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Old 24th June 2010, 10:26   #16
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Lovely pics and nice writeup too. Btw overall how did the Jazz perform over such terrain?
Thanks, //M.

The Jazz did fine - whatever was thrown at it, it managed without any complaint. Will write more on this in my Jazz thread.

However, if you are on a family trip in those terrains, I would recommend taking an SUV whenever possible. Not because cars can not do it, indeed almost all cars can if you keep it in good shape. In the remotest of places you will see people travelling in M800 and Santro and alto. What happens is if the terrain is rugged, you have to pay more attention to the car than the Nature that you have come to enjoy. Also, it makes you slower - so takes away precious time if you are on a tight schedule. Driving in those difficult areas is a challenge and great fun, yes, and I enjoy that immensely, no question. But when I go to these places, driving is secondary for me. I want to spend more time outside the car, just by myself or with my camera. This is even more true for your co-passengers who are not driving.
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Old 24th June 2010, 12:49   #17
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Here you see the village down below.
Hey akp, those are some great views of the valleys.

Did you walk down to the Chinni village? The views of the Kinner Kailash mountains from the playground of the school in there are great. Also there was this tea stall in there serving some amazingly spicy samosas!
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Old 24th June 2010, 17:01   #18
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Thanks, lordofgondor.

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Originally Posted by lordofgondor View Post
Hey akp, those are some great views of the valleys.

Did you walk down to the Chinni village? The views of the Kinner Kailash mountains from the playground of the school in there are great. Also there was this tea stall in there serving some amazingly spicy samosas!
No, we didn't. Our evening walk was cut short by a group of 7/8 big dogs who took a liking for us and started moving with us. They were probably harmless but the mere presence of so many in fading light and almost no other human being in sight was unnerving enough for us to quickly get back to the safety of our hotel room.
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Old 24th June 2010, 17:33   #19
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Default Chitkul

Let me break the monotony of "woke up, did this, did that" for the moment and give you a glimpse of Chitkul, easily the highlight of our trip this time. We reached there on June 15th, stayed the full day on 16th and left in the morning of 17th. It was a bit cloudy, chilly and windy on 16th. Here is Chitkul through the course of that day.

Morning at 5:30:

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100616052625_0352.jpg

At 7:30:

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100616072510_0368.jpg


At 8:30:

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100616081744_0380.jpg

At 9:00

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100616085049_0397.jpg

At 11:30

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100616113623_0417.jpg

Afternoon at 12:30

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100616121931_0430.jpg

At 15:30

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100616160334_0446.jpg

Evening 18:00

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100616175042_0464.jpg


Late evening at 19:30

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100616192710_0478.jpg

And just to show you how the day unfolds on a clear day, here are two more from the 17th morning, after which we left for Sarahan from there.

At 6:00

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100617055948_0494.jpg

At 7:00

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100617071215_0511.jpg

I had an absolutely wonderful time there, which will come up next.
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Old 25th June 2010, 16:37   #20
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Awesome photos of Chitkul!
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Old 25th June 2010, 18:28   #21
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Awesome photos of Chitkul!
Thanks, Sen.

But as you very well know, the place is so beautiful, all you need to do is be outdoors and capture the moments. Or if you are in that corner room of Panchali, you can do that even from the comfort of your room!
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Old 25th June 2010, 19:00   #22
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Hi

amazing pictures of the mountains.
no words to describe them.

Your Jaaz looks wonderful with that back drop landscape.
Honda should consider you as their Jaaz ambassador.

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Old 25th June 2010, 21:39   #23
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Hi

amazing pictures of the mountains.
no words to describe them.
Thanks, StarVegabond.

Quote:
Your Jaaz looks wonderful with that back drop landscape.
Honda should consider you as their Jaaz ambassador.
I wish, I wish ...
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Old 25th June 2010, 22:16   #24
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Default Day 4: Part 1 - Kalpa to Chitkul

Few parting shots of the Kinner Kailash range before we leave for Chitkul.

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100615064136_0254.jpg

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100615064213_0255.jpg

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100615064453_0257.jpg

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100615075732_c_0241.jpg

Karchham - the road to Sangla starts here.

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100615110409_0266.jpg

Part of a small camera stand that you on the left is fitted to the headrest of the front passenger seat and was used for taking most of the videos during our trip. Since we just use a P&S for taking videos, handheld videos come out very jerky.

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100615111821_c_0243.jpg

She is a bit curious as to what are we up to.

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100615121236_0275.jpg

As I try to get near, they both get suspicious and take an aggressive posture, ready for any eventuality.

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100615121339_0276.jpg

I retract back, and they are happy again.

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100615121914_0278.jpg


That is Sangla valley. You can see the helipad by the side of the river.

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100615122653_0279.jpg

We did not go to Sangla, but as we passed by, it looked to be a very nice place too. A small valley, with a river flowing through and lots of areas to explore on foot - what else does one need.


The scary dark/grey color that you see when you go further east/north from Rekong Peo is gone now. Green is more prominent here.

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100615122716_0281.jpg

A small bridge, a small stream - a good recipe for a break.

