Triund is the name of a crest in the Dhauladhar ranges in The Himalayas. It is a 9 km trek from Mcleod Ganj. The place gives a breathtaking view of the moon peak - Indera Pass. Triund was ideal for camping with its unpolluted air and the unspoiled environment making the place an eco-friendly tourist spot. It offered green forests and undulated hilly areas in the Himalayan Ranges. From Triund, we trekked a bit further up to Laka Got. The trek to Triund took around 4 hours from Mcleod Ganj and was totally worth every step that I climbed.
Triund is the name of a crest in the Dhauladhar ranges in The Himalayas. It is a 9 km trek from Mcleod Ganj. The place gives a breathtaking view of the moon peak - Indera Pass. Triund was ideal for camping with its unpolluted air and the unspoiled environment making the place an eco-friendly tourist spot. It offered green forests and undulated hilly areas in the Himalayan Ranges. From Triund, we trekked a bit further up to Laka Got. The trek to Triund took around 4 hours from Mcleod Ganj and was totally worth every step that I climbed.
A 13 km trek to 'Triund hill' amidst rain and thunder was an experience of a lifetime. 13 kms seemed like one hell of a climb for us 'corporate junkies' used to daily luxuries of life. But it all seems worth the effort when you reach at the top and witness stretches of snow-capped mountains and a bed of lush green grass with dozens of colorful tents. For company, you have some cattle, fellow trekkers and small shops selling basic stuff. The scenic beauty coupled with Chai and Maggie makes one fall in love with life! As the night falls one can see the city lights from up from the mountains, the entire existence seems dwarfed against the magnaminity of nature!!
Right from 29 May to 31 May we stayed at Triund in tents. We trekked all the way from Mcleodgunj to Triund and had the time of our lives up there. This place has bountiful nature to explore. With the Lakka glacier, small places nestled within the peaks, exploration doesn't have any boundaries.
The beautiful valley of Triund is a 4 hrs trek from Galu Devi Temple, the starting point for the triund trek. Galu Devi is 30 mins away from Bhagsu. The trek to Triund gives amazing views of the Kullu valley. Once you reach Triund, you will be awestruck by sudden occurence of the valley, as you can see the Dhauladhar Range, right in front of you (as if you can touch it).
This might not exactly be a perfect start for any travelogue, but it exactly show cases my feeling even before the trip started! It’s been a while I have stepped in my travelling shoes and decided to take a break from a routine life. Bunch of folks from office also felt the same way. As usual, all it took was a call for Triund, a beautiful place and we had the plans rolling on, greased by the enthusiasm like never before. The challenge was to complete the Triund trek roughly 2875 meter above sea level. The prize was spectacular view of the snow covered peaks of Dhauladhar one side and Kangra valley on the other. The preparations were in full swing, everybody geared up for the trek and packing all the necessary stuff. Coming back to the day of the journey, we left Chandigarh and hit NH1 in early hours high on adventure and thrill, preparing ourselves for the trek as office folks hardly indulge in physical activities. We reached Mcleodganj around 7 in the morning, checked in a hotel, freshened up and were ready to take the activity head on. We had a light breakfast and seemed worried with the intensity of the sun in early hours but we had very little idea that nature had different plans for us. Our guide was a guy named Vinod who seemed quite an experienced guy, very though rely explained about all the Do’s and Don’ts. We started our long journey of 9 km. The way was getting steeper step by step, hardly after 500 meters, started breathing heavily and we all sat for a little break. We had Gatorade and started again and we realized the sky getting darker and darker. Few minutes later it started pouring down, a slight drizzle accompanied by cold breeze we were happy with this sudden change of weather. We thought it was a passing shower which is quite usual in hilly areas. We continued our journey and after a while it started raining cats and dogs, we all were drenched from head to toe. The muddy water was running down the path making it difficult to acquire a strong grip on the stones which were getting slippery. We finally reached Sh. Gallu Devi temple, it’s basically the first checkpoint. We had tea and reassessed the situation shall we continue or return back to the hotel and decided to continue. We bought raincoats from the shop tea stall there and started our journey to the top. The trek after the first checkpoint gets a bit tough, with steep curves and moderate trails. Owing to the heavy down pour during the previous couple of hours, the air was damp and laden with moisture. We continued making our way through the Rhododendron forest and came across a tea stall after few kilometers. We came across some splendid views from the top, down the valley, took few snaps and continued on our way. We had a little snack break and were under pressure to complete the trek before it gets dark. The temperature started falling drastically, we made our way to the last part of the trail. A cold breeze was blowing across the valley, and it gave a bone chilling feeling. Finally we reached at the top and were mesmerized seeing a rainbow, along with an amazing view of the valley. It gave a feeling of accomplishment after looking at the Mcleodganj and Dharamsala from the top. We had tea to make ourselves more comfortable, in the meanwhile our guide setup the tents for the night. We were heartbroken on realizing the fact that, whole of the forest was wet because of rains which in turn diminishes the chances for any bonfire. It was need of the hour as we wanted to dry ourselves around the fire but our guide came to our rescue and he did managed some dry woods from the tea stall at the top. It was a spectacular view up in the sky, as the sky was very clear after the rains and swear to god have never seen so many stars at a time. It was such a lovely feeling away from city traffic, pollution and normal routine life. One could really feel the inner peace and achieve that calmness missing from our busy lives. After dinner we slept early as we were tired from the journey. Next day we woke up early in the morning and very eagerly waited for the sunrise. The first orange hued rays of sunrise kissed the mountain peaks and the green colour grass started glowing. The sun rays with the same loving care as the Mother Nature ascended and covered the whole valley upfront. These soft rays that should have brought warmth to a new day only acted to solidify the greatness of nature. We sat back down on the stones and become witness to this resplendent moment. After few minutes the sun rays became strong and we felt bad, but you can't argue with the sun. We started our journey back to Mcleodganj and after 4 hours of trek reached our hotel back where we rested for a while and head back to Chandigarh. Please do not litter or throw garbage on the treks or down in the valley, Contribute and Help in keeping Nature Clean. Happy Trekking!
Triund is a ridge overlooking the Dhauladhars, the ridge elevation being 2,875 metres. It is a 10 kilometre trek (one way) from McLeod Ganj bus stand. The trail is rocky and cut in steps at some places. From Galu temple the trail starts as a gentle ascend till Magic View café. After the café, the ascent is a tad steeper, finally cumulating in a steep final one kilometre stretch through a forest of Deodars and Rhododendron. This final stretch through the woods is known as 22-curves, because of the 22 switchbacks that one has to walk through to get to Triund. It is advised to carry your own potable water as bottled water costs 50 Rs / bottle at tea shops in Triund. The place has got facility for night camping where you can rent a tent for around Rs.1000 for two people. Only one shop to buy your food and stuff is available serving only one dish per day. So it is advisable to carry your own food.
And we have no words to measure the specificity of this place.A large valley girdled with big grey coloured rocks.You can easily find sheeps and ponies all around sitting and spending their leisure time like us.I always thought trekking would be a difficult job for a person like me, who is very lethargic and lazy.But as soon as i tightened my shoe laces and backpacks, i went all bonkers and i just wanted to touch that god-damned mountain!
The Crown Jewel of Dharamshala as they say ,,, witnessed exactly the same from my eyes.
Triund is one of the most popular trekking/hiking get away mountain around the Mcleod Ganj, Dharamshala. It stands at 2825 m and its only 9 kms from Mcleod Ganj and gives the town a beautiful Snow-Clad Mountain backdrop. Different seasons brings variety of colors, moods, flora and fauna and attention to the adventure seeking travelers/hikers/trekkers.
These mountains, which have seen untold sunrises, long to thunder praise but stand reverent, silent so that man’s weak praise should be given God’s attention.”
for a beginner like me, trekking to triund was one hell of an experience. it was snowing like cats and dogs and all the cafes were shut due to 5 ft of snow. still we managed to reach the top somehow. a trek to triund is recommended if u are heading to Mcleodganj
If there is just one thing you can do while at Mcleodganj, let it be the trek to Triund and/or upto the snowline! A moderately difficult trek that can be completed in 4-6 hours, its doable by everybody. To make things slightly easier, you could arrange a drop off either to Dharamkot or further upto Galludevi temple. Highly recommend camping overnight. Being under the blanket of a starry sky with the Dhauladhars shimmering alongside for company is an experience pretty difficult to beat! You also get to enjoy the Himalayas at sunset, at midnight and sunrise, and believe me, each of these is so different and magical in its own way. Also, because the weather changes rather quickly, it might be so, that there is thick mist when you reach the top, meaning no views, which can be quite a sad thing after all that effort getting to the top! A bowl of Maggi never tasted as delicious. You can carry your own booze and enjoy it.
Most admired and popular trekking path in Dharamshala is Triund. Triund is in the lap of beautiful Dhauladhar range, it has the perfect view of the dhauladhar mountains on one side and kangra valley on the other. Located about ten kilometres from the hustling city centre of McLeodganj. Triund trek can be known as a tranquil trek which can be easily accomplished by almost all age groups.
Triund is a ridge that overlooks the Dhauladhars. The ridge elevation is between 2,810 and 2,875 metres. It is a one-day trek 10 kilometres (one way) from McLeod Ganj bus stand and under 6 kilometres (one way) from Galu temple near Dharamkot. The trail is rocky and cut in steps at some places. This stretch through the woods is known as 22 Curves, because of the 22 switchbacks one has to walk through to reach Triund.
After 12 hours journey, we reached our little Tibet - Mcleodganj. We booked a guesthouse near Dharamkot, unloaded our bags in our room and hit to the bathroom to get ready for our trek. After a light breakfast we slowly moved towards our destination. The trekking distance from Dharamkot to Triund Top is approximately 8km but there is a motorable road till the Galu Devi temple which could reduce your trekking distance by 3km. We on the other hand started our trek from Dharamot. Bad idea, I must say. Anyhooo... Slowly and steadily we took the ascent. Initially the 8 of us started the trek together but after a while, our group got divided in pairs so that those who reach the top first could book the camps. Few hours later, while resting at the Magic View café we met this guy who was also from Delhi. We started having a conversation with him and he told us that he had a severe muscle tear and that his doctor had advised him not to play basketball (his first love, as he exclaimed) or do anything that could strain his muscles. Inspite of that, he was still here trekking in these mountains. Moreover, this wasn't his first, it was his fourth time in Triund. I asked him "Why this place again and that too with a muscle tear?" to which he replied, "There is something about Triund which makes me come here time and again. It is worth all the pain. You will believe me only when you reach the top (pointing at the end point of our trek)." Those words worked like a booster for us. We moved forward and this time our new found friend and his best friend tagged along. Those guys made the trek even more fun and filled with laughter and kept on motivating us to keep moving. As we moved on further, the track became a little slippery because the iced dew on the rocks started melting. We had trekked for 4 hours and the last 1km was the steepest ascent. The moment we reached the top, we witnessed the snow capped Dhauladhar range turning from white to orange in sunset. At that moment, I realized why he kept on coming here. It was absolutely breathtaking!!If you're a beginner and want to witness the mountains closely, this place should surely be on your bucket list.
Keep your third day entirely devoted to Triund. Triund is considered as one of India's best trekking destinations and cannot be missed at all. It has quite a scenic view with a range of Dhauladhar Ranges on one side and the Kangra Valley on the other. A tranquil trek which can be accomplished by people from almost all age groups. The starting point of triund is Galu, it is suggested that if you can, you must hike all the way up; you won't regret it. The trek takes roughly about 2-3 hours to complete.
Day No: 2 TRIUND TO LAKA GOT / LAHESH CAVES (5 KMS / 4 HOURS): We trek from Triund to Lahesh Caves (3500 mtrs.) in the morning. We pass through Snowline Cafe (1 Hour from Triund) and Laka Got at another one hour. We camp inside the caves (outside if no place available). We cannot move beyond Lahesh Caves after afternoon as weather and terrain may get risky.
My bucket list starts with taking me around beautiful places not very far away from Dharamshala. The first on the list is Dharamkot. How about an adventurous start ? Trek Triund ? This four hour continuous trek is worth the destination. Also, this trek proves why they say, it is so much about the journey and not the destination. The beautiful stony ways covered with red leaves and steep slopes which give you an oomph moment every time you cross a slant curve will make you fall in love with every bit of this place. Imagine yourself sitting on the highest peek with your feet hanging out in air, looking at the most beautiful view you have always wished to see, shouting in your highest pitch to get the feel of one of those Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani moments , the peaceful mind, no connection with the outer world, the surroundings, the voices, for a moment everything seems so sorted and fine, everything, every single thing takes you to a new world from where you'd never want to return. Camping at night, looking at those countless starts and Milky way Galaxy adds up the final touch to your almost completed masterpiece. If you have time, you can trek Illaka glacier, Lahesh Caves and kareri lake further.
I woke up early in the morning, the sun was shining brightly and here I was standing opposite a high mountain range with snow covered on it. There were sheep all over, tripping over just anything and making all sorts of noises. There were cows who stood stoned looking into nothingness or probably they planned to eat those tents. All of this was interesting enough for some photography and I took my camera and spent a good hour clicking the place.I woke Ramana who indulged into narcissistic photography through selfies and began posing vigorously at suitable picturesque locations. Shikha woke up later and we were happy to have survived the night and the place did feel worthy enough for the toil. We had some light snacks, found out that most of our stuff were still soggy and had no choice but to pack them again. Our shoes weren't dry and we had to continue our down trek in them.The cricket ground at Dharamshala was visible as we began our trek. And, it was as we had wanted it to be- the path was totally dry and we could trek down fast. We took stoppages at the shacks, which wasn't required as such but we were fast enough to not avoid them. We were at the base of the trek in 3 hrs and laughed at ourselves for abusing the people who told us that we hadn't covered much, when we had asked them that the last day, as we realized that we were hardly able to cover 300-400 meters during the hailstorm, though it felt like a huge distance.We reached Guna temple much before we had expected ourselves to make it to the place. This time we took a cab to the Mcleod market sharing it with another traveler who planned to travel to Ajmer from the place.In the Mcleod market, our first requirement was to find a place to poop, which we hadn't done for a long while now as there were no such facilities at Triund. And CCD came to the rescue. Then, we finally had our lunch at Jimmy's which was worth the hype. And now, we were ready to move back to Delhi.We took a taxi to Dharamshala bus stand and got a direct bus to Delhi from there. All of us got window seats and slept. We woke up later in the night, when our heads hit the iron bar in front of our seats as the bumpy bus hit the brakes. In the middle of nowhere, there was this Dhaba and there were other buses coming on the highway in a speed to kill, we were zoned out enough to not be able to figure out anything and slept back again.
2) The People: We live in a terrible world. You hear about people killing each other and destroying the planet on a daily basis. Traveling has put me in touch with the good side of humanity. I have been astounded by the friendliness and compassion shown to me by people who didn't know me and had no reason to help me. I think one needs to experience this 'niceness' to stay positive & restore their faith in this mad world.
I would say, stop restricting Himachal only till Shimla – Manali. There are so many beautiful mountains, rivers, villages & paths around Himachal..Being a traveler, for me every place has its own special spark & beauty. I feel extremely low when people only relate Shimla-Manali with Himachal Pradesh. When I told my friends that I am planning for Mcleodganj and parvati valley. many of them asked where is it ????.Please get rid of Shimla-Manali as Himachal Pradesh has much to offer. sufficiently heard and recent crazy instagram posts from my traveler friends about Spiti. And now it is becoming hard to keeping these places untraveled. Yes, so much tempted now and definitely I will add Spiti and chadar on my coming trips and Dharamsala over & over again for my kind of a road trip in the coming years, because These places are yet an unknown paradise for many of us. .
After spending a full day in McLeodganj we left next day morning for our Triund hill trek, one of the best parts of our McLeodganj trip. Though we slept long and were late for the trek, it is best if you start your trek early morning by 7. Before visiting McLeaod never pre-book your Triund trekking online paying more money. While you are in McLeodganj you will find so many travel agencies offering you a guide or camping package. Though, we didn't spend money on guide and decided to trek on our own. Gallu Devi Temple is the starting point for the trek from McLeod. Usually you don't need a guide as the way is marked and moderate. When we visited there wasn't snow. But in the case of snow or extreme rainfall you might consider taking a guide unless you are a regular trekker. The trek is easy or may be moderate for some but it is definitely NOT difficult. The duration of trekking is usually 4 hours depending on your stamina and weather. Once you reach the triund hill top the view from there is just beautiful. We got a camp for Rs. 800 and spent a night on hill top. At night, it gets very cold so bring warm clothes accordingly. The sky looks actually full of stars from the hill top. There are small stalls for food and drinks on hill top and through entire trek. There is no washroom facility on the hill top. After spending a beautiful day at Triund, we climbed down to Mcleod next morning."There, the seasons hastened, exhorting you to count and treasure the moments. Amidst the concerns of capricious summer breeze, the sun never seemed to be shining so bright; the freezing cold nights could not cease the spirit of warmth and solace; and the heart somehow managed to remain stable in those unanticipated rainstorms. There again, in between this never ending cycle of tranquility and chaos, something whispered - can we still freeze these moments? We are travelers on a cosmic journey. And those precious moments were little parenthesis in eternity. :) "
4. TriundThis is a well-known trek near the town of Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. A very popular camping spot, this place is gifted with a perfect view of the Dhauladhar ranges on one side and the Kangra valley on the other. Triund attracts a lot of tourists every year from India and all over the world. Luxuries like hot maggi, dal chawal and warm tents are available on top.Highest altitude: 2825 meters
The bus arrived 3 hours after the scheduled arrival at 11:00 AM so I decided to move quickly. Broke my overnight fast with Thupka then took a dump at the public rest room just couple of building from the main square towards the right, bought some supplies chocolates(Snickers) and liquor(Old Monk) and started the trek right from the main square at 12:30PM.I didn't plan on socialising along the way but the 80 litre backpack stuffed with my tent, sleeping bag, mattress and other survival gear caught attention of several travelers which mostly ended in casual discussion about place of origin, destination, my backpack.But some discussions went far and I met my camping buddy, Abhinav from Delhi, for the day just when I was about to reach Triund top by 4:30PM. I usually trek in timed intervals of walking and resting. As this was an easy trek I decided on 45 minutes walking and 10 minutes complete rest with backpack on the ground, chocolate and water.We roamed around Triund top to find some place from where night sky and sunrise will be visible and pitched our tent on behind the second shop towards the right. Rest of the evening was filled with songs, stories and enquiring about things to do at Triund this is where I came to know about Snow Line Cafe camping site and Indrahar Pass.Note :- The trek is mostly rocky steps which will be easier to traverse with high ankle boots and require moderate fitness levels but there are plenty of cafes along the trail to Triund top. Also, getting an accommodation on the top can be a hassle in bad weather conditions like snowfall because area to pitch tents decreases.
