At an elevation of 13,054 ft, Rohtang Pass serves as the gateway to Lahaul and Spiti valleys in Himachal Pradesh. About 53 km from Manali, it connects Kullu valley with Lahaul and Spiti which in turn provide access to Leh. Known for its scenic beauty, Rohtang Pass holds strategic importance for India.
The name Rohtang means ‘ground of corpses’ due to the number of people who lost their lives trying to cross it. The Rohtang Pass is on the Pir Panjal Mountain Range of the Himalayas.
Besides Lahaul and Spiti, Rohtang Pass also serves as the gateway to Pangi and the valley of Leh. Like the Zojila Pass, Rohtang also serves as the gateway to Ladakh.
The Pass offers beautiful sights of glaciers, peaks, Lahaul Valley and the Chandra River. The twin peaks of Geypan are also visible from Rohtang.
The Rohtang Pass is a natural divide between the humid Kullu Valley which has a predominant Hindu culture and the arid, high altitude Lahaul and Spiti Valleys which are predominantly Buddhist.
The pass is on the watershed between the water basins of the Chenab River and the Beas River.
Rohtang remains open from June to October. However, trekkers do head for the pass even before it opens for vehicular traffic.
Rohtang Pass figures high on itineraries of tourists visiting Manali, Kullu, Leh and nearby areas. The road remains jam-packed and delays are inevitable.
Besides sightseeing, tourists can also enjoy sledge rides and skiing. Ski sets and sledges are available on rent.
Where to stay
There are accommodation options in Rohtang Pass unless you bring your own tent and set up camp by the roadside. Manali, which is the closest big town, offers many options.
Manali offers wide range in accommodation which includes luxury resorts, river-side cottages, deluxe hotels and 3-star budget properties. Manali also offers homestays which are a good option to enjoy the nature and culture of the locals.
Where to eat
There are no food stalls or eateries at Rohtang Pass. You will have to carry your own food while crossing Rohtang Pass.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Rohtang is during the months of June to October when the pass remains open. The pass remains snowbound during rest of the year.