Saturday, 30 July 2011

Manali to emerge as Manali village soon

Himachal Vacation Travel News
http://himachalvacation.com
MANALI: Efforts to present the Manali town as a historic village has been stepped up by the government. Away from the charm of big cities, Manali has approved to reinvent itself in the form of beautiful village.
Streets, roads and pathways of the Manali would give the glance of village. For this purpose, local slate are being fitted everywhere. Manali nagar parishad president Roop Chand Negi said the tourists from across the world come to Manali to experience its rich culture and tradition; they do not come to see our markets or shopping malls. “Architecture of our villages is unique. This is the reason that many tourists were moving towards villages from the cities. Our efforts are to show them the glimpse of village everywhere in the Manali town. In the first phase of this multi crore project, traditional slates are being laid on the path between Manali and Hadimba temple,” he said.
Slates laid on Manali-Hadimba pathway
Meanwhile, drawing was being prepared to put all electricity and telephone cables underground and develop the Mall Road area as an international market. Sewerage and drainage system of the town is under modification and bus stand is being shifted to the outskirt of Manali.
Work on the project has finally started after 1.5 years. State government claims that with all modern facilities and traditional village look, Manali would be the number one hill station of Asia after few years.
Kullu MLA Thakur Govind Singh said the money will not be a bar in this ambitious project. He said, “Every nook and corner of Manali will reflect traditional look. It will emerge as a wonder in India where domestic and international tourists will find their own interest. Not only traditional touch, but with ultra modern Mall Road, shopping complex and gardens, Manali will impress the high end tourists too.”

Thursday, 28 July 2011

No snow at Rohtang! Scientists fear global warming

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: Perhaps this is the effect of global warming that despite record snowfall at Rohtang pass, all melted about two months before the estimated time period. First it was estimated that people will get to see the snow till August this year but it disappeared in the last week of June.
Rohtang on 2010 had received about 25 feet of snow which lasted till first week of July but the same mountain this year had received more than 50 feet of snow which melted faster than the previous year. Even the Rahni and Sagu glaciers near Rohtang are on the verge of ending up. In 2008 and 09, Rohtang had recorded 20 and 25 feet snow respectively which too lasted till July month. The nearby town Manali had recorded the minimum temperature of -7 degrees this winter which was 3 degrees below than the last year’s minimum temperature. Still melting of snow unusually fast has raised many questions regarding global warming.

Melting point: Snow almost disappears from Rohtang pass

“No doubt this is the effect of global warming,” senior scientist with Govind Ballabh Pant institute of Himalayan environment and development, Dr JC Kuniyal said, adding that pollution has increased the heat absorption capacity of aerosol particles which are leading to the global warming. He said, “Common people might not realize the global warming but this is true that Himalayas are becoming warm gradually. Disappearance of snow from Rohtang is only an example.”
If winters of 2011 were so cold, the summers were recorded warmer than previous years. According to temperature gauge installed by Manali based snow and avalanche study establishment (SASE), average maximum temperature in June and July is close to 28 degrees Celsius this year while it was around 26 degrees Celsius in June and July last year. Increase of 2 degrees Celsius in temperature in surroundings of Rohtang pass may have triggered melting of snow fast here.
Rohtang had experienced frequent snowfall in June and July of 2010 but no snowfall was recorded in June and July this year. Dr Kuniyal said though the pass received good amount of rainfall but atmosphere on the mountain was not able to create favourable conditions for snowfall.
Roshan Lal, who does seasonable business at Rohtang pass every year said that Rohtang was covered with snow till July last year but whiteness has disappeared completely this year. “When we installed our tents here in May, the whole mountain was covered with heaps of snow. Certainly Rohtang had received more snow than last year but it disappeared so quickly. Now it’s just earth and greenery all around here,” he added.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Rain wreaks havoc, cold grips Manali again

Himachal Vacation Travel News
http://himachalvacation.com
MANALI: With incessant rains wreaking havoc in Kullu-Manali, the mist and lack of sun have brought down the temperature many notches abruptly. Woolens are back in district again and warm clothing outlets are flooded with the customers.
Vehicles trapped in landslides at Rohtang on Monday

Manali on Monday recorded minimum temperature of 15.2 degree Celsius while maximum was 20 degrees Celsius. Dense mist covered entire valley all day. Visibility at Rohtang pass, Solang valley and high altitude regions around Manali was less than 30 percent.
Landslides triggered by heavy rainfall blocked the Manali-Leh highway on Sunday night. Road could only be restored on Monday evening. Rocks and debris are falling on highway between Mandi and Hanogi temple and Kullu and Manali, making driving very risky.

