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Old 26th September 2011, 10:22   #151
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Default Re: Noida to Spiti valley and back. Help on the route, stay and caution points

Been searching around for updates. Some updates could retrieve from ours, BCMTouring and other logs around net

Sorry for the content, spelling and grammar errors, lost the links but the content are as it is, just sharing in case anybody wants to know, also useful to us.

- (BCM) just touched base at manali. I visited spiti and lahsul as per my plan. The road was ok till losar. Its pretty tracherous travel to chandertaal and then the choto dara and chatru section. We got stuck up in landslides and had near escapes at two plaves. Many mud slides and road cut by rivers. Rohtang and rani nalla are worse as compared to when I travelled 2 years back tl leh. The good news is that work is underway and there is enough staff to handle problems immediately. Hwever dont expect quick help in the chota dhara and chatru section and be prepared to camp overnight. No need to panic and keep your cool.

- Roads from Shimla to Kaza is combination of good, bad and worse.Road upto Shimla is fine. After Shimla it is very bad due to recent heavy rains, then improved slightly near Narkanda and Rampur. From Rampur to Kalpa very bad. From Kalpa to Malling o.k except few bad stratches. After malling upto Kaza almost again very bad. Then Kaza to Losar is good. from Losar to Kunzum only rocks no road and ascending.

- In Malling there was a big water crossing. First it looked scary but I crossed it easly in my Ford Ikon on Sept.3rd, but Malliing is always unpredictable though quite comfortable these days since the opening of upper Malliing. I reached Kaza in 2 days

- Day-1 Started Delhi 4.30 am, reached chandigarh 8.30am, Shimla 12.30 pm ( with 1 hr. breake at Parwanoo ) Rampur at 4.30 pm and finally at Kalpa at 8.00pm. Stayed in Blue Lotus.

- Day-2 Started Kalpa at 10.15 am and reached Kaza at 7.20 pm. stayed in Kaza in Sakya Abode Kaza.

- Day-3 Started Kaza at 10.10 am and reached Kunzum pass at 3.00 pm
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Old 26th September 2011, 10:39   #152
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Default Re: Noida to Spiti valley and back. Help on the route, stay and caution points

I see you spending more time in chandigarh/shimla/narkanda. These places you can go anytime from nodia. If it is a Spiti trip indeed, you should be spending nights in Kalpa, Kaza.

Nako is not that great place to stay. I would recommend you to stay in Kalpa/Pooh. Pooh night sky is amazing at nights and decent places to have a night stay. And kalpa definitely deserves a one night stay.

Also Nako-Losar in one day doesnt make sense. You should stay at Kaza. I would recommend:

Day 1: Noida-Shimla/Chandigarh
Day 2: Chandigarh/Shimla-Sarahan
Day 3: Sarahan-Chitkul/Kalpa
Day 4: Kalpa (Relax at Himachal tourism hotel)
Day 4: Kalpa-Kaza (stopping at Nako/Tabo/Dhankar)
Day 5: Kaza (again relax, or save one day for manali)
Day 6: Kaza to Keylong/Manali
Day 7: Relax at Manali (via Rohtang)
Day 8: Manali-Noida

Believe me Manali/Shimla/Narkanda are nothing compared to the beauty of the Spiti valley. Spend more time there.
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Old 26th September 2011, 12:58   #153
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Default Re: Noida to Spiti valley and back. Help on the route, stay and caution points

Thanks Vivek. This is indeed great input.

Our trip plan was actually as this (the earlier is a split of dist and checking doability):
Day 1 - Noida - Chandigarh/Simla
Day 2 - Chandigarh/Simla - Sarhan
Day 3 - Sarhan - Chitkul
Day 4 - Chitkul - Nako
Day 5 - Nako - Losar
Day 6 - Losar - Manali
Day 7 - @Manali
Day 8 - Manali - Noida

Not really planning to spend time in Simla/Chandigarh but just overnight stay depending upon how and when we leave Noida.

Kalpa and Kaza ideas sound good.

Any good places you will recommend?

Our main worry is the road situation in this time. As the rains are just getting over, hopefully they should be clearing out. However there are some concerning blogs on net too. Hoping things look good by weekend so we can make full journey.
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Old 27th September 2011, 18:53   #154
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Default Re: Noida to Spiti valley and back. Help on the route, stay and caution points

Quote:
Originally Posted by parsh View Post

Kalpa and Kaza ideas sound good.

