Reviews of Kunzum Pass • 11
Day 8: Kaza - Losar - Kunzum La - Batal - Rohtang La - ManaliIts an early start to the day if you are taking the morning bus to Manali. If you thought the Spello Pooh route was bad, this is not a route at all. Its as though the bus is going on the river bed. Good luck if you get the back seat. At dawn the bus reaches Losar which is small village near Kunzum pass. The bus then goes up to the Kunzum La to take two turns as religious faith and comes down to Batal. It can get really cold at Kunzum La and be prepared if you want to get down here to go to Chandratal. Safer option and mostly used it to get down at Batal. There is PWD guest house and the famous Chacha-Chachi dhaba run by two locals here where you can get food and shelter. Chandratal is 14 kms from here and there are many camping options available there for 500 per day. Temperatures at Chandratal can drop really low and camping by the lake is not allowed any more. One can stop by for a day and visit Chandratal and stay at Batal to the catch the next day bus to Manali around 8 am. The road ahead from Batal is no good till quite some distance but the thrill of the ride and of course the the jerks keep you well awake. As you cross Rohtag and head down to Manali, the road starts to get better and it starts getting hotter.Points to noteApproximate budget - An 8 day trip with public transport, dorm stays and local food can be as low as Rs 6500.Bus fares in Himachal are typically 1.5 times the kms travelled.If you are traveling in September, you will find orchards laden with famous Kinnaur apples. Buy them or get them free from the locals. They are more than happy to share.For more travel stories, you can visit my blog here.
The Kaza - Manali highway is in extreme conditions , so it takes around 4 hours to reach Kunzum Pass. From Kunzum Pass its a 8 km downhill trek to Chandrataal, but its not so downhill. There are places where you need climb steep slopes too,trails are extremely rocky , there are narrow trails through the edges of cliff and there are patches with no trails. It will take around 3-4 hrs with rests in between. There are beautiful green meadows , small streams which add enigma to this small trek.
Visit Chandratal via Kunzum Pass and enjoy the day there.Camps are about 2.5 KMs from the lake, either stay there or back to Battal where there is a PWD rest house now though without electricity. But, no point going back a painful ride to Losar over Kunzum Pass unless you want to stay in guest house with electricity. Better stay at Battal and save time as well as energy for next day.About 4 – 5 Hrs drive minimumOvernight at Battal or Chandratal Camps
The Kunzum Pass connects the Lahaul Valley with the Spiti Valley and is a gateway to Spiti Valley for tourists coming from Manali. Visit the Kunzum temple and seek blessings before commencing the remainder of your journey. The pass is also a trekkers' paradise and leads to Chandratal Lake along a nine-kilometer-long route.
Kunzum La! One of the highest mountain passes in the Himalayas, situated at a breathtaking altitude of 15000 ft. The pass got its name after "Kunzum" Devi, there is a temple dedicated to her at the location. Due to its high altitude, this pass remains closed for many months owing to heavy snowfall. In fact, the snowfall is so massive that the whole temple gets buried inside the snow.
4551 Mts. above sea level, it is one of the highest motorable passes across the Kunzum range. The pass welcomes you with a temple right in the centre, which you are supposed to take an entire round of in your vehicle to prevent mishaps. If a believer of atheism, it is best to follow the culture to avoid disrespect to the locals. The pass offers a view of snow capped mountains surrounding you in a sort of envelope. Nothing beyond the view exists and you are somewhere on the top of the world!
Its the kind of place that you can just keep your camera anywhere and click randomly and still each picture will look like a postcard.