The day began with getting rid of a dog playing with my tent, packing the camp and admiring the beauty of sunrise. We started moving towards the other camping site through steep slopes and boulders and met Harsh and Shubham from Gurgaon. The boulders started getting difficult to climb to the extent to motivating and extending help for Harsh and Abhinav to climb and keep moving forward.We ended up facing a 40-50 feet high rock face and concluding that we are lost, we started to climb down and reached Triund after our trip to the jungle.After enquiring about the correct trail and parting ways with rest of the guys as they decided to stay back, I reached Snow Line cafe by late noon, pitched my tent and decided to visit a temple at the summit of that mountain on advice of cafe owner.Trail to summit was short and beautiful, this was the best part of my journey. "Thank you this place" Vasily Kharitonov, I found written at the temple and enjoyed the sunset at that place. Zoom in on the picture captioned "Triund - down there".Upon returning and collecting firewood on the way, I meet ;Ben from Australia determined to summit Indrahar pass, Suraj and Deepanshi from Noida besides the bonfire. Sharing stories and appetisers we witnessed the beauty of moon rise and the valley lit up from darkness.When I shared my experience of BMC, Ben and the local guide Ben had hired, compelled me to join them in their venture to Indrahar Pass and we decided to leave early morning at 4:30AM.Note :- Just ask for the trail to snow line cafe, don't get lost like we did. If you end up facing boulders which seems difficult to climb, turn back because the boulders will get much difficult and soon you will end up in front of a rock face, climbing it should only be attempted with proper mountaineering equipment using pitch climbing technique. Keep at least 2 litres of water for the trek as it gets remote onwards.
On our way, we quickly enquired about the Triund trek, which I remember from my childhood as very tiring but extremely snowy, thus completely worth it. One of the locals told us that there is still snow at Triund, which is about 12-14 km from Mcleodganj. We were super excited to hear that and decided to wake up early next morning and begin our trek. After a quick stop at our guest house, we walked down the Dharamkot Road towards the marketplace and chanced upon the cutest little cafe I'd seen so far in the town. The name, 'Momo Cafe', was enough for us to decide that this is where we shall sample our first of the many rounds of momos. The moment we stepped in, we knew we were at the right place. The cafe was pretty much the size of a small kitchen, dimly lit and crammed with four sets of tables and chairs, with tourists and locals happily mingling over tea and momos. The place seemed to really hit the spot with tourists especially. The table tops had glass slabs covering a display of currencies from all over the world, with little notes of appreciation scribbled across them. Doubly excited by Momo Cafe's ambience, we pored (and drooled) over the menu, completely baffled by the tongue-twisting names of dishes we'd never heard before. We decided to seek the assistance of the owner, a Tibetan lady who was happily chatting away with two foreigner guys sitting on the table next to ours. When we asked her to help us decide what to order, she had this completely zapped look on her face that we thought meant she didn't understand Hindi. We tried English as we had seen her converse comfortably in the language with our neighbours. Sadly we got the same response from her, only this time she looked more irritated than zapped. Finally, the guys sitting next to us answered our question and we placed our order with the smug owner lady. It ticked us off a bit as it felt like she was being rude to us on purpose, even though we were extremely polite and patient with her and had even profusely complimented how lovely we thought her cafe looked.
I would say I was lucky to go ahead with this trek because I witnessed the beautiful snowclad mountains and even though unprepared, we trekked in snow!It was three of us and we took a night bus from Delhi to McLeodganj and the bus journey was no fun as we got the last seat and I was literally sitting right in the middle with nothing for support. We reached there early morning and without wasting anytime, we went to a guest house, changed our clothes and prepped ourselves for the trek. Hired a cab to reach the starting point. Oh, by the way, our plan was to go up till Indrahar pass so we were carrying our own tent and sleeping bags with us. Usually the trek takes about 3-4 hours but we were in no hurry so we took about 6-7 hours to reach the top and the first view of the dhauladhar range took my breath away. I sat right there in awe as how could nature be so beautiful and how we humans are so determined at ruining it all. All the way, people could not stop praising us and wanted to help by carrying our bags but we wanted to take care of our own burden. Once, I had a full of the beauty we were surrounded by, we started looking for a place to pitch our tent and chose a nice spot towards one side of the valley.
Where: Situated in the Kangra District of Himachal, the trek to Triund Hill begins from McLeod Ganj. To reach McLeod Ganj, take an overnight bus from Delhi to Dharamshala and then a taxi or local bus to Mcleod Ganj.Trail: To start your trek to Triund, head to Dharamkot first. You can either walk or take an autorickshaw for Rs 60 to Dharamkot Primary School. Start walking on the jungle trail. The first landmark on your way will be Gallu Devi Temple. Continue on the protected trail for the next 3-4 hours. You can spend the night at the Forest Department's Guesthouse (bookings can be done at the Forest Complex near Dharamsala Police Station) or rent a camp at any of the fixed camps at the top.Duration: 3-4 hours
We were four college friends walking towards Triund with a local Himachali driver. A while earlier, he had offered to be our guide for the day and he drove us to the last motorable spot of the trail and then offered to guide us to the very top, which we then happily agreed was a good idea.For 2 hours we walked uphill with him, but suddenly we were beginning to notice that he had started speeding forward. My friend, who was walking with him, was having a difficult time trying to make him understand that we need not hurry because we had enough time to reach the top before sunset.I decided to walk at my own pace clicking photographs and avoiding the drama, when suddenly I noticed the driver charging towards me. He ran past all of us towards the car, pushing us aside one after the other. We were stunned and a friend even twisted her ankle. While we were consoling her, a realisation struck. Our bags were still inside his car!The next half and hour was dramatic, to say the least. We decided to split up – two of us ran downhill and one stayed behind with the friend with the injured ankle. We were huffing and puffing and angry. I reached the car in the next 45 minutes after running back on the same trail trying to reach the car before the driver.To my surprise, we reached the car and I stood there looking at my bags, still inside the car. My other friends were still out of sight. I had enough time to contemplate all the possible ways to get my bags out of the car and in a flash of anger, I hurled a brick at the glass window.Bags out, we left Mcleodganj without ever reaching Triund.
The temperature was freezing cool . There was nothing to do at that time so we all decided to move towards the bhagsu falls . The path was quite dark as there were no street lights on the way. On reaching we admired the beautiful sunrise it looked as if it was heaven. The air was quite moist and the temp was 1 on the negative side. We had our breakfast and started to gather food and water from the local market as the food on the hill top was quite expensive. By 9 am we started our trek and by 11 am we were at Dharamkot,the place where the trek actually started. Our destination was around 8 km away. After an hour we reached the famous Gallu temple. The triund top was approx 6 km from there . We had our lunch there and continued to move. When we covered half of our journey the amount of oxygen was not sufficient so we took some rest and continued. But then journey became much harder as very frequent stops were needed for rest. Finally, we reached the mountain top at 3:30pm and the scenery above was incredible the mountain in front was covered with fresh snow and there were some snow traces on the triund top . We rested a while and then hired a tent for a very reasonable rate. After couple of hours it was time for the sunset. Before that we got some dry wood for bonfire. We admired the amazing sunset. After the departure of the sunlight the temperature fell as fast as the lightning strikes the ground. We rested in our tent for half an hour and lit the wood. The temperature at 11 pm was -3 degrees. It was a difficult task to sleep in a sleeping bag in that temp we all were not able to sleep properly . The least temp at that night was -5 . Oh so cold it was and the day ended
In the morning as the sun rose up in the sky we freed ourselves from the shackles of our tent cum concentration cell and basked in the glory of daytime. After an intricate tour of our surroundings and some successive rounds of photo session we began to prepare for our descent that took us around 4 to 5 hrs to reach back to Gullu devi temple, from where we took a cab that dropped us at the main square.
Best time to visit: March to September (excluding the monsoon months)How to reach: Take an overnight bus to Dharamshala, from there take a local bus or taxi to McLeod Ganj. The trek starts from Dharamkot, which is a Rs 60 auto ride away from McLeod Ganj. The trek can take 4 to 5 hours depending on your speed.Trail: The trail to Triund starts from Dharamkot. The first stop is the Gallu Devi Temple. After the Magic View Cafe, stay on the well-marked forest trail to reach the top in a few hours. The trail is beautiful and offers a panoramic view of the Kangra Valley. There are a few steep patches, but it's mostly comfortable.
Triund is the crown jewel of dharamshala , situated in the laps of dhauladhar mountains, it has the perfect view of the dhauladhar mountains on one side and kangra valley on the other. Triund is a very popular trekking spot . Triund attracts a lot of tourist every year from India and all over the world .
I had always loved the mountains but after visiting Triund I realized how strong this love was. I guess someday I will fulfill my dream of settling in the mountains. A small cottage from where I would gaze at the mountains every morning and fall in love with them all over again. Well, that will take time but for now, will embark on more such trips to my beloved mountains.
There is no better way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city life other than feeling close to nature and adventurous in Triund. Home to scenic views, lush greens and awesome climate, Triund is the perfect place to enjoy trekking at its best and escape into the mighty Himalayas.Best Time To Visit: AprilOther Things To Do: Dharamshala, Mcleodganj and Camping at Dharamkot. 12. Explore Auroville, Puducherry
Triund trek is an 8 km trek with a steep ascent of 1100 meters. It can be started from Dharamkot village which is around 2 km from Galu Devta which is the last place accessible to vehicles. With no specific plans for staying on the top and being double minded about it, we headed for triund top at 6 in the morning. We took a cab till Dharamkot village and started walking from there to Galu Devta. One can also take a cab from the market till Galu Devta which would cost Rs. 400. Well, we preferred walking and enjoying the surroundings. The walk till Galu Devta is not steep. Its an easy walk with Deodar on the sides. There is a very tasty tea serving shop just before the turn at Galu Devta. One must not miss having tea there because we were not lucky when it comes to tea in Himachal.
You will never feel more closer to God & Nature. It's an 8 hour trek. You must take your warm cloths with you because the air right on top there. Will freeze you to death. I went up there in December. And i couldn't wash my face not because of water unavailability but because if I had washed my face, it would have turned into blue color.. It's that freezing. #mountainsrock
Here comes the another add on to my life “ Triund “
Situated on the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas, the Rohtang Pass acts as the gateway to the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys. It also connects them to the Kullu Valley thus making the access of the districts easier with Leh. The meaning of 'Rohtang' is the 'Land of Corpses'. This is because, in this place died a number of people who has tried to cross this place and move ahead towards more difficult places like Zanskar. The Rohtang Pass also serves as the gateway to Zojila and Leh on other sides of it. The natural beauty and serenity of this place makes it a favourite of photographers and nature lovers. The sight of lovely glaciers, twin peaks of Geypan, the Lahaul Valley and the Chandra River make this place even more beautiful. The Rohtang Pass is also situated on the watershed basin of the Chenab and the Beas Rivers and the main activities to be enjoyed here are skiing and sledge rides.
I loved the maggi here:D
To be honest, what we saw was pretty unexpected. Rohtang could not have been better behaved. As people at Marhi had told us, the pass had seen a bout of dry weather over the past week, drying out most of the slush, barring a few stretches. With overnight rains, it had deteriorated a bit, but it had no resemblance to the monster we had all seen at almost the same time last year.
Caution! It is not particularly high or difficult to cross on foot by Himalayan standards, but it has a well-deserved reputation for being dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms and blizzards. It is a gateway to Lahaul Spiti, Pangi and Leh valley just as Zojila pass is a gatway to Ladakh. There are a beautiful sight of glaciers, peaks and Chandra river flows down in the Lahaul valley. Slightly to the left are the twin peaks of the Geypan. During summer(mid June to October) regular buses ply between Manali-Keylong/Darcha, Udaipur, Spiti and Leh. Rohtang Pass is best visitable between May/June to October/November. In May, Rohtang becomes a place for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. The snow-covered mountains provide the perfect opportunity to go skiing and snow scooter riding. Take your family to this wonderful place and enjoy some quality time together.
The ascent upwards to Rohtang(13,497 ft); a pass no driver dares to cross in the night due to frequent mudslides-unfolded before us a lot of surprises. The streams gently flow down the mountains amidst the greens clinging onto the slopes creating numerous waterfalls, the clouds gently seem to caress the snow capped peaks, glaciers melting down into the Beas river.
Next day , we headed towards Rohtang pass from Manali. We stopped at Rohtang pass to relax our butts and backbone after few ours of continuous riding. It was not such a big spot but just like a pass where you could get some food and see some more adventure lovers like yourself. After Rohtang while we were heading towards Key long and Jispa, we took a nap at a small place called Kuksar, and this was the place where an undiscovered beauty, a magic of nature was witnessed by us. An unnamed Waterfall- too big yet too tranquil .
Rohatang La: 13051 Ft The pass provides a natural divide between the Kullu Valley and Lahaul and Spiti valleys. The pass is open from May to November. It is not particularly high or difficult to cross by Himalayan standards, but it has a well-deserved reputation for being dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms and blizzards. Mostly crowded with visitors from Manali to whom it’s the most beautiful spots in the vicinity. The spot promises an exquisite view of the surrounding mountain ranges, glaciers, peaks and Chandra River flows down in the Lahaul valley. At 13051 feet above sea level it’s the gateway to Lahul Spiti & it tests the endurance of riders for the very first time. It also gives you a heads up for the Passes to come after Keylong. Leave before 5am to avoid the tourist traffic.
Rohtang Pass, is a high mountain pass on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas around 51 km from Manali. It connects the Kullu Valley with the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys of Himachal Pradesh, India. the valley is the main attraction and key destination to visit during your stay at Manali. the main attraction in the valley is its multitude of adventure sports available. one can try out skiing, paragliding which is a must as i feel. if you reach there early can enjoy the adventure sports and also play in the snow with family and friends. its a must destination an ideal romantic place and a adventure area for groups. one can enjoy special maggi made in that area which is a delight.
Rohtaaaaaang ! My by far the best encounter with SNOW ! This pass is like a getaway to heaven, all you see is snow, snow and snow. I've visited Rohtang Pass twice and both my experiences have been amazing. This place never disappoints me. Snow clad mountains all around, with low oxygen level and it brings chills. The temperature drops quickly. People with altitude sickness have to be cautious. Lots of snow sport activities goes on here. Maggie and Tea are a must for everyone here, it provides relief to the body.
That's my crazy moment. High altitude 15000ft'!!! Icing cold and i was about to Freeze. But still manage to get a picture clicked. I should say it was a Breathtaking moment. The place was too crowded with lots of tourists. People used to hire warm cloths and come to this place. But i was none of them.
Next day, we headed towards Rohtang la pass. We stopped at Rohtang pass to relax our body after a few hours of continuous driving. It is the first pass that comes between Manali and Lahaul & Spiti at the height of 14050 feet. After Rohtang we headed towards our destination.
This is another high mountain pass in the Himalayas, located at an altitude of more than 13000 ft. Rohtang pass is at a distance of about 50 kms from Manali towards Ladakh on the Leh-Manali highway. One can get some heavenly views of the Pir-Panjal range of the Himalayas here.
The Rohtang Pass connects the Kullu valley with the Lahaul and Spiti district. This pass is open to public only from May till mid November. Coming from Manali side, crossing the pass and descending into the Lahaul-Spiti region, you'd witness a change that knows no bounds - from all hues of green in the Kullu Valley to the barren and brutal browns of Lahaul.
After a heavy breakfast we started around 11 AM. We were informed by our driver that we would need to cover about 140 km on taht day to reach Jispa and must therefore control our emotions and resist the growing temptation to stop at every other nook and corner of this scenic journey. We crossed Solang Valley to reach Rohtang Pass which is about 50 km away from the town of Manali and is at an elevation of 13,060 ft. I have read accounts of people getting stuck in crazy traffic jams (lasting days) and sleeping in their cars while crossing Rohtang Pass in June or July. We crossed Rohtang Pass without any trouble and that is precisely why I love off-season. This was the first of five high mountain passes that we crossed on the Manali-Leh highway
Pretty good roads with a superb view of the valley and one can enjoy this to the utmost level with his cycle!! La aka pass are snowy passes through mountain ranges,but this one is highly influenced by tourists and by lots of them, with dirty snow, traffic.. :(
The unforgettable scenic beauty of snow, with a well-deserved reputation. The heartbeat of travelers, your journey to Manali can never be complete if you miss Rohtang Pass. Rohtang Pass, the place you can’t feel without experience it. Have the courage to follow the traveler in your heart.
At 13,050 ft Rohtang Pass stood silent and somewhat dull. I was taken aback due to complete absence of snow. I remembered this place for its out sized vastness of snow, tea stalls, horses, rabbits, yaks and over enthusiastic tourists (read Me and my younger sister) ten years back. For a second I was not ready to believe I am at Rohtang top till I saw the sign board above.
Leh- Manali has the Most beautiful terrain with lush green peaks and snow clad mountains. The lush green mountains with pits of grass and soil mixed in raw form. The best part about this journey is you start from leh drive through the soil desert and go towards the lush green mountains with beas stream flowing on the other side. You drive further go low then rise above towards manali where you side lush green mountains snow clad. The freshly settled creamy white snow clad mountains over lush green meadows is a treat for the eye of the beholder. Once you cross Rohtang Pass, You would have then seen true bliss. The mist settled over these mountains is one view my eyes can never forget. Truly thankful to the creator and his creations and giving me the opportunity to enjoy the nature in its true form. Lush and beautiful.
Rohtang Pass in Himachal PradeshIt is a high mountain pass providing a natural divide between the valley of Kullu and the arid high-altitude Lahaul and Spiti valleys. The word ‘Rohtang’ means ‘a pile of corpses’ due to a large number of people dying while crossing the pass due to bad weather. This pass has also been featured on the famous TV show Top Gear: India Special.
Next day morning we got ready and left our hotel by 6. Hotel staff was very courteous and packed few sandwiches for our lunch. Make sure you leave early else you can get stuck in the famous Rohtang pass traffic. I have been to Manali/Rohtang pass at least 4-5 times before but this was the first time I saw Rohtang pass 'green' and not 'white'. There was no snow at all, infact all the plants and tress were glowing in the sun, giving it a very different nice look. After crossing Rohtang pass around 20 km further there is a small right turn which goes to Lahaul Spiti valley. Please note its very easy to miss that turn, so make sure you are attentive. Once you manage to take that right then the only thing is you have to go straight. The road till this point was fantastic, we enjoyed it. But now was the time when the real journey started. So gradually the charcoal road turned into a kacha road and after some time it was just stones/boulders on our way with water flowing at many points. Ashok was brilliant behind the wheels but there was not much he could do at that stretch. Kudos to his patience. From Rohtang pass to Chandratal: there were at least 4-5 times when all of us had to get out of the vehicle and put/remove big stones in front of the tyres and then push the car (as the tyres were just slipping on pebles/stones). Delhi to Manali is around 550 km which took us around 13 hours and Rohtang paas to Chandratal is around 80 km which we covered in around 10 hours so you can imagine what a "smooth" ride it was. :-) It was kind of an off-roading experience. This was the journey which made me realize the true difference between a MUV & a SUV. Having said that, the journey was amazing and beautiful. You would see different colors of hills : green, red, brown, black . The beautiful terrain and colorful plants around you would definitely make you stop and click pictures at many places. We did manage to reach Batal.
We reached Manali early in the morning by 8am.. What a wonderful and breathtaking view along side river Vyas. And the cold winds just making us feel like it's already December. It's was 9.30am bus to Keylong from manali, same bus will continue to Ladakh next morning. But we have a stay at guest house in Keylong.. Nearby place jispa is also wonderful for stay and camping. Enroute came Rohtang paas(13058 feets) , it was so cold and windy on top. Also this was the first time we were on such an altitude in our lives... We started feeling low oxygen, And from rohtangLa started our real view. By evening at 7pm we reached Keylong.
