Thursday, September 12, 2013

Heavenly Himachal - Chasing Rains and Clouds

A solo bike trip with solo objective of exploring greenery of Himachal and soak in the serene beauty of heavenly Himachal. The non stop rain for seven days and clouds made my unplanned journey spectacular.

The Trip started from Moga, Punjab on Day 1 late in the evening. With obvious heavy rainfall, the luggage and preparations were done accordingly. The God of Rain had planned much more than what the rider had in mind. So rains started in one hour from start of the trip. Well before Ludhiana when it was 07:00 PM, it started raining and in no time it turned into heavy rain.

Day 1 the Target was to reach Una, Himachal. With continuous heavy rains, helmet's visor not being able to help much, indisciplined drivers throwing high beam from opposite sides and slippery roads made the ride miserable. The consequence of the same came in the form of more time on road than expected. The day ended with rain, rain and rain everywhere.

Day 2, the plan was to reach Manali. The route chosen was different from Kiratpur which always remains full of truckers. The idea was to explore new place, hence it was Hamirapur Highway. Day 2 also started with Rain in the morning and gave company untill Manali.

Apart from rain, met a six feet long Cobra, escaped couple of slips, got lost on the way, took some off road tracks due to landslides and rode alone in the middle of dense fog.

This indeed resulted in good amount of tiredness. With Manali welcoming with green lush mountains around it and stay at good hotel helped heel the dents.

Day 3, the plan was to ride from Manali to Udaipur crossing Rohtang. Got lot of suggestions in Manali to not to conquer Saach Pass in heavy monsoons. Ignoring people, Ride continued on Day 3. Rain was still the companion from very beginning of the day. Getting out of cosy room of hotel was a daunting task, but curiosity to explore Pangi Valley kept starving rider inside me going.

Riding uphill towards Rohtang was fascinating and different experience than past rides. It was full of greenery and waterfalls everywhere made the valley spectacular. The easy part of road to Rohtang was fun with drizzle, however the moment bad roads of Rohtang started, the weather also turned in same direction. With roads getting worst and rains freezing my hands and feet, it reminded of crossing Baralachha La Pass on the way to Leh during 2011 Bike Trip.

As expected Rohtang Pass was full of tourists and no place to even park bike. However Mountains have mysterious magic that no matter how much is the crowd around you, eating steaming Dal and Rice on the top of Misty mountain put taste buds on active mode.

It was still drizzling when the ride started towards the other side of the pass. The rain had turned into extreme heavy mode and the water was eroding mud along-with it in every corner. Met two bikers who brought a news that roads beyond Udaipur are closed from last two weeks. Roads between Keylong and Udaipur were also not reported good. Now this put me to rethink in the middle of nowhere.

Deciding way forward was not less than a solving a puzzle. Kept on riding untill I reached at one small shop on the way where I stopped to chalk out the plan. Different options emerged like this :-

1) Continue Ride till Udaipur (Dekha Jaayega jo bhi hoga spirit)
2) Take left turn and ride via Chandertaal, Spiti and Kinnaur Valley (Chances of landslides were equal here)
3) Go untill Keylong today and ride to Leh tomorrow (But did not have much leaves available)
4) Ride back to Manali and make this trip leisure by wandering from one small town to another

The unplanned intevention in trip had made me upset. So decided to turn trip into a leisure one and rode back to Manali.


  1. Nice post rahul. Really impressed with ur writing skills n ur way of enjoying life. Rakesh Kumar

  2. I have been planning a bike trip along with my husband for a long time. I wish he hadn't hurt his discs :-(
    What is the best time to plan a car trip(barring winters)?
    How long will take from Delhi to reach Manali?

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