Atal Rohtang is the longest highway tunnel in the world. It is about 9.02 km long and located at a distance of 25 km from Manali at an altitude of 3,060 meters, while the North Portal (NP) of the tunnel is located near the village Telling, Sissu, in Lahaul Valley at an altitude of 3,071 meters. The valley was earlier cut off for about six months every year due to heavy snowfall. The tunnel is strategically important and has some silent features.
Why it is called Atal tunnel–
Our honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi renamed the tunnel as the Atal Tunnel, in honour of Shree Atal Bihari Vajpayee, on his birthday 25 December 2019.
Facilities aplenty- The tunnel is built in the Pir Panjal mountain range of the Himalayas, It also has an emergency route that has been built under the main tunnel that provides an emergency exit in case of any untoward incident. The telephonic facility is also available at every 150 meters in the tunnel with a fire hydrant every 60 meters, an emergency exit every 500 meters in the cave at every 2.2 km distance. Air quality monitoring system i.e. air quality sensors are also installed at each kilometre.
Horse-shoe shaped tunnel–
The tunnel is shaped like a horse-shoe and is built at an altitude of 10,171 feet.
1. Length of the tunnel: 9.02 km (5.6 mi)
2. Finished width of the tunnel: 10.00 m (32.8 ft) at road level. (8m pavement and 1m footpath on both sides).
3. Designated vehicular speed in the tunnel: 80 km/h (50 mph)
4. The general altitude of the tunnel: 3,000–3,100 m or 9,840–10,170 ft.
Atal Rohtang tunnel was built using the New Austrian tunnelling method and has been equipped with a semi-transverse ventilation system, and large fans separately circulated air throughout the tunnel. A 2.25 m tall and 3.6 m wide emergency tunnel has been integrated into the tunnel cross-section to subordinate the superhighway for the removal of emergencies. Fires hazards inside the tunnel will be controlled within an area of 200 metres and fire hydrants are provided at specific locations throughout the tunnel. The tunnel also has a public announcement system to make an important announcement in emergencies for which loudspeakers are installed at regular intervals. Heavy snowfall in the Rohtang Pass area is a major issue, especially on the roads of the main tunnel. To prevent any damage to the roads and to ensure the safety of the roads and tunnel users alike, snowslide control structures have been constructed. Since the Atal tunnel is likely to witness heavy traffic, CCTV cameras are placed at regular intervals in the tunnel which are connected to two monitoring rooms on both ends of the tunnel for vehicle management and pollution monitoring.
Why Rohtang tunnel is famous?
Atal Rohtang tunnel is Known for its scenic beauty, Rohtang Pass holds strategic importance for India. The Pass offers beautiful sights of glaciers, peaks, Lahaul Valley and the Chandra River. The twin peaks of Geypan are also visible from Rohtang. The pass is on the landmark between the water basins of the Chenab River and the Beas River.
Best time to visit Atal tunnel
You can visit the tunnel any time of 12 months. The greenery of the area will leave you mesmerised in spring, summer and monsoon season while yellowish leaves on trees will amaze you in the fall season. Snow makes the tunnel more attractive in the winter season and it becomes a snow-point for tourist activities. However, tourist movement to the tunnel is stopped during/after a snowfall as a preventive measure.
Atal Rohtang tunnel- the world longest tunnel is the must visit place for the tourist attractions. Once it open, the tunnel will connect you to all four weathers to remote border areas of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh which otherwise remain cut off from the rest of the country for about six months during winters.