Rohtang Pass is the gateway for tribal valleys of Lahaul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh and is the one of the major hurdle on the Manali – Leh highway today. However, owing to some clear weather and with the help of some valiant efforts by BRO, it is predicted that Rohtang Pass is all set to open up early this year 2011 as compared to last year. Being said that, the conditions subject to weather gods are always applied here in Himalayas. If there happens to be a major snowfall at Rohtang Pass then again the scheduled date of opening would be postponed further.
The Manali – Rohtang Pass road has been cleared upto Gulaba, about 21 KMs from Manali, by BRO. At present, the tourists are allowed till Gulaba snow point as BRO is continuously working hard to clear the snow from Gulaba – Marhi road stretch. Ultimately, they will reach Rohtang pass after cutting through the huge snow walls of Rani Nalla. But, it still a long way to go and we keep our fingers crossed …
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The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is now engaged in clearing snow on the road and efforts are being made to open the 13,050-ft high Rohtang Pass, the gateway to Lahaul-Spiti.
The Manali-Leh Highway, which runs north from Manali, has now been opened to vehicular traffic up to picturesque meadows of Gulaba, about 21 km from here. The height up to which the road opens up gradually as the snow clears is popularly know as snow point. This snow point moves higher and higher till it reaches Marhi (11,500-ft), Rahni Nullah and further towards 13,050-ft high Rohtang Pass. To the right of this pass, lies the source of the Beas river, also known as Beas Rishi.
Hundreds of tourists have started moving to Gulaba to get a visual feast of the snow-capped peaks of the Western Himalayas. The heavy snow in the vicinity attracts the visitors.
The 51-km-long route from Manali to Rohtang Pass is replete with magnificent views of snow-covered Pir Panjal Range to the north and the lush-green Kullu Valley to the south. The tourists when move on this road up to 7,000ft high feel drastic changes in temperature.
The 474-km-long Manali-Leh highway was included in the BRDB programme during 1964. The road portion from Manali-Sarchu (222 km) is under the area of responsibility of the Project Deepak and beyond Sarchu-Leh (222.390 KM) to Leh (474 KM) is with the Project Himank. In 1989, the Government of India threw open the Manali-Leh highway to foreign tourists.
The journey from Manali to Leh is replete with adventure and thrills. The road to Leh (3505m) winds its way through Rohtang Pass, Baralacha Pass (4883m), Lachlungla Pass (5065m) and Tanglang La (5328m). The journey on this high road has become popular, particularly among visitors from western countries.
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