A news story nearly a week ago in The Times Of India claims that Manali-Leh has closed officially for the winter . And that it does so every year on October 15th.
A few reality check questions :
1. Every year , October 15th : this is easily debunked by reading what Times of India has written themselves earlier . Prime example from 2011 :
MANALI: The Border Roads Organization (BRO) has decided to keep the strategically-important Manali-Leh highway open till November 30 this year. Earlier, the highway used to be closed officially after October 31 every year.
2. Official source : the first hand source here would be the Border Roads Organisation , which is responsible for keeping the road open. BRO isn’t mentioned , and their website doesn’t do updates on road status. The official Leh site has a roadmarker , and it shows both roads as open. The source quoted in the TOI story is a police official saying that the Sarchu check post has been abandoned . This is à bit odd , since it’s a Lahauli policeman talking about Sarchu : not only a different district , but a different state ( Himachal Pradesh vs Jammu & Kashmir ) .
3. Is the road actually blocked ? Neither the policeman or the journalist suggest this. They talk of possible imminent snowfall.
4. The Rohtang La pass receives the brunt of the snowfall , closes first, and is still very much open . First light snowfall was on the 12th , now long gone : nights barely below zero at the top , and nearly ten degrees plus daytime. Open road both to Keylong and ( over the Kunzum La ) Kaza according to Keylong admin.
In in one or two years there will be a different dynamic after the opening of the Rohtang tunnel , bypassing the actual pass.
Updates in the news sticky on top ( http://korta.nu/sticky )
Update , November 2 : Manali-Leh closes , the official word from leh.nic.in