Manali-Leh highway status in 2019

Posted: November 13, 2018 by admin (Updated daily)

Srinagar - Leh Road (2019): CLOSE

Manali - Leh Road (2019): CLOSE

Manali-Leh highway officially closes for vehicular traffic

November 13, 2018: With high mountain passes of Himachal and Ladakh experiencing fresh spell of snowfall and Border Roads Organization (BRO) deciding not to clear snow from road until next season, the Manali-Leh highway has been closed officially for vehicular traffic.

Traffic between Lahaul and Leh is closed officially every year on October 15 under subzero temperature when everything starts freezing in the area. However, BRO keeps clearing snow from Rohtang pass to connect Lahaul will Manali till mid November. After having cleared snow from Rohtang pass three times since September 22, BRO is considering not to spend lakhs of rupees on clearing snow anymore. Lahaul-Spiti police have already removed seasonal traffic check post from Darcha, the last village of district towards Ladakh. Police check post from Sarchu was also removed after heavy snowfall in September. Now there is nobody to monitor safe movement of the vehicles. People of Leh and tourists can now opt for Srinagar-Leh highway which closes weeks after this highway. However, Srinagar-Leh highway can also be blocked by snow anytime.

Lahaul-Spiti superintendent of police Rajesh Dharmani confirmed that police check post at Sarchu and Darcha will remain shut during winter season. “Rescue post have been set up on either sides of Rohtang pass on November 12. The Leh highway has been closed."

Very heavy snowfall on September 22 and 23 had blocked all the passes including Rohtang and Baralacha pass and hundreds of tourists and vehicles had stranded for days. However, BRO had cleared snow from Manali-Leh highway on October 1 to facilitate the stranded people and vehicles. Large number of vehicles are still stuck in Ladakh which will return back via Zojila pass and Srinagar. As seasonal police posts, shops, dhabas, camping sites and even shepherds have moved back, there is nobody to help people in case of emergency along Manali-Leh highway which is blocked with snow at many places.

BRO commander with 38 Border Road Task Force Col AK Awasthi who is responsible for maintenance of Manali-Leh highway till Sarchu told local newspapers that the highway generally closes in mid October but they kept it open till now. “We kept the road link, especially Manali-Keylong, open for the convenience of local people. All the vehicles have crossed the Rohtang and essential items have been supplied. The snow has again blocked the road. I think there is no need to clear snow from Rohtang pass now onward."

Heavy snowfall along Manali-Leh highway

January 6, 2019: The peaks of Himachal and Ladakh, most parts of Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur districts, Dalhousie and Manali have worn fresh mantle of snow while many lower parts of the state received moderate rain on Sunday.

2 to 20ft of thick layer of snow has covered most part of Manali-Leh highway. The highway is closed since October and will open in May or June.

Keylong, district headquarters of Lahaul-Spiti, received 30cm of snow. Gondla and Koksar on Manali-Leh road recorded 11cm and 20cm snowfall respectively. Dalhousie in Chamba district received. Manali received 10cm and both Solang and Kothi received over 70cm of snow. Rohtang pass, which is inaccessible in winter months, has received more than 150cm of snow in last 96 hours.

The snow is wet and accumulation rate is very low due to absence of extreme cold. Mid hills received rain coupled with snowflakes but higher areas and passes like Rohtang, Baralacha and Taglang-la received dry and good snowfall.

While it was snowing on the peaks since night, people in Manali were surprised to see only rain till 10am. The average minimum temperature of state has increased by 3 to 4 degrees C in last 24 hours. The minimum temperature in Manali was recorded at 1 degree C. The temperature in Leh has plummeted to minus 15 degrees C.

Despite weather alert and warnings, there was no rain or snowfall in many hill stations including Shimla where minimum temperature plunged only to 3.7 degrees C. Clouds were hovering over the hill queen and residents kept waiting for snowfall but only to be disappointed.

At minus 7 degrees C, Keylong was the coldest place in Himachal. Entire Lahaul valley is receiving heavy snowfall and vehicular traffic in district has come to the standstill. Many parts of Lahaul valley have no internet connectivity.

Snowfall has blocked many roads in Kullu, Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur and Chamba districts. A large numbers of tourists were elated by snowfall in Manali.

 Presently, Manali-Leh highway is blocked beyond Palchan, 10km from Manali.

BRO clears snow in Lahaul; snow blocks it again

February 15, 2019: Border Roads Organization (BRO) had cleared snow from Keylong-Stingri stretch of Manali-Leh highway earlier this week but more snowfall has blocked the road again.

Himachal has received very heavy snow in last few days. While Lahaul valley is covered under 3 to 5ft of snow, Rohtang pass is covered under over 25ft of snow. Entire length of Manali-Leh highway is covered with snow.

The region has received more snow than last year. In effort to keep the internal roads of Lahaul open, BRO had started snow clearance in the valley but frequent snowfall is undoing their efforts again and again.

The Manali-Leh highway has experienced dozens of avalanches as well. Avalanches have damaged roads at some places. Baralancha pass too has received over 25ft of snow.

There is forecast of more snowfall from February 17 onward. In no circumstances, Manali-Leh road is going to open before mid-May. If snowfall continues till March end, the highway can be opened to traffic in May end as well. So, plan your Ladakh tour accordingly.

 The western disturbances are extremely active this season and weather is unpredictable. Temperature is low and favourable for snowfall. In such conditions, nobody can predict the Manali-Leh road opening date for 2019.

---Stay tuned to get fresh updates---

Disclaimer: The date of opening of Manali-Leh and Srinagar-Leh highway is not determined by anybody as it totally depends on weather conditions. Opening of both the highways totally depends on intensity of snowfall in winter months, weather during clearing of snow, more snowfall in April and May months, temperature and many other aspects. Discover Leh Ladakh does not guarantee the accuracy of date of opening of the highway. This is just an estimation made as per inputs from BRO, local administration and sight visit by our own team members.

Return to Blog Posts  ||  Manali - Ladakh Jeep Safari Tours || Best Time To Visit Ladakh || Srinagar - Ladakh Tours by Road

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