Zojila Pass Road Status and Condition 2022 – 23

by Vargis.Khan

This will remain to be a dedicated post to track Zojila Pass Road Status and updates on Srinagar to Sonamarg road status. As the winter season progresses and ends, I will continue sharing updates and pictures on the current status of the highway.

Zojila Pass Current Status = CLOSED

The current status of the Zojila Pass is closed. The road was declared closed in December 2021 after it started to snow heavily.

A lot of the situation will also depend on how the COVID situation will unfold this year. So far, things are still far from being under control and you should practice utmost caution to ensure that you do not catch the infection anywhere.

But only the coming months will tell how the rest of the year is going to be.

Zojila Road Condition

Take a look at the video below to see the road condition at Zojila Pass.

From Srinagar to Sonamarg is a smooth drive. After Sonamarg, the ascent for Zojila starts and the first 10 kilometers are on a good road.

As you start climbing up and get closer to the top, the road starts to deteriorate. It will be badly broken with several water streams on the way and a lot of heavy traffic. Until Zero Point, which is about 2 kilometers from the top, the road will remain to be bad.

After Zero Point, it is in excellent condition all the way to Dras and Kargil.

What makes the drive across Zojila a little difficult is not actually the bad road but the heavy traffic. The road is in fact quite wide. It is bad but wide enough. It is the traffic and the long line of trucks that make the drive tougher.

How to Plan a Trip to Zojila Pass

There are a couple of things that you should keep in mind while planning to visit Zojila. The first is the Friday rule and the second is of Zojila Timings.

Zojila on Friday

Zojila remains closed on Friday for road construction and maintenance work. But this rule is mostly applied to bigger vehicles like trucks and buses.

If you were traveling on a bike or in a car, you will actually be allowed to go even on a Friday. You will definitely be stopped by the cops and they will refuse to let you go. But you will have to talk to them a bit, request and after a few refusals, you will be allowed to proceed.

The benefit of crossing Zojila on Friday is that the traffic is next to none. You will not find any trucks and the drive becomes much easier, taking you lesser time to complete.

I always plan my trip in a way that I cross Zojila on Friday. It is just that you will have to be a little persuasive, talk to the cops and they usually let the bikes and the cars go. Trucks and Buses are not allowed until the latter part of the day, after 2 pm.

Zojila Timings

Traffic from Sonamarg is allowed after 7 am and traffic from Dras is allowed after 10 am. So if you were driving from the Sonamarg side, try to start at 7 am. This way, you will cross the pass before the traffic from the other side is released.

If you were coming from Dras, reach the check-post by 11 am. By that time, the traffic from Sonamarg would stop.

Srinagar to Sonamarg Road Status = CLOSED

The road between Srinagar to Sonamarg is currently closed and the hotels in the valley are also not open for tourists. For more details, take a look at the Best time to visit Sonamarg.

Zojila Pass Road Status

When will Zojila Pass Open?

The opening of Zojila Pass entirely depends on the weather and how fast BRO is able to clear the snow. But historically, it is the month of April when the pass is freed of snow and declared open for civilian traffic.

There have been instances when the pass was opened in March as well but chances of that happening are extremely rare.

To be on the safer side, do not plan a trip to Zoji La pass any before April 15th. If the weather did not favor it, the opening of the pass can sometimes even get delayed to May 1st week.

When will Srinagar to Sonamarg road open?

The road between Srinagar and Sonamarg remains closed during the peak winter season. In the months from December to March, the road is only open till Gagangir. The stretch between Gagangir to Sonamarg remains completely snowed out.

Historically, Sonamarg is declared open for tourists sometimes towards late March to early April. First, the Sonamarg road is freed of snow and then Zojila Pass is declared open. To be on the safer side, do not plan a trip to Sonamarg any earlier than late March.

Zoji La

The name Zoji La literally means the “mountain pass of blizzards” and quite rightly so. It is the most difficult stretch on the entire Srinagar Leh highway and it is because of Zoji La that the Leh route remains closed during the winter season.

The pass sits at an altitude of 3,528 meters (11,575 ft) and is a popular tourist attraction. You can find snow at the top of the pass even during the months of summer due to which a lot of people visiting Sonamarg also take a trip to Zoji La Pass.

In all my years of traveling, I have been on numerous passes. But one pass that still makes me a little nervous while crossing is Zojila. I think it is because of the fact that other than being a high-altitude pass, it is also a very crowded road that sees heavy traffic.

During the time when the pass is open, the road remains busy with tourist vehicles, trucks, buses, and ongoing construction work. I think this also is the reason that among all the high passes that I know of, Zojila sees the highest number of accidents and fatalities.