Manali-Solang-Rothang LaThe ascent upwards to Rohtang(13,497 ft); a pass no driver dares to cross in the night due to frequent mudslides-unfolded before us a lot of surprises. The streams gently flow down the mountains amidst the greens clinging onto the slopes creating numerous waterfalls, the clouds gently seem to caress the snow capped peaks, glaciers melting down into the Beas river. Covered in fog the valley climbs up the Pir Panjal range- a visual treat to extremes. The only sound that prevails is the air rushing against the mountains, tip-tap of the melting snow, screech of the tyres on the road and ‘Thumping Sound’ of the ‘Bullet ride’.Rothang La - Keylong – Jispa - Darcha - Zingzing Bar- BaralachLa
Day 2 (10th July): Manali - Jam - Rohtang - Jispa (140 kms, 14 hrs)We re-evaluated our plan, and decided to stay the night at Jispa. The plan was to reach Leh in 3 days from Manali and somethings would have to go off our itinerary in order to make up for the lost 8 hours. Well, that’s the Manali-Leh highway for you, even the best laid plans have to be changed at the last moment. And I guess that’s the beauty of it all. We somehow made it to the top by 2:30 pm, after having crossed the final slushy stretch in one go, all thanks to the 4L mode that Safari offers. What was surprising though was that even with a 205 mm GC, some stones did hit the underbelly of our car. After a quick stop at the pass to check for leakages beneath the vehicle, we proceeded towards Jispa. Rohtang’s descent was much better than its ascent. The road was not good, and was ridden with potholes, but at least it was not slushy. A fabulous lunch of meat curry and rice happened at Koksar, the lovely, windy village after Gramphoo, known to be the coldest place in Lahaul. Thereafter, the road was like a runway, and even the fifth gear saw light of day! A few kilometers after Koksar, just before Sissu, we saw the mouth of the Rohtang tunnel on the other side of the Chandra river, the sight of which, after the 8 hour ordeal we’d been through earlier in the day, was very pleasing. Aarti promised God that she would distribute sweets and also come to Manali the very day the tunnel opens. For the first time, I agreed that Rohtang was not worth all that pain. After ogling at the tunnel for a bit, we went on. After a quick refuelling stop at Tandi, we moved on towards Keylong. We tried to log on to the net and also call a few people to update them about our freedom from the horrible jam, but the network was patchy, and we couldn’t. We finally reached Jispa around 6:30 pm, and headed straight for the Padma Lodge, where we’d stayed way back in 2008 when it was still under construction. After checking in, we went down till the river, and were totally floored by its beauty. The way the beautiful Bhaga spreads out at Jispa is stunning. The icing on the cake was the early moonrise, which captured the attention of our cameras for quite sometime. The Padma Lodge is a lovely place with nice and clean rooms, and a charming dining room on the first floor. And guess what, it does serve beer for those who are interested . The Lodge has two buildings, and both are almost equally priced. We got to know later that Rahul Gandhi had done the Manali - Leh highway last year, and stayed at the same lodge.
At Rohtang the traffic came to a standstill, and we witnessed something the other four had never before – snowfall. It was bliss. It soon changed into misery when the gentle snowfall changed into a rather hailstorm. We were stuck with no shelter. We tried to hide behind cars which didn’t help much as the temperature was freezing. We saw our feet getting covered with snow every now and then. Our feet and hands were frozen and we could barely move them. It was so fierce that we couldn’t even remove our helmets. It was quite an effort to unpack stuff from one bike to take out a Rum bottle which seemed like our best friend then and our only saving grace. Traffic started moving rather crawling again after almost 3 hours, luckily for us, army trucks were on our side and it was made to move first. Riding had gotten even tougher. We couldn’t see the road with visors down and couldn’t remove them due to the storm. Almost 2 feet snow had accumulated on the roads by then. The only way we could ride was by riding behind a heavy vehicle and moving along its tyre impressions. We covered the next 7-8 kms in over an hour and that’s when the road condition got a little better, but it was raining there and the roads, especially the curves were really slippery. Slowly we made it to Gramphoo and had the first meal of the day there.
Rohtang Pass can be counted as one of the most accessible skiing spots in India, making it the perfect spot for a family getaway. You can get skiing gear on the spot and ski slowly down the slopes covered with snow.
Speaking about Rohtang, I wasn't ever been to Rohtang but I always had wanted to. So this was my chance. We took all the required approvals and five of us left for Rohtang. Man! the view and the drive was beyond words. There was complete shed and then there was complete sunny. It continued as we kept on crossing each mountain. On the way to Rohtang
I had no plans for trekking this time as few others weren't interested, but, after reaching Rohtang pass, of the road, water streams, lakes, mountains, valleys, horses, birds and so on, all I could see were the mountain peaks. What a view I could get after reaching the summit!
I could not ever have imagined how it actually felt like sitting on my bike and smiling for the picture with the board that says 'Rohtang Pass'. And it was more than I thought it would feel like to be there in that moment- being 'in' the clouds, shivering from cold all over, that feeling of immense satisfaction, thrill, excitement and happiness I will never be able to forget. There, I wanted to shout my heart out, I wanted to laugh, I wanted to be silent and just let that feeling sink in, and you know what I did everything I wanted to. I really felt alive that day and this feeling was what I crave for all the time.
But finally, we made it to Rohtang Pass and the clouds didn't make it easy on us, we were completely drenched and the hot cup of tea and maggi on the roadside eatery was a saviour. We then reached Manali, returned our bike and the smiles on our faces even after the toughest ride of the whole trip made up for the body aches we were then starting to realise. Also, the next day was my B'day and the sound sleep i got that night almost made up as the perfect gift one could have wished for after 10 days of pillion riding.
The Rohtang pass is a high mountain pass and is elevated to approx 4000 metres above the sea level, situated in the Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas which connects two valleys i.e Kullu & Lahaul and Spiti. The pass watersheds the basins of Chenab (Chandra river is a tributary of Chenab) and Beas river. It offers beautiful sights of Lahaul valley and different glaciers and peaks.
The day is at leisure to explore this picturesque town. Or you can opt for Rohtang Pass (Closed on Tuesday's). Rohtang Pass offers magnificent views of the himalayan mountain ranges. It was the medieval trading route to Lahaul and Spiti. If roads to Rohtang Pass are closed, then visit Snow Point where ponies / horses can be hired (On direct payment). Note: (Only local vehicles are allowed for Rohtang Pass / Snow point visit). Overnight in Manali (B, D)You can stay at-
The day is at leisure to explore this picturesque town. Or you can opt for Rohtang Pass (Closed on Tuesday's). Rohtang Pass offers magnificent views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. It was the medieval trading route to Lahaul and Spiti. If roads to Rohtang Pass are closed, then visit Snow Point where ponies / horses can be hired (On direct payment). Request A Call BackNote: (Only local vehicles are allowed for Rohtang Pass / Snow point visit). Overnight in Manali (B, D)You can stay at-
The high mountain pass of Rohtang lies at an altitude of 3,978 meters above sea level and located in the eastern hills of the Pir Panjal Range. If you can overlook the chaotic traffic on the way, the pass itself is beautiful with views of mountains all round and a feeling of being on top of the world. It’s usually crowded at all times and as there is a permit that is required to be taken in advance. Roads are not great but the pass is worth the drive. Whole area is just surrounded by the snow clad Great Himalayas and beautiful breathtaking views. Closed for half of the year and gets open at the mid/end of May. It's better to travel in the beginning (Opening days) as the day passes on, it will be full of crowd and there won't be much peace & fun. Try to leave in early morning by 06.00 AM to avoid long queue at Gulaba check post as sometimes it takes hours to get rid of it. Be there once in your lifetime at least. Wind, Snow and Serenity...Awesomeness of life.
Exhilarating activities such as skiing and mountain biking are synonymous with the Rohtang Pass. A trip to this celestial passage is therefore imperative before you proceed with your Ladakh Bike Trip.
One can spend an hour or two sitting in peace here. There's a Maggie point also. Many people visit Rohtang to enjoy the snow in winters. I had also played with snow when I had visited Rohtang years ago with my parents.I left Rohtang Pass for my trip to Spiti. This time the sound of river travelled with me.
Then we moved forward in our journey to Rohtang Pass. We faced a lot of traffic jams on the way but it also helped us to get down in every road corner and click the serene landscapes from every possible angle. The so called Suicide point is a treat to the eyes. We also found the Rahala Falls on the way. After a 5 hour journey (actually takes 2.5 hours), we reached a small village with a few shops which is the last place to have some refreshments. We had our lunch and quickly moved upwards to our destination. With roads covered with snow on one side and receding greenery on the other, we careened forward to our destination. Remember to click selfies in the slab marked 13058 ft, Rohtang Pass. WE are lucky enough to have snowfall at that very moment but it also made it very cold (close to 0 degress) and I have to rent a fur coat for INR 200. We trekked upwards for around 2 hours and we reached almost the top of it where I found some nice clicks. I would suggest to keep track of the road you are moving forward because the clouds can challenge your visibility there. You can also hear the fluttering of flags around. As soon it started getting a bit dark, our driver asked us to move away as he claim it would soon become unbearable cold there.
Rohtang Pass, its name is enough to define its beauty. One of the famous tourist attractions near Manali. It is Located at a height of 3979 metres and at a distance of 51 km from Manali.Rohtang Pass is on the highway to Keylong/Leh. In winters, the pass remains closed but is open from June to October for motor vehicles.
August 23,2014Next day early morning we moved for Manali. We crossed Darcha (police checkpoint), Jispa , Keylog, Rohtanga pass.Near Rohtanga, Marhi location we have done paragliding. It was amazing experience of my life. We finally reached Manali before 4 PM. We booked our returning tickets in valvo same day. Around 5 pm we left Manali.
Bike Rent : 500cc can range upto 1200 – 1500 INR/day with a security deposit of 10k-12k (refundable) . Don’t compromise on bike conditions . As your bike would be your GOD for your entire trip . You need road permit to cross Rohtang Pass which is only valid for a day . You can arrange the same from http://admis.hp.nic.in/ngtkullu or you can ask the bike renter to arrange the same for you .
Day 3 : We started around 10 am which was quite late to reach Kaza keeping the time frame in head . So we took a pleasant ride to Rohtang Pass which is like 51 kms from Manali . It was bone shivering so dont forget to put on warm clothes and gloves to avoid cramps .Spending couple of hours in Rohtang Pass we headed down and reached Koskar , a small and beautiful village which comes on the way to Keylong and Leh Ladakh . This is a diversion of around 5 Kms from the road you need to take for Chatru .
A road trip to the picturesque Rotang pass can be a sight if you travel in the correct time of the year. snow walls and plenty of white snow all around shall set your mood into a playful one. The beautiful landscape that accompanies you during the trip is something one should look forward to. As you drive by one can play the most soothing songs or any beat and enjoy the trip as you climb towards the snow capped mountains and feel the rains of snow and the crystal clear sky. As you pass by, the mesmerizing view has the healing power to relax all the worries of ones life and retreat your senses with the touch of nature.The high mountain pass of Rohtang lies at a high altitude of 3,978 meters above sea level and located in the eastern hills of the Pir Panjal Range. The pass lies at a picturesque location with the rivers Beas and Chenab that lies to the southern and northern side of Rohtang Pass. Rohtang Pass is famous for its picturesque views of the valley and various hidden waterfalls. Rohtang Pass is a must visit on your trip Kullu-Manali.Best time to visit the pass is in the month of May once the pass is open by the government for visits.
The breathtaking views of Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar ranges of Himalayas were treat to the eyes. I asked my cab driver to take a halt in between so as to capture the alluring beauty of Himalayas for my travel diaries. Though there was no snow at that time, but we find some at few places while travelling. After a spectacular drive of about 52 kms we finally reached our destination. It was chilling cold inspite of a bright sunny day. Situated at an altitude of 3979 meter (13,050 ft) above sea level, Rohtang La is amongst those highest motorable roads in India where the weather is cold even in summers. The sky was kissing the glacier-clad peaks of majestic Himalayas. We were mesmerized by the panoramic beauty of lofty hills. At Rohtang Pass, you will see nature in its rawest form. We rented an additional jacket (made up of Yak wool) to protect ourselves from extreme cold temperature. I salute those hard working ladies who were giving hot coffee or tea, warm jackets, woolen caps and gloves to travellers despite of such harsh conditions.
Known as the Moon Lake too, this is one which is at a height of 4300 metres and is also the origin of the Chandra River. The lake is about kilometres from Kunzum Pass and a popular place among devotees. This is because this is said to be the same place from where Lord Indra had picked up Yudhishthira, the eldest of the Pandavas to take him on a journey to heaven. The picturesque sceneries and beauty of this place is mind blowing. The waters of this lake are deep blue and is surrounded by lush green grass. What is even better is that the waters are extremely clean unlike other general lakes that we see. The peaks surrounding this lake are even of around 3000 metres to 6300 metres and are namely the Moulkila and Chandrabhaga. You can come here from most other places of Himachal Pradesh even for some adventure camping. This was also known to be the halting area of traders once upon a time when they stopped here before moving ahead to Kunzum and Sarchu.
17th Aug: Gemur to Chandertaal (7 hours) Drive to Chandartaal lake. Surrounded by snows and acres of scree, this deep blue-water lake has a circumference of2.5 k.m. This is the source of the river Chandra. According to some believers, this is the spot from where the god Indra''s chariot took Yudhishtra to ''Swarga'' (Heaven) in his mortal form. Accomodation: Camping crew will pitch tents for overnight stay
The lake is situated at an altitude of 14,100 ft. in Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh. It's an amazing destination for trekking and camping. We started our journey from Manali crossing Rohtang pass and entering into Lahaul and Spiti district. The offroading experience with Chandra river flowing along makes it a memorable journey. Once you reach Batal, you can trek for almost 14 kms to the lake. The magnificent view of lake and the crystal clear water and heavenly sky reflection in water vanishes all the tiredness of trek on barren mountains. Camping in the extreme cold gives a thrilling experience. It's a paradise on earth, totally Worth a visit...!!!
Mt CB 13 or Mt Chandrabhaga 13 is a magnificent peak on the Dhaka glacier that is visible from Chandertal. Oh that night, I can still recall the quiver of that chilled and breezy night. The day started very early with a lot of zeal and exhilaration for the journey ahead. As we started from Manali a lot of conjectures were ripping up in our minds as to what the valley would unfold. But nature had other plans for us; the route to the Chandrataal base camp was perhaps one of the most bumpy ride I had ever undertaken. At one point of time I was pondering if it was better for me to get an helmet before boarding the Sumo we took for the jaunt(Arpan surely will agree to it) . At last after a gruesome drive of near about eight hours were at the camp site. It was gloomy by the time we landed there. Wearied by the elongated and strenuous journey there was no vigor left in us to do any kind of activity; all we wanted was a hot meal to suppress our hunger and our tents to respite. Well as they say that “what we expect is not what we get and what we get always comes out of the blue. The open sky above was what made our day; it seemed to have eased our hunger and fatigue. It literally reminded me of the rhyme “Twinkle Twinkle little star, like a diamond in the sky” but a million diamonds were in the sky. To be precise it was one of the unblemished skies I had ever seen, something untouched by what we call effluence. Sometimes I feel that some places on this earth should be kept as they are virgin; without roads, without easy accessibility as their beauty is to be fostered that way and we humans living in th concrete jungle have elapsed what nature and mother earth has to offer. Standing beneath that sky and with the Mt CB13 in front it was imperative for us to capture that beauty; and the rest as we say is history.
At an altitude of 4300 mts. Chandra Taal lake is an unclaimed lake in the Spiti valley. The open sky, the lake that freezes at night, temperatures dropping to -7 degrees in mid June and an unforgettable journey to the lake. It is a guaranteed life changing location. The water of the lake shines blue in the afternoon and translucent in the morning sky reflecting the whole surroundings like a mirror. The lake stretches upto about 2 kilometers. If you’re an adventurer you might want to visit before the roads are open to tourism. Tourism allows a lot of camps near the lake. Going there before any one will fill you with a sense of pride. You will be lost in the vastness of the mountains with complete ecstasy. You can choose to take a guide along with you to make the journey safer and simpler or leave the guide and the comfort behind to really explore and connect with yourself on a deeper level. The choice is yours to make! Some do’s and don’ts in and around the lake for your safety: DON'T: • Try to swim in the lake; There have been reported deaths of people who have tried to. • Litter; Let’s help preserve whatever’s left of our beautiful planet. • Trek under influence of alcohol. You need to have massive control over your body. DO: • Take a lot of food with you, it is most important. • Take all necessities from a knife to whatever you think will keep you safe, cowdung kerosene and matchboxes are a must, to cook and stay warm. • Carry the warmest jacket you have. • Have the proper gear to trek through snow, water and sludge. • Stargaze; The best view you can get of the infinite space! • Carry music; The silence really is deafening! Here is a list of things necessary for camping: Dried Cowdung+Kerosene+Lot of Matchboxes(Lighters don't work)+Dry twigs(Found near the lake-the dry bushes with purple flowers) Gloves+Cap+Windcheater(Basically everything of the warmest kind, but just the necessary ones, You want to keep your bags light) Torch+Knife A pan+A plate+forks+Maggi+Coffee/milk/sugar sachets+Chocolates(Lots of)+Anything else full of carbs+A lot of water+Local alcohol(Ignore the taste/Drink for keeping warm) Camera+Music+Two walking sticks(Helps for walking on snow and sluge) Tent+Sleeping bags(With mattresses)+Paper soap+Medicines
Stayed in Zamaica Camps , chilling again :-D
Tread the treacherous road -- the road from Batal, the last inhabited point before Chandratal is nothing but lethal -- that leads to the Chandratal Lake and absorb the splendid view whilst taking deep breaths! Do remember to keep your jaw from falling off and hitting the ground! The view of the river bed and the glaciers on the far off mountains is breath-taking. Meditate, take a walk around the lake or pitch your tent - the lake is a spectacle to behold! If you have days in hand, then a trek from Sooraj Tal to Chandra Tal - or the other way round - could give you the adrenaline boost you had always been anticipating.
One of the most beautiful lakes in the entire world.
Day 8: Losar To Chandratal (3 Hours; 38Kms)
The 6th day was for Chandratal, another blissful, Not at all, I would say “Dar ke aage Chandratal Hai”. The roads were so adventurous; it didn’t allow me to leave the rear grab handle of the car. After trekking of 1 KM, we reached our destination “Chandratal”. I was continuously taking short breaths; suddenly I glanced at Chandratal. The aerial view of Chandratal made me feel so composed. I would say, I was blessed by the nature. I had never seen something so magical.
