Manali Leh Highway Status 2016

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Manali – Leh Highway is going to open in end of April 2016 this year ?? WTF 😯 😯 … Well, reading this first line you must be saying I have gone insane 😉 😉 …. Hmmm, I will say, “kind of” and so much I wish that it was in dreams only 🙁 🙁 … However, the unfortunate part is that with El Nino affecting most parts of the globe this year by its warmth, even the Himalayas this year have experienced very less snowfall and slopes in most parts of trans-Himalayas are deserted of snow. The lakes like Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri have not frozen well and so as famous Chadar trek over Zanskar river which also is partially frozen only 😥 😥 … It is January end and the road from Manali to Marhi, about 34 KMs from Manali towards Rohtang Pass, is all clear of snow which in general opens up in mid of March only with the help of BRO snow clearance operations. The snow situation is quite sad this year to be straight all over the Himalayas.

However, the other side of the coin is that BRO snow clearance operations have begun for the first time in January which usually begin from 1st of March every year. I know that all the adventure junkies or lovers of Leh – Ladakh know what this means… BRO starts the snow clearance operation over 474 KM long Manali Leh Highway for the season 2016 – 17 and expects to open Manali to Rohtang Pass road in the month of Feb for the first time in history. Even the passes on Manali – Leh highway do not have much snow including Baralacha La, Namki La, Lachulung La and Taglang La. The snow clearance operation have started after offering prayers at Marhi, about 34 KMs from Manali and BRO will brave again the toughest of conditions to open the Manali – Leh Highway in April 2016, a record time in itself 🙂 🙂 …

Though BRO target to open the Manali – Leh Highway in April but only weather gods will have the last say in it and all will depend upon the snow conditions in March. Please keep in mind that, when the highway gets open it needs at least couple of weeks to settle or get stabilized from initial snow sliding / avalanches that happens due to quick melting of snow and disturbed balance due to snow cutting operations.

As per the earlier years, I will be starting this sticky post for Manali Leh Highway Status 2016 which so many adventure lovers await every year. However, instead of updating the main article here at DoW Blog, I will keep the updated progress in the DoW Community thread for better tracking of updates. A forum topic always helps in better tracking as well as collation of info over time in an organized manner. Hence, for all updates on Manali – Leh Highway status 2016 after this initial post, please stay tuned to the topic in DoW Community: Manali – Leh Highway Status 2016 | DoW Community Thread

Manali Leh Highway Status 2016
Manali Leh Highway Status 2016

Once the Manali Leh road opens, I may not be that active in frequently updating the status because these roads close and open on frequent basis. It is barely impossible for a single tiny soul like me to update this information on daily basis once the road gets open, so please request you to excuse me on that front and accept my apologies :)… However, if there is some major blockade of 3 – 4 days, I will try to surely update such information about Manali Leh Highway status 2016. That is another reason to keep yourself subscribed to the DoW Community thread for better tracking and lives updates by community members.

I hope as per the last years, this year as well this article thread will be useful in planning your journey on Manali – Leh Highway and further to Leh – Ladakh.

UPDATE from November 2015
The Rohtang Pass Permit for Manali to Leh, Keylong (Lahaul) and Kaza (Spiti) is now being issued online. You can read the complete detailed process at the link: How to get Rohtang Pass Permit Online

Again, for all latest updates on Manali – Leh Highway Status after this initial post on DoW Blog, please stay tuned to the topic in DoW Community: Manali – Leh Highway Status 2016 | DoW Community Thread

Current Manali Leh Highway Status = CLOSED | Update Date: 15th October, 2016
  • Manali to Rohtang Pass is OPEN
  • Rohtang Pass to Keylong is OPEN
  • Keylong to Sarchu is CLOSED
  • Sarchu to Leh CLOSED
Manali Leh Highway Status 2016 | Some Important Articles for Reference
Manali – Leh Highway Status = UNOFFICIALLY OPEN | Update Date: 22nd May, 2016

Manali – Leh is unofficially open now and Rented bikes are banned to travel to Leh Ladakh and Spiti valley. Details: http://devilonwheels.com/india/road-status-conditions/manali-leh-highway-status-2016-2017-t3627-100.html#p32835

Manali – Leh Highway Status = CLOSED | Update Date: 20th May, 2016

Manali – Leh Highway is through and cleared of snow but not yet opened for tourists… There are camp sites at Sarchu who have left to pitch camps. So, soon the opening of Manali – Leh is expected, assuming formalities do not take much time to complete especially to abide the guidelines for Rohtang Pass.

