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Old 21st July 2011, 09:40   #16
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Default Re: Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti

Day 1: 4-June-2011
Delhi-Zirakpur-Shimla


The plan was to start early from Delhi but by the time we started towards Zirakpu it was already 7:30AM.
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1898.jpg

Traffic was light and the drive smooth.

Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1900.jpg

Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1901.jpg

Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1903.jpg

Since the departure date for this was fixed just 36 hours prior to the start of the sojourn, reserving a hotel room in Shimla became a real headache. Previous day I had called number of hotels in Shimla but could not secure any reservation. We tried few other hotels on our way but without any luck. On somebody’s reference I called up proprietor of Roxy Hotel at Mall Mr. Bobby, his hotel was all full but he promised a call back with some suitable arrangement. We tried other places but looked like accommodation would be difficult. Anyways we moved ahead.

The drive to Zirakpur was eventless. Roads upto Panipat is good, fun to drive but beyond Panipat upto Ambla the road became tiring and irritating. I was in the impression that all road works on Delhi-Zirakpur road was complete but how wrong was I. Beyond Panipat every few miles the traffic from the expressway is directed towards rough Bye lanes and made to endure the huge jams on the crossings and chowks as NHAI contractors are building flyovers over at all of them simultaneously. Somehow most of this crossings are on village and towns and one can imagine a mess it becomes. I had hoped that the drive would be smoother but apparently I had hit the stretch on the morning rush hour. Anways we move ahead, now and then calling some Hotels in Shimla for booking. My children and especiaaly my daughter is already bored and have started complaining. I wonder how the kids will cope the long journey confined in the car without any cartoon or the junk food.

By 12:30PM We reached Zirakpur McDonalds (near Best Price Walmart), the rendezvous point with our driver Vinkal for the trip. I help him transfer the luggage (more like Cargo) from the Civic in the meantime our kids enjoyed there last junkfood for the next forthnight.
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1904.jpg
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1905.jpg
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1906.jpg

After leaving my Civic at a friend’s place, we proceed towards Shimla at about 1:30pm.
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1907.jpg
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1913.jpg

We proceed toward Shimla and we were still without any room booking for the night. Vinkal tries Hotel Combermere for us but they are also full. As we cross Solan, I get a call from Bobby informing him that he had arrange a room for us at Hotel Mahamaya. Looks like room issue if finally shorted out.
We reached Shimla at about 5:30PM.
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1911.jpg
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1908.jpg

First look of the hotel facade is disappoining. We were given road facing front room on 3rd floor for Rs.1800/- (without bill). Room was quite dirty but we felt it would be manageable for a night.
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1909.jpg

We had the entire evening free so headed forwards the Mall in the evening. I don’t understand what is there to see or do in the Mall for the tourist except get looted by the Shops. Lots of tourist from Delhi here it gave a feel of Chandi Chowk during Diwali rush. We had nothing to do here also but to waste our time and money.
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1921.jpg
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1920crop.jpg
We had our dinner at very crowded Nalli’s where meal takes forever to arrive. At one point I had to enquire with the waiter if he had forgotten the order. Food was OK.

We returned to our hotel for quite a night which was not to be. Noise from the traffic and from the jostling a& fighting (trucks unloading at night) from the road below was maddening. I said Good bye to goodnight.

Leave Delhi at 7:30 AM
Arrive Shimla at 5:30 PM

Elevation(MMI) at Shimla: 2097Meters

Bobby of Hotel Roxy at Mall, Shimla: +91 9817068068
Hotel Mahamaya, Shimla : Can’t take the Sin.
Hotel Combermere: 0177-2651246

(cont.. Day2)

Last edited by dinesha : 21st July 2011 at 09:41.
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Old 21st July 2011, 11:58   #17
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Default Re: Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti

Great job on sharing such useful information Dinesh, kudos!
@hvk sir: You wouldn't want to take the Basantpur-kingal road sir, its way too narrow. Though the scenery is good but nothing that you wouldn't see elsewhere. There's sooooooo many blind turns that one gets tired after a while.
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Old 21st July 2011, 18:42   #18
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Default Re: Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti

Day 2 : 5-June-2011
Shimla-Kufri-Narkanda-Thanedhar-Rampur-Jeori-Sarahan


Early morning view from Hotel room at Shimla
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1922.jpg

Today's plan was to leave around 7:00AM but again by the time we moved out it was already 8:00AM. Before proceeding to Narkanda it was decided (by my wife) that the kids should get blessings for the trip from Lord Hanuman at Jakhu Temple. We skip the breakfast and drive towards the temple. The Shimla roads were quite empty and I was more then glad to beat the tourist rush.
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1925.jpg

Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1923.jpg

The steep approach road is quiet narrow and is located at about 2700mts above MSL. One one has to climb about 75 odd steps to reach the temple complex.
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1926.jpg

Too many Lord Hanuman's dhoot at the temple complex. It was hard time for my kids.
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1930edt.jpg

After quick but quite delicious breakfast at "Sher-a-Punjab" restaurant at Chhobra(?) near Kufri we head towards Narkanda.

