Category Archives: Travel

Travel Binsar to Rejuvenate your Soul

Birds chirping made us open our eyes and the orange light peeping from our room window cajoled us out of our bed. It was just 6:00 am and we were up & awake. Meanwhile, the prancing footsteps knocked on the door to make sure we were up to admire the sunrise, the first sun rays lighting the Himalayan Peaks. He handed over a freshly brewed cup of tea on the terrace to us, while the dusk gave way to dawn and lifted the veil from the peaks. In continuation, a narration by the fellow server on how the day goes by in Binsar starting with heartwarming breakfast, sun-soaking and peaceful jungle walk followed by seeing the orange ball diving behind the mountains, and ending the day with stargazing in the deafening quiet nights. Overall it looked like a promising relaxed idyllic holiday & that is what we were here for.

So, to experience such days, rush to the hidden unadulterated hamlet of Uttarakhand i.e. Binsar also known as Binsar wildlife Sanctuary.

Travel Binsar to Rejuvenate your Soul

Brief about Binsar Valley

Binsar, a small secluded scenic valley, sits on the top of Jhandi Dhar Hills, at an altitude 2412 meters in the Kumaon region of the Himalayas. It lies 23 kilometers from Almora, 75 kilometers from the Mukteshwar town and 88 kilometers from Nainital in Uttarakhand.

Initially, the valley was just popular as Binar or Binsar Valley but in 1988 it became a Binsar wildlife sanctuary, to conserve and preserve the shrinking broad oak leaf oak forests of the Himalayan region. Today, the Binsar wildlife sanctuary spreads over 46km2 and is highly rich in flora and fauna. It is home to many wildlife animals (like leopards, barking deer, mountain goats, wild boars, porcupine, foxes, langurs, chital, red flying squirrel, etc.), mammals, birds, and butterflies. The sanctuary too has about 200 species of birds like magpies, parakeets, blackbirds, fork tails, pheasants, woodpeckers, etc. In flora, the forest hosts about 25 different types of trees, 24 types of bushes, and 7 types of grass.

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttarakhand
Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttarakhand

Apart from all this, the main attraction of Binsar is the majestic view of the Himalayas one gets from here. The complete 300 km stretch of famous peaks like Kedarnath, Chaukhamba, Trishul, Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, and Panchchuli are visible on clear days and on cloudy days there is a complete hide and seek game between moving clouds & glorious Himalayas.

Winter Morning in Binsar Sanctuary
Winter Morning in Sanctuary

Entry to Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary

Binsar lies 23 kilometers from Almora. And then there is an entry gate with toll barrier at Ayarpani to the Binsar wildlife sanctuary. To enter one needs to pay Rs. 150 per head for Indians, Rs. 600 per head for foreign nationals, Rs. 75 for Indian students, Rs. 250 for foreign students and add to it the vehicle charges i.e. Rs. 250 for small vehicles, Rs. 500 for medium-sized and Rs 800 for heavy vehicles.

Note: The issued pass is valid for just 24 hours and once you enter, forget going out

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary Entry Gate at Ayarpani
Entry Permit for Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary
Entry Permit for Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary

Timings to Enter & Leave Binsar Sanctuary

Being a restricted area, there are fixed timings to enter and leave i.e. in between 6:00 am to 6:00 pm

Days in Binsar / Places to visit in Binsar

Days in Binsar are quite blissful, slow & long. There is nothing much to do except relaxing, sipping tea and coffee, or reading books while gazing at the mountains, admiring the beautiful countryside, taking adventurous treks to the small villages and enjoying Kumaoni cuisines with the villagers. So, it is an ideal destination for a perfect long weekend getaway from Delhi to rejuvenate your soul & senses.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_KnN4Xnnl7/

Anyways, in Binsar our days started quite early with sunrise and ended early too. For the best sunrise views, Zero point Binsar which lies 2 kilometers from the KMVN guest house is considered as the best location. But the KMVN hotel staff suggested to us, that the hotel terrace itself is the best location. Honestly, we were hesitant to listen to them but somehow agreed, and after experiencing can say, it surely is.

Here, the first sunray lights the snowclad Himalayan peak on one point and then widens its horizon and light up the several kilometers stretch. The whole scene is extremely mesmerizing and a treat to sore eyes. But simultaneously while watching, it makes me wonder – Are locals lucky? Do they appreciate getting up to this view every day or they just think it normal?

Himalayan Peaks view from KMVN - Sunrise
Himalayan Peaks view from KMVN Terrace- Sunrise

After sunrise, the day continued for us with a quick bath (Remember there is a limited hot water supply -like 1 bucket per head in mountains) and a delicious breakfast. A quick lazy nap after that and we were up for the jungle walk. Few meters from the KMVN gate, the road diverges into two- the one descending downwards goes to the Binsar Dak Bungalow, whereas the other one takes you to the zero points. We first took the road towards Dak Bungalow.

Entry to Dak Bungalow Binsar

The Binsar Dak Bungalow (Sunset Point)–  is where Swami Vivekananda had stayed and meditated for two days when he had visited Almora in 1897. The current colonial designed forest rest-house was built in 1902. It has limited rooms with beautiful views. From the grounds of this Dak bungalow, one gets the sunset view and is famous as a set point to the tourists. We went there at noon so just soaked our lazy bodies in the sun and came back for lunch.

Rooms at Dak Bungalow
Rooms at Dak Bungalow

Simple delicious lunch and we again dozed off. After some time we left to explore the Bineshwar Mahadev Temple, situated within the Binsar wildlife sanctuary. It is a 16th-century ancient temple, from which Binsar has derived its name. The Temple lies 6 kilometers from the Ayarpani i.e. main gate and houses Lord Shiva deity. The temple was built during the prosperous reign of King Kalyan Chand. Unfortunately, the temple was closed so we couldn’t enter inside.

Bineshwar Mahadev Temple in the meadows
Bineshwar Mahadev Temple in the meadows

Just opposite to this Temple is a café & scenic waterfall, which looks grand and magnificent in monsoons and completely dried up in summers and winters. By this time, it was already 5:00 pm and it was time to head back. You might be wondering why because the hotel premises works on power backup and electricity is available only from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. So, this is the only time to charge up your phones and batteries.

Monsoon Waterfall
Monsoon Waterfall

Note: Electricity is available only from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

After evening tea, we were back for a stroll on the KMVN terrace to watch the sun descending behind the mountains and sky lit in the shades of orange purple hues, followed by moonrise and stars slowly filling up the whole of the sky. The whole evening screenplay put by nature is impossible to be described in the words and can just say in a word- wow! By 8:00 pm there was a dinner call and by 9:00 pm majority of the lights were off. So, the time to retire to the bed or either night photography at the terrace. We would have chosen the other one but somehow missed carrying our tripod.

Sunset view from KMVN Terrace Binsar
Sunset view from KMVN Terrace Binsar

Our Experience

We recommend spending at least spend 2 days in the Binsar wildlife sanctuary to breathe and feel the place. Binsar valley is a big natural swath of forestland painted with Deodar, Pine, and Rhododendron trees. Indeed, it is one of the thickest forests of Uttarakhand, where sunlight hardly gets a chance to kiss the land. The moss on the trees and rocks looks like a forever unit and the peace and silence are the only elements apart flora fauna here. Time clock seems to have frozen centuries back here and nothing looks changed forever except the constructed gravel road and milestones.

Map of Binsar Sanctuary
Map of Binsar Sanctuary

The place is all about relaxing, gazing at the scenic mountains, and dwelling in the charms of the countryside. Overall, Binsar is the epitome of serenity and tranquility, perched on top of a hill with a spectacular view of the snowcapped peaks and the Almora valley.

History of Binsar

Binsar has a richly diverse history tracing back to ancient times. It was the summer capital of the Chand Dynasty who ruled the region between the 7th to 18th centuries. The Chand Raj kings used to visit the Binsar valley in summer to enjoy the pleasant weather and tranquil scenery among the mountains.