River Beas, Parbati, Satluj, Tirthan, Allain and Dhundi are once again in flood. An alert has been sounded by district administration. People are advised to stop venturing close to the rivers and streams. In view of flash floods, most of the slums and temporary sheds have already been vacated.
The inclement weather has hit the search operation of bodies lost after cloudburst near south portal of Rohtang tunnel. Rivers are in spate and police are keeping an eye as buried bodies are likely to be emerged after debris erosion.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Landslides continue, public organizes worship at Rohtang

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: Manali: Persecuted by landslides at Rahni Nullah below Rohtang pass, residents of Lahaul-Spiti and Kullu, stormed into the shelter of deities and organized a worship here on Sunday.

Thousands of people including followers of prominent deities of valley, panchayat representatives, farmers, Manali taxi union and luxury coach union members, travel agents, vyopar mandal gathered at Rahni Nullah and performed rituals to please the deities. They claimed that government and border roads organization (BRO) have failed to maintain the Manali-Rohtang-Lahaul highway and now only God can do something for them. They said the difficulty in maintenance of this highway could be due to some kind of divine fury so they provided offerings to them.
“When we asked about the status of working progress on Manali-Rohtang highway, BRO officials said they will not respond to the public. They are a unit of central government and officials in Delhi will answer our queries. This is strange. They are hiding their shortcomings,” Ram Singh, a follower of lord Ghepan, head deity of Lahaul-Spiti, said.
Public protest against BRO and government at Rahni Nullah near Rohtang pass
“Who said general reserve engineering force (GREF) is the most efficient road building organization of the country. This is shameful that they have failed to find remedy to only 200 meter sinking stretch for last one year. They are busy more on criticising each other than making plan to solve the problem. We have lost our faith from the organization and prayers are the only hope,” another follower Dorje said.
A farmer from Goshal village Amar Singh said their vegetables were rotting in the fields and weather has no mercy on them. “We have only six months to earn the livelihood for a year. But landslides, untimely snowfall and ignorance by government have made our living hell. Now only almighty can understand our pain,” he said.
Pritam Chand, a farmer from Shansha village said that landslides at Rahni nullah were occurring due to the water seeping from holy Dashaur lake situated above Rohtang pass. He added, “Deities of valley make their ablutions in the lake. The destruction of highway may be due to the tampering with lake and abode of other deities at Rohtang pass. The worship is our last hope.”
Agitated public said that on the pretext of rest, BRO has declared Tuesday a no traffic day on Rohtang pass for no use and public was suffering its consequences as this is the lifeline of both Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti. They said if worship won’t work, they will have to take a tough stand against organization and government.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Cloudburst in Manali, 2 dead many missing

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: Two persons were killed, 22 injured while at least a dozen went missing after heavy downpour triggered by cloudburst at MSP-7 near South portal of Rohtang Tunnel on intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday.
A body was recovered by riverside from Nehru Kund and another near Old Manali, about 20 km from the spot, Manali sub-divisional magistrate Balbir Thakur said. Bodies could not be identified so far. “The flash flood startled around 130 labourers on the site at around 12.30 am and 22 injured labourers were rescued within an hour. All are out of danger now,” he said.




Kullu deputy commissioner BM Nanta said a massive search and rescue operation was underway involving teams of police, ITBP, SSB, snow avalanche study establishment, border roads organization, Atal Bihari Vajpayee institute of mountaineering and allied sports and some private construction companies and they were searching for the bodies at different stretches of the treacherous terrains of Dhundi and across the river Beas in district. The river Beas is in spate and alert has been sounded in the Kullu district.
The scene could have been even horrible if the cloudburst was occurred few minutes earlier. “Around 130 labourers were working on the site till 11.30 pm. They heard a loud sound of flowing water and debris. Most of them escaped while 22 got trapped in debris and two were drowned to death. Eight more labourers are still missing,” Nanta added.
According to him, there was strong possibility of cloudburst on the mountains but they also noticed a huge broken part of a glacier above the region which could have made the disaster.
The labourers were working for Garg and Garg, a private construction company, on approach road to Rohtang tunnel. They were building snow galleries (avalanche tunnels) at MSP-7, around 20 km from Manali.
30 labourers were killed in a cloudburst in Kangni Nullah near here on August 7, 2003.

