It wouldn't be incorrect if we call an experience of Motor Bike Tour on Old Hindustan Road as class apart. Tracing the route of River Sutlej, starting from Shimla, this road made a part of the legendary Silk Route between India and Tibet. In the words of Paddy & Rosy "The romance of the old Hindustan Tibet road lies not only in the excitement of retracing a legendary route trod by many adventurous feet but also in the fact that it chronicles in its passage a remarkable transition in climate, vegetation, terrain, people and culture. From the monsoon fed greenery of the foothills, through the snow clad peaks of the main Himalayan ranges, to the barren aridity bordering Tibet, the people and their lifestyle change as vividly as the landscape ". To explore this legendary route, in these days, we can start the journey from Kalka and via beautiful and touristy Kasauli and Shimla ride to Narkanda, the famed Ski Resort in India. The motorbike ride on Old HT Road allows witnessing beauties like Sarahan where the famous Bhimakali Temple is housed; Daranghati, which is known for its rich wildlife; Kalpa, wherefrom the view of Kinner Kailash is spectacular; Sangla Valley, which by the way is indescribably beautiful and Chandra Tal, also known for its pristine beauty. As one bikes through the Old HT Road and passes through old villages, sprawled valleys like Pin Valley and many monasteries, the beauty of the place starts to grow and so does the serenity. Therefore one can expect a legendary motorbike experience that will remain etched in the memory forever. Here's a detailed itinerary for you.
In the morning, we will board Shatabdi Express that takes 4 hours to reach. From Kalka, we shall drive to Kasauli, which is at a distance of 30kms. Overnight stay in Kalka.
Today, we will drive to Shimla via Sabatho, Gambhar Pul (Bridge) Sabatho is an army cantonment area and Gambhar Pul is an ancient Victoria bridge. The trail from Sabatho to Shimla through Gambhar is an integral part of Old Hindustan Tibet Road. On arrival in Shimla, check-in to a hotel for night stay.
Today, we will get the bikes and we shall begin our motorbike tour by first biking to Kareri via Sanjauli, Theog, Fagu and Matiyana and Narkanda. Narkanda is known as one of the finest ski resorts in India. After a tea break here, we shall drive to Baghi by getting off the modern Narkanda- Rampur highway and enter into the rarely visited region of Old Hindustan Tibet Road. A narrow road, full of boulders yet extremely beautiful takes one to Taklech, wherefrom the views of Great Himalayan ranges and Chanshal peaks are outstanding. The best part of the drive is the forest of Chinar, which make the entire passage colourful. We shall drive up from Taklech, and then cross a stream to a beautiful village of Kareri. We will camp near the village on a nice ground and in the evening visit houses in the village to have interaction with the locals.
Today, we shall drive to Daranghati, which is known for its wildlife. One is likely to sight Monal, Tragopan, Koklas and Kalij pheasants and Musk Deer, Goral and Thar in the sanctuary. We shall be driving Kareri to Mashnu and then ascend to the Daranghati Pass through rough and narrow road. We will reach the top of Daranghati from where the way to remote village Kasha Pat is visible along with several mountain ranges, peaks and trekking trails. After spending sometime at the top, we will descend down towards Majholi and by taking a right to a valley we shall reach Sarahan. Upon arrival, check-in to a hotel in Sarahan for a night stay.
Our day will begin with a visit to Bhimakali temple in Sarahan and then we shall head out to Kalpa. On the way we will cross Chaura, Taranda, Ponda, Nichar, Tapri to reach our destination. The view from Kalpa is excellent with the entire range of peaks being visible including Kinner Kailash. Overnight stay in Kalpa.
We will drive to Sangla, which is a beautiful valley in Kinnaur. We shall also visit Chitkul, which is the last inhabited village of Indo-China border. After spending some time here, we will return to Kalpa by evening and visit the monastery at Rekang Poe. Night stay in Kalpa.
In the morning, we shall visit Kinnaur's most famous Chandika Devi Temple at Kothi, which is situated on the main road for Nako. The temple is popular as Devi Kothi and has beautiful wood carvings and silver plated doors. Through Rekang Peo, Pooh, Khaba and Kanum Monastery we shall bike upwards on an adventurous trail to Nako. Situated at an altitude of 3662 Meters, Nako is a cluster of old houses and has a huge lake in between and a monastery dedicated to Lord Padamsambhava. Overnight stay in Nako.
Today, we shall visit the monastery in the morning. After the visit, we shall head out for Tabo via Maling Nallah and Sumdo. Some distance from Nako is a village called Tashigang, where it is believe that Guru Padmasambhava meditated and preached to followers. We will further bike to Sumdo where our inner line permits will be checked again. From Sumdo, the Chinese border is just a few kilometers. We shall then proceed to Tabo in the afternoon. Upon arrival, check into the hotel and in the evening explore 1000 years old group of monasteries, known as Ajanta of Himalayas. Overnight stay in Tabo.
Early in the morning, we shall take a walk to the caves that are situated in front of Tabo Monastery. The view from the caves is spectacular. Post breakfast, we will leave for Pin Valley. On the way we shall pay visit at Dhankar Monastery, which is situated at an elevation of 3,894 meters (12,774 feet) in the Spiti Valley between Tabo and Kaza. After spending some time at Dhankar Monastery, we will bike to another monastery known as Kungri at Pin Valley. Kungri is Spiti's second oldest monastery that was built around 1330AD and belongs to Niyangma sect of Tibetan Buddhism. After visit Kungri, we shall leave for a small bike ride to Mud, which is the last village of Pin Valley and from where trek routes to Kullu and Kinnaur start over the Pin Parvati and Bhaba Pass. Later we come back to our Camp at Pin Valley (Gulling) for an overnight stay.
In the morning, we shall bike to Kee Gompa, then to Kibber Village and Gompa. From the monastery, we shall take right to Hikkim, Langza and Komic Monasteries and villages. The Kee (4166 M) is the biggest monastery of Spiti Valley. Kibber is situated at 4200m and is said to be the gateway to Changthang Valley. Hikkim and Komic are the reckoned to be highest altitude villages of the world. We will bike through the fertile top land of the valley that faces several mountain peaks and ranges. After spending some time here, we will get back to the hotel in Kaza.
Post breakfast, we shall head out for Keylong, enroute we will visit small villages like Hansa and Losar where we are likely to spot herds of Ibex jumping in the rough mountains across the river. The place Takche offers a panoramic view. We will then start climbing up to the mighty Kunzum Pass (4590 M). The view of distinct mountain ranges from Kunzum Pass is spectacular. After getting a good view from the pass, we will gradually start descending to Chandratal, which is one of the most beautiful Himalayan lakes and spend the night in tents.
In the morning drive to Manali via Batal. We shall also cross Rohtang Pass and get down to beautiful valley of Manali. On arrival at Manali transfer to Volvo station and board AC Volvo Coach for Delhi at 16:30 hrs. Overnight journey.
Arrival at Delhi by morning in between 07:00 – 08:00 hrs.