Pure breed Yak at Kufri. This guys were charging 100/- just to sit on the Yak for the photogprahy.
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1944.jpg
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1945.jpg

View from NH22 somewhere before Narkanda
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1934.jpg
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1935.jpg

We arrive Narkanda around noon and proceed towards Hatu Peak.

(Cont.. Day 2)

Last edited by dinesha : 21st July 2011 at 18:47.
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Old 21st July 2011, 22:11   #19
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Default Re: Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti

Sir, looks like the birth of another informative and highly readable travelogue here at TBHP. The detailed information was really good, Thank You. Should be following in your footsteps mid August and hey I do not believe this is your first T-log, you are on fire...
Manmohan.
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Old 21st July 2011, 22:20   #20
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Default Re: Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti

Enjoying your travelogue and looking forward to the rest of it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dinesha View Post
...room issue if finally shorted out.
I said Good bye to goodnight.
What a short-changing that was! "Goodbye to goodnight" - I liked that expression!
Quote:
Originally Posted by dinesha View Post
..."Sher-a-Punjab" restaurant at Chhobra(?)...
At Chharabra (Chharabra - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). Right in front of the uphill road going to the Wildflower Hall.
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Old 22nd July 2011, 08:41   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manmohanmaan View Post
Sir, looks like the birth of another informative and highly readable travelogue here at TBHP. The detailed information was really good, Thank You. Should be following in your footsteps mid August and hey I do not believe this is your first T-log, you are on fire...
Manmohan.
Thanks, I hope it helps you. Please let me know if I can help in any way for your trip.
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Old 22nd July 2011, 08:57   #22
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Enjoying your travelogue and looking forward to the rest of it.

What a short-changing that was! "Goodbye to goodnight" - I liked that expression!
Excuse for the unintended error..
but an apt word for the situation..

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
At Chharabra (Chharabra - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). Right in front of the uphill road going to the Wildflower Hall.
Thanks, the restaurant's in really good and it provides an excellent view of the valley from the rear balcony.
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Old 22nd July 2011, 14:13   #23
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(Cont..Day2)

We reached Narkanda around 12:00 PM, get off the NH-22 and straight away headed towards Hatu Peak. The road leading upto the Peak is steep climb with very narrow carriageway just wide enough for only one vehicle.
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1974_2020.jpg

Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1975_2025.jpg

God forbid if there was another vehicle from the other side, one of the vehicle would be required to reverse back quite a distance to find wide patches (very few) to let other guy pass. However the climb up is very scenic with abundant pine and Spruce trees all around.

I hope god does forbid because the traffic on the road was quite heavy on that.
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1976.jpg

To add to the injury we were behind this mini-bus which meant wider stretch was needed for other vehicle to pass from the opposite side .
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1978.jpg

We move very slowly, stopping/reversing here and there to let other vehicle pass.

On enquiry one of the taxi driver from the opposite side informed us that there was a some big local festival at the Hatu Mata temple on the peak that day and about 500 vehicles where returning back from the peak. He advices us that it would be wise for us to hike, in not then we should return. But we were not going to give up easily, took quite bit of our time but we climbed slowly reversing and stopping. After covering some considerable distance our driver Vinkal gives up.
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1982_1979.jpg
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1981.jpg

He advised us to walk upto the peak as roads ahead were narrower and it will be difficult to maneuver through the jam. Before I could respond he informed us that the peak was quite near about 500 meters or so and the view from there was quite heavenly.

So we started walking rather climbing the steep road. We climbed quite a while but evidently Vinkal’s 500 meters was way longer than those prescribed by BIMS. After climbing/walking for about our 1kms , I asked a local how far was the peak, he says very-very close only about 1 KM. I curse Vinkal. My wife and daughter gives up, hails a lift from a local in his motorcycle.
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1988.jpg

My 4 year old son refuses the lift and tells me he will give me company for rest of the climb up. Lucky me. 100 meters ahead my son gives up I had to carry him. Atleast the view from the road was quite beautiful.
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1986.jpg
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1985.jpg

I continue the hike with lot of effort and struggle. I must have struggle quite a bit because seeing me huffing and puffing my 4 year old son gets down and walks with me. It is harder for him but my compassionate son refuses to let me carry him. We climb slowly and finally I can see the peak and the temple. My wife and daughter cheering my effort. Somehow I reach the top and stumble on the temple verandha. Penance for all my sins.
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_2012.jpg

My navigator tells me we are at 3180 meters MSL.

