Rohtang Tunnel – World’s Longest tunnel above 10,000 ft

Rohtang Tunnel

Manali Rohtang Tunnel, built under the Rohtang Pass on the Leh-Manali Highway in Himachal Pradesh, India. Rohtang tunnel length is 9.02 km (5.6 mi), it is the longest tunnel above 10,000 feet in the world. The Finished width of the tunnel is 10.00 m (32.8 ft) at road level. (8m broad road and 1m walkway on both sides). The Union Cabinet decided to name the Rohtang Tunnel as Atal Tunnel to honor the contribution made by previous Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

It connects Manali to the Lahaul-Spiti region throughout the year. The valley was earlier halted for nearly four months every year due to heavy snowfall during winters. 

This highway tunnel reduces the travel time and total distance between Manali and Keylong while going to Lahaul-Spiti or Leh. It reduced the road distance by 45 km in Manali and Leh and the time by approximately 4-5 hours. The hard work put in by Border Roads Organisation(BRO) in the last ten years is now completed.

The South Portal of Rohtang Tunnel, located at a distance of 11 km from Solang Valley near Dhundi Bridge at an elevation of 3,060 meters, while the North Portal of the tunnel, located near Sissu, in Lahaul Spiti Valley at an elevation of 3,071 meters. The tunnel purpose to open route to Leh and Lahaul and Spiti valleys in Himachal Pradesh during all weather.

Tunnel Features

Some facts of the Rohtang Tunnel are as follows:

  • Length: 9.02 km (5.6 mi) Shape (cross-section) of
  • Tunnel: Horseshoe
  • Finished width: 10.00 m (32.8 ft) at road level. (8m broad road and 1m walkway on both sides)
  • The overall attitude of the tunnel: 3,000–3,100 m or 9,840–10,170 ft
  • Indicated vehicular speed: 80 km/h (50 mph)
  • Temperature deviation in the Manali area: 
    In May-June: 25–30 °C (77–86 °F) 
    In Dec–Jan −30 to −20 °C (−22 to −4 °F)
  • Tunnel ventilation: Semi-transverse system of ventilation.
  • A 2.25 m high and 3.6 m wide emergency tunnel has integrated into the tunnel cross-section beneath the main carriageway.
  • Project Cost: Approximately ₹3,200 croreswalkway 
rohtang tunnel length
Credit: financialexpress.com

The longest tunnel has many safety features built into it that include telephone connections at every 150 meters for an emergency, fire hydrant mechanisms at every 50 Metres, incident detection system with cameras at every 300 meters, air quality monitoring at every 1 Km, evacuation exit signs and broadcasting system throughout the tunnel.

The Atal Bihari Vajpayee government(NDA) had decided to construct the necessary tunnel beneath the Rohtang Pass on 3 June 2000, and the foundation stone for the entrance road laid to the south portal of the tunnel on 26 May 2002.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the tunnel on 3 October 2020. The Modi government(NDA) decided to name the world’s longest Manali-Rohtang Tunnel over 10,000 ft as Atal Tunnel in December 2019 to honor the former prime minister who had passed away in 2018.

Like Manali Rohtang tunnel, India has one more 9.28 km longest highway tunnel; Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee Tunnel, formerly as Chenani-Nashri Highway Tunnel, built in NH44 in Jammu and Kashmir, India. Tunnel lenght is large when compared to Manali Rohtang tunnel.

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