Making history in 2021, Manali Leh Highway is expected to be thrown open for tourists by the middle of April in 2021. And well as of March 28, BRO has created history and opened Manali Leh Highway for the 2021 year Ladakh season. A convoy of essential supplies has traveled from Manali to Leh after four months of closure of Manali Leh Highway. It has happened first time in the history that Manali Leh Highway has been opened 2-3 months in advance this year.
BRO has started snow clearance operations on Baralacha pass for the first time ever in the month of March. This year with the introduction of the Atal Tunnel, BRO has one less pass, that is Rohtang Pass, to clear on Manali Leh Highway. They have completed the snow clearance operation on 28th March 2021.
This year, the snow clearance operations on Manali Leh Highway for the season 2021-22 have begun as of March’s first week. Snow clearance was started from Manali or Keylong’s side towards Baralacha La. And as of 15th March, BRO troops reached Baralacha La for a recce on foot to survey the route and snow conditions. If the weather holds up in the coming days, BRO expects to open Manali Leh Highway in a record time by 15th April 2021.
It means that the butterflies in the stomach of all the adventure enthusiasts planning their upcoming trip to Leh – Ladakh in 2021 will be more frequent 🙂 :)… The Manali Leh Highway Status 2021 is OPEN as of 29th March 2021 but so far civilians are not yet allowed. BRO started the snow clearance operations from Stingri – Zingzing Bar towards Baralacha La Pass on the Manali – Keylong side earlier in this month. Rohtang Pass was not in the picture this year due to the opening of the Atal Tunnel.
You might also be interested in tracking the road status for Srinagar Leh Highway.
Let's quickly dive into the details:
When will Manali Leh Highway open in 2021?
On March 28, 2021, Manali Leh was thrown open for essential supply vehicles, and snow was cleared over Baralacha La to open this strategic highway. However, after the initial two days, the highway has remained closed for the next two weeks till 13 April 2021. It is expected to open for light vehicles on 14th April.
After offering prayers, BRO will commence the snow clearance operations and they will target to open Manali – Atal Tunnel – Keylong – Baralacha La – Sarchu – Leh route as soon as possible to support the locals. According to the sources, BRO will start the operations to clear snow in Lahaul Valley first in the week of March.
This road clearance will help them connect the Rohtang tunnel with the rest of the major villages in Lahaul Valley. They are also clearing the snow on Manali Leh Highway on different sections to march towards Sarchu.
However, we shall wait for the day soon for the Manali – Leh Highway to open soon and let the adventure for 2021 begin 😀 …
There has been less than expected snowfall this year in the entire Himalayas, but the snow seems just enough to let the Manali Leh Highway open by the middle of April or the end of April this year which will be a historic record. As per the authorities, there are about 20 feet of snow stretches that have to be cut around Baralacha La pass to connect Leh with Manali.
It will be interesting to watch for the weather in the coming days and as we all understand that these predictions are only the means of interest & hope to us, the mere mortals. It is weather and mountains gods which always have the last say when it comes to weather especially in the higher Himalayas 🙂 🙂 …
When does Manali Leh Highway open usually?
This 474 KM long Manali Leh Highway (430 km long with Atal Tunnel opened not) usually opens up by the middle to last week of May. But this year due to less snowfall and Rohtang Pass not in consideration as folks can travel via Atal Tunnel, I do feel that this year Manali Leh Highway may open by end of April. It has been a norm that BRO set up the targets to open the highway early only to realize that the weather has the last laugh but this year is different due to less snow and one less pass. History is about to be made as it happened with the opening of Srinagar Leh Highway on the last day of February in 2021.
I have been watching it for the last twelve years now, and this year as well, I do expect major changes. Eventually, it will all get down upon the weather and snow conditions in the month’s March / April when snow clearance operations are at peak in many parts of the Himalayas including this belt of Himachal Pradesh too.
Should I travel on Manali Leh immediately after road opening?
When making a road trip to Leh Ladakh over Manali Leh Highway, you must keep in mind that even when the road from Manali to Leh opens, it takes some time to get them stabilized. Due to snow sliding and loose gravel, the roadblocks are very common in the initial days.
Hence, it is recommended that you wait for a couple of weeks before planning the trip on Manali Leh Highway after its official opening. The last thing you will want on your much-awaited Leh Ladakh road trip is to get stranded on some lonely yet feezing stretches of Manali – Leh Highway in early May or late April.
Where can I track Leh Manali Road Status 2021?
As per the previous years, I will be starting this sticky post for Manali Leh Highway Status 2021, which so many adventure lovers await every year. Unlike the last few years, I will keep updating this article with the latest updates. Up until the last year, I used to update the progress in the DoW Community forums thread for better tracking of updates.
I understand that a forum topic always helps in better tracking as well as collation of info over time in an organized manner. However, forum management has become a pain due to the lack of team. Hence, for all updates on Manali – Leh Highway Status 2021 will be posted or updated in this article only.
Will this thread have updated Manali Leh Road Status in 2021?