Mythological History

Acc. to mythology, Binsar witnessed a warfare between the Binsar King & Golu Devta/ God (who is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva, mythological & historical God of the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand). In the battle, Golu Devta’s was beheaded and his trunk fell at Gairad Dana Golu and head at Kaparkhan near Binsar. Today, both these locations hold the ancient temples of Golu Devta. 

How to reach Binsar from Delhi

Binsar lies 394 kilometers from Delhi and is well connected by road, rail or by air. The nearest airport to Binsar is at Pantnagar (140 Kms from Binsar) whereas the nearest railway station is at Kathgodam (105 Kms from Binsar). Further journey from both Pantnagar and Kathgodam stations can be covered by bus or cabs.

Route from Delhi to Binsar for Road trip

Delhi – Ghaziabad- Hapur- Garh Mukteshwar- Gajraula – Moradabad- Kaldungi – Nainital – Almora – Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary

Time taken for Road Trip to Binsar

Approx. 10 hours, for a direct journey but we advise you to take a halt in between

Road Conditions

Roads are well graveled throughout. Beyond Kaladungi, expect a narrow ascending road while crossing a few Tals (Lakes) like Khurpatal, Nalital, Malital, etc. Ahead Almora towards Binsar, the route gets highly scenic. The trees look dotted on both sides of ascending roads and in between you will be crossing small picturesque villages, and the highlighted one is Kasar Devi known for a Kasar Devi temple.

View from Kasar Devi near Almora
View from Kasar Devi

Suggested Spots for Halt in Between Road Trip to Binsar from Delhi

The ideal halt town is the famous hill station Nainital from where the further journey to Binsar is just 89 kilometers and can be completed in approx. 3-4 hours. Another option is to stop somewhere near Kaladhungi and experience the greens forests of Jim Corbett or stay at Sattal and enjoy bird watching in Sattal.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_PuVIlHWQI/

Binsar Weather & Best Time to Visit

Binsar enjoys the benefit of excellent weather throughout the year. In Summers, the average temperature ranges between 15 to 30 degree Celsius, in monsoon it lies between 20 to 28 degree Celsius whereas in winter it lies between 5 to 15 degree Celsius.

Summer is an ideal time to enjoy pleasant weather and trekking, winter is best time to enjoy snowfall, autumn and spring is for seeing the plush colors of rhododendrons and flowers blooming and monsoon is ideal for enjoying the lush green, fresh hazy look of the Binsar Valley. Also during this time, the Himalayas play hide and seek between the clouds during this time.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_U_lQWHWEM/

We have seen Binsar in months of February, August and November and honestly it looks entirely different in all months and seasons. Our favorite from all, is a monsoon trip to Binsar valley, when the whole area looks dreamy and magical.

Accommodation/ Hotels in Binsar

There are plenty of resorts, hotels, and guest houses in Almora, Kasar Devi and outside the Binsar wildlife sanctuary. But within the sanctuary, there are limited options, which varies from heritage luxury homestays to resorts to Government guest house i.e. KMVN (Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam).

Resorts/ Hotels within Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary

The Marry Budden Estate 18th century estate is a family run heritage homestay. The Grand Oak Manor built in 19th century by Sir Henry Ramsay as his summer home, is now run by Almora’s family of Lal Sah Gangola. The Khali estate too built by Sir Henry offers an excellent panoramic view of Himalayan ranges. The Binsar Forest retreat is an eco-friendly homestay which was once owned by Major Edin and locally known as Edinpur. The Binsar Forest Dak Bungalow also known as Forest Rest house, where Swami Vivekananda stayed for 2-3 days in 1897.

KMVN Guest House

The Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN) Guesthouse located within the Binsar wildlife sanctuary is where we always stay because of its apt location (just 2 kilometers before the zero point), wooden cozy rooms, delicious Kumaoni delicacies and huge terrace and garden which directly offers you an excellent panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges.

KMVN Guest House Binsar
KMVN Guest House Binsar

Cafes/ Restaurants in Binsar

There are multiple cafes in Kasar Devi but within Binsar wildlife sanctuary, we could spot only 1 café i.e. Simba cafe opposite the Bineshwar Mahadev Temple. But our advice is to forget cafes and enjoy the local fresh farm food served in your hotels or the traditional Kumauni food served by villagers. Also, the must-try is Bal Mithai & Singori from Almora, Uttarakhand.

Sweet Singori from Almora Uttarakhand
Sweet Singori from Almora Uttarakhand

Important Points to Remember

  • Electricity is available in the hotel from 6:00 pm- 9:00 pm. So, charge your phones and batteries
  • Wi-fi and phone signals are hardly present in the hotel. So, use this time to detox and rejuvenate among nature
  • Use minimum hot water for bathing as the resources are limited
  • Do not leave your children alone & move around in the jungle after dusk
  • If you are planning to explore jungle trails go with a local guide only as you are in the jungle and in reality it is the natural habitat of wildlife, not ours.
  • Do not light fire or throw lit cigarettes buds as it can lead to a jungle fire
  • Carry a sturdy pair of shoes for exploring the Binsar sanctuary on foot
  • Respect local culture, the sanctity of villages and local customs
  • Manage your waste responsibly. Don’t throw wrappers and non-biodegradable waste here and there. Instead, carry them back and dispose of them in proper bins
  • Carry a refillable water bottle
  • Help locals by making small purchases of hand-knitted woolens, caps, gloves, etc.
  • Carry power bank, tripod and charged batteries for photography

Things you need to Carry

Binsar enjoys the benefit of having a moderate climate throughout the year but still, one needs to pack correctly for making the trip comfortable and enjoyable.

In winters days are warm but nights are extremely cold. So, carry clothes to layer up. Do keep your caps, gloves and stoles handy for covering up your head and neck.

In summers, mornings and evenings are pleasant whereas the days get hot. So, carry light clothes along with a windcheater.

In monsoons, it rains like cats and dogs here. So, you must carry your raincoats and umbrella. Also, after heavy rainfall, there is a chill, so carry a light jacket or windcheater.

Apart from all these, do carry your sunscreens, sunglasses, hats, and medicines for all the seasons.

Travel Binsar to Rejuvenate your Soul

Other Nearby Attractions to Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Binsar Sanctuary Museum

The Binsar sanctuary museum lies inside the sanctuary and it has all the important information regarding flora and fauna of the region.

  • Pariyadeva-Pashan

Historians believe that the Binsar hills are rich in ancient relics too. Near Dinapani on the Almora-Binsar road, there is a point called Pariyadeva-Pashan where there is a long stone with cup-marks and according to them these belong to Megalithic Age.

  • Kasar Devi Temple

The Kasar Devi Temple located at Kasar Devi, on Almora Binsar road (almost 9 kilometers before Binsar) is a 2nd-century old temple. The place is also known for Crank’s ridge just outside the village, which was famous during the Hippie movement and is still quite popular among both national & international tourists or travelers.

  • Golu Devta Temple / Bell Temple

The Golu Devta Temple lies 4 Kilometers from the main Temple and is dedicated to the local deity Golu Devta of the Kumaon region. The temple is also known as a Bell Temple as the local belief is that tie a bell with your wish written on white paper in the temple, to make it come true, and surprisingly there are 1000’s of bells tied there, which definitely looks beautiful.

Bell Temple Uttarakhand
Bell Temple Uttarakhand
  • Gannath Temple

Gannath Temple is an another Shiva temple, located near village Satrali almost 47 kilometers from Almora. The temple is famous for water percolating into the shiv lingam from the aerial roots (jata in Hindi) of a tree.

  • Patal Bhuvaneshwar

Patal Bhuvaneshwar lies 109 kilometers from Binsar and is famous for the majestic limestone cave temple which is about 160 meters long and 90 feet deep from the point of entrance. The Limestone rock formations have created various spectacular stalactite and stalagmite figures of various hues and forms.

Jageshwar Temple
  • Jageshwar / Jageswar Temple

The Jageshwar temple lies 36 kilometres from Almora & is considered as one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. The complex houses almost 100 temples, dated between the 7th -12th centuries. The site is maintained by ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) and they are putting efforts to get it added to UNESCO Heritage site list.

