The status of Manali Leh Highway 2019 from now on is closed. The road was closed to all types of vehicle traffic in mid-October, after it started to snow at every crossing on the way. As in previous years, this will continue to be a dedicated post, where I will update the status of the highway and the condition of the next season. For updates and recent photos, I will ask you to check the forum topic, Road status in Manali Leh 2019. You can also scroll to the bottom of this page to get the latest news about the road opening date in Manali Leh.
State of the road Manali Leh 2019 – OPEN
Update: June 12
Baralacha La was temporarily closed again. Everyone on the way to Ladakh is stuck in Manali or Jispa now. In addition, the weather is approaching and more snow is expected in the coming days. There will also be a lot of rain around Manali. Rohtang, Baralacha La, Sach Pass and Kunzum Pass will definitely snow this week. Please postpone any plans you have had to travel on the Manali Leh route for this week at least, and hope the weather will improve. Below are some pictures of Baralacha La now. Look at the amount of snow and ice on the road and it will probably get worse this week. Even cars like the 2WD Scorpio and 1 Mercedes GLA 250 were stuck in the pass.
Update: June 10
After what can really be called an agonizing wait, the Manali Leh Highway was declared open today for the year 2019. The opening of the pass arrives three good weeks later this year, compared to the opening in previous years. The heavy snowfall that came with the winter season delayed the opening of almost all roads and crossed the Himalayan route and Manali Leh was also no exception. Both locals and people planning a trip to Ladakh waited patiently for BRO to give the go-ahead and it finally happened today.
According to Commander Colonel Uma Shankar of the Border Roads Task Force (BRTF), BRO has completed the snow-clearing operation on the road that remains blocked due to the accumulation of snow during the winter at various passages along the way. In fact, the route had been snow-free for a few days, but local authorities were assessing the situation and determining whether the road was safe or not to allow civilian traffic.
The tourist station in Ladakh is already really active and many people have already traveled there on the side of Srinagar. But it is usually the Manali route that brings the entire flow of tourists into the region each year. With the road now open, thousands of people will travel to Ladakh by motorbike, car or public transport. In fact, it’s not just tourists. This road also serves as a lifeline for the people of the Ladakh region, ensuring essential supplies and stocking winters when the region remains isolated from the rest of the country.
With that said, the situation in Rohtang is a little out of control at the moment. There is a daily and intense traffic jam in the pass, which results in a waiting time of 3 to 4 hours for vehicles (see images below). With the opening of the Manali Leh route, things are getting much worse. The Manali Kaza road will also open this week, which will result in even more traffic. Getting permission to visit and cross the Rohtang Pass is also a task in itself now.
In the end, however, if a trip to Ladakh was in your plans for this year and the Manali route was part of your itinerary, now is the time for you to realize your dream. My advice would be to give at least two to three weeks before traveling on the road. BRO is still working on road stabilization, which means that temporary closures may still occur. Road conditions also remain somewhat poor for the first few weeks. Fortunately, if you waited, things with Rohtang will also allow you to improve.
How to plan your trip from Manali to Leh
If you are thinking of a trip to Ladakh next year, I suggest you read How to Plan a Trip to Leh Ladakh – Complete Travel Guide. In this article, I covered in detail almost every aspect of the trip to Ladakh. By reading this, you will have information about the things you should take; clothes you must bring; planning your itinerary; things you should see and where you can stay. Some of the other things you should know and cover in the article above are about preparing your vehicle for the trip; how to deal with acute mountain sickness in Ladakh; what you should keep in mind when traveling with children and the elderly.
Update: June 9
Today I received these images in a Whatsapp group. You can see the number of vehicles traveling to Rohtang Pass. Traffic jams last up to 4 hours and even Beyond Rohtang is no longer available because thousands have already purchased it. And that is the situation where the routes from Manali Leh and Manali Kaza are not yet open. When this happens, there will be even more people traveling, causing a much worse traffic situation.
For the latest updates and photos, see the Manali Leh 2019 Highway Status and Condition forum topic.
Update: May 30
The Rohtang Pass opens today. The Manali Leh highway is expected to open between 10 and 15 June.
Update: May 26
The Rohtang Pass was declared open last week, but only for locals. There is a lot of snow in the passage and the widening of the road is still necessary. It will be a trick before the tourist movement is allowed.
Manali Leh Highway Status 2019 – Update: May 18th
The opening of the Rohtang Pass continues to be delayed this year due to heavy snow and resulting landslides. It is still raining and snowing in the passage. Earlier this month, the road opened up to Marhi, but a landslide also blocked that road. Yesterday, there were 2,000 tourists stuck on the road after a landslide blocked the way back to Manali. For now, assume that the Rohtang Pass is likely to open only in late May or early June. This year’s Manali Leh Highway may not open until June 15. Even if the BRO manages to clear the snow, this landslide will raise questions about the stability of the road. The authorities will not open it unless they are absolutely sure of its safety. For now, the road is completely blocked.
Manali Leh Highway Status 2019 – Update: May 5th
On the Manali side, the road to Marhi is released from the snow and tourists are being allowed. Rohtang’s permission window was also opened online as of today. Note that you will not be able to reach the top yet; and you definitely can’t cross Rohtang the other way right now. You will only be allowed until the top of Marhi and Rohtang is another odd 10 miles away. The entire road between Manali and Keylong is expected to open in the week of May 14 at the latest. The Manali Leh highway is now due to open on June 1 of the week.