Rohtang Pass: A Journey To The Top Of The World | Complete Travel Guide

Rohtang Pass:

Rohtang Pass, nestled in the Eastern Pir Panjal range, is nature’s perfect spectacle. Its name translates to “ground of corpses,” a somber reminder of the lives lost while attempting to cross this challenging pass. Yet, during the accessible months (from June to September), Rohtang Pass becomes a magnet for adventurers and thrill-seekers. Imagine slippery roads, treacherous curves, and extreme weather—all leading to a breathtaking reward: snow-capped mountains, crisp mountain air, and the thrill of conquering a formidable journey.

Rohtang Pass

More About Rohtang Pass

  • Location: Rohtang Pass lies 50 km north of Manali, connecting the beautiful valleys of Himachal Pradesh—Manali and Lahaul & Spiti.
  • Ancient Trade Route: It once served as an ancient trade route between either side of the Pir Panjal range.
  • Significance: During its brief accessibility window (July to September), it’s crucial for transporting staple crops and potatoes from Lahaul valley to Kullu’s market.
  • Gateway to Pangi and Leh Valley: Rohtang Pass also acts as the gateway to Pangi and Leh valley.

Sightseeing Around Rohtang Pass

Explore these enchanting sights:

  • Geypan Peaks: Imposing peaks loom large, offering panoramic views.
  • Nehru Kund: A natural spring named after India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.
  • Kothi Village: A picturesque hamlet with stunning vistas.
  • Gulaba: A serene spot surrounded by snow-capped mountains.
  • Rahala Waterfall: Witness the cascading beauty of this waterfall.
  • Rozy Waterfall: Another mesmerizing waterfall to visit.
  • Rani Nallah: A daunting obstacle on the way to Rohtang Pass.
  • Activities at Rohtang Pass
  • Snow Adventures: Skiing, snowboarding, and snowball fights!
  • Trekking: Explore nearby trails.
  • Photography: Capture the breathtaking landscapes.
  • Biking: Brave the challenging roads on two wheels.

Restaurants at Rohtang Pass

While there aren’t many restaurants directly at Rohtang Pass, you can enjoy local Himachali cuisine at eateries in Manali and nearby villages.

Nearby Tourist Spots of Rohtang Pass

  • Solang Valley: Just a short drive away, Solang Valley offers more adventure and stunning views.
  • Marhi: A picturesque stopover on the way to Rohtang Pass.

Highlights of Rohtang Pass

  • Snow-Covered Peaks: A surreal white wonderland.
  • Challenging Roads: Slippery, narrow, and thrilling.
  • Glaciers and Rivers: Nature’s grandeur on display.


  • Rohtang Pass opens around June 1 and remains accessible until September.
  • Remember that it’s closed for most of the year due to harsh weather conditions.

Entry Fee

  • There’s an entry fee for vehicles and tourists. Check the latest rates before your visit.


  • Acclimatize: The high altitude demands acclimatization.
  • Layer Up: Weather can change rapidly; dress in layers.
  • Permits: Obtain necessary permits if traveling beyond Rohtang Pass.

Rohtang Pass Permit

To explore the mesmerizing Rohtang Pass, you’ll need a permit. Here are the essentials:

  • Cost: INR 500 per vehicle (Car, Jeep, MUV, Bus, HMV).
  • Purpose: For tourists visiting Rohtang Pass.
  • Congestion Charge: An additional INR 50 to cross the Gulaba Bridge.

Special Rohtang Pass Permit

This permit is exclusively for private vehicles. If you’re driving your own vehicle, opt for the Special Rohtang Pass Permit.

How to Obtain Your Rohtang Pass Permit:

  1. Online Portal: Visit the official government website to apply for permits up to 6 days in advance.
  2. Choose Your Permit Type:
    • Rohtang Pass Permit
    • Special Rohtang Pass Permit
    • Beyond Rohtang Pass Permit
    • Green Tax (for environmental conservation)
  3. Check Availability: Ensure your preferred date is open for permits.
  4. Validate Your Permit: Once approved, validate your permit or congestion fees slip.
  5. Check Permit Status / Reprint: Track your permit status or reprint it if needed.
  6. Submit Refund Request: If necessary, submit a refund request (available after two days of the transaction).

Important Tips:

  • Acclimatize: Rohtang Pass is at high altitude; take it slow.
  • Layer Up: Weather changes rapidly; dress in layers.
  • Plastic-Free Zone: Avoid single-use plastics.
  • Timings: Rohtang Pass opens around June 1 and remains accessible until September.