Any good places you will recommend?
Never been to Kaza. Still an unfulfilled dream. Have gone till nako on this road. And Since I am natively from Chandigarh, been to Kalpa/Sangla/Sarahan a couple of times.

You can stay in Himachal tourism hotel in Kalpa. It is good, with an excellent view of the snow covered peaks right in front of it. Rs. 2600 something for a night for a four bed cottage. The food is not all that great, but good food in interior himachal is not easy to find.

I have stayed in Himachal tourism hotel in Sarahan too which is also very good. Dont miss the breakfast here if you stay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by parsh View Post

Our main worry is the road situation in this time. As the rains are just getting over, hopefully they should be clearing out. However there are some concerning blogs on net too. Hoping things look good by weekend so we can make full journey.
I went there in July '11 bang in the middle of monsoons. Road from Wangtoo (30-40 kms after Rampur) till Pooh is bad. Road widening going on. We went in a figo so scrapped the underbelly a lot (5-6 times). There are 40-50 kms where the surface was not bad, but there was dirt on the road, so that part was good. The road from Karcham to Sangla/Chitkul is good as it was recently repaired. Powari-Kalpa is okayish.
For us. we left Chandigarh at 7AM and reached Kalpa at 8PM. Courtesy good breakfast/lunch breaks and bad roads.

Further from Pooh-Nako is great. There is only one bad part where there is a 30 degrish incline and unmetalled narrow road (with the Spiti flowing down the cliff). Be careful on that, and you will have no problems till Nako. From Nako till Kaza I have heard the road is very good. HVK went recently, so he ll be able to guide with updated conditions.

You can checkout pictures I clicked from Kalpa/Khab/Sarahan at Flickr: vivek tiwari's Photostream

Last edited by vivek_vt : 27th September 2011 at 18:55. Reason: adding information
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Old 27th September 2011, 21:44   #155
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Default Re: Noida to Spiti valley and back. Help on the route, stay and caution points

Quote:
Originally Posted by parsh View Post
Thanks Vivek. This is indeed great input.

Our trip plan was actually as this (the earlier is a split of dist and checking doability):
Day 1 - Noida - Chandigarh/Simla
Day 2 - Chandigarh/Simla - Sarhan
Day 3 - Sarhan - Chitkul
Day 4 - Chitkul - Nako
Day 5 - Nako - Losar
Day 6 - Losar - Manali
Day 7 - @Manali
Day 8 - Manali - Noida

Not really planning to spend time in Simla/Chandigarh but just overnight stay depending upon how and when we leave Noida.

Kalpa and Kaza ideas sound good.

Any good places you will recommend?

Our main worry is the road situation in this time. As the rains are just getting over, hopefully they should be clearing out. However there are some concerning blogs on net too. Hoping things look good by weekend so we can make full journey.
Road conditions are much the same as what Vivek has explained already.

Roads are worst between Kufri & Narkhanda, Jhakri & Karchcham, Karchcham & Powari. The small cars in our team had to struggle in some slushy sections near Powari. Road from Karchcham to Sangla-Chitkul is OK but for a couple of slushy sections.

None of the water crossings are bad, although you must be careful at Malling Nullah which can see some rapid water flows.

On your drive plan, I have the following comments:
1. Expect traffic jams at Pinjore, Kalka & Parwanoo. Maybe you should depart from Chandigarh as early as possible.
2. Since I had no business in Shimla, I was able to escape the mess around the city by taking the Chail route to Kufri.
3. Why Losar? Kaza is the place to be in, lots of places around it, good hotels. Besides, it will be a long day's drive from Nako to Losar.
4. Both Nako & Losar have limited accommodation.
5. Losar-Manali is going to be the toughest, with rough places like Hanse Nullah before Losar, possible snow fall at Kunzum la & beyond and some very rough roads all the way from Batal to Gramphoo. Besides, the present condition of Rohtang Pass is just manageable for 4WD SUVs only.

From Kaza, you can plan excursions to Dhankar (on the way from Nako via Tabo), Pin Valley (till Mud), Komik (highest motorable village in the world), Tashi Ganga (fossils site) and Ke Gompa.
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Old 27th September 2011, 22:07   #156
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Default Re: Noida to Spiti valley and back. Help on the route, stay and caution points

Quote:
Originally Posted by parsh View Post
Thanks Vivek. This is indeed great input.

