Rohtang Pass Rules & Restriction of Vehicles – Demystified

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Over the past 2-3 months in 2015, there has been hues/cries all around Manali on Rohtang Pass Rules & Restriction of Vehicles followed by the NGT order of restricting total number of vehicles going from Manali to Rohtang Pass to 1000 only. A series of event took place questioning the NGT order passed in February 2015 which restricted the number of vehicles going to Rohtang Pass to 1000 only and also posed a hefty congestion charges too. From indefinite strikes to moving to supreme court to protests all over in Himachal, taxi union did all they can not leave any stone unturned. However, the messages were strong and clear from the NGT to favour the ecology of Rohtang Pass which was getting destroyed by the pollution of vehicles over considering any kind of review petitions or hues or cries of the locals. The ecology of Rohtang Pass is getting destroyed with the huge number of vehicles going to Rohtang Pass in season time and hence the step was required before the snow gets vanished from the Glacier. There were couple of review hearings and intermediate decisions taken place up to last hearing of 8th June 2015 and in case you want to have a quick look on the series of event, please refer DoW Community thread: Updates on Diesel Vehicles Ban on Rohtang Pass. I will try to summarize the rules and restrictions finalized as of now in the sections of article below.

Rohtang Pass Rules & Restriction of Vehicles
Rohtang Pass Rules & Restriction of Vehicles

Rohtang Pass Rules & Restrictions for Petrol – Diesel Vehicles & Congestion Charges

The upper cap relaxation has been banned now for Rohtang Pass and now no vehicles including petrol and diesel are banned to go to Rohtang Pass from Manali for tourist activities. Now, tourists can only visit Rohtang Pass from Manali in state run public and tourist buses as they will only be allowed to travel to Rohtang Pass from Manali. Lahaul – Spiti and Leh – Ladakh based vehicles are exempted from this rule and should continue to follow the permit process as defined for them. Along with the vehicles, the NGT tribunal has also banned horse-riding, snow-biking, paragliding and plying of snow scooters at Rohtang, Solang and Marhi and also ordered closure of eateries and kiosks. You can read more about this news here

Following is the summary of Rohtang Pass Rules & Restriction for Rohtang Pass bound vehicles for tourist purposes, that is, the vehicles going only to Rohtang Pass from Manali for tourism purposes.

  • An upper cap of 1000 vehicles allowed per day at Rohtang Pass has been enforced out of which 600 Petrol and 400 Diesel. Now, tourists can travel in public buses only run by government to Rohtang Pass as all tourists vehicles going to Rohtang Pass are banned now.
  • Among these 1000 vehicles, there is a split of 725 Himachal Vehicles, 275 Non Himachal with the split of 60%:40% for petrol and diesel respectively. No longer valid as all vehicles are banned for Rohtang pass except govt. run buses.
  • Public transport buses are also included in the restricted number of vehicles. There are about 14-15 HRTC buses available for Rohtang Pass in case one is interested to travel up there by booking tickets at HRTC Bus Stand at Manali.
  • There will be Congestion charges which need to be paid of Rs 1000 for petrol, Rs 2500 for diesel and Rs 5000 for a vehicle of capacity more than five. This congestion charge has been exempted as of now until 3 July 2015.
  • Permits are available in advance at tourism office in Manali and also at Manali taxi union office.
  • At Manali taxi union office, permits are mostly given to taxis. Tourists with personal cars or outside Himachal cars should approach to Tourist Office in Manali.
  • As per latest reports after NGT order of 6th July, bikes will not be exempted too.
  • As of now, Rohtang Pass is open for tourists on Tuesday as well but it is always suggested that you check the status of vehicles going to Rohtang Pass on Tuesday at Tourist Information Center before you go up there.
  • Gulaba Checkpost opens at 6 AM and remains open all 7 days a week including Holidays. So, you can get the permit by paying Rs 50 congestion fees as of now up there to go to Rohtang Pass until the high congestion charges are enforced back again in July.

Rohtang Pass Permits for Vehicles Going Beyond Rohtang Pass to Leh or Lahaul – Spiti

Following is the summary of Rohtang Pass Rules & Restriction for Rohtang Pass beyond vehicles, that is, the vehicles going beyond Rohtang Pass from Manali to Leh – Ladakh, Lahaul – Spiti Valley.

