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Manali – Leh Highway and Rohtang Pass Closed for 2012 – 13


Finally, Manali – Leh Highway and Rohtang Pass goes closed for the season 2012 – 13 and now the long wait of about 6 months starts before the adventurists and motorists starts to live their passion again one of the most adventurous roads of the world 🙂 … Now, the Manali – Leh Highway will most probably open up in June 2013 and it is advised to all of you who are making plans for this adventure ride to Ladakh over Manali – Leh Highway shall plan their trips post mid of June. Even there was snowfall at Rohtang Pass last day and more snowfall at Rohtang Pass and parts of Lahaul Valley is predicted in the coming few days as well.

Regarding planning the trip to Manali – Leh Highway, next season, it is always nice to plan your journey in last 15 days of June or first 2-3 weeks of July when you can find ample of snow on roads and roads will be open by that time from both Srinagar as well as Manali side to Leh – Ladakh. However, please keep in mind that road conditions hardly improve on Manali – Leh road and remains almost quite challenging + adventurous all throughout the season. It improves slightly towards the end of season that is September or October first week but by that time snow is all gone and risk of closure increases. So, you need to be prepared for all the adventure that Manali – Leh Highway offers a traveller in the month of June – July and situation worsens when monsoon comes in late July, August and early September now a days. So IMHO, overall whatever best window you will get so that you avoid monsoons, see ample of snow and roads are open for you will be like 20th June – 20th July window.

If you want to see beautiful colours of Ladakh then second half of September is THE best time to visit Ladakh when these colours are oozing out vividly and of course, the road conditions does get better in late September type when rains reside the region completely. Any ways, coming back to topic, you can read more below:

MANALI: Given the possibilities of heavy snowfall on the Manali-Leh highway, Border Roads Organization (BRO) has decided to officially close the highway from Sunday. Rohtang pass experienced fresh snowfall on Saturday while there are strong chances of more snowfall in the coming days.

"Given the circumstances on Rohtang pass, the highway has been closed officially," BRO commander at 38 BRTF Colonel Yogesh Nair said, adding that BRO would continue the widening and metalling of the highway until snowfall blocks the highway permanently. Now the administration would be responsible for all activities occurring on the Manali-Rohtang highway.

Despite snowfall, Manali-Keylong highway remained operational all the day on Saturday. Hundreds of residents of Lahaul crossed Rohtang safely. Fearing early closure of highway, people from Lahaul are reaching their homes from all parts of the state while students and those residing outside the Lahaul valley are leaving the valley.

Meanwhile, the administration has decided to set up rescue posts on both sides of Rohtang from November 15. With weather conditions turning hostile, two rescue posts – one at Marhi and another at Koksar – would be installed for the safe movement of vehicles and pedestrians.

Manali-based Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (ABVIMAS) puts up the posts in two phases from November 15 to December 15 and then from March 15 to May 15 every year. Each post would include police, medical team, rescue experts and wireless operator. After setting up of the posts, travellers using this route would have to register themselves at both the posts to ensure safe passage.

Manali sub-divisional magistrate Balbir Thakur said that administration was keeping an eye on the activities of tourists and local residents taking the road. "Rescue posts would be set up for the convenience of public on November 15," he said.

Snowfall brings down temperature

Fresh snowfall on higher reaches of Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti brought a drastic dip in temperature on Saturday. Rohtang pass received 10cm fresh snow while the adjoining peaks also experienced moderate snowfall in the evening. Hundreds of tourists thronged Rohtang to witness fresh snowfall on Saturday. Snowfall triggered cold waves in the lower regions as well.

Tourism industry in Manali is hoping for a good time ahead due to abundance of snow at Rohtang. The minimum temperature in Manali was recorded at 2 degrees Celsius and it was -2.1 degrees Celsius in Keylong, the district headquarter of Lahaul-Spiti. Local meteorological department has predicted Western Disturbances after November 13.

