Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 30th January 2016, 16:19   #1
BHPian
 
ssambyal1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: 30°N 76°E
Posts: 263
Thanked: 588 Times
Default Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

Caution: Long Travelogue
Preface: Hello again to all the BHPians. After the adrenalin gushing trip over the mighty Sach Pass (4,390 meters) in to the Pattan and Lahaul Valleys of Himachal Pradesh in October last, the next on the itinerary was a drive through the barren and no man’s land of Spiti Valley. Had shared the travelogue of the Sach Pass trip, on this very forum, which was also my first travelogue (Travelogue: Over The Sach Pass: A Dzire Fulfilled!!!). Now is the time to share the second one.

Was eager to share the travel experience since returning from the trip but was too preoccupied to start the thread. Nonetheless it's never late to share on Team BHP. So coming back to the trip, the drive to Spiti Valley was on the itinerary since long, as that was the only place in Himachal which we hadn’t explored yet. The idea was to enter the Spiti Valley from Kinnaur side and drive all through its vast expanse and then cross over to Lahaul Valley after crossing the mighty Kunzum Pass (4,590 meters) and then further continuing the drive to Manali after crossing the famous Rohtang Pass (3,978 meters).

About The Valley: Spiti Valley is a high altitude cold desert valley located in the Great Himalayan Range, in the north-eastern part of Himachal Pradesh. The word "Spiti" means "The Middle Land" and hence it is the name given as the valley lies between Tibet and India.

There are two routes to approach the valley, one is from Kinnaur side, which is beyond Shimla and the other is from Manali side, that is after crossing the high altitude passes of Rohtang and Kunzum. The route from Shimla and Kinnaur is the most frequented one as the road conditions are good and also because it is well inhabited. The route from Manali is the most treacherous one and is virtually through the no man’s land with a few temporary seasonal settlements along the way. Although both the routes remain closed during the winter months from November onwards till June due to heavy snowfall but the route from Kinnaur side is cleared of snow for short durations even during the winter months, as and when weather conditions permit. This is primarily done to facilitate the mobility of the local populace.

The Spiti Valley although barren, offers some of the most spectacular views of the pristine Himalayan beauty. Being a cold desert, the valley doesn’t offer a riot of colours as the primary hues are of grey, brown and blue only, with in between traces of the green but nonetheless this unique panorama is seen to be believed, which transfers the traveller straight into a different world. The entire surroundings of the valley bear a striking resemblance with the lunar landscape with the only exception being swiftly flowing rivers and streams.

Some photographs from the trip:

Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-shot-1.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-shot-2.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-shot-3.jpg

The itinerary of the trip was decided as follows:
Day 1: Chandigarh to Reckong Peo
Day 2: Reckong Peo to Tabo
Day 3: Tabo to Kaza and exploring areas around Kaza.
Day 4: Kaza to Manali via Kunzum Pass & Rohtang Pass.
Day 5: Manali to Chandigarh

Trip Duration: 5 days & 4 nights
Trip Vehicle: Swift Dzire (Petrol) Vxi
Trip Members: 3 (Myself, Bro & A Mutual Friend (A Retired IAF Officer))

Preparation For The Trip: Given the duration of the trip, not much preparation was required on the luggage front. But yes in terms of logistics and route, a detailed plan was made which included all the considerations regarding the route to be taken, marking the points on the route where fuel will be available etc. Also thoroughly went through previous travelogues and blogs relating to the trips in the region. Team BHP travelogues also came in very handy while planning and along with that google maps were the guides to chalk out the best routes. Here would specifically like to mention that a travelogue regarding a trip to Spiti Valley by a BHPian in a Hatchback was the real motivator for us to take a sedan into the unchartered territory. (Travelogue: A Hatchback and an epic 2000 kms road-trip to Spiti)

Apart from that also went through the weather conditions forecast for the region as the trip was planned at the fag end of the season with quite likely chances of routes getting blocked with unexpected heavy snowfall. Luckily got a clear window for four days. Then came the planning for the boarding and lodging during the trip, which was not an issue as most of the towns of Himachal Pradesh offer decent accommodation as they are on national as well as international tourist circuits and with villages also offering decent home stay facilities.

The next was the most vital decision regarding the vehicle to be taken and once again the choice of vehicle was Swift Dzire (as that's the only vehicle which we own ) but given the treacherous road conditions of Spiti Valley, apprehensions were bound to be there. Nonetheless, with the capability of Dzire being fully put to test and acknowledged in the previous trip across the Sach Pass, the final decision was to attempt this one also in it. Moreover Dzire’s decent ground clearance of 170mm has always been a confidence booster.

Not to forget the basic yet indispensable spares which are a must have for the long drives:
1. Spare Tyre (Tubeless)
2. Jack with handle & spanner
3. A 6” by 6” square wooden plank which is at least 1” thick to place the jack upon in case of soft ground conditions.
4. Engine Oil 1litre.
5. Brake Fluid 250ml.
6. Spare Engine Oil Filter
7. Tool kit
8. Jump Start Cables
9. Foot operated Air Pump

With all set and done we were ready to roll out.

Last edited by ssambyal1980 : 7th February 2016 at 17:38.
ssambyal1980 is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2016, 00:14   #2
BHPian
 
ssambyal1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: 30°N 76°E
Posts: 263
Thanked: 588 Times
Default re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

Day 1: 20th October 2015
Journey: Chandigarh to Reckong Peo (Via Shimla, Rampur)
Total Distance Covered: 340 kms
Total Travel Time (Including Halts): 14hrs 10mins (Halts:3hrs)
Route: Chandigarh-Dharampur-Solan-Shimla-Theog-Narkanda-Sainj-Rampur-Jeori-Wangtu-Karcham-Powari-Reckong Peo


A Long Day On The Road

Given the distance and the mountain terrain, it was going be a long day on road, so made an early morning start at 0630hrs.