We finally reached Chandratal. As per the latest government rules camping is not allowed near the lake. You can take your vehicle up to a certain point, from where its less than an hours trek to the lake. At this height due to lack of oxygen you tend to get exhausted very easily, so make sure you carry some water. The moment you get the first glimpse of the lake you will realize it was all worth it. Its just beautiful, its surreal and difficult to explain. I believe India is full of beautiful places but its sad we Indians don't preserve the beauty. Such places which are difficult to access are fortunately still preserved. The water in the lake is crystal clear and you will get to see shades of blue depending upon the sun light. As it was really cold there nobody dared to go in the water. Its not a crowded place at all but you will still manage to see few people around the lake. People who have been to Pangong lake in Leh ladakh, you would find this like its mini version. We sat there for around 1-2 hours had a nice time, clicked numerous pictures and started back.
There is a huge difference between a tourist and a traveller. A Tourist sees what he knows; a traveller sees what he wants.This was my first trip made solo as a traveller and not a mere tourist. Spiti was a place that I came to know about a year ago. It’s enchanting and breathtaking views clogged me to it. It developed a strong urge within to visit this untouched valley and explore it.Being an amateur, and my zeal of making that first solo trip; Spiti was my aimed destination. To begin with the geographical settings and forecast- Spiti is situated in the north-eastern part of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The name "Spiti" means "The Middle Land", i.e. the land between Tibet and India. The Spiti Valley is also known as “Cold Desert” valley located high in the Himalaya Mountains.The valley and surrounding region is one of the least populated regions in India. The route starts from Keylong via the Rohtang Pass or Kunzum Pass respectively. The capital is Kaza Village which is situated along the Spiti River at an elevation of about 12,500 feet (3,800 m) above sea level.The Rohtang Pass, at 13,054 feet (3,979 m), separates Lahaul and Spiti from the Kullu Valley. Lahaul and Spiti are cut off from each other by the higher Kunzum Pass, at 15,059 feet (4,590 m). A road connects the two divisions, but is cut off frequently in winter and spring due to heavy snow.The climatic conditions, no doubt is very cold. The oxygen level up there gradually reduces as you go higher from 8,000- 10,000 ft. People tend to get high altitude sickness/ Mountain sickness due to this. Symptoms are high body temperature, severe headache, chest pain, vomiting, lack of sleep, fatigue and nausea. Do not ignore these signs and remedies are must for this.This basically happens due to body not receiving the actual amount of oxygen that it is used to. Hence for your body to adapt to this environmental change, we need to take care in following ways:Drink lots of water (As water is the source of oxygen, also use with Electral/ Glucon-D etc)Diamox (Medicine, highly used for acute mountain sickness/ Doctor prescribed is preferred)Do Not exhaust more, walk slowly, maintain your calmness, no fast breathing.Enough of the Specs and facts, but this was the information gathering that I did to know more about Spiti. But let me tell you, the actual experience was just so different than the Spiti I imagined. Be ready to get amazed because it is just so much more that you see in the usual pictures that you google for Spiti.I went for a 6day trip starting from Manali-Spiti-Manali. The group was so diverse, people from different professional background came together due to a similar interest. No one knowing each other till the day of the trip. Our trip started from 7th September. Moreover I was worried initially about the “No connectivity and network” issues and “rugged terrain”. Little was I to know that these were the only things that made the journey so worthwhile.From Manali via Rohtang Pass which took around 8 hours to reach Chandra Taal. We passed areas of Batal and Chatru, where we took a short break for tea at the only dhaba we found on the way.CHANDRA TAAL:We reached to a base camp which is around 3kms away from Chandra Taal. The night we spend camping and star gazing. And what a splendid view to just look above in the sky. A sky so clear. A sky just so clustered with stars. You can also recognize constellations and stars. Early morning wakeup was just so thrilling. We woke up to the view of snow cladded mountains from our tent and the sunrays getting stronger and brighter. Temperature was too low. We all turned purple just as we removed our gloves and caps. The camp provided tea and omelet bread which was highly needed. Thanks to the NOMADIC CAMP.From the camp we need to reach a motorable track, later we need to cover 1 km in foot to reach the lake. The first scenic view we visited was of the Chandra Taal Lake.This lake is situated at an altitude of about 4,300 meters (14,100 ft). Mountains overlook the lake on one side, and a magnificent cirque presents a view on the other. The lake is known for the Full Moon beauty that is reflected in this lake during the night. Also in the day time, the lake is known to change its color depending upon the sky color.At first even I was assuming that how is this possible, but when we were reaching the lake it was a little greyish in color. We all just spend some time there roaming around and clicking pics. Suddenly we just saw the lake and OMG the lake was blue in color. Later the border turned green. It was definitely the reflection of sky, but this is just the beauty of the nature that we can simply be amazed of.The lake can be visited only during (June- September) months. For the rest of the season, the lake remains cut off and frozen.KUNZUM PASS:Moving ahead from Chandra Taal, we visited the highest peak “Kunzum Pass” (4551 meters) where the locals believe to pray by performing a respectful circuit of the stupas strewn with fluttering prayer flags at the top before continuing down into Spiti.KAZA:From Kunzum we moved ahead for Kaza. The journey was of around 75kms. In Between we had a halt at Lossar to have something for lunch.Moving ahead from Lossar, you will come along very amazing and picturesque views of the Valley which seriously will keep you wondering. The most apt dialogue one guy in our group said was ”YAAR AB KYA HUM JAAN DE DE KYA YE NAZARE DEKH DEKH KE”. It’s the exact definition of the nature that you will witness. Speechless it was to look out of the window. Where ever you see, you will always be surprised. You will see the amazing mountain structures which will spellbound you.Along we just came along with a road so amazing in the valley base.Very beautiful view it was. And we just jumped of the car and just clicked pictured like crazy people giving crazy poses.Moving ahead we visited small habitants of Haal Village, Rangrik , Kyurik, Syurik Villages which had their own small monasteries. Here we finally got to see some greenery due to the vegetation the farmers do. But yet again the villages are just spread across 8-10 houses.We had a view of the very famous (KYE-Monastery) along the path. The setting sun rays just illuminated the view. But our next stop was Kaza Village. It is known to have the highest altitude situated post office and petrol pump in the World. Our stay was in Zostel. It was a very nice setup made for the travelers to have a pleasant stay in such environment. Good dormitory with common room to enjoy indoor games and some area to just chill out. Finally here you can have some varieties of food.KOMIC VILLAGEFinally having a sound sleep in Kaza , the next day we began our journey to visit Komic Village. This village is known as the highest village in the World with population around 114 people in area of 100kms. This village has a monastery about 1000 years old. Many fossils were found by the locals. This bears some civilisation history. Today we were not feeling any health issue as we were having lots of water. Also our body adapted to the climate.Lang Zha:Returning from Komic we visited Lang Zha village. This place we witnessed different kinds of birds. This place is known for amazing Buddha stupa located at the mountain top which is just so beautiful.Kye Monastery:Next stop was the Kye Gompa, the history of this monastery you can read at its entrance. This is the most renowned Tibetan Buddhist Monastery close to Spiti River. The structure is splendid as it is built across a mountain top. It is a religious training center for Lamas. It reportedly had 100 monks in 1855. The amazing thing is the travellers can stay in the monastery with the monks and also share their kitchen and have a chit chat chai with them.It was real divine experience to see the monks habitat and school etc. Also the peace that you receive there is priceless. It’s always that the one’s who has very less to give, only have their Big Heart. The people were that welcoming and always smiling. I can come now any number times and spend a part of my life in this great hidden valley which has so much amazed me.We left the place with all the beauty always remaining fresh in our memories. Though we cannot capture everything in camera because:Spiti for me is not just a place to visit. But an experience to be lived.Travel Courtesy:The Weeknders Group: Akanksha, NishantDriver: Sanju Bhaiya
P.S. The lesser mortal in me chose to leave a part of myself there by making the eight -stone structure of small stones in the lake. The mini stone structures are a common sight in Spiti which was earlier used to mark ways for fellow trekkers to follow.Himachal Diaries is a series of some short and some long blogs from my recent 10-day trip to Himachal with four of my friends. The multiple blogs will cover places we saw, people we met, funny experiences and some instances which amuse us at a personal level. This is part three of the Himachal Diaries series, Hope you enjoy, feedback welcome!
3rd July :- At night I felt severe back pain & was not able to sleep. This was the first time I had back pain in my life, so I didn't know how to deal with it. I barely slept for 2-3 hours. In the morning the pain was less so I decided to continue my journey. The weather was fantastic with clouds moving in the mountains. I reached kunzum pass at around 11A.M. From there I had to go for a 12 kms solo trek. It was drizzling at that time & the beauty of the place cannot be described in words ( I think pictures can help). I completed the trek in 3 hours & it was an amazing experience. I could see big glaciers and river beds from the distance. I reached Chandratal at 2 P.M & there I met 3 locals who came there to enjoy the day. I joined them & roamed around the place for 4 hours. As it is on much higher altitude( 4300 m) than other places so it was getting very cold and windy in the evening. The lake guard was relative to one of the member, so we enjoyed tea at his camp near the lake. The campsite is 3 kms from the lake. One of the campsite owner was friend to the locals, we went there & enjoyed the meal & I also got a tent to sleep. The camp owner was going to Manali the next day in his pick up truck. So I decided to join him with couple of other people. The night was windy & chilly & we had to left for Manali at 5:30 A.M.
If you ever had a dream of going to a place which you can truly call being 'In the middle of nowhere', Chandratal lake trek is the place for you. It's a 12 km easy trek from Kunzum pass but it can give you a tough time because of its high altitude. Kunzum Pass is located at 15,060 feet while Chandratal Lake is at 14,100 feet. The trek starts from a gradual ascend and then number of ascends and decends. Just after 15-20 mins of trekking, you can have a first glimpse of the lake. It looks like a small blue water drop in the middle of desert mountains. The beauty of the landscape keeps you spell bound throughout the trek but the charm of the trek is in the mesmerising view of barren mountains and the glimpse of the blue lake which you keep on seeing throughout the trek. It makes you feel that the lake is pretty near to you but it actually takes 4-5 hours of trekking with normal speed to reach up to the lake. The first 3 hours of trek takes you through the barren mountains and then to rocky path. After crossing this, you see a stream which is going all the way to the lake.
The mesmerizing beauty of the landscape makes 12 km frantic walk to Chandratal from Kunzum pass, a pleasurable one. It gives you a feel of walking into wilderness and the glimpse of the blue lake makes it all the way more fascinating.PS: Can you spot people in this pic??
It works like Ganga, washes all the pain(physical and mental) :) #ChandraTaal #Lake #Spiti #Himachal #LiveLife #Travel
The first thing was undoubtedly visiting Chandratal Lake, which is totally off the route for some 16 kms, 16 kms of pure serenity, including another big Nala which I was so anxious to cross. Fate stole it from us as the roads were blocked due to heavy snow and the only way was to trek for a good 7-8 kms which the majority wasn’t willing to. We made our next stop at Kunzum Pass 15,059 feet above sea level, did a Parikrana of the ‘temple’ there and moved on towards Losar. On our way we witnessed a beautiful meadow, which was off the way but we rode over it, parked our bikes and once again were amused by the beauty of everything we saw. All our fatigue vanished, ironically by jumping, shouting and rolling on the grass there! After all we were in Spiti Valley. We could see the landscapes painted by nature itself. In a while we started rolling again and stopped at Losar for security check and a brief lunch. That’s where the welcome board to Spiti Valley was put as the civilization starts from that village. There were proper constructed roads from there and what we witnessed while riding through the valley was something that could only be seen in dreams, in fact even better. Lush green grasslands, meandering streams, towering snow clad peaks, formidable mountains of different colours. The landscapes were such that for a moment I left my belief of the journey being bigger than the destination behind and got lost in the surroundings. The distance of 58 kms from Losar to Kaza could have been easily covered in an hour because of the beautiful roads but it took us over 3 hours as we couldn’t stop ourselves from stopping every few kms. And we can’t blame ourselves either. On our way a kid who was rearing sheep, stopped me and asked for the time and for chocolates if I had any. I did, and I gave him all of them. He spoke to me in English! We reached Kaza by evening and stayed there for the night.
Once we reached the camping spot, some locals approached us to know if we need any camping stuff or help in setting up the tents. We politely refused thinking we are well equipped. Little did we know that these are the guys we would need to approach once we realise our lack of preparedness and information that we managed for a trip like this. It was a bright cool day and since it was August, we never even thought that we need to get scared and respectful of the night at such towering heights.
Day 5 : Kaza to Manali via Chandrataal (260 km) This has to be undoubtedly, the most thrilling day; handsdown!From the beginning of trip we were fed horror stories on Kunzum pass and pagal Nallah, about how they have overpowered travelers to succumb to their will often.But we were positive, as we had left on time, and the breathtaking views provided the fortitude to carry on steadfast:
You can start very early next morning to either go back to Manali via the Kunzum and Rohtang passes, or you can take another detour to visit the enchanting Chandratal Lake, situated at almost 13500 ft. After Kunzum pass, which is the highest pass in this route, if you take the bifurcation from Batal you will soon find yourself in the camping site near Chandrataal. You can rest a bit and visit the lake in the late afternoon, which is around 3 km away. The car has to be parked in a place marked for that purpose, and from there the lake is a short and leisurely walk. Besides the main moon-shaped blue lake, which is the starting point of the famous Chandra river (that later becomes the ChandraBhaga also known as Chenab, after joining Bhaga river in Tandipule near Keylong), there are many other smaller water bodies. A camp stay in the camping site is a must in the Chandratal Lake, if you want to enjoy the tranquillity of the place and also want to view the lake in early morning light.
Our trip’s greatest delight was an early morning trek to ChandraTal Lake. ChandraTal Lake is situated at an altitude of 14100 feet and is popularly known as the Moon lake. We stayed in the camp for a night and started from the camp base at morning 4 am to climb up towards the lake.
Finally we were at the Chandratal lake and I must say the lake looks much more sublime than in the photos. It is worth travelling on a dangerous road and experiencing the chilling waves, harsh sunlight and all the discomforts. We stayed at the lake for an hour and then started our backward journey to reach the camp since we had to reach Manali by the evening.We reached our camp, took our rucksacks and started walking to the Batal to catch the bus coming from Kaza. Since I already told there is only one bus from Kaza to Kullu and it reaches Batal between 1-2 pm, so we didn’t have much time to spend in other activities. We reached Batal at around 2 pm but the bad news was that the bus had left Batal half an hour ago. We had no option than to wait for hitchhiking. Luckily we found someone returning from Kaza and going to Manali with an empty Traveller coach. He allowed us to join him and our journey to Manali began.
Visit Chandratal via Kunzum Pass and enjoy the day thereCamps 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 CampsDay 9 | Battal / Chandratal – Kunzum Pass – Rohtang Pass – Manali
6. Land of Spiti Valley- ChandrataalThere are a few of us for whom mountains are like second home. That's because we went there once, and left a part of ourselves behind. If you are anything like me, and are in love with the mountains, then there is one heavenly place you must visit: Spiti Valley. Spiti is situated at an altitude of 14,500 ft above sea level. The ever-changing hues of the barren mountains is a sight to behold.
We spotted some tents on the way and assumed Lake Chandratal was nearby, so we stopped near one of the tents and asked the gentleman sitting outside for directions. As per tourism guidelines, camping was not allowed within the lake's perimeters. We had to ride two kilometers ahead cutting a small mountain where several tourist SUVs were parked. After parking our bikes, I approached the drivers to ask about the whereabouts of the Lake as we still could not see anything in our vicinity that resembled one. As expected, we were told to trek 1km cutting the next mountain to reach the Lake, so we started walking. It took us 10 minutes to walk 50 steps in total which showed us how inactive we were. Hari was feeling ill at this point and Bob was dehydrated. After taking a few sips of glucose we had packed, we made it to Lake Chandratal. There she was, beautiful and blue, surrounded by endless mountains and greenery. We slowly got down and crashed on to the shore to regain our breaths back from the breathtaking view. I had never seen such clean, clear and pristine water anywhere before. I put my palm ever so subtly in it and stared at my reflection for some time. A bunch of thoughts gathered in my head. All the time I was feeling depressed and worried in the past, everything felt insignificant as I thought about my present state. My mind and body was in a tranquil state, something I had never felt before. Sadly, a tourist threw a rock in the water that broke my tranquillity. I stood up immediately and saw Hari laying down and heard Bob vaguely talking about pot. I checked my watch, it was 11:30 and it was time to go. We took a different path that lay behind the mountain for ease and hopped on our bikes, rode for one and a half hour to get back to the intersection that led to Kaza.Roads were again dreadful with endless hairpin turns and loose mud. But none of us were bothered anymore. We were back from a paradise heading to another. We saw bright beautiful peaks snow white and glistening while riding ahead.Bob spotted a white Gompa surrounded by huge Buddhist flags with a path leading to it from afar. I assumed it was Kunzum Mata and as we closed in, my assumption became surety. Kunzum Mata is a holy shrine that lies in the midway of Batal and Losar. Legend states that the people travelling from either side are bound to make a full circle following the path around it for good luck. Failing to do so usually turns into a catastrophe. Us being three agnostics was one thing, but the roads we had seen so far instilled the need of faith in our mind. We made a full circle and spent some time feeling the strong winds circulating from the snowy mountain tops surrounding the place. Our next stop was Losar, and according to the hosts in Batal, the roads were to become way better beyond Losar heading towards Kaza.
We started our journey on 25th June, 2017. One can go to Chandra Taal by two ways, either from Manali or from Shimla. The buses are easily available for both Shimla as well as Manali from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Also, one can book buses from HRTC online website as well as from Redbus or Paytm. However, I would recommend to go by HRTC as sometimes private buses get cancelled.
We took the Manali route. It is a long journey of 15-16 hours from Delhi. So, I would recommend to take a comfortable volvo for a smooth ride.We reached Manali by 2 pm on the next day. We had already booked a hotel at Vashisht which is 3km from the Bus stand. We chilled in Vashisht on that day exploring the famous Vashisht temple where hot spring is there.We booked a cab from Manali on per seat basis to Batal. The best way to explore Manali and nearby areas including Spiti valley is by bike, but the rentals here are not that good. So, a personal vehicle is highly recommended.Things to do-1. If you wish to go to Rohtang pass or Spiti or Leh, then get a permit online in advance.2. The rentals are costly as well as have various conditions such as they rent bike minimum for 4 days and minimum 3 bikes and other conditions varying from person to person.3. The best way for a budget trip is to take a HRTC bus to BATAL and do trekking from Batal. The bus leaves early in the morning around 5-6 am.4. If you miss your bus, then go to Hotel Kiran near SBI bank. You can get a seat in a cab. All other options will be costlier. One must visit place is old Manali. It is 2-3 kms walk from the mall road and calm and peaceful place to hangout with friends. There are awesome riverside cafes where you can enjoy your soup or drink.Cafe 1947
On day 3, we started early morning to Batal. Batal is good 120 km from Manali. It is advised to leave Manali by 6 in the morning because there is heavy jam at Rohtang pass crossing. Once you cross the checkpoint, there is a smooth and scenic ride for the next 30 km. After that the treacherous as well as adventurous ride started which lasted for 4 hours. Literally there is no road and the car moves entirely on kutcha road which are made worse by the nallahs. So, amateur riders are not at all advised and even experienced rider should consider wearing all the guards. Raincoat is a must as the weather is quite unpredictable.
