Manali Leh Highway
The Manali Leh highway is becoming more and more popular these days due to the fact that there are much more places en route and there is a lot to explore while on the road regardless of the Srinagar Leh Highway. In summers from May-end till mid-September, a large number of vehicles cross the Rohtang pass to travel Ladakh, across the world's highest motorable pass, Tanglang La, which reaches a dizzying altitude of 5,328m/17,480ft from sea level. The road surface varies from smooth tarmac to dirt tracks and streams of water flooding roads.
Manali Leh highway status 2017
The Manali Leh highway is still closed officially and is supposed to be opened by the end of May, 2017. Also from this year onwards, a new rule is implemented to pass only 800 vehicles a day to Lahaul/Ladakh via Rohtang Pass. One have to take a permit from SDM office, Manali and will also have to pay a congestion fees of Rs.50 per vehicle.
Manali to Leh Route
The 473km journey between Manali to Leh is divided into three days depending on road conditions, weather and the traffic situations. The journey will have two night halts at Keylong and Sarchu respectively.
Manali to Keylong
As soon as you drive out of Manali towards Gulaba, there will be a long steep ascent to the Rohtang Pass (3,978m/13,050ft). Despite of the total distance of only 51km between Manali and Rohtang Pass, it may take upto hours to reach the top due to heavy traffic and the clogged up road caused by trucks. The road from here descends to the Khoksar located at the foot of Chandra Valley. You will find some tea stalls here and can take a short break to re-energies yourself.
Tandi is located 50km away from Khoksar. Most of the journey during this time is very pleasing with beautiful landscapes on either side of the road especially the one along the river. The last petrol pump of the Manali Leh Highway is located in Tandi, so you are advised to full up your fuel tanks and take some extra fuel in the jerry cans. The rest of the journey is only 9km and will hardly take 30 minutes to reach Keylong from Tandi.
Manali to Keylong
After Keylong, the Bhaga Valley broadens, but you will hardly see a village on either side of road because of the barren land. At Darcha, you will find a cluster of dry-stone huts, the camps and a few dhabas, and a police checkpost where you will have to submit your details. From Darcha, the road will ascend steadily to the Baralacha La Pass (4,890m/16,040 ft). At Sarchu, 32km ahead, there are chances that you will find a little of uneasiness due to high altitude sickness.
Sarchu to Taglang La
Sarchu for most of the season remains pack with the tourists. After Sarchu 30km ahead are the Gata Loops (21 hairpin bends), you can find some people with a 4x4 vehicle taking shortcuts to cut off the distance. For those who stayed at Jispa insted of Keylong choose Pang (4,500m/14,764ft) as their second stop which remains open almost 24 hours. North of Pang, the road heads up to the Taglang La, the highest point on the Manali–Leh Highway at a literally breathtaking 5,328m/17,480ft from sea and the second highest pass in the world. Travelers pull in for a quick spin of the prayer wheels and a brief photo session alongside the altitude sign and small temple.
Taglang La to Leh
Thirty one kilometres beyond the Tanglang La pass is Rumtse, the first Ladakhi village. There are a few guesthouses and dhabas here, you will se a number of villagers here, mostly dressed up in traditional Ladakhi outfits. At Upshi, 29km ahead, the road reaches the beautiful Indus Valley, tracing the Indus River past slender poplar trees, sprawling army camps and ancient monasteries. Traffic will be increasing as you approach Choglamsar, climb the final dusty kilometres to Leh crossing the Thiksey Monastery on your way.
Manali Leh Highway: Distances
|Manali to Rohtang Pass||
|The Rohtang Pass to Khoksar||
|Khoksar to Tandi||
|Tandi to Keylong||
|Keylong to Darcha||
|Darcha to Baralacha La||
|Baralacha La to Sarchu||
|Sarchu to Gaata Loops (21 hairpin bends)||
|Gata Loops to Lachalung La||
|Lachalung La to Pang||
|Pang to Tanglang La||
|Tanglang La to Rumtse||
|Rumtse to Upshi||
|Upshi to Leh||
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