Manali-Leh highway reopens

The 475-km-long Manali-Leh highway was reopened to vehicular traffic after a gap of about seven months.

The strategic road was closed due to a heavy snowfall on the Baralacha Pass. The Manali-Leh road has now become an alternate route to the frontier areas of the Ladakh region.

The road played a key role during the Kargil conflict in carrying food, arms and ammunition for the Army in the border district of Leh-Ladakh.

Commander, 38 BRTF, AK Dikshit, said the 222-km Manali-Sarchu road was opened for light vehicles yesterday evening, but from June 5 it would also be opened to all kind of vehicles, he added.

Dikshit further said all tourists vehicles would also be allowed to the Rohtang Pass from Marhi from June 2.

With the opening of the Manali-Leh road, tourists will be able to enjoy the scenic splendour of the western Himalayas. In 1989, the Government of India threw open the Manali-Leh highway to foreign tourists and ever since the number of foreigners visiting these areas has increased.

The domestic tourists also do not lag behind. Many enthusiastic adventure tourists make a beeline for this difficult terrain.


Manali-Leh road closed from Oct 31 ’10

Friday October 8th, 2010 in India, Travel News | Be the first to Comment »

The Manali-Leh highway will be closed for all vehicular traffic from October 31. A spokesperson of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), which maintains the highway, said here today that the Rohtang Pass and the Baralacha Pass were blocked due to snow during winter as a result of which the movement of vehicles was not possible.

In case, any vehicle got stranded due to bad weather or any other eventuality, the BRO would not be responsible for any loss to human life or property. Further, if an accident or any other mishappening occurred, it would not be in a position to carry out snow clearance operation for evacuation, he said.

The spokesperson advised all to avoid taking any chances by using the road after the closure.

Source: The Tribune, Chandigarh

Leh-Ladakh: Window to Heaven

Thursday August 12th, 2010 in India, Travelogue | 1 Comment »

Written By Vox Purpli – YahooINEditors – August 11th, 2010

Guest writer Harshad Kulkarni recently visited Leh & Ladakh with his friends and shares pics of his tour. He and his friends were stranded for a few harrowing days during the flash floods because of the cloud burst – these pics were taken prior to the incident.


From the eerily striated Pangong lake with a gradation of blue from azure to muddy cyan to the ruins of monasteries and their magnificent woodwork, from serene monks basking in the sunlight atop the hills to the many prayer flags blowing in the wind, from the glimpses of the ice-covered mountains from his room’s window to the rippling white waters of the stream running between the hills, Harshad lets his camera do the talking.

Cloudbursts claim 59 lives in Leh

Friday August 6th, 2010 in Travel News | 6 Comments »

At least 59 people were killed and many others went missing after heavy downpour triggered flash floods devastating Leh in the Ladakh region.

59 bodies have been recovered from the flooded areas, J and K Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda said. Among the dead were three jawans of the Army Service Corps.

He said a massive rescue operation was underway involving the state police, paramilitary forces and the army in Leh town.

50 CRPF jawans were rescued from the flooded areas, Khoda said.The BSNL network was completely damaged, besides the runway of the Leh airport, cutting off the town from the rest of the country.

The district hospital and two buildings housing offices of the Union Home Ministry were also affected.

Five villages have been hit in the sudden downpour and flashfloods. These included Choglumsar and Shapoo. Old Leh city was among the worst affected. The main bus stand was flattened.

Leh is located at a height of 11,500 feet above sea level, 424 kilometres from Srinagar. The worst hit was Choglumsar area, 13 kms from here, where 14 bodies were recovered, officials said.

Khoda said the toll may go up. “The actual damage will be known only after the water receded,” another senior official said.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, while expressing grief over the tragedy, has directed the civil and police administration to undertake relief and rescue work on a war footing.

All flights from Delhi to Leh have been cancelled.


Rohtang to remain closed on Jun 28 for Sonia’s visit

Sunday June 27th, 2010 in Uncategorized | Be the first to Comment »

Shimla, Jun 25 : Rohtang Pass will remain closed on June 28 in view of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s trip to Kullu district on that day.

The 13,050 ft high Pass remains officially closed for traffic every Tuesday for repair work but on June 28, it would be closed one day in advance in view of the foundation stone laying function of Rohtang Tunnel to be attended by Ms Gandhi, according to Deputy Commissioner, Kullu, B M Nanta.

Moreover, district administration Lahaul Spiti has beefed up the security in the region following Ms Gandhi’s visit to the district, S.R. Rana, SP, Lahaul Spiti said adding that patrolling has been intensified and special control rooms have been set up to tackle any emergency.

Mr Nanta said no vehicle bound for Ladakh and Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti would be allowed beyond Kothi, about 30 km from Manali.

Similarly, no traffic from Keylong towards Manali would be allowed that day.

The 475-km Manali-Leh National Highway 21 that passes through the Rohtang Pass was opened after remaining closed for six months on June 21. The national highway is a major attraction for tourists currently as it is still surrounded by snow laden hills and valleys.

The proposed about 9 km-long tunnel underneath the Rohtang Pass would provide all weather road connectivity to Lahaul Valley in Lahaul Spiti district that remains cut off from rest of the nation for half the year due to snow. The tunnel is expected to be commissioned by 2015.