Manali to Rohtang Pass, India: All You Need to Know

by Neha Kulshrestha

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When you look at the snow-capped mountains you desire to reach the top and touch and play with the white sparkling snowball. When we reached Manali and looked out of the window we saw the majestic mountains with white peaks as if they were calling to us. We planned a trip from Manali to Rohtang Pass the next day.

This Manali to Rohtang trip does need some planning in advance and cannot be done in a jiffy.

Have questions? Don’t fret. This Manali Rohtang Pass guide will answer all your queries regarding Rohtang Pass Manali and make your trip a smooth and memorable ride.

Read More: India Bucket List

Rohtang Pass to Manali

Where is Rohtang Pass?

manali rohtang pass view

To 50 km north of Manali is the high mountain pass in the East Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas at a height of 13058 ft. It is very significant as connects the Kullu Valley to Lahaul and Spiti Valleys.

What is Manali to Rohtang Pass Distance?

Manali to Rohtang distance is around 50 km, but it is a mountainous stretch with lanes not sufficient for 2 cars At many places.

How Long is the Travel Time to Rohtang Pass from Manali?

rohtang pass leh manali highway
Traffic snarls at Manali – Rohtang road

Even though the distance is a mere 50 km, but the treacherous mountainous road makes the travel time around 2 hours.

And it might be increased further depending on the traffic. During summer, there has been a long serpentine queue of cars held up for hours.

But the serpentine roads lead to scenic vistas, cascading waterfalls, and para-gliders soaring in the sky. So if you’re held up in the traffic, get down and capture those moments that you will cherish forever.

When is Rohtang Pass Open?

rohtang pass road construction
Thanks to BRO (Border Roads Organisation) for maintaining the roads in such tough terrains

Due to heavy snowfall, the pass is closed from around December to May for six months. It is better to confirm the dates of opening the pass before planning for Manali to Rohtang.

Note: Rohtang pass is closed on Tuesdays for maintenance, hence no vehicles are allowed.

What is the Best Time to Visit Rohtang Pass?

Rohtang pass family pic
A fun trip in October to Rohtang Pass

June and July months of summer are the popular time amongst tourists, but this means difficulty in getting the permit (might have to wait a couple of days) and traffic snarls.

The monsoon months of July and August are the most dangerous time due to multiple landslides and wet and slushy roads.

The time after monsoons in September – November is a great time to visit with fewer tourists as compared to summer. It would be easier to get the permit without much wait and less traffic.

What do I Need to Take Care of Before Planning a Trip to Rohtang Pass?

But you need to do some prep before planning a trip to Rohtang Pass:

  1. A permit to enter the pass.  There is a limit to the number of vehicles entering Rohtang Pass and a permit needs to be applied for.
  2. Check if the roads are open. (The roads are closed in winter from around December – May)
  3. Pollution checks for your vehicle and fuels fill-up.
  4. Snacks and water as there are only small Maggi stalls up at the pass.
  5. Medicines if you have mountain sickness.
  6. Woolens – Jackets, snow gloves, winter caps, winter boots, and an extra pair of clothes if traveling with kids.

How Many Days do you Need for Rohtang Pass?

The Rohtang Pass permit is valid for one day (to and fro) for only visiting Rohtang or traveling beyond.

So, either you need to return back to Manali or travel beyond Rohtang Pass towards Leh. There are no lodging options available at the pass.

The tourists need to vacate the Rohtang pass area by 4 pm.

What are the Documents Needed to Apply for the Permit?

  1. Registration details of the vehicle. (not to be old than 10 years)
  2. Valid pollution check certificate.
  3. Drivers license.
  4. Valid ID proof.

How to Apply for Rohtang Pass Permit?

As per NGT (National Green Tribunal), a permit is required to enter the eco-sensitive area of Rohtang Pass to save the damage to it from excessive pollution.

  • The permit is valid for one day (to and fro).
  • The permit is limited to 800 Petrol vehicles and 400 Diesel vehicles for a day and can be applied within 6 days prior to the travel date.
  • There is a separate permit for private vehicles limited to 60 petrol and 40 diesel vehicles and is given to a vehicle only once a season.
  • The permit can be obtained in two-time frames – 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (for 400 petrol and 200 diesel vehicles in each slot)

There are 2 ways to apply for the permit:

  1. You can apply online. Before filling out the form, keep all your documents handy.
Rohtang-pass-permit-website-Travelmelodies
Website by HP Tourism Council for online Rohtang Pass Permit

If you need to apply for the permit for your cab/taxi, click the option Rohtang Pass Permit and fill in the details in the form.

rohtang-pass-tourist-permit-form-Travelmelodies
The Rohtang Pass Permit Form

If you need to apply for your private vehicle, click the option Special Rohtang Pass Permit.

rohtang pass private tourist permit form
Rohtang Pass Permit Form for private vehicles

If you are traveling beyond Rohtang Pass towards Leh or Lahaul – Spiti, then click the option Beyond Rohtang Pass.

