The advantage of starting kinnaur spiti circuit from shimla is that you will gradually attain the altitude which will adjust your body with the height of himalayas.The Queen of hills and place of numerous apple orchards,it is also the capital of the picturesque himachal pradesh.Two main bike rental agencies are available and they provide well maintained bikes for any motorbike tours.So spend an evening in shimla and visit all the apple orchards in the surrounding area like Narkanda famous for its apple orchards. Shimla is packed with lots of tourists and so one may get numerous stay options with beautiful views of the lower himalayas. From shimla grab your bike and drive around all the numerous outskirts to explore less touched apple orchards in the villages.
RAMPUR AND SARAHAN
It takes 6hours to reach rampur and another 1 and half hour for sarahan in bike .So its a tedious journey but the road is somewhat well maintained.Your journey will be along pine avenues and Sutlej River Basin.So the total time travel obviously includes pit stops in photogenic places.Apple orchards will be plenty as we start to leave shimla so dont forget to pluck and gather tasty apples.There are numerous stay options in rampur and sarahan within 1000 bucks. They are small hill stations providing some exquisite views of the hills.Crowds are less in these parts so it is relatively peaceful .
HINDUSTHAN TIBET HIGHWAY
Start early from sarahan as now the adventurous Hindusthan Tibet Highway starts.The hanging mountains over the roads will pump your adrenaline and force you to make numerous stops for some memorable photos.It is a gem of brilliance build by the BRO considered as one othe most treachearous roads in the world.The road is somewhat in good conditions ,butt 50 kms before Kalpa the road starts to degrade.The view of the meandering roads on the edge of the mountains with deep gorges makes it one of the best road trips in our country which will compensate for the bad roads to drive.The pure green hills studded with pine trees soothes us even more.The sutlej river along this road turns into a mighty fast flowing giant for which there are plenty of hydro power plants build over it.
Undoubtedly the most beautiful village in the Himalayas that i have ever visited.The road from Kalpa to this last village in India before Tibet is in terrible condition but the scene that is attached with it is tremendous .Colourful mountains and avenues of apple orchards are one of its characteristics.The snow melted waterfalls and long stretch of no traffic roads in the mountains leaves us close to nature and admire its beauty.Few kilometres before entering this small hamlet we get a breahtaking view of the kinnaur valley that is like a spectrum to our eyes.A millitary checkpoint is there which will check the documents of the tourists since Chitkul being a border village.The banks of Baspa river with Kinnaur Kailash at the backdrop leaves us spell bound in chikul.Count the stars in the galactic sky at night with a local apple drink accompanied with the only sound of the free flowing Baspa river.Hotel alpine view which will be the first hotel while entering Chitkul is the best place to stay as it is right between the valleys surrounded by mountains.Power cuts are common here but good tasty food at such heights surprises us.
POOH AND NAKO
This is the last village in Kinnaur valley as we gradually move to Lahaul and Spiti district.So the mountains become somewhat dry and the roads become very rough.The road conditions are terrible and the tough weather clearly knocks us.This road trip somewhat shows us the rusty part of the himalayas with dusts and brown mountains ,less of vegetation.Wooden bridges and army camps are common but the places will be less inhabited .The brutal roads and dry mountains gives us a bumpy ride but it adds to the versatility of the changing colours of the himalayas.Have your lunch in pooh on a roadside Dhaba to prepare yourself for the extreme adventure in Spiti. Visit the Nako Lake in Nako village to have a classic picture of pristine water with autumn colours.
Tabo is an ancient buddhist town in spiti valley with the oldest monastery in the district.in the backdrop of the yellow high fold mountains the buddhist monks prefer a meditating atmosphere in and around the monastery.the town is in full bloom with green apple tree avenues and with colours of autumn in the months of september. Food provided by the locals is mainly vegeterian which is like a gift in this sparsely populated village.