Remember, Rohtang Pass isn’t just a destination—it’s an adventure waiting to unfold! 🏔️🚗

Required Time

  • Plan at least a day to explore Rohtang Pass and its surroundings.

Restricted Items

  • Plastic Bags: Avoid littering; the environment matters.
  • Single-Use Plastics: Be eco-friendly.

Things To Do At Rohtang Pass:

Rohtang Pass, often called the “Gateway to the Lahaul and Spiti Valley,” is a breathtaking high mountain pass nestled in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh, India. Its name translates to “pile of corpses,” a somber reminder of the treacherous conditions and unpredictable weather that have claimed lives in the past. At an elevation of 3,978 meters (13,051 feet) above sea level, Rohtang Pass is not only a geographical marvel but also a crucial link between the Kullu Valley and the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys.

1. Savour the Views

Take in the panoramic views of the Himalayas, including the Pir Panjal and Great Himalayan Ranges. Let the grandeur of snow-capped peaks leave you awe-inspired.  Here’s how to truly savor the views:

  1. Panoramic Himalayan Peaks: Stand at the pass and let your eyes wander across the snow-capped peaks of the Pir Panjal and Great Himalayan Ranges. The sheer grandeur of these mountains is awe-inspiring.
  2. Snow-Blanketed Landscape: During winter, Rohtang Pass transforms into a white wonderland. The undulating snowfields stretch as far as the eye can see. Capture this magical sight and feel the crisp mountain air.
  3. Beas River Valley: Gaze down into the Beas River Valley, which winds its way through lush green meadows and terraced fields. The river sparkles like a silver ribbon against the rugged terrain.
  4. Clouds and Sky: The ever-changing sky above Rohtang Pass is a canvas of drama. Watch as clouds play hide-and-seek with the sun, casting shadows on the mountains below.
  5. Sunrise and Sunset: Rise early to witness the golden sunrise over the peaks. As evening approaches, stay back for the mesmerizing hues of sunset—the mountains bathed in warm orange and pink tones.
  6. Silence and Solitude: Rohtang Pass offers moments of solitude. Stand there, away from the hustle of daily life, and listen to the whisper of the wind. Feel the vastness of the Himalayas envelop you.

2. Snow Activities

During winter, engage in thrilling snow activities like skiing, snowboarding, and snowball fights. Rohtang Pass transforms into a snowy wonderland!  Here are some exhilarating snow activities to indulge in:

  1. Skiing: Glide down the powdery slopes, feeling the rush of wind against your face. Rohtang Pass offers an ideal terrain for skiing enthusiasts.
  1. Snowboarding: Strap on your snowboard and carve through the snow like a pro. The thrill of navigating the slopes is unmatched.
  1. Snowball Fights: Channel your inner child and engage in friendly snowball battles. Gather snow, take aim, and let the laughter echo in the crisp mountain air.
  1. Sledging: Hop onto a sled and slide down the snowy hills. It’s a delightful activity for all ages, and the views are spectacular.
  1. Snow Angels: Lie down in the snow and move your arms and legs to create whimsical snow angels. It’s a simple joy that connects you with nature.
Snow Activities

3. Trekking

Embark on scenic treks like the Hampta Pass Trek and explore the stunning surroundings. The crisp mountain air and pristine landscapes await. Here are some trekking points in and around Rohtang Pass:

  1. Rohtang Pass Trek:
    • Altitude: 3,980 meters (12,740 feet)
    • Trail Type: Very Difficult (20 km round trip)
    • Highlights: Breathtaking winter trek with snow-covered landscapes. The pass becomes silent as a graveyard during winters, enveloped in a thick sheet of snow within a 10 km radius.
    • Best Season: First to second week of April.
    • Weather: Extremely cold, with temperatures dipping as low as -5°C.
    • Permits: No permits required.
    • Trail Information: Be cautious while walking on dry and fresh snow. Stick close to locals. The top of the pass is windy; spend minimal time there.
    • Itinerary:
      • Day 1: Marhi to Koksar (8-10 km, 6-8 hours)
      • Day 2: Koksar to Keylang (by road, cabs available)
      • Day 3: Early start from Keylang (02:00 A.M.)
  2. Bhrigu Lake Trek:
    • A stunning trek that starts from Gulaba (near Manali) and leads to the pristine Bhrigu Lake. The trail offers panoramic views of snow-capped peaks and lush green meadows.
  3. Hampta Pass Trek:
    • Begins from Manali and takes you through picturesque valleys and meadows. The trail offers glimpses of glaciers and pristine waterfalls.
  4. Chandratal Lake Trek:
    • Although not directly from Rohtang Pass, Chandratal Lake is a must-visit. It’s a high-altitude glacial lake surrounded by snow-capped peaks.
  5. Solang Valley:
    • Located about 13 km from Manali, Solang Valley offers adventure sports and scenic views. It’s a great starting point for treks.
  6. Rahala Waterfalls:
    • Located about 16 km from Manali, these waterfalls offer a refreshing sight en route to Rohtang Pass.