The route for day:
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-route-map.jpg

Stopped for toll at Himalayan Expressway toll plaza near Chandimandir.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-1.jpg

Traffic was scarce due to early morning hours and the breeze was refreshing.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-2.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-3.jpg

Crossed the district headquarter town of Solan by 0800hrs.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-4.jpg

Took first pit stop for the day for a quick breakfast before Shimla.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-5.jpg

Views along the national highway to Shimla.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-6.jpg

Reached Shimla by 1000hrs.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-7.jpg

A hockey field alongside the Shimla-Narkanda highway.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-7a.jpg

The second pit stop was at Narkanda for lunch.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-8.jpg

And the journey continues...
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-8a.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-9.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-10.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-11.jpg

First views of Sutlej River after descending from Narkanda on the way to Rampur.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-12.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-13.jpg

The road was joy to drive on, all through till Rampur
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-14.jpg

River Sutlej flows swiftly alongside the highway near Rampur. Reached Rampur by 1530 hrs and refuelled the car.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-15.jpg

The beautiful Padam Palace at Rampur belonging to the Royal Family of the erstwhile state of Bushahr.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-16.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-17.jpg

Sutlej narrows down into a stream beyond Rampur.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-18.jpg

The first traffic jam of the day a few kilometres ahead of Rampur. The highway was being widened
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-19.jpg

Finally entered the Kinnaur Valley by 1700hrs
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-20.jpg

Crossing the famous rock arch on the Rampur-Reckong Peo highway.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-21.jpg

Miles to go before I sleep.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-21a.jpg

Deep gorges along the highway made the drive scary yet thrilling.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-22.jpg

The traffic was scarce beyond Rampur.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-22b.jpg

By the time we reached Wangtu it was already dark. Thereafter the highway was largely an unmetalled stretch till Powari. Reached Reckong Peo at 2100hrs and checked into a small budget hotel located on the main square and then had a quick dinner at dhaba nearby as most of the main restaurants and eateries had closed by that time. Finally we called it a day by 2300hrs.

Dzire resting after a gruelling day on highway.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-24.jpg

Reckong Peo Square.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-1-25.jpg
ssambyal1980 is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2016, 16:59   #3
BHPian
 
ssambyal1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: 30°N 76°E
Posts: 263
Thanked: 588 Times
Default re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

Day2: 21st October 2015
Journey: Reckong Peo to Tabo
Total Distance Covered: 165 kms
Total Travel Time (Including Halts & Jams): 09hrs 35mins (Halts & Jams:2hrs 35mins)
Route: Reckong Peo-Poari-Jangi-Spello-Puh-Khab-Kah-Nako-Malling Nallah-Chango-Sumdo-Hoorling


Enchanting Kinnaur Valley


Woke up to a promising and clear day with a pleasant weather.

The view of snowy peaks from the square was mesmerising. Prominent among them were Jorkanden (6473 meters) and the locally revered Kinner Kailash (6050 meters)
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-1.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-2.jpg

After the customary morning tea, rolled out for the day by 0740 hrs. It was decided to have breakfast on the way.

Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-3.jpg

Note: Videos are bit shaky as the roads were uneven and bumpy. All videos were made using smartphone cam. Dearly missed the dashboard cam but nonetheless tried level best to capture the pristine Himalayan beauty.

Video of Reckong Peo-Poari stretch


River Sutlej broke the silence in otherwise calm morning.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-5.jpg

Note: The only refuelling station in Kinnaur is at Poari. The next one on the highway is at Kaza in Spiti, a good 200 kms away.

Video of Powari-Jangi Stretch.
The road was largely a rough and uneven patch due recurring landslides and shooting stones.


‘Kassang Nallah’ is amongst many ferocious tributaries of Sutlej.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-7.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-8.jpg

Bridges are the lifeline in the mountains.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-9.jpg

Note:Himachal Police checkpost is located at Jangi, where vehicle and passenger details going beyond are noted down. Beyond Jangi only BSNL mobile phone network functions. Other private mobile networks don't provide service in the area as it is in close proximity to the Tibet border.

Sutlej gives a good company all through, right from Poari till Khab.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-11.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-12.jpg

Stopped for breakfast at Spillo, a small village on NH-22 after Jangi.

The highway was uneven but the bridges were excellent. Streams criss cross the highway at regular intervals.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-13.jpg

Aptly remarked!!!
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-14.jpg

The entire stretch of NH-22 which falls in Kinnaur district is maintained by the Border Roads Organization. Given the difficult terrain and harsh weather conditions, BRO is doing a yeoman’s job.

Road was excellent while approaching Puh.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-15.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-16.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-18.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-19.jpg

Divine intervention is a must on every blind turn.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-20.jpg

Video of Spillo-Puh stretch. Approaching Puh.


Puh is a small but important town on NH-22. It is renowned for its natural beauty, green fields, apricot orchards, vineyards and almond trees. It also houses the military garrison of Indian army and is also a forward area post.

Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-21.jpg

We Fit Our Equipment Fit!!!
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-22.jpg
Salute to the brave soldiers who are on duty in such remote areas of the country.

Road was narrow and unmetalled beyond Puh.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-23.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-24.jpg

To be continued...

Last edited by ssambyal1980 : 6th February 2016 at 18:14.
ssambyal1980 is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2016, 23:24   #4
BHPian
 
ssambyal1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: 30°N 76°E
Posts: 263
Thanked: 588 Times
Default re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

Day: 2 Continued...