Manali – Leh Highway Status = CLOSED | Update Date: 31st Jan, 2016

MANALI, 31 Jan 2016: With the hills experiencing mild snowfall and Manali-Rohtang-Keylong highway remaining blocked for vehicular traffic since December due to snow, the Border Roads Organization (BRO) has started snow clearance operation to resume traffic on this route.
Before this, BRO has never attempted to clear snow on Rohtang in January. According to officials, the pass has very less snowfall and the road is clear till Marhi. Snow clearing machines have been engaged at Marhi. “We started to remove snow in January due to less snowfall and favourable weather conditions,” 38 Border Roads Task Force (BRTF) commander Colonel K P Rajendra Kumar said on Friday. He added that the 34km stretch between Manali and Marhi was clear of snow but driving was dangerous due to ice on the road. “Moisture turns into ice due to extreme cold conditions. The work will completely depend on the weather conditions,” he said.
Mountain passes along Manali-Leh highway have so far received light snowfall since December. Col Rajendra said that summer snow clearance operation to throw open Manali-Leh highway for traffic will start officially from March 1. “We are hoping to open the Manali-Leh highway by the last week of April,” he said.
38 BRTF is responsible for maintenance of Manali-Leh highway till Sarchu. This 222km long stretch is very difficult to maintain and experiences very heavy snowfall. Heavy snowfall blocks Manali-Leh highway in December and the highway is resumed for vehicular traffic in May end or early June. The highway that passes through Rohtang pass is cleared upto Keylong in tribal Lahaul-Spiti district in May. If BRO succeeds in connecting Keylong with Manali in February, it would be for the first time.
Meanwhile, a fresh spell of mild snowfall on hills of Himachal has brought cheer among farmers, fruit growers and tourism fraternity of the state.
Kalpa in Kinnaur received 10cm fresh snow. Keylong and Udaipur in Lahaul-Spiti witnessed 8cm and 5cm snow respectively. Solang near Manali also recorded 5cm fresh snow while Manali town witnessed only some snowflakes late evening. Most parts of the state experienced rainfall while high hills are getting heavy snow.
According to meteorological centre Shimla, a fresh western disturbance is active in the state and will bring more snowfall and rain in next 48 hours. People of the state are praying for good snowfall in two days, otherwise dry weather is predicted Monday onwards.

External Source: BRO starts clearing snow on Rohtang

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552 Comments

  1. Ankita gupta on

    Thank you once again dheeraj ji,

    Here are some of my queries

    I’m traveling to ladakh for the first time, everyone is saying that going with a kid is not a wise decision, Do you think that we should wait for another 2-3 years or we can go this year only, we are planning 15-18 days long trip as we want to enjoy srinagar as well as manali too and in between 1-2 days in case we suffer from AMS, what other precautions we should take while going to ladakh

    We will leave around 15th September from delhi for srinagar, around 29th September we’ll be on manali leh highway, will that highway remains open till then or we can face problems during that time?

    Can you suggest if we should hire a taxi from delhi itself or we should take flight to srinagar then hire a taxi for 15 days or we should take our own car and should hire a driver, can you please suggest us a best option.

    We should do prebookings of hotels or we can do bookings on the spot after reaching leh.

    Finally a request, please can you help me with the itinerary , though i’ve made an itinerary but still I’m not sure of it, as you have been there many times please can you help me with the places that i should go, i dont know if in future i would be able to go there again so dont want to leave anything in leh. I’ll really be thankful to you if you can help me with these queries.

  2. Ankita gupta on

    Hi dheeraj,

    We(me,my husband and 3 yr old kid)are planning a road trip to ladakh in second week of September, do you think its the appropriate time to visit ladakh at that time? Srinagar-ladakh-manali

  3. Ashendu shukla on

    Dear dheeraj, is it possible to do the srinagar- leh- manali trip in i10, with 3 member onboard in 2nd week of june this year.

