What are current vehicle restrictions for Rohtang Pass?

by Vargis.Khan

Due to the recent traffic restrictions imposed by NGT for Rohtang, there is a currently a lot of confusion among people planning to visit Ladakh, Lahaul & Spiti or even just Rohtang Pass. New laws like restrictions of Diesel engine vehicles, restricting total number of vehicles plying on the route resulted in a lot of dissatisfaction among the taxi unions and even the tourist crowd. More than dissatisfaction, there is confusion due to lack of knowledge and clarification on how people will be affected with these laws. I have received tons of emails from people asking for advice on how to visit or cross Rohtang or what the vehicle restrictions for Rohtang Pass are. Based on the queries I received, here is a little summary of what the restrictions are and how they apply.

What are current vehicle restrictions for Rohtang Pass?

What are current vehicle restrictions for Rohtang Pass?

    • Let me first of all clarify that all of the restrictions that I am going to summarize below do not apply to any vehicle travelling beyond Rohtang. So if you are planning to visit Ladakh, Lahaul or Spiti, you will not be impacted by any of these rules. These rules are only for vehicles going to Rohtang Pass and returning back. So in short, people who are visiting Manali and also want to visit Rohtang Pass before heading home.
    • All of the below mentioned rules only apply to vehicles travelling from Manali to Rohtang. If you are coming to Manali from the other side of Rohtang, you will not be affected by these laws in any way.
    • The only rule that applies to vehicles travelling beyond Rohtang is that they should not be older than 10 years.
    • Even if you are taking a Taxi to visit Ladakh, Lahaul or Spiti valley, following restrictions will not apply.



  • As of now, you are however required to obtain an affidavit from SDM office Manali as a proof of your travel beyond Rohtang. Proof can be in form of booking confirmations in Ladakh or Spiti and the affidavit may cost you Rs. 150. This affidavit will be used to issue the permits to travel to Rohtang one day in advance. You can obtain your permit at Tourist information center at Mall road Manali which is open from 10 AM to 8 PM, all seven days a week.
  • Now let us take a look at the rules. Even though taxi union took steps like strikes and appealing in Supreme Court, NGT’s decision of allowing only 1000 vehicles to Rohtang still stands. This law was passed in order to preserve the ecology of Rohtang and in my opinion, is somehow justified as well. People who have been to Rohtang before will remember the snow turning black due to fuel emissions, littering, waste, increasing pollution levels which is what NGT is trying to prevent. Final verdict for now is that only 1000 vehicles per day will be allowed to visit Rohtang Pass.
  • Out of the 1000 vehicles, 725 vehicles will be Himachal registered and remaining 275 from other states.
  • This number has been further broken into 60% petrol and 40% diesel vehicles, applying on both Himachal and non-Himachal vehicles.
  • Public transport buses are also a part of the 1000 vehicles allowed.
  • Effective July 3rd 2015, Congestion charges of Rs. 1000 for petrol operation vehicles and Rs. 2500 for Diesel will also apply. If the vehicle is carrying a total of 6 or more people, then the congestion charges would be Rs. 5000.
  • All vehicles are required to register themselves and obtain permits, which for personal vehicles are given at Manali Tourism Office and at Taxi Union office for taxi or commercial vehicles.
  • Motorcycles as of now are exempted from all of the above restrictions. This however is highly prone to change.
  • Up until now, the regular congestion charge of Rs. 50 can be paid and passes can be obtained at Gulaba check post. After July 3rd, the permits will only be given at Tourism office or Taxi Union office. This also applies to vehicles travelling to beyond Rohtang.
  • If you attempt to escape all these rules by going to Rohtang really early, in the dark, you may get fined at Gulaba check post. Without the permits, vehicles are only allowed to go as far as Palchhan.
  • As of now, Motorcycles are only required to pay Rs. 50 for congestion charges are exempted from all of the above mentioned restrictions.
  • Tourist vehicles are only allowed to go to Rohtang from 6 AM to 12 noon and will not be allowed to stay after 4 PM.

So the final verdict is that if you want to only visit Rohtang, it has now become quite a hassle. Good news however is that if your plan is to just cross Rohtang to go towards Ladakh or Spiti valley, you do not need to concern yourself with any of these restrictions. You will however have to carry some sort of proof of your travel plans in order to obtain the verdict. Up until now, People used to prefer going to Ladakh from Manali and return via Srinagar but I guess it is about to change now. If you want to avoid all the hassles, I strongly recommend that you take the Srinagar highway to reach Ladakh and return via Manali. People planning to visit Spiti should reach there from Shimla and return via Manali.

