The trip to Spiti valley was something that I was looking forward to from a long time. It had been around 7 months since I has bought my Classic 500 and this would be the perfect outing to get know the bike and have fun. So, I took me, my wife and a couple of friends decided to do it in May. This is not the best time for a trip to this region, but since we had the opportunity and time to do it, we did it then.
So, I took along my bullet and the rest took an innova and we started off. Following sections contain further details.
The trip started from New Delhi to Shimla to Kaza. Here is the route in detail.
- New delhi
- Rekong Peoh
I read a lot of blogs and saw youtube videos to get an idea of the roads and things that I would need and things that I could do without. At the end, these are a some things that I would advice to take along.
- Warm Clothes, especially wind-proof jacket
- Riding gear which I am used to. Shoes, jacket, helmet, gloves
- Dust mask
- Puncture Repair Stuff
- Spare spark plugs, clutch wire, tyre tubes
- Can for extra Petrol
- Water and some light food
- Mobile, Charger, laptop
- Extension cord
- Something for rain protection, although I didn’t take it
- Extra Memory Card and other digital stuff that you need
This trip showed me all kinds of roads. From fast plain highways to dug-up wet roads, all kinds of roads gave me a different experience and a different challenge. I had heard that the roads were tough but the following is a break-up of the roads conditions.
- New Delhi – Chandigarh : Excellent roads, very hot weather. I found this part the toughest part of the journey. It was boring, dry, hot, long. It was more of a build up for the real thing
- Chandigarh – Shimla : Excellent roads. The weather and scenery get better and its more like the start of the journey
- Shimla – Rampur : Excellent roads. The weather gets a bit warmer as we reach Rampur.
- Rampur – Rekong Peoh : Up till 55km from Rampur, on the way to Peoh, the road is good except for a few short bad patches. But from there on it gets really bad. This part is the worst part. There is hardly any tarmac from the 55km mark up till Rekong Peoh. There are water streams flowing on the roads, rocks, stones, dust, dry weather and muddy river flowing alongside. Overall, not good.
- Rekong Peoh – Pooh : Rekong Peoh is situated atop a mountain. Well, not actually atop, as there is also this spot named Kalpa situated above it. So, when you are about to reach Rekong Peoh, there is this upward turn which lead to Peoh and downward road which leads to Pooh. The road from Peoh to Pooh is very bad and also very narrow. It gets very windy at times and wind was the single toughest difficulty to face on this part.
- Pooh – Nako : The road is very good here. Its narrow and freaky at times, but it has tarmac and is smooth. This by far is the most scenic and exciting part of the trip. The distance is like 40-50 km but the increase in altitude is amazing. The higher parts give an excellent view of the valley.
- Nako – Tabo : The road is very good. The scenery is great.
- Tabo – Kaza : Again, the road is very good. It has a few rough patches, but only short ones.
Good stay arrangements are available at all the places that I have mentioned above. These are the places I stayed at:
- Shimla : Aggrawal Regency. Its a few kms before Shimla, coming from Chandigarh. It was reasonably priced and very clean with good food.
- Rekong Peoh : White Nest. It was in Kalpa, which is around 8KM further from Peoh. It was not very good, but was clean.
- Nako : Hotel Rio Purguil. The hotel was right at the entrance of Nako [coming from helipad side]. The food, the staff was very good
- Kaza : Hotel Khansagar. This was near the government hospital. Was reasonably priced and clean, but did not have flowing water.
Mainly, its the road and the all that surrounds it, that is to be seen. For someone who likes to ride/drive, the sheer experience of driving through the route will be great. I did not have much time to stay and explore the various stations on the route, but here are somethings I saw :
- Shimla : The city is really big. Its crowded and the construction is dense. So, I skipped seeing much of it. However, as I passed through it in the morning, all the activity, the weather, the colors looked great.
- Rekong Peoh : The town offers a very good view of snow capped mountains. Kalpa, which is nearby, offers one of the best view of Himalayas I have seen
- Nako : This is an awesome location. The road that leads to and away from Nako offers one of the best view of the route. The Nako lake is small not remarkably clean, but the Himalayan backdrop makes it worth a visit.
- Tabo : The Tabo Monastery and the area that surrounds it is beautiful. Its a silent place and a great spot to stop
- Kaza : Kaza is surrounded by a number of spots nearby, like the tsy Monastery and kibber village which are worth a visit.