any good itinerary please tell me. And we are now 10 people including, 3 ladies, 3 young girls, 2 boys and 2 man. Our main purpose to visit mana is rohtang pass, and near by places, please let me know latest fare also if you know. Or how can we utilise our 3 nights 4 days with good way of enjoying manali and around places. We have n’t booked return tickets but yes we have 27 june to depart from manali. Thanks
Hello Puran Bhai – If you have 4 days and want to enjoy scenic beauty, best would be to cross over Rohtang towards Lahaul & Spiti valley. Spend a day in Jispa, then go to Chandratal and spend a night there, and return to Manali. Let me know if you can do that or would rather stay within Manali.
Bro Vargis, i’m surely cross rohtang pass, i would like to know about staying at lahaul & spit valley. My 2 beautiful daughters r just going there to enjoy snow and nature. Here is my number also i would love to discuss on phone also. Thanks bro 9811357693
Hello Puran Bhai, In that case take your family to Lahaul Valley. Reach Keylong from Manali and stay there at any hotel. Next day, take them for a day’s drive towards Baralacha La Pass. Tons of snow there right now. While on your way back to Keylong, if you find any camp site in Jispa operational, stay there for the night or come back to Keylong. You can return to Manali the day after. It will be a very scenic drive.
Thanks for valuable reply Vargis bhai, one more thing shall i take govt vehicle like bus, private bus something, i know private taxi wall will empty my pockets. Please suggest, and how si staying at chilling or jispa, if you can make a day wide entry that would be helpful for me, n what about guest houses or cottages fare and all. And what about clothing to carry , most important food. waiting for your positive reply. Thanks Bro
I am travelling to Manali on 14th June with family (10 people with 2 cars) and planning to go to Rohtang the same week. I am a frequent traveller and have driven to Rohtang a lot many times without any difficulty (but always with friends). However, I was told that we now need a permit for travelling to Rohtang and it is extremely difficult to get it as the number of cars applying for the permit are lot more than those who get it. Is it really that difficult? How can I be sure to get a permit on the desired date.
Also, how long does it take to reach Rohtang now? I have usually driven in 3-4 hours at the max (with traffic) but some taxi drivers said that it takes a minimum of 6 hours one-way now. Is this true? They said it is best to leave at 5am in the morning, reach by 11am, spend an hour there and leave for Manali at 12 to reach back by 6pm. What is the suitable time to leave for Rohtang now?
Hello Chandni – Answer to all your questions is actually a yes. You now need a permit which is hard to get, even online. Please read through the article below for more details.
Best to leave for Rohtang early, lot of mess these days. To be quite honest, if you are looking for a vacation with family then go elsewhere. Avoid Manali and Rohtang. Section 144 was imposed there last week and even now the Manali Taxi union is creating a lot of fuss. You may get stuck in a long traffic jam before even reaching Manali and may not even get to go to Rohtang altogether.
Just heard back from my contact at Manali. The taxi union problem is not that bad anymore, you will be able to take you car to Rohtang but not all the way to the top. You will only be allowed till Marhi. Private vehicles are not allowed beyond that unless you want to cross over to the other side of Rohtang towards Lahaul and Spiti.
So up to where we can go and come back to Manali? (in a day)
Hello Dipak, From Manali, you can go as far as Rohtang top and come back for a single day trip.
Can go beyond Rohtang Pass and and come back within 3-4 hours?
Go from where, Manali? No you cannot
Hi Vargis, seriously you have put so much effort to make our life easy as a traveller. Thanks to you man! Well I’m going with my family on 23rd june to Mananli, we will be there till 27th june. Please do suggest rohtang pass trip and things to be carry during that time. And should i have to book hotel from here or i can book there as per location by after reaching there. Please suggest thanks
Hello Puran Bhai – Thank you for your appreciating words.
Do you plan to stay within Manali from 23rd till 27th or do you have plans to visit some other place as well? No need to book any hotels, just reach there, find one as per your liking and check in.
Thanks a turn for your valuable tips Vargis bhai, you really make my mind to go Baralacha La Pass, just one more thing as you know we are 6 members of family, is HRTC or HPTDC buses will be available, and 23-27 june will be sufficient because i want booked my return tickets yet. Shall I book from here or i can book from manali itself. I shall be very thankful to you! I have to pack-up my bags also. Thanks bro
Both are available. There is a HPTDC bus that goes to Leh from Manali which you can board. Another one is an HRTC bus from Manali to Keylong that also you can use. For visiting Baralacha La from Keylong however, you will have to inquire about a taxi in Keylong.
Thanks a lot Vargis bhai, i have just booked my return tickets. Thanks a lot for your valuable feedback. Well I’m from advertising & designing n working in MNC for a long time, if you require any sort of help please let me know. Without charges don’t worry. Thanks you so much. I would request one more thing, from all people whoever comes back after completing their trip, please put their experiences here so that people will get to know small small things which are really helpful. Nobody will tell you all those things these are all comes through personal experience only. Everybody can’t spend so much money. Things like, food, conveyance, accommodation etc.
You are welcome Puran Bhai. Do let me know how the trip went.