I hope this information is useful and clarifies the current situation at Rohtang. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

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61 comments

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ramesh chander September 13, 2018 - 1:20 pm

Hi varghis can you please tell me i have motorcycle which is registered in 2004 10 years have passed i want to go to leh will it be okay i mean is there a restriction from manali

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Vargis.Khan September 13, 2018 - 3:29 pm

Hi Ramesh, No you cannot go via Manali. You will not be allowed to cross Rohtang since the vehicle is older than 10 years.

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Rajeev G May 19, 2019 - 2:52 pm

Hi Vargis

I am planning for a solo car drive in my car which is 3 years old from kanyakumari to Leh via Manali Rohtang.
Please let me know if there is any documentation/permit required ?
Is there a time limit that I need to follow or can I drive through at any point of time between Manali and Leh ?

Thanks,
Raj

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Vargis.Khan May 19, 2019 - 4:23 pm

You will need a permit to cross over Rohtang from Manali side Rajeev. And once you get to Leh, you will need get Inner Line Permit for sightseeing there.

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Madhav February 17, 2020 - 9:49 am

Hello,
I planning to go Ladakh via Shimla manali
Around 7 couples and 10 childrens (Ages 5 to 10).
Please tell me childrens are allowed to rohtang pass and as well as Ladakh.
How many pasees are used for this trip.
Please tell me

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Vargis.Khan February 19, 2020 - 3:47 pm

Yes Kids are allowed. Between Manali and Leh, there are a total of 5 passes.

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Ambi September 10, 2018 - 3:16 pm

Hi Vargis Bhai,

I am planning to do a solo trip to spiti valley via Manali on a rented bike. I will rent a bike from Manali. Please tell me what documents I will be needing to produce there and have hassle-free trip??


Ambi

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Vargis.Khan September 10, 2018 - 6:24 pm Reply
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amit August 16, 2018 - 6:44 am

Hi Vargis,

Thanks for putting in such a detailed article on the Manali – Leh road trip.

I am planning to do the Manali – Leh road trip in early Sept’18 and based on what I have read and understood from your article, I will only need the following passes;

1. Rohtang Permit to go from Manali side, to cross Rohtang Pass over
– For the Rohtan permit I will need to obtain an affidavit from SDM office Manali as a proof of my
travel beyond Rohtang based on my accommodation booking in Leh. This affidavit will be used to
issue the permits to travel to Rohtang one day in advance

– With the SDM permit, I can obtain the Rohtang Permit at Tourist information center at Mall road
Manali which is open from 10 AM to 8 PM

2. I will also have to pay a congestion charge of Rs. 1000 petrol or Rs. 2500 diesel car – depending on the
car type
3. Inner Line Permit to visit areas in Ladakh can be obtained once I am in Leh city

Hope my understanding of the above is correct.

As I will have a cab from Leh come and pick me up from Manali, where will the Leh cab driver get registered and obtain the permit.

Please also share any other information that I may have missed out.

Thank you very much.

Regards,
Amit

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Vargis.Khan August 16, 2018 - 12:40 pm

Amit Bhai your point 3 is correct about Inner Line Permit. For rest of the information, please take a look a this post.

https://vargiskhan.com/log/rohtang-pass-permits-details-charges-apply/

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Gunjot Singh May 22, 2018 - 5:58 am

Hi . we are a group of 4 people wants to go Leh Ladakh via Rohtang. Just want to confirm the formalities , How much passes we need to go as we have applied for leh ladakh pass online. Is there is any other passes needed on the way and where to stop at night Is there is any fixed stops to stay. please reply

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Gunjot Singh May 22, 2018 - 6:00 am

and we are planning to go in our Car that is Swift is that Safe ?

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Vargis.Khan May 22, 2018 - 1:39 pm

You can go as long as your car is not older than 10 years. Be careful though however around bad sections of the road and water crossings. Also, please travel as light as you can.

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Vargis.Khan May 22, 2018 - 1:38 pm

Hello Gunjot – You just need to passes.

1. Rohtang Permit to go from Manali side, to cross Rohtang Pass over
2. Inner Line Permit to visit areas in Ladakh. This you will get once you reach Leh city.