A glimpse of the kind of road After we reached Batal, we had our lunch at the Chandra Taal Dhaba run by Batal Chacha and Chachi. The food was delicious. The camp for Chandra Taal is around 8 km from here. We started our trekking at around 5. We were lucky that we got another cab ride which was going to the camping site itself. It was a joyous ride in an open jeep. We reached the camp and stayed there at the Tanzing camp. The guy is good and provided good service. The per head cost for stay as well as dinner and breakfast was Rs 1000.
Our tent We started trekking to Chadra Taal early in the morning at around 5 am. At this time of the season, there is sufficient light at 5:30 in the morning, so no torches were required. We reached the lake in an hour or so. Finally we were on our destination. The journey to it was hard and tiresome but it was worth it. The calm and serene view of the lake made us forget all our tiredness. We stayed there for a good half an hour, clicked some photographs and then returned to the camp.
Lake Chandra TaalAfter having a breakfast of bread toast and a cup of tea we were on our way again by 8:30 and walked all the way down to Batal and had some light food at Batal chacha again. We took a ride back to Manali in a local traveller bus. It was a whole family which was going from Spiti to Keylong on a marriage ceremony. The driver agreed to drop us in the midway from where we could get the other bus. We interacted with the local people and they were very cool singing and dancing all the way on the local songs which we didn't understand a word. They also offered us food and local beer(desi) called Chung. I didn't like the food but beer was awesome.
In the last 3-4 kms of the trek you can see the Chandrataal Lake , Camping Sites from above , so it actually acts as a constant source of motivation. The trails directly takes you to Chandrataal - the turquoise blue lake. Words aren't enough to appreciate the beauty of Chandrataal , that's one of the most beautiful lakes in India. The circumference of the lake is around 2.4 kms , you can take a walk around if you wish. You can stay at the lake upto 7:30 PM , after that get ready to be hounded by the local police.
Stay: Chandratal campsDay 8: Chandratal - Rohtang la - Manali Distance & Duration: nearly 140 Kms ( 6 hrs)
The roads gets better ( metal roads ) only before 20 kms from reaching Kaza .
This is where we start experiencing the true ladakh region & its culture, Ladakh has its hidden lakes which is a world in itself
Day 9 – Rumtse to Tso Moriri Tso Moriri is at an altitude of 4,522 m (14,836 ft). It is the largest of the high altitude lakes entirely within India and entirely within Ladakh in this Trans-Himalayan bio geographic region. The official name of the land and water reserve here is the Tso Moriri Wetland Conservation Reserve. The road from Rumtse to Tso Moriri takes us through Chumathang. Tso Moriri is smaller than Pangong Tso and fewer people come here, it is more beautiful in some ways due to the fact that area surrounding Tso Moriri is a wild life reserve and one can see Tibetan wild ass (Kiang), marmots, red foxes and quite a few migratory birds.
Officially known as the Tsomoriri Wetland Conservation Reserve, this part of Ladakh is known as the Trans-Himalayan biogeographic region. The unique variety of flora and fauna around the massive lake is now a reserve where the Indian Wildlife Association has set up base for research and study purposes. Tucked amidst the cold desert of Ladakh, this high altitude lake in India is a sheer spectacle to behold.
Pangong Tso to tso moririIn the early morning we had first look of such a beautiful lake. Water is so cleared that due to reflection of sky water gets different color during the day time. As sun rises above water starts turning blue, purple. You don’t get any network here and now onward on this route. Not even proper roads, humans, animals. You only find some horses, small grass, trail roads and you. Someplace you find small villages and greenery. At this kind of remote place best thing is to ask every local you see on the way about the road ahead. We passed the chusul, the nearest place to china boarder. From there you go through nyoma. From there if you want to go to hanley then take the nyoma bridge otherwise continue on same road. You can ask the person who is there at checkpost here. But generally they are not locals so they don’t know the roads here. We didn’t go to hanley as we were very tired and today was also ending. So we decided to go to tsomoriri lake via sumdho. Distance from pangong to tso moriri is not much but due to very rough road it took almost whole day to reach tsomoriri. We took the hotel for 1500 bucks. It was damp cold in night here.
Day 8: Leh – Tso Moriri (4th Aug 16)After yesterdays entertaining session which went unto 2 in the morning, became the cause for us to be delayed by at least 1.30 hours. Another fact added to this was, this being our last day in Leh we had to pack our stuff in a way that we won’t need our luggage to be taken out completely over the course of next two days.Finally we left around 9.30 AM. Since our trip to Thiksey Monastery on evening before, we came back quite late into Leh and main thing which many of wanted to buy, “Apricots” we couldn’t find anywhere since all the shops were closed. So we asked Rigzin if he knew of any place where we can buy some good quality of Apricots, being Rigzin he knew one such shop located in a corner of a market which would give us opportunity to make the purchase. We spent close to 30 mins there since there was so much variety of Dry Fruits and we were busy tasting them all :-P, breakfast before the actual breakfast :-D.We finally bid our goodbye to this beautiful town and many of us were already making plans for their next trip here. We started on Manali Leh Highway towards Tso Moriri, our next destination. There weren’t many places we had to visit enroute so our first stop was Karu where we took a halt for breakfast. It was already close to 11.30 AM so we decided to make it a combination of good amount of breakfast which included Various Paranthas, French toast, Bread Toast with Tea, Omelettes. We also had to make arrangements for the cash which would be needed over next 3 days inclusive of payment for Car that we were hiring. Thank god we weren’t looted somewhere, would have been a good bounty if we were. After this we took the Leh – Manali until Upshi where we had to take left road which heads to Chumathang, Chumur and the one on the right is Manali highway. The road initially was in excellent condition so we were excited that our this outing is going to be a good affair which proved to be delusion as BRO had just started the work on this stretch of road so it was nothing but rocks everywhere, one thing however I would like to note is that although the roads are not in best of shapes as of now but Indus flows right next to you and the region is beautiful, so even though the ride is slow one you enjoy every bit of it. Views are bit different than what you see while going to Khardung La or Chang La, the rock formation here is completely different. At certain point when we were stopping for nature breaks or photo breaks, we took some rocks in hand, these are as if you are taking a piece of wood which would break if you apply little extra pressure. The colours however were fantastic, different purplish tints could be clearly visible. At one point we could see a kind of Rainbow of colours on the mountain. The entire mountain was rainbow coloured.We continued till Kiari, once we had passed that there was blasting site which was being cleared by BRO guys. If anyone for whom I grew respect on this trip was BRO, absolutely mind boggling work that these men and women are doing. We had to stop there for 30 mins before we were allowed to move forward and you know no driver honked for them move aside. Imagine this happening in any other city, there would be chaos within 5 mins. But in this border region, I have come across almost all drivers waiting patiently for their turn to pass, giving way to other vehicles before making a try pass themselves. Commendable job guys. It was soon after this we reached Chumathang where we stopped to visit the Hot Water Springs, In cold climate outside the water in origin of springs was probably boiling at 70 to 80 degrees. We checked with others whether all wanted to take a break for lunch or head to Tso Moriri directly. We did have a good breakfast in the morning so no one was that hungry and also we wanted to make it to Tso Moriri in daylight so we could visit some places there. The road after Chumathand until Mahe Bridge is a visual treat, Black Tarmac with side stripes, a mountain on one side of the road and Indus flowing on the other side..wow simply superb.We soon reached Mahe bridge where we had to take right to go towards Tso Moriri and the road going straight heads to Nyoma and China boarder later. You are not allowed to take photographs at Mahe Bridge not sure why. We crossed it and started to Korzok. The Area after you cross Mahe Bridge comes under Tsomoriri Wetland Conservation Reserve. Many times after you have crossed Mahe Bridge, a small vollage appears consisting about 15-20 households, fields, and white homes as we were haggling our way through the terrain. It took around 1.30 hours when we reached Kyagar Tso, which appeared out of nowhere. By then surroundings had started to change from barren land to more visible greener fields. Kyagar Tso itself is an emerald colours lake. After navigating for few more Kms we finally reached Tso Moriri. The first look at this lake was altogether a different experience. In Pangong Tso, only the Lake is beautiful and not so the area around it but here in Tso Moriri it’s a complete package with snow capped mountains right next to the lake, the whole area looks more beautiful than ever. By the time we reached Korzok, we were super hungry and the camp restaurant presented good option to fill our stomachs. Before that, our earlier planned place of stay Crane Guesthouse was full due to on-going Korzok festival. This lead me to another place about which I had read earlier, Goose Homestay. I had read very positive reviews about the place but I am afraid it is not the case anymore. I suppose the condition has deteriorated over course of last few years. We shared single bath room between us 6 and 3 other groups of foreigners which had 4 people each. But you know we didn’t have much to complain since we had planned to leave Tso Moriri by 4 AM next day in order to reach Manali on the same day instead of making a night stay at Jispa and move to Manali on 6th as per earlier plan. And another thing was, this is probably the remotest place one ever visits in normal travel plan so this was something to be expected.Anyways, we checked in there and went to Camp Restaurant to eat something. Again, Maggie, Yipee and some tea we had there. Rigzin asked us to get fresh and be out of again so that we can explore further. One thing we missed is going into the actual lake since we came pretty late here and now only option for us to go near the mountain to capture late evening views of the lake from above. Mighty mountains, snow capped peaks, lush green fields and the deep blue water stretching to the horizon, Tso Moriri offers it all. The wind picked speed as the sun set, Rigzin had already warned us about this so we were ready with jackets to negate the effects of cold winds. After spending about 30 minutes here we headed back to our homestay, had a not so great dinner and went to sleep around 9.30 so that we could get up early as 4 AM next day and leave for Manali. Here again I was not able to sleep. I probably slept for an hour at max combining all small naps.
Next, we visited Tso Moriri; it was a “masterpiece” to say the least – seemed as if the nature had come alive. Looked like it had been craftily designed by “God” himself and been designated the duty of being a mirror to the rustic mountains that stood in the background; the majestic mountains in turn optimally utilizing the gift bestowed upon it so as to look eternally “perfect” – the right amount of snow covering its head and perfectly shaped clouds hovering over it – just the right combination, always.We reached Tso Moriri around noon; did not have much time to spend here as we had to reach Tsokar the same evening. Unlike Pangong, there weren’t any camps close to the shore of the lake. The sun was shining bright with a gentle breeze blowing in the area - a combination that rendered the weather just “perfect”! As we went close to the lake, the splendid view left us all dumbstruck. The water was crystal clear – the small and large pebbles forming the bed of the lake were clearly visible, so were the tiny fish floating in the water. We sat on the banks of the lake gazing at the idyllic beauty; few of us throwing pebbles at it and watching as it responded back through multiple ripples on its otherwise pristine and still water.
Day 10 - Finally, it was the day when we said our goodbyes to Leh and its nipping warmth, as we were leaving for Tsomoriri Lake which was a 220 kms long journey towards the south-east of Leh. We left early in the morning at 7 and reached Tsomoriri by around 3 in the afternoon. Even though we reached a bit earlier in the day Tsomoriri was kind of a let-down due to all the government prohibitions of going near the lake due to the time period being good for the migratory birds to lay their eggs along the banks of the fresh water lake. The staying options in Tsomoriri are very less and we were lucky enough to find a very comfortable and warm home-stay in the little village above the lake. The evening became chillier than ever and that forced us to being inside the home-stay and sit down with the locals and enjoy their wonderful food and warmth.
Still reeling under the absolute pure beauty of Pangong, next morning we took off for Tso Moriri. On our way, Nawang ji narrated an interesting anecdote about why the lake was called so. Apparently, once upon a time, a shepherdess owned a yak named Mo, which got lost at the lake one day. She kept shouting ‘riri’ (a call to action for yaks, just like its ‘ch ch’ for dogs!), calling out to it, and hoping it would come back. Not too sure if it finally did, but it definitely gave the lake a name.Tso Moriri is the highest lake in the Himalayan region (15,075 feet) entirely belonging to India. While Pangong has become more popular in the last few years, because of its easy accessibility, it is Tso Moriri which is a rare combination of everything that you would want in a perfect scenery painting – blue skies, fluffy clouds, snow capped peaks, brown barren mountains, lush green fields, bright sunshine & unbelievably blue waters. The entire experience there was no less than the Swiss Alps. Due to its height, the conditions are harsher & therefore still untapped by commercialization.From our experiences at two camps already, we thought we were all prepared & knew exactly what to expect till the owner of the camp handed over hot water bags to each one of us & said ‘you will need this’! The place gets insanely cold at night with the temperatures falling & the rarified air making it even tougher to sustain.Back at the camp, dinner was served by 8pm & we were expected to be in bed soon as any kind of electricity was allowed only till 11pm. From our experiences at two camps already, we thought we were all prepared & knew exactly what to expect till the owner of the camp handed over hot water bags to each one of us & said ‘you will need this’! The place gets insanely cold at night with the temperatures falling & the rarified air making it even tougher to sustain. There we were, wrapped up under our very thick blankets trying to be as snug as possible relying totally on the hot water bag & praying it will keep us warm through the night.
Tso Moriri: My personal favorite! Tso Moriri is worth all the trouble you have to take to reach here! Nagging travel mates, dusty roads, travel sickness.. Tso Moriri is worth all of it and even more! The mighty, endless and mesmerizing blue waters surrounded by snow capped mountains compel you to fall in love with them! You would want to stay there forever and live the peaceful Tibetan life witnessing this visual marvel. Spending a night here is highly recommended! When at Tso Moriri.. Don’t bother clicking pictures or updating snap stories.. I urge you to soak in the Moriri! I still find myself surrounded by the pristine blue waters in my memories often. This place casts a spell on you! Let it do the magic, you are going to love it!
Next day, we had plans for Tso moriri Lake. Tso moriri is a lake in the Changthang area in Jammu and Kashmir. The lake is at an altitude of 4,595 m (15,075 ft), it is the largest of the high altitude lakes in the Trans-Himalayan biogeography region, entirely within India. The lake sits between Ladakh, India to the North, Tibet to the east and Zanskar in the west. The lake is oligotrophic in nature, and its waters are alkaline. The lake is located to the southeast of Leh at a road distance of 240 kilometers. We reached Tso moriri directly from Leh via Upshi and it was a journey that we never forget. After Leh and Karu there are no petrol pumps in the area so carrying enough fuel is necessary. In that route we faced lots of challenges. The route especially when one is near to the lake is quite challenging but the lake is simply very beautiful it has one more specialty that a very beautiful bird known as Rajhans which is only seen there and Kailash Mansarovar china out of whole world . There was also another beautiful lake on the route. We reached there around 7.30 PM. We stayed there for a night at KORZOK. It was completely a home stay and the hospitality was inexpressible.I do not know how can I express my feelings about the beauty but I will request to all try to visit at least once in a life.August 22,2014
We drove for approx. 6 hours before we reached our camps (Tso-Morriri Resorts and camps). This lake is totally a gem to visit. Beautiful…Beautiful…Beautiful. The journey is surely tiresome but once you see the lake, everything is worth. The panoramic view of the Lake is amazing with Turquoise colored water.
Solang should always make it to the top of your places to visit when in Manali list. The valley presents one with some stunning views of snow covered mountains, glaciers and dense forests. If you are game for some adventure sports then please try paragliding or skiing when you are here. If you decide to bring along the kids, they can indulge in horse riding or zorbing to keep themselves busy here. The place is filled with spots that are ideal for picnics, so one should pack a basket and go on one. Solang is dotted with shops that sell delicious local food to satiate the hunger pangs.
Known as snow point, for its surrounding view of snow capped mountains and glaciers. The destination in Himachal Pradesh for paragliding, zorbing, skiing or taking a ride on the 300m ski lift. If your hungry do not expect anything other than maggi and eggs/tea or coffee, with the other option of buying the retail chips and aerated drink bottles.
Solang valley offers the view of glaciers and snow capped mountains and peaks. Sking and Paragliding are two main activities are organised here. Apart from this many other adventure sports are available like Zorbing, Horse riding & Snow Motor Bikes riding etc.
You’ll grab on to your dear life as the cold wind attempts to freeze your face off on the rickety ATV that carries you to the Solang Valley. You’ll step onto that fresh layer of snow leave the first muddy footprints of the day if you are early enough. You’ll forget to feel cold and feel humbled and exhilarated as the mountains tower over you. Women adorned in Pattu (traditional dress of Manali) will huddle around you and ask you to pose like Madhuri Dixit in Dil To Pagal Hain while they photograph you. Donkeys carrying huffing tourists are fed carrots by curious foreigners and first time skiers attempt to not embarrass themselves in Solang Valley. Honeymooners ask passers-by to take photographs of them and thrill-seeking adventurers scream themselves hoarse while paragliding. Solang Valley is the biggest tourist attraction in Manali and it has its reasons.
This place was probably the best in the whole trip.For someone whose not seen snow,me this place was heaven. The place is easily accessible and the only activities here are skiing and cable car. Either of em are over rated. What we did is we trekked towards the snow here towards the tree cover. There is a small stream passing through the valley and it makes for a good 3-4 trek.
Solang Valley is a small town in itself, crafted especially for the adventure-seeker. From its Gondolas to its ski slopes and the fast flowing rapids, there's no reason to not indulge. The adventure begins here!
Solang valley was scheduled on the second day with great enthusiast to enjoy the ice, to slide on Snow and to enjoy the adventures it holds. Beauty with adventure always makes me speechless, and Solang valley is the same. I know this is the thing made Solang Valley is one among biggest tourist attraction in Manali. Nothing to say about those giant slopes, they are to enjoy, not to explain.
Once the bike was hired, we headed for Solang Valley, keeping in view the time and distance. The uphill ride was quite an experience and the surroundings were spectacular. Even though it is famous for winter sports, summers too are equally captivating in this small but attractive resort town.
Being the Gentleman he was, he booked the day’s drive in a cab and we went all the way to Solang valley. The views were so picturesque, no amount of time seemed enough there. Since I was short on budget, I did not feel up for any adventure sports but he convinced me. I distinctly remember how he told me that what I’m really gonna remember about this trip is the things I do and the fun I experience, not the food, not the clothes, and not anything else. He also asked me to try and overcome my fear of heights. So we both agreed to try paragliding for which we first took a cable car up the hill and waited for our turn.
Almost after 4 days, she received a call from one of her nomad friends who insisted her to explore Solang valley and try doing snow trek to Anjani Mahadev. Upon insistence, she decided to get information about the place. With the help of few blogs, she learnt that Anjani Mahadev, famous for its natural icy formation of shivling also locally known as mini-Amarnath.
Paragliding in Solang Valley is an experience you absolutely cannot miss as you will literally be on cloud nine.
The day was half past, and we had to move to the adventurers' pilgrimage, The Solang Valley. Popularly known as The Adventure Valley, Solang provides numerous adventure activities like Paragliding, Skiing, Skate Boarding etc. However there is no snow in the month of April, so we were left only with Paragliding and Cable Car Ropeway.
