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Old 24th May 2010, 09:39   #31
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The itinerary looks good, hope you have sensitized the family to the continual driving (since you are spending more than 1 night in any of the places, and you are driving daily)!

Leaving for Shimla the same night is a good idea, will save you the troublesome day traffic on NH2 and NH22. Assuming you leave before 9 pm, you could be in Shimla early morning by sunrise.

Shimla is terribly crowded right now, and if you do not want to spent time in Shimla, better to press on to Kufri, Theog or Narkhanda (the last preferred).

Drives to Sarahan, Chitkul and Kalpa are well-paced. However, bear in mind that the Sangla-Chitkul road may have some bad sections. Chitkul itself has poor facilities beyond a couple of hotels and homestays.

Kalpa-Tabo is going to be a long day's drive. Leave ASAP. There are possibilities of delays in Malling Nullah and some road widening dislocation. Hopefully, the Sumdo-Tabo road is now repaired (was in a bad shape 2 months ago) - of its current condition, I should get you an update tomorrow, since one of my friends is on his way to Tabo today in a Chevy Spark.

The road from Kaza to Manali is a very very long drive, expect some bad roads, uncertain conditions, especially because eof the snow-melt. As of today, the road is not yet open, but sections are being opened daily and I expect that the final section (Kunzum la) should also open this week. Be prepared for some tough driving on the Losar-Kunzum la-Gramphoo section.

Your arrival in Manali could also be delayed because of the day-tripped Rohtang Pass traffic jams since you have to cross Rohtang on the way from Gramphoo to Manali. So keep that extra time in buffer, and leave Kaza as early as possible. You should reach Manali only late in the evening if all go well. Remember, in between, there is hardly any stay facilities except some bare essentials at Bada Dhara, Chota Dhara and Chhatru.
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Old 24th May 2010, 10:15   #32
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I think skip Shimla, will be too crowded, plus you are destined for far more beautiful places. Also Any specific reason to go to Kalpa? The day 6 will be strenuous especially due to Malling Baba as rightly pointed out by HV. Rest of the trip is perfectly paced except the Kaza- Manali section which will prove too be too tiring for the kids and the ladies but you dont have much options.
In case Kunzam La is not open then suggest on your return you stop at Nako (4th). Nako to Narkanda (5th). Narkanda via Chail to Delhi on(6th). But in case you are booked to fly out on 6th the return journey will prove to be very very hectic through Shimla.
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Old 24th May 2010, 10:21   #33
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Thanks Kumar sir & wanderernomad.
I made this iternary based on some of the blogs posted earlier. This can be changed based on suggestions.
Only reason to stay at Shimla is to buy some warm clothings & thermals for this trip.
My return flight is already Booked on 6th at 9.30am. difficult to change that as we have to go to office on 7th.
Pl send in your suggestion so that We can skip Shimla & also can do some shopping for winter wear.

Pl suggest whether we have to book hotels in advance or make arrangements when we go there..

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 24th May 2010 at 10:41. Reason: Merged posts
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Old 24th May 2010, 10:56   #34
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Are you planning to do Sarahan as a destination?
If not, then go to chitkul from shimla(8-9 hours drive).
Spend 2 nights in Chitkul and enjoy the river.
spend one night in Kalpa(if you want to). For example, start from shimla by 9, reach sangla valley by 6, and then spend evening there. Next day till 4pm stay in sangla valley, and then its a short 2 hour drive to kalpa.
Kalpa offers some great views, which can be covered in 1 hour, so before starting from tabo, you can probably do a 10-12km drive in the morning and then reach tabo.

Regarding your return via manali, Kunzum may or may not be open, its a 50/50 chance
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Old 24th May 2010, 11:13   #35
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Nice suggestion TSK, I am not aware what to see what not. I am depending on teambhp & guys like you, HVK, wanderernomad,,,.
I always wanted to stay for couple of days at Chitkul, but due to pausity of time skipped the same. if its 8-9hrs drive, then will pass thru sarahan & stay for 2days at Chitkul.
If my understanding is correct, start from Shimla at 9am & reach Sangla valley by 6pm, spend night at chitkul & next day also at chitkul,
Next day start bit early & cover Kalpa before reaching Kalpa.

Again thanks in advance..
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Old 24th May 2010, 11:20   #36
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Yes Tiger.
When we did our trip, we started from Solan at 9am, had lunch at narkanda, and were at Sangla at 5:30pm
So 8-9 hours is the maximum time.
So if you can start at 8am from shimla, I think you will be in chitkul by 5pm.
Spend 1 night in chitkul, and next day late afternoon, leave for kalpa. Spend the night at Kalpa, and spend 8am to 10am at Kalpa, and then leave for Tabo.
Kalpa has 2 things to see
1. Kinner kailash - HPTDC rest house has real nice views. Book the hotel today, its very difficult to get reservations there
2. From the hotel a narrow road goes till the "end of the road", it has some sheer cliffs and drops, total time needed is 30 minutes for sight seeing.

