Finally, I come to the last phase of my Road Trip to Spiti Travelogue. That morning when I woke up early, I was filled with mixed feelings. I didn’t really want to leave the beautiful place and wanted a few more days to explore Spiti, however, on the other hand, I was really craving for some good variety of food and super comfy bed! 😀 Sounds funny, right? But it was the truth. There was one more thing that was troubling me a little and exciting at the same time! I had an idea that the scenic beauty between Kaza to Manali was amazing but 80% of the 202 km road was really bad. I guess you can now understand what was going through my mind.
To read the previous parts with the videos please click on the links below –
Anyhow, we started our drive at around 5:15 am in the morning. It was still slightly twilight and cold too. Even the busy Kaza city was really quiet and peaceful at that hour. We were out of the city within 15-20 mins and it was a no man’s land out there! It’s mainly plains surrounded by mountains on both sides of the road and the River Spiti flowing in between. It was just surreal! The sound of the water, the purity of the air was refreshing! The long straight road was a beautiful sight to watch and the sunrise made the entire scene even more beautiful!
Our first stop was Losar that was 58 km away from Kaza. We reached there around 7:30 am and took a halt there for a morning tea and breakfast. We left Losar around 8 am and before we exit the village there was a checkpoint where we had to stop and give our details. It was to maintain the record of people exiting the Kaza and Spiti area. From there the view was getting better but the roads were getting really bad! We crossed a lot of plains, and some really interesting turns on the rocky mountains and later started driving uphill.
The next point that I was really looking forward to reaching was Kunjom Pass! I had heard that it was the highest point of the region. But reaching there was a task in itself. The width of the road, well so-called road was not much. It was pretty narrow one and full of gravel. It would be correct to say that it was just a space to drive on with no road been constructed on it. We couldn’t really drive at a decent speed and it was getting frustrating to constantly be shaken as if we were riding a roller coaster! There was a point that a truck and bus came from the opposite end and it was really dangerous for us to pass together on that road! We were literally driving on the edge of the road!
On the other hand, as I looked at the surrounding area, it was breathtakingly beautiful!! A huge valley and grassland with a river Spiti flowing in between. Between our transition from one mountain to another, there was a point where we reached down in the valley and to my superbly pleasant surprise, we saw a herd of Yaks! They were around 20 -25 and were grazing the field! It was a sight to watch! I had never seen so many yaks together and that too in the wilderness, basically “Free Yaks”! We stopped there to savor the sight for a few minutes and then started for Kunjom Pass again.
We saw a signboard showing Kunjom pass only a few kilometers away and we could already see snow-capped mountains. After a few minutes we reached the Kunjom Top/Pass which is at the height of 4590 meters. I stopped there to click a few pictures. We noticed that there was a temple and many people were paying a visit and then we spotted a board saying that one must pay a visit to the Kunjom Mata Temple before starting their journey ahead. So I decided to pay a visit inside the temple and Manish drove the car around the temple to make a Parikrama. We then started our journey again towards Manali.
After crossing the Kunjom pass we were driving in a valley alongside River Chenab for many kilometers. It was here that we faced the most treacherous roads of all time! The entire way was full of boulders and gravel. To make it even more difficult there was an entire water stream flowing on the “so-called road”! There were so many scary turns and crossovers that you could have found me with my hands joined together and praying for safety! Even though our car Mahindra XUV 500 W10 has a pretty decent ground clearance, still, it got hit under by the big boulders many times. Other drivers of the tourist cars were facing even more! This made our speed really slow and took an hour or more to cover only 10 kms! Watch the video attached below to witness the beauty as well as the treacherous road that we had to face!
After a lot of roller coaster and bumpy drive, we reached Chatru and it was such a temporary relief! We had our lunch there and started to Manali again. We didn’t stop for long as the road was treacherous and we wanted to reach before sun-down. We didn’t get any relief from that horrendous road even when we touched NH 21 since the road was the same! Treacherous! Finally, after a few kilometers, on our way to Rohtang Pass, we finally had a good road. Really good one actually. From there on the drive was really comfortable. We reached Rohtang Pass and found a big crowd there. The snow was all brown and dirty so we decided not to stop and kept driving.
As soon as we started getting closer to Manali the traffic really drove me insane! There was a jam at every turn! There were cars all around and it is difficult for a truck and a bus to crossover together. We reached Manali at around 3 pm but it took us another 3 hours to reach the hotel! It was insane!! I think I am clear about not going to Manali in June or any month during the peak season! Nevertheless, after our check-in at the hotel, I was found lying in the most comfortable bed ever!! 😀 Next day early morning, we left for Gurgaon with all those memories in my mind and pictures and videos on my laptop! I felt content and ecstatic! I had visited one of the most beautiful places in India! I fulfilled my dream of visiting Spiti Valley! 🙂
Route Taken – Kaza – Following NH 505 – Lossar – Following Gramphu Batal Kaza Road – Kunjom Pass – Batal – Chattru – Leh Manali Highway – Rohtang Pass – Manali
Distance – 202 km
Time Taken – 10 Hours till Rohtang Pass (Treacherous Roads); Rohtang Pass to Hotel in Manali – 3 hours (Heavy Traffic)
I really hope you like the post and found it informative and helpful! The Travel Vlog has been uploaded to my channel “RougePouts” and is also attached below. Do check out the video to witness our journey, the beauty and the treacherous roads from Kaza to Manali. I really hope you like the video as well. Please do not forget to like the video and subscribe to my channel! I will be back soon with a new post and video! Have a lovely day! B-Bye!