Best time to visit Zoji La

The best time to visit Zoji La will be anytime between May to October. However, even in these months, you should avoid visiting between late June to August because of the monsoon season and Amarnath Yatra time.

Zojila Pass Permit

There is no permit required to visit Zojila Pass.

zojila pass

When does Zojila Pass Open?

Below is a month-by-month breakdown listing months when the pass is open or closed.

  • Zojila Pass in January = CLOSED; cannot be reached by road.
  • Zojila Pass in February = CLOSED; cannot be reached by road.
  • Zojila Pass in March = CLOSED; cannot be reached by road.
  • Zojila Pass in April = Closed in the first half of the month but open in the latter half.
  • Zojila Pass in May = Open but terrible road conditions. It will also be crowded because of people traveling to Leh Ladakh.
  • Zojila Pass in June = Open but the region starts to experience pre-monsoon showers by end of the month. It will also start to get crowded due to the Amarnath Yatra pilgrimage.
  • Zojila Pass in July = Open but bad time to visit because of monsoon. Extremely bad road conditions at the top of the pass.
  • Zojila Pass in August = Open but bad time to visit because of monsoon. Extremely bad road conditions at the top of the pass.
  • Zojila Pass in September = Open; and a good time to visit
  • Zojila Pass in October = Open but the pass starts to receive snow towards the end of the month.
  • Zojila Pass in November = Open but bad time to visit. It can snow anytime causing the roads to get blocked.
  • Zojila Pass in December = CLOSED

Sonamarg to Zojila Pass Distance

The distance between Sonamarg and Zojila Pass is 23 kilometers.

Sonamarg to Zero Point Distance

Zero-point is actually located a few kilometers from Zojila top, towards Kargil. Coming from Srinagar, the total distance to zero point will be about 105 kilometers. From Sonamarg, the distance is about 27 kilometers.

Sonmarg to Zojila Pass Taxi Fare

A private taxi from Sonamarg to Zojila Pass will cost you Rs. 5000 for a route trip. There are no shared cabs available though.

Zojila Pass Road Status – Conclusion

I hope the information above on Zojila Pass Road Status was of help. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below or at our Community Forum, and I will be happy to answer. You can also follow me on Instagram and chat with me live there or subscribe to my YouTube channel and ask a question there.

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13 comments

Famin January 27, 2022 - 8:44 am

can we enjoy snow at zero point in May

Reply
Amit January 10, 2022 - 12:04 pm

Hi Vargis, so if I leave Sonmarg for Kargil any day of the week at 7am sharp, will I surely not encounter any traffic on Zojila? Is this true for all days of the week? Thanks…

Reply
Vargis.Khan January 12, 2022 - 9:32 am

Hi Amit – Yes, this is correct.

Reply
Farzana Khan December 9, 2021 - 1:50 pm

Hello Vargis,

I have my travel plan from 25th Dec 2021 to 1st Jan 2022 to Kashmir. I have my booking in Sonamarg from 28th Dec to 31st Dec. As per the weather prediction, there could be snowfall. I am wondering if the roads will be closed during that duration. What do you suggest? Shall I cancel my Sonamarg visit and instead plan to stay in Srinagar itself?

Reply
Vargis.Khan December 10, 2021 - 8:57 am

Yes, please cancel your Sonamarg visit. The road usually closes by that time and even if it is open, it will be a risk. You may get stuck in Sonamarg if it started to snow.

Reply
Vineet September 30, 2021 - 2:32 pm

Is zojila expected to be open till 20th October?

Reply
Prashant Patel September 6, 2021 - 8:21 am

Can we visit sonmarg during 2 week of November?

Reply
komal June 5, 2021 - 6:19 am

hii, plz tell me today zojila pass is open for tourist

Reply
Aadi April 19, 2021 - 5:41 pm

Hi.. Thanks for all information
Will May 1st week be good time to travel Srinagar to leh? Any idea of covid restrictions?

Reply
SWAROOPRANJAN SAHU April 9, 2021 - 11:37 pm

As per local people, the leh Sonmarg road is closed for tourists. When is it likely to open.

Reply
Vargis.Khan April 10, 2021 - 7:37 am

It is open already

Reply
Kanishk August 19, 2021 - 6:08 pm

Hi. Just wanted to know how is the condition of the road where it isn’t metalled properly near zoji la.
I’m gonna be driving in a Corolla which is 15 years old.

Reply
Priyanka Shivan March 8, 2021 - 5:17 am

Hi, I believe there is a timing for up and down traffic from Sonamarg to Kargil and vice versa to avoid crowding at Zojilla pass. Is it right

Reply

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