Pics: Cloudburst near South portal of Rohtang tunnel in Dhundhi near Manali (copyright Himachal Vacation Travel News)


Monday, 18 July 2011

Kullu rivers in spate, administration bans river rafting

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: With water of rivers flowing above the normal level, Kullu administration has sounded an alert to avoid the unnecessary movement near rivers while a complete ban has been imposed on river rafting.
The incessant monsoon rains on mountains have raised the water level of Beas, Parbati, Sarvari, Manalsu, Allain and other rivers of the district. Given that sudden increase in water level could be fatal for thousands of tourists who are unfamiliar with mountain rivers, the administration has instructed people not to go near the rivers. Also, river rafting and other adventurous sports associated with rivers have been banned till September 15. Provisions of strict punishment and fine have been made for law breakers.
As scores of adventure enthusiasts are coming Kullu-Manali every day, the ban on rafting was going to slash the adventure industry of the region badly. For river rafting paralyzed completely, more than 150 rafters will have to face huge losses.
District tourism development officer Balbir Thakur said water level of rivers have climbed up abnormally due to monsoons, so imposing ban on river rafting is the only way to avoid danger to lives of tourists. “We shall keep an eye on the water level of rivers. If everything goes well, rafting would be resumed. But no one will be allowed to play with the lives of people,” he said.
Thakur said the tourists and local residents have been alerted to stop unnecessary venturing close to the rivers. If anybody organizes the river rafting illegally, their license would be cancelled, he said.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Some special key terms used in hotel/tourism industry

Himachal Vacation Travel News

Meal Plans in Hotels:
EP: Means European plan where you will get only rooms.
CP: Continental plan where you will get room with breakfast.
AP: American plan where you will get room with breakfast, lunch and dinner.
MAP: Modified american plan where you will get room with breakfast and 1 major
        meal wither breakfast or dinner according to your preference.
BP: Bermuda plan where you will get room with continental or american breakfast.

Some common terms used in hotel management
Channel of communication
- system or process of communication. Howcommunication moves within department.
Check- in
- to arrive at a hotel and write name and address in a list. Action ofarriving and registering.
Check- in procedure
- formalities to be done whena guest checks in (allocating a room, taking guest's name, asking the guest tosign the hotel register.
Check-out
- action of leaving and paying the bill.
Check -out procedure
-formalities to be done when a guest checks out ( presenting the bill andmaking sure it is paid, taking the room key, etc).
Concierges
- a moving information desk. The tables are set up for specialfunction, festival, for a special group or for events.
Errand Card
- is a task card which mentions room number, guest name andluggage types. It is prepared by reception and hand over to bell boy.
Image building 
- Creating good well of the company. Representing positiveimage of the company.
In-house guest
- Guests staying in the hotel.
Personal grooming 
-  process of positive development of a staff.
Paging 
- Process of identifying and informing of a guest.
Reference point -
From where information are received.
Scanty baggage -
term used for any guest with light baggage
 Skipper
- A room status term indicating that the guest has left the hotel roomwithout making arrangements to settle his or her account.
Sundry Services
- Extra services. Small but important services provided tothe guests. It includes message, male handling of guests.