Remember to prepare well, follow safety guidelines, and immerse yourself in the Himalayan beauty during these treks! 🏔️⛰️


4. River Rafting

For an adrenaline rush, enjoy river rafting in the Beas River, known for its challenging rapids. Brace yourself for an exhilarating experience!  River rafting near Rohtang Pass is an exhilarating adventure that lets you ride the rapids of the Beas River. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Location:
    • The rafting experience typically starts from Manali, which is the gateway to Rohtang Pass.
    • The Beas River, with its challenging rapids, provides the perfect setting for this adrenaline-pumping activity.
  2. Duration:
    • The 14 km stretch of river rafting near Manali offers a thrilling ride through the scenic landscape.
  3. Adrenaline Rush:
    • Brace yourself as you navigate the rapids. The river’s twists and turns will keep your heart racing.
    • The icy-cold water splashing against your raft adds to the excitement.
  4. Scenic Views:
    • As you paddle downstream, soak in the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and lush greenery.
    • The Beas River valley unfolds before your eyes, revealing its natural beauty.
  5. Safety Measures:
    • Professional guides accompany you on the raft, ensuring safety and providing instructions.
    • Wear a life jacket and helmet for added protection.
  6. Best Time:
    • The ideal time for river rafting in Manali is during the summer months (May to June) when the water levels are suitable.
    • Avoid monsoons due to increased water flow and risk.
  7. Booking:
    • You can book your river rafting experience through local tour operators or adventure sports agencies in Manali.
 River Rafting

5. Photography

Capture the breathtaking landscapes, glaciers, and the Beas River on your camera. Every frame tells a story of nature’s magnificence. Rohtang Pass provides awe-inspiring vistas that are a photographer’s delight. Here’s how to make the most of your photography experience:

  1. Capture Stunning Views:
    • The breathtaking landscapes, snow-capped peaks, and meandering rivers offer countless opportunities to capture postcard-worthy pictures.
    • Don’t forget to carry your camera and capture the beauty that surrounds you.
  2. Blue Skies and Pristine Snow:
    • Rohtang Pass’s clear blue skies against the pristine snow create a magical contrast. Frame the mountains against this canvas for striking compositions.
  3. Golden Hour Magic:
    • Wake up early to catch the golden sunrise over the peaks. The soft morning light bathes the landscape in warm hues.
    • During sunset, witness the mountains turn shades of orange and pink—a photographer’s dream.
  4. Snow Details:
    • Zoom in on intricate snow patterns, icicles, and frost-covered branches. These small details add depth to your shots.
  5. Beas River Valley:
    • The Beas River winds through the valley, reflecting the sky and mountains. Capture its serpentine flow against the rugged terrain.
  6. Silhouettes and Shadows:
    • Experiment with silhouettes during sunrise or sunset. Frame people or objects against the sky for dramatic shots.
    • Use shadows cast by the mountains to create intriguing compositions.
  7. People in the Landscape:
    • Include fellow travelers or locals in your photos. They add scale and a human element to the vast Himalayan backdrop.
  8. Weather Changes:
    • Rohtang Pass experiences rapid weather changes. Capture mist rolling in, snowfall, or rainbows after a shower.
  9. Rule of Thirds:
    • Compose your shots using the rule of thirds. Place key elements along the intersecting lines for balanced compositions.
  10. Post-Processing:
    • Enhance your photos later using editing software. Adjust exposure, contrast, and colors to bring out the best in your shots.