Hi Vargis, Thank you for the article, very informative. I just had a doubt, We’ll be traveling from Manali to Spiti Valley on 11th June’17 and then head to leh. Is it possible to travel from Chandratal to Keylong on a tuesday? I believe Rohtang pass will need to be crossed again which is shut on tuesdays. Any information would be helpful! Also the ‘beyond Rohtang permit’ should be applied for Leh, right? even though we’ll be taking a detour into Spiti Valley. Thanks
Hello Neha, yes you can do Chandratal to Keylong in a day. You wont need to cross Rohtang for this again. As you descend on the other side of Rohtang Pass, a road bifurcates towards Spiti valley that you will take to reach Chandratal. Next day, you will take the same road back to reach Manali Leh highway again on Rohtang Descent and then continue to Keylong.
I am planning to visit manali on 11 June 2017
Can you tell me is there snow at manali or rohtang pass or solang valley
Hi Arshpreet – Only snow you will find at this time will be around Rohtang Pass top.
We are going to travel Rohtang Pass in the last week of May with my family. Will it be safe ????
And is there any train facility from Jammu to Shimla or Manali.
There is no train facility to Manali but there is a toy train from Kalka to Shimla. Rohtang Pass is not yet open for tourist but it should be soon and it is safe to travel there.
We are planning to go to rohtang pass from manali on june 17th. We were thinking of renting a bike in manali for the trip. Can you kindly suggest some good bike rentals there? Also, Are rented vehicles allowed on the way to rohtang? Do we need permits for them too?
Hi Aniketh – Please take a look at the article below.
Yes you need the permits but usually the rental agency will help you get it.
I am solo traveller from banglore.. is there bus facility avilaable from Shimla/Manali to rohtang pass.. Can i visit manali-rohtangpass-manali in one day in govt bus ?I am planning to do in june 9th
Hi Krishnan – Yes there are buses that you can board to reach Rohtang from Manali. You should have no problem finding either a bus or a shared taxi plying on the route. And yes, you can do it in one way.
I want to go to Rohtang pass by bike from manali and return to manali. Is it possible in 1 day?
What are the permits required? From where we have to collect it in manali?
Yes you can easily do it in a day. Read below for details on permits.
HELLO dear friend , i have baja ct -100 bike i also visited many palaces and i want to visit pass on my bike , i have my own tent and my own food so can i visit there without any charges. i also visit kapurthala to shimla only on 1500/- and lahesh cave only on 1500/-. so every time my budget like that. so suggest my .
Hello Gagandeep – I am sorry but I am a little confused about what the question is. Are you asking if you will be able to go to Rohtang on a 100 CC bike or are you asking if you can camp there?
i’m travelling to rohtang pass on may 1st so how and from where should i have to collect permit letters ?
and do they allow private car ?
You cannot go to Rohtang Pass on May 1st bro .. it will be closed still. Permits are to be collected from SDM office Manali and yes, private cars are allowed.
Is it safe for couple to travel to Rohtang pass on bike? We also want to undertake zorbing and paragliding at Solang valley. Please suggest how can we incorporate both the things in our trip? We are planning to visit Himachal Pradesh in 4th week of May, 2017.
Yes it is completely safe to visit Rohtang on bikes as long as you have decent enough experience of riding them around. How long is your trip?
Hi Vikesh – You can cross over on Tuesday as long as you have the permits that you will need to collect from SDM office in Manali
We are planning to go to Leh on 20th September which is a Tuesday but since you mentioned that it remains closed. Does that mean we cannot cross also?
Hi Mr. Vargis,
We are planning to visit Rohtaang pass on coming August 24 th. We would like to know 2 things
1. Can we take rental bikes from manali and njoy the ride through rohtaang pass and return back to manali
2. can we enjoy all kind of snow sporting during this period as we are coming from South India and dont want to miss any!!
2. It depends on weather, the fact if there is enough snow left at the top at all towards end of August. Chances are that you may find snow enough for skiing but it may change.
I am planning to go on 12 th june by hiring bike on rent so is there any problem
With that ?
I have heart that they are planning to ban rented bikes from going towards Rohtang but nothing concrete yet. There is a chance that they may ban rented bikes from going to Rohtang and coming back but may not ban for people crossing over to Spiti or Lahaul valley. But as I said, nothing concrete yet.
I have planned solo bike trip from Delhi to Jammu from 10th June to 2nd July. As per my itinerary I will be crossing rohtang pass on 15th June. Being Wednesday shall I postpone it to Thursday? Moreover can you advise me more about permit procedures for bike. I have heard that now bikers also have to take permit but on government website for obtaining e-permit through rohtang bike is not mentioned in the vehicle category section.
You will have to obtain the permits from SDM office at Manali. Better stay there for a day, obtain the permits and cross Rohtang early morning next day.
We have plan a trip from Manali – Baralachala – Manali.
We are planning to hire taxi from Manali.
7th June it’s Tuesday, We have to come back from Keylong to Manali. For that we need to cross Rohtang pass, as we have to board our bus from manali to delhi.
Please suggest what we can do.
Hi Pranit – If you are crossing the pass then you can do it any day. It is only closed for people who just want to visit the pass.
Is there any problem for BP patient to visit rohatang??
I think you should consider a doctor for that brother ….
We are planning to go Manali to Leh and our journey starts from Manali on Tuesday 30th June 2015. According to your comment Rohtang pass is closed on Tuesday. So is this applicable for bikes which intends to cross Rohtang pass for Ladakh? Will we be need to pre-pone our plan to Monday?
Yes, Rohtang Pass remains closed on Tuesdays except for emergency and government vehicles, including Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) buses, however the road is closed after 9 am till 6 PM. So start early from Manali, say at around 6 – 7 am and you will be okay.