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Reaching climax: On the top of the Manali-Leh route

To sum up the rides before and after Pang, I can just say that while it was all thrill before Pang, it was sheer joy after that. In a hindsight, one can say that all troubles are marked just to reach Pang, Leh is a cakewalk after that. But having said that, Pang to Leh is also about the climax of a astonishing journey and crossing milestones, one after another. Reaching Pang! Read: Where whisky and brandy are ferocious nallahs! After the restaurants and dhabas at Pang, as you move ahead, we leave the army transit camp on one side (Read: Thrill of being at highest transit camp in the world). Although Pang itself is over 15000 feet in altitude, we immediately gain height further for around five kilometres. That's when we reach More plains, a plateau of enormous proportion at ...

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Journey to the roof top: Five of the highest mountain passes in the world

This is more of a vlog post. For the ordinary, the road from Manali to Rohtang Pass is quite thrilling, but for all those who seek the heights it is just a prelude of things to come. After all, at an altitude of 13,050 feet, it is quite less (more than 4500 ft) than what one achieves in this jaw-dropping journey from Manali to Leh. Rohtang is more fun, a sort of picnic spot. But it gives a fair idea of what to expect next while moving to greater heights. One of the most dangerous but still one of the most beautiful road journeys on the planet takes you through five high altitude mountain passes- Rohtang La (13,050 ft), Baralacha La (16,040 ft), NakeeLa (15,547 ft), Lachung La (16,616 ft) and the highest one of the route Tanglang La (17,582 ft). Its a challeng...

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Where Whisky and Brandy are ferocious nallahs!

I consider the stretch from Bharatpur to Pang to be the most eventful in the entire route from Manali to Leh. Eventful in the sense that it has got most fantastic variations in the landscape than any other stretch. Although Pang to Leh is also again a wonderful stretch but it is more of a leisure part and has less the challenges that Bharatpur-Pang stretch has to offer. That is precisely the reason that although I covered entire stretch from Bharatpur to Leh in a single day, but while writing about it, I have divided into two parts. That was only way to do some justice to it, as one single part would have been either too long or I would have to sacrifice some details. Bharatpur was an unscheduled halt for me because of the landslide an evening before. But it was always worth...

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Lonely at mighty Baralacha La pass!

It's September. Seemingly best month to travel to Leh through this treacherous Manali-Leh highway. Best because of weather and the road conditions. Snow has melted around. But roadsides without snow also snatches away some of the thrills of this route, that one can experience in the months of June and July. But reaching here is never a mean task, more so if you have decided to travel all alone. So, here I am at mighty Baralacha La pass, all alone. How it feels to be here standing lonely with not a living being in sight at an altitude more than half of the Mount Everest, with just your faithful bike to company! Journey so far has been fascinating to say the least. At every step you keep feeling that how you have been longing to be here, inevitably. I already had a share ...

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Himalayan Rides : Chandratal to Keylong

Having completed the Chandratal mission, I had to be back to Leh route. So, it had to be the same route back till Gramphoo. But in place like Himalayas, riding on a same route gives you different feeling every time. Chandratal indeed was an accomplishment, a sort of dream coming true. But still, Leh was my destiny. Chaos at the top! Read: Milestones to Ladakh- Manali to Gramphoo SO here we are, riding back to Gramphoo through same treacherous road alongside river Chandra. Whatever the road condition may be, this beauty around will never let you feel tired. Driving towards Spiti! Read: Himalayan Rides-Gramphoo to Chatru And what a feeling of satisfaction this is when you see a public transport, a Himachal Roadways Bus on such a terrible road at this altitude. Treacher

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Himalayan Rides : Batal to Chandratal

We are on a virtual ride to Lahaul & Spiti valley. Every rider or driver or adventurer enthusiast going to Leh or Kaza is very much keen to know about the road conditions on these arguably two of the most fascinating road journeys in the world. Its a journey, everybody would like to embark upon. So, here is a first hand experience of the trip, which I have broken down into different segments, or we may say shorter distances to give a more detailed overview of the trip. Read: Milestones to Ladakh - Manali to Gramphoo In the earlier parts of the journey, we have travelled from Manali to Gramphoo, then Gramphoo to Chatru and Chatru to Batal. Now after spending some time with Chacha-Chachi of Chandra Dhaba at Batal, we move towards Chandratal. Once we cross river Chandra a...

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Himalayan rides : Batal of Chacha-Chachi Dhaba

Its all about love of nature and adventure that drives you to land unseen. The passion keeps accompanying you in your solo journeys. We have already travelled from Manali to Gramphoo via Rohtang pass. Also See: Milestones to Ladakh:  Manali to Gramphoo From Gramphoo, we moved right alongside the Chandra river towards Spiti valley and reached to Chatru. Also See: Hiamalayan Rides: Gramphoo to Chatru I was heading towards Chandratal lake. I had no intention to go towards Kaza as I had already travelled to Kaza some time back. From Chatru I had a very tough ride to Batal. As I said earlier, Batal is  a very important stopover. Once you cross the river Chandra at Batal and move uphill, there is a diversion. One road further up takes you to Kunzum top and then to Kaza in Spiti v...

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Himalayan Rides : Chatru to Batal

In the last episode of Himalayan Rides, we (me and my readers) travelled from Gramphoo to Chatru on way to Chandratal. Now we are travelling from Chatru to Batal. Batal is a very important stopover. Once you move ahead of Batal there is a diversion. A road uphill takes you to Kunzum pass and then to Kaza in Spiti valley and another one moves deep inside the Chandra valley towards Chandratal. Also see: Himalayan Rides : Gramphoo to Chatru Its a very small stretch in terms of the total ride but still I thought to devote a full post to this, as this one was very important in letting me know what to expect on the way ahead and what I need to do to keep myself better prepared. Batal is just 31 kilometres from Chatru. Chhota Dara is 17 kms from Chatru and Batal i

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Himalayan Rides : Gramphoo to Chatru

Gramphoo is 15 kms downhill from Rohtang top. Gramphoo is the place where roads to Lahaul valley and Spiti valley bifurcate. We have already travelled from Manali to Gramphoo via Rohtang pass. (In case you have missed it, you can read it here- Milestones to Ladakh : Manali to Gramphoo) From Gramphoo one road leads to Keylong and then towards Leh and another one towards Kunzum Pass and then to Kaza. There is also stark difference between roads on the two sides. Keylong-Leh road is the sort of expressway compared to this one. Road from Gramphoo to Chatru passes through narrow valley along the Chandra river. However once you cross the Chatru village, Chandra valley widens up. While moving towards Chatru there are a couple of water falls on the road. They don't pose any proble

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Vagabond in Spiti : Kee Gompa

Kee (Key, Kye or Ki) monastery or gompa commands one of the most iconic views associated with Spiti valley.  It is considered to be the biggest monastery in Spiti valley. It is one of the highlights for anybody and must-visit place for any adventurer or tourist coming to Kaza. Kee gompa is one of the top monasteries in the region which include Tabo, Nako, Dhankar and Kungri (in the Pin valley) to name a few. Kee monastery is ahead of Kaza. Once you move pass the Kaza town along the spiti river, after couple of kilometres or so comes a diversion. There is a bridge across the river that takes to Loser and Kunjom pass. Loser is 56 kms from this point and Kunjom top is 78 kms. One has to move ahead on the right side of the river towards Kibber and Kee. The view is spectacular and the...

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