All about Jungle Safari at Ranthambore National Park

It was 2:00 pm, our guide called our names and we ran to find the perfect seat in the canter. There was some different sort of enthusiasm for the Jungle Safari in tiger rich Ranthambore National Park despite the one we had done earlier at Sariska National Park.

Our guide checked our ID’s and in minutes we had hit the road & our canter started swaying on the laden paths of Ranthambore. Just a few Kilometers ahead from the registration counter, and we entered the enclosed Jogi Mahal Gate and then an old gate decorated with one of the oldest Banyan trees for Zone 3. On one side stood the grand Ranthambore fort whereas on another side the crazy enclosed wild world. My eyes were transfixed to the door. It looked extremely magical. Indeed, Tashi was mocking that have you got some binocular power and will trace the tiger from far in the jungle.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B8RSSU7nOni/

From there on our canter started noodling on the dusty narrow roads and guide took his position to be in action. And in the next 5 minutes, he noticed some animal sitting in the old structure. Stop there, he said and everybody in the canter started gazing in the pointed finger direction without blinking. In the bold tone he continued, look there – There is something. Oh really, What? Everybody stood up and started moving here and there to find is it Jungle King or Queen in its natural habitat. It was far from us and completely camouflaged, but did it came out to break our suspense?  Could we find what it was? Wait to know the complete story! And before that, let’s learn a little about Ranthambore Tiger Reserve and the jungle safari there.

About Ranthambore National Park

Ranthambore national park lies near Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan, North India, between the Aravalli and Vindhyan Mountain Range. It has got its name from the Ranthambore Fort located within the jungle. The national park was initially spread over 282 km2 but today it covers an area of 1334 km2. In the year 1955, it was just a hunting ground for the Jaipur Royals and today after all the measures it is one of the biggest national parks in the world with numerous types of species, flora and fauna.

Entry to Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan, India
Entry to Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan, India

Looking at its history year wise

  • 1955– Established as Sawai Madhopur Gaming Sanctuary by Government of India (GOI)
  • 1973 – Declared as the Project Tiger Reserve
  • 1 Nov 1980 – Became Ranthambore National Park
  • 1984 – Adjacent Forests were declared – Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary
  • 1992 – Tiger Reserve was expanded. The adjoining Keladevi Sanctuary was merged in the north and Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary in the south. And the total area became 1334 km2.

Today the Ranthambore Park is divided into 10 zones where the Zone 1-6 are designated as the “core zones” and zone 7-10 are known as the “buffer zones“, and note that all zones have tigers.

Ranthambore forest is highly rich in flora and fauna. The vegetation here is almost dry deciduous type, because of the scanty rainfalls. Dhok’ (Anogeissus pendula) is the most prominent tree in the forest and it constitutes about 80% of the vegetation here. Apart this, there are several medicinal plants (like Neem (Azadirachta Indica), Babul (Acacia Nilotica), Gum (Sterculia Urens), Kadam (Authocephalus Cadamba), Khajur (Phoenix Sylvestris), Khair (Acacia catechu) and fruit trees (like Mango, Jamun, Ber, Tamarind, etc) in the forest. Also, the national park is home to the oldest Banyan trees.

Flora of Ranthambore Forest
Flora of Ranthambore Forest

The unique climate and vegetation of the reserve area makes it an ideal place for wildlife too and one can get to see here tigers (almost 72 in total park), leopards (3-4 times the no. of tigers), fishing cat, sloth bear, striped hyena, jackal, sambhar, spotted deer, crocodile, serpent eagles and variety of birds.

Facts About Ranthambore Tiger Reserve

  • The Ranthambore Park was once a hunting ground for royals
  • It is a home to world-famous Machli Tiger also known as the most photographed tigress in the world, Tigress of Ranthambore, Lady of Lakes & a crocodile killer.
  • Today the tiger reserve has almost 72 tigers here including the cubs
  • T 84 Tigress also known as arrowhead is the granddaughter of Machli and is exactly like her
  • Tigers are territorial. A tigress needs an area of almost 20 Km2 whereas a dominant male needs up to 50 km2 or more. Male Tiger never shares his territory, indeed overlaps females territory

Where is Ranthambore National Park

Ranthambore lies at a distance of 14 Kilometers from Sawai Madhopur, 192 Kilometers from Jaipur, 142 Kms from Bhangarh, 166 kilometers from Sariska Tiger Reserve, 255 Kilometers from Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan.

How to Reach Ranthambore from Delhi?

The Ranthambore lies at a distance of 403 Kilometers from Delhi and 393 kilometers from Noida. It can be reached via car, bus, rail or air. The nearest railway station is at Sawai Madhopur and the nearest airport is Sanganer Airport at Jaipur. Further from Jaipur one can opt for frequently running cars, bus or rail services.

We, AllGudThings opted to go by car from Noida and came back via Delhi. So, the route was-

From Delhi (403 Kms)– Delhi – Gurugram –Bhiwadi – Neemrana – Kotputli – Dausa – Lalsot – Sawai Madhopur

From Noida (393 Kms) – Noida – Vrindavan- Mathura – Bharatpur – Bayana– Hindaun – Gangapur – Sawai Madhopur

Road Conditions

From Noida, it is all a multilane expressway journey except few bad patches between Bharatpur and Hindaun. There are multiple tolls in between, almost all charging between Rs. 40 –Rs. 60/-. The important point to remember is not to throw the toll slip beyond Bharatpur otherwise you need to pay the complete amount, as we did. The other route via Gurugram too is a highway and expects a rush beyond Bhiwadi.

Road to Ranthambore National Park from Jaipur
Road to Ranthambore National Park from Jaipur

Best Season to visit Ranthambore National Park

The best season to visit Ranthambore Tiger Reserve is from October to April. After that the temperature starts soaring in Rajasthan; going between 45 to 50 degrees Celsius. The Park closes down in monsoon i.e. from July to September, as this is considered as the mating time for tigers.

Expected Temperatures

In the month of October – November expect the temperatures between 20 -34 degrees Celsius whereas from December to February it lies between 10- 25 degrees Celsius. In March – April temperatures go high till 35-36 degrees Celsius whereas after that the highest temperature can be above 40 degrees Celsius.

Types of Safaris in Ranthambore National Park

There are four types of Safari options in the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve.

  • Morning Shift Safari (3:30 hrs.)
  • Evening Shift Safari (3:30 hrs.)
  • Half-Day Safari (6:00 hrs. in the morning or evening shift)
  • Full-Day Safari (12 hrs.)

The Morning and evening shift safari can be done via 6 seater gypsy or 20 seater canter. Both the vehicles are open from all sides for the best views. Whereas the half-day and full-day safari can only be done through gypsy.

Ranthambore Safari in Gypsy

Note: All the vehicles are available on a sharing basis as well as per individual or group basis. If you book for individual/ group, then also you need to pay for a whole canter or gypsy.

How to Book Safari at Ranthambore Tiger Reserve?

Ranthambore Safari Ticket or Pass can be booked online via a government portal or several private operators, local safari service booking operators, hotels or directly at the safari registration counter.

Online Bookings

The booking can be done by simply filling the details on the government website portal –  or other private operator websites. The simple Details required are Zone (Choose between 1-6 or 7-10), type of vehicle, traveler details, and I – Card details.

We tried the process on both government & private websites and found that the process of booking on the government portal is much more cumbersome but quite cheaper too. Approx. the cost on government portal for morning/evening shift canter comes between Rs. 600-650/- per person whereas the private player’s charge around Rs. 1400/-. and for full-day comes around Rs. 7500/- per person, whereas the private player charges around Rs. 15,000/-.  Also, on all the tried websites, the gypsy option seems not available. On enquiring the same we got to know, that people book Ranthambore Safari in advance and most of them choose for Gypsy.

