Rohtang Pass situated at an altitude 13,051 ft (3,978 m) is a high mountain pass on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas some 51 km from Manali. It connects the Kullu Valley with the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys of Himachal Pradesh, India. The Beas River rises near the crest of Rohtang from a block of Mica-Schist. To its left, 200 metres higher, is the little lake of ‘Sarkund’ (Dashahr) visited by a large number of people every year. The bath in the water of Sarkund lake effects cures of all bodily ailments or imaginary.
It was not particularly high or difficult to cross on foot by Himalayan standards, but it had a well-deserved reputation for being dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms and blizzards. Some linguists say that the name ‘rohtang’ is a Persian word meaning pile of dead bodies. The road through the Kullu Valley, past Manali and over the Rohtang Pass to Keylong, and Lahul and on to Ladakh, has become very busy during the summer months as an alternate a military route following the Kargil Conflict in 1999 in addition to tensions in Kashmir. Traffic jams are a common sight as military vehicles, trucks and goods carriers try to navigate the tight roads and rough terrain, compounded by, snow and ice at certain points and the large number of tourists vehicles. There are a lot of dhabas and eateries along the way.
The pass is open from May to November and closes down during the winter season due to heavy snow-fall and storms in this region.
The tourist point at Rohtang Pass is called Snow Point and is quite famous as it offers quite a few options for the adventure seekers. Here you can enjoy skiing, trekking, Ice skating and other snow activities. The area is full of snow so if you are travelling with kids, be very careful as the area is slippery. You can also have fun making snow houses, snow balls in the chilling weather. At this spot there are a couple of small shacks which make yummy tea and pakoras.
On the way to Rohtang pass you get to see some scenic beauty worth a thousand clicks and you also get to see lot of frozen waterfalls if you are travelling in the month of October or early November. There are options available for some paragliding as well if you are interested, but you need to take a slight de-route to reach the flat landing from where these are arranged on the way to Rohtang Pass.
You get special winter wear and boots on rent to take for your trip to Rohtang pass, as temperature here is in sub-zero degrees almost round the year. Ensure you arrange for these before you leave Manali, coz you would get these on rent even at Rohtang pass but for around double the cost.
This place is definitely worth a visit for its sheer beauty and natural abundance and as this doesn’t have any other attractions, you can easily take a day off to travel to Rohtang Pass and back from Manali.
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Also read: Best Time To Visit Nahan, Himachal Pradesh