Call of the Mountains

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Manali - Spiti - Kinnaur

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Mon, 1 Aug 2022

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10 days

single-experience-beginner.png BEGINNER
single-experience-moderate.png MODERATE
single-experience-challenging.png CHALLENGING
single-experience-extreme.png EXTREME
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DISTANCE

~ 500KM

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MIN. GROUP SIZE

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ELEVATION GAIN

M

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MAX ELEVATION

4587 mM

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% UNPAVED

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% SINGLE TRACK

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Let's head out on a cycling expedition in the Indian Himalayas! Coursing through some of the remotest parts of Himachal Pradesh, this tour will give you a myriad of experiences.

Starting from Manali, you will go through alpine forests and meadows till you cross Rohtang Pass, and then, into the arid Lahaul valley. Later, the route meanders along the Chandra River before making its way up and over Kunzum La, the gateway to Spiti. You will visit and stay at some of the highest villages in the world as you ride through Spiti, before heading south towards Kinnaur, and ending the tour at picturesque Kalpa.

Highlights include riding to Komic - the world's highest village connected to a motorable road, visiting one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in Tabo, and the breathtaking vistas at Chandra Taal, among others.

Join us on this adventure cycling tour and enjoy the High Himalayas at their best. Answer the Call of the Mountains!


Tentative Day-wise Itinerary


Sep 01 - Day 00: Arrive in Manali (2050 m)
(Transportation on tempo from Chandigarh to Manali at extra cost)
All riders will gather in Manali. Spend the day getting acquainted with your bike and fellow riders, and carry out any last minute preparations. Hang out at the dreamy little cafes across town, many of which views of the idyllic mountains around. Time permitting, you can unwind in the hot springs of Vashisht village across the Beas River, and visit the medieval Naggar Castle nearby. Go to bed early and rest well, so you can start your tour refreshed the next morning.

Sep 02 - Day 01: Manali - Marhi (3360 m)
Distance: 35 kms, Duration:  5 - 7 hours
The journey starts from the smooth roads of Manali, surrounded by pine and deodar forests. We follow the meandering route along Beas River, taking a series of hairpin bends. Steadily ascending, enjoy scenes of the Himalayan foothills, as you cycle through the villages of Palchan, Kothi and Gulaba. This stretch is dotted with several small waterfalls and viewpoints. Upon reaching the lush alpine meadows at Marhi - the base of the Rohtang Pass, you can prepare to camp here for the night.

Sep 03 - Day 02: Marhi - Chatru (3560 m)
Distance: 50 kms, Duration:  6 - 7 hours
We begin our day with a steep climb to the top of Rohtang Pass that lies at nearly 4000m. Take a breather, and then descend down the pass, on a mix of metalled and unmetalled roads. At Gramphu, we get onto the main highway, where we turn right towards Spiti (turning left would lead you to Leh). Riding along the Chenab River, we will reach the camping grounds at Chhatru.

Sep 04 - Day 03: Chatru - Batal (3900 m)
Distance: 30 kms, Duration:  6 - 7 hours
Today, we continue along the Chenab River, passing by small waterfalls, and riding through many streams enroute, including the infamous Pagal Nallah (Mad Stream). Rugged road aside, you will enjoy expansive views of the Chandra Bhaga mountain range as we make our way to Batal. Chacha-Chachi Dhaba here is popular for meals and traveller stories. Consider stargazing at Batal as you spend the night here.

Sep 05 - Day 04: Batal - Chandratal (4250 m) - Batal
Distance: 30 kms, Duration:  7 - 8 hours
One of the highlights of this tour is our visit to the remote crescent-shaped lake called Chandra Taal. Expect an hour and a half of riding each way from Batal, heading up the Samudra Tapu plateau and descending to this pristine lake. The clear blue waters of Chandra Taal complement the semi-arid Baralacha and Chandra Bagha mountains around. Sitting down on grassy banks dotted with wildflowers, you can soak up these surreal landscapes while listening to myths and anecdotes of UFO sightings. Return to camp at Batal and rest.

Sep 06 - Day 05: Batal - Hansa (3700 m)
Distance: 42 kms, Duration:  7 - 8 hours
Brace yourselves as this will be our hardest day on this tour. Starting the day at Batal, we head up the steep road to Kunzum Pass (4551 m), which is the gateway to Spiti Valley. We hang around for some time at the pass to take in the magnificent views of glaciers and mountains around. You can also drop by the Kunzum Mata temple to seek blessings for the rest of our journey. Enjoy the descent all the way to our camping spot at Hansa. Enroute, the spectacular scenery of Losar village is a fitting welcome as we enter Spiti Valley.

