We returned last Sunday and went busy at work, did not get enough time to post details about the places we have traveled and overall experience, the only thing I manage to do was to post-process photos and post them on the blog. You can refer following 2 links in case you are directly landing on this post –
Our start and finish point were Delhi and the entire trip was planned for 9 days. Our stops were Fagu – Kalpa – Tabo- Kaza – Manali. Kaza and Manali were 2 nights while Fagu, Tabo, and Kalpa were 1. This is totally insufficient if you are planning to cover Kaza all the way to Chandra Tal. We have completely missed Sangla, Chitkul, and Nako. My recommendation will be to plan for at least a 12-day trip. Following are a few other recommendations in bulleted points –
- Carry a BSNL or Jio sim, Kaza has only these 2 networks as of now which will also disappear if you are going to Chandratal and further to Manali after that. We heard that Airtel is also setting up their tower, hopefully, it will be functional soon.
- October end is the time when the season for Kaza ends, though tourists go there during snowfall but do not plan anything after October if you can not tolerate extreme cold. It was -8 degrees centigrade at night in mid-October.
- Carry good quality sunscreen, sunglasses and drink a lot of water to prevent sunburn, sunlight is too bright and wind speed is high and cold. I am still recovering from sunburns. Cover your face and wears glovers if you are out.
- If you are traveling from Kaza to Manali road conditions are very bad, your car will not run more than 20KM / hour, there is no phone network so you will not be able to guess how much pain you need to take before reaching Manali. You will be sitting ducks in other words. There are places where spring water is flowing through road and these places are very difficult to cross even for big cars, be careful while crossing, car in front of us got stuck and we spend a couple of hours before a pick-up truck came to rescue them.
- We did a mistake driving in the night while going to Manali from Chandra Tal, will suggest staying around Chandra Tal if it’s late, there are few camp sites nearby. There are 2 reasons for this suggestion first because the road condition is very poor after Chandra Tal you will be confused which way to go and second you will miss viewing the landscape and wildlife on the way. The route is not dangerous but just bad.
- If you are driving by yourself, be careful with stones and rubble on the road, sometimes they have sharp edges which can cut your car’s tires. We have seen 2 instances where car tires were cut by stone. It’s mostly rocky around Kaza and the border road organization is breaking them to make way so getting any type of rock is possible.
- You won’t get a fuel station after Kaza until Manali, so get your car tank full in Kaza or Manali (if you are coming via Manali)
- There are some local food and drink you can try, these are not much different than other Indian food in taste, though my personal preference is not to explore too much of local food and stick with Daal + Roti while I am on travel.
So these were a few tips that I have thought to share while on this trip, we (Dr. Sharad, Balkrishan, and me) have done some good research before going on this trip, went through some youtube vlogs and blogs. I will suggest to you do the same.
I personally find reading material much easier to grasp as compared to videos as you can find the keywords which you are looking for, extracting any information from video is a bit difficult. I will not deny the fact that vlogging is picking up these days and people are making money as well. Though I have not created any videos on this trip but compiled my photographs in a video and posted on youtube. Sharing that link below if you like –
Apart from the above 2 blog links and one youtube link I am posting one last photo of this trip, a landscape version of same is already posted, but somehow I like this upright format photo of the landscape, though it was rejected by my Guru, but still posting.