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Mahesh Bisht February 22, 2018 - 1:39 pm

Hi Vargis,

We are, around 6-7 people, planning a cycling expedition from Manali to Leh. I have certain queries regarding that:

Q1. What would be the best time to do that in this year i.e. 2018?
Q2. What kind of permits would we need for this expedition and where can we get them? (we will be carrying our own bicycles)
Q3. At what places would we be able to erect tent along the way (we would be carrying tents with us)?

Some other expert suggestions you would like to give.

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Vargis.Khan February 22, 2018 - 7:25 pm

Hi Mahesh,

1. September will be the best time
2. You do not need a permit to cross Rohtang on bicycle
3. There are several places en route but try to pitch in a tent somewhere close to a Dhaba (you will find these in ample amount along the way). Do not camp in the middle of nowhere.

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Arti January 19, 2018 - 3:23 pm

If we are visiting Gulaba. At what time we should reach there?
In your post you mentioned that Tourist vehicles are only allowed to go to Rohtang from 6 AM to 12 noon. Is it same for Gulaba also or there is no such conditions for Gulaba ?

Thanks.

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Vargis.Khan January 19, 2018 - 6:41 pm

Gulaba is hardly about 15 kilometers from Manali so will not take you long. The restriction is only for people wanting to go to Rohtang. The diversion for Solang valley however is near Palchhan, about 4 kilometers before Gulaba.

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Arti January 19, 2018 - 3:18 pm

Hello Sir,

We are visiting Manali during 1st week of Feb 2018. We are planning to go to Solang Valley and Gulaba as Rohtang will be closed.
Will Gulaba be open during that time and it is right time to visit there?
We have hired Innova, I believe no permit is required till Gulaba Snow point and we can go their by Innova without any trouble by the locals ?

Thank You in advance!!!

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Vargis.Khan January 19, 2018 - 3:22 pm

Hello Arti – You are right. You do not need a permit to visit Solang valley. In terms of good time or not, well it is cold over there but no snow at all.

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Manoj January 13, 2018 - 2:32 pm

Hi Vargis Khan,

Thanks for putting all details of Leh travel.
Between we are planning to visit Leh on 25th March, 2018.
Do you think this the right time?

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Vargis.Khan January 14, 2018 - 10:52 pm

Hello Manoj – I am assuming that you are talking about catching a flight to Leh, correct? Because roads will not be open in March

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Deepti thakur June 17, 2017 - 5:52 pm

Sir we r hiring yellow line taxi innova from delhi to manali n if we would have online rohtang pass permit dn can we go by our taxi to rohtang pass.. Bcoz some r saying dt yellow line taxi of other state r not allowed to enter rohtang pass..

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Vargis.Khan June 17, 2017 - 8:57 pm

Hello Deepti, They will only be allowed till Gulaba check post, not beyond that.

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Deepti thakur June 17, 2017 - 9:19 pm

Sir actually i hv read online dt all type of vehicle which r registered in hp or out of hp r allowed to rohtang pass if they hv permit

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Vargis.Khan June 17, 2017 - 11:59 pm

No private or commercial vehicle is allowed until Rohtang top Deepti, irrespective of whether you have the permit or not. You can go only as far as snow point and will have to return from there unless you have gotten yourself a permit to cross Rohtang towards Lahaul or Spiti

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Deepti thakur June 18, 2017 - 7:40 am

Hlllo sir.. Today i called to manali tourism office rgarding this confusion n they r saying dt if u hv permit dn no one can stop u to cross gulaba check post n u can go to rohtang pass..so i hv confusion bcoz u r saying no n they r saying yes..

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Vargis.Khan June 18, 2017 - 8:16 pm

Hello Deepti – Sorry I mentioned Gulaba check post by mistake in my first reply. I meant to say Marhi and snow point. Beyond that private vehicles are not allowed and if the tourism office is telling you otherwise then I am surprised too.

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Deepti thakur June 18, 2017 - 8:39 pm

Hlllo sir thanx for ur information.. Sir plz tell me about marhi..is this the place in rohtang where all the tourist visit or they go beyond marhi if they hire a taxi from manali to rohtang pass…

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Vargis.Khan June 18, 2017 - 9:26 pm

Hi Deepti, It is a spot near Marhi called snow point, about 15 kilometers before Rohtang top until where tourists are allowed.

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Deepti thakur June 18, 2017 - 9:36 pm

Sir it means yellow line taxi of other state can go to the snow point untill where tourist are allowed,if they hv permit…and r tourist not allowed to go rohtang top ??

