Was planning with family on going on a trip slightly different, off-beat and a pinch of adventure attached to it and was contemplating between Leh-Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir to Spiti Valley in Himachal.
For some reason, the tickets of Hyderabad – Leh are always at a premium taking into consideration the no. of flights and the tourist destination it is and zeroed in on Spiti valley which is not frequented by tourists who either visit Shimla / Manali on either sides and do not explore further.
The beauty of this Himalayan region lies beyond both these places and that is where we decided to explore.
So the Planning part to start with, watching YouTube videos, reading blogs, mesmerising over Instagram feeds of fellow travel bloggers.
Firstly, understanding the route, pit stops, fuel outlets, food, washrooms enroute and in planning out this stuff came a planning website handy which you should visit: ScoutMyTrip
This startup just does not help you in planning but also helps you in identifying tourist attractions which are a must visit.
Here is my Travel Plan: Travel Plan – ScoutMyTrip
Noteworthy YouTube Channels are as below:
Mountain Trekker: Click Here
Himalayan Roads: Click Here
India in Motion: Click Here
We are from Hyderabad and took a flight on a Friday evening to Delhi, having reached late night, we in for a bad taste of Delhi as had to wait for the Meru cab for an hour at airport and after boarding this gentleman driver ditched us en-route with an excuse of traffic leaving us no where to go, to add to the misery, it started to rain.
As we were starting to struggle, a auto driver came to our rescue (a good Samaritan) he not just helped us find the hotel we booked but ensured we were in comfortably and did not charge a bomb which could have been the case as we were past midnight by then.
Now, we booked a OYO Rooms in Delhi as we entered (pictures can be deceiving at times as listed on website), we had a tiny room assigned to us. Well, with all the travel and the adventure with Meru Cabs we decided, it was enough for a night and retired to bed after a long night.
With the alarms set for 0700 hrs, we were prompt to wake up, get ready, have breakfast and were in again for a bad experience with MylesCars when the car that we booked was yet to arrive even after an hour. Reason quoted was that the verification documents didnot reach them on time.
One major complaint with Myles would be the outdated / bad cars they offer to customers who are caught unaware if it is a home delivery requested which we did in our case.
Finally, we started at 1030 Hrs (instead of our planned 0900 hrs).
So we started off the trip and the circuit is as below:
We started from New Delhi (Airport) and wanted to cover until Shimla on Day One.
Actual time taken for the Circuit:
|Day||From||To||Distance (kms)||Time Taken (hrs)||Remarks|
|Two||Shimla||Kalpa (Reckong Peo)||246||8:00|
|Four||Tabo||Kaza||65||4:00||Enroute visited Dhankar Gompa|
|Five||Kaza||Ki Gompa – Kaza||15||2:00|
|Six||Kaza||Chandratal Lake||86.2||6:00||Very narrow roads & in very bad condition|
|Seven||Chandratal Lake||Manali||123||9.50||Narrow paths and ~15 nalas (water crossings)|
|Nine||Manali||Delhi||560||14||Heavy traffic (due to long weekend)|
The entire journey was good with no major challenges other than the rain and wonderful foggy conditions making it a bit challenge to see the roads ahead. Stopped en-route to take the Punjab / Haryana Road tax at their numerous Tax counters beside petrol filling stations / Dhabas. The cost is around Rs. 270 (which includes some commission that is not on the Tax receipt) by the agents.
Now coming to the most important part of our journey, we stopped at Haldirams for Lunch around 1300 hrs.
Had a wonderful meal of Roti and Paneer Gravy rice.
As we start on our journey, we start to climb the mountains / Ghat section somewhere close to Solan as we enter Himachal Pradesh.
A delight to the eye with rain, fog, roads being repaired yet you are going forward!
A video of the Solan to Shimla and the beautiful nature it has to offer:
After a good amount of drive we reach our destination after some confusion, checking with locals, OYO was very helpful here.
We were surprised with this new property, looked very well maintained with parking, the place offered us an upgrade knowing we were coming all the way from Delhi and were on a Spiti Circuit. Soo nice of them.
We were lucky to identify this property through OYO rooms and is a fairly new property constructed and starting business in Dec’16. Good beds with a few rooms which have a balcony with great views.
After a wonderful dinner, we hit the bed with the heater on and all tired.
Day One was a wonderful experience, and had a gala time driving, enjoying nature, food, and wonderful surroundings.
A small video of a part of Day One journey: Solan to Shimla
A few views from the Bodhi Tree BnB i stayed at
Stay Tuned for the rest of my #SpitiCircuit Stories:
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