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I had planned to take a road trip from Delhi to Ladakh on my Royal Enfield from 31st August to 13 September. But I came across the news that the National Green Tribune (NGT) has banned private vehicles from entering the Rohtang pass.

But the article also mentions:

Kullu Deputy Commissioner Rakesh Kanwar told IANS that the ban would not be applicable on the vehicles bound for Lahaul-Spiti district and Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir via Rohtang Pass.

and:

Kanwar said strict action would be initiated against the motorists who are found visiting the Rohtang Pass on the pretext of visiting Lahaul-Spiti or Ladakh.

Can somebody suggest what could be done in the above situation? Please address the following:

  1. Is it clear for sure that tourists who are headed for Ladakh won't be blocked from entering the Rohtang pass? If so, how would the authorities confirm that the tourist is headed for Ladakh?
  2. If you suggest against taking this route, can you suggest the alternative route, like Delhi-Srinagar-Leh route, and the current situation thereof?
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Now that I have successfully completed my Leh-Ladakh trip, let me clarify the scenario as it has become clear to me:

  1. The ban on private vehicles from entering the Rohtang pass was initiated only and specifically for tourists headed to visit the Rohtang pass and its associated villages. Tourists headed for Lahaul-Spiti or Leh-Ladakh were permitted to pass. Further, due to significant resistance from the hotel and tourism union the ban has been rolled back to the previous state of permitting 400 diesel and 600 petrol vehicles per day into the pass until November. They keep an account of this by getting you to make a register entry while you enter Rohtang from Manali.

  2. It you are just seeking to travel to Leh-Ladakh by road, say with your family, I would any day recommend taking the Srinagar route. The route is pretty neat except for a few hiccups here and there (primarily the initial 10 odd kms of Zoji La pass stretch following Sonamarg, and some stretch of 10 kms before Drass). But if you are an adventure seeking adrenaline junkie with a knack for riding on rusty hilly terrain on some of the world's highest passes (and when I say rusty, imagine as rusty as it gets) I would suggest you take the Manali route. Personally, I went via Srinagar and returned via Manali.

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Is it clear for sure that tourists who are headed for Ladakh won't be blocked from entering the Rohtang pass? If so, how would the authorities confirm that the tourist is headed for Ladakh?

There is no way to stop this from what I know. What about those who really plan to go to Ladakh but 100kms into the journey they get a phone call from home about some urgent situation that needs them to return immediately? Government cannot do much on that route except for charging every one and not just those who visit Rohtang pass alone.

If you suggest against taking this route, can you suggest the alternative route, like Delhi-Srinagar-Leh route, and the current situation thereof?

Have a look at the differences and see which one you like and decide Srinagar Leh route vs Manali Leh route.

Delhi Srinagar Leh roads are in a lot better condition as compared to Manali Leh road simply because Srinagar route is used by the armed forces on a daily basis and is used to transport defense equipment and other supplies every day where as Manali road is mainly used by tourists and locals. I have been to Leh both ways and find that Manali route is more scenic and I did not find much traffic on that route where as Srinagar route is normally busy.

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