Process for Booking on Rajasthan Government Portal

  • Open Forest Department, Govt. of Rajasthan website
  • From the top, make an SSO login
  • Enter SSO ID, password and captcha. If you haven’t registered like us earlier, register via Facebook or google
  • After login go to the Forest & Wildlife application
  • From there select the one you are looking at – Advanced Wildlife Booking, Current Wildlife Booking, Half Day / Full Day Current or Advanced Wildlife Booking or Tatkal booking
  • Enter the place, zone, date and passenger details covering name, gender, nationality, Identity card details and the no of cameras he/she is carrying
  • Enter the Captcha and proceed to payment details
  • Print your e-ticket with the download option

Note:

  • The current booking window is open from 10:00 am. Morning shift booking closes at 6:00 am and evening shift booking close at 03:00 pm
  • The Half/full day booking window is available from 10:00 am to 06:00 pm for next day half day /full day booking
  • User can’t book a ticket again for the same day with the same SSO Id, same zone, same date, and same IP address
  • Advance Tickets– Users can book safari tickets in advance for 365 days, from the date of booking
  • Passes of the full day/half day bookings are issued from 5:00 pm -8:00 pm on the previous day of the visit day or from 06:00 am to 01:00 pm of the visit day from the booking counter
  • The Tatkal booking quota opens 7 days prior to the date of visit and it fills on the first come first basis
  • Do remember to carry your I- cards or a picture of the same in your phone
  • For any query or help in booking, you can connect at- helpdesk.fmdss@rajasthan.gov.in

Cancellation of Advanced Wildlife Tickets

All types of Advanced, half-day / full-day wildlife tickets can be canceled within the time frame.

Cancellation From Date of visit Refund Amount
271 or more days 75%
181-270 days 50%
90-180 days 25%
Less than 90 days 0%

Safari Registration Counter, Ranthambore National Park

For booking safari at the registration counter be ready to stand in a queue in the afternoon and get up early for the morning shifts. Also, the chances of getting pass purely work on first come first served.

Registration Counter for Safari at Ranthambore National Park
Registration Counter for Safari at Ranthambore National Park

There are fixed operational timings and the schedule for it vary according to the months.

Month Morning Shift Evening Shift
October 5:00 am – 6:30 am 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
November – Dec- January 5:30 am – 7:00 am 12:20 pm – 2:00 pm
February – March 5:00 am – 6:30 am 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
April – June 4:30 am – 6:00 am 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Through Hotel / Safari Operators

The easiest option for current booking is through hotel staff or safari operators. They definitely charge you somewhat more amount but also helps on the time. For booking via them, remember to carry your I – card & Photograph.

We booked all our safaris through hotel staff by just handing them documents, cash and telling them the preferable zones. For Canter Safari we paid Rs. 1000/- each whereas for Gypsy safari we paid Rs. 1500/- each.

Cost for Ranthambore Safari

The cost for a safari in the Ranthambore national park varies according to the type of chosen safari, vehicle and from where you have got it booked. Sometimes, it may vary with the zone too, which means the prices quoted for zone 1-6 can be higher than zone 7-10 whereas there is no discrimination on govt. portal and at the registration counter.

Type Vehicle On Govt. Portal (per person per seat) Private Portals (per person per seat) Registration Counter (per person per seat) By Hotels / Safari Tour operators (per person per seat)
Indian Foreigners Indian Foreigners Indian Foreigners Indian Foreigners
Morning / Evening Shift Safari Canter Rs. 600- 650/- Rs. 1400- 1500/- Rs. 1200/- 1400/- Rs. 2000-2500/- Rs. 500- 600/- Rs. 1000 – 1200/- Rs. 1000- 1200/-  
Gypsy Rs. 1000- 1100/- Rs. 1800- 2000/- Rs. 1600/- 1800/- Rs. 2500-3000/- Rs. 800- 900/- Rs. 1800- 2000/- Rs. 1500- 1600/-  
Half Day Safari Gypsy Rs. 3300/- Rs. 4400         Rs. 40,000 – 50,000/- Rs. 50,000 – 60,000/-
Full Day Safari Gypsy Rs. 6600/- Rs. 8800         Rs. 50,000 – 60,000/- Rs. 70,000 – 75,000/-

Note – The pricing mentioned above also includes the vehicle and guide cost. Do check the same with safari operators and hotels.

Timings for Jungle Safari in Ranthambore

At Ranthambore, Jungle safari takes place in two slots i.e. Morning and evening. But the timings vary every month acc. to sunrise and sunset. Apart from this, there are other options of a full day and half-day safari, mostly booked by photographers, wildlife enthusiasts.

Month Morning Timing Evening Timing
1st Oct -31st Oct 7:00- 10:30 am 2:30 – 6:00 pm
1st  Nov – 31st Jan 7:00- 10:30 am 2:00 – 5:30 pm
1st  Feb – 31st March 6:30- 10:00 am 2:30 – 6:00 pm
1st  April -15th May 6:00- 09:30 am 3:00 – 6:30 pm
16th  May – 30th June 6:00- 09:30 am 3:30 – 7:00 pm

Note: If you have got your bookings done by the hotel, the designated canter / Jeep will pick you almost 15 -20 minutes’ prior the slot, from your hotel premises and the hotel will guide you to be ready half an hour before the slot.

Continuing the Afternoon Jungle Safari Story … Did we see what it was?

Not 1, but 20 of the gazes were still fixed in the pointed direction and one after another gypsies and canters started queuing behind us. They too started questioning our guide what it is- he said something in code words and then someone from the public said stripped big cat – Tiger or the spotted cat- leopard. Lined up vehicles no. kept growing from 2-3 to 6-7 and it looked no less than a traffic jam.

Vehicles were still on halt. Meanwhile, many people started climbing on their seats, took out their binoculars and zoom lenses to click from various angles, to find out what it is. Even we followed the league and kept howling from one seat to another in the canter like a monkey to get click to find what it is. Vehicles started pouring from another side too and we were instructed to move and we had too. Our guide instructed us to settle and we showed him the picture to find out the truth and imagine what it was – the spotted beast – Leopard. It clearly looked like a good start for the day but fingers were still crossed.

A few meters ahead, there was a small bridge. On one side of it was a river crossing and on another side stood a huge Padam Talao/ Talab with the ancient structure in-between. The structure looked almost submerged and in ruins. Our guide was still instructing our driver to slow down and us to be quiet and there he pointed out towards the river stream.

Padam Talao in Ranthambore National Park
Padam Talao in Ranthambore National Park

The striped cat was lazing down without moving. Our driver instructed us all to see it quietly, explaining that it is a cub (daughter) of T-84 arrowhead tigress. We all started waiting there patiently to see her moving. Her face was still not visible clearly, and our driver decided to do some off-roading to take the vehicle on the opposite side for a better view.

Striped Cat -Tiger lazing around the stream in Ranthambore Tiger Reserve

From the other side, she was hardly visible. Our guide still instructed us to be patient and there she was standing, camouflaging among the bushes proudly. Here too, the vehicles had jammed the whole area but cub looked extremely fierce less.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B8gi5gGnuxV/

OMG! and behind it came the second one in no time. What a perfect view! Both the cubs of T-84 smiling and looking at each other. Incredible. The scene continued for almost 10 minutes and then one of them took a U-turn back to the bushes.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B8ta-LFH8ep/

Another one crossed the stream, passed from the vehicles standing all around, jumped on the stone plinth, glistening in the sun, giving the perfect possess for the camera and then camouflaged back to the tall yellowish golden grass.

Tigress crossing the stream at Ranthambore Tiger Reserve

We still waited for the other cub to cross but it didn’t and then finally our guide decided to move. From there, he further decided to circumambulate around the Padam Talao and there we saw the spotted deer’s munching on the Dhok trees (Anogeissus pendula). The Spotted Deer’s were completely camouflaged in between the golden trees and golden trails, completely unaware of the passing vehicles.

Spotted Deer around Padam Talao in Ranthambore Forest

Further ahead the masque languor’s were howling in between the road in joyful mode. From there we kept circumvallating around the lake and moved on another ahead, finding the crocodiles basking in the sun and near it were a peacock, peahens and other fauna.

Crocodile at Ranthambore National Park
Crocodile at Ranthambore National Park

The clock was ticking and the safari time of 3:30 hrs. was going to end soon. So, the driver pushed the vehicle and we were back at the entrance door, hidden behind the huge Banyan tree.

Entry Exit Gate to Zone 3 at Ranthambore National Park
Entry-Exit Gate to Zone 3 at Ranthambore National Park

Exit the gate and you can use the washrooms at Jogi Mahal Gate. Sun was almost going to set but the desire to see the Tigers didn’t end there. We wanted to see the Ranthambore jungle and its terrain more. So, after coming back to our hotel, we asked for another day morning safari and luckily we got the gypsy for Zone 2. The hotel instructed us to be ready by 6:30 am as the vehicle can come and pick us anytime between 6:30 am – 7:00 am.

Jogi Mahal Gate at Ranthambore National Park

Morning Jungle Safari at Ranthambore National Park

After quick tea and biscuits, we were ready to jump into our gypsy. A similar process followed here too. The guide checked our I – cards with the details and we were set to go. He got the entry done at the registration counter while our gypsy friends brought the goodies from vendors selling hats, caps, face masks and jackets for safari. In 5 minutes, he was back and we entered the first gate.

Ranthambore Fort Inside Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore Fort Inside Ranthambore National Park

The road from this gate goes till Ranthambore Fort and even private vehicles are allowed till here. Further from there we again crossed the huge banyan tree and entered the allotted zone 2. We saw people walking inside zone 2 and got highly surprised how? There our guide narrated us the story behind the day –Chauth.

Story Behind the Chauth Parikrama- Trinetar Ganesh Temple

He told us that inside the Ranthambore fort, lies centuries-old Trinetar Ganesh Temple. On every Chauth (i.e. the fourth day of the month of Lunar Hindu Calendar), there is a tradition of circumambulating around the temple. And as the temple lies on the cliff, devotees complete the parikrama i.e. circumambulation (about 7 kilometers) by walking along with the fort in zone 2. We were extremely shocked to hear that – as this zone too had enough wild animals including leopards, tigers, jackals, etc.  but as it is said everything fails and nothing comes in the path of devotion.

Devotees walking barefoot in Zone 2 of Ranthambore National Park on Chauth
Devotees walking barefoot in Zone 2 of Ranthambore National Park on Chauth

Interestingly, this temple has its own address and daily postal service. Lord Ganesha receives thousands of wedding invitations and letters every day from the devotees of the region and the priest reads all of them to Lord Ganesha.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B8bcZujH6GS/

Further, we kept moving on the track of Zone 2 and it was time for sunrise. The sky was on fire and everything looks well painted in orange-gold. We noticed we were almost on the opposite side of the location, where we had seen T-84 cubs yesterday and there we heard a loud Call. The guide said probably it is of a Tiger. He asked the driver to halt and started looking all around with the telescopic eyes. Simultaneously we crossed our fingers, wished ourselves luck to see another one. 5 minutes passed to 15 minutes and a group of people started pouring on this track too and the chances of him coming out almost went to zero.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B8Jk3ZFnHp3/

With a bit disappointed heart, we moved ahead on a different track where there will be no devotees. And from here the jungle looked extremely different. Sunrays had already painted it in golden hues. Nilgai/ Blue Bull was standing in between the trees, looking for the food.

A few meters ahead, on one side we saw a herd of spotted deer/ Chital – some were hovering over the bushes, whereas others were digging the soil. There we learned something new from our guide that they too eat soil like the human kids. On another end, the herd of Sambhars was moving in a line towards the pond to quench their thirst. And Peacocks, peahens too had come out and started making noises to communicate with each other.

Spotted Deer in Ranthambore

From here we reached towards Malik Tallao in search of Tiger and found several other gypsies and canters basking under the sun, looking for him just like us. Overall, it seemed like an unfavorable day for Zone 2 tourists. And on deep discussions with the guide, found that on Chauth when there is a huge tourist influx you hardly find any tourists, then why the authorities issue passes for Zone 2? Just to earn money!

Gypsy in Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan

Apart from wildlife, Ranthambore National Park too has a variety of bird species. The common ones to spot are cuckoos, Rufus treepie, woodpeckers, eagles, mynas, flamingos, sparrows, kingfisher, etc. We too spotted baby owls there.

Owlets in Ranthambore Forest
Owlets in Ranthambore Forest

What all to carry for Ranthambore Jungle Safari?

In Rajasthan, morning and evenings are cold and the days are really warm in winters and hot in summers. So, you need to dress accordingly. For morning safari in winters, do wear inners, jackets, and caps and for afternoon safari a single sweater with thin jackets is enough.

Also carry along a shawl/ scarf, hat/ cap, and goggles as the trails are really dusty. The following accessories will protect you from the cold in the winters and from the heat in the summers. And to stay hydrated carry a water bottle too.

Note: Please don’t litter in the jungle and bring back your bottles.

Overall Safari Experience at Ranthambore

The Ranthambore National Park is every wildlife and bird watchers & photographers’ dream place. There is plenty of flora and fauna here including tigers and leopards. Indeed, every zone has 2-3 tigers including cubs. Wildlife here seems to be quite accustomed to the gypsies, canters, and travelers. They cross quite confidently and give wonderful poses even when the gypsies are around it.

Ranthambore Tiger Reserve

We advise you to do at least 2 safaris here- preferably one in the morning and other in the evening. The jungle is really a wonderland and is blessed with amazing topography, shrubby vegetation, hilly terrain, arid land, and water bodies. Most importantly don’t go with the hope to see the tiger only. There is plenty to see here. Also before booking for Zone 2 safari, check for chauth, as the chances of sighting wildlife during this time are almost zero.

Accommodation at Ranthambore National Park

The nearest you can stay in the Ranthambore national park is at Sawai Madhopur. And here are plenty of stay options – from budgeted hotels to resorts to luxurious ones.

Being random planners, we had no prior booking. And planned to check the availability first at RTDC (Rajasthan Tourism Development Cooperation) heritage hotel, Jhoomar Baori. The hotel looked situated on the hilltop and quite nice in the google pictures but in actual it was too dingy and smelly and not worth Rs. 6000/- per night. So, we started searching for the private ones and found the Fern Residency just near to it.

The Fern Residency Resort at Sawai Madhopur, Ranthambore
The Fern Residency Resort at Sawai Madhopur, Ranthambore

Hotel Fern Residency in Ranthambore is situated on the main road and is a beautiful property. Their all cottages are similar and are absolutely neat, clean and spacious. Staff is highly helpful, courteous and prompt to serve you tea/ coffee before morning safari. We absolutely loved their hospitality and the way they arranged our safari.

Other Places to visit in Ranthambore

Apart from Safari, the other attractions of Ranthambore are

Ranthambore Fort Complex

The Ranthambore Fort lies within the National Park and is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is an almost 1000-year-old fort and a huge complex. From the fort, you get an amazing view of Padam Talao and Jogi Mahal. Also inside are present Bates Khamba, known for 32 pillars, Jain Temple, Rani Haveli, and Ganesh Temple.

Ganesha Temple

The Ganesha Temple is also known as Trinetra Ganesha Temple. It was built in 1300 AD by King Hammer who was an ardent devotee of Lord Ganesh. One night when he was sleeping, Lord came in his dreams and blessed him, quoting that all his problems will be solved and the war with Alauddin Khilji will be over tomorrow. The next morning an idol of Lord Ganesha was seen on the wall. So, King Hammer got the temple built here and it has the idols of Lord Ganesh, Riddhi Siddhi (his wife) and two sons (Shub Labh) along with mushak (mouse, his vehicle).

Palighat Gharial Sanctuary / National Chambal Sanctuary

The sanctuary lies 35 kilometers from the main city and is a breeding ground for Gharials and crocodiles.

All About Jungle Safari at Ranthambore National Park

Village Women Craft

At village women, craft one can find and buy the local craft and artwork created by the village women of Ranthambore. These women use natural dyes and environmentally friendly material for fabrics. The patchwork, tie & die, block-printing, woodwork and handloom are the major attractions here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How to book for Ranthambore Safari?

A. You can book it online as well as offline. We have explained all the options with pricing in detail.

Q. What is the best time to visit Ranthambore?

A. October to March is considered as the best time to visit.

Q. Which Zone is best for Tiger Spotting?

A. Ranthambore Park has 10 zones and all zones have tigers. Still, the locals say Zone 1-6 are considered as the best zones.

Q. How early I need to book a safari?

A. Ranthambore Safari can be booked 365 days prior to the day of the visit.

Q. Can I book it online on the same day?

A. You can definitely try. But the chances of getting gypsy are almost zero.

Q. Can I choose the Safari Zone in Ranthambore national park as per my preference?

A. You can only choose the zone as per your preference, one year prior to the trip.

Q. Can we take our cars inside Ranthambore National Park?

A. Cars are allowed only up to the entry gate i.e. till Ranthambore Fort.

Q. Are still and video cameras allowed inside the park and do one need to pay extra for it?

A. One doesn’t need to pay extra for still cameras but yes there are extra charges for videography cameras.

Q. Is Safari safe for Adults & Children

A. Ranthambore Safari is safe as per our experience. On Safari, a naturalist guide will accompany you.

All About Jungle Safari at Ranthambore National Park

Things to do at Mandrem Beach, North Goa

Goa – “Go and come back again”. You must be thinking but why again? Simply, to explore the places, left out in the previous Goa trip. And yes, this time I was off to explore the left out beaches like Mandrem Beach in North Goa.

Mandrem Beach Goa

Mandrem is a coastal village in the North Goa, located 29km away from the capital city Panaji. And the Mandrem Beach is tucked between Ashwem and Arambol beaches of North Goa.

Mandrem Beach North Goa
Sunbeds on the beach at sunset

The beach is quiet and very picturesque. The rustic fishing boats drawn up along the beach, adds more to the atmosphere of peace and serenity. Further, the bamboo bridge that spans the creek looks extensively beautiful and brings you onto the white sands of the beach itself. Also, read chasing rains in Goa- offbeat monsoon destinations of India

How to Reach Mandrem, North Goa

Mandrem Beach can be reached by train, air, bus or private vehicles from New Delhi.

By Train

Direct trains run from New Delhi to Goa almost every day, except the Rajdhani Express. The Rajdhani Express runs only on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday from Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station, New Delhi and it takes around 25 hrs to reach Goa from Delhi as compared to other trains that take an average time of 37-39 hrs to reach Goa. Also, the Rajdhani train costs a bit high other than regular trains.

By Air

It is the easiest and most convenient way to reach Goa and from Delhi flight takes only 2-3 hours to reach.

By Bus

Sadly, there are no direct buses from Delhi to Goa but still once can reach Goa by taking a bus from a nearby city or by breaking the journey.

Mandrem Goa
Mandrem Goa

After Reaching Goa

Further from the airport, bus stand or railway station, you can reach Mandrem Beach by bus or cab. Cab will help you reach quickly but it too is an expensive affair. The other cheaper option is to reach by bus but for it, you might need to change multiple buses.

From Goa Railway Station to Mandrem in Bus

Take a bus till the main bus stand of your respective area of the Railway Station. For ex-: Madgaon Railway station to the respective area of the bus terminal. From outside Madgaon Railway Station, the bus will go to charge Rs. 15 per person and will drop you at the main bus stand from where you can catch a bus to Panaji. Further, the bus will take Rs. 45 per person and drop you at the Panaji bus stand.

From Panaji bus stand to Mapusa bus

There are no direct buses from Panaji to Mandrem. You have to take a bus till Mapusa. The bus will be going to charge Rs. 20 per person.

From Mapusa bus stand to Mandrem bus

Take a bus from Mapusa bus stand till Mandrem. The bus will charge around Rs.20.

Best season to visit Mandrem Goa

The peak season in Goa is in winters i.e. from Nov – March every year because a place like Goa spread its arms from hot and humid summers (April – July) to shower in monsoon (August – October) and gives a pleasant season in winters (Nov – March).

Bungalows at Mandrem North Goa
Bungalows at Mandrem Beach

*Note – If you coming from North India, you will never be going to find this season pleasant because of the temperature ranges between 25 – 30 degrees in the daytime. i.e. It’s pleasant according to the people of the region here.

How to Go around In Mandrem Goa

Mandrem can be explored on foot, scooty or by bus. But sometimes you have to wait for a long time for the bus to arrive.

Where to Rent a Scooty in Mandrem

In Goa, you can find Scooties on rent boards and shops at every corner of the street. Indeed, one doesn’t need to find a place to rent a scooter, because when you start walking on the streets of Goa, the people will themselves come and ask whether you need a scooty or bike on rent.

Before hiring, remember the rental pricing of scooty varies according to the season and type of vehicle. In peak season like Nov. – Feb., one can get a Scooty on rent for at least Rs. 350 – Rs. 400 per day whereas in other seasons, the same is for somewhere around Rs. 250- Rs. 300 per day.

Things to do in Mandrem Beach Goa

Mandrem Beach doesn’t have tour operators on the beach like other beaches of Goa, but still, there are plenty of things to do here.

1. Play Sports

Playing a sport such as a frisbee or a volleyball is the most common beach sport. You can also try footvolley and beach tennis to make things interesting on the beachside. Seeing people play, many would come and ask “Whether they can join too? How cool, isn’t it?

Since Mandrem Beach is not too much occupied by Restaurants and Cafes, i.e. a lot of open space is available as compared to other beaches in Goa. 

2. Practise Yoga

How about yoga on the beachside? Isn’t that interesting and remember it has many benefits too. So, carry your yoga mats and enjoy your time.

3. Surfing

Surfing on the beach is a pretty common thing but very few agree to do this water adventure. You can surf in Mandrem Beach or can walk along the beachside till you reach Arambol Beach.

Mandrem Beach North Goa

Surfing for 1 hr costs around Rs. 500 and likewise these charges depend upon season to season. Also, you can do a basic course of surfing for 2 hrs where you are taught the whole process. The charges for the course are around Rs. 2000/- per person (again, the charges depend upon season to season).

4. Listen to music

Put your ear plugins and let the beats do talking on the beachside. But also remember to consider other people’s preferences, so keep music slow and only to yourself.

5. Dine and wine in sea-side cafes

Mandrem Beach has pretty hut shaped sea-side cafes. Lunching, munching and dining with a sea view, sunset and stars is a delight here. These shacks are known for their seafood delicacies. And they too serve a number of authentic Goan dishes as well as Continental cuisine.

6. Sunset at Mandrem Beach

The majority of beaches in Goa get crowded in the evening during sunset but Mandrem Beach and few other beaches in North Goa, have comparatively less crowd and can give be the perfect option for mesmerizing sunset views.

Sunset at Mandrem
Sunset at Mandrem Beach

7. Shop

Just like South Goa beaches, you can shop the local bracelets, anklets, and other fashion accessories made from shells from the local people who are on a continuous roll.

8. Get clicked on the wooden bridges

On Mandrem Beach there are around 3-4 wooden bridges, which leads to the seashore. The one I found pretty attractive was one which goes ahead from Dunes Village restaurant. These bridges are hardly crowded and only a few tourists use them to surpass. So, you can easily pose for like hours till you get your perfect shot.

Wooden Bridge at Mandrem Beach
Wooden Bridge at Mandrem Beach

9. Interact with Fellow Travelers

Travelers from around the world come in Goa and Mandrem Beach is no exception. Indeed, it is common among foreign tourists. So, you can interact with others and listen to their travel stories for inspiration and life ahead.

Conclusion

If you are someone who prefers peace over-crowd then Mandrem Beach in Goa would be a perfect place for you without any doubt. Whether you are an Indian tourist or foreign tourist you feel like going to Mandrem Beach again and again.

Mandrem Goa

Author Bio

Vansh Tiwari is a passionate Traveller and Adventurer. He is always on the move & shares his experience & knowledge with his readers on his Travel blog. You can follow him on Facebook and Instagram.  

All you need to know about Rohtang Pass Permit

Treacherous, continuously ascending, bottleneck roads with mountains on one side and valley with the slithering river on other, where mountains keep on increasing height and changing colors, where landscape changes from lush green to barren, where weather changes from sunny to cloudy to even snowy, where temples give way to Buddhist Stupas, where Pagal Nallahs (water streams) abrupt out of nowhere and make you go weak on the way itself, where there is no permanent habitation for almost 30 Kilometers is what describes the path to majestic or mysterious Rohtang Pass from Manali / Old Manali. Lakhs of People visit Manali every year and the majority of them have Rohtang Pass on their list. Years before anyone could go to Rohtang top but in 2016 rules changed and the Himachal Pradesh state government started issuing Rohtang Pass Permit to limit the vehicles and to prevent pollution.

All you need to know about Rohtang Pass Permit

In this post, we will be discussing all the details about how, when to travel to Rohtang Pass and from where to take the Rohtang Pass Permit.

About Rohtang Pass

Rohtang the Ladakhi word is formed from a combination of two words “Ruh” and “Tang” means a pile of dead bodies. Yes, you read it right – The pass was known as a pass of dead corpses as many people lost their lives while crossing and working on the pass due to unpredictable weather conditions, frequent snowstorms, and landslides.

Rohtang Top
Rohtang Top

Rohtang Pass is also known as Rohtam Pass and lies at a grueling altitude of 13000 feet and 51 Kilometers from Manali on the Manali Leh Highway (also check the story of Gata Loops on Manali –Leh Highway). It is considered as an ancient trade route between the people on either side of the Pir Panjal range. The pass has strategic importance for India as it connects the landlocked Lahaul & Spiti Valley to Manali and is also a gateway to Pangi Valley and Leh Ladakh

Rohtang Pass in October
Rohtang Pass in October

The Pass is accessible only for a limited time in summers usually from May – June to October and during the rest of the months, it is completely snow-covered. Indeed, every year road diggers struggle with GPS to clear snow and find road buried under piles of snow. During these limited months, the pass can be visited as a day trip or while heading towards Spiti Valley or Leh Ladakh from Manali side via your own private car, HTPDC bus or shared cabs.

Route to Rohtang La (51 Kilometers)

Manali- Vashisht- Palchan- Gulabha- Marhi- Rohtang La

Conditions of Roads

Single lane and continuously ascending narrow roads are not at all for the novice drivers. For few kilometers expect a slushy and muddy road. In between, you too can encounter a huge or multiple small landslides. Sometimes the landslide is that worst that they can result in an 8-10 hours’ traffic jam.

Treacherous Ascending Roads to Rohtang La
Treacherous Ascending Roads to Rohtang La

Expected Time to Reach

Usually it takes almost 3 hours, rest completely depends on the landslides and traffic volume. In season time there are long queues and the time can go up to 6-7 hours or even more!

What is Rohtang Pass Permit?

Years ago, everyone was free to travel to Rohtang Pass but this led to a lot of Pollution and littering in this environmental-sensitive zone. So, to counter and stop this abuse, NGT (National Green Tribunal) restricted the daily vehicular and tourist movement to Rohtang Pass and started issuing a Rohtang Pass Permit for a visit or cross over.

Along with this tribunal also restricted other activities like horse riding, snow biking, paragliding, plying of snow scooters and setup of eateries at Rohtang. Although there are some temporary eateries and moving hawkers at Rohtam Pass. At Marhi there are around 10- 15 temporary setup shops and eateries which serve food and sell woolens to the tourists.

Temporary Shops set up at Village Marhi on way to Rohtang
Temporary Shops set up at Village Marhi on way to Rohtang

In 2019, only 1300 vehicles per day (i.e. 860 Petrol & 440 Diesel vehicles) were permitted to ply from Manali to Rohtang Pass, in order to maintain the ecology and prevent more environmental damage.

Types of Rohtang Pass Permit

Basically there are two categories of Rohtang Permits – Permit for Tourism Purpose & Permit for Travel Purpose.

Permit for Tourism Purpose

The Permit for Tourism Purpose is issued on a daily basis to the vehicles going to Rohtang top from Manali and returning back on the same day. This permit is further divided into two types i.e. Rohtang Pass Permit and Special Rohtang Pass Permit.  

Rohtang Pass Permit

This pass is applicable for both commercial and Taxi registered vehicles and under this type 1200 passes are issued i.e. 800 for petrol and 400 for diesel vehicles.

Special Rohtang Pass Permit

This pass is applicable for private 4 wheelers only and under this type only 100 passes are issued, which breaks down to 60 for petrol and 40 for diesel.

Permit for Travel Purpose

This permit is issued to the travelers who will be crossing the Rohtang Pass to go further to Leh Ladakh or Spiti Valley and there is no fixed daily quota for this category.

Note: One doesn’t need a permit while coming from Keylong side.

Rohtang Pass Permit Cost

Vehicles applying under permit for tourism purpose (Rohtang & Special Rohtang Pass will have to pay

  • Permit Fee (Car, Jeep, Buses, MUV, HMV) – Rs.500/- per day
  • Congestion Charges – Rs. 50/ day for Cars, Jeeps and MUV’s & Rs. 100/day for Buses & HMV

And vehicles (bike and 4 wheelers) applying under permit for travel purpose will just have to pay congestion charges Rs. 50/day, whereas goods vehicles will have to pay congestion charges Rs. 100/day.

Documents for Applying for Rohtang Pass Permit

The documents include :

  • Valid Identity Proof (Aadhar Card, Driving License, etc.)
  • Vehicle Registration Rate (Vehicle should not be more than 10 years old)
  • Valid Pollution Under Check (PUC) certificate

How to apply for Rohtang Permit?

Just like Leh Ladakh Inner Line Permit, Rohtang Pass Permit also can be applied both online and offline. Online it can be applied only through the web portal. In 2018 authorities too had launched a dedicated Rohtang Permit mobile app (available both for android and IOS users) but till the day it is not functional for booking and helps only to check the Permit availability, validity and also helps to download the booked permit.

Rohtang Permit Mobile App (IOS & Android Users)
Rohtang Permit -Mobile App (IOS & Android Users)

While offline it can be booked through travel agents or in person at SDM office or Tourist Information Center in Manali.

Online Procedure for Rohtang Pass & Beyond Rohtang Pass Permit

  • Login to Rohtang Permit website
  • On the top, there are four options – Rohtang Pass, Special Rohtang Pass, Beyond Rohtang & Green Tax (Manali Tax)
  • Commercial & Taxi Registered Vehicle, click on Rohtang Pass whereas the Private 4 wheelers click on Special Rohtang Pass, for to and fro to Rohtang Top from Manali
  • Vehicles going ahead to Ladakh and Spiti Valley, click on beyond Rohtang option
  • Green Tax/ Manali Tax is the one which is charged at the entry of Manali and this doesn’t give the permission to visit Rohtang Pass. We suggest you not to pay this online as you still have to show the receipt at Manali entry and is not much time-consuming project.
  • After selecting the option, fill all the required tourist details (driver name, phone no, email id, purpose); vehicle details (like type & category of vehicle, fuel type, vehicle no, vehicle registration no, seating capacity), no. of travelers, ID Proof, Pollution under check (PUC) no and proceed to submit the form. After submission, you will receive an OTP. Fill the OTP and it will take you to payment gateway. Make the online payment and you will be directed to print permit window
  • Print the Permit issued, as it is compulsory. Forgoing ahead Rohtang we suggest you take multiple print outs. Also, take a screenshot and keep a copy of same in your phone
Rohtang Pass Permit MIS
Rohtang Pass Permit MIS

Offline Procedure for Rohtang Pass & Beyond Rohtang Pass Permit

The Offline Permit can be taken from the SDM office or Tourist Information Center which is open on all 7 days including Sunday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. The process of application is really simple but time-consuming. Fill up the form and submit the above-mentioned documents between 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. During the season the permit is not issued at the same time but you will be asked to collect it between 3:00 – 5:00 pm.

