Manali Leh Highways Opens: After much speculation and confusion; the road from Manali to Leh was finally declared open for the year 2018. In fact, the road has been in use by residents and some tourists since last week; since BRO managed to free Baralacha La from snow. An official announcement, however, has not yet been made, as restoration work was still in progress. Putting an end to all speculation, the news finally became official after the HRTC declared to resume its service from Delhi to Leh from 23 May. This bus service usually starts on June 15th, but this year, May 23rd will be the oldest date ever.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind before planning your journey. The road from now on will be narrow and slippery due to the snow and water present especially in Rohtang and Baralacha La. BRO will take some time to finally stabilize the road. The temporary closure of the road in early June is not uncommon and can occur at any time, due to an avalanche or works in progress.
The best way to make the journey for now is to reach Leh via Srinagar and return via Manali. That way, you will spend a few more days before traveling on the Manali Leh route. Another added benefit of going through Srinagar is that it helps you acclimate better and you will not experience AMS symptoms as you would on the Manali Leh route.
Manali Leh Road Opens
With all said and done, and even though there are already tourists in Ladakh, the opening of the Manali Leh road usually marks the beginning of the tourist season here. With the two highways now open, you can complete the entire Ladakh circuit now. Most hotels and hostels in Ladakh are now operational; but remember that you may face a little challenge on the Manali Leh route in terms of accommodation in early June.