Our fondness for backpacking has taken us on lots of road trips in past five years and maximum of them have been to some location in Himachal Pradesh. Himachal is like assorted bouquet of exotic flowers, you just can’t have enough and can’t get over it, the more you explore, the hungrier you become 🙂
So, in all the road trips we did, primarily Mcleodganj – Dainkund, New Delhi – Spiti, New Delhi – Shimla / Manali / Rohtang, there were few things absolutely common!!
- The School Gang – You are going to witness pure happiness when you’ll run into little kids going to school in blue uniform. So cute they all look !! They have to walk really long distances on a daily basis.
- Be prepared to meet unexpected companions on the road – You are going to find the roads inundated with pashima goats, yaks, cows and sometimes monkeys too 🙂 (though at regular intervals). A must watch short clip here from our Dainkund trip when our bike waded through the goats covered route!!
- The Natural Springs and Streams – Himachal Pradesh provides water to both the Indus and Ganges basins. The perennial rivers of the region are the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas, the Sutlej and the Yamuna. The road trip in this region will get you to witness beautiful streams at unexpected places and do they look beautiful!!
So people ‘Travel more to find your surprise’ 🙂
On this beautiful note, wish all our fellow bloggers and readers – Happy Weekend 🙂
The picture in background was shot at Badamvaer in Srinagar, Kashmir. More stories on Kashmir here – A cuppa of story from Kashmir, Different hues of Dal Lake, A day at Srinagar.
The scorching heat of Rajasthan can drain you like anything!! We were so exhausted of the heat the other day that we made ourselves comfortable right outside the administrative office. I’m glad we did. 🙂
We couldn’t help but observe this talented painter. We met him right outside the City Palace where he was refurbishing the walls with new art. The most amazing fact is that he does the whole part in one go, the symmetry is flawless; RESPECT!!!
More on Udaipur here – A day in Udaipur, The New You, Night Glory at Ambrai Ghat
Wonders on the the Trans Himalayan voyage through Shimla – Kinnaur – Spiti Valley
It’s not the destination but the journey what makes life so interesting. A road trip to Spiti Valley is sort of like that only. The travel treasures that you get to witness to reach Spiti valley are fascinating. And one such place that we instantly fell in love with was ‘Kalpa’.
Kalpa, is an alluring village of Kinnaur. Situated at an altitude of 2758m, Kalpa offers unbelievable views of the majestic Kinner Kailash range. The sunrise and sunset are mind blowing here. When the clouds play hide and seek with the mountains during the day, it’s a sight to watch!!!
A captivating capture of Kinner Kailash Range during Sunrise at Kalpa, Kinnaur.
Reaching Kalpa was the most difficult part of our journey due to bad road conditions. We were enjoying the monster faces and scenic beauty until the bad patches began disturbing us. Once we crossed Sungra the patches transformed into a fully fledged pebbly road. It was a stretch of good 40 kms starting from Wangtu and continuing till Karcham. Once you reach Karcham, the roads are divided into two – the one going straight leads to Rekong Peo and the other one to Sangla. We purposely took the one going to Kalpa.
A view of Kinner Kailash range adorned by Tibetan Flags
Get a little more cozy at Roghi
Situated just 3 kms away from Kalpa, is this beautiful scenic village called Roghi. You would love to explore the treacherous road, the famous suicide point and serene views.
You don’t want to fall from here!! Suicide Point at Roghi Village
Happy Exploring!! with Untraveled Routes
One road trip to Spiti, and all you want to do is ‘Let’s go again!!’
Making up our minds for doing the 11 days road trip with a little baby was not easy at all. It was the first time ever that we were so anxious about our ‘Travel’ plans!! Post baby, the lifestyle changed every bit and traveling together (particularly the adventure trips) became like dream in a glass bottle. However, our zeal for road trips couldn’t keep us away for a very long time and after a break of a year we decided to pack our bags and set out on a road trip along with our 11 months old little love to the revered Spiti Valley, the Land of Lamas in India. Spiti is as stunning as it name sounds!! Lahaul–Spiti lies in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Spiti is predominantly occupied by Tibetan refugees and hence the region has pretty much feel of Tibet. Read a deep conversation with a Tibetan Refugee ‘Jampa’!!
Spiti is a cold desert mountain valley – the middle land between Tibet and India. Itinerary – 11 days from New Delhi – Spiti Valley – New Delhi
We had no idea that we had signed up for the most challenging, surprising and oddly pleasing odyssey. The road trip to this wonderland was an unforgettable journey, the memories are still fresh and though it was freaking difficult we would love to do it again!!
The resplendent Spiti will leave you spoiled, and here is why –
- Exigent Roads – There are two ways to reach Spiti – one via Manali and the other one that lets you through the Trans Himalayas via Shimla – Kinnaur – Spiti. We covered the region via scenic Kinnaur route, the National Highway 22 (NH -22) and the Hindustan Tibet Road. It was thrilling as well as challenging to drive on these roads. The transcendent roads are something you would have never seen or experienced before. These roads are touted as one of the most treacherous and dangerous in the world. The NH 22 will drive you insane for lot of reasons but you’ll love the adrenaline rush and thrill.
The hairpin bends of NH – 22, the narrow dimensions, encountering natural waterfalls, close encounters with trucks and buses, the frequent bad patches will make you feel ecstatic and sometimes insane too. Take a virtual tour of the roads here.
- Insane Landscapes –The gigantic rustic brown mountains, sometimes chocolate dipped and sometimes covered with snow with extra effect of pristine blue waters flowing. The jaw dropping views of sunset and sunrise will begin around Kalpa. As you keep moving forward the lush green hills will gradually transform to dusty and big sand like mountains. You are going to miss the greens!! But you will be able to embrace the change too.
View of Dhankar village from a distance!!
- Get High! –The high altitude is not just high is really quite high to handle. Once you cross Sarahan and approach Kalpa, the excitement begins. All the villages in Spiti Valley feel like perched on top to name a few – Totally Tabo (3050 m), Dhankar Heights (3894 m), Key(4166m)!! All wobbly and super windy. Interestingly the route till Tabo is challenging but the one from Tabo to Kaza and Kaza to surrounding villages is not bumpy. You will fall in love with the views from such altitude. However, the wind at such height is strong enough to hurl your car to wobble. We experienced it so many times, while approaching Dhankar, again while visiting Key Monastery and then Gue village.
- Intriguing History – The place is inundated with attention-grabbing stories and they will govern you mind space for long as you will keep thinking about it while you drive on empty roads wondering are you the only soul loitering around.
The weekly photo challenge theme this week – ‘Dense’ is quite interesting. There could be so many interpretations and perspectives that can define ‘Dense’ from a photographer’s lens. I decided to focus on elements that elucidate a particular region, hence sharing beautiful pictures from one of the favorite destinations – ‘Rajasthan, India’.
This is a capture from ‘Jodhpur’, the blue jewel in Rajasthan’s crown. The houses look as if sticking together tightly!!
Being embraced by lot of Camels while on our way to Jaisalmer, the Golden City, a moment that I will never forget. Read more about the road trip to Jaisalmer here – The Desert Safari
Beautiful Taj Palace against the backdrop of luscious hills in Udaipur, the city of Lakes!!
Hope you enjoy the photos!!