Beyond-Rohtang-pass-permit-form-Travelmelodies
Permit Form for places beyond Rohtang Pass

2. You can also apply in person at the SDM office in Manali. The office operates from 10 am to 5 pm. Expect long queues and quite a waiting time to get the permit.

Address: Manu Market, Siyal, Manali, Himachal Pradesh 175131

What is the Rohtang Pass Permit Fee?

  1. The vehicles visiting Rohtang Pass need to pay permit fees and Congestion charges.

Permit fees: INR 500

Congestion charges: INR 50

2. The vehicles traveling beyond the Rohtang Pass just need to pay the Congestion charges.

Congestion charges: INR 50

Are you traveling to Leh? Want to experience the challenging Leh – Manali highway? Do Get acquainted with all the information by reading Leh Manali Highway – One of the Most Riskiest Highways in India.

Do I Need a Printout of the Rohtang Pass Permit?

The printout of the permit is mandatory and is checked at the Gulaba checkpoint along with the Pollution certificate.

rohtang permit

Gulaba checkpoint is located about 30 km before Rohtang Pass on the Leh Manali highway.

What to Wear While Visiting Rohtang Pass?

Since Rohtang is covered with snow all through the year, you need to layer up with jackets, caps, and gloves. If you would like to go deep in the snow, then snow boots are a must.

The snowsuits and boots can even be rented anywhere from Manali to Rohtang Pass. Snowsuits are rented from INR 200 – INR 250 along with boots and/or gloves.

Note: Do check the condition of the boots. If they are torn, then snow can leak in and feet can get wet.

But we highly recommend getting your own warm wear. Check our recommendations.

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Rohtang-pass-igloo-Travelmelodies

Where Can I Eat at Rohtang Pass?

At Rohtang Pass, you have the option of eating the famous Maggi (instant noodles) and a cup of hot tea at small shacks or vendors. “Pahadon me aaye aur Maggi nahi khayi to kuch nahi khaya” (If you’ve come to the mountains and not eaten Maggi then you’ve missed something).

But the best option is the small town of Marhi, which is a hub of small roadside eateries popularly called the dhabas. Little before Rohtang, this is the best place you can have a meal and even use the restrooms. The wide variety of Maggi from veg Maggi, mushroom Maggi, gobhi Maggi, Chinese Maggi, and many more will baffle you.

We tried the regular Maggi and veggie Maggi which was awesome.

You might want to carry some snacks and water with you.

Note: We are responsible tourists and don’t litter around.

How to Reach Rohtang Pass?

There are many ways to reach Rohtang Pass from Manali – own vehicle, cab, or public transport. But the most common is hiring a taxi/cab.

Most of the hotels can help arrange a taxi for the trip to Rohtang Pass. The taxi fare ranges from INR 2000 to INR 5000 depending upon the car.

An eco-friendly option is an electric bus, Himtarang run by HRTC at a fare of INR 600 per person for a return trip. The biggest advantage is that you don’t need a permit. Click HRTC to book the tickets online.

Another cheap and convenient option is a Tempo Traveler. Most of the hotels have tie-ups and they can plan a trip along with a group of other travelers. They even pick up and drop off from the hotel and charge INR 500 per person.

Note: Drive your own vehicle only if you are comfortable driving on mountains and on treacherous roads. The roads tend to be slippery and broken.

rohtang pass bumpy road

There were hatchback and sedan cars apart from SUVs and buses driving up to Rohtang Pass. We even drove our hatchback, but after this experience, I highly recommend driving an SUV to save your car from bumpy patches of road.

Manali tough roads at Rohtang Pass

Caution: Drive carefully and follow the rules. Try not to overtake as this might cause traffic blockage as the roads are narrow and at many places, only a single vehicle can pass through.

Did we answer all your queries regarding Rohtang Pass from the Manali trip? Have you visited the Rohtang Pass? Did you play the snowball fights? Do share your experience. We would love to hear.

Are you an adventure lover? Do you love being surrounded by nature and lush green mountains? Then you shouldn’t miss Kheerganga Trek!

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rohtang pass welcome

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Neha Kulshrestha

A software engineer by profession and a travel blogger by passion, Neha loves to travel to new places with her family. Her love for travel has grown leaps and bounds with time. From traveling with her parents to traveling as a couple to traveling with kids; she has come a long way. Neha wants to tick Hawaii off her bucket list desperately. The adrenaline junkie in her would love to try Skydiving someday soon. When she's not traveling, social work keeps her busy. She works for a child education NGO in Chandigarh.

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