As a travel enthusiast and can say a sucker for adventure. We all have a dream of traveling all over the world and explore each corner of it. I think once in a year everyone should take a break from their regular life and go for an adventure trip whether its with family, friends or it might be a solo trip. I can assure u it will refresh you mentally. As u all know these days everyone is investing their most time in earning money and won’t be able to make a good work-life balance. So, I will say it is as important as food and water tho.
Basically I want to share all my hike and what I have experienced throughout my whole journey. So none of u could miss all the fun I had while visiting such places. Actually very excited to share whatever I have experienced all in my mind as flashbacks or memories so decided to write about it.
So guys here is my first blog. My self Abhishek Dogra friends call me Avi. Today I am going to discuss my journey that was a road trip with one of my closest buddies. A road trip of about 15 days and I have covered 2500 km in that. A voyage started from Jammu to mandi there two more guys joined us and via mandi, we reached our first destination Kasol after staying few days there we went to Manali and stayed there for a bit then started with the most exciting part Manali to Rohtang pass to Ladakh. So let’s start with the first destination woooooh…..
KASOL- is known as mini Israel of India.
Kasol is situated in the Parvati valley, on the banks of the Parvati river. It is a small village in the district Kullu of Indian state Himachal Pradesh. As I said mini Israel of India is famous because of its vibes with an air which not only mystifies your sense but makes you live in the impulse of life. It is called Mini Israel because there is an abundance of Israeli tourists you will see here.
As our journey started there is the belief that while touring Himachal Pradesh it is mandatory to visit Hanogi Mata Temple. The temple is furnished with beautiful interiors and its eye-catchy architecture will leave you astonished. By taking blessings from the temple we started moving to our destination. In the route, there are many creative cafes u will see and the owner too was very humble.
Top places to visit in Kasol.
Kasol is a small village with full of mysteries and with big surprises treasured for you.
Flowing through Parvati valley, the perennial Parvati River completes the whole picture of Kasol. The sound of the running river will surely make u miss a heartbeat as its so thunderous and breathtaking. It’s quite a sight, the river, the valley and the mountains, so relaxing and rejuvenating. Though u can’t do any adventurer activity here as the flow of the river is quite scary and dangerous. But u can sit at the shore of the river with your friends and can listen to the music it creates and also just can lay back and look at the stars and moon that will give u a vibe or can say goosebumps that you haven’t experienced before.
Manikaran is a pilgrimage center for Hindus and Sikhs. It is at an altitude of 1760m and is located 4 km ahead of Kasol. The town has a famous Gurudwara called Manikaran sahib which is frequented by Sikhs from all over the world. Also, there are temples of the Hindu deities Rama, Krishna, and Vishnu. This area is well known for its hot springs and its beautiful landscapes. While visiting firstly we took bath in the hot spring pools that are made there for gents as well as ladies separately. After taking a bath in such a pool we felt very much refreshed and after that went to visit Gurudwara and temples and took blessings from there. Adding it to your itinerary is a must.
3. Mahadev Riverside Camp.
As the name suggests Mahadev Riverside camps are known for offering astounding sights of the Parvati river and the surrounding lush green valley. To reach there you have to trek a little bit of about 1.1Km from Kasol city. It is a perfect escape for adventure freaks for camping. They offer various stay options including luxurious tents and even affordable camps. You can sit near the bank of the Parvati river with your buddies and do some activities like playing guitar and enjoy a bonfire. You can spend the whole night under the moonlight and stars that will give u a whole magical experience out of this world.
- Per head – 250 to 300
- Either u can book a tent, it will cost u around 1200-2000
4. Kheerganga Trek
Kheerganga is known for hot springs and to trek in mesmerizing dense forests. It is located about 22km away from the pilgrimage town of Manikaran. Guys, if u love some adventure and dangerous trek, its perfect for you. While on the trek you will see a tremendous amount of eyecatching cafes and scenic views that will leave you astonished. You have to be careful while trekking because the path is very narrow. Like when we were trekking one of my friends got slipped there but thank god we managed to hold him. A Punjabi man was coming from ahead and said “oo kee karaya hai munde nu sambhal naal chalo”. We started trekking very late in the afternoon that’s the thing you guys should avoid like at 7 pm we just reached half of it and we were not carrying the torch with us. So we asked a cafe owner for a torch and he replied “kyu marwaareo ghana jungle hai bhaalu aayege”. So we decided to stay in his cafe and continued our journey the next morning.