Route Map for Day 2:
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-route-map.jpg

The road to the famous Shipkila Pass on Indo-Tibet border bifurcates from NH-22 a few kilometres beyond Puh.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-25.jpg

Sutlej once again turned into a stream.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-26.jpg

Video of Puh-Khab stretch.


Approaching Khab, the confluence point of Sutlej and Spiti Rivers.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-28.jpg

The first bridge over Sutlej at Khab after it enters India.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-29.jpg

Looking towards the Indo-Tibet border from Khab bridge. River Sutlej flows swiftly into the Indian Territory. The mighty Reo Purgyil Peak (6816 meters) covered with snow is also visible in the background. The mountain range on which the peak is located acts as a natural demarcation line and is a part of LAC (Line of Actual Control), which defines the disputed international border between India and China.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-30.jpg

Khab Bridge
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-31.jpg

With River Sutlej left behind, the new companion now was River Spiti.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-32.jpg

Video of Khab-Kah stretch.


Looking back towards Khab, the road has been cut through the rock face.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-34.jpg

Road was excellent on the Khab-Kah-Nako stretch.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-35.jpg

Roger That!!!
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-36.jpg

The plantations of Kah Village seemed like an oasis in the desert. The greenery was a welcome relief in otherwise continuous hues of brown and grey.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-37.jpg

Video of Khab-Kah stretch.
Approaching Kah Village.


The road winds up like a snake from Kah to Nako.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-39.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-40.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-41.jpg

Nako village with its terraced fields. The village is on the tourist circuit and is famous for a small lake.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-42.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-43.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-44.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-45.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-46.jpg

Crossing the notorious Malling Nallah (Elevation 3980 meters). It is the highest point on the Reckong Peo-Kaza highway and is quite infamous for recurring landslides during monsoons and blockades due to heavy snowfall in winters.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-47.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-48.jpg

Descending from Malling Nallah towards Chango.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-50.jpg

River Spiti flows in the deep gorge.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-49.jpg

Dizzy Heights!!! From Malling Nallah it was a continuous steep descent till Chango that even the engine braking proved inadequate at times.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-51.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-52.jpg

To be continued...

Last edited by ssambyal1980 : 6th February 2016 at 18:15.
ssambyal1980 is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 4th February 2016, 00:23   #5
BHPian
 
ssambyal1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: 30°N 76°E
Posts: 263
Thanked: 588 Times
Default re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

Day: 2 Continued...

Limestone rock formations gave an illusion of lunar landscape on the Malling-Chango stretch.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-53.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-54.jpg

We reached Chango by 1400 hrs and decided to skip lunch and continue proceeding towards Tabo so as to reach there before dark. None of us was feeling hungry as had a heavy breakfast only 4 hours ago. Moreover were carrying fruits and snacks to relish upon. But a major landslide just beyond Chango forced upon us a long break of one and a half hour.

Remained stuck for one and a half hour due to a major landslide, a couple of kilometres ahead of Chango. The road was being widened by blasting the rock.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-55.jpg

Sumdo the gateway to Spiti Valley and the last settlement on NH-22 in Kinnaur district. It is also a forward area military station.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-56.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-57.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-58.jpg

Note: All the travellers bound for Spiti Valley are required to register themselves at the security checkpost at Sumdo.

‘Julley’ is a Ladakhi word used for greeting. It is used to say ‘hello’, ‘good bye’ and ‘thank you’.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-59.jpg

Road to ‘Kaurik’ the last village of Kinnaur on the Indo-Tibet border bifurcates from Sumdo.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-60.jpg

Soon we entered the Spiti Valley. It was like being in an altogether different world, with the only hues of blue, brown and grey greeting the eyes as far as one could see.

Unusual traffic has the right of way.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-61.jpg

Had to wade through streams at regular intervals.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-62.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-63.jpg

One of the straight stretches of highway in the valley.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-64.jpg

A typical village house in Spiti valley.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-65.jpg

Convoy of fuel tankers returning after replenishing supplies at Kaza. The highest refuelling station in the world is located at Kaza.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-66.jpg

Vegetation was negligible due to high altitude and extreme cold.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-67.jpg

View of Tabo at last.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-68.jpg

Finally reached Tabo by 1720 hrs after a beautiful yet gruelling journey of nine and a half hour.

Welcome to Tabo.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-70.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-69.jpg

Tried to look for accommodation at PWD Rest House but it was locked with no one around.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-71.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-72.jpg

Tried looking for accommodation in hotels nearby and was successful in finding a decent one at a budget price at Hotel Sidharth. As it was off season so the tariff was 50% of the normal rates. After freshening up went around the village for a walk.

Probably amongst the highest bank branches, with a functioning ATM.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-73.jpg

After a brief stroll we returned back to the room as it was bitterly cold outside after sunset. Had our dinner by 2100 hrs and did some planning for the next day. It was decided to visit the famous Tabo monastery in the morning and then leave for Kaza. Finally after chit chatting we called it a day by 2300 hrs.
ssambyal1980 is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th February 2016, 18:00   #6
BHPian
 
ssambyal1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: 30°N 76°E
Posts: 263
Thanked: 588 Times
Default re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

Day 3: 22nd October 2015
Journey: Tabo to Kaza
Total Distance Covered: 49 kms
Total Travel Time (Including Halts): 02 hrs 20mins (Halts:20mins)
Route: Tabo-Schchiling-Attargo-Kaza.


Day of Eternal Bliss And Divine Blessings.