External Source: Manali-Leh highway closed till next summers

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  1. ankita dey on

    Hello Mr. Dheeraj .. H r u?
    Me and my patner will paln for a trip to manali in last week of december or may be in first week of january. Shall we visit in Rohtang pass. we are belongs from delhi…

  2. Hi Dheeraj, we r a group of 6 along with a 3 yr old kid planing to visit manali from 13th to 16th aug 2014. What all places should we visit. Would Rostang pass be open during this period.

    • Rohtang Pass, will be open at that time but snow will be very less, dirty/slushy types that will be remaining. You can do local sightseeing in Manali, visit Rohtang and Solang on next day. On one day you can visit Naggar Castle.

  3. saumik Nandy on

    we are planning to visit ladakh via manali through rhotang pass on 28.05.2014. Shall we be able to go to leh at this time?

    • Saumik, there are high chances that Manali – Leh Highway will open by that time of the year at least for light vehicles as it opens up in last week of May. But nothing can be certain and all depends upon the snow presence every year.

  4. Mukesh Kumar on

    I am planning to take my family in last week on Nov. to Manali. Do i have an opportunity to visit Rohtang pass

    • Mukesh, yes, most likely Rohtang Pass will close officially by that time of the year. It has already started snowing up there and it can close anytime now in coming days. However, there will be ample of snow to help you play with at snow points of Gulaba OR Marhi.

      Dheeraj Sharma

  5. when will Rohtang pass gets closed for 2013. I am planning to take my family (including 2 yrs old) in last week on Nov. to Manali. Do i have an opportunity to visit Rohtang pass

    • Amit, I seriously doubt that in last week of November you will be able to visit Rohtang Pass. Generally, Rohtang Pass close down by October end officially but pass remains open for locals till November. However, PLEASE consider once pass close down officially there is a risk and as a family you should not take it. You will get many kinds of offer by locals but please consider your safety first. Locals do not have any option, so they travel till the pass close naturally.

  6. dear dheeraj,

    we are planing to visit manali/ rohtang pass 0n 30 sept 2013 kindly suggest whether rohtang pass will be open these days or not??
    Also, any possibility to find snow near rohtang pass or manali.

    • Vikram, Rohtang Pass will be open by that time of the year. However, presence of snow will depend if fresh snowfall has happened or not. IN case there isn’t any fresh snowfall, then there will not be any snow.


  8. I am planning to go to manali on August 10th 2013 plz suggest are there chances to find snow in Rohtang during this period

  9. hi dheeraj,
    we are planning a trip to manali in mid of august 2013, please tell me it is a suitable time to go there and whether rhotang pass will be open by that time and other near by locations too

    • Aashish, I think you shall avoid going to Rohtang Pass in August. there will be rains and lots of slush plus there will be no snow at Rohtang Pass. Not worth the pain you will go through.

  10. Hi,

    I have heard that there is some broken road near sarchu. It happened few days back.

    Can you confirm me about the same. Do you have any idea about this. Because I am leaving tomorrow.


  11. Hi dheeraj,

    I appreciate that you are running this blog.

    I am leaving for leh on 10 June on my bike. Which way would you suggests to go. What are the options to stay before leh from either of the ways.

    Could you please suggest any group which are leaving so I can join them

    Hope to hear you soon.


    • Hi Lakshay,

      Firstly, I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

      You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travelers including me at the link here for 14-15 days: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

      For accommodation, check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate and cheap budget hotels as well in the series of articles starting on the link here

      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Hey Dheeraj..
        Thanks for your reply.

        My rear tyre is not tubeless. What dpi you suggest should I put tubeless one for trip?


  12. Hey, I am leaving on 10 June for leh from delhi on my there any one who z leaving on same so v can join??

  13. traveller on

    Hi, we plan to start from manali on to leh on june 8, 2013. Will the Manali – Leh Highway and Rohtang Pass open by then?

    • Manali – Leh Highway might open by first week of June, though I cannot guarantee and it all depends upon the weather conditions. Generally, Manali – Leh Highway does get open by last week of May or first week of June. Srinagar – Leh Highway has already been opened in record time. So, expect exception for Manali – Leh as well. Stay tuned for the status updates for Manali – Leh Highway at the link here

  14. Hi Dheeraj,

    Having heard so much about Ladakh, I’ve finally decided to go for it. The trip is being planned for 28th June (night)to 6th July (morning/afternoon) 2013. I along with another friend plan to rent a bike from Manali and make it to Leh. The bike would be either a CLassic EFI 500 or a Machismo 500. Which bike would be a better option? Also..the time period…is it a good idea…knowing monsoon will hit the area soon. If not…can you please tell me the best time to visit after June?