Things to keep in mind.
- Take your backpacking tent with you
- Keep a torch
Things to avoid.
- Dont start your trekking late in the evening.
Terk distance on feet is about 10Kms and will take 5 to 6 hours walk.
5. Malana- A mysterious village.
The majestic mountains of Himachal Pradesh hold innumerable secrets. One such secret is the mysterious village of Malana. It is isolated from the rest of the world. Malana village has its own lifestyle, culture, and people are strict in following their culture. They believe that they have the purest Aryan genesThe language that is spoken here is Kanashi. The villagers consider their village to be the oldest democracy in the world. Malana village is famous because of ‘Malana Cream’ which is a product made from cannabis.
There are some rules of Malana village.
- You cannot touch the villagers.
- You cannot take alcohol inside.
- You cannot hunt in the forests.
- No damaging trees by fixing of nails on them.
- You are not allowed to speak their native language.
Manali-valley of gods.
Manali is a beautiful hill station in Kullu district in the state of Himachal Pradesh set on the Beas river. It is a well-known place and has a reputation as a backpacking and honeymoon destination. When to visit confused?? let me help you out. The climate is very pleasant throughout the year so you can visit it anytime but the peak season to visit Manali is from October to February. If u like the cold then, January is best to enjoy the chilly pleasure of fresh snowfall. It is a perfect place for adventurer people. Mall road is the main street in the Manali where you can buy many things like Tibetan and Himalayan handicrafts, Kinnauri and Kullu shawls, Kullu caps, thangkas, and much more. As a Shiva bhakta, I visited Shree Mahakaleshwar temple firstly and took blessings from there and then explored the rest. Temple is located at the bank of river Beas. There are many luxuries and creative cafes where u can chill with your buddies.
Things to do in cold.
- Snow trails to upper Manali and old Manali.
- Walk to Hadimba temple.
- Adventure sports like snow sledding and snowmobile.
- Snow treks like Brighu and Beas Kund.
Things to do in Summer.
- The most awaited Rohtang pass opens for common people from the second week of may usually.
- Zorbing at Solang valley
- Treks to higher passes like Hampta and Deo Tibba.
- You can hire bikes and ride to some of the treacherous roads.
- Parking can be a major issue if you are traveling by your vehicle and staying in the city.
- Rates of accommodation and other facilities like taxis and bike rentals are very high in the period of mild summers.
- You need to take a permit to visit Rohtang Pass a day prior to your visit.
- No one is going to take you to Rohtang Pass during cold, so don’t fall to such false promises.
Manali to Ladakh via Rohtang pass.
Woooh now here’s the most awaited part of the journey. An unplanned road trip from Manali to Ladakh on wheels. It is touted to be one of the country’s most dangerous roads. The feelings I have experienced while covering this path is out of this world. You can say it’s like a dream come true and you guys should also try this once in a lifetime. So let’s begin, the distance from Manali to Ladakh is about 473 Kms. Worried?? here I am covering each and every detail of the track like “do’s and don’ts”. So you guys should avoid the mistakes that I made and enjoy each part of the journey.
Things to avoid.
- Don’t start your journey in the afternoon because as I mentioned it’s one of the deadliest routes.
- Few greedy people will ask you to buy a pass form them in black for the sake of money and can misguide you that you can visit Rohtang pass at any time in a day.
Things to keep in mind.
- Always carry an extra gallon of petrol or diesel as there will be no petrol pump in the track till Ladakh.
- Puncture repairs kit.
- Basic tool kit including Jack and Spanner.
- Hydraulic Jack
- Tarpaulin for Carrier and Engine.
- Small Hammer.
- Tow away Rope or Cable.
- An extra car battery. (optional, if you face any battery issues)
Documents needed for Rohtang Pass Permit.
- Valid ID Proof
- Up to date pollution check certificate
- Vehicle registration date.
Rohtang pass- Ground of Corpses.