Day 8 we wake up early in the morning had breakfast in hotel and headed to solang valley. (Note: Private vehicle is not Allowed you have to Hire Vehicle). A day before we already hired cab for solang valley cab driver is very nice and friendly his Name is Amit is localite. You can also hire him he's mobile no +919817186330. we Leave the manali in early morning for Solang valley. It is a side valley at the top of the Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh, India 14 km northwest of the resort town Manali . its favorite for adventure enthusiasts, Parachuting to paragliding, horse riding, fancy photography are the other attractions that keeps a tourist engaged and maintains a fair like atmosphere in the valley throughout the day. The best part about Solang Valley is that it is an all season place. Visiting Solang, hence depends on your purpose. (I Recommended when u go to solang valley u can rent Gears like Jackets, gloves and Ice skating Shoes) There is many shops on the route between Manali and Solang valley after lots of enjoyment we back to the town. After 2 hours of rest we headed Manu temple This magnificent temple is dedicated to the sage Manu, who is said to be the creator of the world and the writer of Manusmriti. The Manu Temple is located in old Manali, at a distance of three kilometers from the main market. Though this area is quite congested, the presence of the River Beas adds to its attraction. The temple is one of the prime attractions in Manali and is believed to be the same place where sage Manu meditated after stepping on earth. Than we are back to mall road and had a dinner after that back to hotel because next day we have to leave.
With the sky painted in cerulean blue and colourful paragliders joyfully gliding all around, this is a valley of absolute bliss. 14kms from Manali, away from the touristy chaos, on the western bank of Beas River, it’s a perfect spot to roll down the hill in an orb. Tents are available on rent during the summers, a perfect time to set your eyes at the apple orchards or view the valley 8500 ft above sea level from the ropeway.Best time to visit: December to February
I woke up to 7 degrees. The snow white mountains were turning golden and the view was just rejuvenating. The next in the list was Solang valley. We headed there and found out that it was tourist favorite spot. Too crowded. Not my place. Again we started hiking somewhere on the mountains to discover new valleys and we were successful in finding some.
The trek commenced from the silent village and it saw me fall down gathering energy supplement (which I dropped) within the first forty minutes. I was bruised a little bit but was seen by nobody by chance even in the group of seventeen as I landed in the middle of the lead group and the lag group. I hid my bruises and with firm determination continued the trek.
This Ladakh-like terrain, nestled in high Himalayan mountains is another Tibetan Buddhist-culture influenced land. Often referred to as the 'Middle Land', the valley is home – and proudly so – to some of the oldest monasteries in the world. With very few tourists having the courage to tread to this remote valley and even fewer villages scattered in this jagged terrain, Spiti retains its picturesque landscape. Prospering in absolute silence, the valley can be approached from Manali via Kunzum Pass from mid-June to mid-October, or by road through Shimla-Kinnaur Valley a.k.a. Hindustan–Tibet Highway, which stays open all round the year – except when it is temporarily closed down during snowfall in winters or landslides during monsoons.
Did I land on the moon ? If you visit Spiti you are bound to get that thought ! And then it dawned upon me.. this place seems so out of this world ... because it actually is from a different world... 40 to 50 million years ago all this was under water... apparently Spiti valley was the river bed of Tethys in pre historic time, till the plates clashed and our Himalayas rose up.... Young fold mountains... yeah.. this was definitely back to school... And then  it hits you.. this is how it looked under water... lime stone formation, sand and gravel, sealife fossils, seabuckthorn berry with omega acid and vitamin u get in fishes... Wow .. all at 16000 ft !!I am walking on mountain or under water ...
Spiti, a district in Himachal Pradesh is one of the unexplored paradise of India.It is a land of harmony between people and wildlife where people greet you with 'Juley' and a beautiful smile.This isolated land of amazing amalgamation of mountains and river is a beauty worth watching.Even if I have returned,this place is my favourite escape (mentally) whenever I need to relax my soul.Take a chance. Take this trip.
Spiti is a paradise in day light and magic at night.When sun bid adieu to this place, stars come around to ornate its beauty.Wondrous galaxies you can watch all night, refusing to sleep despite fatigue.It is a sight worth watching. No money can give as much happiness as being close to nature.
We were to explore " Spiti" - ‘a world within a world' as described by Rudyard Kipling (of ‘Kim' fame) - is a relatively unknown world, tucked away in the Trans-Himalayan belt of Himachal Pradesh. Spiti Valley is a desert mountain valley located high in the Himalaya mountains in the north-eastern part of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The name "Spiti" means "The Middle Land", i.e. the land between Tibet and IndiaThe lowest point in the valley is 11,000ft and many villages lie as high as 14,000ft. The average elevation of the mountain ranges is over 18,000ft. Spiti is poor in cultivatable land. Over the centuries, man and yak have endeavored to scratch out less than one thousand hectares in isolated patches on the flats above the silver Spiti River.There is plenty of water in the rivers below and the glaciers above, but the searing flats are as dry as the valleys of the moon. Spiti receive some heavy showers fall but the rainfall is invariably insufficient to have any beneficial effect on the growth of crops or grass. The winter snow soon evaporates once the summer sun begins to scorch the valley.With almost no rain but abundant snow-fall, Spiti is a land of fascinating contrasts – shocks of green alternating in a barren expanse of russet. The dry harsh climate, high altitude, lack of communications and the poverty of the land, all cumulatively, make life hard in the extreme. The searing heat in the sun, the extreme cold in the shade and the freezing temperature during the night turn sand particles into micro fine dust of countless hues whirling and floating in air on the slightest agitation.The Journey of this valley has taken us through the surrealism, an adventure worth every penny or even more..Continuing the travel from Kinnaur Valley further days went in exploring Lahual & Spiti Valley.Day 4: Kalpa-Pooh-Khab-Nako-ChangoDistance: 120 KmsTravel time:9 hrs
There is a time for everything, however much you may try to change it. With my backpack set to reach Spiti I was waiting for a few days ready to board a bus. As destiny would have it, I ended up getting a ride with folks set to Spiti in a 4 by 4 drive. Going to Spiti in a public transport means you are restricted to a few jeeps/tempos which run not so frequently through the valley so I was happy to get the ride. Leaving the plains and the heat behind we reached Narkanda, breathing fresh air with rain pouring in making the forest smell fresher. Narkanda is an orchard belt, housing the richest farmers of the county growing the best apples.We intended to stay at Tethys, as it was full, we ended up staying at a small guest house.
After all we were in Spiti Valley. We could see the landscapes painted by nature itself. In a while we started rolling again and stopped at Losar for security check and a brief lunch. That’s where the welcome board to Spiti Valley was put as the civilization starts from that village. There were proper constructed roads from there and what we witnessed while riding through the valley was something that could only be seen in dreams, in fact even better
The spellbinding Spiti Valley, located in Himachal Pradesh in India, is often proclaimed by those who see it as a world within a world.
Show me a person who doesn't want to visit Spiti and I'll show you a liar. Literally meaning "the land between Tibet and India", Spiti is the holy grail of backpacking with thousands of solo travellers thronging to this sparsely populated valley in Himachal Pradesh every year in order to witness nature's beauty in its purest form. With hordes of exotic monasteries in the area, the valley is a haven for people seeking a break from the mundane drudgeries of life to dive into the realm of peace and spiritualism.Must do while here: Visit the Dhankar Monastery. Stay at a local's house in the village.For more details, read this.Have you been to any of the mentioned places? Where are you heading to next? Let us know in the comments' section below. Or share your review of your favourite destination for solo travel in India.
"Spiti Valley for some reason is not as well known as Leh of Ladakh district in J&K. Any time I told someone that I am heading to Spiti for a month, they gave me “where the hell is that?” look. That people are unaware of this amazing place nestled in the hills of Himachal Pradesh was both a relief and a treat because it obviously meant lesser crowds. While Leh is a luxury in the world of road trippers who seek seamless roads for pleasurable driving, roads to Kaza (especially from Manali) are anything but that!" – Kanika GuptaRead – Unlocking the Godly Sights of Spiti from Kaza to Kibber to Kye by Kankika Gupta
The bunch of small villages that you need to cross by in between, hold their own charm and have some hidden treasures that are beyond our imagination. You need to be there once to believe such heavenly places do exist on our earth. Spiti and Lahaul are remote Himalayan destinations with some dangerous rocky terrains, dreamy landscapes, enchanting river valleys, stunning lakes, starry skies with millions of shooting stars, and are also home to some of the oldest Buddhist monasteries. It looks like God has dedicated all of his attention to creating a place this beautiful and serene.
Visit Dhankar Monastery and Dhankar Lake and leave after early lunchEnjoy the magnificent vistas all dayTraverse the Pin Valley | Kungri – Sagnam – Mud – TailingAbout 4 – 5 Hrs of drive in the dayOvernight at Mud Village in Pin ValleyDay 6 | Pin Valley – Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang – Kaza
Today visit the road less travelled or off beat places near KazaGreat view of Chau Chau Kang Nelda peak from LangzaStatue of the Buddha near Langza looking down the valleyTanggyud monastery at Komik, is one of the most important and the highest monastery in the Spiti ValleyYou can move to Losar if you would like to stay away from hustle bustle of KazaAbout 2 – 3 Hrs of drive in the day excluding LosarIf planning to go to Losar, Enjoy the most scenic drive of entire Spiti Valley between Losar and Kaza at an easy paceAbout 2 – 2.5 Hrs drive between Losar and Kaza, depending upon the breaks you take in betweenOvernight at Kaza or LosarDay 8 | Kaza / Losar – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal / Battal
People in Spiti are so affectionate and generous that they never let me go without a cup of tea and a mandatory question, 'itni thand me kya karne aagye?'. I used to tell them the whole story and they used to share their life experiences in such harsh conditions.
The mesmerizing Spiti Valley is the best place in India for adventure trip as it is located in remote Himachal Pradesh that is often proclaimed as the world on its own. The Spiti Valley is known as best adventure place as it is positioned at an average height of around 12,500 feet above sea level and it comprises of high-altitude alpine land. The land embraces small villages and monasteries together with High Mountain covered with snow. You can spend adventure vacations by doing activities like trekking, yak safaris from one village to another, wildlife tracking, white water rafting and mountain biking. This way you can better explore India without going for overseas adventure travel. 3. North East India
More stories coming ❤️ You can watch new video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kby-E1WNLN0 of Snowstorm in Kibber Gette Tashigang. Don't forget to share it with adventure enthusiasts. #videodiaries #dhangkar #itisinthename #prakritivarshney @tripotocommunity
Spiti Winter Adventure in January. A dangerous road trip to Spiti. Himachal Pradesh's Spiti district is essentially a summer destination, but if you're looking for a heady high altitude winter road trip with lots of ice and snow driving.See how we have waited for the road to be cleared and finally thats how we cleaned the road. Watch this breathtaking Winter road adventure in Spiti Valley. Just look at the beauty of this place. Simply amazing. #travel #spiti #spitivalley #adventure #travelogue #roadtrip
In this video, I've documented a summary of my experiences on this epic journey.
Kheerganga, I fall short of words to describe the beauty, peace, serenity and tranquillity of the place, it’s around 15kms trek from Barsheni, beautiful meadow, surrounded by Snow clad mountains at approx 3000mts.Hot Spring and Star Gazing must do!!
Amazing Hot Water Spring.
October 24, 2015: On the second day, we had planned to go for the Kheerganga Trek (12km). This was my first ever trek. Being the most lazy person, this trek was a challenge. We geared up with all our essentials and headed to Barshaini, the starting point of the trek. We warmed up a little before starting our journey on foot. First 2-3km was not hard. After a while we entered to this view of lush green pines all around and I had my first encounter with the Himalayas. The view was breathtaking. Though my legs were tired of climbing, but something about the place kept me going. I forgot why I took this trip in the first place. Looking at the mountains and the beautiful trail ahead, I introspected and accepted the fact that while you're growing up you will make some friends and lose some. You can't keep blaming yourself for whatever happens. You just need to close that chapter and start a new one. And here I was, making new friends in the laps of The Himalayas.
Till now I have covered few places all of them though is a must visit but one most recent and memorable adventurous trip was to Kasol. Famously known as hippes paradise, heaven for few and many more names. Few people may feel like it does not have much places for sightseeing,but what it has is special, a serenity, a calmness, relaxed and laid back atmosphere. Not every place needs to have it all type , some just attract people through its simplicity. My travel to kasol was kind of relaxing and refreshing. I travelled with my friends. Kheerganga a very known place in kasol is famous for its rough and adventurous trek but what you experience when you reach the top is my friend what travel is about. Reaching top feels like an accomplishment , gives you happiness and to be honest the happiness cannot be much described in words.Camping, it was my first camping experience also, after a difficult trek we were a bit tired we went to pamper us a bit????. At the hill top there was this place for steam bath. We had a very relaxing time and then returned to our camps. We played cards had an amazing time singing laughing playing what else is needed. At night the place was even more amazing. It was raining not heavily but yes even the rain drops their gives a different experience . The more I stayed and enjoyed the weather the more I feel connected to the place.
I woke up around 7:00 am and had a cup of tea. After freshen up,i went to hot water spring with other companions (which i met during trekking upside). Thats the one of the best thing happened to any traveler. Water is very hot and very relaxing . i sat over there for around 1 hour and then visited kartika cave . They have closed it as there are few incident happened .
Kheerganga is located at a height of 13,051 feet above sea-level (3978 m) and trekking starts from Barshaini. We took a cab early morning from Kasol to Barshaini (Fare Rs700). Had our breakfast in a small cafe run by two very amicable ladies and their paranthas prepared in kadhai are simply awesome. Best paranthas I had in Kasol.And finally we started trekking. Trek can be quite challenging as its full of steep climbs on narrow trails. It takes around 4 hrs to reach the top.There will be around 3-4 halts in the trek, which are nothing but small cafes setups serving tea, maggie, momos, water bottles and more.After reaching mid-way, there is a huge mighty waterfall alongside a hanging wooden bridge with no railings at all. Once you cross it, the rest of the trek is straight dead steep climb with no patches of down slopes. That’s the most challenging part of the trek. On reaching the top, its lush green somewhat plain terrain with ice scattered all around in the background. Trek was finally over, we breathed a sigh of relief.One can easily complete the trek without the need of guides and sherpas. During the trek, you will cross a couple of villages where you will come across kids selling wooden sticks for a comfortable trek. Also, horses carrying goods up and down the path. That’s how a water bottle cost goes up to 50 rupees at the top, which is justified actually.On the top, one can find accommodation in common big tents with multiple mattresses placed and also angethis to keep the enclosure warm. Here, multiple groups can be seen ordering meals and taking rest. Also available are few rooms in a guest house, private rooms built with wooden walls and tin roofs. But our experience was not very pleasant with the room here as during the nigh, cold weather made us realize what small gaps between the constructed wooden walls can do with 3-4 layers of blankets on. However, cost was just 200/person which includes dinner and morning tea. They served rajma rice of good standard in dinner and black tea in the morning, black tea surprisingly tasted good and perfect to start a cold morning. Night experience was good, caretaker himself would call out all the travelers staying to a common place in open where one can find utensils and then you stand in a short queue in front of kitchen. And then you see groups dining near bonfire, some playing instruments and singing. Dining this way felt more authentic and close to nature. This place fills up fast no wonder.
It is an ideal destination for backpackers, trekkers, nature lover and adventure enthusiasts because of Kheerganga’s scenic beauty, untouched mountains and great climate. Moreover, the abstract blend of shade, greenery, activity and tranquility in Kheerganga can yield concrete advantages for people like convincing them to appreciate and preserve the old-grown forests for future generations.
Located in the Parvati Valley of Kullu district just 22kms away from Manikaran, is a beautiful place called Kheer Ganga. This is the place where ‘Kartik Ji’, the elder son of ‘Lord Shiva’ remained in ‘samadhi’ for thousands of years while they stayed on earth. Kheer Ganga is not only popular for its hot springs, but also for the holy River Parvati that surrounds the virgin forests of this place and gushes down mischievously through the verdant forests. The valley offers some amazing landscapes, forests, streams and complete solace. Definitely a must visit for any mountain lover.
After an hour of a bumpy bus ride to the base point Barsheni and 4 hours of trek through the picturesque villages and some breathtaking views, we were finally at the Shiva's place i.e Kheerganga. After making our tent and having lunch we were set to go the most awaited place that would be taking our pain of the trek away, the hot water spring.After spending about 2 hours in the sulphur spring talking how heavenly it felt being there we came back to our tents. Campfire and cards below the million stars was the last thing we did before going to sleep.
A little trekking through the dense forests of the Kullu District will lead you to the amazing Kheerganga hot springs. The temperature of the springs here is lower than at Manikaran, but this is exactly what makes it worthy of a natural Jacuzzi. Just what you need after a long trek, it’s a natural spa. It attracts a lot of tourists from all over the world. Maybe it will attract you too..
Where: Situated in the Kullu District of Himachal, the Kheerganga Trek begins from Barshaini or Tosh. To reach Barshaini, take an overnight bus or train from Delhi to Bhuntar and then a taxi or local bus to Barshaini or Tosh.Route: The total distance of the trek is 15km and it is fairly easy in the first half. After you cross the first dhaba on the route, the trail gets steeper. The mid-point of the trek is Nakthan Village, which also a great place to stop. Definitely carry a raincoat, but a tent and cooking items are not essential since there are enough options to eat and stay at Kheerganga. A few metres from where the trek ends is a Shiv Temple with a hot water spring, which is a great place to unwind.Duration: 5-6 hours
The trek to Kheer Ganga is around 12 kilometeres from the base Barshaini. From the base, one way goes to Tosh and other to Kheer Ganga and Mantalai lake (the origin of Parvati river). There is a sweet shop (the only one), try Rasgullas of there, we just loved them.Also, a tip for the pros, just check out the trek of Mantalai lake, which is 82 kilometer from Barshaini each way, and that is definitely gonna be the next trek I would go on. Imagine trekking for 6 days straight, mostly alongside the river, or in the core jungle, sleeping in the tents, eating the minimal food available. This is my kind of trek I can say.Anyways back to the trek we actually went on. (:D)First 6 kilometers were easy. We had fun on the way, stopping wherever we wished to, clicking pictures and just laughing the hours away. After 6 kilometers, there were some cafes where we had our lunch. Try the daal and butter roti there, they serve it deliciously good. It was cold, but the day was sunny which I actually slept sunbathing in.
Kheerganga is nature's dual personality, personified. On one hand the air is freezing cold. But getting half naked in that weather is worth it when what awaits is an oasis of perfectly, naturally heated water that flows out of the mountain into a pool of sorts, to slowly ease away the aches and pains you have to endure to get there. It’s easy to lose track of where you are when you’re in 5-star comfort like that. I even began to wonder why the girls were taking so long to join us until I realised we were in a holy place and not some friends farmhouse Jacuzzi. The girls section is separate (favourable since my summer body was on winter break). However, all good things have to end and unfortunately, this ended with going back to the biting cold air outside the cosy water.
