Road Permits from Manali to Ladakh

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permits for rohtang, SDM OFFICE MANALI

Now, this is actually simple yet tough for the people heading to Ladakh for the first time. I will try to keep this simple but also will be elaborate. In this article, I will clear all the doubts related to permits that you require. Including the Rohtang Pass Permit Fee. Permits from Manali to Ladakh and then the permit from Leh city to move around other Ladakh areas. As you guys know that I recently went to Ladakh on my bike, online permit for Rohtang is the facility that I opted for. But, do you also know that there is a mobile application for Rohtang permit as well.

Check out my YouTube channel for my video logs from Ladakh. Now, let’s get to the point here. All tourist travelling to Rohtang and beyond will require a permit. Although, the first checkpoint is at Gulaba. So ideally without permit, you can go till Marhi. Firstly, you need to get a permit to cross Rohtang. Secondly, you would need an inner line permit to travel around Ladakh.

The NGT (National Green Tribunal) has made it mandatory from April 2017 for all people travelling beyond Rohtang to get permits. If you are wondering that is NGT, well it’s a government body which works for the preservation of the environment. To know more click this link. Seems like a great idea to pose heavy transit fee, else we humans won’t even leave the mountains alone. The ecosystem here is already in a critical stage.

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Rohtang Pass Permit Fee

S.NoVehicle TypePermit FeeCongestion Charges
1 Motor Bike, Car & Jeep INR 500INR 50
2 MUV’s INR 500INR 50
3 Buses & HMV INR 500INR 100

When you travel just to Rohtang pass for tourism purpose then you need to pay both Rohtang pass permit fee and congestion charges. However, if you travel beyond Rohtang La, you just need to pay the congestion charges and not the Rohtang pass permit fee.

CUNNING PEOPLE: How about I take the permit for beyond Rohtang in INR 50 and return from Rohtang. This will save me 500 bucks.

Don’t do that. The first checkpoint at Gulaba and second checkpoint at Kohksar especially check this to avoid misuse of permits. Both checkpoints work on the same permit platforms. So, the permit gets verified on the same day at Kohksar, they check the system and see if you were cleared from Gulaba checkpoint.

Hence, my cunning friend if you applied permit to go beyond Rohtang La and return from Rohtang to Gulaba, then you will be caught at Gulaba checkpoint as there is no exit recorded at Khoksarfor your permit. This will incur a penalty and your vehicle will be blacklisted. Bruh…..! Permits from Manali are a little tricky, thanks to the Kullu administration.

Documents required by the authority

You need to carry your vehicle’s registration certificate. Age of vehicle not to be more than 10 yrs, Pollution check is mandatory, without PUC you will not get the permit. You also need a photo ID, I would say keep your driver’s licence handy. Aadhar card works, but if you are driving or riding I rekon you will have your licence with you. Passport & Visa (For foreigners) is a must. This will be verified at all the checkpoints post-Rohtang pass.

Is there a limit on the number of permits and days in a week?

Of course, there is. They don’t want to flood the mountains with vehicles. Let me share a few pointers on rules and regulations to help you understand better.

  • No Vehicles are allowed on TUESDAY as the day is marked for maintenance of Rohtang Pass.
  • Congestion fees can only be paid for the next 3 days from the current date.
  • Printout is compulsory for all permissions.
  • Vehicles having wrong information on CONGESTION FEES SLIP as compared to valid proofs will not be allowed to cross the barrier.
  • In a week (Tuesday to Monday) only 2 permits can be obtained for each vehicle.
  • Daily permit limit for vehicles. Petrol vehicles: 800 & Diesel vehicles: 400
  • Permits can be obtained in two-time frames. 10:00 HRS (200 Diesel & 400 Petrol) & 16:00 HRS (200 Diesel & 400 Petrol)
  • In a week (Tuesday to Monday) only 3 permits can be obtained for each vehicle.

Getting Permit to Cross Rohtang

So I had two choices to get the first permit to cross Rohtang. Either I get to the SDM office which is at Mall road Manali, or I could get it online. So if you are moving from Manali, there are basically two types of permits from Manali. One permit is the till Rohtang and allows you to return on the same day. The other one is for crossing Rohtang La and head towards Leh city. Now let’s discuss how can you actually get these permits and what are the ways.

