Lahul & Spiti Valley
01-July-07 to 12-July-07
Kaza to Manali
Total Distance: 208kms; driving time: 9hrs.
The most adventurous part of the trip is the drive from Kaza to Manali. This is where you really bite the bullet. Driving uptil Losar 60kms away is fun, good straight road with great scenery. Losar at has a police check post, where you enter the details of your vehicle. Have a cup of tea there as the fun is about to start. Buy a prayer flag at the shop in Losar to place at the Gompa at Kunzum La.
|Kaza to Manali Road|
The road disappears and the track climbs steeply to reach Kunzum La Pass in an hour’s time. At 4551meters the pass offers spectacular view of the Bara Shigri Glacier in the range opposite to Kunzum La.
After offering prayers at the Gompa there, the road descends as steeply to reach Batal at the base of the mountain. The track to Chandra Tal branches off from here. Due to bad weather and bad condition of the track, we decided to skip our trip to the lake, which is 6kms from Batal.
The track then continues forwards with all the excitement and heart throbbing action to reach Chotta Dara, 16kms away, which just has a small PWD Guest house, reaching Chhatru after another 13kms which is the tea point of the route. After Chhatru the “road” again climbs crossing numerous glaciers and springs flowing on the track, to reach Gramphoo, covering 17kms in one hour!
Thankfully after Gramphoo you meet the metalled road coming from Leh and then cross Rohtang Pass to reach Manali 50kms away in about 1 1/2hrs.
|Gramphoo at last!!
At Manali we stayed at Hotel Kunzum, a unit of HPTDC, right in the center of the main market. It is a good hotel the only problem being that one has to park your car about 500meters away as the road to the hotel in a Pedestrian only road from 7.00 am to 11.00pm. If you are staying for a couple of days you can bring in your car beyond these timings. For local sightseeing you do not need any vehicle, you can simply walk