Rohtang Pass (Tibetan:Rohtang la) (el. 13051ft (3978m)), 51 KM from Manali, is a high mountain pass that connects the Kullu Valley with the Lahul and Spiti valleys of Himachal Pradesh. India

It has become a summer tourist spot, all thanks to the rising popularity of Manali, and excellent roads maintained by Border Road Organization. Almost every visitor to Manali yearns to visit Rohtang Pass as one can walk over and touch snow even in the peak of summer on this pass.

The pass is open from May to November, has a nasty reputation for being very dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms and blizzards. Some linguists say that the name rohtang is a Persian word meaning pile of dead bodies.

This pass was ancient trade route between the people on either side of Pir Panjal and accidents must have been very common as inferred from the folk lores. The local name for this pass is a generic name of pass. And there are many other passes in Lahoul and Spitti which have specific names (Kunzom La, Bara Lachala, etc.). This is suggestive of the fact that this must have been the oldest and most frequented pass in the region.

The road through the Kullu Valley, past Manali (nearest town, 51km) and over the Rohtang Pass to Keylong, and Lahul and on to Ladakh, has become very busy during the summer months as an alternate a military route following Kargil Conflict and, because of the troubles in Kashmir . Traffic jams (as pictured) are common occurrences caused by the inability of military vehicles, trucks, and goods carriers to navigate the tight roads and rough terrain, compounded by, snow/ice at certain points and the large number of tourists vehicles. There are a lot of 'dhabas' or indian style food shacks and eateries along the way.

There are some nice books written in Hindi and English about this pass. Rohtang ke us paar, in Hindi, and 'Trekking Beyond the Habitable World', in English, are two good sources of information on the Rohtang Pass.