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 Chitkul, a paradise on earth


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It’s not for me to judge another man’s life. I must judge, I must choose, I must spurn, purely for myself. For myself, alone ~ Siddhartha

Chitkul the last inhabited village on the India Tibet Border

Photos of  Chitkul, a paradise on earth 1/9 by Abhinav Sumit

Solo travel is always a soul searching experience. If you do it on a bike then it becomes a meditative experience. As i sit here in a resort in Sangla, i retrospect on the 600km journey I have taken till here. Some planned and some unplanned, with some misadventures and some good luck I have met great people and have had good food on the way. But much more than anything was the independence of stopping at a place of your choice, eating anywhere you want and riding the bike your own way. I remember parking my bike on the Rampur road , sitting by the side of the road and looking at a tiny patch of snow in the mountain.I knew I will be in sometime very close to the mountain, almst parallel to the snow. It felt great, especially the fact that it was a Monday morning and on the other side of world, people would be feeling important going for their ever meaningful work and me on the other hand was trying to find some meaning, making some sense on life on one of the World’s most dangerous road, NH22.

Photos of  Chitkul, a paradise on earth 2/9 by Abhinav Sumit

I love the idea that most of the people just restrict themselves to Shimla and Manali. Beynd these places the ride is so peaceful and more scenic, God bless weekend travel.

Notes from Day 1 : ‘ Today morning, a small kid hi fived me. Close to Shimpla expressway, few groups just waved at me as I passed by. A small gesture of thumbs up and mark of appreciation by fellow car riders is what makes your day. I have been on and off soling on the bike. The bike has been mine companion in the tribulations and tiny realizations of life. Today was more or less a smooth ride and sometimes when the bike engine missed a thump, I too missed a heartbeat.’

Photos of  Chitkul, a paradise on earth 3/9 by Abhinav Sumit

Notes from an Apple Orchard in Sangla: ‘I sit here on a reclining chair in an apple orchard. I face snow capped mountains on my front side and back as well. You know the mountains have a strange way of revealing themselves to you. You need to really wake up early to for that is your best bet to see the snow capped mountains. The orchard is full of apples and I can hear the roaring Baspa River below. You can hear the occasional mowing of the cows and chirping of the birds. It is for this quiet that I have come here. to forget life for a while and instead concentrate on living.

Photos of  Chitkul, a paradise on earth 4/9 by Abhinav Sumit

My Itinerary

Day 1: Delhi-Shimla-Theog – 12 hours

Day 2: Theog-Narkanda-Hatu Peak-Rampur-7 hours

Day 3: Rampur-Sangla( 6 hours)

Day 4: Sangla-Chitkul-Kalpa (10 hours)

Day 5: Kalpa-Shimla (12 hours)

Day 6: Shimla-Delhi( 8 hours)

Photos of  Chitkul, a paradise on earth 5/9 by Abhinav Sumit

Route

Delhi-Shimla ( 360 km-2200m)

Kufri-(370km-2510m)

Theog -(377km-1965m)

Narkanda-(410 km- 2708m)

Rampur-(464km-1350m)

Kharcham-(547km-1813m)

Sangla(565km-2696m)

Chitkul(595km-3450m)

Sangla to Kalpa( 55km)-2960 m

Photos of  Chitkul, a paradise on earth 6/9 by Abhinav Sumit

Places of interest on the route:

Coffee on way to Shimla

Go to Sarahan and stay there instead of Rampur

Himalayan Cafe in Narkanda

Hatu Peak

A ride to sucide point at Rogi Kalpa

Good food at the cafes in Reckong Peo

Photos of  Chitkul, a paradise on earth 7/9 by Abhinav Sumit

Things to do and expect in Sangla: All through out the route there will be good airtel Network. Road conditions keep on changing. There are ATMs, places to eat, Petrol pump etc at Sangla.

Things to do at Sangla:

Bearing Nag temple

Try out farm and riverside

Kamaru Fort

Bhagwati temple

Sangla kanda lake

Photos of  Chitkul, a paradise on earth 8/9 by Abhinav Sumit

1400 km of solo ride comes with a lot of enthusiasm, luck and some pain.Each trip is a different experience, different memory, and i ride back with a sore back and a unique experience.

Photos of  Chitkul, a paradise on earth 9/9 by Abhinav Sumit

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