  4. KAMALESH POKHARNA on

    Hey man , we are planning our trip for manali to leh on 7th June 2017. Is there any kind of problem about the roads or climate’s . Plz tell me.

  5. Hello Dheeraj, is it possible to visit Ladakh during May on bike. I have been told that bikes don’t ply till August-September. If yes, could you please suggest a first-timer’s itinerary through Leh-Ladakh for about 7-8 days by bike during May. Can Pangong Lake be covered too? Appreciate your expertise, thanks!

    • Not true Veena, you can make a bike trip to Ladakh in May but that would only happen from Srinagar – Leh Highway as Manali – Leh Highway opens in June. You can make bike trip to Ladakh from June to September using both the routes. In May, only Srinagar – Leh road is open.

  6. Avneesh Yadav on

    I have plan 5 may to 15 may manali to leh trip
    So please suggest me its the best time for visit?

      • Ananta Bhamre on

        I have plan 20 may to 30may manali to leh trip
        So please suggest me its the best time for visit? deta 21/02/2017

        • Ananta, well, Manali – Leh Highway opens by end of May or first week of June, so I will highly recommend that you postpone your plan by at least couple of days.

  7. Badal Sachdeva on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    You are doing great work. Posts and information on the website is really helpful.

    I am planning to travel Leh, Ladakh during first week of september. We will fly to Leh and then comeback using Rental Bikes or Buses.

    The plan is for 7 to 10 days as per the weather and the sites we can visit.

    Do you think this plan will work? Keeping in mind this is our first Visit to Ladakh.

    Thanks
    Badal Sachdeva

    • Thank you Badal. 10 days is good number of days in hand and you should be able to make a good trip to Ladakh in 10 days. One way bike rentals are very costly and I will suggest you keep the bikes for the Ladakh sightseeing and come down to Manali by either bus or taxi to keep the budget in check

      • Badal Sachdeva on

        Thank you so much for the reply.
        Few more questions:
        Should I pre book hotels/ bikes or it will be easy to get in Leh?
        Also, are taxi’s and buses available all the time to return?

        • Badal Sachdeva on

          Thank you for the information. One last question.
          What is I plan to travel Last week of september or 1st week of october?

          Should that work?

        • Badal, last week of September now a day should be fine, very less tourists, good discounts everywhere just that it will be a bit cold though completely manageable.

        • Badal Sachdeva on

          Thank you dheeraj.

          We are 4 guys and its a budget trip covering Kargil, Pangong and nubra valley.

          Here is the plan.

          Day 1
          02/09/2017
          Depart to Leh by air / Rest Day at leh

          Day 2
          03/09/2017
          Local Sight Seeing at Leh. Rest day

          Day 3
          04/09/2017
          Travel to Kargil/Night Stay at Kargil( What will be the Taxi cost per person – roundtrip)

          Day 4
          05/09/2016
          Back to Leh / Rest day

          Day 5
          06/09/2017
          Travel to Nubra Valley – Night Stay at Hunder

          Day 6
          07/09/2017
          Back to Leh / Rest day

          Day 7
          08/09/2017
          Travel to Pangong/Night Stay at Pangong

          Day 8
          09/09/2017
          Back to Leh

          Day 9
          10/09/2017
          Leh to Manali by Taxi/Bus( What will be the cost for Taxi or Volvo per person)
          Do you think bikes will work and cost effective as we are not pro bikers?

          Day 10
          11/09/2016 Manali to Delhi by volvo
          Also air tickets from leh to delhi a re much cheaper but we want to view beautiful road sight seeing from leh to.manali as well.

          Please suggest any changes as per your experience. We can do Tso Moriri as well if you think Kargil will not be a good option.

          Thank you for your help in advance

        • Hi Badal,

          Your plan looks good and relaxed to me except Leh to MAnali will be two days not one day. In fact you can go down to Kargil on the second day or first day itself that will help you save one day which you can use for two day trip to Manali from Leh which it takes. Going over on first day will also help you combat AMS issues that you might face in Leh.

