KAZA TO ROHTANG PASS ROAD TRIP
KAZA TO KUNZUM PASS
We continued our journey the next day from Kaza to chandratal lake,towards Kunzum pass. We came along a colourful part of our journey yet again. I felt like my eyes acting like a prism and refracting seven colours of nature.
For some time, I thought I was in a country like Afghanistan and in a landform that of the Pamir knot. We were driving above 3800 metres above sea level. The entire valley was like a concrete field gifted to us for coming this far as adventure travelers.
The valley was mammoth like a football field with no grass and surrounded by different colours of dry mountains. The region has no vegetation and is without a single trace of human settlement. The surroundings were so colourful and rejuvenating like a painting in the mind of a child.
We were fortunate enough to have a perfect climate that added the blue colour of the sky mixed in this wonderland. This was my best stretch of the bike trip in terms of a smooth road along with the scenic feast to our eyes.
Towards Kunzum pass:-
Surely Spiti valley is the most colourful valley in the Himalayas. Though it is devoid of any vegetation and being the driest part of our country.
After driving for around 70 km, there is a checkpoint for entering the kunzum pass just after the village named Losar. For Indians, it is just a formality but foreign tourists need to carry their passports for their entire Spiti valley tour.
The road became terribly worse after that and it was like dirt biking with the hard rocks. We were slowly gaining height as Kunzum pass was situated at an altitude of 16500 feet above sea level.Adventure with clear weather.This is the best time of spiti valley bike trip.
Entering Kunzum pass:-
We were fortunate enough to have a perfect climate. It added the blue colour of the sky mixed in this wonderland. This was my best stretch of the bike trip in terms of a smooth road along with the scenic feast to our eyes.
Surely Spiti valley is the most colourful valley in the Himalayas in spite of being devoid of any vegetation. It is the driest part of our country.
After driving for around 70 km, there is a checkpoint for entering the kunzum pass just after the village named Losar. For Indians, it is just a formality. But foreign tourists need to carry their passports for their entire Spiti valley tour.
The road became terribly worse after that and it was like dirt biking with the hard rocks. We were slowly gaining height at an altitude of 16500 feet above sea level. Adventure with clear weather.This is the best time of spiti valley bike trip.
KUNZUM PASS-HIGHEST POINT OF KAZA TO CHANDRATAL LAKE
The road will be accompanied by the Spiti river on the right side and the dry mountains on the left. After an hour drive, the river vanished and we arrived on flat land. We were on the roof of elevated land. The road looked nowhere to go surrounded by snow-capped peaks and we were standing in the middle of a desolated field.
Luckily we found a signboard that showed the kunzum pass as 2 km away to the destination. Kunzum pass separates the Lahaul valley with the spiti valley. We bid goodbye to the Spiti valley with lots of memories and photos.
The wind was blowing very strongly. It created a fluttering sound from the numerous prayer flags being hung all around the pass. Prayer Flags are flags of worship that signify the heroics of the local residents and their bravery.
There is also a small shop that offers Maggi and hot tea. We were also surprised to see The Himachal State Transport services running buses in such tough roads and remote destinations. That surely makes them the lifeline of the state.
Road trips do build the bonds of friendship and teamwork. Till now, we faced strenuous roads, landslides, water streams and scorching heat of the sun. But as a team, we overcame every tough situation in front of us.
We rejoiced to have completed this far and opened our packed parathas for our lunch. I must say the cold parathas gave us some energy to continue for the rest of the day.
After an hour pitstop in the kunzumpass we started our journey. It was towards the only lake in this trip i.e the Chandratal lake.
CHANDRATAL LAKE- BEST POINT OF THE TRIP FROM KAZA TO CHANDRATAL LAKE
The road degenerated even more badly and I toppled with my bike twice on the way. Our energy was still high on the air to fetch the memories of the alien scenery around.
The 12 km diversion to the Chandertal lake is in no way a route for the bike. The snow melted water streams and numerous boulders on the road made the ride even tougher. Finally after reaching the base camp which is 2.5 km away from the lake, we booked a tent for us.
They charged Rs 500 per head from us that included breakfast and dinner. This is quite cheap compared to the living conditions at such an altitude which is more than 14000 feet above sea level.
Chandertal is also called “The Moon Lake” due to its crescent shape when seen from the above. The lake is a preserved area for wildlife. So no camping is allowed in the vicinity of the lake.