Woke up to a yet another bright sunny day. The itinerary for the day was to first visit the famous Tabo Monastery along with exploration of the areas around and then finally proceeding towards Kaza. Tabo Monastery is the oldest continuously functioning Buddhist monument in India. It was established in 996AD and is also known as Ajanta and Ellora of the Himalayas. The old paintings and murals inside the Monastery are more than a millennium old and are still in good condition. There are number of ‘Stupas’ in and around the monastery. Then there a few caves on a hill above Tabo village which were used by monks for meditation in ancient times. So after exploring the entire village, we rolled out towards Kaza by 1000 hrs.

Hotel Sidharth, our place of stay at Tabo
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-1.jpg

Sunshine was bright and the day looked promising.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-2.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-3.jpg

Flat roof style houses are common in the villages of Spiti Valley.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-4.jpg

Entry to Tabo Monastery.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-5.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-6.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-7.jpg

Mud structures housing rooms where monks stay.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-8.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-9.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-10.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-11.jpg

An old mud ‘Stupa’ inside the monastery premises.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-12.jpg

A newly constructed ‘Stupa’ in the vicinity of the old one.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-13.jpg

Panoramic view of Tabo Village from the hill above.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-14.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-15.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-16.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-17.jpg

Ancient meditation rooms on the hill.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-18.jpg

After having breakfast at the hotel, we checked out by 1000 hrs for the onward journey to Kaza.

The first vehicle which we met for the day was an HRTC bus coming from Kaza, bound for Reckong Peo.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-19.jpg

Hats off to the gutsy drivers, who drive heavy vehicles on the narrow and perilous Himalayan roads with a smile on their face.

Came across a major bridge a little ahead of Tabo towards Kaza.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-20.jpg

The beauty around was absolutely spell bounding.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-21.jpg

Barren Beauty!!! The road had unmetalled stretches at regular intervals. The entire route was heavily landslides prone.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-22.jpg

Scenery changed with every turn.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-23.jpg

The primary hues all through were of blue, brown, grey and white with in between traces of green.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-24.jpg

Well said!!!
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-25.jpg

The vastness of the mighty Himalayas not only astonishes you but also leave you absolutely humbled. It makes you ponder how puny we are in front of nature’s expanse and power.

To be continued...
ssambyal1980 is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th February 2016, 22:11   #7
BHPian
 
ssambyal1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: 30°N 76°E
Posts: 263
Thanked: 588 Times
Default re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

Day 3: Continued...

Video of Tabo-Kaza stretch.


Amazing rock formations were a regular feature on the highway.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-27.jpg

River Spiti was our constant companion all through.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-28.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-29.jpg

Dhankar Monastery perched on the cliff as viewed from Tabo-Kaza highway. Notice the white structures on the cliff.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-30.jpg

Valley was pretty wide as we approached Attargo Village.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-31.jpg

Dzire making most of the photo op.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-32.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-33.jpg

Finally we reached Kaza by 1220 hrs and as per priority the first task was to refuel the Dzire. This was the second refuelling of the trip, the first one being at Rampur on day one. Distance between Rampur and Kaza is 313 kms and fuel consumed was 27 lts. Mileage achieved was 11.5km/lt.

Indian Oil refuelling station at Kaza is the world’s highest refuelling station (altitude 3740 meters).
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-34.jpg

Dzire got its tummy filled to the brim. Getting refuelled at the highest refuelling station was remarkable.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-35.jpg

After refuelling we went around the town looking for accommodation. As it was the fag end of the season therefore finding one was not going to be a problem. Finally checked in at Hotel Spiti View, which was near the refuelling station. Accommodation although budget was quite decent and comfortable.

Our place of stay at Kaza.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-63.jpg

Views of the town from Hotel.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-36.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-37.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-38.jpg

There was a monastery near the hotel.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-39.jpg

After freshening up we went to the nearby monastery and the famous eight ‘Stupas’ which were on the opposite of monastery.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-40.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-41.jpg

The famous Eight ‘Stupas’ of Kaza. A stupa is a mound-like or hemispherical structure containing relics, and is used as a place of meditation.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-42.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-43.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-44.jpg

To be continued...
ssambyal1980 is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th February 2016, 22:33   #8
BHPian
 
ssambyal1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: 30°N 76°E
Posts: 263
Thanked: 588 Times
Default re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

Day 3: Continued...

The time was 1330 hrs, so we headed straight to the main Kaza market for lunch. As per the revised itinerary, the plan for the remaining part of the day was to visit Kibber Village which is the world’s highest permanently inhabited village (altitude 4205 meters) and the nearby famous Kye Monastery (altitude 4116 meters). We relished on veg momos for lunch and then rolled out for exploring the areas around. Key Monastery was the first destination and then the plan was to visit Kibber Village. Kye Monastery is 16kms from Kaza and Kibber Village is further 7kms from Key Monastery.

View of Kaza bus terminus.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-45.jpg

Views along the Kaza-Kye-Kibber road were excellent.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-46.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-47.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-49.jpg

Video of Kaza-Kibber stretch.


Kye Village with Key Monastery perched on the hill above.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-50.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-51.jpg

Kye Monastery also spelled as Kee and Kye. It is an ancient monastery founded in 11th century AD. The monastery due to its unique construction appears likes a fort.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-52.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-53.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-54.jpg

Views from top of the monastery. The village and the fields below looked really beautiful.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-55.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-56.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-57.jpg

A government school in the vicinity of monastery.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-58.jpg

After visiting the monastery we drove to Kibber, which is the highest permanently inhabited village in Asia located at an altitude of 4205 meters. Kibber is 7kms from Kye Monastery.

