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Old 10th November 2008, 12:33   #1
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Default Himachal Pradesh by Winter

Hi guys, myself and my wife have got around 2 weeks of leave during December and we were thinking of a winter trip to Himachal Pradesh. The plan is to enjoy the winter chill, with a little bit snow thrown in.

Considering that I have a petrol Swift and it would be towards December end, is a road trip a good idea, and how much of Himachal Pradesh can we cover this way? In case roads are not so motorable during this time, we plan save time by flying to Shimla and just visit a few nearby places.

The plan is in the nascent stage so we are still open to ideas!
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Old 10th November 2008, 12:37   #2
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The main highways(Shimla etc.,) seldom close for more than a few hours. December is safe season, as the peak snow time comes near Jan end.
So you can easily drive to shimla.
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Old 10th November 2008, 13:13   #3
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Thanks Tanveer! We wanted to explore a bit more of Himachal Pradesh than just Shimla. How would be the road to Manali?

We would like to avoid the crowded places. Probably set up base in a quiet town and do some OTR (on foot, that is)!
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Old 10th November 2008, 13:18   #4
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Lovely time to be driving in Himachal. Manali road will also be open. Be prepared for some sudden snowfall in those parts and keep a couple of days for dislocations (as tsk said, unlikely to have any heavy snow in Dec). You could ideally drive to Shimla/Kufri, then onto Manali via Mandi, and can also cover Dharamasala/Dalhousie (my favourite) to round off the trip. Winter fog will be very heavy all over the region, starting from Delhi, and in the Punjab and Haryana plains, which can curtail the number of hours of safe driving.
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Old 10th November 2008, 13:18   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by watashi75 View Post
How would be the road to Manali?
It's also one of the highways in HP. You can go to Simla and then to Manali. If these roads are ok (usually they're that time) take Simla - Manali through Jalori pass. You'll love those views.
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Old 10th November 2008, 13:29   #6
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Shimla-Manali through Jalori pass will be closed.
On shimla side you can go upto Narkanda, and then come back and take mandi road to Manali.
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Old 10th November 2008, 13:36   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Shimla-Manali through Jalori pass will be closed.
Only if they get very early snowfall. Which well could be the case this year.
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Old 10th November 2008, 13:40   #8
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Snowfall varies from year to year. Check out the situation in advance. When I went in 1999 November Kufri was covered in thick snow and the road towards Narkanda was just covered in deep snow on both sides. I drove the last few km after Chail on thick solid snow - my first time on snow and I was scared to death driving on it. Any sensible driver would get snow chains on his wheel on that kind of snow, but those days I had no clue.
After a few years around the same time there was absolutely no snow when a friend went to Kufri !! Depending on the snow situation you can turn towards Chail also from either Kufri or just after Solan (that by-passes Shimla though). On this section the snow is not regularly cleared. So be careful. Chail doesn't get any snowfall.
If you remain on the main road of Shimla Narkanda you need not fear much, as there is considerable traffic here and you will not really be marooned in that sense. On the side roads things can get tricky.
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Old 10th November 2008, 13:55   #9
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I was in Simla/Manali/Dalhousie last XMas - there was snow on the Simla-Kufri road, Dalhousie-Kalatop road (closed) and snow beyond Gulaba (Manali-Rohtang road). Just 2 days before my arrival on Dec 20, the entire Dalhousie town was snowed down and roads were closed for 2-3 days.
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Old 10th November 2008, 14:09   #10
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Thanks Tanveer, hvkumar, Rudra, Sudipto! I haven't driven on snow earlier so will stick to the main roads most of the time.

And yes we will plan for a couple of days for dislocations just in case!
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Old 10th November 2008, 14:15   #11
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Jalori pass is over 3000m in height, and is not cleared by PWD after winter sets in, You would see the first ice clearers in March.
So even if one big snowfall happens before Dec end(very likely), the pass closes.
Infact an western disturbance(upper cyclonic) is developing, and before mid november there is expected to be snowfall in the higher reaches)
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Old 10th November 2008, 15:35   #12
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Jalori I did on the 1st of Dec 2006. Had about 5+ km of light snow on Shoja, and ~500m on Khanag side.
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/150/3...694f973d_m.jpg
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/164/3...ff30fa77_m.jpg was like how it was. Late dec, is asking for trouble. Though ofc, you can end up with a JTrail level adventure. But please budget appropriately.

and pack snow chains. Even if u wont use it. Better to have should you get stuck etc
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Old 10th November 2008, 18:30   #13
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Will keep an eye out for the weather report! By the way, are there any specific winter gear we need to carry besides snow chains, shovel and antifreeze?

@Guys in Hyderabad, do you know any good shop for camping equipments like tents and sleeping bags?
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Old 11th November 2008, 11:35   #14
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Have been looking for one since ages - so hope to see an answer here! I generally order through ebay
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Old 11th November 2008, 13:45   #15
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@amip, I know what you are saying. I have been in Hyderabad for quite some time but I am yet to see a single shop which sells any camping equipments.

I was trying to search online but what I got are tents used in marriages or functions!
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