Definition of Key terms
1. Adding value -
Extra item, image, product or service which add valueto the product. For example a good-looking receptionist add the qualityof hotel, a garnish on food add value of the food. It can be service tool,service staff, environment, image of the owner or chef, etc. Travelagency add value to the quality of hotel or vise versa.
2.  Accessibility
- possibility/ availability/ transport
3.  Accommodation -
a place to stay overnight.
 4.  Adventure tourism
- to convert the adventure into pleasure for thepurpose of tourism business
5.  Attraction -
Any thing/object/activity which attracts tourists andattach with it.
6.  Amenities
- Extra facilities, service added with attraction, accessibilityand accommodation to create tourism. It includes trust, friendship,hospitality, etc
 7.  Back of the house
- Staffs who are not directly involved in providingservice. Guests rarely interact with them
8.  Continuously rendered service.
The services are prepared andprovided when customer is physically present. Here service is processand is extended to a time limit and it is face to face interaction. Forexample reservation service, restaurant service, massage, etc
9.  Excursionist -
Temporary visitors, who stay less than twenty- fourhours
10.  Front of the house
- Staffs directly involved in providing services. Forexample receptionist, bellboys, gatekeeper, etc.
11.  High-touch service
- the services which are prepared in advance andcustomer will receive when he wants such as room reservation, fastfood, printed information, housekeeping service, etc
12.  Hospitality
- Literal meaning is " looking after guests well". It includesorganizing, providing services and taking proper care of guests. Itmeans friendly and generous treatment of guests.
Hospitality industry
 includes all companies involved in providing services for guests. Theyare travel agencies, hotels, lodges, inns restaurants and all otherrecreational centers. They provide more mental satisfaction thantangible objects.
13.  Intangibility
- Which can not be seen, tested, felt heard or smell ormeasured before they are delivered and received by customer. Forexample travel experience, trust, confidence, hospitality, satisfaction,etc.
14.  Inseparability
- To receive the service customer must be personally andphysically present at the point of delivery. Customer can not beseparated form the point of delivery.  Service is available at the
Point ofService Delivery (POD)
15.  Interpersonal:
- Personal / individual / connected with or relationshipbetween people.
16.  Perishability
- Which can not be stored. Service cannot be stored.Unused service of a particular day cannot be sold next day or inadvance.
17.  Point of contact
- Place, item, product, staff, service customer contact toreceive service. It can be building, service environment, delivery items,staffs, follow travelers which they contact and receive positive ornegative feelings.
18.  Product formation.
- To put different products and services together toform a product to satisfy the customer. Hospitality is a productformation. It is not made one single item. For example room includescomfort, security, privacy, convenience, cleanness and hygiene,personal, etc
19.  Service brigade
- Team of staffs involved in providing service
20.  Sunlust
:- To travel in search of sunshine/ Adventure activities./Outdoor activities.
21. The Moment of Truth
. The actual time when customer interacts withservice staff. It is the moment of contact when no management hascontrol. It is the motivation, skill, tools of the service and expectation,behaviour, expectation of the customer determines the quality of theservice.
22.  Urban Tourism
- Tourism operated in urban area
23.  Variability
- Services are highly variable. The quality of servicedepends upon how, when where and who provides them. Each timecustomer receives different levels of satisfaction from the same level ofservice, same food gives different test to different people.
24.  Village tourism
- To utilize village and villagers for the purpose oftourism.  Tourism managed and operated by villagers for the villagers.Tourism managed and operated by villagers for the villagers.
25. Wanderlust:
- The desire to travel far away and to many different places  to travel to know/ to explore.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Tourists have fun on glaciers in Manali

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: Despite frequent rainfall and warm weather, Rohtang pass has enough snow to entertain the tourists. Thousands of domestic and international tourists are thronging Rohtang to disport in snow.
With increasing temperature and too much walking, snow has disappeared from Rohtang ground and Marhi. But tourists are enjoying the silvery snow at Sagu fall, Rahni Nullah and Rohtang glacier where snow is expected to remain up to a month more. 5 to 20 feet thick layers of snow are still thrilling the visitors. Skiing, sledging, tube sliding; tourists are enjoying the snow with all available instruments.
Given the fear of landslides and taking preventive action, police have advised travelers not to go beyond Rohtang pass and enjoy the snow at Sagu fall and below the Rahni Nullah. Very few tourists are reaching Rohtang top and most of them were having the joy of Rohtang-like atmosphere near Beas Nullah, 18 km below Rohtang.
High on cold: Tourists enjoy on glacier below Rohtang pass
“We had a dream to see Rohtang pass but could not live it. Our car was not allowed to go there. So we had good ski on the Sagu glacier. We ride yak and captured the golden moments in our camera. The snow was little hard but we are happy that we experienced it so closely,” tourist couple from Delhi, Ashutosh and Reema said.
Chetan and Pallavi, resident of Noida, who were visiting Rohtang with their parents, were busy swirling snow balls on each other. Pallavi, student of standard 6, said, “It’s very cold here. I ate lots of snow. I’ve packed some in my bag to take home with me.”
A huge waterfall on the background and little water streams passing by, tourists are enjoying every moment on the glaciers. But they were unaware of the dangers associated with the sliding on glaciers. A person was severely injured and two yaks were killed when the glacier they were walking caved in and they disappeared beneath it last month. Both yaks have been recovered from there.
Ram Singh, a dhaba owner at Marhi said with continuous flow of water beneath glaciers, they have become hollow. “One can slide into the hollow glacier and water can push him inside the deep caves. This is really dangerous,” But without caring for anything, the tourists were busy shouting, playing and enjoying every moment all around the mystique Rohtang pass.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Horse owners take advantage of helplessness of tourists

