This year, the snow clearance operations on Srinagar Leh Highway for the season 2020-21 have started very early in February from Srinagar and Drass sides. And now it looks like the snow clearance is going to take momentum amidst heavy snowfall if the weather holds up in the coming months.
On 19th February 2021, BRO made a groundbreaking 61-year record of clearing the snow from Srinagar Leh Highway. With snow cleared from Zojila Pass, you can expect Srinagar Leh Highway to open by end of February, which will be a record in the history of the opening of Srinagar Leh Highway that early in the season ever.
As of now, BRO expects to open Srinagar Leh Highway in 2020 in record-breaking time by the end of February. However, only time and weather in the coming weeks will have the final say in it.
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 Srinagar Leh Highway Status 2021 is OPENING on 27th February, as BRO worked hard to clear the heavy amount of snow from Sonamarg towards Zojila Pass on the Srinagar side and from Drass towards Zojila on the Kargil side.
You might also be interested in tracking the road status for Manali Leh Highway.
Let's quickly dive into the details:
When will Srinagar Leh Highway open in 2021?
After offering prayers, BRO commenced the snow clearance operations earlier in February from both Srinagar – Sonamarg side as well as Dras – Kargil’s side. They are targeting to open Srinagar – Zojila Pass – Kargil – Leh route as soon as possible in March or April to support the locals and tourists travel over Srinagar Leh Highway.
According to the sources, BRO is working hard to clear the huge amount of snow accumulated this year on Srinagar Leh Highway. The reports are that about 10 feet of snow are present on Sonamarg only, and about 30 feet of snow is accumulated at Zojila Pass. It is not an easy task to cut through such a huge amount of snow in that difficult terrain.
However, we shall wait for the day soon for the Srinagar – Leh Highway to open soon in early March and let the adventure for 2020 begin 😀 …
There has not been a heavy snowfall this year in the entire Himalayas, and hence, this year’s opening of Srinagar Leh Highway will be in record-breaking time in February end or early March in contrast to last year when it opened March-end itself. As per the authorities, there are fewer feet of snow stretches that have to be cut around Zojila Pass and about 10-15 feet between Sonamarg to Zojila Pass.
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 Himalayas 🙂 🙂 …
When does Srinagar Leh Highway open usually?
This 434 KM long Srinagar Leh Highway was closed in December end last year and usually opens up by the first week of April or March end looking at only the last few years. I do feel that this year it may open early owing to less amount of snow in the Himalayas. It has been a norm that we set up the targets to open the highway early only to realize that the weather has the last laugh.
I have been watching it for the last 12 years now, and this year as well, I don’t expect major changes. Eventually, it will all get down upon the weather and snow conditions in the month of March / April when snow may happen in many parts of the Himalayas including this belt of Kashmir too.
Should I travel on Srinagar Leh immediately after road opening?
When making a road trip to Leh Ladakh over Srinagar Leh Highway, you must keep in mind that even when the road from Srinagar to Leh opens, it takes some time to get them stabilized. Due to snow sliding and loose gravel, roadblocks are very common in the initial days, especially around Zojila Pass.
Even there is one-way traffic with time restrictions of traffic flow in the initial days because the road is not wide enough due to snow walls and one-way traffic is only allowed at Zojila Pass.
Hence, it is recommended that you wait for a couple of weeks before planning the trip on Srinagar 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 Srinagar – Leh Highway in early April.
Please keep in mind that even when the Srinagar to Leh road to Ladakh gets open early in 2021, it needs at least couple of weeks to settle or get stabilized from initial snow sliding that happens due to quick melting of snow.
So, please do not rush to Ladakh by road as soon as the highway is thrown open rather wait for a couple of weeks to let it stabilize 😉 … This will ensure safe passage for you and avoid any unforeseen mishaps.
Where can I track Leh Srinagar Road Status 2021?
As per the previous years, I will be starting this sticky post for Srinagar 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 lack of team. Hence, for all updates on Srinagar – Leh Highway Status 2021 will be posted or updated in this article only.
Will this thread have updated Srinagar Leh Road Status in 2021?
Once the Srinagar Leh road opens, I may not be that active in updating the minor road closures or status because of these roads in the high Himalayas, which 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 Srinagar 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 Srinagar Leh Highway and further to Leh – Ladakh region.
Please note that if you are traveling from Manali to Leh over Rohtang Pass and coming back from Leh to Srinagar highway, you will need to get the permit for Rohtang Pass which can be applied online. But, if you plan to use Atal Tunnel that opened in 2020, you do not need a Rohtang Pass permit.
Current Srinagar Leh Highway Status = OPEN, one way only | Update: 2 May 2021
The tourist or passenger traffic or vehicles were not allowed to pass from Sonamarg to Kargil – Leh due to the weekend Corona curfew in the Ladakh region.