We started our trek with a hearty breakfast. The next stop we took was the Rudranag Waterfall. The beautiful waterfall was situated right next to a temple. After this the trek gets a tad bit difficult. We managed to reach the top with a good pace. On reaching, the view was incredible, we were surrounded by surreal mountains on all sides. With the help of our guides, we pitched our tents near the hot spring and took a relaxing bath. The water was amazing. I felt completely relaxed. My dad and I fell silent. The first dip in that boiling water was extremely peaceful. I roamed around, scouting for a location to take good photos of the night sky, and found that the place was completely packed. At least 50 people had no place to stay. They had to sleep in the restaurants and Cafes. As the sun went down right in between the mountains, creating different hues on the mountains that surrounded us, the real party started. Unfortunately I wasn't able to see the milky way but the Stars gave us a feeling that I can't possibly convert into words. But, our peace wasn't long-lived after a group of 'cool' 'men' decided to start a fire behind our tent. They were screaming and shouting at the top of their lungs. Alcohol made matters worse. I felt this weird rage inside myself which wanted to teach them a lesson but I decided otherwise. Kheer ganga is a HOLY place, a place of religious significance to many. Please do NOT disturb the sanctity of the place. It is not a lounge, not the best place to play loud music. But, the best part was the attitude of the locals. I talked to the locals and they too were hurt to see what was happening to their home. Ignoring those idiots, we sang prayers for a few hours and slepy in our tents.
Around 3:00 PM we started our trek and there was a sure chance of rain and we have to do trek in night which does not sound great. We were walking, resting for a while then again start walking. The roaring sound of a Parvati river can be easily heard through out the trek. And then Bridge over the river came and crossing that we are on another mountain. Crossing every milestone and walking on the correct path we reached Kheerganga in dark around 9:00 PM , tired, hungry , just want only sleep and food also chai….Night in Kheerganga was so different then we expected, it was surrounded by the snow-capped mountains and songs like “bum bum bhole” were the only sound in the valley, people were chilling, rolling joints, drinking… but we can`t enjoy our night due to our tiredness.
Finally, we reached the top of Kheer Ganga trek and we had accomplished the alluring view of the Parvati Valley. The feeling was different and all the dialogues just came as a flash in the mind (main bhagna chahta hoon, main girna bhi chahta hu bas rukna ni chahta naina.....). The happiness was just relaxing and view just vanished all the fatigue of trekking. It was refreshing and enthusiasm was at its peak at that time.What happened next will be continued in next part......"Life is full of surprises , why not surprise life with such accomplishments.Doing things you want to do will always lead you to happiness and a better life."
For those who are interested in Buddhism and its teachings, a visit to the Dhankar Monastery is a must. Situated on top of a hill above the village of Dhankar, this monastery has many caves for one to meditate in, a museum that houses Buddhist artifacts and a library as well. The Dhankar village lies on the confluence of the Rivers Spiti and Pin and has been labeled as an endangered sight out of 100 such places by the World Monument Funds.
The expanse of the snaking rivers shrouded around endless barren mountain land, stretched like the blue-grey veins in the monk’s hand (at Dhankar), is one such moment that I add to my bag of memories that already has a star-spangled Kaza night snuggled up with my family…
A place not to miss in Spiti is the most beautiful Dhankar village, which can be reached by a shared cab from Kaza in about 2 hours. Dhankar fort, monastery and lake are the primary attractions in the village. But what makes this village unique is its odd shaped cliffs, that add so much beauty and character to the skyline of this village. Homestays are easily available and dal chawal will be served hot with a lot of love. Chatting with the locals about culture, movies and politics, you realize that they are updated about most current affairs of the country, despite being cut off by electricity and internet.
32 kilometers downstream from Kaza village, Dhankar Gompa at 12, 774 feet is a village between Tabo and Kaza. The Dhankar monastery is considered to be 1200 years old(The oldest monastery of the valley) and is built on a 1000 foot(300 meter) high cliff. Hence the name-Dhang(cliff)-kar(fort) The biggest reason to visit this site is because in 2006, The World Monuments Fund listed Dhankar Gompa under the 100 most endangered sites in the world.
It was my 5th day since I left my home, and I was adapting to high altitude and long continues drives and random sudden changes in temperature & culture. After Tabo, there is diversion from the main road going for Dhankar Monastery and you are liking to miss this diversion if you are too tired to pay attention to your surrounding. Windows of this monastery provides perfect picture of confluence of PIN and SPITI Rivers. Monastery itself in a devastating conditions, You may not see it after few years. It needs to be saved and requires attention of authorities at exigency basis.
Take a cab, trek or hitchhike and bask in the glory of the available options on your way up to the Dhankar Monastery --built in a fortress-like fashion, atop a cliff overlooking the Dhankar village-- because, once there, the only way to soothe your eyes at the sight of the Dhankar Lake is to slog all the way up further on your feet! And yes, despite more than an hour of uphill trek from the Dhankar Monastery, we couldn’t find our way up to the lake as we only kept meeting dead-ends!
A high altitude Gompa which overlooks the confluence of Spiti and Pin rivers.
05/06/2016 - 09:00I am parting with my Israeli friend today and so decided to make our day special. I had rented a private cab for just both of us on my expense to save our time and also because I saved some rupees sharing room with her and travelling for free previous day. We went to Dhankar. She checked in dormitory at Dhankar new monastery. We had visited Dhankar old monastery. Then , we trekked to Dhankar lake which are the most memorable moments of my trip and one of the few of all my trips so far.The whole trek and at the lake , there was just both of us. Only few local Lamas were present far from us on other side who came on a picnic.The peace and calm among the high altitude mountains on the banks of pure and serene high altitude lake and only one person around.Those are the moments I wished in this trip and my purpose of travelling alone to Spiti is granted.We came back to Dhankar and had a tasty,healthy fish meal in Mobastery kitchen. Monastery serve free to its visitors , but its our responsibility to make donation as gratititude and for them to serve more.I bid farewell to my Israeli friend and thanked her for her time spent with me , for lot of things I learned from her and for making part of my trip memorable.I moved to Kaza in same cab and I paid 2000 rupees for whole day trip.
The name can be split into, Dhang or Dang means cliff, and kar or khar means fort, hence Dhangkar means fort on a cliff. It is situated at an elevation of 3,894 metres in the Spiti Valley above Dhankar village, between the towns of Kaza and Tabo.Dhangkar one of the five major monasteries in spiti, is in danger of collapsing. Built on a 300 metre high spur overlooking Spiti-Pin confluence is listed as one of the 100 most endangered sight in the world by World Monument Fund. so it is highly recommended to visit this monastery.PLACE- Sichling-Dhankhar Gompa, Dhankhar, Spiti, Himachal Pradesh. Around 35km from Kaza, Spiti.
At the Dhankar monastery, Dolly welcomed us with a sweet smile and a cup of tea. The village women were out for their monthly visit to the monastery that day. A happy bunch looked like being on a picnic than out for spiritual purposes. But then why should men have all the fun? Dolly and her other women folks want to know if we are married. To their dismay we aint. They want us to return as couples next year, we say we cannot find good guys. The women are generous enough to suggest sons of the older women around, we politely decline. We ask Dolly, was her marriage arranged? With a blush she says she chose her husband on her own, we ask the other women around, all seem to have chosen their life partners out of their own choice. In a beautiful place like Himachal, it is difficult not to fall in love.At Dhankar we also found a love story of another kind. Rose, was hitch hiking with us to our next stop –Tabo and she identifies a hindi song playing in the car faster than us. “Is that from the movie, mera brother ki dulhan,” she asks. “My ex-boyfriend whom I met in Kathmandu showed me the movie in a theatre there with subtitles,” she explains. Love needs no subtitles though.
Dhankar Monastery:It is situated at an elevation of 3,894 metres (12,774 feet) in the Spiti Valley above Dhankar Village, between the towns of Kaza and Tabo. The complex is built on a 1000-foot (300-metre) high spur overlooking the confluence of the Spiti and Pin Rivers - one of the world's most spectacular settings for a gompa. Dhang or dang means cliff, and kar or khar means fort. Hence Dhangkar means fort on a cliff.
Dhankar Monastery perched over the Dhankar village, was one of my favourite, built over a 1000 feet spur, overlooking the confluence of The Spiti and The Pin river. Not only does it have breathtaking views but it is also one of the most serene places you can visit. With ancient murals and thangkas, I sat there trying to get a moment with myself. There is a lovely lake there, which requires an hours trek. We decided to drive ahead to Pin Valley before reaching Kaza.
Dhankar was the old capital of Spiti (before the capital was shifted to Kaza), and it consists of a monastery perched on a high cliff top, and a large village built on a bluff that opens out into the main valley, ending in a sharp cliff. The view from top is indeed breathtaking, with azure blue sky, patches of orchards and yellow mustard fields lining the hill-sides, lighting up the barren mountains that surround the monastery.
There is absolutely no sound, no houses, no crowd, just the lake, snowy mountains, layers of rocky barren terrain and an overwhelming silence. I could feel the force of the wind inside out and that’s the only sound that even existed there.
Dhankar Village and Monastery situated at an elevation of 3,894 meters (12,774 feet) is at the perfect setting for any monument in this world. The monastery complex is built on a high spur overlooking the confluence of the Spiti and Pin Rivers – one of the world’s most spectacular settings for a gompa. The monastery was built approximately one thousand years ago and now belongs to the Gelugspa School of order since the 1450s.
This is a point in the Baralacha La Route just like many other milestones rather altutudes marked over here. This is a place which fills in you a magical sense of self- confidence and energy. It feels like if coming up this high can be enjoyable, then our life needs even more adventure like this. You will find trekkers and jeeps here on adventure trips. This place is also like a camping site for the ones who halt here before moving forward towards the evn more difficult points of Himachal Pradesh and then Ladakh. You can erect a tent and then sip on steaming coffee while you admire the beauty of the snow- capped surroundings and especially the white snow- covered mountain peaks.
Riding on smooth narrow roads in the middle of huge blocks of snow
The road leading to Baralacha La is a wide, two-laned, extremely smooth highway. The boys took the opportunity to rip and were out of our sight until the next break. We ambled along, soaking in the beauty of the now deserted road, something that would not change all the way till Tanglang La. Deepak Tal was as green as ever, it even boasted of a dhaba now! The SASE post at Patseo is always a pretty sight with those colorful tents and so is the military base just ahead. The climb for Baralacha La began, and for a change it was a pleasure to begin a climb a high-altitude pass, unlike the dreaded Rohtang. The next scheduled break was just before the dreaded nallah for a cuppa.
Bara-Lacha La:16040ft It is a high mountain pass at 16040ft above sea level in Zanskar range connecting Lahaul district in Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, situated 75kms after Keylong. The best way to start the trip is to take a stopover at Jispa. The pass is open from June to November and for the rest of the year it is under heavy snow. The snowfall in the regions around Baralacha la is said to be round about 12-14m. So you can expect to see snow covered walls on the side of the pass . And in fact it’s a valley on snow since you will find snow as far as your eyes can see. Expect symptoms of AMS during the ride.
Almost perennially covered with snow, the Baralacha Pass is at an unearthly altitude of 4850 meters above sea level. It is just a few kilometers above Sooraj Tal, which is the origin of river Bhaga that meanders through the Lahaul valley. Visit Deepak Tal, a small lake, enroute to Sooraj Tal and Baralacha La from Keylong.
After a steep ascent we finally reached the second out of five mountain passes. Baralacha La pass at an elevation of 16,500 ft. connects Lahaul and Ladakh. There were a number of colourful prayer flags here (just like all other passes) and also many stacks of stones. On enquiring, our driver informed that this practice is done for good luck and fortune.
At 16,540 ft, stood the mighty Baralacha La (La means Pass). The snow that covered road and lower reaches had all melted during summers. There was a slight disappointment in me for not being able to view the renowned “white valley” and frozen Suraj Taal (glacial lake at Baralacha La). As a customary gesture I stepped out to get myself photographed at the colorfully decorated Baralacha top. But the moment I came out of the car, I felt like being snap frozen for a couple of moments. At 6°C temperature and 12Km/hr wind speed. I was unable to move. I still wonder if it was 6°C or -6°C. Getting photographed at that moment was nothing less than some punishment. Just 5-6 minutes of movement, left both of us huffing and puffing. We immediately restored fluids and glucose in our body. And descended towards Bharatpur.
At 4 am we were up and ready to move ahead.. Everyone was ready with breakfast provided by guesthouse for journey. We started from there and came jispa.. A heavenly place on heaven.. A campers paradise,All around it was tents and tents only. Then I thought we must at least camp at least for 1-2 days on this trip. Which happened later on the trip. Bus was continuously moving to altitude, we were feeling the low oxygen, everyone was just sleeping, chewing chocolates and drinking water. Suddenly it was like cloudy all around. Then conductor told us that we are about to reach BaralachaLa paas and it may rain heavily. But wow we crossed 4-5 serpentine roads and were at much altitude that it was snowfall. For me it was 1st snowfall of my life. We couldn't resist to go out there. Stopped bus for 3-4 mins only as it was really getting tougher to walk in such a low oxygen. But it was awesome view altogether. After this paas descent started and we were seeing those icecaped mountains. All around snow was blowing with the wind but it looked like as cloudy. Just what we wanted on a memorable trip. After descending almost for 1000 feets we stopped at a small snacks center in the middle of nowhere. But there was snowfall, ice-cold wind blowing our minds out, sun shining, a river and a rainbow. We and everyone on our bus decided to just stop there only. I could never forget that place ever in my life. I have heard earlier and also read in blogs that weather changes every minute in that region. But it was all weather at a single place, I was just awestruck by the beauty of that place. We had some Maggie, parontha(parathe) and chai over there. And moved on for next paas.
Baralacha La was the next hurdle. The treacherous pass was cloaked in a blanket of fog when we set out to conquer it. It was one of the scariest moments of our drive - inching forward against the rain and mist on a ramshackle path cut through snowy peaks. Often the road was only wide enough to accommodate one vehicle at a time. Once, we had to reverse our vehicle and park it on the edge of a canyon to allow an oncoming truck to pass. All the fear gave way to awe when we reached Jispa - an enchanting valley flushed to life in the recent downpour. And then came Tandi, the point where all the vehicles plying that route filled up their tanks because the next petrol bunk was a whopping 365 km away!
Because I was travelling a lot, I started writing about my experiences & documenting my journeys on my GoPro. I started sharing them on social platforms and got fairly popular among my friends & fellow travellers. This is when I started my own website - http://www.roadshaman.com. I upload all my travel stories, pictures & videos here. So yeah, that was my story. Coming back to my passion; what really drives me to quit jobs, spend all my savings, fight with my parents/friends to go on these trips? The answer is simple - 1) The Zen: This is the obvious one. Almost all my life decisions have been taken while riding on an open road in the middle of nowhere. All my worries take a back seat & I am actually at peace with myself when I am on my motorcycle. The long rides give me ample time to think about everything that matters in a more relaxed state.
We left the Zing Zing bar at around 7:30 am for the rustic and remarkable city of Leh. Enjoy the high mountain pass of Baralach la with the view of snow hugging the sides of the road. Get a mandatory click at Tanlang La Pass which is known (though incorrectly) for being the world’s second highest motorable pass.
Making our way to BaralachLa we crossed Darcha and Zingzing Bar. Darcha is the last permanent settlement on this route, Once here you may have enthralling treks in this region, amongst all the Darcha-Padum trek is the most popular. Zingzing Bar isone of the highest roadside bars in the world- a resting ground of the army and the tourists.
Patseo - Baralacha La - Killing Sarai (45kms, 5-6hrs)We started early from patseo after having a relaxing breakfast near Deepak tal. The view here is absolutely mesmerizing. Uphill from patseo toward zing zing bar is a little steep and you will slow down as the ride isn't well constructed.
2. BARALACHA LA MOUNTAIN PASS
On reaching Baralacha la, we were greeted by cold breezes that were bent upon massacring our faces; it was becoming difficult to move forward. The sudden increase in altitude combined with changed weather and less than satisfactory condition of the bike, initially, made it difficult for us to move. But we pushed ourselves and reached Zing Zing Bar.
Pin Valley National Park
This is a national park and that too the only one of Himachal Pradesh situated in the cold desert area. This whole region has the effect of Buddhism and thus there are built the gompas or monasteries here. The main animals found here are snow leopard, ibex, bharal, red fox, marten, weasel, pika, vulture, chukor, golden eagle and others. The main specirs of flora found here are shrubs, herbs, scrubs, juniper and birch in the form of forests.
Give your adventure a boosted start by enjoying a unique stay at the bunkers constructed by the Forest Department during your visit to the park. The Pin Valley National Park is located in the coarse and rocky Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh. It covers a large area of the Lahul Spiti region in the northern part of Himachal Pradesh. The place is bit dry with lesser vegetation growth. However, you can also find a wide spread of Alpine Forests in this region. his beautiful tourist destination is home to National Park in the rugged Himalayan terrains is the home to many Snow Leopards. You can also find some rare birds like Himalayan Snowcock, Chukor, Snow Partridge and the Tibet Snow Finch in the Pin Valley National Park. The nearby place are dominated by the influence of Tibetan culture.
20th Aug: Komic to Pin valley to Dhankar to Tabo to Nako(10 hours) Start early morning and visit pin Valley, Dhankar Tabo and reach Nako by evening. Pin Valley was declared a National Park in 1987 and is spread over an area of approx 9700 sq km. It is located in the cold desert region of the Spiti valley. With its snow laden unexplored higher reaches and slopes, the Park forms a natural habitat for a number of endangered animals including the Woolly Hare, Tibetan Gazelle, Snow Leopard and Siberian Ibex. Dhankar Monastry is at the perfect setting for any monument in this world. The monastery lies ona cliff and from here you can see an amazing view of the Spiti river. It is situated at an elevation of3,894 metres (12,774 feet) in the Spiti Valley between the towns of Kaza and Tabo. The monument is one amongst the 100 most endangered monuments in this world and restoration work is underway. Tabo is about 47km east of Kaza, tiny Tabo is the only other town in the Spiti Valley. The setting, hemmed in by steep slopes, is wind-blown and dramatic, and the ridge north of town is riddled with caves once used as meditation cells by local hermits. Nako is one of the beauty treasures of Himachal Pradesh untouched by travelers.The village isknown for its location in Hangrang Valley at Tibet border, beautiful Nako lake and monasteries. Accomodation : Overnight at homestay
Pin Valley is known as the land of the snow leopard and the ibex; while spotting the ibex would still be possible, consider yourself really lucky -- if you’re not scared for your life -- if you chance upon a snow leopard! The valley also offers the Pin Parvati Pass trek which mustn’t be undertaken by the meek for the weather is always unforgiving in the region. Seek blessings at the Kungri Monastery in the valley. The place is also famous for the sword dance performed by the Buzhen monks showcasing their prowess with the weapon.
Pin Valley Of Spiti Valley,Himachal Pradesh Is at The Height Of around 3700Mts Above The Sea Level. The Place Is a Photographers Heaven . One Can See The Clouds So Near and Can Enjoy The Unseen Experience. This valley is a Complete Different Phase Of Himachal Pradesh as Per The Culture and Also Geographically. The Mountains of this Valley is Like Ausangate Trek, The Colorful Mountain in Peru . The Textures Of The Mountains are same. Pin River Descending Towards Spiti Valley To Meet Spiti River . After 15 Km away From Mud Village This Was The View. All the Mountains Have Different Textures, Colours . Out Of The World Amazing Experience Of Pin Valley, Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh #himachal #pinvalley #spitivalley #BeautyHimachal
Enroute Pin Base Camp After The Pin Top, We were Descending Towards Pin Base Camp Going Down Was Not So Hard, We Took Very Less Time Towards The Second Base Camp. It was Covered by Glaciers and Night was Very Cold. All The Glaciers Combing in Pin River. So Many Beautiful Peaks and Beautiful Sunset. The Wide Pin Valley Can Be Seen In This Pic. and So many Unknown Peaks.From here The Muddy Valley Started . and it was Completely Different Valley From Parvati Valley. The Vegetation was not dense like Parvati Valley. Complete Change In Views. From here the Buddha Valley Started. So many Beautiful Monastries In Spiti Valley . #Pinparvatipasstrek2016 #Himachal #Love #pinparvatipass
It was like the scenery we all used to make in our childhood. Mountains and the sun peeking through them. If I had a drone, the photograph would have had a river in sight too! Anyways, I woke my friends up so we don't get late for our next destination. With our morning routine done, we left for Pin valley. It is about 45 kms from Tabo. And I tell you, this 3 hr long journey isn't easy.