Hatu Mata temple is a small tin shed of the peak. There a big local crowd was on the queue for the blessings and we joined them for our turn.
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1990_2004.jpg

Near-by a lavish new temple is nearing completion. This traditional wooden temple with intricate carving being built has been in works since last 4 year.
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1995.jpg
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_1996.jpg

View from the Hatu peak.
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_2012_1983.jpg

I think there is a government rest house there but is inhabitatable because water and electric connections are yet to be accomplished. In the meantime with some traffic thinning, Vinkal managed to bring the Innova to the top when the traffic had thinned. Descend was similarly slow affair and it wasy already about 3:00PM by the time we were back on the state road.
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_2014.jpg
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img_2014a_2017.jpg

We turn right towards Thanedar on the state highway.

(Cont... Day2)

Last edited by Technocrat : 27th March 2015 at 01:12. Reason: Typo corrected
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Old 22nd July 2011, 15:31   #24
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Wonderful Travelogue!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dinesha View Post

b)Narkanda-Baggi-Khadrala-Sungri-Taklech-Dharanghati-Mashnoo-Sarahan
It is a dirt trek between Dharanghati and Mashnoo with no traffic but somebody did it last year in Innova could be easily done by your vehicles. This is the route I want to most defiantly take next time I travel there. The scenic beauty through this road is said to to unmatched and beats most places in Kinnaur and Spiti.
Oh yes! this is a brilliant scenic road; if one plans to stay at Sarahan, there a dirt trek leading to a place called "Shraikoti", this place is similar to VOF!

Last edited by breezydrive : 22nd July 2011 at 15:33.
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Old 22nd July 2011, 17:23   #25
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Default Re: Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti

Sir,
Fantastic Tl with details. Waiting for further updates on the travel. TLs like yours will really help us plan better on these routes.
Regards
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Old 23rd July 2011, 09:46   #26
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Wonderful Travelogue!
Oh yes! this is a brilliant scenic road; if one plans to stay at Sarahan, there a dirt trek leading to a place called "Shraikoti", this place is similar to VOF!
There is a small trek ascending towards right near the Sarahan bus stop. Is this the trek to Shraikoti. Please post more. How far it is from the village? thanks.

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Sir,
Fantastic Tl with details. Waiting for further updates on the travel. TLs like yours will really help us plan better on these routes.
Regards
Thanks.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 10:48   #27
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4 months back when we went to the Hatu peak we only had about 5-6 cars cross us during the entire climb and none when descending. So I can only imagine what it would have been like in your case, quite an ordeal for the driver. However, the view from the top makes up for all of it which makes me wonder where are the rest of the pics from the top? I'm sure you must've clicked one of the entire snow clad mountain range that one sees from the top.

I wanted to ask one thing though, did you check with anyone if one wanted to trek to the peak would he have to follow the roads only or does a shortcut exist for people on foot?
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Old 23rd July 2011, 11:03   #28
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Never thought of this much traffic at Hatu peak. When we went there this march it was fully covered in snow and traffic was almost nil. I could take my safari only 4 old kms and rest we tried to trek but last 1 km was full of snow so we returned.

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Old 23rd July 2011, 14:27   #29
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4 months back when we went to the Hatu peak we only had about 5-6 cars cross us during the entire climb and none when descending. So I can only imagine what it would have been like in your case, quite an ordeal for the driver.

I wanted to ask one thing though, did you check with anyone if one wanted to trek to the peak would he have to follow the roads only or does a shortcut exist for people on foot?
Yes, it was quite an ordeal. But in the hindsight this was an wonderful experience.Ascend was tiring but adventurous. I did not mention above that during our descent from the peak our vehicle again got struck on the traffic. I grabbed my camera and walked down all alone about 3-4kms until Vinkal came and picked me up. The walk through the pine forest all alone, in isolation was one of the most memorable moments.

There in an hiking trek that ascends to the peak from the Thanedar road. It is quite steep and does not touch the road anywhere in between (I think). This tral can be seen this picture (also posted above).
Travelogue: A family trip across Kinnaur and Spiti-img1986a_1985.jpg
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Old 23rd July 2011, 14:37   #30
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However, the view from the top makes up for all of it which makes me wonder where are the rest of the pics from the top? I'm sure you must've clicked one of the entire snow clad mountain range that one sees from the top.
I don't think any of the peaks visible at time were covered with snow. I do not recollect seeing any snow laden peaks from Hatu peak. However plenty of snow covered mountains will be seen from next day onward.

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Never thought of this much traffic at Hatu peak. When we went there this march it was fully covered in snow and traffic was almost nil. I could take my safari only 4 old kms and rest we tried to trek but last 1 km was full of snow so we returned.
Nice picture. Looks like feb/march or is the time to be there.
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