The village seemed to be deserted with no one around
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-59.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-60.jpg

The highest school in the world!!!
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-61.jpg

After staying around for about 15 minutes we came across a man driving a tractor. He was coming from Kaza to deliver some construction material in the village. Had a brief chat with him and he told us that as it was evening time and cold so everyone is keeping indoors. One wonders how people manage to live happily in such remote corners of the country.

Nonetheless the peace around was simply soothing to the mind and soul.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-62.jpg

By 1615 hrs we started back towards Kaza and after in an hour’s drive we were at our hotel. After the evening tea we went for a walk to explore the locales of the town. By 2030 hrs we came back to the hotel and had our dinner by 2130 hrs. Our plan for the next day was to start as early as possible as the most treacherous and difficult leg of the trip from Kaza to Manali was to be covered. Finally we called it a day by 2200 hrs. That was the end of a day full of bliss and divine blessings.
ssambyal1980 is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th February 2016, 17:00   #9
BHPian
 
ssambyal1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: 30°N 76°E
Posts: 263
Thanked: 588 Times
Default re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

Day 4: 23rd October 2015
Journey: Kaza to Manali (Via Kunzum Pass & Rohtang Pass)
Total Distance Covered: 209 kms
Total Travel Time (Including Halts): 13hrs 25mins (Halts:2hrs)
Route: Kaza-Rangrik-Hanse-Losser-Kunzum Pass-Batal-Chhota Dhara-Chhatru-Gramphoo-Rohtang Pass-Marhi-Palchan-Manali.


Through No Man's Land


So finally the day of days had arrived. As it was going to be a long and tough day on road, so we got up early in the morning at 0500hrs and were ready to move by 0630 hrs. It was decided to have breakfast on the way at Losser Village which is 59 kms from Kaza. After checkout we were on our way by 0635 hrs. With the weather clear, everything seemed to be going as per plan. The early morning beauty of the valley was to be seen to be believed. As such couldn’t resist from video graphing the pristine beauty around. The first permanent settlement after Kaza was Rangrik Village.

Note: All the videos were shot with a mobile phone camera. Dearly missed dashboard camera but nonetheless tried level best to capture the pristine Himalayan beauty.

First video of Kaza-Rangrik stretch.


Second video of Kaza-Rangrik stretch.


The second village after Rangrik was Hanse.

First video of Rangrik-Hanse stretch.


Unique rock formations which were a regular feature on the way.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-4.jpg

The beauty of the valley started unfolding with sun rise.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-5.jpg

Second video of Rangrik-Hanse stretch.


It seemed as if we were driving on some other planet.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-7.jpg

Spell bounding beauty between Rangrik and Hanse Villages.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-8.jpg

Third video of Rangrik-Hanse stretch.


Road to paradise. Came across many such straight stretches in the valley.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-10.jpg

Fourth video of Rangrik-Hanse stretch.


Hanse Village is located amidst the most serene surroundings with snow capped towering peaks in the background. The next important village after Hanse was Losser.

Videos of Hanse-Losser stretch.

First Video


Second Video


Third Video


Fourth Video


Despite bright sunshine, the temperature was well below freezing point. The stagnant water on the road had frozen.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-16.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-17.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-18.jpg

Approaching Losser Village.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-19.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-20.jpg

By 0850 hrs we reached our first stop of the day for breakfast at Losser Village. The 59kms drive from Kaza to Losser took 2 hours and was through the most beautiful countryside. Losser is a small but well inhabited village tucked in the remote corner of Spiti Valley. At Losser we met a newlywed couple from Delhi who were also on their way to Manali from Kaza in a Ford Figo. There were also two taxis (Tempo Travellers) with tourists from Bengal heading towards Manali. After having breakfast we were again on the move by 0915 hrs. We were the first one to roll out.

Losser Village was our first pit stop for the day for breakfast.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-21.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-22.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-23.jpg

Despite bright sunshine it was an extremely chilly morning. The temperature was a few notches below the freezing point. Extreme cold led to freezing of water droplets on the bumper within a couple of minutes after the Dzire had crossed a water logged stretch.

Frozen water droplets on the bumper.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-24.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-25.jpg

To be continued...
ssambyal1980 is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th February 2016, 18:51   #10
BHPian
 
ssambyal1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: 30°N 76°E
Posts: 263
Thanked: 588 Times
Default re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

Day 4: Continued...

The metalled road ended at Losser Village and for further onwards it was just a unmetalled track of compressed stones and rocks till Gramphoo, a stretch of 80kms!!!. The Kaza-Manali route is a part of the famous Raid-De-Himalaya Rally with Gramphoo-Kunzum Pass-Losser coming under competitive stretch. The ascent to Kunzum Pass started immediately after leaving Losser. The going was getting tougher now and the real challenge had just begun. For a moment we thought are we doing the right thing but then decided to continue hoping for the best.

A causeway just ahead of Losser Village. There was nothing in name of road. Notice the unmetalled track.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-26.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-27.jpg

Now it was the time for us to bid goodbye to Spiti River. The river has its origin at the base of Kunzum Pass. Due to extreme cold it had started freezing. Spiti River was our companion for the trip right from Khab till Losser.

Partially frozen Spiti River.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-26a.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-26b.jpg

First video of Losser-Kunzum Pass stretch.


Encountered first snows a few kilometres from Losser on way to Kunzum Pass.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-29.jpg

As we approached the pass, there was snow all around.

Second video of Losser-Kunzum stretch.


Video of Kunzum Pass.
Did the customary circumnavigation on the pass by driving around the stupa and temple.