Sep 07 - Day 06: Hansa - Chicham - Komic (4587 m)
Distance: 65 kms, Duration:  8 - 9 hours
Kindly note that folks who have chosen the Segment 1 part of this tour will depart from Kaza (Enroute to Komic, the tempo will drop you off at Kaza)
Beginning the day from our camp at Hansa, we will ride along the highway for about a couple of hours. At the entry gate of Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary, we will veneer off the main road and get onto a small dirt road. Marvel at the magnificent vistas of Spiti Valley on the way, before reaching the picturesque Chicham village. Further ahead, cross over to Kibber village via the Chicham Bridge - the highest bridge in Asia.

At Kibber, visit the iconic Kee Gompa that is perched atop a monolith hill overlooking the Spiti River and the valley near Kaza in the distance. Interact with monks, and explore the monastery that houses thangkas, wind instruments, and weapons among others.

Descend from Kibber to the main highway, and cycle on smooth road for a very short distance before turning onto a dirt trail near Kaza. Head up to Hikkim village and step inside the world’s highest post office. Slowly, make your way up to Komic, which is currently the highest village connected with a motorable road. See the small terraced fields, and enjoy views of the Chau Chau Kang Nilda mountain before retiring for the night at Komic.

Sep 08 - Day 07: Komic - Tabo (3400 m)
Distance: 65 kms, Duration:  7 - 8 hours
Today, most of your riding will be downhill on dirt tracks. We will pass by pastures near the pretty hamlet of Demul, before connecting to the highway alongside Spiti River. You can see the confluence of Spiti and Pin rivers at Samling, and then continue all the way to Tabo.

The must-visit attraction here is the Tabo Monastery, which is India's oldest and continually operating monastery. You can browse through a treasured collection of Indo Tibetan style art in the form of murals and stuccoes at the museum. Housing a few small mud temples and structures, the courtyard terrace overlooks the village and the Spiti River. A 15-minute hike away, visit the Tabo caves perched on cliffs above the monastery, where resident monks usually meditate.

Sep 09 - Day 08: Tabo - Nako (3662 m)
Distance: 65 kms, Duration:  8 - 9 hours
Expect a hard day of riding on this stretch of the Hindustan-Tibet Road, which involves a strenuous ascent to Malling Nallah, and then a relatively short descent to Nako.

The quaint village of Nako is set against a beautiful backdrop of the Reo Purgyal mountains. Take a walk on the rustic streets and drop by the Nako monastery on the upper reaches of the village. You can end your day relaxing on the shores of the calm and sacred Nako lake surrounded by willow and poplar trees.

Sep 10 - Day 09: Nako - Spello (2500 m)
Distance: 62 kms, Duration:  7 - 8 hours
Enjoy an easy day on downhill and flat roads in the Kinnaur Valley. First, ride along the Spiti River and then along the Sutlej River after crossing the Khab Sangam bridge. You can take a break midway at the picturesque village of Pooh, nestled amid orchards and vineyards.

Sep 11 - Day 10: Spello - Kalpa (2960 m)
Distance: 45 kms, Duration:  6 - 7 hours
On the final day of this tour, you will first ride along the old Hindustan-Tibet road, enjoying scenes of the Sutlej River valley. Turn off the highway to reach Kinnaur's district headquarters Reckong Peo. Finally, make your way up to the picture-postcard village of Kalpa, on steep winding roads flanked by deodar trees, apple orchards, and terraced farms. Soak up breathtaking vistas of the holy Kinnaur Kailash peaks as you reminisce your time riding in the mountains.

While in Kalpa, observe the blend of Hindu and Tibetan cultures. Notable attractions here include the Narayan Nagini Temple, Hu-Bu-Lan-Kar monastery, and the Sapni Fort. Don't miss out on savouring the delicious Kinnaur apples!

Sep 12
Return home from a convenient airport, or head onward to another destination.

Accomodation

When in Manali and Kalpa, we will provide comfortable accommodation and facilities in homestays/hotels.

Throughout the duration of the tour, we will set up camps on scenic open grounds with basic facilities, where you can rest safely for the night.

FAQs

What's included in this tour?
1. Tents, Sleeping bags, Carry mats and access to Mess Tent
2. Nutritious, high calorie food will be served
3. Guide, cook and camp helpers
4. Logistics and support vehicle such as a Tempo Traveller to carry all our equipment. You will only have to carry your personal knapsack containing water bottle, camera and trail layers.
5. Tents on double occupancy throughout the tour
6. Budget hotel accommodation in Manali and Kalpa

What's not included in this tour?
1. Any expenses of personal nature
2. Food expenses in Manali and Leh before and after the tour dates
3. Mountain bike (You will bring your own bicycles)
4. Personal and gear insurance
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