  • First of all, there are no permits or restrictions or fees required to be paid by vehicles coming from Northern side of Rohtang Pass, that is, vehicles coming from Leh or Lahaul – Spiti does not need any permits or has any restrictions as such. Hence, if you can best is to drive from Srinagar side to Leh – Ladakh and Shimla side to Lahaul – Spiti. It will help in acclimatization and also save you lots of hassles of this rohtang pass permit issue.
  • All vehicles which are going beyond Rohtang Pass are exempted from the rule of vehicle restrictions to Rohtang Pass bound vehicles and high congestion fees for Rohtang Pass Vehicle as detailed in above section of the article.
  • Hence, if you are going beyond Rohtang Pass to Leh – Ladakh or Lahaul Valley or Spiti Valley or Pangi Valley and taking any vehicle (diesel vehicle not older than 10 yrs), be it Himachal registered or outside Himachal registered, you can travel there without the restrictions of 1000 vehicles.
  • However, you need to get an affidavit created from/nearby SDM Office in Manali which might cost you around Rs 150(initially affidavit was required but now guess only undertaking) undertaking made at SDM Office by showing some confirmation voucher of bookings up there in Leh – Ladakh or Lahaul Valley or Spiti Valley or Pangi Valley. Earlier an affidavit was required but now only undertaking is required whose format is available at a shop near SDM office. The undertaking states that which destination you are traveling.
  • The documents required to be produced are pollution certificate, vehicle registration certificate and driving license of driver.
  • It is also suggested that you ask a scanned signed copy of slip or vouchers from your hotel in Leh – Ladakh or Lahaul – Spiti and do not rely on online booking details because as per notices in office there online bookings will not be valid.
  • This affidavit undertaking will be used to issue the permits one day in advance at Tourist Information Center at Mall road in Manali to cross Rohtang Pass.
  • You need to deposit your documents from 10 AM to 1 PM to get the permits and permits can be obtained from the office from 3 PM to 5 PM. Please refer below screen for notices.
  • At Gulaba Checkpost, each vehicle having the permit is required to pay Rs 50 congestion charges as per the rule from previous year.
  • Tourist Information Center is open all seven days a week including Sundays and Holidays from 10 AM to 8 PM.
  • Vehicles are not allowed to go beyond Palchan without permits and in case you reach at Gulaba before 5.30 AM, you may be challaned.
  • As per current updates, As per latest reports after NGT order of 6th July, bikes will not be exempted too. To obtain the permit bikers will also have to fill the undertaking and submit it along with copy of documents mentioned above and submit it at the SDM office. Permits to bikers will be given free of cost as per last updates.
  • One can contact at 094180-22828, Sh. Rattan Gautam Deputy Director, Tourism and Civil Aviation Kullu at manali: 01902-250221, 01902-252175.

Falgun who completed the trip in July 2015, writes here:

Those who are going from Manali…Permission from SDM office in manali is must or else Bro person Will sent you back…collect the form and fill it up submit it to SDM office and finish procedure….You need document of your car..Also don’t forget pollution check certificate ..it require at many barriers on the way..There is one place in manali kullu road near Piccadilly hotel who do this pollution check…
Form submit timing at SDM manali is 10.to 1 in morning and collect your Permit between 3pm to 4 pm same day…

Rohtang Pass Timings 2015

At present, there are timings to visit Rohtang Pass. Tourist vehicles would be allowed to go to the Rohtang Pass only from 6 AM to 12 noon from the Gulaba check post and they would not allowed to stay there beyond 4 pm. Timings are mostly relaxed from July onward as the peak season ends in June and tourist rush in Manali town fades away.

Notices of Rohtang Pass Rules

You can find below the notices put up there in Manali by the administration. Thanks to Harsimran Singh Grewal ji for sharing these notices with all of us. IN case, you happen to find any further notices or format of the undertaking or anything related to permit process, please do share it here so that more people can have hassle free transit to Leh from Manali.

Rohtang-Pass-Rule

Rohtang-Pass-Rule

Rohtang-Pass-Rule

Rohtang-Pass-Rule

Rohtang-Pass-Rule

Rohtang-Pass-Rule

Rohtang-Pass-Rule

Rohtang-Pass-Rule

Rohtang-Pass-Rule

Rohtang-Pass-Rule

Conclusion

So, much to the relief of lovers of mountains beyond Rohtang Pass, it is apparent that you do not need to go through the messy hassles of Rohtang Pass permit issue in case you want to go to Leh or Lahaul – Spiti Valley. However, you will have to have some bookings done in Leh or Lahaul – Spiti Valley and spare at least half a day in Manali to get the affidavit done. Those who are coming down from Rohtang Pass to Manali direction does not need to have any affidavit or permit. Hence, much better relief going by the horrid experiences of people seeking the permit to visit Rohtang Pass.