    • Hi RItwika,

      Perhaps, June 20 to July 20 is good time to Travel to Ladakh as monsoons are generally delayed as seen in last few years. If you have good experience of riding then only hire a bike else you might land up in trouble. And above all you have very less number of days. Bare minimum it requires you to have 9 days where you will be almost on road on each day. Let me know in case you still interested for such hectic journey or can increase the days in hand.

      Dheeraj Sharma

  15. HI Dheeraj,
    i want to go plan a trip from 9th August 2013 to 19th August 2013. i want to travel from Delhi-Shrinagar-Leh-Manali-Delhi. can you suggest me in this route when i can take night halt. you have very good idea of this route. tell me one more thing is this time good to go there. one other thing can i use my Tata Indica V2 on this trip?

    • Hello Raj,

      It will be monsoon time and at some parts of Manali – Leh Highway (like before Baralacha La) and Srinagar – Leh Highway (like before Kargil) you might need to face monsoon hassles but once you get closer to Ladakh, then Ladakh being rain shadow region is least affected by monsoon rains, though rains does reach Ladakh now but to minimum and mostly it might remains overcast conditions. There is no thumb rule of certainity about weather conditions but above is generally common pictures seen over last few years except ugly 2010 …

      For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway and Ladakh, I will say:

      You will indeed face few tough challenges on the route. The hatchback/sedan will increase the level of every challenge even further, sedan is the worst candidate. My suggestion will be to go via Srinagar route as it will help you feel comfortable with the driving, provide more acclimatization and then once you have done the local Leh-Ladakh, then come back via Manali side. Secondly, since you are in hatch/sedan, then you need to drive with extra care as well. There will be some sections on the Manali – Leh highway in which you might need to sacrifice some scratches on the underbelly. Just make sure you do not bump the engine sump (know it before where it is placed in your car). You need to protect it all around the trip. Thirdly, whenever in doubt do not rush into the section rather park aside and feel the section with your foot, see how other vehicles are crossing it and make a planned route in your mind to cross that section. At the very least do carry Mseal, quick fix, funnel, jerry cans and towing rope with you all the time.

      Also, I will strongly suggest that you go through and read my series on Ladakh Self Drive tips at the links below:

      7 Useful Tips for a Self Drive to Leh – Ladakh, Routes and Road Conditions In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips, Fuel Availability In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips

      You can go through the above content and then we can discuss about your itinerary if you still plan to drive your car.

      dheeraj Sharma

  16. Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning to travel between mid apr-mid may, and will be driving(Dzire) all the way south from kerala.I am not yet decided on the destination,but ofcourse would love to see snow and couple of days trekking as well. Can you advise me on this, or provide me with some options.I am looking at Sikkim or Uttarakand ,but as Ladakh is not possible during this time I have dropped it from my list. hope to hear from u , Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Anand,

      You can hit the road to Munsiyari and try to reach it, guess by mid-May roads to Munsiyari shall open. Some, of the lovely places of Uttarakhand fall on that circuit. Let me know incase you need more details.

      Dheeraj Sharma

  17. planning for trip in month end from 28 evening to 1 jan night.
    looking for snow:).which will be the best place in this period.
    starting point will delhi.please help us.last year we visit tungnath,chopta in same period. it was nice experience but missed snowfall.

    • Suhas, for snow may be go to Shoja or Narkanda – Hatu Peak or Manali towards Snow Points/SOlang Valley. There are high chances of finding snow at all these places.

      Dheeraj Sharma

      • solang vally is i think 12km from manali. is there any problem to reach solang vally?we are going by rented car we dont have issue to go there for snow. where we can stay near manali?

