Hi HVKumar, I will be travelling to Spiti for the first time in end of June. Any recommendations on How should I plan, Essentials to carry, Places to visit, etc. Ride: Mahindra XUV`500 W6(4x2), Route: Gurgaon - Shimla - Narkanda - Nako - Kaza via Tabo - Chandratal - Manali - Gurgaon Here is the plan:
D1 - I would avoid Narkhanda & target Rampur D2: I would target Tabo, if the going is good. I would visit Gue, the place of the famous Mummy. Expect very bad roads, delays in this sector D3: From Tabo, I would visit Dhankar & Pin Valley before reaching Kaza D4: Kaza is not just about KHibber. There are the following places too: Ke, Langza, Tashi Ganga, Komik & Hikkim D5: Chandra Tal is going to be a tough place to stay overnight, check weather before you go D6: Toughest roads. Some key issues: 1. Ending of the North Indian tourist season, expect noisy crowds in Shimla-Narkhanda belt and Manali 2. Carry the normal car essentials 3. Loosen all wheel nuts & retighten manually - XUV500 has a bad reputation of jamming of wheel nuts 4. Carry a spare tube for your tubeless tyre, to repair in case the tyre suffers damage 5. Chandratal-Gramphoo road is unimaginably bad 6. Carry 2 days food & water in the car always 7. Be prepared for water crossings. Ideally, leave by 6 am so that you can cross such areas before midday
I had done this circuit in 2011 with mailsarkar, anilsharma, and @suman ghosh. Our trip was a 9-day plan, which we took quite leisurely, starting on a Saturday and getting back to Delhi the following Sunday. Our itinerary went something like this: Saturday: Delhi to Narkanda Sunday: Narkanda to Sangla Valley / Chitkul Monday: Sangla to Nako Tuesday: Nako to Mudh (Pin Valley) via Tabo Wednesday: Mudh to Rangrik via Kaza (for fuel) Thursday: Rangrik as a centre point, we explored Kibber, Ke monasteries Friday: Rangrik to Losar (stayed at a place called Nomad's Den that was really comfortable) Saturday: Losar to Manali (Chandratal was blocked off) Sunday: Manali to Delhi After crossing Kunzum La, the Batal to Gramphoo section was pretty bad. Only rocks and a river bed in the name of a road. But even that was bearable. Coming down from Rohtang, there was a landslide that had just been cleared and it was raining, with a huge amount of slush on the road. That took quite a while.
Here's an update from an avid traveller / photographer and friend - Rajeev Kumar on Facebook. He just went to Spiti and posted an update. Thought it might be useful to you Nikhil Kalra Here's his post: Spiti Update:
For those wishing to plan a drive trip to Kinnaur and Spiti on a sedan or hatchback, this is the best time in last few years. Delhi - Shimla :Boring as always Shimla - Narkanda : nice drive Narkanda - Rampur : fantastic road, just couple of kms of bad stretch just after Narkanda. Rampur - Wangtoo : Decent road with just one bad stretch Wangtoo - Tapri : flat track, I was driving my SX4 at 30-40 km /hr Tapri - No waiting or oneway timing, just one small tight stretch, with steep ascent and descent. There are two big landslides but bypass to those are all good. Tapri - Karcham : Road under construction, you can do 50 km/hr in a sedan. Karcham to Sangla : mix of good and bad, again doable by any sedan. Sangla to Chitkul : mostly broken but easy to drive Karcham - Powari : Some usual broken roads near shongtong bridge and powari, rest all good. Good thing is, no slush, its absolutely dry. Powari - Spillow : Broken under construction road Spillow - Nako : Mix of good and bad roads, drive to Kazig is awesome Malling Nalla : As of now, you will not even realize when will you cross it, completely tamed Nako - Tabo : Ok road Tabo - Lingti : Dusty, very very dusty Lingti to Mud : Awesome roads, some bad patches between Sagnam and mud Lingti - Kaza :bad and dusty Kaza - Kibber :super smooth In Summary: As of now this section is in its best form, compared to last 5 years. Can be done by car with care. Its dusty, very very dusty. Beware of tourist rush in Kinnaur, book in advance.
Ila_ansh Can you give us a quick update on road conditions beyond Rampur? How is the section from Karcham upto Nako and Tabo? What about Malling Nallah, is it full of water or just quite tame? An update would be great - as there are a couple of more people I know who would be also going.
Puncture Kit - Check, 3 tonne hydraulic jack - Check, MapmyIndia - Check, Carrier on Top - Check, Car service - Check and Excitement - Triple Checked. Starting on saturday early morning @3am. Slight change in the schedule, will directly drive to Rampur instead of Narkanda. Lot of rush and unavailability of Rooms.
Nikhil Kalra Looks like you are all set for this epic drive! Excitement is something that can't be supressed before a long road trip, right? And I will hope to catch up with you somehwere before Zirakpur, starting at 4 am on saturday. Watch out for a small Mahindra Convoy
Nikhil Kalra Also, carry a toolkit and a swiss army knife. They are extremely useful in trips like this. If required, carry a prepaid BSNL sim card as well. Carrying a tire iron will also help in removing the wheel easily in case of a puncture.
Yes Praveen, swiss knife is the part of my arsenal too. Also checked with BSNL and they said only Himachal postpaid numbers will work in that geography + I think it will be peace to not have a phone only. #justsaying