Streams, Stones and Showers : An unusual trek to Hampta Pass


Active Member
What a colourful photography.
Superb pics.
The deep-blue sky in the distance was quite mesmerising.
So was the reflections.


Well-Known Member
What a beautiful adventure, I really feel jealous of you guys for the beautiful adventure.

End of one adventure is a start of a new one.

Look forward to more adventures from you.
The plan was: “Once we cross the bridge, we reach Chattru and we stop trekking. A vehicle will then carry us to the Mystical Chandrataal which is about 70-80 km drive from Chattru. We come back to Chattru later in the night and camp here. And finally leave for Manali next day”. But do plans ever work in this region of the nation? Nope. Never.

We took a lot of finishing moment photographs at the bridge and across it too. Here are a few worth sharing:




Road, Milestone, Roadside hotel, Vehicles and a lot of other people. We had been so far from all this for last 3 days. It wasn’t exciting to see them back. Actually, it was a bag of mixed emotions. The gloom of vacation coming towards an end, the delight to be back again to the world that we know and excitement to be at Chandrataal.

But this bag of mixed emotions was soon to be emptied and filled in with another set. :grin:

Buddhiji, Swasti and Kapil were waiting for us at the roadside Dhaba when we reached Chattru. They had ordered Maggi and I doubled the order. It was then that the news was broken to us. Due to the heavy rains in past 3 days, the road connecting Manali and Chattru was blown off at two points. The rain we trekked through was heaviest in this region for almost a decade. Legendary, isn’t it?

Nevertheless, how did this news affect us? Well, it does. It was a double blow in fact. The vehicle that was to carry us to Chandrataal never reached Chattru. It was stuck at the blown away road while it was coming from Manali. And that point is about 10 km from here. So the first blow is We cannot go to Chandrataal. And the second is We have to trek for another 10 km towards Manali to reach the vehicle and ride it back to Manali.

It was a heavy blow. I tried to figure out if there was a way out. As in, if we could wait for a day here in Chattru till the road gets repaired or if we could get some vehicle here for Chandrataal. But all these possibilities were logistically impossible. It took a while to sink this in. Chandrataal had been appearing in my dreams for a while. And it was rain again which had washed away my dreams.:mad:

We had no other choice other than wait for a further update. We went inside the Dhaba and got cozy with Rajma Chawal and Daal Chawal. A picture of the lady owner of Dhaba:


Poluram joined us with other group in some time and made the final decision. We had to trek till the vehicle. And the most annoying part was that it was more of a road walk than a trek.

So, we gear up again and start towards an unknown destination-the blown away road. Weather was sunny now.
The trek starts again:


The trek was mostly event less except for a few places, where instead of climbing along the winding up road we took off road and climbed to reach the upper part of the same road. Those off road climbs had our heart in mouths. Literally. The breathlessness along with the sun’s heat had us sweating and gasping for air. This had to be done for almost 4 times to save a gradual climb of about 3 km along the road.

Soon we reached the first point where the road was washed away by a landslide and consequent water flow. This part was traversable though risky. A few Bullets and their riders were engaged in getting across the washed away road. It involved some smart driving and a lot of help by the pillion and local people who are ever ready to help.



We also walked through the rumble trying not to wet our shoes in the chilling water. It was a balancing art.


We came across a lot of bikers on their way to either Spiti valley or Manali. Seeing them cross the flowing nullahs and washed away roads, my face turned green.

Here are some more photos taken while trekking:











After trekking for almost 3-4 hours, we finally reached the place where the road was completely washed away by a landslide due to heavy rain. This was the second point. And a more damaged one. It seemed like a hole in the mountain with a lot of water and rumbling stones. A crane was already engaged in an effort to clear out the rocks and initiate the repair work. But it will take hours to make it traversable again. Wise decision it was, to cancel Chandrataal.


There was a huge jam on either side of the washed away portion. Trucks, buses, SUVs and Bikes. Our vehicle had been waiting on the other side since morning. It was great effort to cross this portion. The water flow was quite wild. Our guides, Buddhiji , Poluram and Roshan helped us get across and walk another 500 meters to reach our vehicle.

