Autumn Road Trip to Lahaul Valley


Reaching Bilaspur

Hello Friends, presenting first part of our Lahaul Road Trip covering our first day journey till Bilaspur.

We started our journey from Ghaziabad and reached Kharar at around 5 PM. This vlog starts after we crossed Kharar. Barring some parts of Kharar, road was in excellent condition till we entered Himachal. However the ascend to Swarghat was in bad shape due to ongoing road widening work to convert it to 4 lanes. We reached Swarghat at around 7 PM. Though we planned our first day night halt at Swarghat we could not find any hotel there. Most of the hotels were closed due to Covid. Hotels that were open were full due to weekend rush.

So we planned to move ahead and do night stay at Bilaspur which is around 40 Kilometers from Swarghat.

Following video covers our journey upto this point. Please watch the video to know more about our journey. I have not clicked any photographs in this part of the journey. Will post pictures from next part.



Bilaspur to Manali

Hello Friends, presenting second part of our Lahaul Valley Road Trip covering our second day journey from Bilaspur to Manali.

We stayed in HPTDC Hotel Lake View at Bilaspur on previous night. We booked suite rooms as lower priced rooms were not available. The hotel is located on the highway overlooking Gobind Sagar Lake on its back side.

Today we started our journey from Bilaspur and todays night halt was planned at Manali. The road condition was good, however faced with road construction work caused due to road widening work. However some part of the route are already widened to 4 lanes due to which we could make up with the delays caused due to bad roads.

We crossed below places between Bilaspur and Manali.

1) Bilaspur : Located at a height of 673 meters above MSL.
2) Sundar Nagar : A big town on the banks of Suketi River located at a height of 900 meters above MSL at a distance of 60 Kilometers from Bilaspur.
3) Mandi : A big town located on the confluence of Suketi and Beas rivers at a height of 760 meters above MSL. Its located at a distance of 25 Kilometers from Sundar Nagar. Mandi sometime nicknamed as Chooti Kashi or Varanasi of Hills as it has several famous temples.
4) Pandoh : Located at a distance of 20 Kilometers from Mandi on the confluence of Beas and Jayuli Rivers and is famous for Pandoh Dam which connects Beas River with Satluj River through 38 Kilometer long system of tunnels and channels. The water used for power generation at Dehar Power House before discharging it to Satluj River.
5) Kullu : Located at a distance of 53 Kilometers from Pandoh on the banks of Beas River. Height of Kullu is 1280 meter above MSL. There are several famous temples located at Kullu like Raghunath Temple, Narsingh Temple, Bhubaneshwari Devi Temple and Bijli Mahadev temple at a distance of 10 Kilometers. Kullu is also famous for Angora Rabbit farm, Handicraft and Kullu Dushera.
6) Raison : Located at a distance of 15 Kilometers from Kullu is the starting point of rafting in Beas river. Its also famous for fishing.
7) Patlikul and Katrain : Famous for fishing.
8) Manali : Famous hill station located at a distance of 40 Kilometers from Kullu. Located at a height of 2050 Meters above MSL its famous for its natural views and tourist places like Hidimba Devi Temple, Mall Road, Monasteries, Club House, Van Vihar, Nehru Kund, Vashisth Hot Water Springs, Jogini Water Fall etc. Rohtang Pass is located at at distance of 50 Kilometers and Solang Valley is located at a distance of 15 Kilometers from Manali. Solang Valley is also famous for the Rope way and the famous 9.02 Kilometers long Atal Tunnel.

This video covers our journey up to this point. Will continue with the journey in next episode. Please watch the video to know more about our journey.



Manali to Atal Tunnel (Rohtang Tunnel) South Portal

Hello Friends, presenting third part of our Lahaul Valley Road Trip covering our third day journey from Manali to Atal Tunnel South Portal.

After reaching Manali yesterday we stayed in HPTDC Hotel Kunzam located on Mall Road. The hotel has its own parking facility located at a distance of around 100 mtrs. Front gate of the hotel opens directly on Mall Road. We did some shopping on mall road, had some grilled trout fish in famous Shere Punjab Restaurant on Mall road before going to sleep.

Manali is a famous tourist place with various point of interest like Hidimba Devi Temple, Club House, Van Vihar (Forest Walk) etc. Manali got its name from Manu Maharaj Temple which is located in old Manali. Mall Road is famous for shopping.

Vasistha is a village located at a distance of 5 Kilometers from Manali which is famous for its hot water springs. Its water believed to have medicinal benefits which can cure a lot of skin diseases. Vasisth Rishi mediated here and a temple is dedicated to him. In addition there is a temple of Ram too. These temples are famous for their wooden carvings. Jogini Waterfall is located at a distance of 2 kilometers from Vasistha which can be reached by trek only.