        • Suhas,

          Yes, it is about 16 KMs. You can reach there unless there is heavy snowfall at Manali itself, rare case though but a possibility. I do not think you will face any issues to reach Solang Valley by rented car. Check hotel Iceland at Solang, very nice and very good reviews too.

          Manali Local sightseeing which includes Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Mall Road, Local Monastery, Vashisth Hot Water Springs (never found it interesting) etc, Snow Points are at either at Solang Valley or Marhi/Gulaba on the way to Rohtang Pass and do check out Naggar Castle (stay at Naggar and enjoy the place if possible).

          Johnson's, Jimmy Johnson's, Manali Heights are some good options of stay in Manali. For cheap and economic options you can explore hotels around Manali – Naggar Road, Old Manali and Vashisht.

          I hope that helps. Please let me know incase you need more details or have some queries or doubts.

          If interested in more details on Manali including sightseeing places, accommodation options, food joints, etc you can go through the Manali travel guide available at the link here.

          Dheeraj Sharma

  18. sachin kumar on

    thanks for giving valuable information..please help me..i have never seen snow, and i am planning this weekend to visit Dharamshala or Manali..please advise which shud be better on 30th of nov.

  19. Jayanta Kumar Sarkar on

    Hi Dheeraj. Your blog is awful. I am an adventure lover. But as I hve completed 66 years of age, I prefer planning any trip well in advance. Your site is really helpful for me for my plan to travel from Durgapur (WB)to Srinagar Leh (of course entire Ladak) Manali & back to Durgapur by Innova in June 2013. During the course of planning my tour I will be seeking your help which I am sure I will get. JK

    • Hello Mr. Jayanta,

      It is great and very much inspiring to read such experience at such an age. For Ladakh trip, you can plan a decent enough trip with all the info. present on this blog.

      Firstly, I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

      You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travelers including me at the link here for 14-15 days: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

      For accommodation, check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate and cheap budget hotels as well in the series of articles starting on the link here

      For the current leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2012-13 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here. You can get about 10-15% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on phone always help in bargaining more.

      Check the list of things to carry for Leh – Ladakh or other trip including basic medical kit, clothing, must haves etc. at the link here: List of Things to Carry for Leh – Ladakh trip.

      For details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here

      For the list of good restaurants in Leh – Ladakh or eateries or food joints where food is enjoyed by many travellers including me, you can check the link here: List of Good Restaurants in Leh – Ladakh | Restaurant Reviews

      I hope this helps. Please let me know incase you need any further details or have any queries.

      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Jayanta Sarkar on

        Hi Dheeraj
        As proposed in November ’12 I am leaving Durgapur (WB) on next Sunday i.e.26th May 2013 by Innova. I along with my sister and three of my friends (all have good trekking experience) are in the group. We will be taking the route to Leh via Delhi – Srinagar. We are scheduled to leave Srinagar on 2nd June and stay overnight at Kargil. We also have plan to go to Zanskar valley the next day (if the roads are open) and stay overnight at Padam. Next day i.e. on 4th June we have plan to be back to Kargil and take rest overnight. We expect to reach Leh on 5th June. We have plan to relax and acclamatise and get necessary Inner Line Permits on 6th June. Thereafter, we wish to cover Diskit, Nubra Valley, Pongong Tso and Tso Moriri and any other places of interest within six to seven days. The last phase of our journey will be via Sarchu – Manali – Chandigarh – Delhi – Durgapur which we want to cover in seven/eight days.
        Dheeraj I had been going through all your comments regularly. I have also gone through all the suggested links and your very valuable & helpful tips on self driving in this route before finalising this tour programme. We have made provision for cooking enroute (if required) & 70 litres of extra Diesel beside filling our vehicle tank wherever we will get fuel in the filling stations.
        Now I seek your valuable advice whether the route and the travel plan is OK or any modification is necessary. If I wish to remain connected on Internet in my Laptop what kind of Data Card will be useful.
        I shall remain greatful if you please give your suggestions ASAP

        • Jayanta, best wishes for the trip!! I think plan is OK but if you have one day then better stay at Padum for a day and then come back. Road to Padum had opened last month so no issues on road opening. All other things look good for a great adventure. Regarding Data Card I think BSNL shall be the best bet

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