By 1015hrs we were on Kunzum top. It took us nearly one hour to cover a distance of 18kms from Losser to Kunzum as the drive was primarily in first and second gear due to treacherous road conditions. Kunzum Pass is a high mountain pass located at an altitude of 4590 meters. It is situated on the Kunzum Range which segregates the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys. There is a temple and a stupa on the pass and it is customary to circumnavigate the temple and stupa to seek divine blessings before proceeding further. We stayed on the pass for around 15mins and prayed for the safe conclusion of the arduous journey. The calm on the pass was mystic and the only sound was of the wind billowing. It was thrilling to be on the top. The only other vehicle we met was a jeep parked nearby with its occupants offering prayers. They were locals heading towards Losser Village.

Dzire resting on the top after an arduous climb.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-32.jpg

The mandatory photo shoot after the climb.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-33.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-34.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-35.jpg

Finally we resumed our journey by 1035 hrs and the next stop was Batal a small seasonal settlement situated on the base of the pass. Distance from Kunzum Pass to Batal is 12kms and the road is a continuous steep descent with narrow turnings. The drive downhill was again mostly in first and second gears to make use of engine braking.

First video of Kunzum-Batal stretch.


It was a continuous descent from Kunzum till Batal. The road was narrow with deep gorge on the either side.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-38.jpg

First view of Chandra River while descending from Kunzum Pass. It was our next continuous companion till Gramphoo.

Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-39.jpg

Snow-capped peaks seemed to be too close.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-40.jpg

Road descending from Kunzum Pass.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-41.jpg

Chandra River originates from the high altitude and famous Chandertal Lake.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-42.jpg

Stopped for a while to capture the beauty around.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-43.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-44.jpg

Second video of Kunzum-Batal stretch.


The road bifurcates towards Chandertal Lake approximately halfway between Batal and Kunzum Pass.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-46.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-46a.jpg

Approaching Batal.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-47.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-48.jpg

Came across a frozen waterfall on the way. It was damn chilly despite noon and bright sunshine.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-47b.jpg

Finally at Batal.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-49.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-50.jpg

To be continued...
ssambyal1980 is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th February 2016, 20:07   #11
BHPian
 
ssambyal1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: 30°N 76°E
Posts: 263
Thanked: 588 Times
Default re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

Day 4: Continued...

We reached Batal by 1125 hrs. It took 45 minutes to cover 12kms. Batal is a seasonal settlement housing makeshift eateries which cater to the needs of travellers during the tourist season. There is one PWD Rest House also.

Bridge over Chandra River at Batal.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-51.jpg

Rest house at Batal.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-52.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-53.jpg

Makeshift eateries cater to the needs of travellers. As we had come during season end, as such all had closed for the ensuing winter season.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-54.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-55.jpg

From Batal onwards the road virtually vanished as the unmetalled track got camouflaged with the vast plain stretch on the riverside. The drive was through a rough and uneven stony tarmac. At certain points it was really hard to make out which way to proceed and with virtually zero traffic we were all alone. Just came across a lone Fortuner. It was coming from Manali and was headed to Kaza. The next stop was Chhota Dhara, which is another seasonal settlement.

Video of Batal-Chhota Dhara stretch.


In the middle of nowhere, where is the road?
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-55a.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-57.jpg

About two kilometers from Batal we were totally lost for a while as the track got camouflaged with the surrounding terrain and it became difficult to proceed further. At this time we all got bit worried as the entire stretch was a secluded one and in case of breakdown of vehicle we would have been left stranded in the middle of nowhere with absolutely no help for hours at stretch. During the tourist season of July to September the Kaza-Manali stretch is well frequented but during late October which is the fag end of season, only few people take the risk to travel on this road. The HRTC bus service on Manali-Kaza route gets suspended for the winters with effect from 15th October every year. There are high chances of the road getting blocked due to heavy snowfall any time after 15th October.

As we were travelling on 23rd October which was well past the official route closure deadline, so anxiety was bound to be there. The only saving grace was that the weather was clear with sun shining brightly. After waiting for about 15 mins we were joined by the couple in Ford Figo whom we had met at Losser. They too were clueless about how to proceed further. As we all were discussing the matter, we saw a taxi coming towards us from Manali side. That was how the track was revealed. I stopped its driver who was a local lad heading towards Kaza from Manali with foreign tourists, he was kind enough to patiently explain the route ahead. He advised us to drive slowly on the dry patch on the riverside. Finally we were on the roll again and after covering a distance of around two kilometers, the track appeared again.

The view of Bara Shigri Glacier was too captivating.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-57a.jpg

Bara Shigri is the largest glacier located in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is the second longest glacier in Himalayas after Gangotri. The length of the glacier is 30kms and it is a major catchment area for Chandra River.

At this time we thought the worst is over but we were wrong as the road conditions deteriorated further. Infact the Batal-Chhota Dhara stretch is the most difficult and notorious one on the Kaza-Manali route. There was absolutely no road but only a rough and uneven track with large stones embedded in it which made progress extremely slow and any careless maneuver meant a nasty hit on the underside of the car. The maximum speed was 10-15 km/h with drive only in 1st gear. The main worry was to protect the sump from getting hit as that could have meant the end of trip in the middle of nowhere. The couple who was following us in their Ford Figo was driving a bit faster as such we allowed them to overtake us with an advice to go slow. We planned to catch up with them ahead.