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Vargis.Khan June 19, 2017 - 8:29 pm

Correct Deepti. Tourists are not allowed beyond snow point.

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Kunal June 5, 2017 - 5:53 pm

Hello,

Nice peice of information, I would be heading to spiti from manali on the 22nd June , morning bus to kaza. Do I need the permit (indian citizen)and is there anything else I should be aware of ahead of my journey.

Could you also specify the type of permit I would be needing?

Thanks
Kunal

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Vargis.Khan June 6, 2017 - 4:15 am

Hello Kunal – No permit needed if you are traveling by Bus.

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Sona Singh Indora June 2, 2017 - 6:15 pm

Hi bro i have maruti 800 model 2005 (petrol+ cng endorsed in R.C) . It means age of my vehicle is 12 years. Will i get permit ? I m planning for ladakh depature dt. 08 june 2017 ???

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Vargis.Khan June 3, 2017 - 3:58 am

Hello Sona Bhai, No you will not get the permit for Rohtang. Better way would be that you reach Leh via Srinagar and come back via Manali. This restriction doesn’t apply if you are coming towards Manali from other side of Rohtang Pass.

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Parag Patil May 15, 2017 - 5:45 pm

Hello Mr.Khan

I am planning to travel to Leh in the year 2018,

1.What is the best time you will suggest for the tour,

2. I have a TATA Safari, which was pre-owned , i.e. it is second hand , it is a 2008 model which is going to complete its 10 years on, 13/05/2018. ( reregistration date – 13/05/2008 ), will i get the permit ?

3. it was on HP, but was clear when i bought, will this be considered for the permit at rohtang pass?

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Vargis.Khan May 17, 2017 - 8:37 pm

Hello Mr. Patil – Best time to go would be in September but they will not allow your Safari as it would be over 10 years of age. Best way is that you reach Leh via Srinagar and come back via Manali, no restriction applicable in this way.

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Vargis.Khan August 26, 2016 - 12:47 am

Sid – You are welcome brother

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Vargis.Khan August 26, 2016 - 12:48 am

Oh btw, do share your experience when you are back and a few pics if possible, don’t forget. Any update on the road conditions will be helpful for fellow travelers.

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siddharth August 30, 2016 - 1:29 pm

will..do tht…for sure….

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siddharth August 24, 2016 - 9:03 pm

hello vargis,
I plan to ride to leh on classic 350 (self owned) from delhi b/w 1st to 11/12th sept 2016.
I would have opted for srinagar leh manali route but considering the current situation in the kashmir valley, I m choosing to avoid it.
As u have mentioned in one of ur articles that we need to show a proof of traveling beyond rohtang pass for the permit. I am confused as what kind of proof should be provide. I was not planning on doing any hotel bookings as such but now it appears to be compulsion.
Is there any other way we can prove that we are travelling beyond rohtang and if showing hotel bookings is the only way then will any privately booked hotel in leh do the job ?

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Vargis.Khan August 25, 2016 - 4:57 am

Hi Sid – Honestly brother, I haven’t yet come across anyone who was asked to provide the proof but it is still a rule none the less. I do not think thy are asking for it anymore but yes if they do, then I cannot think of any other way but a hotel booking. And yes, a booking in any private hotel will do.

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Vargis.Khan August 25, 2016 - 5:01 am

Let me get back to you on this … Friend of mine just returned from Ladakh last week, I will ask him if he had to produce a proof while he obtained the permits. I will let you know by evening.

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Vargis.Khan August 25, 2016 - 2:59 pm

Sid – No hotel booking or any other kind of proof that you are visiting Leh is required for Rohtang permits. Just carry your DL, RC, PUC and it would be sufficient.

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siddharth August 25, 2016 - 5:49 pm

Thanks a ton vargis…..I appreciate the work u put in to provide info of such high value….thanks again….cheers !!

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ShiNe PReet July 7, 2016 - 5:46 am

i wanna to go only to rohtang on 2 Wheeler Royal 350 only for one day so whats charges apply on me????? plz sugges …

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Vargis.Khan August 24, 2016 - 11:22 pm

There is no charge for obtaining a Rohtang permit

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Vargis.Khan June 22, 2016 - 1:33 am

You are welcome Anup

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Anup Shanker June 19, 2016 - 5:09 pm

Hi Vargis,
We are a group of 4 guys and have planned bike trip to Leh via Manali and return via Srinagar. We have rented the bikes (2 royal enfield 350 cc). Visit date : 25th June-5th July
We are yet confused on PERMITS TO CROSS ROHTANG.
We planned that we’ll start from Mandi at 6 am and reach Jispa that day Itself. But now we’re doubtful if we’ll be able to do so. A hearty request, kindly guide us.

