If you’re planning a trip to the beautiful valleys near Kullu and Manali, Rohtang Pass is a must-see destination on your itinerary. This renowned viewpoint is famous for its unparalleled natural beauty and is one of the top attractions in the region. The pass is located just 50 km away from the main town and is easily accessible by road. One of the main draws of Rohtang La is that it is one of the highest passes in the Himalayas. At a remarkable altitude of 3978 meters above sea level, Rohtang Pass presents some of the most unspoiled and breathtaking views of the Himalayas that you will ever have the opportunity to see.
As you make your way up the Manali-Keylong road towards Rohtang La, the scenery around you undergoes a dramatic transformation, leaving you breathless with its stunning landscape. In fact, the mesmerizing beauty of the route and the pass is so spectacular that it has been featured in numerous Bollywood blockbusters, from Jab We Met to Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani.
For those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and nestle up with a warm cup of tea amidst unparalleled natural splendor, Rohtang La provides one of the best options. As your car ascends the winding road, the weather gets colder and you won’t be able to resist admiring the chilling and dramatic beauty of this place. Clear blue skies, fluffy snow-covered mountain peaks, and sprawling landscapes – who could resist such natural wonders? The otherworldly and spectacular Rohtang La pass is truly an experience that needs to be seen to be believed.
Rohtang Pass Overview
- Rohtang Pass is a popular winter resort in India that offers a plethora of adrenaline-pumping activities, such as skiing, paragliding, zorbing, sledding, and more. With an elevation of 3979 meters above sea level, it boasts incredible natural beauty, including majestic mountains, glaciers, the Lahaul Valley, and the Chandra River.
- The gleaming white sheets of snow create the perfect ambiance for a romantic encounter, making it an extraordinary destination for honeymooners who prefer this pass to spend quality time together. Rohtang Pass is also one of the world’s highest motorable highways, offering a breathtaking perspective of the surrounding colossal mountains. It serves as the gateway to Ladakh.
- On October 3, 2020, India’s current Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Rohtang Pass Tunnel, also known as the Atal Tunnel. At 3000 meters, it is the world’s highest motorable tunnel and adds to the country’s border infrastructure.
Activities You Can Do in Rohtang Pass
Rohtang Pass is a paradise for trekkers, surrounded by challenging trails, stunning glaciers, pristine waterfalls, and snow-covered peaks. The pass provides some of the most picturesque trekking trails, with the Manali-Lahaul pass being one of the most popular treks in the region, offering views of Sulphur springs and Bhrigu Lake. Other popular treks in the area include Gulaba to Bhrigu Lake, Batal to Rohtang, and Jalori Pass.
The scenic views of Rohtang Pass allure photography enthusiasts from all over the country each year. With clear blue skies, pristine snow, and the majestic Himalayas in the background, who wouldn’t want to capture such beauty through their camera lens?
If you have a passion for cycling amid stunning scenery and are comfortable with tackling challenging terrain, then you should definitely give mountain biking on the lesser-known trails in the area a try. This exciting and adventurous activity is sure to provide you with an exhilarating surge of adrenaline.
A visit to Rohtang La would be incomplete without experiencing the thrill of sledge riding on the snow with a wooden toboggan. This fun activity not only allows you to take in the stunning views of the region, but also fills you with a sense of childlike delight from playing in the snow.
How to reach Rohtang Pass?
To reach Rohtang La pass, the closest airport is located in Bhuntar, which is approximately 101.4 km away. It will take you at least 3.5 to 4 hours to travel from the airport to the pass. Fortunately, both Kullu and Manali are in close proximity to the airport, with Manali being 50 km away and Kullu just 10 km away. Thus, finding a state transport bus from either of these locations to Rohtang La pass should be fairly easy. You can also hire a taxi or cab to reach Manali or Kullu from the airport.
There are numerous government and private buses that operate on the Leh-Manali highway, including semi-sleeper buses for those willing to spend a little extra. Alternatively, if you wish to avoid changing buses, you can opt to hire a taxi from the airport to Rohtang La pass, although this may be one of the pricier options available.
Best Months 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 period, the pass opens shortly after the monsoons and just before it closes for winter. It is recommended to plan your trip during this time as the summer months of May to June see a significant influx of tourists to the region, making it difficult to obtain a permit to cross the pass. Furthermore, there are typically long traffic jams in Manali, Rohtang, and Gulaba during the summer months.
Due to the high tourist activity during the summer months, the prices of hotels, restaurants, and taxis tend to skyrocket. However, if you plan your visit between September and October, you may be able to find cheaper deals. Rohtang pass is closed during the winter months due to heavy snowfall, and the monsoon months of July to August have unpleasant weather conditions, making sightseeing and exploring difficult. Hence, we suggest scheduling your trip in September or October to ensure you can make the most out of your visit.
How to get Permit For Rohtang Pass?
To cross the stunning Rohtang Pass, a special permit is required, which can be conveniently applied for online. The Himachal Tourism website allows you to obtain the pass, which is valid for 24 hours. Only one permit is required to travel to and from Rohtang Pass. It is important to note, however, that the government does not grant an unlimited number of passes, and a limited number of passes are available each day. Therefore, it is advisable to plan your trip well in advance and obtain your pass as soon as possible.
To apply for the permit, the following documents are required:
- Valid proof of identity
- A pollution check certificate for your vehicle, which is up to date
- Vehicle registration documents that show the registration date
Top Tourist Attractions in and around Rohtang Pass
Nehru Kund – Named after India’s first Prime Minister, this natural spring is believed to have healing properties. The bubbling water comes out from rocks, and the area’s scenic views make it an ideal place to visit.
Vashisht Hot Water Springs – These Sulphur springs are located in a village where Rishi Vashisht used to meditate. Many believe that taking a bath here is great for skin problems and other infections. Separate baths for men and women are available.
Hadimba Temple – This four-story Pagoda is home to the footprints of Goddess Hadimba. The temple’s architecture and stone figurines are worth checking out, and the lush greenery in the area is mesmerizing.
Marhi – This lesser-known tourist destination, about 35 km from Manali, is famous for its water sports and natural beauty. It’s a popular alternative destination if the Rohtang La pass is closed due to heavy snowfall. Visitors can enjoy water sports activities while soaking in the Himalayas’ breathtaking beauty.
Rohtang Pass Ancient History
There are various myths and stories related to the origin of the name of Rohtang La Pass. Some people believe that the pass derives its name from the magnificent Himalayan mountains that connect Kullu and Lahaul valleys. Others suggest that the pass was created by the Gods themselves, as it is the only gateway between the two valleys.
The locals in Kullu believe that Lord Shiva made the pass, while the people of Lahaul think that Gyapo Gyasar, the Western Tibetan king, was responsible for it. However, the most common story behind the pass’s name comes from the Ladakhi language, where Rohtang means ‘pile of corpses.’ The pass was named so due to the high number of fatalities that occurred while attempting to cross it.
Here are some tips for visiting Rohtang La Pass:
- Allocate extra time for your visit to account for potential delays, as the pass can get crowded, and traffic may be stuck for hours. In such cases, you may need to walk to the main spot, which will take extra time.
- Plan your trip so that you reach the pass during daylight hours. The road is difficult, with winding roads and high altitudes, and it gets colder as the day progresses. It is better to start early to ensure you have enough time.
- Wear warm clothing as it can get quite cold in the mountains. Additionally, pack a thermos of tea or coffee and some snacks.
- If you plan on renting snow clothes, compare prices with the government’s fixed prices.
- The mountains have low oxygen levels, and you may experience altitude sickness. Pack necessary medications in case of such an event.