  1. The first way is standing in the line at the SDM office at Mall Road Manali.
  2. The most preferred way of getting to Rohtang La and till Leh is applying online. Click here to apply. This permit website is hosted by Kullu administration.
  3. Second way again is digital. In the year 2018-19 Kullu administration launched a mobile app. You can apply for the permit on this app. This app is available on Play Store and iOS both.
  4. The fourth way is to give money to local tour operators who will get you the permits to Leh without hassle. They of-course will charge you a bit more than the actual permit fee though.

Let me explain this a bit more extensively.

1. ROHTANG PERMITS FROM SDM OFFICE MANALI

SDM or sub-divisional magistrate office is at Manu market, near Mall Road, Manali. Below is the location.

Till the time you are ok to stand in line and wait for a few hours, please choose this method. You will have to carry proof of ID, vehicle registration certificate, PUC along with your driving licence. You will have to submit the documents along with the fees and then again visit the SDM office after 2 to 3 hours to collect your permits. Yes, it’s not a 5 to 10 minutes job. They will not give you the permits at the same time. Now, since we are talking about the permits to Leh here, let me also include the price associated with these permits.

All vehicles will be required to pay a sum of Rs. 500 as permit fee and Rs. 50 congestion charge, so a total of Rs. 550 per permit. Buses and Heavy motor vehicles will have to pay Rs. 100 for congestion charge so a total of Rs. 600 per permit. These charges are however applicable only for tourism purpose permits. For travelling beyond Rohtang (travel permits), you will only have to pay a congestion charge of Rs. 50. There will no refund if you do not use or try to cancel your permit.

2. ONLINE PERMIT FOR ROHTANG & BEYOND

This is by far the easiest way of getting the permits. You just need to go on the permit portal which is maintained by Kullu administration and apply. Once you are on the home page of this portal. It will look like below.

Different permit options on the Kullu permit portal

Once you apply the permit post the payment you get the link to download the permit page. Download it and make 2 copies, it’s going to be enough for the rest of the route.

You can check the complete procedure by clicking the button below.

3. PERMITS TO CROSS ROHTANG THROUGH MOBILE APPLICATION

This was recently introduced in the year 2018-19. I mean whoever, thought of this in Kullu administration is a mere genius. Furthermore, with this app, you can not just apply for a permit. You can check the availability of the permit since there is a capping. You can validate the permit by scanning the barcode. The application screen looks like this.

Mobile application for Rohtang permit

As you can see with this mobile application for Rohtang permit you can check availability, validate permit by scanning barcode and keying in the relevant information, you can download the permit & there is a separate section for FAQ. Let me share the important points for this mobile application.

  • Mobile application for Rohtang permit is available for android and iOS both.
  • Check the permit validity by scanning the bar code on the permit, alternatively, you can also use the permit number.
  • The permits to cross Rohtang have to be applied within the same time slots as mentioned before. 10:00 HRS and 16:00 HRS.
  • You can directly download the permit from this application.
  • Once the permit is issued it can not be cancelled. Please be cautious as there is a cap limit. If you are unable to go please cancel your permit as other tourists might get delayed.
  • Most noteworthy is that you can apply for Rohtang permit only twice in a week per IP address. If using a Hotel WiFi you might get a notice saying quota full, this is because other guests in the hotel might have used the same WiFi for getting the permits.

4. GETTING PERMIT VIA TOUR OPERATORS

If you are lazy to the core and do not like technology, you can opt for this method. A lot of people do this who do not have any clue about how the permit system works online or from SDM office Manali. However, be cautious as they might charge you extra for this. Somewhere from 50 bucks to 100 bucks. Although it is not worth paying this money when you can do this yourself. My friends who were not aware of this went through a tour operator and that guy cost them 400 per permit till Leh. Can you imagine 350 RS margin on each permit?

Summing Up

With the new technological advancements, the move of creating a mobile application for Rohtang permits and an online permit portal is a welcome move for all the travellers. A big thanks to Kullu administration and SDM office Manali. These methods are helping travellers to be sufficient rather than being dependent on others. Also, with the Rohtang pass permit fee explained clearly on their permit portal, people now know what they have to pay to get permits to cross Rohtang without tour operators taking advantage of these travellers. This was a pretty extensive article, I hope I have answered all your questions. In case there is a question, please leave it in the comments and I would try to get back to you ASAP.

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