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100615130558_0293.jpg

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100615125429_0282.jpg

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100615125553_0284.jpg

Wanted to sit there for much longer, but I was getting a bit jittery because I was not sure about our reservation in Chitkul. I mean, I had done the booking by phone, and even transferred part of the money electronically, but the person I had talked to (whose number I think I got from the Tribal Circuit thread by Sen2009) was in Kalpa, and since last one week or so, I have not been able to contact him. So I was worried that if we reach late, good rooms might already be occupied. So we moved on.


But there were obstructions every now and then.

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100615132726_0296.jpg




By and large, the road surface was ok as the next video shows.



Occasionally there are bad patches and watercrossings.



not that there is too much water, we tackle much more in our cities in the monsoon, but if you are not careful, the boulders can be dangerous for the car's underbody.

We had made our booking in Hotel Panchali Resort, which is the last residential property in the village. From Sen2009's thread, I already knew that the last few meters, there won't be any proper road, only boulders. This one is from his thread, this was 2009.

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-sen2009pic.jpg

Now I find that it is actually a stream and I have to drive along that stream to reach the hotel.

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100617060748_0502.jpg

What has actually happened is this. If you see Sen's picture, there is a channel for water alongside that boulder strewn path. Now they are actually about to start constructing a proper road there. To begin with, they have just constructed a proper passage for water, and while that construction was on, they have redirected all the water on that path.

Here is a video of reaching the hotel:


Once we reach there, as I had anticipated, there is a bit of confusion about our booking. The guy at the reception says he has no knowledge of our booking, and I tell him I have talked to Mr Sandip Karar and made my booking and have even transferred half the money to his account electronically. I also tell him that I had booked two upstairs rooms having the best view there. Now, the hotel does not have a landline, and none of the phones had any signal at that time. So there was no way of contacting Mr Sandip Karar and settle the issue. Finally my persuation works and he agrees to give us two upstairs rooms, one of them the corner one, the one with the best view of all.

That settled, we get in. And see this from our window.

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100615150510_0300.jpg

First things first. Freshen up and come down to refuel ourselves.

The hotel.

Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan, June 2010-20100615152047_c_0244.jpg



(to be contd.)

Last edited by akp : 25th June 2010 at 22:19.
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Old 26th June 2010, 00:13   #25
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Fabulous pictures mate.
HV : the road that you are talking is about 4 kms from the Hatu branch off. It starts as a slight left incline which goes parallel to the Thanadhar road for about 20 odd meters but about 6 feet above the main road level. There are no markings for Rohru on that road but a small scribbling on the rock says "Pujarli" which incidently has a big temple in the middle of the village which can be seen from miles around. The road goes through "Ghansidhar" which is a pass to cross over the Narkanda mountain ridge system into the Rohru system.
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Old 26th June 2010, 09:16   #26
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Fabulous pictures mate.
HV : the road that you are talking is about 4 kms from the Hatu branch off. It starts as a slight left incline which goes parallel to the Thanadhar road for about 20 odd meters but about 6 feet above the main road level. There are no markings for Rohru on that road but a small scribbling on the rock says "Pujarli" which incidently has a big temple in the middle of the village which can be seen from miles around. The road goes through "Ghansidhar" which is a pass to cross over the Narkanda mountain ridge system into the Rohru system.
Thanks, wanderernomad, that is very useful info. I suppose you can come to the Rohru road from the Rampur side also (apart from the Narkhanda side that you have explained).

akp, do you have telephone numbers/ tariff info for the Hotel Panchali Resort? Was it good?
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Old 26th June 2010, 09:37   #27
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akp, do you have telephone numbers/ tariff info for the Hotel Panchali Resort? Was it good?
The hotel was not a fancy one, basic but decent enough, with clean toilet/bath. Food was very good, we found it better than HPTDC Kalpa or Sarahan. The costliest rooms are 1200/-, upstairs rooms which have the best view. That is what we opted for. There are cheaper ones too, I do not remember the exact cost but around 1000/- and around 850/- I think.

There was one other hotel whose location we loved (second and third picture in post #19 above), the Alpine Resort, just before you enter Chitkul. We went to check their rooms on our second morning, the prices were very cheap, Rs 400/500, but so were the rooms, they were smelling.

In Panchali, their main cook who is a Nepalese, was managing everything when we were there. I do not have his number. I made our booking through someone named Mr Sandip Karar, who manages a couple of other hotels in Kalpa along with this one and they even have one in Sarahan. His number is 9816803505.
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Old 26th June 2010, 11:48   #28
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Lovely snaps of the place. Great writeup akp. I'm hooked on to this thread.
Keep posting more !!
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Old 28th June 2010, 10:53   #29
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Yups you can but the road conditions are not very good. Infact even this branch off is a mixture of metaled and gravel road. And please read it as a branch off as a right incline and not left (when you are coming from Narkanda that is, my bad, sorry).
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Old 29th June 2010, 18:04   #30
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Fabulous pictures mate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by //M View Post
Lovely snaps of the place. Great writeup akp. I'm hooked on to this thread.
Keep posting more !!
@wanderenomad, @//M : Thanks.

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Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
And please read it as a branch off as a right incline and not left (when you are coming from Narkanda that is, my bad, sorry).
Is this the same one that takes you to Tanijubbar Lake and beyond? Or is this a different one?
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