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Atal Tunnel: World’s Longest Single Tube Highway Tunnel

Atal Tunnel North Portal

Atal Tunnel North Portal - Image Credit - Ishita Gupta

Atal Tunnel, named after former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was initially known as Rohtang Tunnel until 25th December 2019. On that day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially renamed the tunnel in honor of Shree Atal Bihari Vajpayee, on Vajpayee’s birthday. This tunnel is located in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It passes under the Rohtang Pass in the eastern Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas. This tunnel connects the Solang Valley near Manali to Sissu in Lahaul and Spiti Valley. It significantly reduces travel time and provides year-round connectivity to the Lahaul and Spiti Valley, which were previously cut off for about six months every year due to heavy snowfall at Rohtang Pass.

Important features of the Atal Tunnel

The Atal Tunnel secured its place in the World Book of Records as the ‘World’s Longest Highway Tunnel above 10,000 Feet.’ This recognition, awarded on February 9, 2022, applauds the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for its outstanding work in constructing this vital link.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Damodardas Modi dedicated the Atal Tunnel to the nation on October 3, 2020, in the presence Rajnath Singh, Jai Ram Thakur and Anurag Thakur. This visionary project strategically connects Manali to the Lahaul-Spiti Valley, overcoming the challenges posed by freezing temperatures and difficult terrain. Before the tunnel, the Manali-Leh Highway remained closed for six months during winter, isolating Lahaul & Spiti. The Atal Tunnel has now reduced the distance by 46 km and travel time by four to five hours, ensuring all-weather connectivity.

Built amidst the harsh Pir Panjal Ranges, the tunnel faced formidable challenges – bone-chilling temperatures of -25 degrees in winter, seepage issues, and heavy snowfall. The Border Roads Organisation, with its motto ‘Connecting Places Connecting People,’ overcame these challenges, ensuring the tunnel’s completion.

The Atal Tunnel has not only provided a strategic advantage to the Armed Forces by offering an alternate link to Ladakh, it also has become a lifeline for residents, offering all-weather connectivity. The region has witnessed a surge in tourism, positively impacting the socio-economic landscape. The tunnel is poised to play a pivotal role in the ongoing development of the area.

Location of Atal Tunnel

The Atal Tunnel boasts two portals: The South Portal (SP) and The North Portal.

Atal Tunnel South Portal – Image Credit – Ashima
Atal Tunnel North Portal, Rohtang,HP – Image Credit – miss_sen_diya

How to Reach Atal Tunnel?

Best Time to Visit Atal Tunnel

It is a year-round destination due to its strategic location and significance. However, the best time to visit the Atal Tunnel largely depends on what you’re looking for in your visit.

Note: It’s always a good idea to check current weather conditions and any travel advisories before planning your trip to Atal tunnel.

Nearby Attractions of Atal Tunnel

Here are the following attractions that you can explore:


The Atal Tunnel is not just a physical connection but a lifeline for the region, opening doors to unprecedented development and progress. As travelers journey through, they witness stunning landscapes and nearby attractions, experiencing the warmth of the region. The Atal Tunnel symbolizes progress, resilience, and a promise of a brighter, interconnected future for the valleys it unites.

Also read 3 Affordable Hill Stations In India One Should Never Miss!

So, plan your visit to the Atal Tunnel, and enjoy the beauty of the Himalayas through your lenses.

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