The Rohtang pass is one of India’s highest and most dangerous roads which can be a challenge for any vehicle to pass through. It is a high mountain pass on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas around 51 km from Manali. Rohtang in Ladakhi language means Bhoti which translates to a “pile of Corpse”. The pass got its name because of the numerous people who died trying to cross the path. Once you enter the path, you will immediately notice a transformation in the landscape and you will come back spellbound and mesmerized by the raw and untouched beauty of the region. One of the famous movies “Jab we met” has been shot here.
We started our journey in the evening at about 5 pm and by seeing and enjoy the Himalayan roads we reached Rohtang Pass at about 8:30 pm. The scenic view was magical and the temperature there was too cold even in the month of July. You can only enjoy and spend time there as at Rohtang Pass you will not see any Hotels to stay so we decided to continue our journey and after about 2 hours we reached Keylong and stayed in a homestay.
Keylong is a small town and is the administrative center of the Lahaul and Spiti valley. There you will see many hotels to stay and can have rest so you can enjoy the upcoming magical places in the routes. It is the last place where you will see network signals on your phone. So after staying at Keylong and enjoy the beauty of the place we continued and had breakfast in Jispa. Roads here in Jispa are in a good condition where you will need to get registered yourself at the check post here.
Patsio lake is one of the mesmerizing locations you will see in the route where you will get lost in the scenic view. It’s a perfect place to take pictures and can spend time with your buddies. Believe me, guys the vibes here are enchanting.
Suraj Taal lake.
Suraj Tal lake also known as Surya Taal is a sacred body of water, literally means the lake of the Sun God. It is the third-highest lake in India and 21st highest lake in the world. The roads here are somehow better than the upcoming route. This place is just outstanding with a perfect scenic view, it’s just like a dream come true for the adventure lovers. There is a small Dhaba near the lake that also has arrangements to stay for the night. In case you are planning to camp on your own, its a perfect place to do so. Right after Suraj Taal lake, you will enter Baralacha La. It is a place where you will see snow again after Rohtang Pass. Baralacha La is covered with snow throughout the year.
Right after Baralacha La, you will enter a destination where you will be surrounded by the beautiful Mountains and road in the middle. And the magic I experienced there was, on the right side I saw two different scenic views like few mountains are clear and have blue sky and clear clouds and on the same side dark sky and mountain covered with snow, that view was marvelous. Whenever I memorize those moments still give me goosebumps.
After passing such a beautiful destination, now comes the harder part where the roads were in very bad condition. Somehow we managed to travel the whole path and was hungry so we reach another destination called Pang, where you will get meals and another tented accommodation where you can have rest and spend the right. We all were very exhausted and want rest so we decided to stay there.
About 4 km from Pang, you will be greeted with the spectacular sight of Moore Plains, A plateau sitting in the lap of Himalayas. It is a straight well-maintained road of about 30-35 km long inviting you to accelerate but don’t make that mistake. The road is bumpy and can test your vehicle’s suspension and your stomach. So don’t get overexcited by seeing such straight roads after the harsh ones.
Upshi is a village and road junction on the Leh Manali highway. Roads gets much better as you get closer to Upshi. As a matter of fact, you will find it even better than the most city roads, thanks to BRO. As you reached upshi you can have tea break here and its almost about an hour’s drive from here to Leh.
Ladakh is one of the highest regions of the world . Its natural features consists mainly of high plains and deep valleys. The climate of the Ladakh is cold and dry throughout the year.
Best time to travel on Manali Leh highway on wheels.
Mid september to mid October
Road conditions of Manali to Leh via rohtang pass.
- Several bad patches in between the path.
- Few water crossings you have to cross as the flow of the waterfall is very fast so you have to be careful.
- Several badly broken trails you will see.
- You have to careful while driving as there are chances of landslides.
- Several Muddy trails you will see so be careful while driving.
Extremely bad sections of the road will mostly be around Rohtang Top and after Suraj Tal lake and few after Sarchu and near Tanglang La too. Overall I will say its a mixture of smooth, good, ok, and bad. So if you like adventure and want to experience a road trip that is full of mysteries and full of astonishing scenic views then, this one is perfect for you.