Himachal Vacation Travel News
ROHTANG PASS: The timeserver horse owners at Rohtang pass are taking advantage of restraints of tourists trapped between landslides every day. They are charging them unexpectedly very high in exchange for transporting them to safe place.
They are charging between Rs 1,000 to Rs 6,000 from tourists only for a 20 minute ride. They are also scaring them that the horse ride is the only way to save life there; otherwise they may have to spend all night without food and warm clothes. A medium size taxi from Manali charges Rs 1,700 for a whole day trip to Rohtang pass but horse owners are compelling people to pay many times higher than this only for few minutes. Sometime they fix a rent with tourists before starting a ride but later they demand more money showing unnecessarily excuses.

Riding the money

When Himachal Vacation asked a group of tourists from Chennai about the charges they paid, they said they had fixed a rent of Rs 500 per horse from Rohtang to Rahni Nullah but when they finished, owner started quarreling with them and took Rs 800 per horse. “This is impossible. The horse owner was very nice to us all the way. But when we reached our destination after around 15 minutes, he changed his mood and started quarrel with us and seized Rs 4,800 instead of Rs 3,000,” one of the tourists Chandra Sekhar said.
A couple from Vadodara, Aashman and Anjika said they enjoyed uphill horse riding from Rahni Nullah to a place one km short of Rohtang and they paid Rs 6,000. Aashman said, “We have no problem with high charges. We enjoyed the ride. Earlier he was asking us to pay Rs 7,500 but we bargained lot and paid him only 6,000. We are happy.” The couple was happy but they did not realize that the actual tariff for their ride was not more than Rs 200.
Most of the tourists from plains are unfamiliar with mountains and they cannot walk uphill or downhill. If they try to do so, they slip and fall and get injuries. This is what the horse owners wait for. Looking good opportunity they convince them for horse riding.
When the matter of atrocities being committed on tourists was brought to the tourism development officer Balbir Thakur, he assured of strict action against the offenders. He said, “I’m going to check the activities of horse owners at Rohtang pass. Parameters would be prepared for all horse owners giving their services at Rohtang, Solang valley and elsewhere in Manali. Those who dupe and trouble tourists, would not be spared.”

Rohtang, the pass of trouble

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: Rohtang pass has now become a mountain of troubles. Once a tourist comes here, apart from some wonderful memories, he also takes with him the scary experience of trapping without food and water.
The monsoon rains have eliminated the endurance limit of fragile mountains of Rohtang which is resulting in landslides. Following landslides, around 500 vehicles on Saturday remained stranded for more than 12 hours near Marhi while similar numbers of vehicles were stranded at the both sides of landslides on Sunday. Most of the people including tourists preferred staying inside their cars but few of them dared to walk on foot. Not only civilian cars, cabs and Himachal roadways buses but also several military trucks were trapped for hours.
Vehicles stranded below Rohtang pass
A stranded tourist at Rohtang, Mrityunjay from Bangalore said over the phone, “We were coming back from Ladakh and reached Rohtang at 5.30am. We saw a long queue of vehicles few miles below Rohtang and somebody told us that landslide has blocked the highway. We are still trapped here. We have no other way than waiting for the restoration of road.”
Along with three Himachal roadways buses, one Himachal tourism bus, around 1,500 people were trapped without food and water below Rohtang pass. “Our bus was trapped there since early morning on Saturday. We spent whole day there but when we realized the actual condition of landslide, most of us started downhill walk towards Manali,” a resident of Udaipur in Lahaul, Anil Bodh said.
People are facing many problems at Rohtang pass. They are driving on death zones. They are crossing active landslides putting their lives on danger. If caught in fury of nature, they are dependent on their own wise decisions. If their vehicle traps due to landslide or other reasons, they get problem even finding another vehicle. In such conditions, bringing a cab from Manali is the only option but ordering car is not an easy task. No cellular network works near all dangerous points of Rohtang.
Border Roads Task Force major Praveen Yerunkar, who is supervising the clearance work of landslides, said they have applied all available techniques to stop the slides but could not control them. “We are working 24x7 to control the landslides but monsoon has increased our problems. It is standing like challenge for us,” he added.