The one-way traffic from Srinagar to Leh is allowed for vehicles carrying essential commodities on the weekend. The traffic from Leh to Srinagar is not allowed yet.
- Srinagar to Sonamarg is OPEN
- Sonamarg to Zojila Pass to Drass is Open, one-way only
- Drass to Kargil to Leh is OPEN
Update: 26 April 2021
Finally, after a couple of spells of fresh snowfall in April, Srinagar Leh Highway has opened again but only for one-way traffic from Srinagar to Leh for all types of vehicles. There will be timings imposed on the traffic movement according to which the traffic from Sonamarg will be allowed after 10:30 am and 11:00 am from Meenamarg to Kargil.
Road conditions are still very snowy and icey up there, so please take precaution when traveling.
The traffic from Kargil to Srinagar is not yet allowed and only one way traffic is allowed from Srinagar to Leh from 7 AM to 1 PM only. Vehicles crossing before or after this time range will not be allowed.
Update: 23 April 2021
After opening for a day or two, Srinagar Leh Highway has closed again due to fresh snowfall again at Zojila Pass. Authorities suggest that if the weather remains clear, Srinagar to Leh road will be thrown open again soon.
Update Date: 15 April 2021
Well inclement weather and snow over Zojila Pass continue to remain closed for last 1.5 months. However, BRO is toiling hard to clear the snow again from Zojila Pass and expect that they will complete the snow clearance in next couple of days. It means that if weather stays favourable, BRO may open Srinagar Leh Highway in the coming week.
Authorities are setting up Covid-19 screening checkposts at Meenamarg and setting up facilities for conducting RT-PCR tests for all inbound passengers to Leh Ladakh and Kargil.
Read more here: Snow-clearing operations at Srinagar-Leh NH in full swing
Update: 5th April 2021
Due to snow slides, avalanches, and inclement weather, BRO is still not allowing tourists and locals to travel beyond Zojila Pass on Srinagar – Leh Highway. So, even though the road was cleared of snow on 28th February, still, no general public traffic is allowed on the highway after the initial couple of days.
Update Date: 20 March 2021
It has been almost three weeks since the Srinagar Leh Highway has been declared open. However, tourists have not been allowed to travel beyond Sonamarg to cross Zojila Pass. There are constant spell of snowfall, avalanches and snow slides that remains the road closed or not suitable to travel for general public including tourists and locals. More snow is predicted in coming days in Jammu & Kashmir as per weather forecasts.
Update Date: 5 March 2021
After declaring the road open last week in a record time, there is still no sign of tourists or civilians being allowed to cross Zojila Pass on Srinagar Leh Highway to travel to Ladakh from Srinagar. The avalanches and snow slides are causing the road to remain closed.
Update Date: 28 February 2021
The road from Srinagar to Leh has been opened after remaining closed for 2 months of heavy snowfall. It has been the record opening of Srinagar Leh Highway ever and it just remained closed for only 58 days this winter. You can read the full report here at Srinagar-Leh road reopens after 2 months.
Update Date: 24 February 2021
The road from Srinagar to Kargil to Leh has been cleared of snow in record time this year by BRO. In the past 61 years, it has never happened that BRO cleared the snow such early in the season that too in February. It means that now the Srinagar to Leh road shall be thrown open by the end of February.
Update Date: 19th February 2021
The snow clearance operations have been almost completed started in February this year on Srinagar Leh Highway. It is expected that snow will be cleared from the Srinagar to Leh road by the end of February if the weather stays favorable.
If you are traveling to Leh only by flight, you can plan to make a day trip to Kargil covering Lamayuru and Sham Valley on the way to Kargil from Leh.
Timings of Zojila Pass in April 2021
- Sonamarg to Drass: 7 AM to 1 PM
Some Important Articles for Reference & Regular Updates
- 5 Reasons to choose Srinagar – Leh Road over Manali – Leh Road
- 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
- Acute Mountain Sickness and Importance of Acclimatization
Srinagar Leh Highway Travel Guide Infographic
Download your FREE high-resolution version pdf copy of this Srinagar to Leh route travel infographic. If, you liked it and found it helpful, please feel free to share it with your family and friends to help them too.
Srinagar – Leh Highway Status = CLOSED, Snow Cleared | Update Date: 19 February 2021
Srinagar, Feb 19 (UNI) Traffic on the National Highway, the only road connecting Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh with Kashmir valley, is likely to resume soon as snow clearance operation at Zojila pass is almost completed while the 270-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway will remain closed on Friday for weekly maintenance and repair work.
Meanwhile, the 86-km-long historic Mughal road, linking Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region remained closed since December last year due to accumulation of snow, particularly at Pir-ki-Gali.
However, massive snow clearance operation was going on Anantnag-Kishtwar road which is likely to reopen for traffic about a month earlier this time.
Full Report: Srinagar Leh Highway to open soon.