          The cost of Leh to Manali taxi for two days will be around 18-20K. HRTC buses also run on this route from July to September which will cost about Rs 800-900 for the ticket. HPTDC semi deluxe bus service runs also in July to mid September and cost Rs 2500 per person including stay at Keylong.

        • Badal Sachdeva on

          Thank you for the quick reply and great suggestions. I will change the plan.

          Could please share approx cost for taxi/Bus/bike from Leh to Kargil(Roundtrip)

  8. Hello Dheeraj!
    I am planing to ride Sri nagar – Leh – Manali on my RE in end of April this year. Is it possible..?
    Pls advise.

  9. Dear Dheeraj Sharma,

    When will open Leh – Manali Road this year? I am planning to travel from Delhi -Srinagar-Leh-Manali-Delhi on 2nd week of March 2017. Thanks

    • It will not be possible to travel to Ladakh by road by any of the routes in March. Srinagar – Leh Highway opens around end of April or early May and Manali – Leh Highway opens in late May.

  10. Nilavra Ghosh on

    Many thanks Dheeraj for your reply. Four things I want to know –

    1. If I start at 7 AM from Leh when do we return back home after covering Dah and hanu. Can I cover shyam valley in the same day ? Does Alchi, Likir, Basgo fall in the same route ?

    2. What will be the cost of private car for the day trip.

    3. Do we need inner line permit ?

    4. what are the other Arya villages ? which are most common to visit only Dah and hanu ?

    • Replies below:

      1. You will be back by 7-8 PM
      2. Around 10K it will cost for day trip to Dah – Hanu and Lamayuru
      3. No, you don’t need inner line permit.
      4. It is around that region villages only AFAIK.

  11. Nilavra Ghosh on

    Hi Dheeraj ,
    One more thing…
    How far is Arya villages like Dah and Hanu from Leh ? Is it possible to cover Shyam valley and Arya villages in same day back to Leh in the evening ?

    Do we need inner line permit for Arya villages ? What will be the car cost for this trip ?

    • Doing day trips to Dah and Hanu from Leh is possible but takes mostly the whole day and make it hectic. It is just like ticking off the place from the list

  12. Nilavra Ghosh on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    When does the route Leh to Tso Moriri open ? I heard from somebody that May end the road does not open to the lake. Does it open June mid or June end ? which time is guaranteed in June for the route to open up to Tso Moriri ?

    Also May end or June 1st week Pangong Tso and Khardungla open ?

    • Leh to Tso Moriri is open all round the year. There is no pass which is high enough to close the road. So, more or less barring few days of heavy snowfall the road to Tso Moriri remains open. Same is true for Khardung La and Chang la, they only close on heavy snowfall days.

  13. Nilavra Ghosh on

    Hi Dheeraj ,
    If I book private taxi from manali for leh and then sight seeing in leh like Pangong, Tso Moriri, Nubra etc and stay in Leh for 7/8 days and then back to manali or srinagar…what will be the car rate per day ?

    • As per the taxi union rates of year 2016-17 (http://devilonwheels.com/leh-ladakh-taxi-rates-2016-17/) following is the break up

      Srinagar – Leh in 2 days = 18400
      Leh Local sightseeing = 2500-3000
      Leh – Nubra Valley 2 Day = 10566
      Leh – Pangong Tso 2 Day = 10301
      Leh – Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Sarchu – Manali 2-3 days = 29056
      Leh – Manali 2 Days = 21588
      Leh – Pangong Tso 1 Day = 8653
      Leh – Nubra Valley 1 Day = 8053

      You can usually get about 10-15% discount on these taxi rates after getting in touch with the driver directly.

  14. Hii,

    Sir v r planning to go to Srinagar nearby 26 th January. Can u suggests about the weather. We will fly from Delhi so weather of Srinagar would be comfortable in the month of January??? Can we see snowfall at this time??

    Pls reply…….

    • Sonii, snowfall depends upon the luck and present weather conditions. January as in in general does get snowfall. Hence, you should keep your hopes alive for playing in snowfall. Gulmarg will have good snow by that time hopefully as this yesr so far has been exceptionally bad. Weather in general will be very cold in Kashmir so go prepared with proper clothes.

