Rohtang Pass is an amazing and fun area for every age! Located in the mountain range of the Himalayas, it offers various attractions, sports and shops to entertain everybody. The whole area is stretched on serpentines on which you are driving downwards if you´re coming from Leh heading to Manali. Translated, Rohtang Pass means “pile of corpses” and refers to the great number of people dying while crossing the path during bad weather earlier. First arriving at the Rohtang Pass area and therefore on the top of the mountain range beautiful snowy fields will welcome you. The whole atmosphere feels like a winter holiday centre in Austria or Switzerland. Of course it is cold but there are little shops everywhere where you can rent thick clothes or snowsuits. Snuggled up in your warm clothes, you can start enjoying the snow and winter feeling! Besides starting a snowball fight and slipping down little mountains, people build ice bars and any kind of sculptures out of the snow. Another stunning aspect of this area is that while walking or driving around on that top mountain range you are on the same level as the birds! They are flying next to you and it is an amazing view, watching them playing around with the mountain scenery in the background.
Driving further down is an adventure for itself. The streets are really narrow and there´s barely space for more than one car at a time. Looking out of the window, you will find huge ice walls up to 3 meters high! It gives you the feeling of being captured in some sort of ice palace. After a little drive down towards Manali the snow starts to disappear. Here at one of the big corners starts the activity for everybody who is looking for adrenaline and adventure. People are jumping down the cliff into the big valley, paragliding all the way down to some kind of camp or little town. This is an absolute must-do activity when you´re at Rohtang Pass. A 10 minutes jump will cost you around 2000-25000 Rupees (around 31-39$) and you will fly with your tandem partner all the way down to the camp where you can walk the shops afterwards or have some good local food at one of the tents there. Allthe shops are run by Himachal Pradesh-inhabitants and families. There´s also the possibility of horse riding if you want to see more of the scenery or you can just relax lying in the snow and enjoy the sun and beautiful view. Besides horses carrying the goods of some shepherds, you will find goats and sheep walking around everywhere, finding their way through the steep and rocky cliffs. Taking a closer look at the nature at Rohtang Pass you will find a lot of huge waterfalls which found their way through the high mountain range and end up in a rapid river splitting up the valley. Because of the good and steady supply of water the area further down towards Manali is green and full of trees and bushes creating a little forest area where you can stop over for a little picnic in the nature or just for clicking some pictures for your travel album before you enter the busy cities. Summing everything up, Rohtang Pass is a beautiful and very active place. You can visit it nearly all year as long as the weather is good enough for the drive up there which is a little bit risky. You definitely need a car or motorbike once you´re there because the only way of getting from one attraction to the other is via the road and because of the steep and rocky mountain range there´s no way of walking from one place to the other.
This was a contest submission written by Jennifer-Justine Kirsch
Taxi: around 33$, depending on the season and conditions (weather)
Motorbike: hire fare from 6$ per dayGuest houses and home stays are easily accessible as soon as you pass the top of the mountain range; if you get back to Manali there are also heaps of guest houses, hostels, etc.
Updated: August 17, 2015