A few kilometers before Chhota Dhara we came across a stream with little water but strewn with large rocks. At first instance it seemed difficult to cross as such had to get off the wheel to chalk out a safe passage. Despite careful maneuvering the front left tyre got stuck between two large rocks. The only way out now was to push the vehicle. Luckily a taxi heading for Manali reached there and its driver too joined in pushing out the Dzire. Were able to bring out the Dzire safely without any hits to its underbelly. Thanked the driver for his help. He strictly advised us to avoid driving a sedan on this route in future. He was absolutely right because during the season time the Batal-Chhota Dhara-Chhatru-Gramphoo stretch gets infested by number of water crossings due to melting snows and during that time it’s quite common for the likes of Innova’s, Xylo’s and Scorpio’s to get stuck in gushing waters. We were lucky as most of the stretch was dry due to freezing of water sources. Hands down this route is strictly a 4WD domain.

Video of crossing the stream.


The stream though mostly dry posed real challenge to maneuver through.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-59.jpg

Finally after a bone rattling ride we reached Chhota Dhara by 1325hrs. The pathetic condition of the road can be gauged from the fact that it took 1hr 45mins to cover a distance of 16kms between Batal and Chhota Dhara. Took a break of 15 mins for snacks and drinks and that was our lunch for the day. Despite the scary seclusion the beauty around was captivating. Like Batal there is a rest house at Chhota Dhara which is functional only during tourist season.

Photos taken at Chhota Dhara.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-60.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-61.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-62.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-63.jpg

There was an automatic weather monitoring station at Chhota Dhara.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-64.jpg

We started again at 1340 hrs. Next stop was Chhatru which is yet another seasonal settlement on the route. The distance from Chhota Dhara to Chhatru is 13kms and with worst stretch behind us we thought of covering this distance in around 45mins but again we were proved wrong. The road continued to remained pathetic and once again we got stuck in a stream crossing somewhere halfway before Chhatru. This time around it seemed extremely difficult to cross over as huge rocks were jutting out of the track. There were highly likely chances of getting the Dzire’s underside scratched. We parked the car on the side and began planning to chalk out a safe passage. Despite a lot of calculations it seemed difficult to cross over.

As ours was the only vehicle so anxiety was writ large on our faces. Nonetheless we were also wondering how come the couple in Figo managed to cross over. As we were contemplating, the convoy of two Tempo Travellers whom we had met at Losser reached the site. Despite the high ground clearance they too found it difficult to cross but somehow managed. That was like a motivation for us and we too somehow managed to crossover albeit with some extremely careful maneuvering. It took us around 15 mins to cross a section which was merely 10 meters long. But the best part was that the Dzire crossed unscathed.

The taxi drivers too extended their help by guiding. This was their first trip on the Kaza-Manali route and I heard them swearing that they won’t come on this treacherous route again!!!. Despite managing to cross over unscathed we were subjected to further delay as one of the tempo had a puncture on the rear wheel. As the road was too narrow so there was no question of overtaking, so we waited till the driver changed the tyre. In the meantime we had a brief chat with the tourists from Bengal who were heading to Manali from Kaza in the two Tempo Travellers. Finally we started again, this time in a convoy of three vehicles.

The stretch which tested our patience and resilience. Notice the rough track strewn with rocks and boulders. We were quite lucky that the Dzire came out unscathed.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-67.jpg

Had to wait till the punctured tyre was replaced.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-66.jpg

The barren beauty was awesome but the route was scary. The stretch proved to be an epitome for the saying 'Every beauty has inherent dangers'.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-65.jpg

The entire route was a cobbled track of stones.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-68.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-69.jpg

Finally by 1525 hrs we reached Chhatru which is the third seasonal settlement of the route. It again took around 1hr 45mins (including 30 mins at stream crossing) to cover a mere distance of 13kms from Chhota Dhara to Chhatru. The progress was painfully slow due to worst road conditions we have ever encountered. Had to stop a number of times on the way to carefully plan and then maneuver the vehicle slowly over the large rocks as we couldn’t afford the risk of breakdown on this secluded stretch. Despite a higher ground clearance the drivers of the tempo travellers moving ahead of us were also driving extremely slowly and cautiously to avoid hitting the differentials. The drivers stopped at Chhatru for tea but we continued with our drive as we were already running behind schedule and wanted to reach Rohtang Pass by the last light. Nonetheless stopped a little ahead of Chhatru for the customary photo shoot.

Stopped for a while after crossing Chhatru Bridge.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-70.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-71.jpg

Towering peaks around Chhatru.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-72.jpg

Dzire was a lone traveller for the better part of the day.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-73.jpg

We resumed our journey by 1530 hrs and the plan was to reach Manali by 1930hrs. The distance left for the day was 81kms.

The ascent to Gramphoo started a few kilometers beyond Chhatru.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-74.jpg

On the way we discussed that by now the couple from Delhi, driving a Ford Figo must have crossed Rohtang Pass, as they had taken a substantial lead but that was not to be. After covering a couple of kilometers we came across a pick up jeep coming from Gramphoo, with its driver waving us to stop. He told us that a young couple had got stranded about 3kms before Gramphoo due to some fault in their car and they need immediate help. We were moved by the selflessness of the jeep driver who despite being stranger to the couple, pleaded with us to help them. We assured him that we will do the needful. Finally we caught up with them. The guy told us that the Figo’s gear shifter rod had snapped due to a nasty hit on large rock and now the only gear which can be engaged was 3rd. That confirmed our doubt as we were quite surprised that how come they managed to crossover rocky patches so easily. Actually they didn’t heed to our advice of slow and careful driving over the rocky tarmac.