The view roads to Pin Valley offer are more beautiful (I still wonder how it gets more beautiful with every step) with blue sky, mountains closer than before, sunlight making everything shine gold, green fields and cotton like clouds. The vistas were beyond perfect.Spiti Valley itself is a remote place but I found Pin Valley the most deserted. We passed Mikkim, a village inhabited by only 30 people. We couldn't spot a single human being in Pin Valley. No house, nothing. It was just mountains.. peculiarly green and pink. As far as your eyes wander, makes you wonder whether you are actually standing in India or not.
All of us have days in our lives that we are grateful for – days that end up having a strong impact on us and in some way change something within us. This was one such day in my life. During my volunteering term with Ecosphere – Spiti Valley, I got a chance to visit the Pin Nunnery. Even though it has been over a year and half since this experience, it still holds a special place in my memories. During my month long stint in Spiti, I visited many villages and monasteries, but this was my first experience in a nunnery. I was more than excited to interact with the nuns and understand their lives. On this particular day we had gone to install solar panels at the nunnery that would in turn generate electricity there for the very first time!The roads to Pin Valley had opened only a day prior and I was so grateful that on my last day of the trip I was finally making it to Pin. Having seen a large part of Spiti, Pin still left me awestruck – the landscape and the view were beyond magnificent. There is a traditional family rule in Spiti, where the third child of each family is sent to either a nunnery or monastery depending on the gender of the child. I would be lying if I said I had not made prior assumptions or judged the lives of these children. I thought to myself- What if they wanted to do something else with their lives? What if they did not believe in this institution or way of living? Why didn’t these children get the right to choose? I had so many unanswered questions in my mind.On our arrival, the team started with a recce to understand the best place to install the panels so as to ensure full coverage. The new building was still coming up and sadly, a storm earlier that year had destroyed a large part of where they were currently taking shelter. Despite these circumstances, there was not a sign of remorse or complaint in any of their faces – they greeted us with genuine warmth and smiles.As the day progressed, my impressions and understanding about them kept evolving. The group of youngest nuns aged 9yrs onwards smiled and giggled as they saw us working. They ran around, spoke to each other, and made their set of impressions about us. Slowly, they opened up to us. They asked our names and discussed their lives and schedule at the nunnery. Two young ones came and chatted with me about my whereabouts, my camera, why I was there and where I “belonged”. We spoke about their homes, since when had they been here and if they were happy or missed their families back home? I was pleasantly surprised to hear about how happy they were here and how this was their ideal life. It seemed that nothing but gratitude, prayers and smiles were present in their daily lives.Even though they had no electricity, just a couple of rooms to sleep, study and eat in, no real protection from the chilly cold and regular supply of water or food! They were strangely satisfied- happy and infused with passion and an inexplicable zeal for life. Studies, daily chores and prayers formed a large part of their day – but they were aware, smart and had a dream that they believed in. Later, the elder nuns helped us with all the raw materials and the set up required for the installation. They served us a delicious meal and we all got back to work.This day broke down a lot of my concepts – of how I perceived life to be for myself and others. It truly showed me simplicity and faith could be all that is needed to be happy. The choice of how to lead our lives is purely ours and how we deal with the consequences is also our decision. Along with the installation of the solar panels, I was also documenting the work and making videos of this process for Ecosphere. This gave me a chance to interact with the nun in charge of the place. The love and appreciation she had for Ecosphere and for us working on the installation is not something I can describe in words. I was touched by her gratitude and the regard she had for each one of us with this initiative.As the day came to an end, we were almost done with the cabling and connections, I then had my “Swades” moment- seeing the switch being turned on and the bulb flickering to life. The build-up to the moment was deeply moving. The older nuns sat together in the rooms and conducted prayers. They chanted and finally, the moment we were waiting for, THE LIGHT. Along with it, happiness and joy flooded the place. The smiles on each of their faces were priceless. That moment is etched in my heart forever.Following that, I ended my last day in Spiti Valley with a lovely dinner and some more time with the nuns. I am forever thankful to the team at Ecosphere and all the others involved, for giving me a chance to be a part of this experience. I also feel an immense sense of gratitude for their efforts at providing solar power to so many parts of this region and adding a little light to all the lives around. This trip was first published on https://freespiritedwanderer.wordpress.com/.
Pin Valley is declared a National Park is spread over 9000 sq km. It has some beautiful treks the most famous being the Pin Parbati . We crossed the picturesque village of Gulling, met the friendly ex Sarpanch and proceeded up to the monastery, which had marvelous views of the snow clad mountains and was bursting with energy of little monks. I walked around the fields outside helped some village ladies take out some weed and left the valley to reach our destination Kaza by evening, crossing the Pin river.KAZA The commercial capital of Spiti, and the largest township Kaza, is a town which has a Bank, Medical Institute, ATM, Phone booths, Internet in the valley and the highest Petrol pump. The market with souvenir shops and travel offices, which arrange tours and vehicles to travel in Spiti offers great deals to travellers and is a big hub for backpackers. We spent a peaceful night in a guesthouse 4 kms away from the city. The next day we started our day by visiting the popular Key Monastery and then drove up to Kibber, Lachang and komic world's highest motorable villages.
Pin Parvati trek is one of the most beautiful treks in Himachal Pradesh. This pass links Parvati Valley in Kullu with Pin Valley of Spiti. Hence it derives the name Pin Parvati Pass. There is no other trek in all over the Western Himalayan region, which can match the grandeur of Pin Parvati Trek. Sir Louis Dane, an Englishman first discovered this high pass trek in 1884 as entry point to Spiti from Kullu valley. This is a very difficult trek owing to its high in altitude and remains under snowfall for most of the year, but also because it involves very long journey beyond habitation. An experienced guide is a must on this trek as this place is difficult to locate.Taking the trekkers to a maximum altitude of 5,319m above the sea level, the Pin Parvati trek is usually undertaken during the months of July to September and requires excellent trekking skills and techniques. This trek offers a linkage between Parvati Valley in Kulu to the Pin valley in Spiti and hence the name goes Pin Parvati Pass. Manikaran dwelling between the splendid rivers namely Beas and Parvati, northeast of Bhuntar in the Kullu District is a must watch on this trial. Pine trees stands along throughout the trek. This trek being on a Buddhist region, all those traveling can make a visit to the Ki Gompo and Tabo monastery.A mixture of steep slopes, gradual climbs, barren mountains, snow-clad peaks and rugged passes, this 100km trek needs high trekking skills and can be completed in a course of 11 days. Also, as the Pin Parvati Pass trek takes you through some of the highest peaks, getting acclimatised to the environs also become a major requirement for successful completion of the trek.Pin Parvati Pass Day wise PlanDay 01: Arrive in Bhuntar from where a vehicle will pick you up and drop you to Manikaran.Day 02: Manikaran – Barsheni – Khirganga (3020m) Duration: 5 hoursKhirganga is a hot spring where Lord Shiva is said to have meditated. The difference between the spring here and in Manikaran is that after a bath in Khirganga, your skin will feel clammy and greasy whereas after a bath in the spring at Manikaran, your skin will feel dry.Day 03: Khirganga – Tunda Bhuj (3285m) Duration: 5 hoursThe trek commences through dense forests and flower-strewn meadows. The progress is gradual and slow as it’s a steep climb to Tunda Bhuj.Day 04: Tunda Bhuj – Thakur Kuan (3620m) Duration: 6 hoursThe trail continues through a landscape strewn with waterfalls, lakes and meadows till Thakur Kuan.Day 05: Thakur Kuan – Odi Thach (3800m) Duration: 5 hoursIt’s another day of steep climb to reach the high altitude meadow of Odi Thach. On the path, you will cross the Pandu Bridge, which is made of a single rock on the river Parvati. It is said to made by the Pandavas during their exile in the Himalayas.Day 06: Odi Thach – Mantalai Lake (4115m) Duration: 9 hoursThe trek up to Mantalai lake is a gradual climb. Once at the lake, you can see the Mantalai Glacier, which is the source of the river Parvati.Day 07: Mantalai – Base of Pin Parvati Pass (4300m) Duration: 7 hoursAscend to the base camp of Mount Parvati which also serves as the base of the pass.Day 08: Base of Pin Pass – Campsite over Pin Pass (4110m) Duration: 8 hoursA steep climb takes you to Pin Pass (5300m). At the top of a large snow filled, crevassed hollow leads to the broad rocky saddle of the pass. At the top, one can see a splendid view of the snowy mountains of Hampta region on one side and the Pin valley of Spiti on the other.Day 09: Campsite over Pin Pass – Tiai (3700m) Duration: 5 hoursTrek along the Pin river in to the Pin Valley National park. Look out for the elusive snow leopards, musk deer and ibex.Day 10: Tiai – Mud (3650m) Duration: 5 hoursTrek through the barren, stark landscape of Spiti to Mud, a pretty village perched on a hillside. We will camp here for the night and in the morning government bus service to Kaza.Day 11: Drive from Mud to Kaza. Our trip ends once we reach Kaza. Pin Parvati Pass Cost Includes:– Camping Tents, Kitchen tents, Dining Tent and Sleeping bags (Holofill) and Carry mats. – Nutritious, high calorie vegetarian food. (Food Cycle starts with Lunch on Day 2 and ends with breakfast on Day 11) – Guide, cook and camp helpers. – Porters to carry loads on the route. – Tents on triple sharing basis (3 people in each tent)
The Pin Valley National Park is located within the Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, which protects the high altitude Himalayan desert. Hosting some rare and unique bio-diversity, the Pin Valley National Park spreads from the south of Dhankar Monastery (near the Tibetan border) to the end of Spiti Valley. Its highest point is at a Kinnaur Village, Ka Dogri, at 20,000 ft.The high altitude desert provides a natural habitat to the endangered and elusive Snow Leopard. Along with the 'Ghost Cat', the national park also protects the Himalayan Ibex, groves of Himalayan Cedar and 22 endangered medicinal plants that are characteristic to the terrain.
The only thing 2 things I knew about Pin Valley were that it’s beautiful and that one can spot Snow Leopards there in winters. After entering, my first impression about the Pin Valley was that it is a hub of landslides. After every few meters of well built roads we used to hit a big patch of damaged roads and gravel.
The only thing 2 things I knew about Pin Valley were that it’s beautiful and that one can spot Snow Leopards there in winters. After entering, my first impression about the Pin Valley was that it is a hub of landslides. After every few meters of well built roads we used to hit a big patch of damaged roads and gravel. Nevertheless we cruised to Kungri Gompa, found a place to stay at Sagnam and rode uptil Mudh, a place where roads end. We were told that a new road will be constructed from there till Bhava Top, meaning that one could enter Kinnaur from there in just 27 kms! While going towards Mudh I had given a lift to a local and spoke to him about their lives there. It was touching. It was a perfect example of humans’ constant victory against the forces of nature. While coming back from Mudh, Manu and I ripped our bikes on the rough terrain, to give Manu a little practice for his Raid ahead! We spent the night at the PWD of Sagnam and left next morning.
2. Hiking in Pin ValleyA. and I decided to travel together from Nako, and our next stop was Tabo. We took the Peo to Kaza bus, which arrives in Nako between 11am-12pm, and got down at Tabo (this was a gruesome ride as we didn't find seats and had to stand all the way). We stayed in Tabo Monastery guest house, and met a group of four geology students heading next to Pin valley to study fossils. We joined them next day, and took a taxi from Tabo to Pin valley, with a brief halt in Dhankar monastery. The drive to Pin valley is beautiful. One can also take a bus from Kaza to get there. Mudh is the last village in valley and has few home-stays. We found rooms at Tara home-stay, a seemingly popular place according to internet. Again, in peak season it is advisable to prebook, as rooms are mostly taken up for long-term stay by Israelis, who are very fond of the high (heh heh) places in Himalayas.Another thing to note is complete lack of network connectivity throughout Spiti and Pin valleys. Sometimes BSNL is rumored to work, but don't bet your life on it. Only in Kaza, there is a decent chance of getting phone and wifi connectivity.The owner of home-stay told us that we could go on a day-hike from village in the Pin valley national forest. One can walk as long as one wants, and then turn back. Eventually, if one keeps walking the trail leads one to Bhaba base camp, and Pin-Bhaba pass. Mudh is at an altitude of ~4000 m. and my estimate is that we didn't go beyond 4200/4300 m. during hike.So next morning, we got some Aloo paranthas packed for lunch, and headed out. We'd to cross a raging mountain stream over a foot bridge to get to the trail. The hike was more like a nice stroll, on a well worn trail. Though after 30-40 minutes of walking, we started running into ice-patches/mini-glaciers covering the trail, and for a while it was fun to walk over snow, which was a little slushy, allowing us some foothold. Though there were few rough patches, 20-30 ft long, with a sharp incline and once I just sat down and decided to slide instead of taking chance walking on an extremely slippery slope. In July-September timeframe, trail should be without any snow. We occasionally saw villagers herding sheep, otherwise we'd the whole trail to ourselves. We walked for around 4 hours, had lunch near a stream, and then turned back. As we got close to Mudh, we met two ladies from the village who were herding sheep and they offered us tea. They told that sheep are owned by whole village and people take turns throughout the year herding them.The views throughout the hike were spectacular, I'll let the pictures speak.
6) Mudh and Sagnam - Mudh marks the beginning of Pin valley, and has a starkly different landscape as compared to rest of Spiti - much more green. Saginaw is another village just before it. both can be reached easily from a bus that leaves Kaza in the evening.
One of the best crossover treks in Himachal Pradesh, Pin Bhaba Pass Trek begins from the meadows of Kinnaur and ends in the desolate valley of Spiti. The trail leads you to ethereal and charming peaks and stunning river valleys of the region, perfect for adventure lovers.Region: Himachal Pradesh | Highest Altitude: 16,105ft ft | Difficulty: Moderate-difficult | Duration: 7 daysRead more about the Pin Bhaba Pass Trek here.
Tucked between the streams of Parvati Valley and the cold desert of Spiti, lies the land of the 'ghost cat'. Hosting some rare and unique biodiversity, the Pin Valley National Park spreads from the south of Dhankar Monastery (near the Tibetan border) to the end of Spiti Valley. As a natural habitat for several endangered wildlife, including the rare snow leopard (also known as the ghost cat) and plant species, the national park is a well-guarded treasure trove.The Pin Valley National Park adjoins the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) on one side and the Rupi Bhabha Sanctuary on the other, and can be reached either by road or foot. The core zone of the park covers an area of 675 sq km and has a buffer zone of 1,175 sq km.
Mudh Village is extremely picturesque , just like an artist's imagination of Green Valley. Surrounded by the snow capped mountains , there lies a small village with one of the most greenest valleys. Mudh is also the starting / ending camp in Pin-Parvati Pass Trek which one of toughest treks in India. You can find a lot of homestays and cheap food in Mudh , if you want to call someone then there's one payphone at Tara Homestay which charge Rs.5 /- min.
This is a rest day , all you need is get to Kaza by hitch hiking. The HRTC Bus to Kaza leaves around 8 ' o clock in the morning. But you can leave that bus and explore the valley. You can trek towards the Pin Parvati Pass route for 1-2 kms and if you are lucking enough you can spot an Ibex somewhere. Later , you can find some locals going to Kaza and hitch hike with them , they won't take more than Rs. 100 for you.
Pass through & a visit
At a height of 13,668 ft and 14.6 kilometers away from Kaza village, Key Gompa is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the Spiti valley. It is the biggest monastery and religious training centre for Lamas(teacher of the Dharma in Tibetan Buddhism). The monastery has it's walls covered with Buddhist murals, a storage room, an assembly hall and a cell for the monks. Having celebrated it's millenium in 2000, it is an ancient treat to the mind.
The biggest of all monasteries in Spiti.
Kye Gompa is a Buddhist monastery located on a hill at an altitude of over 4k metres. This monastery is quite near to Kibber village and both can be explored in a day. Kaza is also nearby, the largest town in Spiti valley, but roads are in a very bad shape. The Lamas at Key monastery were very kind and offered us butter tea. They also shared their ambitions for the well being of country. I really felt the person is speaking from his heart. Go to this place to find more. There is a lot of history involved.
Day 4: Refreshed from the proper sleep we had, we headed to explore Key Monastery and the quaint little village of Kibber for the day. Key Monastery is the largest monastery in Spiti with a large number of students. You can also choose to stay at the monastery if you wish.
Leaving this place behind wasn't easy but the excitement of reaching the highest motorable village in the world subdued the grief.We first went to Kaza to get fuel but had to wait for 5 hrs as the fuel tanker was yet to arrive. We utilized our time by going to Rangrik and dipping ourselves in Spiti River. It wasn't in my itinerary but idea of bathing in fresh, cold water lured me. After drenching ourselves with reinvigorating chill of this river, we took the way heading to Komik.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 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.
Hidimba Devi Temple
Located in the Old Manali region of Manali, this is the first temple dedicated to Hidimbi Devi. She is worshipped here in the form of Devi Shakti and this is a very popular temple of Himachal. The temple was built by Maharaja Bahadur Singh in the 16th Century to give respect to the wife of Bhima, the Pandava. It is said that Hidimbi, the brother of Hidimba agreed to marry anyone who could overpower her brother. Hidimba was known to be the strongest of all. Another legend says that once there was a fight between the Pandavas and Hidimba, in which Bhima, the strongest Pandava defeated and killed Hidimba who was from the demon clan. After this Hidimbi married Bhima and they had a son named Ghatotkach. When the Pandavas were returning from their exile, Hidimbi decided to stay back and start her meditation to gain ultimate power and get the position of a Goddess. The cave in which we find the temple today is said to be the same in which she had meditated. After her meditation she became an incarnation of Goddess Shakti. The specialty of this temple is its pagoda styled 4-tiered roof and its beautiful wood carvings. The main festivals celebrated here are the Dusshera and Navaratri. There is another fair which is organized here during the month of May.
Hidimba, mother of Ghatotkach, wife of Bhim is worshipped here in their local tribal way. The stairs to temple were very slippery due to hardened snow. it took a little bit longer time to reach because of its slippery stairs and it was raining at that time.
Well the temple is within manali .The temple is very well maintained and is worth a visit if in manali.
Next was the Hidimba Devi Temple, a temple beyond religious boundaries, where people come with different reasons. Some with religious view, some for internal solace and many to enjoy the peace it has. Totally made up of wood with skulls of various animals on its wall are like Locating bloom.