We will all meet in Manali and check into a hotel. In the post lunch session we will get our cycles out and go for an acclimatization ride around Manali. Not only do we get our muscles ready for the ride ahead but we also feast our eyes on the natural delights for which Manali is famous. Overnight in the hotel.
Today after breakfast we will set out on the road leading to the famous Rohtang pass. This road is the one which goes to Ladakh and Lahaul & Spiti regions. It’s an uphill ride all the way and we will do it in short stages. We will have lunch enroute and reach our destination, Marhi towards late afternoon. Marhi is 16 kms short of Rohtang Pass. We will camp here for the night. Overnight in tents.
Get ready for your first views of the Trans Himalayan ranges today. After breakfast a climb of 16 kms will bring us to the top of Rohtang Pass (3900m) which offers rewarding views of the Pir Panjals and the Trans Himalayan ranges. Rohtang pass at 3950m separates Kullu, from the exotic charm of the Lahaul valley. In Tibetan Rohtang means "a heap of dead bodies" and the pass stands true to its notorious name. Every year it must take toll of life and property. This is so because after 11:00 a.m. sudden blizzards and snow storms called Biannas are only to be expected. The pass becomes all the more hazardous to negotiate due to frequent avalanches.
The summit of the pass turns into lush green meadow in summers studded with violets and varieties of wild Himalayan and Alpine flowers. Butterflies of numerous and rare kind and variegated hues also draw the attention of' the visitor.
At the highest point on top to the right as one faces Lahaul, is a small stone enclosure and a water spring which is the principal source of the River Beas; .the other, Beas kund is at the head of the Solang nullah. The place gained religious significance because of sojourn of Beas Rishi (the famous Vyasa Rishi, author of the epic Mahabharata). To the left of this pass is the little lake Sarkund. On the 20th Bhadon (early September) every year a large number of people visit this lake with the belief and hope that an early morning bath in it will cure all their ailments.
From Rohtang Pass we will descend 11 kms to Gramphoo from where a left diversion will get us into the Spiti valley. The offroad starts from here and riding another 21 kms will get us to Chotta Dharra. Overnight in tents.
This is Glacier country. We trace the course of the Chandra river till Batal (19 kms) through undulating road, trying uphills and rocky flats. The gruesome climb begins from Batal diversion up to Chandratal. From the base of Kunzum Pass the pristine lake is 20 kms. Though the ride is going to be demanding today but rest assured you will be treated to sights never seen before. For people not wanting to ride a certain section the support vehicle is going to be there to hitch a ride. Upon reaching the lake we set up camp. Spend rest of the day soaking in the natural beauty of this jewel in the mountains, Chandratal. Overnight in tents.
Today after breakfast we drive down to Batal and from there drive further 12 kms towards Kaza and reach the Kunzum La at 4650m. We will spend some time at the pass taking pictures and enjoying the views all around. From Kunzum La we will again get on our cycles and enjoy a downhill ride till Batal and further on to Chotta Dharra, if so desired. We will have lunch here and drive back to Manali via the famous Rohtang pass. Our trip end here. One is free to stay back or proceed with the onward journey by taking an evening Volvo for Delhi/Chandigarh. If required we can arrange for accommodation in Manali at extra cost.
* Irrespective of when a trip is booked, the above condition will hold true
For travel from Delhi to Manali and back one can choose between air & road. There are lots of Public Transport like Volvos, Deluxe and ordinary buses plying between Delhi/Chandigarh and Manali. Bhuntar airport (near Manali) is connected to Delhi but there aren’t too many flights and at times there are chances of flights getting cancelled due to bad weather so check with the airlines before booking.
Spiti & Lahaul are high altitude regions in India with a minimum elevation of about 3000m. This dry cold desert area experiences hardly any rainfall as the high Himalayan ranges block the Indian monsoons. Spiti is surrounded by ranges of the Greater Himalaya in a semi circular arc, separating it from Lahaul on the west, Kullu to the south and Kinnaur to the southwest. These ranges prevent the moisture laden monsoons from reaching the region, thus creating in Spiti, a bleak and arid landscape in common with Ladakh and Tibet.
In summers (June – Aug) the day time temperatures would further rise to about 18-25 deg Celsius. Sun can be very strong during the day while the night temperature would hover around 14 – 18 deg Autumn (Sep – Oct) is when the temperatures start to fall again and hovers between 10 – 15 deg Celsius in the day time and will go sub zero in the night
Best time for trips in this region is mid June to September
Mountain/adventure travel requires one to be adequately equipped with the right kind of personal gear. Since one is travelling in the wilderness there will be hardly any opportunity to buy anything once you hit the trail so we urge you to carefully pack everything into your bags. Also please keep in mind you can rent out or purchase equipment from our Gear Store, if required
The ecology of the Indian Himalayas remains fragile not only in terms of the flora & fauna but the very people who inhabit its many regions and with the increased pressure on its limited resources, the sustainability of this great biodiversity is threatened by a deluge of visitors with little or no understanding of the myriad issues facing the land and its people.
GIO Adventures has initiated a number of long term sustainable initiatives that would enable us to preserve this ecosphere better and be of assistance to the local population. These actions include:
Great Indian Outdoors (P) Ltd. takes utmost care to ensure safety of its clients. However in the case of any unforeseen mishaps, Great Indian Outdoors (P) Ltd. will not be liable for any injuries caused or for loss of life. All disputes rising due to the above are subject to the jurisdiction of the courts in New Delhi/Delhi only. All participants would be required to sign an Indemnity Form before the start of the program, without which they would not be allowed to take part in the trip/program/activities.
05 Days | Jun to Sep| Mod+| Max Alt: 4650mts (Kunzum La)
Day 01: Manali (2000m)
Day 02: Manali Marhi (3350m, Cycle/38 Kms)
Day 03: Marhi Rohtang Pass (3950m) - Chotta Dharra (3800m, Cycle/47 Kms)
Day 04: Chotta Dharra (3800m) Chandratal (4300m, Cycle/39 Kms)
Day 05: Chandratal (4300m) Kunzum La (4650m) Manali (2000m, Cycle/20-30 Kms & Drive/5-6 Hrs)
If you are looking for a short & challenging ride with panoramic Himalayan views then this is the ride for you. Though short on duration this one doesnt lack grandness in any way and takes one riding on a memorable trail through a high altitude region, leading to a true jewel in the mountains, Chandratal lake.It is pristine, grand and ethereal. Thats Chandratal Lake at an altitude of 4300m, fed by glaciers and revered by all, located in the cold desert of the Spiti valley. Every year the lake is out of bounds for seven months and the lucky ones can visit only once the road opens in last week of May to be closed in September.
At a distance of 123 kms from Manali, the Chandratal Lake has many a legend attached to it, one being that fairies often descend from the heavens to dwell in its serenity. Well we dont know if we will run into them or not, however one sight which will resonate forever is the Full Moon night at Chandratal.
The ride from Manali to Chandratal is breathtaking and for the novice can be tough; nevertheless rewarding. Its an experience which will resonate for years to come and camping by the Chandratal Lake surely does awaken your senses to a higher realm. A perfect monsoon getaway ride for that quick unwinding unlearning. Read on more for details.