This day long trek had succeeded in polishing the metal within. Our wish to trek in a sunny weather had come true. But on what cost? We should be more careful and specific while wishing.. :p

It was goodbye time now. Farewell to our guides. Really an emotional moment for us. They had been so wonderful. We are going to miss them, a big time. Specially, Buddhiji and Roshan. Had it not been their care and “going-a-long-way-to-fulfill-the-duty” nature, we might have been either washed away by rain or frozen by the biting cold. Specially, Ashwini and Dhanno would never have been able to complete the trek. They were our Guardians and Angels. :):)

After an emotional farewell, we were off to Manali, moving a step closer to the end of our vacation.

On the way we cross the Gramphu junction where one of the roads goes towards Leh, my second home. It was such a deep desire to get down there and travel to Leh somehow. I wish I could have done that. We crossed a very foggy Rohtang and reached Manali by 9 PM.

We had an extra day to spare. Multiple possibilities were being explored to use that day. Like, Going to Amritsar by bus and then travel back to Delhi or breaking our journey at Chandigarh so that we could add another destination to this vacation. But enquiry at Manali bus depot foiled all such plans due to time feasibility. We simply booked two budget rooms in Manali and decided to spend the extra day in Manali only.

Phones were back in network after 4 days and missed call alerts flew in like anything. I just called parents and a few close friends and informed about the whereabouts. We had a sumptuous dinner and hit the bed early. The beds were way too cozy and comfortable.

Oh, I so much missed the tent, damp sleeping bag and pounding rain!!

Day 8: Manali- Solang Valley

Due to lack of options, we decided to spend the spare day in Manali. The morning was consumed by drying up of wet inventory and re-packing of sacks.
We checked out and roamed about the Manali market. Also, on enquiry on Manali-Delhi buses we found out that all buses were full due to weekend. Grrr… Eventually we booked the HRTC bus to Chandigarh and decided to take another bus from there to Delhi. The HRTC bus left at 9 PM.

We still had a lot of time and somehow the thought of visiting Solang Valley sprang up and we booked a cab to and fro Solang Valley. But the rains chased us there and didn’t allow us to do any of Ropeway, Paragliding etc. We just marveled at serenity and beauty of Solang Valley, had an expensive snacks at the ski lounge and came back to Manali. Some pics of Solang valley:




Once in Manali, we still had some time and hence visited the Van Vihar National Park, just for a quite evening stroll. Some pics:



After this we did some shopping and had an amazing dinner at “Beas Punjabi Dhaba” recommended to us by the local shopkeepers. This was the most amazing food I had ever had. Totally recommended. And guess what, the bill for 6 people was a mere 400 bucks. And that too when all of us had eaten beyond our capacity. Amazing food, just amazing. Cannot praise it enough.

We had to rush to hotel to pick up our luggage and catch the bus. The last minute time crunch is always a habbit.. :grin:.

Day 9 and 10: Chandigarh-Delhi-Mumbai-Pune

The journey was eventless and we were in Chandigarh at sunrise. There was no time to explore and we straightaway travelled to inter-state bus terminal and got ourselves a bus to Delhi. The journey to Delhi was dry. Just the positive being amazing road.

In Delhi, we were welcomed by the heaviest rain probably Delhi had seen in the season. Somehow we managed to run to the metro station and board a metro to Rajeev Chowk. It was raining heavily there too and we got completely wet just while crossing the road to the Connaught palace. Rain…!!!!!!:mad:

We walked to Haldirams and had our last amazing North Indian meal. August Kranti Rajdhani then took us back to our lives. From Mumbai it was a cool cab journey back to Pune!! The vacation ends!!:(:(:(


I will end this travelogue quoting Gilbert Chesterton
“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.”

The journey through the Streams, Stones and Showers, however inconvenient it was haunts me day and night in my event less traverses to Office. The cushions do not give the sleep deep enough as compared with the damp sleeping bags being pricked by stones that lay below the tent. The shower of my bathroom doesn't give me a bath better than the rain showers of Hampta Pass. And the millions of lone moments in the city life are far less peaceful than the a single moment of peace spent beside a flowing stream.

I wait for the year to pass by and then I will be back to where I find peace, to where I seek adventure and to where I belong!!
Until then, Juley!!:)



Active Member
Wonderful narration and captivating snaps.
An excellent trekking log.
Sorry for your disappointment for not visiting Chandrataal.
That can be a totally new travel log for the future.
God Bless You


Staff member
Fantabulously fantastic log.
This is going to be contender of the trek log of the year.
Fantastic!! Amazing vistas :)

Mind sharing the trip expenses, specially the trek part (ex-Manali) and contact details of Polu Ram ji ?