Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Rohtang Pass

Any trip to Manali is incomplete without visiting the Rohtang Pass. By far, it is on top of the list for places to visit from Manali.

Rohtang La
Situated on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas, Rohtang Pass is at a height of 13,050 feet.  The distance between Manali and Rohtang is about 55 kms. However, due to the narrow road conditions, it may take upto three hours or more to reach there. It is recommended that you start early in the morning around 6:00 am or before to avoid traffic jams. From Manali, you can hire a personal or shared taxi to visit Rohtang. Motorbikes are also available on rent.

On the way to Rohtang
Zoom at the summit
Frozen waterfall on the way to Rohtang
Another frozen waterfall
You should also inquire about the permit requirements, if you are traveling in your own vehicle. The route is full of scenic beauty and some mindblowing landscapes.

At the cliff
Same cliff, different season
Irrespective of the season, you will find snow in Rohtang. If you want to have fun in snow, you will be required to rent a snow dress and snow boots from the local shops that come on the way. The driver can guide you for this. The dress and shoes will keep you and your clothes dry. You do not want your clothes to be wet with snow all around you.

You can try your hand at skiing and other snow sports here.

During the peak winter season, the pass is closed for tourists and the attraction shifts a bit downhill to "Snow Point."

Sunshine near snow point
The first time I and my wife visited Rohtang was in June 2010. We were fortunate to witness snow fall in Rohtang during that trip. Some of the views from here were breath taking. We were amazed at the grandeur of the place. Simply incredible! Soon we realised that the beauty of this place can't be captured in camera. We still tried to do the best. :)

Reflections in Rohtang

As it was snowing, we could stay at the pass only for about three hours and then we headed back to Manali.

One the way, there is a place called Marhi. This has some restaurants, restroom and a few shops which sell woolens. I recommend to try parathas here. With the chills in the wind, the hot parathas are like a blessing!

Frozen water body near Marhi
Another view at the frozen water body near Marhi
During our last trip in November 2014, while we were on our way to Manali from Rohtang, we saw some parachutes in the sky. It is one of the most sought after activity for the enthusiasts. The Parachutes can take you down all the way to Manali.

Here you may be confronted by various folks trying to sell kesar (saffron) and Shilajit (mineral pitch or mineral wax). Don't fall for it. If you are keen to buy it then do some research and seek advice from the locals for best shop to buy it from.

You will definitely be stuck in traffic after you leave Marhi. In all our three trips to Rohtang, we were stuck in traffic for hours. The journey that took us a little over two hours became four plus hour ride on the way back when done on a weekend. During the other two trips, we chose a weekday when the traffic was comparatively less.

Traffic jam

  • Ensure that you negotiate to get the best deal for snow dress and skiing, slides, horse rides, etc; 
  • In case you have a history of motion sickness, I suggest to have a very light breakfast and take some medication for vomit.

Best time to visit: Avoid the peak winter season (December/January), as the pass may not be open for tourists

How to reach: Take a volvo from New Delhi for Manali and from Manali hire a local taxi to Rohtang


  1. This time a lot of fun to hang out at this place is really nice place to come

    1. Yes, Vikash. Let me know if you need any help in planning your trip.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Himanshu! Coming from a fellow blogger it means alot!
      Thanks again, Abhay

  3. Thanks John. I am glad you like it.
    Stay tuned for more!