Once the Manali Leh road opens, I may not be that active in updating the minor road closures or status because these roads in the high Himalayas close and open frequently. It is barely impossible for a single tiny soul like me to update this information daily 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 2021.
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.
If you are traveling from Manali to Leh over Rohtang Pass, you will need to get the permit for Rohtang Pass which can be applied online. In 2021, you are not expected to travel via Rohtang Pass because Atal Tunnel is opened which reduces the journey from Manali to Keylong by 45 km and about 4 hrs.
Current Manali Leh Highway Status = Open | Update Date: 31 May 2021
The road from Manali to Leh is open but please keep in mind that there is intermittent closure at Baralacha La pass due to sudden snowfall or snowslides. These closures last for a day or two but overall the road from Manali to Leh remains open.
BRO has also cleared snow up at Rohtang Pass and the road is now through if people are interested to visit Rohtang Pass or travel via Rohtang Pass instead of Atal Tunnel. Traffic will in a day or two in first week of June from Manali to Rohtang Pass as well.
Update: 21 April 2021
The road from Manali to Leh has closed again due to fresh snowfall in the Lahaul Valley. Meanwhile, BRO has also updated the Bailey Bridge on Whiskey Nallah which connects Leh with Manali. The bridge was in bad condition after a snowfall in winters.
Update: 17 April 2021
Well, earlier today the truck stuck at Baralacha La has been cleared. All the vehicles which were stuck along with tourists and locals were rescued from Manali Leh Highway as it was thrown open. There were about 37 people who were stuck at Baralacha La on Manali Leh Highway. About 119 vehicles were allowed from Darcha to Leh from the Manali side.
BRO, ITBP, and Disaster Management teams have been deployed to monitor the traffic and for rescue of stuck people in these difficult conditions. I humbly request that even though the Manali – Leh road is cleared as of now, please wait for the road conditions to stabilize and then only plan your Ladakh trips. Getting stuck in these conditions is not an adventure but comes like a nightmare.
Update: 15th April 2021
Manali Leh Highway which was expected to open on 14th April could not be opened due to a massive avalanche at Baralacha La Pass. BRO cleared the snow immediately but then for the next couple of days snowfall is expected again which will deter the progress and close the Manali Leh Highway again. The inclement weather in the high Himalayas continues to keep both roads to Ladakh closed.
Authorities are requesting travelers to carry winter clothing, essentials, food supplies, water, and medicines as the road can close at any moment. There are many travelers stranded as of today and authorities are trying to help carry out rescue operations. In coming days, Bikers, Tourists, and heavy vehicles will not be allowed to travel on Manali Leh Highway.
Read more at: Hundreds stranded as another avalanche hits Baralacha La
Update: 13th April 2021
Manali Leh Highway continues to remain closed due to inclement weather in Himachal Pradesh and the upper reaches of the Himalayas continue to receive snowfall for the last few days. The Manali Leh Highway is expected to open up on 14th April 2021 for Ladakh-bound traffic. Some important point as the road from Manali to Leh opens on 14th April 2021:
- All people traveling to Leh from Manali are required to get their COVID-19 RT-PCR report checked Upshi checkpost in Ladakh. The RT-PCR report should not be older than the last 96 hours.
- Atal tunnel will allow traffic at all times of the day.
- Bikes will not be allowed to ply on Manali Leh Highway due to risky conditions in the initial days.
- Heavily loaded trucks will not be allowed as well on this route in the initial days.
Update: 4th April 2021
After the opening of Manali Leh Highway in the end of March, the road is again closed due to a landslide or snowslide somewhere in Baralacha La pass and traffic is not allowed beyond the Darcha checkpost. Weather in the coming days is inclement and snow is expected in higher Himalayan reaches. So, expect the road to be closed for few days this week. Also, it is very RISKY to travel on Manali Leh Highway as of now. So, please take precautions and calculated risks only.
Update: 29th March 2021
Surprisingly or crazily, BRO has created HISTORY and opened Manali Leh Highway in March for the first time ever. Usually, the Manali Leh Highway opens up in May-end of June early but this year it has been opened almost 2 months in advance. Civilians are not yet allowed and the decision about allowing regular traffic will be taken as per the safety of the road and weather conditions in the coming weeks.
BRO had started the snow clearance operations on Baralacha La Pass and expecting to open the Manali Leh Highway way earlier than expected the history. And we know that, when the road open, it will time to take the bikes out, get the cars serviced, and go dug dug dug on a trip to Leh Ladakh.
Last year in 2020, on May 18, the snow was cleared from Baralacha La Pass, and the vehicle movement started soon after. First, army vehicles were allowed to pass through the highway, and then small vehicles were allowed to travel from Manali to Leh. However, heavy vehicles and Manali to Leh bus service took some time to resume.
The road from Manali to Rohtang Pass is closed now for tourists as well and so as the road from Rohtang Pass to Keylong. The road to Leh Ladakh ahead of Keylong via Baralacha La is closed as well.