Himalayan trekking routes ready to challenge trekkers

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: After being covered under thick blanket of snows for a long time, all the famous trekking routes of Himachal Pradesh have finally given way to the international trekkers. Isolated mountains of Himalayas are tweeting with the movement of trekkers again after eight months.
Mcleodgange-Chamba, Pin Parvati, Kinner Kailash, Triund Lake, Sar Pass, Manimahesh, Chanderkhani, Tapri to Kalpa and Chitkul, Deo Tibba, Sangla to Dhamwari, Barang and Doda Kawar, Recongpeo to Nako, Manali to Chandertal and Leh, Kullu to Dharamshala and Chamba, all trekking routes are ready to thrill the adventure enthusiasts and wild life lovers. The summer holiday season in the state has expired prematurely this year. Now expectations of locals are associated with the adventure season which would last till late October.
Trekking in the Himalayas
An aged renowned trekker of Parbati valley, Chhape Ram Negi who has explored every corner of Himalayas in past 30 years said thousands of trekkers from across the world are out with their instruments, tents and sleeping bags. He said, “This year’s heavy snowfall had caused delay in opening of most of the routes. Shimla, Manali, Dharamshala, Dalhousie and all tourist resorts of the state are reporting lean summer season but we are experiencing a good start of adventure season.”
Having supporters abroad, Negi’s Himalayan Adventure and hostel is a leading rescue operation operator in the state which has rescued dozens of Indian and foreign trekkers in past three decades. Negi has been awarded by Israel embassy for safe rescue of their nationals. “The inhospitable terrains of Himalayas are attracting more and more trekkers every year. Depending upon the degree of difficulty, a trek route in Himachal can lead to a month long wild journey,” he said.
Most of the trekking routes of Himachal cross through mountains with height more than 15,000 feet and remain snow covered year round. The unsteady snow being dangerous for amateurs, the normal movement begins only after summers. According to reports from adventure activity providers, beginning of the season is very good. Monsoon is at its best but trekkers believe rains can only enhance their thrill and will not spoil the season.
People from France, Japan, Italy, Israel, England and Germany are the main customers who want to scale the new peaks every time. “Himachal has some of the challenging trekking routes of the world. Not only adventure enthusiasts but some wild life lovers and photographers also prefer long wild treks,” sources said.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Attention Manali-Leh (Ladakh) and Kaza/Kunzum/Spiti jeep safari enthusiasts

Himachal Vacation Travel News
LEH/MANALI: All travelers going to Leh-Ladakh, Kunzum pass, Spiti, Chandertal lake, Kaza should keep in mind the new norms set up by Himachal government. If you are hiring a jeep/cab registered outside Himachal or you are planning to drive your own car, do not forget to obtain permission certificate from SDM office Manali. Otherwise, you won’t be able to cross the Rohtang pass.
And make sure that you have applied between 10 am to 5pm in all working days. The process will take only few minutes. According to the application form, required information is as follows:
  1. Date of travel
  2. Vehicle registration number
  3. Driver Name with mobile number
  4. Full address
  5. Driving license number
  6. The place you want to visit
  7. And also carry the RC of vehicle you will be  travelling
You must know that the permission is required only to cross the Rohtang pass.

And make sure that you leave for Leh (or Lahaul-Spiti/Kaza/ Rohtang etc) before 6am in the morning, otherwise, you may caught in hours long traffic jams and police may prevent you to reach Rohtang in preventive action.
Don’t forget to carry extra fuel (petrol or diesel) with you as you may not find petrol pumps between your 15 hours journey.
Check the fitness of your vehicle. A thorough service is must. Check if your tyre has too much patches or repairs. Grip is must as you may have to face snowfall and bogey roads many times. Also carry a torch and complete toolbox. Carry some warm clothes too. The temperature may fall as below as 5 degrees C anytime.
In view of security reasons, the pre-paid mobile phones (cellular phones) do not work in Ladakh. However some post paid service providers are providing their roaming service in Leh. Ask your service provider before starting your trip. And be prepared to face network problems throughout the journey to Ladakh. You can find some network only at some places below Rohtang and Lahaul.
Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh
Make all hotel/camp (accommodation) reservations few days before your tour. You may not be able to book room/camp on the spot.
Try to drive with some other vehicles. It will help you find accurate way and if you stuck in any problem, he may help you with every possible ways. And the same way, if somebody asks for help, don’t hesitate to do the same for him, or you might fall in trouble as nobody would help you out.
And if you want to visit Tso-moriri and Pangong Tso lakes (must visit place), you will need to obtain permission from Leh administration.
Keep checking the Manali-Leh and Leh-Srinagar highway status at http://leh.nic.in

(with inputs from Discover Leh Ladakh - Packages)