After going through the precarious thinnest highway along the sliding mountains we come across a deviation to Dhankar village.the Dhankar monastery which was said to have been visited by Dalai lama is situated in this village which is now a UNESCO world heritage site.The gompa is build precariously on a cliff which is now in an eroded condition due to pollution.So efforts are being made to renovate it to conserve this ancient history of buddhism. One can have an excellent view of the confluence of pin river and spiti river from the gompa that adds to the delight of spiti adventure with enormous photogenic scenes.The monks here lead a very simple life and they will guide all simple principles of life with a hospitable gesture.Sliding along with the mountain narrow roads,with the bikes we take deviation from the Kaza highway towards the pin valley villages .The martian mountains are still visible along the Spiti river which will make you feel like a wonderland desert.The road along the river leads you to a paradise highway with clear colours of nature making a kaleidoscopic combinations of mountains,sky and rivers. Mudh is the last village in this valley where there are numerous homestays available for the tourists.Pin valley has the Himalayan ilbex and Snow leopards so its a national park that has the only snow leopards living in India.It forms the base camp for many treks ,Pin Parvati being the most important one.Live in one of these homestays and enjoy their delicious food to star gaze the starlit clear sky from this beautiful village.Go after the last house in this village to cross a waterfall meandering from the high mountains in the background to get the full view of this quaint village.
The road to Kaza is a delight for every bikers.The horrific roads of the treacherous mountains becomes smooth and wide and the hills become more rich with autumn colours with the Spiti river basin becoming wider. Kaza being the headquarters of spiti has numerous hotels and all facilities that a tourist requires.Tourists must check their gears here and refuel their bikes in the highest petrol station in the world. Kaza forms the base to reach the Spiti villages and the lifesaving city for the complete population of this most rural district in iIdia.
Few kms at a more high altitude the three spiti villages of langza ,komic and hikkim lies.they are situated at more than 16000 feet above sea level making them one of the highest inhabitable places of earth.the road cuts thorugh high rugged mountains with a more yellowish brown background.suddenly when we arrive close to the villages one feels the bravest hope of driving in a highland.its like a flatland with the sky the only limit that coagulates with the snowcapped mountains in the backdrop. Langza is the first village we enter and a huge buddha statue that emerges its blessings to the tough people ,welcomes us with a soothing smile.hikkim is the village with the highest post office in india,so dont forget to send postcards to your family down to the plains from this most loved post office .komic is the highest motorable village in the world and there is an ancient monastery chiefly governed by the disciplined monks in this area.ki and kibber are other two villages in this buddhist circuit.kibber is major village to get the sightings of a snow leopard so do have the courage for a surprise.ki has the everlasting wallpaper postcard monastery the key monastery that is the largest monastery in this area.a visit to this monastery will take you inside the cuklture of the buddhist monks living here and how they are peaceful and mediated towards humanity and buddhism. One has the oppurtunity to live inside the monastery but get ready to have a disciplined and silent days
KUNZUM PASS AND CHANDRATAL
Now the journey begins to have the experience of the toughest roads in the journey both precarious and strenous than anything.we move along from the spiti valley to the lahaul valley as we arrive in kunzum pass. Kunzum pass separates the lahaul valley from the spiti valley and is about 16500 metres above sea level.it has monumental statues of buddhism and prayer flags that requires a photogenic stop for memories ofc a high mountain pass. From kunzum pass the road deviates to the moon lake which will be the next destination.batal is the point from where the main highway deviates to chandrataal lake through an extremely narrow motorable road.the road is painful with snow melted water streams flowing over the roads in some places.the area near chandrataal is a preserved sanctuary so one is restricted to stay 2.5 kms before the lake.numerous tents and camps have been setup here which gives us plenty of options to have a delightful bornfire night beneath the sky and high mountains.chandrataal lake is more of a glacier lake which shines in perfect blue colour surrounded by tall brown mountains.with snow capped peaks all around and clear sky the lake looks enormously stunning that one can only feel fortunate to see in a lifetime.taking back silence and sounds of nature virtually in photographs one we then prepare our return journey towards cosmopolitian manali.
ROHTANG PASS AND GOOD MEMORIES
An early morning start is necessary to reach manali by evening from chandrataal. The morning ride is chilling cold with numerous melting water streams crossings on the road.the famous chacha chachi dhaba run by two old native people provides a relief to many bikers with noodles and hot teas. It is so famous that in most himachal blogs its name is mentioned .the road is now all along the fast flowing chenab river through numerous water streams and extensively horrific roads with boulders and stones the only carpet for the bikes.the strenous journey leads us to beautiful sights of waterfalls and lakes on the roads with green valleys and humid clouds as we ap[proach the rohtang pass.thanks to bro the road before rohtang pass becomes smooth and concrete which adds to the relief and zeal on visiting this treacherous pass that separates the beautiful kinnaur valley from the lahaul valley.it is situated at an altitude of 3750 metres above smell which remains closed due to heavy snow in most months except may to october.now the road becomes more better as we get to have a smooth ride along the beas river through the picteresque solang valley towrds manali.