However, the road from Manali to Keylong is now open via Atal Tunnel and it takes 4 hrs less than usual to reach Keylong. This year BRO has to only focus on opening Baralacha La, Lungalacha La, Nakee La, and Taglang La pass on the Manali Leh Highway. So, no Rohtang Pass because of Atal Tunnel opened now.
Some Important Articles for Reference & Regular Updates
- List of Accommodation Options on Manali Leh Highway
- 5 Reasons to choose Srinagar – Leh Road over Manali – Leh Road
- Acute Mountain Sickness and Importance of Acclimatization
- 7 Useful Tips for a Self Drive to Leh – Ladakh
- 40 Must-Have Things to Carry on Ladakh Self Drive Trip
- List of things to carry for your Ladakh Trip
Manali Leh Travel Guide Infographic
Download your FREE high-resolution version pdf copy of this Manali to Leh infographic guide. If, you liked it and found it helpful, please feel free to share it with your family and friends to help them too.
Manali – Leh Highway Status = OPEN | Update Date: 29 March 2021
Manali, March 29, 2021: The BRO has restored 425-km Manali-Leh highway for vehicular traffic, which will provide access to military and common civilians from the Manali side in Himachal Pradesh to Leh in the union territory of Ladakh.
The first convoy of IOC bowsers was flagged off from the Himachal side by Stanzin Chosphel, Executive Councillor, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), today in the presence of BRO officials to announce the opening of this highway.
The strategically important Manali–Leh highway remains closed for about six months every winter and Ladakh remains cut off from rest of the country which makes the region dependent on supplies through the aerial route.
Due to the ongoing border issue with China in Ladakh, the Union government had this year asked the BRO to restore this highway earlier as soon as possible.
As a result, the BRO had started snow clearance operation on the road stretch between Manali and Leh in mid-February with a strategy to simultaneously commence snow clearance on four important passes along the route — Baralach La (16,047 ft), Nakeela (16,170 ft), Lachung La (16,616 ft) and Tanglang La (17,582 ft).
These passes receive 20 to 30 feet high heavy snowfall every year, which keeps the highway blocked for traffic movement for months.
BRO sources said the latest hi-tech machinery was swiftly inducted for clearing snow. BRO teams worked relentlessly day and night to provide early connectivity to Leh. The dynamics were different this year with the inauguration of Atal Tunnel as there was no necessity of opening the Rohtang Pass. This enabled complete focus on opening of Baralacha La with additional resources to restore connectivity at the earliest.
The opening of Baralacha La involved a two-pronged. The work started simultaneously from two sides — from Patsio to Baralach La and from Sarchu to Baralacha La.
After the restoration of the Manali-Leh highway, the people of Lahaul and Ladakh have conveyed their gratitude to Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhary, VSM, DGBR, and applauded the tremendous efforts put in by BRO to restore this highway in time.
External Source: Manali-Leh highway opens to traffic
Manali – Leh Highway Status = CLOSED | Update Date: 15 March 2021
Manali, March 15 2021: Amid the ongoing military tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, India is racing to open both road routes that connect the plateau of Ladakh with mainland India.
In February end, Zoji-La, a 11,500-ft-high mountain pass on the Srinagar-Leh route, was opened weeks ahead of the schedule. Now, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has sent a special team to open Baralacha-La, a 16,000-ft-high Himalayan pass on the Manali-Leh route.
Baralacha-La is the first high pass on the 427-km-long Manali–Leh highway. The road normally opens in mid-May, but the BRO might open it by the end of this month. Supplies like oil, food, ammunition and spares for the Army and IAF locations in Eastern Ladakh are dependent on these two routes. Once the passes close during the winter, the only option is to fly men and supplies from logistics hubs in Chandigarh or Hindon.
On Sunday, a team of the BRO clad in arctic clothing trekked across the snowbound Baralacha-La to reach Sarchu, a location where the road opening equipment was kept during the winter. The team is fully stocked with ration, spare parts, communication equipment etc.
It attempted to cross the pass on March 11 and again on March 12, but heavy snowfall held them back. The crossing was again attempted on March 13, which was successful. The team, however, fell short of the destination, Sarchu, where it reached the next day. Snow clearance work has started on access routes to the pass. There is a minimum of 20 feet of snow for more than 10-15 km on either side of the pass.
Meanwhile, Zoji-La, located 130 km east of Srinagar, was opened in February, but fresh snow around March 10 blocked the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh road.
External Source: Government rushes to open Ladakh roads
Manali Leh Highway Status = OPEN | Update Date: 18 May 2020
BRO has cleared the snow on Baralacha La Pass and opened the Manali Leh Highway way earlier than expected.
Manali – Leh Highway Status = OPEN | Update Date: 10 June 2019
Manali Leh Highway has been declared open for vehicular movement for tourists by BRO today. This year it took more than expected time to open the Leh Manali road owing to heavy snowfall in winters and inclement weather plus snowfall in May and June as well.
However, finally, the road from Leh to Manali has been declared open and now you can make your road trip to Ladakh from Manali.
If you know your friends or family are planning a trip to Ladakh, do share this article with them to help them make a memorable Ladakh trip.