The record amount of snowfall that has poured in the hills this year is expected to delay the opening of Manali – Leh Highway by its usual opening time. As per the authorities, this year hills have received heaviest of snowfalls in the last 5 years or so. This directly means that opening of Manali – Leh Highway for vehicular traffic is ought to be delayed in this year 2017. On the contrary there have been reports of summers arriving early as well this year but these predictions are only the means of interest & hope to us, mere mortals. It is weather and mountains gods which always have the last say when it comes to weather especially in Himalayas 🙂 🙂 …
BRO will commence the snow clearance operations on Manali – Leh Highway on March 1st 2017 despite the record snowfall. Some stretches around Rani Nalla, Beas Nalla, Rohtang Pass, Baralacha La pass have recorded about 20+ feet of snowfall this year and is expect to give tough time to brave BRO workers in the snow clearance operations. BRO has already started working on snow clearance in Lahaul Valley and some parts of Manali – Leh Highway. The stretches of Manali – Kothi, Sissu – Tandi, Tandi – Darcha, Thirot – Killar -Sansari, Thirot – Lot have been cleared of snow already on Manali – Leh Highway and Lahaul Valley. BRO is currently working to connect Udaipur to Keylong in Lahaul Valley. On the other side, due to warm temperatures in all over Himalayas, even high altitude lakes like Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri have not frozen in all glory and so does the famous Chadar trek over Zanskar river which also has cracks or gaps here and there. Just sums up craziness in weather 😥 😥 …
The 474 KM long Manali – Leh Highway usually opens up by last week of May or first week of June. This year due to heavy amount of snowfall, I feel still the first week of June should be an optimistic time for at least unofficial opening of Manali – Leh Highway. I know that all the adventure junkies or lovers of Leh – Ladakh know what this means 😉 😉 … Though BRO set targets every year to open the Manali – Leh Highway early but only weather gods always have the last say in it. Eventually, it will all depends upon the weather and snow conditions in the months March / April when snow clearance operations are at peak. Please keep in mind that, when these snow highway gets opens, they need at least couple of weeks to settle or get stabilized. In the initial days, there are lot of snow slides / avalanches that happens because of faster melting of snow and disturbed balance/stability due to snow cutting operations. So, keep a hold on to your travel plans unless the Manali – Leh Highway stabilizes. Last thing you will want on your much awaited Ladakh trip is to get stranded on lonely stretches of freezing Manali – Leh Highway in early June.
As per the previous years, I will be starting this sticky post for Manali Leh Highway Status 2017 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 2017 after this initial post, please stay tuned to the topic in DoW Community: Manali – Leh Highway Status 2017 | DoW Community Thread
Once the Manali Leh road opens, I may not be that active in frequently updating the status because these roads close and open frequently on daily 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 2017. That is another reason to keep yourself subscribed to the DoW Community thread for better tracking and lives updates by other 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 June 2016:
The Rohtang Pass Permit for Manali to Leh, Keylong (Lahaul) and Kaza (Spiti) is no longer being issued online. Now, online Rohtang Permit is available only to visit Rohtang Pass from Manali not to go beyond it. To go beyond Rohtang Pass, you can apply permit in SDM Office Manali which is also open half day on weekends now to issue permits to tourists. 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 2017 | DoW Community Thread
Current Manali Leh Highway Status = OPEN | Update Date: 1st June, 2017
- Manali to Rohtang Pass is OPEN
- Rohtang Pass to Keylong is OPEN
- Keylong to Sarchu is OPEN
- Sarchu to Leh OPEN
Manali Leh Highway Status 2017 | Some Important Articles for Reference
Manali – Leh Highway Status = OPEN | Update Date: 1st June, 2017
MANALI, 1st June 2017: Manali – Leh Highway has been opened for small vehicles.
Manali – Leh Highway Status = CLOSED | Update Date: 25th Feb, 2017
MANALI, 25th Feb 2017: With the hills witnessing the heaviest snowfall in the past five years, opening of the Manali-Leh highway for vehicular traffic is expected to take more time than usual this season.
The Border Roads Organization (BRO) has meanwhile planned to start the snow clearing operation on the highway from Manali from March 1.
Many stretches, especially near Rohtang and Baralacha pass, received over 20ft of snow. The organization had airlifted its personnel including technicians from Manali and dropped them in Lahaul valley in three sorties. These days, the organization is working to clear snow from about 80km stretch of the highway in Lahaul valley.
“Though it depends on weather conditions, we target to officially start the snow clearing operation from Manali-Leh highway till Sarchu from March 1,” said BRO commander Colonel Arvind Awasthi.
Awasthi said snowfall was still continuing along the highway and many stretches were completely covered in a thick blanket of snow. “We are in regular contact with snow and avalanche study establishment (SASE) to get weather updates. If it’s snowing continuously, we won’t spend time on clearing roads unnecessarily.”
Importantly, BRO has kept many stretches of the highway in populated areas open despite heavy snowfall. Awasthi said snow from Manali-Kothi, Sissu-Tandi, Tandi-Darcha, Thirot-Killar-Sansari, Thirot-Lot stretches has been removed and now work is on to connect Udaipur with Keylong.
Of the 474km stretch of Manali-Leh highway, 222km stretch till Sarchu received more snow, posing a challenge to BRO to resume traffic. “Our task is to clear snow till Sarchu. We carried out five sorties by chopper and lifted our personnel at Stingri and Udaipur helipads to speed up snow clearance work in Lahaul valley. We airlifted and brought back Lahaul residents, who were in emergency, to Manali in our return flights.”
Manali-Leh highway opens for traffic in May end or first week of June every year. According to sources, it would be very difficult to clear snow from Rahni Nullah, Beas Nullah, Chumbak Mor, Rakshi Dhank and Baralacha areas.
BRO personnel will have to work hard to open the highway within time this season. Though many BRO personnel have lost their lives during opening of the road in the past, the organization is still working even during snowfall to keep Lahaul roads open for public, sources said.
External Source: Record snowfall to delay opening of Manali-Leh highway