Two Months in Himachal – Dreams Do Come True!

Hiregoudar

Active Member
N
One of the reasons for me to leave my full-time job and become a digital nomad was being able to travel anywhere and everywhere without having to worry about reaching back to Delhi by Monday morning. And spending months in Himachal had been on my mind ever since I visited this mountain heaven first time. It finally happened!

PS - This is going to a long post and I will try to focus more on photos than content.

The plan was to cover Himachal from one end to another, taking as many breaks as possible, staying close to locals and maybe learn a few things about the way of life in the mountains.

The trip started with a 28-hour train journey to Chandigarh. I had loaded my bike in the same train and it reached Chandigarh the same day, however, I reached post 5pm, after the parcel office closed for the day, so the pick-up could only happen the next day. This gave us one day to explore The City Beautiful - Chandigarh, and eat the food that the Haryanvi in me was dying to eat after spending so much time in Mumbai.​


View attachment 755556
The Bike is packed and ready to go

View attachment 755557
What's the point of a long train journey if you don't stuff yourself with unhealthy food?

View attachment 755558
And we reached Chandigarh!

View attachment 755559
Look at this Goan going bonkers over Punjabi Food!

View attachment 755560
That's the stuff I was talking about!
Shimla, Kufri and Fagu

After 2 days in The City Beautiful, it was time to get on with the actual trip. Surprisingly the bike came back without any issues in the train and needed no repairs. With the overloaded bags, we embarked towards Shimla and stayed at Fagu for the next 2 days, exploring Shimla, Kufri and nearby places. Here are some photos from those days.
View attachment 755561
I was skeptical about the luggage situation but my hand-made luggage carrier did just fine.

View attachment 755562
The shop is setup in Fagu, overlooking apple orchards.

View attachment 755563
Bike becomes something else altogether once the bags are taken off.

View attachment 755564
View attachment 755565
View attachment 755566
View attachment 755567
View attachment 755568

Jibhi via Jalori Pass


After Fagu, we moved towards Jibhi via Narkhand and Jalori Pass. I had visited Narkhanda earlier as well and the roads started getting rough just after that. You must have heard that the bad road leads to the most beautiful places and I started believing this only after I reached Jibhi, a little village just near Jalori. The road we took that day made heart thump wildly. I haven’t come across anything as beautiful as this place until now. The pine trees, 45 degree incline and dip on the roads and the sense of adventure – these are the memories that are going to stay in a corner of my mind forever.

We stayed at Offbeat Footprint in Jibhi for the next three days, exploring the valley and surroundings. This is where we had our first real life experience of Himachal. Tucked in a mud house at the side of river, picking plums for breakfast, hiking in the forest and taking a dip in the natural pool!

View attachment 755569 Did you know that the road passing through Jalori is all tarmac now?

View attachment 755570
Breakfast picked straight from the trees.

View attachment 755571
Never tired of clicking or posting these roads

View attachment 755572
Mighty Jalori Pass.

View attachment 755573

View attachment 755574

View attachment 755575
There aren't a lot of places in India where you will find blueberries.

View attachment 755576
She just slides wherever she sees a slope. Still learning to walk in the mountains. :D

View attachment 755577
Finding hidden waterfalls is the new fave game

View attachment 755578
Getting better at hiking!

View attachment 755579
View attachment 755580

View attachment 755581
Himachali houses have really small doors.

View attachment 755582
That's the mud-house we stayed at

View attachment 755583
Trying to do our bit.

View attachment 755584
Work has to be always the priority but who minds if your office looks like this?

View attachment 755585
This is taking much more time than I anticipated. Will post the remaining in the next post soon.
Nice and different TL. Go on please.
 

Sandeep-Dahiya

digitallyscrambled.com
Spiti

After spending a few days on our laptops, it was time for our next direction – The Majestic Spiti Valley. We planned to take the following Route - Manali – Batal – Kaza – Nako – Kalpa and turn back to Manali the same way.

One of our friends decided to join us along on his Dominar. We got the permissions for Rohtang Pass and started at 5.30 in the morning. It had been raining on and off for the past few days in Manali but thankfully that day and the day before were both sunny. The traffic was smooth and the sun was starting to come out. A beautiful day to be on motorcycles! We stopped for breakfast somewhere before Rohtang pass and managed to reach Gramphu before 10. The road till now had been more or less good but that was when the struggle began to start.

The next 50 kms till Batal were as adventurous as it gets. Some of the Pagal Nala had been closed but there were still a few that were going to test your riding sprits. We wanted to reach Batal as soon as possible because sunny day meant these Pagal Nala getting wilder every second, making it impossible to cross. The day ended at Batal, staying at one of the camps. Next day we wanted to visit Chandratal Lake before heading to Kaza via Kunzum Pass.

In the evening I started feeling very tired and that night was the worst with all the signs of AMS along with feeling that I had some kind of food poisoning. The night was cold and uncomfortable but I felt much better in the morning. We decided to skip Chadratal Lake and to cover it on the way back to Manali. We started for Kunzum pass at around 9 in the morning and it took almost 7 hours to cover the next 90kms. The roads were a little better after Kunzum pass and the ride was much smoother as compared to the day before.

While we expected that there would be no network on the journey, we were surprised to find that there is no internet even in Kaza, not even 2G. We tried to find signal all over town nd even managed to get a new BSNL card but the result was the same. We knew about the network situation in the region but were informed by a few that we will surely get little bit of network in the city. Even a few minutes of network connectivity would have kept our work going. This was a deal breaker for us along with the sickness of the earlier day. So we decided to head towards Shimla at-least to the point where we can get good coverage, since we knew that we had no network on the route we came on. This decision meant an epic road trip starting from Kaza to Nako and Pooh. We took a halt at Spello – the first place that we found 4G network, 160 kms away from Kaza. The next two day were spent recovering my health and catching up on work before heading towards back to Naggar via Kalpa and Jalori Pass. We finished this journey in two days taking another night halt somewhere in between.

