Ever since Rohtang Pass Permit has been introduced in 2011 for vehicles traveling in the direction from Manali to Rohtang La, there have been lots of questions and doubts flooding the travel forums and blogs over the Internet.
Today, in this article, I will write a detailed step by step guide on how to apply for “Rohtang Pass Permit” and “Beyond Rohtang Pass Permit” online at the official website of Kullu administration as well as using the recently launched Rohtang Pass Permit Mobile Apps by Kullu administration in 2018.
Let's quickly dive into the details:
In 2011, the permit restriction was enforced by NGT for any vehicles traveling on Manali to Rohtang Pass road in that very direction. No permit is required to travel from Keylong or Kaza side to Manali via Rohtang Pass.
Ever since this permit was enforced, there has been so much confusion on the application of this permit, and to add to the misery, rules changes almost every year. Every year we see new developments and changes to the rules of applying for these permits.
One year tourists are banned completely to visit Rohtang, the other year they change the process of applying for the permit, or they change the fee for the permit or some year they change the quota of allowed vehicles traveling to Rohtang, etc.. It was seriously miserable and required you to be up to date before making your travel plans to Ladakh and Spiti Valley regions.
I believe all this hassle calls for one more reason to choose Srinagar Leh Highway over Manali Leh Highway when traveling to Leh Ladakh.
The ecology of Rohtang Pass is getting destroyed with the huge number of vehicles going to Rohtang Pass in the season time, and hence the step was required before the snow gets vanished from the Glacier.
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 the closure of eateries and kiosks.
Commercial activities were already banned in this area by the NGT order. An eco-friendly market of 20 shops has been set up at Marhi to provide basic food needs to tourists.
A series of events 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 hefty congestion charges too. From indefinite strikes to moving to the supreme court to protests all over in Himachal, the taxi union did all they cannot leave any stone unturned.
However, the messages were strong and clear from the NGT to favor the ecology of Rohtang Pass, which was getting destroyed by the pollution of vehicles over considering any review petitions or hues or cries of the locals.
Having said that, more or less in the last couple of years things have stabled for good. In 2015, this permit was made available online which solved many on-ground issues and hassles for tourists struggling in Manali to get these permits.
The rules for these permits are not changing much anymore. Kullu administration has further simplified the process of applying for these permits by offering mobile apps for the Rohtang Pass permit starting 2018.
A few years back, NGT had enforced the permit for all vehicles visiting Rohtang from Manali side for tourism purposes and all vehicles require a permit to go beyond Rohtang Pass to Leh – Ladakh, and Lahaul – Spiti Valley.
The permit has certain limitations on the number of vehicles it is issued while no restriction is applicable for vehicles going beyond Rohtang Pass.
Hence, there are two categories of these permits, one just for visiting Rohtang and the other one is to go beyond Rohtang Pass to Leh – Ladakh or Lahaul – Spiti Valley.
You can apply for Rohtang Pass permit in three ways:
Nowadays in the tourist season time from June to September, about 25 electric buses ply on Manali to Rohtang Pass road. This certainly helps those tourists who cannot drive their own vehicles due to the restricted number of vehicles allowed by NGT on a per-day basis. Hence, allowing them to visit Rohtang Pass without the need for the permit.
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.
Vehicles are not allowed to go beyond Palchan without permits and in case you reach at Gulaba before 5.30 AM, you may get a challan.
Please note, in case you could not get the permits online, you can always apply them at the SDM office in Manali or Tourist Information Center. Tourist Information Center is open all seven days a week including Sundays and Holidays from 10 AM to 8 PM.
Hence, Rohtang Pass permits are also available on Sunday as well. This helps 1000s of tourists who reach Manali on Saturday or Sunday morning but then used to wait for an extra day to get the permit on Monday to travel to Leh Ladakh or Spiti Valley.
Tourists can apply online for the permit required to travel to Rohtang for tourism purposes as well as for the permit required to travel from Manali to Leh Ladakh or Manali to Lahaul – Spiti Valley. Given below is the detailed step by step process about how to apply for these permits using the online website of Kullu administration.
Earlier Him-Aanchal Taxi Operators Union and Luxury Coach Association at Manali were managing the fixed daily quota of 325 diesel and 400 petrol vehicles. Permits for rest 75 diesel and 200 petrol vehicles were provided by the HP Tourism Department, which included permits for state transport and private buses as well.
Hence, now we can book the online permits for Rohtang Pass in advance, things will become much smoother and hassle-free for a visit up there or are it? Let’s look at some of the details 😉
This type of permit is required only to travel to Rohtang Pass for tourism purposes.
This type of permit is required to travel beyond Rohtang towards Leh Ladakh or other parts of Lahaul, Pangi, and Spiti Valley.
Important: You must note that Beyond Rohtang Pass permit is required only for vehicles traveling in the direction from Manali to Rohtang Pass. Any vehicles coming from Leh to Manali or Keylong to Manali or Kaza to Manali DO NOT need any permit.
Also, it was said that once you apply for the online Rohtang permits, it will be confirmed within a week, and a tourist can show an SMS sent by the authorities at the Gulaba barrier. However, to date, I doubt this has been applied, and there is some manual process in it.
Starting the 2018-19 season, now tourists traveling to Rohtang can apply for both types of permits using the newly launched mobile apps by Kullu administration.
The Rohtang Pass Permit mobile app is available on both Android Play Store as well as the iOS App Store.
