Now ready: India’s Atal-Rohtang Tunnel, the longest high-altitude tunnel in the world, Himachal Pradesh


Now ready: India's Atal-Rohtang Tunnel, the longest high-altitude tunnel in the world

A great news is coming in from Himachal Pradesh. India is now home to the world’s longest high-altitude road tunnel, the Atal-Rohtang Tunnel. The 8.8 km long tunnel, on Manali-Leh highway in Himachal Pradesh, is built at an altitude of 3000 m above sea level. It is named after the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and is now ready for vehicular movements.

Reports suggest that the tunnel is now complete after going through several struggles. It nearly took around 10 years to finish the construction work of this tunnel, and it is expected to be inaugurated soon by the present Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the end of September this year.

The tunnel is of utmost importance to the country in several ways. The prime purpose to build this tunnel was to provide all-weather access for India’s forces to Lahaul, which is a prime military post. The tunnel, after its opening, will become an important road to resupplying the military garrison there.

Secondly, it will also be easier for tourists to explore the unexplored winter destinations. Lastly, the tunnel will cut the supply route by over 40 km. Not only this, Atal-Rotang tunnel will also ease the traffic between Manali and Leh, and cut the road distance between the two destinations by 46 km along with reducing the travel time by five hours.

Apparently, Himachal’s famous tribal district Lahaul-Spiti remains secluded during peak winters, given heavy snowfall in the region. But with this tunnel, the districts will be connected with other parts of Himachal during heavy winters. Constructing this tunnel wasn’t an easy task and involved building drains and battling heavy snow.

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