I believe all this is one more reason to choose Srinagar – Leh Highway over Manali – Leh Highway while going to Leh – Ladakh including the 5 Reasons to choose Srinagar – Leh Road over Manali – Leh Road. Having said all that, things might improve as the season or main tourist rush resides by end of June. There may be relaxations on some things or at least the hassles one is facing today.

If you have any update or in case I missed something about the Rohtang Pass rules & restriction of vehicles, please update in the comments section below as it will really help others planning their trip to Rohtang Pass and beyond to Leh – Ladakh, Lahaul – Spiti Valley.

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285 Comments

  1. Thank you for prompt reply Dheeraj!

    I just wanted to confirm how is the Manali Leh highway condltion this week?

    I am driving in Sedan .Is it doable?

  2. Dheeraj,

    I am driving to Leh via Manali and planning to cross Rohtang Pass on 4th September 2017.If I pay congestion charges of Rs 50 online and take printout will it suffice? Where do I need to show the printout? SDM office in Manali or Gulaba checkpost?
    Do I need to pay green tax also for Manali.I am driving my own vehicle registered outside Himachal.

    • Yes Jawed, that will suffice. You need to submit it at Gulaba checkpost while going to Rohtang Pass from Manali. Take the call of Green tax while reaching Manali. Sometimes you get away with it, so don’t pay it online.

    • Permits are not given to vehicles older than 10 yr old. You cannot o from Manali to Rohtang Pass and need to choose either Kaza – Keylong route or go from Srinagar and come from Leh – Keylong – Manali route.

  3. Hello Dheeraj ji,
    Do the Cars bearing HP Registration number for ‘Manali to Spiti’ need any Permit for Rothang or Kunzum?
    If we are taking a hired Taxi from Manali, do we need a Permit separately? Or the Driver will take care of that?

  4. Anurag Tiwari on

    Hi dheeraj,
    I’m planning to go to leh from Manali by rented bikes…on 5th Jul.. Need your kind help… To know all the details about passes, rented bikes, accommodation along with the route.. And other things.. . Hoping to read you soon.

    • Hi Anurag,

      How many days do you have in hand? You will need Beyond Rohtang Pass Rs 50 permit to cross Rohtang Pass. Rented bike from Manali is allowed only to reach Leh and then you have to rent the Leh based bike again.

  5. Hi Dheeraj!
    I’m a little bit confused about this article. Our plan is to rent 2 motorbikes in Manali and go through Rohtang Pass to Spiti Valley on middle September, so we’re gathering all the info regarding the steps we must follow.

    So, if I understood properly, we can apply for the Beyond Rohtang Pass permit online. The website allows you to select a date 5 days ahead.

    As we haven’t booked the bike, we don’t have all the info, so we can’t go further the first screen (just to see what’s needed), but I’m not asked for any hotel booking proof. I don’t know if this is an out-of-date thing related to the affidavit or it’s still needed.

    When I complete the online permit, I assume I’ll get something to print and that’s it, right?

    I don’t understand this:
    “Now, tourists can travel in public buses only run by government to Rohtang Pass as all tourists vehicles going to Rohtang Pass are banned now.”

    Does this apply to rented motorbikes from Manali (beyond Rohtang Pass permit)?

    Thank you in advance

    • Yes, from this year onward no affidavit or hotel booking is allowed as they have automated the system. So, when you get the bike, apply for the permits on that day for next day or date planned for ride to Kaza from Manali. The second doubt is only applicable for tourists going to Rohtang Pass only.

      This year onward you just need to go to website and apply for Beyond Rohtang Pass permit of rs 50 only, get the permit and that’s all you need.

  6. RISHI KAPOOR on

    Hi Dheeraj, Can you please advice, we three friends are planning to go to Leh on June 25th 2017. We are not sure from where we can get the permit in Manali. I tried online but it is showing “Unable to entertain the request” Would appreciate your advice.

    Thanks Rishi

    • you just need to get Beyond Rohtang Pass permit of Rs 50 for the day you plan to cross Rohtang Pass. The permit is available two days in advance and from 12 PM to 12 AM time period only.

  7. hey dheeraj

    i am travelling manali to leh on 19-june by hire bullet from manali
    we have got some news that the manali bullet will not allowed in leh
    in leh they can not pass the manali passing bullet.

    is it true.?

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