Rohtang Pass means Piles of Corpses, because of its unpredictable snow storms, blizzards and dangerous terrain. Rohtang Pass word is derived from Tibetan word in which ‘RO’ means Spirit and ‘TANG’ means Cold. This is a place where spirits freezes in winters. Buddhists called this place Rohtang La and Kullu’s local people called it Rohtang Jot. This is a Mountain Pass which is in the eastern part of the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas. Rohtang Pass is 49 Kms. away from the Manali city. This Pass connects the Manali with Lahaul and Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India.
This route is the most ancient and 1st route to Leh Ladakh in India and an ancient trade route for Pir Panjal. From this Pass, two rivers are also originated, River Beas from the southern part of this Pass and River Chandra from the northern part of the Pass, which becomes the source river for Chenab River.
Rohtang Pass is located at the height of 4000 mtrs. This Pass is open for Tourists only from June to October. This Pass is busy during the summer seasons because of the military movements. During summer season, traffic logs become the common problems because of the heavy military vehicle movements, trucks and goods carriers. This problem is major because of the narrow roads and rough terrains. This is the place where snow covered mountains will be seen even in summers also. This is the perfect location for Skiing in winters.
This Pass is the best snow point in the Himachal Pradesh. In summer, the temperature is from 10 degree to 25 degrees. In winter, the temperature goes down till -7 degree with 8 to 10 feet of snow sheet. During monsoon time it is preferable to avoid the Rohtang Pass, as the weather is totally unpredictable with landslides, storms, blizzards and untrustworthy terrains. Best time to visit Rohtang Pass is from June to October, as during this time, the weather is pleasant. But during other months this Pass is closed because of the heavy Snowfall and Snow Storms. Rohtang Pass is closed from the month November to May from Rohtang to Leh. It is preferred to carry light woolens during summer season and heavy woolens during the winter season.
This horseshoe shaped tunnel, is the longest tunnel in India. This tunnel is 8.8 Kms long. Rohtang Tunnel is built on Leh Manali Highway. This tunnel is made for the all weather road route, so that round the year connectivity is there with Lahaul – Spiti Valley. This Rohtang Tunnel is the only route to Ladakh, as other routes like Zoji La Pass on Srinagar – Drass – Kargil – Leh highway are blocked for 4 months by the heavy snowfall. These two routes (one Manali – Leh Highway and other Zoji La Pass) are the important routes for military supplies.
How to reach Rohtang Pass:
There are three possible ways to reach Rohtang Pass.
If a person wants to go to Rohtang Pass through Air, than Bhuntar Airport in Kullu is the nearest airport for the pass. From the Bhuntar airport, taxis are available to drop at Rohtang Pass.
The nearest Broad Gauge Railway Station is in Jogindar Nagar near Mandi. The other nearest Broad Gauge Railway Stations are from Ambala Cantt., Chandigarh and Kirathpur Sahib in Punjab near the city of Nangal.
As there is not a direct service to Rohtang Pass, a person will go to Rohtang Pass through Manali route. There are Volvo bus services from Delhi, Leh, Shimla and Dharamshala. The distance between the Delhi to Manali is to 14 hours, Ambala to Manali is 10 hours and from Kullu to Manali is 1.5 to 3 hours.
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Article Added on Tuesday, February 21, 2012
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