By 9:30am you can be out of kalpa and on the road to Tabo.
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Old 24th May 2010, 11:40   #37
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You can on your way to Sarahan go directly to it from narkanda itself. Do the darshan at the temple (max 30 Mins) and then continue to Chitkul, but mind it, it will be slightly hectic as the roads from wangtu to karcham are not very good these days.
Regarding the views from kalpa, they are good but when you have been in Chitkul for 2 days you wont be needing them as basically you would eb looking at the same peaks albeit from a different angle and side.
Since Kunzum is still looking dicey I suggest you cut back on a day somewhere and try to reach Kaza one day earlier than scheduled, in case you have to do the return on the same day, it would come in handy.
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Old 24th May 2010, 12:01   #38
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Delhi to Narkanda is a 10 hour run, so you may skip shimla altogether, and have lot of time to do darshan at Sarhan(if you are religious type)
This way you can be at chitkul by afternoon, and then you can simply leave for kalpa next day early afternoon, do sightseeing then only, and leave for tabo early morning.
I guess you won't be driving, the driver will be, right?
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Old 24th May 2010, 15:19   #39
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Thanks tsk, wanderernomad,

self & my friend will be driving. But first day from Delhi to Kufri/Shimla we will be hiring a driver(since it needs night journey) from kufri/shimla we will be on our own.
I also need some suggestion on whether to carry things like spare tyre tubes, belts, etc.

Also can we do some shopping at Kufri, my friends family needs to buy some warm clothes & at Hyderabad its expensive and hard to get.

i am filling the places & dates based on all your suggestions. pl continue to guide(pl note 3 kids aged 9, 7 & 3 yrs are in this trip)..
now first 3 days covered..
tomorrow we need to tell our contacts at Delhi to book hotels at those places..

Date From To
28th - Hyd to Del/kufri
29th Kufri
30th Kufri to Chitkul
31st chitkul to kalpa
1st Kalpa to Tabo
3rd
4th
5th
6th

tks, hemanth

Last edited by Tiger : 24th May 2010 at 15:25.
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Old 24th May 2010, 15:36   #40
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What time will you reach Delhi.
From Delhi if you are being driven at night, you won't be able to sleep in car, so I presume one night in Kufri. At Kufri woolens can be expensive, so you can either buy from Narkanda Market, or carry light woolens, and on the way to chitkul there is a big local market at Rampur, buy from there. Stuff is very cheap there.
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Old 24th May 2010, 16:49   #41
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Dont buy heavy woollens solely for this trip. If you have light woollens just get an extra pair to carry along. What time will you be starting from Delhi and if possible can you do your shopping at Delhi itself? If you have a driver you can let him drive and take over once morning comes and drive till Narkanda and do the night halt on 29th over there. Rampur makes more sense to buy woollens but then dont go overboard. The temperatures are not that low so if you ahve some jackets and shawls that should do the trick for most places except Kalpa and Kaza, where you can supplement the Jackets with a light woollen pullover.
31 stay at Chitkul or drive after lunch to Kalpa. You can then drive to Tabo. Is that your designated halt or you want to go on till Kaza? Do so, you have the time and visit Kibber. Dont waste time at Kufri.
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Old 24th May 2010, 16:57   #42
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we will be reaching Delhi at 6.30pm & from airport we will directly drive to Kufri. I think we may reach Kufri at 4.0am on 29th.
Just saw temp forecast for Kufri, its around 28 deg C max to 14 deg min. I think we may require warm clothes only after Kufri. its better to buy at Rampur rather than going to Shimla & get stuck in crowd.

Pl continue giving suggestions to complete my iternary, as earlier told would like to keep a day buffer for any roadblocks at Batal(might have to return if roads are closed). I can spend that extra day at Manali.
My return flight is on 6th at 9.30am. Would like to return to Delhi before 11pm on 5th.

Tks, Hemanth
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Old 24th May 2010, 17:04   #43
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Buy from Delhi will save you time and money and leave Delhi after dinner or atleast around 9 to save time. There is a thread on your proposed route in the travelogue section. Check it out and maybe pm the member for more recent updates.
You will require woollens only at Kalpa and onwards and that too at night not during day at all unless the rain gods really freak out.
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Old 24th May 2010, 18:24   #44
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wanderarnomad,
if not kufri, which other place we can stay on the first day. since we are tavelling overnight, i dont want to search hotels early morning.
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Old 24th May 2010, 18:31   #45
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If you leave at 9pm, you will reach narkanda by 7am. you can go to sleep at 7am in narkanda(medium tourist rush), and then spend some time around in the evening. Next morning its just a 5 hour run to sangla valley!
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