Manali is the gateway to Rohtang pass beyond which lie the twin valley of Lahaul and Spiti. In winter the mountain slopes are snow clad and they turn into perfect skiing slopes. This point is one of the main attraction for tourists coming to Manali. The Rohtang pass is 51 KM north of Manali and it is located on Manali Keylong Highway at an altitude of 4111 meters ( 13,400 ft ). This pass opens for tourist from April end to October end of the year. The permission to travel on this highway is given by Indian army after they clear the snow and inspect the road for it’s fitness and safety for movement of person and the vehicles. The same road connects to Leh Ladakh ( State of Jammu & Kashmir ) from Manali ( state of Himachal Pradesh). Sonepani Glacier and a small lake (Dashahr) are located opposite and left to Rohtang respectively.
On the way to Rohtang pass one can find many food stalls serving variety of foods. You can get a cold drink as shopkeepers keep then in running water to maintain the temperature as there is no need of a refrigerator here. One can relish the food by sitting inside the low running water of the river Beas.
The other hamlets around Manali also have houses embellished with wood carving. The Rohalla falls are on the way to Rohtang pass from Manali and are worth visiting. On the way to Rohtang at Beas Nallah one has to cross the river Beas.
This place is as famous as Rohtang pass. Fully covered with snow, all kind of water sports are available. Whenever Rohtang pass is closed due to bad weather conditions, tourist are allowed to visit upto this place. The place is surrounded by lush green meadows.
The main attraction for tourist at Rohtang pass is snow and the scenic beauty of the area. The road is very narrow near the Rohtang pass and the parking of vehicles is very difficult and one has to be very alert while parking the vehicles because slight distraction may be hazardous. Hence it is advisable to come here very early in the morning and stay upto afternoon and starts returning once the traffic gets clear. But if you start late to visit here then you may have to walk a bit or take help of horse to reach the peak point.
Walking here is not a big problem but not advisable for elderly persons or small kids. It can be a 15 to 30 minutes walk depending on the traffic to reach the snow point from the parking area. The safest and the easiest way to reach the snow point is by horse ride but it is a bit costly ride, but elderly and the small children can comfortably use this service. The horse man charges around Indian Rupees 400 per trip ( both ways ) per horse. Tourists plan their trip in early hours to reach Rohtang very early to avoid traffic and reach at the snow point, at the same time it is equally difficult to return as all vehicles way down as to be clear the road. So going early mean returning late from there. Some time this may not be a good options for families with kids to stay long time in cold conditions. So other option is to start late and take the help of horses ( or walk ) to reach the top. (VIEW FLICKR ALBUM)