Back in Naggar the apples had started to get red and the fields were full of different vegetable. It’s amazing how fast they grow. Our friendship with Sultan the dog had grown and this place started feeling like home now.

At this point we had spent a month in Himachal and the rains had started. We were starting to realize that taking work everywhere with us would be difficult on motorcycles from this point onwards. We decided to rent a car for the next month and I did a quick trip to Chandigarh to pick a Celario AMT which we managed to get a decent price for the next one month. The only downside was that you can’t take rental cars to Ladakh. We planned to get 10-15 days off from work towards the end of our journey and ride to Ladakh and Spiti once again, this time, more prepared.

1.jpg
2.jpg
3.jpg
4.jpg
5.jpg
6.jpg
7.jpg
8.jpg
9.jpg
10.jpg
11.jpg
12.jpg
13.jpg
14.jpg
15.jpg
16.jpg
17.jpg
18.jpg
19.jpg
20.jpg
21.jpg
22.jpg
23.jpg
24.jpg
25.jpg


 

Sandeep-Dahiya

digitallyscrambled.com
Parvati Valley

After a few days of catching up on work at Naggar, we started towards Parvati Vlley via Kullu. The 3 hour drive to The Himalayan Village near Jari, just a few kms short of Kasol, was smooth with rain showers in between which added the fun to our road trip. Celerio turned out to be a good option as it provided protection from rains and weather, making sure a fun and relaxed road trip in mountains. We did feel sad seeing the other bikers getting soaked – we were in that position just a few days ago.

Paravti valley never fails to amaze with its beauty and the rains seems to add an extra dose of charm to this place with the Parvati River flowing at full speed. One can just sit on the banks of the river and be amazed at nature around you – the misty hills, the spray rusing up from the river and the call of the birds… it’s blissful!

We have had a taste of Himachal architecture through our stay at various properties until now and wanted to understand more about these fascinating wood and mud structures. This led us to our first stay in Kasol – The Himalayan Village. The Himalayan village is a luxury resort hidden in plain sight and one couldn’t imagine the sheer luxury and brilliant architecture just at the banks of Parvati River. The property resembles an old 19th century Himalayan village with just 8 rooms – a mix of cottages and machans - and you can’t help but think that this is exactly how the Maharajas used to live, with opulence in the midst of nature.

Our next destination was Tosh – a little village at the end of Parvati Valley. There weren’t too many tourists in the valley because of the monsoons. Tosh had been my favorite destination during my earlier trips to The Parvati Valley but this time the experience was different. The drive from Kasol to Tosh is beautiful alongside the river with gorgeous views. Misty mornings in the valley are gorgeous and we took a few hours to cover these few kms. We paid Rs. 300 for parking outside the village (what a good business idea!) and headed to the only known guest house in the end of Tosh. The stay at the property was nothing as I remembered but there seems to be construction all across the village with guest houses and cafes at every turn. Looks like Tosh is also headed to become next Kasol and Shimla. This just breaks your heart how such a beautiful village has turned out to be so commercial. We did make the best out of our stay with food and the walks around village, watching the villagers continue their daily life.

We stayed in Tosh for just one day and moved to Pulga, another small village near Barshaini. We picked this place randomly as we were sure we didn’t want to go on the Kheerganga Trek, a popular item on the to-do list among travellers to Parvati Valley, but not an attractive option for lazy, unfit travelers like us. The village is around a 20 minute easy walk from the point where you will park your car and a road is being constructed till the start of village. This new road will bring much needed transport and connection to the little village but on another hand, it’s sure to bring the hordes of tourists just like Tosh. I am still not sure how I feel about it. We stayed for 3 days in this magical village, waking up to the misty mountains, surrounded by calm forest, walking around the village eating at every possible cafe, the best one being Boom Shiva café.

We headed back to Kasol after Kalga and decided to stay at another budget property in Kasol. The town was not full of tourists as one expects Kasol to be and we enjoyed our time here with a ride to Manikaran Gurudwara the next morning. We spent more than a week in Parvati valley before heading back to our home in Naggar.

1.JPG

Jonson in Manali during one of almost daily trips.

2.JPG

The wild side of Parvati River.

3.JPG
See that Machan on the right, that's our room.

4.JPG
Here is what it looks like from inside

5.jpg

6.jpg

7.JPG

I can get used to this lifestyle :D

8.jpg
This is Himachali Dham, a traditional feast food. I can honestly say I would travel any distance to eat this again.

9.JPG

Any food we tried at this place was beyond words.

10.JPG
11.jpg
Artwork here is amazing and represent the traditional Himachal.

13.jpg

Soaking in sun after rainy night.

14.JPG
First view of Tosh Village

15.JPG
Good Spot for Picnic?

16.jpg

17.jpg

18.jpg

19.jpg
20.jpg
21.jpg
Trek to Pulga Village. Road construction going on.

22.jpg
First view of the Pulga village.

23.jpg
We got a nice guesthouse at the end of village.

24.jpg

Reminds me of the Machan at Himalayan Village.

25.jpg

The village life

26.jpg
The food here is great.

27.jpg
And the vibes..

28.jpg

29.jpg

30.jpg
Fairy Forest

31.jpg
Back in Kasol.

32.jpg
 
Top