The lake on one side is surrounded by eroded mountains and on the other side with snow-capped peaks. It is as blue as one can imagine which may be due to the clear reflection of the blue sky at this height.
Chandertal Lake is the most famous destination in the Lahaul valley. It is even more prismatic than one can imagine from the picture. There are mountains, green fields, blue water along with the clear blue sky. This makes it a dream and colorful destination for every hikers and travelers to the Himalayas.
TOWARDS ROHTANG PASS AFTER KAZA TO CHANDRATAL LAKE
In the night it was shivering cold but the localities arranged born fires and hot apple drinks. They explained how in the mountains life is impossible without helping others. The people living in the mountains have their motto of helping each other. Without which, according to them, life will be impossible to live in the mountains.
They arranged a vehicle for us to carry the luggages up to Batal which made our trip to the highway a lot easier. Here, I learned how consuming juice of garlic helps in maintaining the saturation level of oxygen in our blood.
The next day in the early hours of the morning, we started our journey back to Manali to avoid the heavy streams of water created from the melting snow. Now the road was all along the Chenab river with numerous water streams flowing over the road due to the melting snow as the sunlight rays were brightening up the mountains.
Lahaul valley road trip :-
Thanks to the tough localities of the Royal Enfield bikes which could sustain such ruthless roads in kaza to chandratal lake trip. There were boulders on the roads of various sizes which were being carried down due to the rocks losing their ground as the soil softened in the mountains.
Lahaul valley after kaza to chandratal lake, was much greener than the Spiti valley and the weather was much more chilling. The mountains were now grey in colour with more concrete rocks and grasslands beneath them. On an average, the speed of the bike was not more than 25 km/h in the route after kaza to chandratal lake.
Amidst such tough and strenuous journey,a we were energised by the changing terrain of the landscape.There were waterfalls over the roads and river forming rifts along the highway. The mountains with vegetation and wooden bridges motivating us with the prayer flags.
We felt like birds driving over the roads after kaza to chandratal lake route, flying towards the vastness of the landscape.
As we proceeded more towards the windward side of the Himalayas, we can clearly see the contrast in vegetation. The mountains turned from brown bald to grasslands. We were approaching the Rohtang Pass which separates the Kullu valley from the Lahaul valley, with the Kullu valley receiving the maximum amount of rainfall.
Concluding the trip:-
The route to Rohtang pass from Batal in kaza to chandratal lake offers spectacular scenic views. The mountains are covered with graceful garb of white snow.
Rohtang pass-the gateway to Ladakh is the nature’s most bewitching and pristine pass of the mighty Himalayas and hence is a must-visit for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.It also acts as an escape from the heat of the plains during the summer which we availed in the month of September 2016,best time for spiti valley bike trip.
As we approached Chatru from Batal we crossed numerous Tea dhabas which kept boosting our energy,most importantly The Chacha Chachi Dhaba in the stressful Transhimalayan highway.The water streams became broader over the roads as now the melting snow created waterfalls like the one in the picture.
Our bikes got stuck numerous times in the rocky bed of the water streams that was even more painful as our clothes got drenched in the chilling cold water.
Road trip to Rohtang pass:-
As we approached Rohtang to pass the roads widened up and became crispy smooth due to the efforts of the BRO. The dark clouds began to hover over us as we were approaching the windward side of the mountains.
However We chased the rainfall and arrived in the mighty Rohtang pass which was crowded with tourists. However I imagined Rohtang pass to be a snow-covered wall when I used to scroll over the google images. But to my amazement,in September I was spell bound by the greenery.
It was not snowing in the late september but it was raining which rejuvenated the colours of the vegetation. The valley was lightened up with green grasslands all over the place. That was refreshing due to the water droplets from the cloudy sky.
The rain was pouring down continuously so after an hour pit stop we continued our journey now. Now along the Beas river towards Manali and bid goodbye to the magnificent Lahaul valley with lots of memories in our mind and heart. Hope the blog is enough in how to plan a trip to Spiti valley.I hope this blog gives every traveller a clear idea of the best time for spiti valley bike trip.
For this entire trip I have used some useful travel jackets in winters of spiti and also light jackets during the day from amazon the links of which are given below. I have also used a trekking shoe and a track pant to keep me safe from the harsh weather:-
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