We started from our hotel late at around 11:30 AM as we are not driving much today. Our destination for today is Keylong, sub divisional head quarter of Lahaul Valley, via Solang Valley and Atal Tunnel.

Some facts about Atal Tunnel.
1) Its a two lane bi directional tunnel located in the Pir Panjal Range of Himalayas at a average elivation of 3100 meters above MSL. It cut through Pir Panjal Range in North-South Direction.
2) Total length of tunnel is 9.02 Kilometers and its south portal is at a distance of 25 Kilometers from Manali.
3) Contrary to normal belief, its not the longest tunnel in the world, in fact its the longest road tunnel among all tunnels located at a height of more than 3000 meters above MSL.
4) Contrary to normal belief, it does not make Manali Leh highway an all weather road. There is another pass on the road called Baralacha La that still remains closed for 6 months in a year.
5) Atal Tunnel reduces distance between Manali and Keylong by 46 Kilometers and also saves 3 to 4 hours of driving time.
6) Atal tunnel is a ventilated tunnel with all advanced security systems in place and a parallel escape tunnel to evacuate people in case of any mishap.

We crossed Solang Valley on the way to Atal Tunnel. Solang valley is a famous tourist village where you can enjoy ATBs, Ice sports in winter and para gliding. Its 1.3 Kilometer long ropeway takes you to a height of 3200 meters above MSL. A 2 Kilometer trek from Solang Valley will take you to Anjani Mahadev temple where a waterfall pours water directly on the Shiv Linga and in winter the water freezes and creates a ice Shiva Linga as in Amarnath.

We reached Atal Tunnel South portal in an hour but was stopped by police at the entrance.

This video covers our journey up to this point. Will continue with the journey in next episode. Do not forget to watch the next episode to know more about our travel and to know why police stopped us.



Manali to Keylong

Hello Friends, presenting fourth part of our Lahaul Valley Road Trip covering our third day journey from Atal Tunnel South Portal to Keylong via Sissu and Tandi.

We crossed Atal Tunnel and entered the Lahaul Valley. We spent some time at North portal and then started our journey to Keylong, the administrative head quarter of Lahaul Valley.

Our next stop was it Sissu Tourism Village which is around 7 KM from Atal Tunnel north portal. You need to go down for around 500 meters to reach the place. The area marked to be developed as a tourism village but work is yet to start. It has a helipad, a lake known as Sissu Lake and and a waterfall on the other side of Chandra River known as Sissu waterfall.

We spent a lot of time at Sissu and our next point was Tandi, where Chandra and Bhaga river meets to create Chandrabhaga river. This river is known as Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir. Chandra river accompanied us till Tandi from Atal Tunnel north portal. From Tandi onwards we were accompanied by Bhaga river.

Tandi also have the last petrol pump in Himachal on this road. Next petrol pump is 365 KM away at Karu, Ladakh.

We reached Keylong in the evening and checked into HPTDC hotel Chandrabhaga which we prebooked.

This video covers our journey up to this point. Will continue with the journey in next episode. Now watch the video to know more about our journey.



Lahaul Valley Local Sightseeing

Hello Friends, presenting fifth part of our Lahaul Valley Road Trip covering our fourth day journey covering local sights of Lahaul Valley.

Last night we stayed in Keylong in HPTDC Hotel Chandrabhaga which cost us Rs.2000/- per room including breakfast and dinner.

Today we planned to explore Lahaul Valley. Keylong has a Buddhist monastery named Sasur Monastery which around 3 KM from Keylong. There is another monastery near Tandi named Guru Ghantal Monastery. We did not visit the monastery instead we drove along Manali Leh Highway.

Our first stop was Jispa, 23 KM from Keylong at a height of 3200 mtrs above MSL. Nothing was open in Jispa, so we went further.

We crossed Darcha located at a height of 3360 mtrs above MSL and reached Deepak Tal which is around 12 KM from Darcha at a height of 3750 Mtrs above MSL. We spent a lot of time there before starting our return journey. We did not go to Baralacha La due to lack of time which was around 30 KM from Deepak Tal.

While returning we went down to Bhaga River bank near Jispa and spent some time there. We explored Keylong local market before reaching hotel. Keylong market was not at all touristy and item rates were reasonable.

You can explore Udaipur which is 54 KM from Keylong and see ancient Triloknath Temple and Mrikula Mata Temple. Further 70 KM will take you to Killar, Tehsil Headquarter of Pangi Valley.

This video covers our journey up to this point. Will continue with the journey in next episode. Now watch the video to know more about our journey.