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Old 28th May 2009, 14:14   #1
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Question Road Conditions: Manali-Leh / Kinnaur-Spiti

Hey fellow BHPians, the time's come for beginning the adventures to the two places. Now that Manali-Leh highway is open for vehicular traffic, I wanted to inquire about the conditions of the roads en route? Has anyone done the trip already? If so, any feedback would be appreciated.

Parallely how'd be the roads from Kinnaur to Spiti? I guess the Losar-Gramphoo stretch would be in real bad shape so doing a circuit is out of the question as of now, but how about getting to Kaza and little beyond?

And more specifically, would first week of June be a right time to commence this journey (Manali-Leh) using a sedan (Esteem MPFI with spacers and sump & fuel tank guards)?
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Old 28th May 2009, 14:19   #2
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It snowed in Rohtang area last 2 days and for some time the Manali-Keylong road was closed.

I heard that the Gramphoo-Kunzum la is also closed.

A friend who just drove into Leh from the Srinagar side reported horrible roads up Zoji la and road widening work (with diversions all over boulders) in the Fotu la-Lamayuru section.

But all roads should be open in June. You MUST do the Losar-Gramphoo stretch, it is quite a journey you must not miss!
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Old 28th May 2009, 14:41   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
A friend who just drove into Leh from the Srinagar side reported horrible roads up Zoji la and road widening work (with diversions all over boulders) in the Fotu la-Lamayuru section.
HVK, I guess that would be Bharat? In case you speak to him again, can you please ask how long it took him to cover the Sonamarg-Lamayuru and Lamayuru-Leh sectors?
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Old 28th May 2009, 15:03   #4
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HVK, I guess that would be Bharat? In case you speak to him again, can you please ask how long it took him to cover the Sonamarg-Lamayuru and Lamayuru-Leh sectors?
Yes, Suman, Dr Bharat Patel just reached Leh this afternoon via Srinagar and Kargil. We had a brief chat, not sure how much time he took. Except that he left from Srinagar yesterday. Will check out.
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Old 28th May 2009, 15:05   #5
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I am also planning the Manali-Kaza-Pooh-Shimla circuit around 10th June. My update is that the roads are yet to be fully open to traffic but by 10th there would be some progress and if it doesnt snow again the vehicles would start plying normally. Esteem can do the stretch but would need careful driving.
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Old 28th May 2009, 15:15   #6
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Kumarji, so is it advisable to go via Srinagar to Leh? I am almost certain to start my trip on 30th from Nagpur.
-Pramod
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Old 28th May 2009, 15:40   #7
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Kumarji, so is it advisable to go via Srinagar to Leh? I am almost certain to start my trip on 30th from Nagpur.
-Pramod
No, I think the situation will improve. Stick to your Manali-Leh route plan, although we will keep track of emerging situation and make changes.
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Old 28th May 2009, 16:49   #8
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Thanks, I am almost done with my preparation, will give you call sometime tomorrow[will send SMS before calling to know your availability and time].

-Pramod
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Old 28th May 2009, 16:55   #9
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Isn't the Srinagar - Leh route a bit too risky, being close to the LOC, passing through Kargil etc?
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Old 28th May 2009, 17:22   #10
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Isn't the Srinagar - Leh route a bit too risky, being close to the LOC, passing through Kargil etc?
No fears, saar. There is no war on at the moment.
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Old 29th May 2009, 14:52   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
It snowed in Rohtang area last 2 days and for some time the Manali-Keylong road was closed.

I heard that the Gramphoo-Kunzum la is also closed.

But all roads should be open in June. You MUST do the Losar-Gramphoo stretch, it is quite a journey you must not miss!
Kumar sir, I believe Losar-Gramphoo stretch doesn't figure into the Manali-Leh route. Am I correct? If it's not, how much time (approximately) does it take to cover it? I am thinking about postponing my journey to begining of July as the road would be in a lot better condition by that time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
I am also planning the Manali-Kaza-Pooh-Shimla circuit around 10th June. My update is that the roads are yet to be fully open to traffic but by 10th there would be some progress and if it doesnt snow again the vehicles would start plying normally. Esteem can do the stretch but would need careful driving.
Cool buddy. Even I am planning to do the Manali-Leh-Keylong-Kaza-Shimla thingy provided I get enough leaves. Yup, definitely am gonna be extra careful!
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Old 29th May 2009, 15:04   #12
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From Manali, Gramphoo is 68 kms on the other side of Rohtang Pass. This can take anywhere between 2-3 hours.

At Gramphoo, the road straight goes to Keylong and is the Leh road. Turn right and that is the road to Losar.

From Gramphoo, Losar is 81 kms, but this is over the Kunzum La, which lies 18 kms before. I have taken 5 hours to cover this distance when the roads were decent - dirt track, but no 4WD OTR-type sections.

If you want to go to Chander Tal, you turn left at Battal which is 53 kms from Gramphoo before the steep climb to Kunzum La. From Battal, Chander Tal is 12-13 kms.
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Old 29th May 2009, 16:19   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
From Manali, Gramphoo is 68 kms on the other side of Rohtang Pass. This can take anywhere between 2-3 hours.

At Gramphoo, the road straight goes to Keylong and is the Leh road. Turn right and that is the road to Losar.

From Gramphoo, Losar is 81 kms, but this is over the Kunzum La, which lies 18 kms before. I have taken 5 hours to cover this distance when the roads were decent - dirt track, but no 4WD OTR-type sections.

If you want to go to Chander Tal, you turn left at Battal which is 53 kms from Gramphoo before the steep climb to Kunzum La. From Battal, Chander Tal is 12-13 kms.
Thanks for the quick update sir.

I think I'll include a trip to Chandratal before continuing for Leh. I hope you won't mind me asking a few more questions, which are:

1. Are there accommodations available around Battal?
2. Is it advisable to do Keylong-Pang in a single day?
3. What is the probability (1-5) of roads being decent (no 4WD OTR-type sections) for the Gramphoo-Losar section during mid-July?

Cheers!
LoG
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Old 29th May 2009, 17:09   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordofgondor View Post

1. Are there accommodations available around Battal?
2. Is it advisable to do Keylong-Pang in a single day?
3. What is the probability (1-5) of roads being decent (no 4WD OTR-type sections) for the Gramphoo-Losar section during mid-July?

Cheers!
LoG
AFAIK there is no accomodation at either Chander Tal or Battal unless you are carrying your own tent. Battal is just a turn off point.

Alternatives are - go on and stay at Losar, which would be stupid unless you have plans to go on to Kaza.

Better option would be to drive from Manali to Chander Tal and return tp Gramphoo - accomodation is available (not sure of Gramphoo) at Kokshar/Sissoo or better still Keylong.

Keylong-Pang is not difficult but at Pang also accomodation is very basic.

July is better than June, and September is better than July. You have to be wary of heavy rains in Himachal during July, but I think that is a decent time to travel without OTR driving.
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Old 29th May 2009, 17:13   #15
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Keylong -Pang can be easily done in one day, no issues.
The probability of Gramphoo-Losar being decent is about 35-40 % especially with the news of unexpected rains in those areas now a days.
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