Our trip plan was actually as this (the earlier is a split of dist and checking doability):
Day 1 - Noida - Chandigarh/Simla
Day 2 - Chandigarh/Simla - Sarhan
Day 3 - Sarhan - Chitkul
Day 4 - Chitkul - Nako
Day 5 - Nako - Losar
Day 6 - Losar - Manali
Day 7 - @Manali
Day 8 - Manali - Noida
I have a few questions for you to help you plan the trip better:

1. Do you strictly have 8 days in hand?
2. Have you been to Kinnaur before? (Yes/No/Partially) If partially, which places?
3. Have you been to Spiti before? (Yes/No/Partially) If partially, which places?
4. Have you been to Manali before? (Yes/No)
5. What is the objective of the trip?
6. Are you open to treks? How old are the children?
7. Are you more of a 'touch n go, just cover as many places' types or 'we are on vacation, lets relax a bit huh' types?
8. Who'd be driving the Innova? You/Driver/Driver with Mountain Driving Experience?
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Old 27th September 2011, 23:14   #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar
Since I had no business in Shimla, I was able to escape the mess around the city by taking the Chail route to Kufri.
Since chail road is narrow, and one needs to reverse incase a bigger vehicle comes, if someone is not very keen on enjoying the serene and beautiful chail option, There are two options to bypass shimla.

One can take the left turn just before the main shimla town starts. This left turn which enters the tunnel, passes shimla from the opposite side of the shimla mountain and passing through lakkad bazaar joins the kufri road after sanjauli. Relatively low traffic.

Also there is better option to bypass shimla. Take a right before oberoi cecil which goes to dhalli. This joins kufri road after sanjauli. This is the official shimla bypass.
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Old 8th October 2011, 21:16   #158
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Default Re: Lahaul - Spiti; Suggestions and help needed

Some road update on this Route from Kaza to Manali.

The road seems to be clear of mud, slush but turned into off-roading adventure route.

My bro doing the Noida-Chitkul-Kalpa-Tabo-Dhankar-Kaza-Manali-Noida circuit right now, started from Kaza today morning at 8:15 AM and reached Manali by 8:30 PM in Innova. As per his briefing, it is quite an Off-Roading adventure and quite a enormously tedious task for Innova to do this circuit. The road is literally non-existent with mostly rubbles, pebbles, like driving from a dried river bed, big ditches and at some places barely enough to pass Innova and a slight miscalculation would result into the unthinkable. The Front Bumber Guard and the sides of the Front Bumper seem to have taken quite a beating from the drive and damage will be assessed when we see pics in the morning.

So beware Innova drivers, there is lot in store on this particular route from Kaza to Manali. Till now Innova was fairing very well in the entire circuit but now it got its beating of a lifetime This was the first time she did this upper circuit and my bro couldn't stop repeating what an experience of a lifetime bloody.

They also caught the first snowfall of the season in Rohtang.
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Old 14th January 2012, 22:14   #159
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Default Spiti-Lahaul circuit-2012 - Queries

Note to Mods: I do understand there are a number of threads on Lahaul Spiti circuit, but I did not see anything which specifically addresses the queries I had. So posted a new one. Please feel free to merge with another thread if you consider appropriate. Sorry for inconvenience, if any.

Background: Have got 2 weeks leave from office in June 2012 (16th till 30th).

Plan: Adventure trip with friend and his wife in the mountains. It would be either Leh-Ladakh or Spiti-Lahaul circuit. Would be taking my Safari 4*4.

Question 1: Should I head to the Leh-Ladakh circuit or should I do the Spiti-Lahaul circuit? My heart and mind says the 2nd circuit, since I plan to the 1st circuit in end of September anyway (off-peak season). June is peak tourist season for Leh so do not want to go there that time. But friends want to go to Leh. So suggestions to convince friends (or myself) are welcome.

Question 2: If I am doing the Spiti-Lahaul circuit, my plan is to do it via Shimpla-kalpa, Kaza-RohtangPass-Manali route. Would Kunzum-La Pass be open towards the 22nd -23rd of June? I do understand no one can guess, but from experience what is the probability? Else I would not be able to cross Kaza and have to return via the Kalpa route again. I really want to get into the last stretch and exit via Rohtang. Expert guidance required.