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Vargis.Khan June 20, 2016 - 1:19 am

My advice would be that you reach Leh via Srinagar and return via Manali. Rohtang Permits are a hassle right now and you should avoid that. There is also a word that they may not allow rented bikes to go towards Rohtang at all but it is not yet confirmed. Best is to reach Leh via Srinagar and return via Manali to avoid unnecessary trouble.

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Anup Shanker June 20, 2016 - 6:56 am

Thanks for your reply Vargis. Actually we are going with a group (of 3 through car) that has booked hotels throughout on our itinerary itself. They are renting a car from ZoomCar. This means that the schedule is somewhat restricted. What do you advise? We’ll take your final advise on planning/changing route. Thanks a lot Vargis.

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Vargis.Khan June 20, 2016 - 9:48 pm

ZoomCar will be a second problem. My advice would still be that you reach via Srinagar to avoid unnecessary trouble and wastage of time. Another important advice is that please DO NOT under any circumstance take your zoomcar to visit the nearby areas in Leh. You can drive in it only until Leh but to visit areas like Nubra and Pangong, hire another taxi and bikes from Leh itself. Leave the Zoomcar and rented bikes at Hotel.

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Anup June 21, 2016 - 9:19 am

Thanks a lot Vargis. Your suggestions helped us a lot. We are now taking to Srinagar route just what you suggested. Thanks

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vicky May 15, 2016 - 4:17 pm

we are planing in this month end or next june 1st week leh ladak trip with my onw car maruti ertiga or innova from mumbai, golden temple -Srinagar -leh – manali
plz any giveme guide line.

1- we are planing 6 people and 1 kid age of 1.5 year any problem with 1.5 year baby.

2- any permit for Rohtang or any ware for my privait car.

3- m planing in this month end for traveling from Srinagar – leh – return Rohtang from Manali
9 to 10 days plz help me any one guide me how to plan.

4-do we need permit for driving fo my own car Maharashtra passing ( number ) numbered car
i have to go manali – leh highway ??

5 how can get permit

Any inputs will be helpful..

im planing in this month end for traveling from Srinagar – kargil – leh – return Rohtang from Manali

Any inputs will be helpful..

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Vargis.Khan May 15, 2016 - 6:36 pm

1. I would highly recommend that you consult a doctor regarding mountain sickness and your baby.
2. Since you will be coming back from Leh to Manali, no restrictions.
3. Have you prepared an itinerary yet since you are also planning golden temple?
4. No you do not.

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Samrat January 3, 2017 - 2:49 pm

Hi Vicky,

Have you done with the above trip as stated in ur comment?

Hi Vargis,

First of all I would like to thank you for your blogs which is so detailed and its really helpful to plan mine trip for Leh in July 2017, Basically I will be driving from Pune to Leh via Srinagar and then to Manali and back to Pune. It will be of 20 days tour, I am planning to spend 12 days from Srinagar to Manali so that I can cover most of the places, kindly guide me how should I plan mine itenary also I would like to watch Kargil vijay diwas which is been held on 26th July 2017, so wanted to know at what time this function starts on 26th July. It will be helpful if you get this information for me.

Most of mine queries have been resolved. Just wanted to know from where do I get permission to visit “Pangong Lake” and what are the timings and do I have to return back to leh after visiting these places as I am planning to leave for Manali after visiting “Pangong Lake”.

Thanks in advance!!!

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Paul July 8, 2015 - 9:11 pm

Sir we wish to travel to manali near 15 july to 19 .we would like u to pls update us the rules to rohtang aftr july 3 if they been changed for bikes nd hp nd non hp vehicles.is it safe to travel in own car on these dates till rohtang pass ,keeping in mind rainy reason nd timely return to manali .

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Vargis.Khan July 8, 2015 - 11:38 pm

Hello Paul, How are you planning to travel?

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Paul July 9, 2015 - 11:59 am

By innova . Justbwould like to know if we take our car to rohtang wat will be the charges for four people .

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Vargis.Khan July 11, 2015 - 4:54 pm

For Innova, a diesel vehicle I am assuming, it would be Rs. 2500. And to answer your previous question, yes it is pretty safe to drive up your own car to Rohtang.

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