6. Visit Solang Valley

Solang Valley: A Paradise for Adventurers and Nature Lovers Situated amidst the majestic Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh, India, Solang Valley is a haven for both nature enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies alike. Let’s explore this enchanting valley:

  1. Location and Scenic Beauty:
    • Solang Valley lies about 13 km from Manali.
    • The valley is surrounded by snow-capped peaks, lush green meadows, and the glistening Beas River.
  2. Adventure Activities:
    • Skiing: During winter, the valley turns into a skiing paradise. Glide down the slopes and feel the rush.
    • Paragliding: Soar above the valley, taking in panoramic views of the Himalayas.
    • Snow Trekking: Explore the snow-covered trails and immerse yourself in the pristine landscape.
    • Snowboarding: For thrill-seekers, snowboarding down the slopes is a must.
    • Camping: Spend nights under the star-studded sky, surrounded by nature’s tranquility.
  3. Summer Delights:
    • In summer, Solang Valley offers activities like horse riding, zorbing, and hiking.
    • Capture the beauty of blooming flowers and lush greenery.
  4. Unique Experiences:
    • Try snow scooter rides—a fun way to explore the snowy terrain.
    • Take a gondola ride for breathtaking views of the valley.
  5. Local Culture:
    • Interact with locals and learn about their way of life. Their warmth adds depth to your experience.
  6. Best Time to Visit:
    • May to June and September to October offer pleasant weather.
    • Winter enthusiasts can visit from December to February.
Solang Valley

7. Experience Local Culture

Rohtang Valley, in Himachal Pradesh, is culturally rich with a Tibetan Buddhist influence. The locals are known for their hospitality and simple lifestyle, primarily focused on agriculture and animal husbandry. Festivals like Losar and Hemis are celebrated with traditional dances and prayers. The cuisine includes Tibetan dishes like Thukpa and Momos, and handicrafts like woolen shawls are popular. Overall, Rohtang Valley offers a vibrant cultural experience rooted in tradition and community life.

8. Enjoy Local Cuisine

When exploring the Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh, you’ll encounter a delightful array of local and regional cuisines. Here are some places where you can savor the flavors:

  1. Taste of India Restaurant:
    • Located near Vashist Chowk, this restaurant offers a blend of modern Indian and global cuisines. Don’t miss their coal fire pizza with crispy crust and fresh toppings.
  2. River Music Garden Restaurant & German Bakery:
    • Situated along the river, this spot provides a tranquil atmosphere. Enjoy a variety of dishes from around the world, including Italian, Mexican, and Indian cuisines. They also host live music events.
  3. Indian Flavours Riverside Restaurant:
    • Nestled on the outskirts of Manali, this restaurant offers a multicuisine extravaganza. Explore dishes from Punjabi, Chinese, Continental, and South Indian cuisines. Their refreshing mocktails elevate the dining experience.

9. Camp under the Stars

Camp under the Stars: A magical experience where you lie beneath the cosmic expanse, surrounded by constellations. The crackling campfire, marshmallows, and moonlight add to the enchantment. It’s a connection to the ancient story—a stardust dreamer lost in wonder. 🌠🏕️

10. Visit the Rahala Waterfalls

Rahala Waterfalls,  is located approximately 16 kilometers from Rohtang Pass. in Himachal Pradesh, India, is a captivating natural wonder. As you journey toward Rohtang Pass from Manali, this enchanting natural wonder awaits, cascading from a height of 8,500 feet. The water originates from a melting glacier nestled in the Himalayas, ensuring that it remains refreshingly cold. The surrounding landscape is lush with deodar and Silver Birch trees, creating a serene ambiance. As you explore the area, the gentle sounds of birds, rustling leaves, and the trickling waterfall harmonize beautifully. At an altitude of around 9,000 feet, Rahala Waterfalls offers a perfect escape for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike. Adventure seekers can even trek to a vantage point for a spectacular top view of the waterfall and the snow-covered mountain peaks.

Rahala Waterfalls

Best Time To Visit Rohtang Pass

Remember, the best time to visit Rohtang Pass is during the summer months, from May to June and from September to October. The weather is relatively mild, and the pass is open for travelers. So, pack your sense of adventure and embrace the majesty of the Himalayas! 🚗🌄

Nearby Places To Visit:

Here’s a table of nearby cities to Rohtang Pass and their approximate distances:

CityDistance from Rohtang Pass
ManaliApproximately 51 km
Solang ValleyApproximately 20 km
KulluApproximately 114 km
KeylongApproximately 61 km

These cities offer diverse experiences, from the bustling town of Manali to the serene beauty of Solang Valley and the cultural richness of Kullu. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or a nature lover, exploring these nearby destinations will enhance your Rohtang Pass experience! 🏔️🌄

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions about Rohtang Pass

Is Rohtang Pass open in winter?

No, it’s closed due to heavy snow.

Can I drive my own vehicle to Rohtang Pass?

Yes, but check road conditions and permits.

What’s the best time to visit Rohtang Pass?

May to October.

How cold does it get at Rohtang Pass?

Temperatures can drop below freezing.

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