Question 3: Would 11-13 days be sufficient to have a laid back trip on the Spiti circuit or do I need more? Cant afford more than that actually. After reading some travellouges it seems people complete this stretch in about 7-8 days max.

Regards,
Sourav
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Old 14th January 2012, 23:39   #160
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Default Re: Spiti-Lahaul circuit-2012 - Queries

Lovely time to do the Spiti circuit in June. Kunzum la should be open by the time you travel in end-June. Ladakh is best done much later by which time road conditions will be more settled and tourist flow reduced in, say, September.
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Old 15th January 2012, 00:12   #161
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Here's a route I would suggest for the best of all the worlds
Delhi-Jammu-Kargil-Leh-Sarchu-Khoksar (go and visit rohtang and come back to head to spiti)-kaza-Kalpa-narkanda-parwanoo- delhi.

In a safari doable in 2 weeks. I have done it on my T-bird in 2 weeks.

Zojila opens much earlier & mid June all passes should be open.

Last edited by nitin.rai : 15th January 2012 at 00:14.
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Old 15th January 2012, 01:08   #162
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Default Re: Spiti-Lahaul circuit-2012 - Queries

2 weeks is a good time.
I suggest you go via Shimla, spend a couple of nights in chitkul, head to kaza, visit Pin valley, and also the villages of ki,kibber etc.,
Then you can head to Chandertaal(if route is open 50% chance), come over kunzum, skip rohtang, and cross Sach pass(if open 50% chance) back to chamba and then Delhi.

It will take you 2 weeks if you actually want to enjoy the trip instead of just driving through.

Kunzum usually opens by end june. 2010 was a freak year where it kept snowing heavily till 20th june.
Even then, Baralacha la was problematic, kunzum gets lower snows, and spiti, hardly any.
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Old 15th January 2012, 01:59   #163
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The route I have suggested below is for someone who is going for the first time and prefers to take it easy & slowly lets things get tough. Specially the road. The roads get repaired in the same sequence by BRO due to the relative strategic importance.
Enjoy the trip!
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Old 15th January 2012, 10:08   #164
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Default Re: Spiti-Lahaul circuit-2012 - Queries

TSK - Can you elaborate a bit more on the return via Sach Pass - Chamba route? Have not seen any write-up on that route and Google maps not showing anything. Where is the detour that is to be taken on the Kaza-Rohtang route?

With some inputs from HV, I have prepared a rough itenary (though not blessed by HV himself). This is subject to numerous modifications based on all your inputs:

D1/Delhi-Fagu/Narkhanda,
D2/Fagu/Narkhanda-Sarahan,
D3/ Sarahan-Kalpa (visit Sangla Valley and Chitkul on route) (WOULD THIS BE FEASIBLE OR SHOULD I HALT AT CHITKUL?),
D4/Kalpa-Tabo,
D5-Tabo-Kaza,
D6/Kaza-Dhankar-Pin Valley,
D7/Kaza-Komik-Tashi Ganga-Ke-Kaza,
D8/Kaza-Kunzum la-Chandra tal, (not sure if stay at chandratal is possible)
D9/Chandra tal-Gramphoo-Rohtang Pass-Manali,
D10/Manali-Delhi

Please feel free to modify the itenary as per your suggestions.
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Old 15th January 2012, 19:55   #165
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Default Re: Spiti-Lahaul circuit-2012 - Queries

Quote:
Originally Posted by souravdebiswas View Post
TSK - Can you elaborate a bit more on the return via Sach Pass - Chamba route? Have not seen any write-up on that route and Google maps not showing anything. Where is the detour that is to be taken on the Kaza-Rohtang route?
Sach Pass route is Keylong-Udeypur-Tindi-Khillar-SACH PASS-Bairavghat-Tissa-Chamba-Pathankot.

Definitely one of the most challenging of routes in this region, not for everyone. The Sach Pass is also snow-bound and probably the last of the high passes to open every year.

The 320 kms from Keylong to Chamba took us 17 hours with just 1 30 minute break, but several stops because of problems teh small cars in our team faced while navigating the worst sections. Rocks, land slides, snow and lots of slush.
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