  15. Tarit Roy Mukherjee on

    Dear Dheeraj Ji, Thank you for giving so detail advice and plan for every aspect of the tour of leh ladakh. I have a question of pure medical nature. I want to go to ladakh fron 2nd – 15th June 2016 via Srinagar – Kargil -Leh. then will go to panggong, Nubra, Tsomoriri – Jispa – Manali.

    My wife (44 yrs) is having high BP (140/100 and occational migraine attack. Is there any rstriction for her to visit the above places ? Please help. She is active in nature and body. Not overweight.

    She read somewhere that it is not advisable / not ok to go there. If she doesnopt go, entire group will not go

  16. Harshavarthan on

    I was there in Ladakh from September 25th and returned via Leh Manali highway on 9th October. Covered Zanskar, Nubra, Shyok route to Pangong, Chushul, and Chumthang national park via Kakasang La. Didn’t experience snowfall or even snow on the road anywhere except a little over the mountains in Rohtang pass. Sun was very bright and I didn’t even open my bag with winter clothing except a Jacket during nights. Everyone felt it was unusual this year may be because of global warming. I’m now surprised to the the roads have been officially closed.

    • Yes, the weather changed abruptly after 10th Harsh. That is what happens up there, it changes with no warnings. There were many people that got stranded in the snowfall and casualties were just avoided by asking people to return from Keylong/Jispa. Definitely global warming and especially this year due to El Nino effect, the things are much warmer than usual.

  17. Manali – Leh Highway has been officially closed for 2016-17 and checkposts at Sarchu has been removed. The the road is open but it means that no rescue operations will be carried out in case someone gets stuck on Manali – Leh Highway. Authorities have warned tourists not to under take Manali – Leh Highway as it can be dangerous because weather can change up there in a matter of hours. this may lead tourists to get stuck up there for few days to few weeks or few months. Survival for even few days will not be possible in such desolated and hostile nature, forget about weeks or months.

    So, please stop planning your trips to Manali – Leh Highway further for this season and plan your trip next year between June to September.

  18. Ramakrishna Ch on

    Hello Dheeraj!

    I am so happy to find this article here or I would have missed lot of info from your Blog posts! This is my first time visiting your site and already happy to see that you are assisting poor fellows like us who are new to travelling.

    I tried posting this in forum itself but my account is under activation. Sorry to post my questions here. Appreciate if you can help me plan my ladakh trip.

    I am from Hyderabad,

    We are leaving from hyderabad on September 12th 11PM via train and will reach delhi on 14th early morning.

    From now on, I am totally confused and will stay confused if I dont get some sort of idea on my travel.

    As we are reaching Delhi 4AM , looking to visit nearest places to have a look and willing to travel to manali via us or traning on 14th Night.

    After the train and local delhi visits, we are two male (21) and our budget is 14000 for both.

    1. Can we travel and stay good with this budget?
    2. Should we take bus or train via manali, if bus in which place in delhi should we board and any estimated price for ticket? if train, then please guide which train should we take?? I am clueless about the train, all I know is there is no DIRECT train.
    3. When we will reach manali and Can you guide us from here, pleae? We have 10-12 days time and budget can be increased more 6K. We also want to rent bikes?

    Can you please guide what should we do and where should we stay till we reach leh. Also let us know when should we book advance train to reach hyderabad so that we can get tickets.

    I dont have idea about any places there, so looking to follow your travel plan.

    If you can guide me like this, It would be highly appreciated and it may help others too. I got lot of info from comments here.

    Example

    1. you will reach manali in morning, go to this place and book a hotel, take rented bike, visit this places in manali. take permits at this place…etc
    2. get back to your hotel at night, plan to bike travel to leh, stop at this place and this place. stay at night here.

    can you please guide me like that. so that I can be sure of my journey! I am really sorry for this long questions…

    • If it is just Manali, then yes you should be OK with budget of 14K but you have to choose public transport only to travel. Overnight buses start from Delhi – Manali and depending upon the choice you make of bus (standard HRTC, deluxe, Volvo) the price varies from 600-1300.

      Well, 12-13 days and it is Leh trip and you want to make it in 14K for both. Then, I take my words back and you cannot do it. I have explained the entire article in detail: How to make a budget Ladakh trip by public transport

      Most of your queries will be replied in the article above.

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