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Old 27th June 2010, 19:27   #1
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Default Chandigarh-Amritsar-Himachal - Need Help with Planning

Hi,

I am planning to take a road trip from Chandigarh to Amritsar and from there on to Mcleodganj and then to Tirthan valley and other parts in Himachal. I will be doing this trip with a rented vehicle from Chandigarh and am planning this trip sometime in September of this year (2010). While I am clear about Himchal since I have been there before, I am not sure about the places and timings for Punjab. I need some help from you folks for my plan. The current plan that I have is as follows

Day 1 - Chandigarh to Amritsar
Day 2 - Amritsar to Dalhousie
Day 3 - Dalhousie to Mcleodganj
Day 4 - Stay in Mcleodganj
Day 5 - Mcleodganj to Tirthan Valley
Day 6 - Stay in Tirthan Valley
Day 7 - Tirthan to Sangla (Via Jalori)
Day 8 - Sangla to Chitkul
Day 9 - Chitkul to Simla
Day 10 - Stay in Simla
Day 11 - Simla to Chandigarh

For Day 1 and 2, if I leave from Chandigarh at about 9 AM or so, will it be possible for me to finish Wagah, Golden Temple and Jallian Wala Bagh and then leave Amritsar early afternoon on Day 2 and reach Dalhousie by night ? Both Day 1 and Day 2 would end up being a Weekday and not a weekend (most probably, I will reach Chandigarh from Hyd on a Sunday and will be reaching Amritsar on a Monday).

Also pls let me know the options between staying an extra day in Mcleodganj or in Dalhousie area or if I should be looking at some other place than these two. I do not want to go to crowded places. I heard that Mcleodganj is a lot less touristy than Dalhousie.

Pls provide your inputs to me on the above plan.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 28th June 2010, 10:43   #2
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Day 1 and 2 are doable. But your over all itinerary is hectic and tiring. Remeber its not very easy to keep crossing between valleys every other day. If its not that you want to just touch and go places all over Himachal I suggest sticking to Dalhousie, Chamba, Holi, Bharmour, Macleodganj, Palampur and then back to Chandigarh.
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Old 28th June 2010, 10:58   #3
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Itenary seems doable,but you would end up being on the road,most of the time.
If you can skip on Sangla\Chitkul,then you can spend 2 more days in exploring tirthan valley.

and regarding day 1 i would suggest that you stick to what you have planned,dont aim for dalhousie via Amritsar same day.
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Old 28th June 2010, 12:26   #4
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I did similar circuit last year..
Mcleodganj - Palampur - Baijnath - Macleodganj - Chamba - Khajjiar - Dalhousi - Amritsar - Pathankot - Delhi.
Roads are good throughout. (Drivable for sure).

Coming to your iternary :-

1) If you start early from Chandigadh for Amritsar (5 AM or so), you can finish all points on the same day.
Please note : Golden Temple & Jalianwala bagh are besides each other. On a weekday, you can complete both of them in 3 hours.
Also, its worth going to Wagah border only in evening (to see the parade / closing ceremony).

2) Amritsar - Dalhousi (Via Pathankot) is drivable in 6 hours. Roads are good.
3) There are not many points in Dalhousi to see except Satdhara, Kala top etc. So, Day 2, you can see Satdhara or one - two points around and stay. (There are good hotels for stay near Dalhousi bus stand and they offer good view.) (Price - Rs. 1000 - 1500). Don't remember correct names.
4) Next day, you can proceed to Khajjiar and on way, you can visit Kala top. (To see this spot, you have to park the vehicle and walk for about 2 Kms). And after seeing this point, you should reach Khajjiar in an hour (Max).
There is a big Golf course / open ground and you can spend good time here doing horse riding and playing other games.
5) If you want, you may stay at Khajjiar on this day (Its not at all crowded at nights and not many hotels to stay). So, a very calm and to some extent risky place for overnight stay.
6) So, I would suggest to proceed to Chamba on same day and halt there. (Khajjiar - Chamba is 2-3 hours drive). Hotel Iravati is the best option to stay and is located at the heart of town.
7) Chamba is a temple town and famous for its Jewellery. You can check some shops for that. And next morning you can visit 2-3 temples in town (including Chamundi Temple above the town - worth visiting).
And then, proceed towards Mclaudganj. There are two routes. But, you should prefer taking one route via a 'Dam on Ravi river'. This dam is too beautiful. Must see from top on way to Mcleodganj. (Chamba - Mcleodganj should take 5-6 hours again).
8) Once you reach Mcleodganj, you have two options for stay. Either stay at Dharmshala town or at Mcleodganj (Up 15 Kms). Both places you have decent hotels. Mcleadganj will be cooler and calm place to stay than the city.
9) Suppose, you reach Mcleodganj by evening - better to take rest after your tiring journey.
10) Next day - you can do a one day tour (Dalai lama temple - Palampur - Chamundi Temple - Baijnath etc and back).
11) If you plan to proceed towards Shimla, I think there is a route via Palampur.
But, I won't be able to add further to this. (towards Shimla etc).
So, you can modify your plan from here onwards to Shimla..
Have fun & great time !

Last edited by neo45007 : 28th June 2010 at 12:33.
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Old 28th June 2010, 12:47   #5
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Forget Mcleodgang, make it part of a different trip.
Spend 3 nights in Tirthan, and 3 nights in Sangla valley. Totally worth it.
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Old 29th June 2010, 12:29   #6
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Thank you for all your responses.

Wanderernomad,
Yes, it is hectic, but unfortunately my family and I don't mind the travel but we definitely cannot stay in a place more than 2 nights because that will make both my kids go crazy. Even they do not mind the travel. For the last 4 years we have been going back to the Himalayas from Hyderabad and it has been the same all years and we have enjoyed it. However, I take your point, I will try and re-work on it.

neo45007,
Thanks for the detailed plan. I will take in your inputs while I am re-working on my plan
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Old 29th June 2010, 15:11   #7
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If they dont mind the travel and you are of adventure type and have a suitable vehicle, I would say drop Amritsar, its way too hot right now. Go to Chamba and cross over the Sach into Killar and return via Udiapur, Keylong, Rohtang, Manali.
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Old 29th June 2010, 18:00   #8
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Yes.. that was my original plan. To go to Chamba from Chandigarh and from there cross Sach pass and do Pangi, Jispa and return via Rohtang. Unfortunately my trip is going to be in the 3rd or 4th week of September and keeping the weather condition in mind, I decided not to, atleast for now. I can always change my plan based on the weather conditions during that time. The last thing I want is to get stuck on the wrong side with 2 kids.
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Old 2nd July 2010, 10:51   #9
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If you do it around last fortnight of August or early September i.e before 10 then you just might be able to make it. August has the least chances of freak snow. Late September is slightly risky if snows are early otherwise its doable. If there are snows why dont you ditch Chamba and cross Rohtang upto Killar? It will definitely be more worth the effort than the Chamba circuit.
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Old 2nd July 2010, 12:00   #10
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Thanks Wanderernomad. Unfortunately late Aug and Early Sep will not be feasible for me. Infact, as we speak, I was originally planning to 3th & 4th week of September, but it now looks like I might have to postpone it by another week. So, I might end up being there late Sep / early Oct. With this new development, I guess I will completely drop Sach Pass. But as suggested by you, I will see the status of Rohtang at that time and if the pass is still open and the weather is good, I will drop Amritsar and Chamba and will go directly to Keylog and beyond and come back thru Rohtang. In which case, I might have to drop Sangla and chitkul and just spend a couple of days in Tirthan and return back to Chandigarh.
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