As humans, we’re always looking for a heavenly getaway; a location that is in the lap of nature, untouched and pure and unmarred by humans. A place to just enjoy the bounty of Mother Nature- with its breath taking views and fresh air as a respite from heavy pollution.
The first time I came to know about Rohtang Pass was while I was watching History Channel. Rohtang Pass was featured in IRT Deadliest Roads that featured truckers crossing this pass to deliver supply.
Well for a primer, Rohtang Pass literally translates to “pile of the corpses”. Scary isn’t it. Yes it is, but then all heavenly things/places are tough to get to. My tryst with Rohtang Pass came in 2012 when I planned my first trip to Ladakh by Motorcycle. And to tell you the truth as exhilarating as it was, crossing the pass first scared the s**t out of me, left me awestruck & speechless and looking back turned me into a storyteller as Ibn Batuta would have put it.
Rohtang Pass is a famous tourist destination which has always interested vacationers across the globe. It is situated 13,054 ft above Sea Level and acts as an archway connecting Lahaul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh. It is also the one of the only two road routes that connects rest of the India to Ladakh, the cold desert.
Rohtang also connects Pangi and the valley of Leh and is an important location on the map of India. It is situated on the watershed between Chenab and Ravi rivers and offers beautiful scenery of glaciers, pure white peaks and waterfalls.
During our Ladakh Trip, we (My brother, our friend and I) started early in the morning from Vashist where we stayed last night upon arrival from previous stop near Mandi. Actually we had planned to cross the pass as early as possible to avoid the massive traffic snarl that has become characteristic of the place but we woke up late. It was already 6 when we put our Royal Enfields in throttle. The road that we rode on was not really in a good shape due to rains but the scenery made up for than it.
The entire stretch till we crossed Marhi and neared the pass was heavenly, the mist and cloud sometimes floated above us, sometimes along us and sometimes even below us. It was an overcast morning and then we reached the jam. The queue of vehicles was as long as my sight could see.
What was making situation worse was the slush on the narrow stretch of what was called road. Fortunately for us we were driving two wheels and we found our narrow passage to get moving. However at one stretch there was too much mud. After seeing 3 bikes with clutch plates burned in effort to negotiate that stretch my heart started to thump. Man was I nervous!
I was literally trembling and praying to god. I kicked my bike and went first, my hands were shaking and my RE was more of dancing then moving ahead. But and oh how I exhaled with relief when I was finally on the other side.
In that moment I know, now I can ride on any road in the world. That was my driving certificate there and then. Believe me no other pass – not even Khardung La or Taglang La – was as scary and chilling as Rohtang Pass. The two other moments when I had goose bumps and fasten heartbeat during my Ladakh Trip was at Baralacha La where there is a vicious water stream and while crossing Zoji La as a landslide happened and we got stuck.
Back to the narrative now 🙂
Soon after I rode ahead, the scenery transformed completely. Mighty Himalayan peaks, undulating lush valleys and snow cover all ahead greeted as. Whether was just perfect and the sight was magical. As it was early July there were only a few people and no shops or adventure activities. The serenity was palpable and I adored the bewitching beauty of snow-capped Pir Panjal and rolling valleys.
Rohtang Pass is situated on the majestic Pir Panjal Mountain Range in the Himalayas and is always of interest to tourists. The Pass is covered with snow most of the year and is open for tourists and vehicular traffic in the months of June to October which makes it an ideal time to visit this beautiful location.
Rohtang Pass also happens to be one of the must have excursions or say places to visit near Manali and attracts a lot of tourists that include families and honeymooners especially due to the snow sports and adventure activities.
Beginning from April end till October, you can visit Rohtang to give yourself a thrill seeking adventure. The permission to access the highway is given by the Indian Army once they deem the pass safe after inspecting it for traffic and after clearing out the snow.
Once you visit the Rohtang Pass you can visit nearby localities like Kullu, Leh, Manali and Lahaul and Spiti.
What is beautiful about this pass is that it’s a merge of cultures. At its feet meet the Kullu Valley which is dominated by a Hindu Culture and the valleys of Lahaul and Spiti which has strokes of Buddhism making it a calm and serene location giving you the best of both worlds.
There are many options where you could stay during your trip. You can either set up your own camp and tent or you can stay at Manali which is the nearest town. Manali offers luxury resorts as well as cottages, budget houses and hotels to suit every budget.
What truly makes this trip memorable is that there are no food stalls at the Rohtang Pass which means you carry your own food for your “survival” while you cross the Pass, giving it a sense of added adventure and giving an adrenaline rush to thrill seekers. You can however find loads of food stalls on the way to the Rohtang to pack yourself with water, cold drinks and enjoy a mini picnic munching snacks on the base of River Beas which surely adds to the adventure and will surely leave you mesmerized.
You can get deals to visit the Rohtang Pass by booking tickets through RedBus to treat yourself to an unforgettable road trip that is sure to be unforgettable and give you many future stories to share with friends.
Besides this you can opt for riding sledges and skiing to make the most out of your vacation which you can rent to experience new activities that would make amazing memories.
The journey is definitely worth it as it provides adventure, a scenic view of grand mountain ranges that take your breath away. The fresh air makes you forget about the crowded and populated towns making it really hard to go back to over populated and polluted metro cities.
Take a journey to this beautiful paradise that is sure to leave you stunned with its untouched purity that will make it almost impossible to leave such a scenic place behind. It’ll surely find a place in your memories!
If you are planning a trip to Ladakh, here’s how to do it!
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