This is a beneficial step by the administration, and it will help the tourists traveling to both Rohtang Pass as well as beyond Rohtang Pass in a long way. Here are the key highlights on how to apply for Rohtang Pass permits using a mobile app on your phone.
Here are some of the screenshots of the Rohtang Pass permit mobile app.
Pro Tip: If you are doing a self-drive to Zanskar Valley, then make sure to read the article 40 Must-Have Things to Carry on a Self Drive Trip to Zanskar Valley
When you travel just to Rohtang Pass for tourism purposes then you need to pay both the Permit fee as well as congestion charges. Hence, it comes out to be Rs 550 Motor Bike, Car & Jeep.
When you are traveling beyond Rohtang Pass then you need to only pay Congestion Charges and no Permit fee is applicable. Hence, you need to only pay Rs 50.
|S.No.||Vehicle Class||Permit Fee||Congestion Charges|
|1||Motor Bike, Car & Jeep||Rs 500||Rs 50|
|2||MUV’s||Rs 500||Rs 50|
|3||Buses & HMV||Rs 500||Rs 100|
In order to apply for the Rohtang permit, you need to provide a valid photo ID proof, Valid Pollution Under Check (PUC) Certificate of your vehicle and Vehicle Registration Date (Age of vehicle not to be more than 10 yrs).
Please note that since 2017, a more mature technology-based barrier system is set up at the checkpoints of Gulaba & Khoksar. Those of you who may not know, Gulaba is about 20 KMs from Manali and 31 KMs before Rohtang Pass. Khoksar is a small settlement on the northern side of Rohtang Pass in Lahaul Valley.
The distance between Khoksar – Gramphu – Rohtang pass is about 19 KMs. Gramphu is about 4 KMs from Khoksar. It is the point where the road to Spiti valley bifurcates on right from Manali – Leh Highway.
The new system will stop the misuse of the permits. It will ensure that in case you have applied the permit to go beyond Rohtang, the permit gets automatically verified at the Khoksar checkpoint. Data between the two checkpoints will be in sync to catch the misuse of the permits.
Hence, if you applied permit to go beyond Rohtang and want to return from Rohtang only, then you will be caught at Gulaba checkpoint as there is no exit recorded at Khoksar for such a permit. Hence, you will have to apply the permit for Rohtang Pass only in such a case, capped to vehicle restrictions every day.
Vehicles which will not comply with these guidelines and found misusing it will be blacklisted.
Taxi union is working out to appeal that the barrier should be shifted to Marhi from Gulaba due to congestion at Gulaba while Marhi provides more space to park the vehicles.
Some times there are time restrictions on traveling to Rohtang Pass. However, it depends on year to year. These timings restrictions for travel to Rohtang are mostly relaxed from July onward as the peak season ends in June and tourist rush in Manali town fades away.
Let us look at some of the frequently asked questions on getting the Rohtang Pass permits.
You need to carry a valid vehicle registration certificate (RC of the vehicle), valid pollution under control (PUC) certificate for the vehicle and your own valid photo ID card.
Yes, you need to get Beyond Rohtang Pass permit and pay the congestion fee of Rs 50 for traveling from Manali to Kaza.
Yes, you need to get Beyond Rohtang Pass permit and pay the congestion fee of Rs 50 for traveling from Manali to Leh.
No, you do not need any Rohtang Pass permit is required for traveling from Spiti – Kaza to Manali.
No, you do not need any Rohtang Pass permit is required for traveling from Leh Ladakh to Manali.
Yes, both Rohtang Pass permit and Beyond Rohtang Pass permit congestion fees are required for bikes or motorcycles as well. The cycle does not need any permit.
Unlike the tourist permit of Rohtang Pass, there is no quota or restriction on a number of vehicles getting Beyond Rohtang Pass permit. Everyone who applies for Beyond Rohtang Pass permit gets it. Tourist permit for visiting Rohtang Pass does have a quota of 1200 vehicles in a day.
No, you cannot travel from Manali to Rohtang or Manali to Leh Ladakh or Lahaul – Spiti Valley on Tuesday as the permit is not issued on Tuesdays.
Yes, you can travel to Ladakh on a 10-year-old car but you will have to travel from Srinagar side and come back from Manali side because Rohtang Pass permit is not issued for vehicles more than 10-year-old.
You can visit Rohtang Pass without a permit by traveling in government-run state transport buses or shared jeeps. Keep in mind that the Rohtang Pass permit is issued for the vehicle, not for the person. So, if you get public transport, you do not need any permit to visit Rohtang Pass.
If you are not getting the permit online or using the mobile app, then you can apply for the Rohtang Pass permit in Manali at SDM Office or Tourist Information Center. Both of them offer permit services over weekends. However, best will be to apply for the permit online or using a mobile app.
Yes, as long as you have all the required complete sets of documents after purchasing the vehicle, you will be able to get the Rohtang Pass to permit.
In the end, Rohtang Pass is one of the major attractions near Manali to be visited but there are many more places too in around Manali which are worth a visit.
I am sure this article will help you with all your questions on Rohtang Pass permits and traveling beyond Rohtang. The Rohtang Pass Mobile app is a great and welcoming move by the Kullu administration and much appreciated. It is going to help so many people every year who are applying for the Rohtang Pass permit.
I am thankful to them for easing out the process with this new Mobile app. In case, you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to post them either in the comments section of this article below.
A big THANK YOU to Anupam Mahanta bhai for his continuous contribution in DoW Community Group on Facebook where he shared the above permit circular with all of us.
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.
This post was last modified on Mar 23, 2021 00:01
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