Reaching Chanshal, everyone rushed out to have sip of Chai and enjoy the cold wind. Chanshal Pass stood like an illustration against the clear blue sky. We had a quick chai and played with the cute little doggy that seemed to be living in that teashop for a long time. The journey resumed. Through the bumpy road to the valley downside the mountain the bus took a swift drive.
Chanshal Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.800m (12,467ft) above the sea level, located in the Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh. It remains open from May till October and connects the small town of Rohru to the villages of Dodra and Kwar. Chanshal Pass is the highest peak in Shimla district and from the top; it offers enthralling view of the valley around. Chanshal top is quite scenic and a trip here is highly recommended for anyone with interest in travel, off-roading or photography.
Its a 18 Hrs long drive from Delhi and 180 Kms from Shimla. We reached Chanshal Pass by Car (Hyundai i20) at night 26th June. First image from the next morning when the Sun welcome us.
The Chanshal Pass was only paved in the year 2009 though it was planned much earlier. The people of Dodra and Kwar (the villages connected by this pass) thought that paving a road would anger the Gods. They relented and the pass was completed. These are two of the most remote villages in Himachal that are connected by a motorable pass. The pass lies at a height of 3750 metres above msl.As we approached the pass, strong winds banged against my car and boy it did sway. When I opened the windows, my bottle of water nearly went out the window. A series of meadows greet you once you are at the pass. The valley seems distant from here and the layers of mountains just seem to be infinite. A small shrine lies at around 500 metres from the pass, near which we park our car. The road descends on the other side and there’s just a handful of people around us. I take shelter underneath an overhang on the mountain while Shefali scans the horizon.
There was no road to Chanshal or Larot until a few years ago. Trekking was the only possibility. Now there is a rest house at Larot and a road that goes past the Chanshal Pass 4600mts into the tribal regions of Dodra and Kwar, twin villages which live and breathe in a time of their own. The only option is to camp out or stay in the few home stays that come up in the recent years. The grand vistas are breathtaking (thats an understatement) and the meadows and slopes of the Chanshal valley are great for skiing, through when does that happen here, we cant say. Trails lead up to Sangla valley and Netwar in the Jaunsar Bawa region of Uttarakhand. I would recommend biking it up, though no matter how you reach, this would remain your into the wild trip for times to come. Larot is 48 kms from Rohru and further up is Chanshal pass.