Making history yet again in 2023, BRO opened and cleared snow from the Manali Leh Highway on 25th March 2023. Even though the Manali Leh road is open or cleared of snow now, in the initial weeks only army vehicles and essential supply vehicles will be allowed. Only when the road is stable as well as safe, tourists and the general public will be allowed to travel on Manali Leh Highway.
In 2022 as well, BRO cleared the snow from Manali Leh Highway on 26th March 2022 and took about 144 days to open it. However, this year in 2023, BRO opened the Manali Leh road in just 138 days.
Last year on May 3, 2022, the Manali Leh Highway was opened to tourists and locals of the region. Initially, only light motor vehicles are allowed, in fact only cars. Heavy vehicles and two-wheelers including bikes were not allowed initially to travel on Manali Leh Highway.
In 2021, Manali Leh Highway was thrown open for tourists by the middle of April 2021. And well as of March 28, 2021, BRO had created history and opened Manali Leh Highway for the 2021 year Ladakh season. A convoy of essential supplies traveled from Manali to Leh after four months of the closure of the Manali Leh Highway in that week.
in 2021, it happened the first time in history that Manali Leh Highway was opened 2-3 months in advance but it suffered mostly with frequent closures in April and May months. It got up and running smoothly only in June.
In the last couple of years, BRO started snow clearance operations on Baralacha Pass in the month of March. In 2021, with the introduction of the Atal Tunnel, BRO has one less pass, that is Rohtang Pass, to clear Manali Leh Highway.
This year, 2023, the snow clearance operations on Manali Leh Highway for the season 2023-24 also began by March’s first week. Snow clearance started from Manali or Keylong’s side towards Baralacha La. And by the end of March, BRO troops may reach Baralacha La for a recce on foot to survey the route and snow conditions. If the weather holds up during those days, BRO can expect to open Manali Leh Highway sometime in May.
It means that the butterflies in the stomach of all the adventure enthusiasts planning their upcoming trip to Leh – Ladakh in 2023 will be more frequent 🙂 :)… The Manali Leh Highway Status 2023 is CLOSED, snow cleared as of 25 March 2023 and no one is yet allowed to travel beyond Jispa.
BRO started the snow clearance operations from Stingri – Zingzing Bar towards Baralacha La Pass on the Manali – Keylong side in the month of March. Rohtang Pass will not be in the picture this year due to the opening of the Atal Tunnel. Hence, much like the last few years, we can expect Manali Leh Highway to open a bit early than it used to be, historically.
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 2023?
On March 25, 2023, 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 remains closed for the next two to three weeks till the end of April due to inclement weather and unsafe road conditions. No tourists have yet been allowed to pass through it.
After offering prayers, BRO commences the snow clearance operations and targets to open Manali – Atal Tunnel – Keylong – Baralacha La – Sarchu – Leh route as soon as possible to support the locals. According to the sources, this year in 2023 as well, 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 move towards Sarchu.
However, we shall wait for the day soon for the Manali – Leh Highway to open soon and let the adventure for 2023 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 the weather and mountain 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 now) usually opens up by early May to the middle of May. But this year due to less snowfall and Rohtang Pass not being in consideration as folks can travel via Atal Tunnel, I do feel that this year Manali Leh Highway may open by the end of April or early May.
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. We are seeing the same pattern in 2023 as well.
I have been watching it for the last fourteen-fifteen years now and eventually, it all gets down upon the weather, snowfall, and snowy road conditions in the month of 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 the 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 stabilized. Due to snow sliding, avalanches, and loose gravel, roadblocks are very common in the initial days. And the road is unsafe. The chances of getting stuck and then rescued are always high.
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 the Manali – Leh Highway in early May or late April.
Where can I track Leh Manali Road Status 2023?
As per the previous years, I will be starting this sticky post for Manali Leh Highway Status 2023, which so many adventure lovers await every year. I will keep updating this article with the latest updates.
Also, I am posting weekly Himalayan road status updates including both Manali Leh Highway and Srinagar Leh Highway on the community page of my YouTube channel. So, I will suggest you subscribe to my channel. It will keep you stay updated every week on the road status of various roads in the Himalayas including all updates on Manali – Leh Highway Status 2023.
Will this thread have updated Manali Leh Road Status in 2023?
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 2023. However, as I said, I am posting weekly updates on my YouTube channel where you can stay up to date.
I hope as per the last year, and 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. Starting 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 = CLOSED, snow cleared once but tourists not allowed yet
Update Date: 3 May 2023
The current status of Manali Leh Highway is closed as of May 3, 2022. The weather is not favorable this week, so this may delay the opening of the Manali Leh Highway this season in 2023. As of now, it does not look like the Manali to Leh road will open before the middle of May 2023 even though the snow was cleared from the highway on 25 March 2023. No tourists have yet been allowed to travel.
Update Date: 25 March 2023
Snow has been cleared from Manali Leh Highway but only army vehicles and essential supply vehicles are only allowed. Once the road is safe, then only the local administration will allow tourists to travel on Manali to Leh road.
