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After being shut to the general public for months and only operable for essentials, the Manali-Leh highway is open to all. The news was welcomed on May 22 after the BRO cleared the 427 km highway of heavy snow in 138 days.
Connecting Ladakh to the rest of the country, the highway is the main way to reach the majestic region by road. Even on the first day, 407 vehicles were set on that route, signalling how vital this reopening has been for tourism and other commercial reasons. However, there are rules in place to ensure the smooth functioning of this very critical route. The odd-even system has been conceptualised to avoid congestion, which would be likely given that Ladakh is on the itinerary for many people and a road trip graces tourists with unparalleled vistas.
While this news may make you all excited to plan a road trip to Ladakh, many things should be factored in. Even though the Manali-Leh highways have been cleared for tourists, it is a fairly easy journey till you reach Darcha in Lahaul, as certain sections are still one-way due to heavy snowfall. The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) have already begun to improve the situation to ensure that the two-way traffic can be operated throughout the 427-km stretch up to Sarchu.
In addition, the Lahaul-Spiti administration has implemented new traffic timings on the Manali-Leh route. Four-by-four vehicles are allowed between 6 am to 8.30 am, and commercial vehicles are allowed from 9.30 am to 12 pm from Darcha to Sarchu-Manali. These timings are said to be only till the end of May. The better news is reserved for next month, as from June 1, the route will be accessible to all vehicles.
The remaining even dates of this month are reserved for people travelling from Manali to Leh, while the odd dates are for vehicles departing from Leh to Baralacha-Manali.
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