Nonetheless we offered them lift till Manali from where they planned to take along a mechanic the next day. After pushing the stranded car to the safe side of the road we resumed our journey. During chat we got to know that the couple had got married a week back and were on their honeymoon. What a memorable honeymoon it had turned out to be for them. Nonetheless it was quite brave and courageous on their part to undertake this journey all the way from Delhi. On reaching Gramphoo we heaved a sigh of relief as finally the worst was behind us. Nonetheless the stretch from Gramphoo till Rohtang was also in bad condition due to rockslides at number of points. By 1800hrs we were on Rohtang Pass. The entire top was covered under an inch of snow and was totally deserted. As darkness had started setting in so we decided to continue towards Manali. (Couldn't take any photos at Rohtang Pass due to fading light but nonetheless had shared many from the pass from the trip undertaken just 10 days before the this one in the travelogue:- Over the Sach Pass in a Sedan: A Dzire fulfilled) The drive from Rohtang onwards was a cakewalk, as the road was pretty good, crossed Marhi by 1840 hrs. Had to abandon our plan to have tea at Marhi, as most of the eateries had closed by then.

Finally reached Manali by 2000hrs and dropped the couple on the mall road. We bid them goodbye with an advise to refrain from attempting such routes in a car. The town was bustling with tourists, mostly from Bengal due to Durga Puja holidays so we decided to look for accommodation on the outskirts. At last checked in at Hotel Manali View, which was on the highway itself. We counted our blessings as we had just completed the most treacherous drive of the country from Kaza to Manali. It took 13hrs 35 mins (including halts) to cover a distance of 209 kms. After settling down and freshening up, we went for dinner at a restaurant near mall road. Came back to the hotel by 2130 hrs and recounted our thrilling experience for the day. For the next day we planned to start late by 1000 hrs as the highway from Manali to Chandigarh was a roller coaster ride as compared to what we have been through in last three days. As everyone needed the much deserved rest so we called it a day by 2300 hrs.

Last edited by ssambyal1980 : 7th February 2016 at 23:00.
ssambyal1980 is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th February 2016, 22:34   #12
BHPian
 
ssambyal1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: 30°N 76°E
Posts: 263
Thanked: 588 Times
Default re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

Day 5: 24th October 2015
Journey: Manali to Chandigarh (Via Kullu, Mandi, Bilaspur)
Total Distance Covered: 334 kms
Total Travel Time (Including Halts): 11hrs 30mins (Halts:2hrs 30 mins)
Route: Manali-Kullu-Mandi-Sundernagar-Bilaspur-Kiratpur-Ropar-Chandigarh.


Back To Base


We woke up late and were ready by 0930 hrs. As the journey for the day was on a familiar route, therefore we rolled out at leisurely pace by 1000hrs.

Before leaving did some photography around the town.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-1.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-2.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-3.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-4.jpg

Manali was slowly waking up for the day.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-5.jpg

River Beas was our companion for the day from Manali onwards, for a good 100kms till Mandi.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-6.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-7.jpg

Rafting season was still on in the Valley.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-8.jpg

After a drive of 1hr and 15mins we reached Kullu. As the famous Kullu Dussehra celebrations were on, so we decided to stop by for a while.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-9.jpg

The town was bustling with festival revelers. Most of the parking lots were full to capacity.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-pic-10.jpg

Finally we resumed our onward journey by 12 noon. After crossing the congested towns of Mandi and Sundernagar, stopped for lunch a few kilometers before Bilaspur. As usual from Bilaspur onwards the entire stretch of national highway till Kiratpur was infested with trucks, which made the progress slow. From Kiratpur onwards the highway is a four laned. Finally we were at the base by 2130 hrs. So that was the conclusion of the most adventurous trip we had so far.

Refuelling during the trip were:
1. First refuelling was at Rampur. Covered 242 kms from Chandigarh to Rampur in 14 litres.
2. Second refuelling was at Kaza. Covered 313 kms from Rampur to Kaza in 27 litres.
3. Third refuelling was at Chandigarh on return. Covered 588 kms from Kaza to Chandigarh via Manali in 36.6 litres.


Total distance covered during the trip: 1143 kms
Total fuel consumed during the trip: 77.6 litres
Mileage achieved during the trip: 1143/77.6=14.73 km/ltr

Last edited by ssambyal1980 : 7th February 2016 at 23:25.
ssambyal1980 is offline   (9) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th February 2016, 08:31   #13
Team-BHP Support
 
ampere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 14,889
Thanked: 7,561 Times
Default re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!

I guess there is something very epic about the mighty Himalayas. Every log I see about that region is nothing short of it!

Last edited by ampere : 8th February 2016 at 08:33.
ampere is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th February 2016, 09:28   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
reignofchaos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 2,059
Thanked: 741 Times
Default re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

Beautiful travelogue - one of the best yet so far. The views and vistas are just mesmerizing.
reignofchaos is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th February 2016, 09:55   #15
BHPian
 
ssambyal1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: 30°N 76°E
Posts: 263
Thanked: 588 Times
Default re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

The route maps for Day 4 & 5 were:
Courtesy: Google Maps

Day 4 Route Map:
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-route-map-day-4.jpg

Day 5 Route Map:
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-route-map-day-5.jpg
ssambyal1980 is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Spiti Splendour - Delhi to Spiti in an XUV500 vittal Travelogues 32 30th July 2016 10:52
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure) khan_sultan Travelogues 56 21st July 2016 13:40
Julley to the Land of High Passes - Ladakh! schakravarthy Travelogues 24 22nd July 2014 09:46
Adventure to Julley Land vinay_ss Route / Travel Queries 0 21st July 2010 05:22
The Highest Mountain Bike Race in the World - TRANS HIMALAYAN CHALLENGE -Spiti Valley dushmish Indian Motorsport 6 18th May 2009 16:51


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 09:21.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks