September Spiti ride

Looking back, it was an uncertain start, having to postpone my trip at the last minute and letting my motorcycle lie at the parcel office for more than a week. Once the ride started, however, it was very smooth all the way, so much so that I could finish a day earlier as I didn’t consume the buffer day. The weather had cooperated very well for the most part. A couple of days after my ride, the weather turned really bad with with heavy unseasonal rain and very early snow. There was flooding on the highway between Manali and Kullu and severe snow storms in the Batal-Gramphu stretch. People had to be air-lifted from somewhere between Batal/Gramphu. I got lucky that I managed to pass through the area while the weather was still good.
The impression I had of Spiti Valley before the trip was that it was a poorer cousin of Ladakh. Spiti Valley pleasantly surprised me with its rugged beauty and I have no hesitation in stating that the place is pretty much on par with Ladakh. The Kinnaur part of the trip was a bonus and has its own charm, particularly the Sangla-Chitkul portion which is beautiful. Kalpa with its close-up mountain view is a good experience too. The bare mountains of varied colours and deep valleys near Nako were stunning, as was the Kibber-Losar stretch. Kunzum Pass, Chandrataal Lake and the Batal-Gramphu path were all memorable in their own special way.
My recommendation to anybody thinking that they have seen everything with a Ladakh trip is, visit Kinnaur and Spiti, you will realise that the Indian Himalayas offer many wonderful options beyond Ladakh.