The other option is to get it booked by travel agent offices in the Manali market just opposite to SDM office. They too use the online portal to book but hand over the permit in 5 -10 minutes. They charge 550 +150Rs. for booking.

Our Experience with Rohtang Permit

During our recent visit to Rohtang Pass in October 2019, we tried booking the Permit online but failed at the payment gateway because of the slow internet. Ultimately rushed to the travel agent sitting in the Manali market, paid him Rs.700/- and got the permit in next 5 minutes.  But during our travel to Spiti in August 2018, we submitted the documents at the SDM office itself and got the permit in the next 15 minutes itself.

Rohtang Pass Permit
Rohtang Pass Permit

Some Important Points to Remember

  • Rohtang Permit is issued in two-time frames i.e. at 10:00 am (600 vehicles) and 4:00 pm (600 vehicles) and in a week i.e. from Tuesday to Monday – only 3 Rohtang Pass Permits can be obtained for each vehicle
  • Special Rohtang Permit (100 vehicles) window is open throughout the day and the permit is issued only once to one vehicle during the entire season
  • Beyond Rohtang Pass can be booked between 12:00 pm to 12:00 am and in a week i.e. from Tuesday to Monday – only 2 Rohtang Pass Permits can be obtained for each vehicle
  • Also, NO Vehicle is allowed on or can cross Rohtang on Tuesday from Manali side, as it is closed for maintenance whereas the vehicle coming from Leh and Spiti are allowed entry
  • Vehicles having wrong information on the permits as compared to valid proofs are not allowed to cross the barrier. So be really careful while submitting your details.
  • Importantly, your vehicle age shouldn’t be more than 10 years

Who all Needs Rohtang Pass Permit

Everyone traveling to Rohtang Pass or beyond Rohtang Pass from Manali by cabs, commercial or private vehicle needs a permit. But the people planning to travel by HRTC or HPTDC buses and cycle till Rohtang Top don’t need a Rohtang Permit.

HRTC / HPTDC Buses

HRTC/ HPTDC bus service starts at 5:30 am from the main Manali bus stand and the next bus goes after every 15-20 minutes. Also, 9 Electric buses with a passenger capacity 25, fare Rs.600/-   do to and fro every day (i.e. from Wednesday to Monday) to Rohtang top in season and takes almost 4 hours to reach. The bus service for the same can be booked here.

What if I apply for Beyond Rohtang Permit and comes back from Rohtang only?

Many have attempted booking Beyond Rohtang Permit and coming back from Rohtang Pass itself on the same day. And the consequences they have faced because of this is either they had to shell heavy fine of Rs. 5000/- from their pockets, as environmental compensation and some vehicles even have got blacklisted.

Remember, the authorities have put up a barrier system on both sides of Rohtang Pass i.e at Gulaba, (which is 20 kilometers from Manali and 31 kilometers from Rohtang Pass) and Khoksar (which is 19 kilometers ahead from Rohtang Pass on to Keylong road). So, the vehicles having Beyond Rohtang Permit Pass gets verified at Khoskar Barrier too along with Gulaba. At the day end, data between these two barriers helps to find the misuse of the permits. 

So, make sure to have the correct permit and if in case you have the wrong permit, then go ahead and don’t come back on the same day.

What are the Timing & Validity of Permit for Rohtang Pass?

Vehicles going to Rohtang Top and beyond are not allowed to cross the Gulaba check post before 5:30 am. The issued Rohtang Pass & Special Rohtang Pass Permit is valid only for 6 hours. And all vehicle has to leave from Rohtang Pass maximum by 4:00 pm.

What is the best time to visit Rohtang Pass?

Rohtang pass opens up in May end or June first week and closes down in October end or November first week. So, may – June is considered as a peak season, July –  Mid September is monsoon time, and October is the season end time when you can see the fresh snow.

Stupa at Rohtang Pass in August
Stupa at Rohtang Pass in August

We have visited Rohtang Pass in July – august i.e. during monsoons as well in mid-October and trust us the landscapes, roads, panoramic vistas, the weather looked extremely different each time. During monsoons the pass was under the clouds, mist, and rain, landscapes were lush green and there were landslides in patches whereas in October we experienced fresh snow and very fewer tourists. So, according to us these both are the good times to explore Rohtang Pass.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4cUXk-nky7/

How is the weather at Rohtang Top?

From May – September the temperature can go as high as 25 degrees Celsius and low to 10 degrees Celsius whereas in October – November expects the high temperature between 18 -20 degrees Celsius and low to 4-5 degrees Celsius. In October – November, expect snowflakes too.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3cEdA2n3Si/

Some more FAQ’s

  • Do we need a permit for a rented vehicle, which already has All India Permit?

Yes, you still need to take a Rohtang Pass or Beyond Rohtang Pass Permit according to the destination.

  • Do we need a permit while coming from Leh, Keylong, Chandartal or Spiti to Manali?

No, Permit is required for traveling to Manali from Leh, Kaza, Keylong, Chandartal and Spiti Valley.

  • Do I need permit for Motorcycles and cycles?

Yes, you need a Rohtang Pass/ Beyond Rohtang Pass permit for Motorcycles but cyclists don’t need any permit.

  • How many days before I need to apply online for Permit?

The online permits (Rohtang Pass, Special Rohtang Pass & Beyond Rohtang Pass) can be applied for the next 6 days from the current day.

  • Can I cancel the booked Permit?

No, you cannot cancel the booked permit. Please be sure of your travel and then only book, as only 1300 Permits are issued per day.

  • Where to contact in case of some queries related to Permit issuance?

For any other Permit issues, you can write a mail at rohtangrefunds@gmail.com

  • How many permits can I apply from my own mobile/ IP address?

Only 2 permits can be applied in a week from a single IP address or mobile unit.

  • Any email id where I can send my queries?

You can send your queries at dc-kul-hp@nic.in

  • My name spelling/ vehicle reg. no/ vehicle no./ license no isn’t the same as the issued Permit. Will it matter?

Yes, it matters a lot. You will not be allowed to cross the Gualaba Checkpost. So make sure to check the spellings, reg. no twice before submitting the form.

  •  Can I book a permit through Rohtang Permit App?

No, you cannot book Rohtang Pass Permit through their app. You can just check the Permit availability and validity. Also, you can download the booked permit from here.

  • Should I visit Rohtang pass without woolens?

We don’t recommend you to visit Rohtang Pass without woolens in any seasons. Weather changes here drastically. If one moment it’s sunny, another moment it may cloud and start raining. Please do carry windcheaters, a jacket, a cap, and gloves. If you are not carrying or have forgotten them, you can rent or buy them from Marhi shops. We too made a purchase for woolens at Marhi.

  • Do I get anything to eat at Rohtang Pass?

Yes, there are temporary shacks and some moving hawkers at Rohtang Pass. They serve you bun – omelets, Maggi, soups, tea, coffee, corn, and chana chaat and everything is almost priced at Rs. 50/- per plate. They have bins placed near their tents, so remember to put your trash in the same or get it back.

Munching over Chana Chaat at Rohtang Pass
Munching over Chana Chaat at Rohtang Pass
  • Do I get anything to eat on the way to Rohtang Pass?

Yes, there are around 10-15 shacks in Marhi, serving you lunch, tea, coffee and various types of snacks.

  • Is there any chance of facing AMS (Altitude Mountain Sickness) at Rohtang Pass?

Yes, you may feel headache, dizziness, loss of appetite, vomiting, or shortness of breath at Rohtang Pass due to high altitude and thin air. Please descend back if you feel the symptoms are getting worse. The advice is to keep having liquids and munchings at short intervals to stay fit.

  • How far I can go with the Rohtang Pass Permit?

You can go ahead for few kilometers to enjoy the views but cannot cross the Khoskar check post.

All you need to know about Rohtang Pass Permit

If you have any more questions, do leave them in the comment section. We will be happy to answer them.