- Manali to Rohtang Pass is CLOSED
- Rohtang Pass to Keylong is CLOSED
Update Date: 3 May 2022
Manali Leh Highway was opened on May 3 2022 for cars and light vehicles. Bikes, two-wheelers, and heavy vehicles were not allowed to cross Baralacha La Pass in the early days of its opening. As there was a lot of snow on Baralacha Pass, I. requested everyone to please take utmost caution and care when traveling on this route if you are planning early in the season to travel from Manali to Leh.
Update Date: 26 March 2022
Manali Leh Highway was opened on 26 March 2022. However, only army vehicles and essential supply vehicles were allowed to travel on it. Snow clearance on the Baralacha La pass was completed by BRO in March in the year 2022. The Manali Leh road was not yet stable and safe for tourists to travel so I urged everyone to wait and let the highway stabilize before planning their trip to Leh Ladakh.
Update Date: 4 March 2022
The snow clearance operations on Manali Leh Highway was begun early in March 2022. BRO worked hard to clear the snow from Baralacha La Pass and Tanglangla Pass, where they were expecting a lot of snow. In the year 2022, it did not look like they would be able to clear the snow from the Manali Leh highway in March as it happened in 2021. However, they did clear it eventually in March. In the year 2021 creating history, BRO opened the Manali Leh highway in March even though tourist vehicles were not allowed to travel till much later in the season.
Update Date: 10 Feb 2022
As of this date in February 2022, the Manali Leh Highway was closed due to heavy snowfall on the high mountain passes of Manali Leh road which includes Baralacha La, Lungalacha La, Namika La, and Taglangla. You do not need to pass through Rohtang Pass after the opening of the Atal Tunnel in 2021.
Update Date: 31 May 2021
On 31 May 2021, the road from Manali to Leh was opened but please keep in mind that there were intermittent closures at Baralacha La pass due to sudden snowfall or snowslides. These closures lasted for a day or two but overall the road from Manali to Leh remained open.
BRO had also cleared snow up at Rohtang Pass and the road was now through if people are interested to visit Rohtang Pass or travel via Rohtang Pass instead of Atal Tunnel. Traffic was allowed in the first week of June 2021 from Manali to Rohtang Pass as well.
Update: 21 April 2021
On April 21, 2021, the road from Manali to Leh was closed again due to fresh snowfall in the Lahaul Valley. Meanwhile, BRO had also updated the Bailey Bridge on Whiskey Nallah which connects Leh with Manali. The bridge was in bad condition after a snowfall in winter.
Update: 17 April 2021
Well, on April 17, 2021, the truck stuck at Baralacha La was 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 had been deployed to monitor the traffic and the rescue of stuck people in these difficult conditions. I humbly requested that even though the Manali – Leh road was cleared early in 2021, everyone should please wait for the road conditions to stabilize and then only plan their 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 in April 2021. BRO cleared the snow immediately but then for the next couple of days snowfall was expected again which deterred the progress and closed the Manali Leh Highway again. The inclement weather in the high Himalayas continued to keep both roads to Ladakh closed.
Authorities requested travelers to carry winter clothing, essentials, food supplies, water, and medicines as the road could close at any moment. There were many travelers stranded and authorities tried to help carry out rescue operations. In the following days, Bikers, Tourists, and heavy vehicles were not 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 continued to remain closed in the middle of April 2021 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 was expected to open up on 14th April 2021 for Ladakh-bound traffic. Some important point as the road from Manali to Leh opens in April 2021:
- All people traveling to Leh from Manali were 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.
- The Atal Tunnel allowed traffic at all times of the day.
- Bikes were not allowed to ply on Manali Leh Highway due to risky conditions in the initial days.
- Heavily loaded trucks were not allowed as well on this route in the initial days.
Update: 4th April 2021
As of April 4th, 2021, after the opening of Manali Leh Highway at the end of March, the road was again closed due to a landslide or snowslide somewhere in Baralacha La pass, and traffic was not allowed beyond the Darcha checkpost. Weather in the following days was inclement and snow was expected in higher Himalayan reaches. So, everyone should expect the road to be closed for a few days this week. Also, it is very RISKY to travel on Manali Leh Highway when such conditions exist. So, please take precautions and calculate risks only.
Update: 29th March 2021
Surprisingly or crazily, BRO created HISTORY and opened Manali Leh Highway in March 2021 for the first time ever. Usually, the Manali Leh Highway opens up in May-end of June early but in 2021 year was opened almost 2 months in advance. Civilians were not allowed at the start and the decision about allowing regular traffic was taken later as per the safety of the road and weather conditions in the later weeks.
BRO had started the snow clearance operations on Baralacha La Pass and expected to open the Manali Leh Highway way earlier than expected in history. And we know that, when the road opens, it will be time to take the bikes out, get the cars serviced, and go dug dug dug on a trip to Leh Ladakh.
In the year 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, almost till the middle of June.
The road from Manali to Rohtang Pass was closed to tourists as well and so was the road from Rohtang Pass to Keylong. The road to Leh Ladakh ahead of Keylong via Baralacha La was closed as well.
However, the road from Manali to Keylong was open via Atal Tunnel and it takes 4 hrs less than usual to reach Keylong when compared to traveling via Rohtang Pass road. In the year 2021, BRO had to only focus on opening Baralacha La, Lungalacha La, Nakee La, and Taglang La passes on the Manali Leh Highway. So, no Rohtang Pass because of Atal Tunnel was opened.
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.