30Dec-01Jan from Chandigarh to Himachal: Itinerary help needed

Varun Sehgal

Ride On!
I'm planning a short trip with 2-3 friends from Chandigarh to Himachal this winter. Idea is to have snow all around. I will have 3 days at my disposal. I can start on 30-Dec early morning from Chandigarh but have to be back by 01-Jan evening to Chandigarh. I will have my own car or, can also plan a taxi ride, as needed. Time is most important constraint than anything else.

I'm primarily looking at:

1. Prashar Lake
I can easily cover from Chd to Mandi to Baggi village by car (approx. 9 hours). Assuming I leave by 6am and reach Baggi by 3pm, I feel it would be difficult to reach to PWD/FRH guest house within the same day on 30-Dec. I checked a few sources and found out that distance between Baggi and PWD/FRH is about 15-16 Kms and it's a kuchcha road, which might get covered by Snow. So if we have to trek it on foot, we can only do it on 31-Dec. This would mean that we'll have to trek back from Prashar to Baggi on 01-Jan. And then, won't it be too tight for me to be back by 01-Jan evening to Chandigarh?

Help on fine tuning this proposition from someone who has done the trek in winter, please?!

Or, if you think there are other areas that can be covered b/w 30-Dec and 01-Jan with Snow around, please help me out!

Many thanks!!

P.S.: I have been to Shimla, Manali, Manikaran, Kasol, McLeodganj, Triund, Kasauli, Chail, etc. umpteen times and don't think I want to repeat any of these locations.

Varun Sehgal

Ride On!
Explored another option...

2. Tirthan Valley
a. Tentative plan is to reach Tirthan Valley via Mandi from Chandigarh (~225 KM) on 30-Dec, say by 3pm
b. Roam around nearby areas and stay overnight at any of the Tirthan Valley homestays
c. On 31-Dec, go to Jalori pass, and cover Serolsar lake by late afternoon
d. Come back to Tirthan Valley homsetay OR reach Narkanda (~90 KM) by 31-Dec evening. Spend the night at any of the two places.
e. Travel back to Chandigarh on 01-Jan, reaching by evening.

Help required on fine tuning any of these itineraries, and/or around:
1. I've heard Jalori pass is usually closed during winters. Anyone who has done this route during Dec-Jan, please advise!
2. Any homestay options in Tirthan Valley with approx. costs per night?
3. Which route should I take to reach Jalori pass: via Mandi > Tirthan > Jalori? OR, via Shimla > Narkanda > Jalori?

Thanks in advance!