Keylong- An ideal destination for nature lovers

Why Keylong?
It is an ideal destination for nature lovers and adventure freaks. The place is full of breathtaking landscapes, the enchanting rives, snowcapped mountains complimenting the blue sky, time stopping silence and pleasant weather, in short nature’s untouched beauty and incredibly attractive. Plains look so beautiful that one may feel himself in a Heaven. All around the area is covered by Highly Mountains beside flat lands and green meadows. It gives you the pleasure to feel yourself close to the nature. Here, the Air is liked iced champagne and the skies are an eternal blue

DAY ONE 21.06.08 (Saturday)
We Started our journey from Delhi, at 0010 hrs and reached smoothly till the By-pass near Azadpur only to find a jam on the road opposite Nangli Poona village from which it took about fifteen to twenty minutes to emerge clear. The highway till Chandigarh was hassle free. There were four to five flyovers under construction, which, once completed would make the ride even smoother and cut down time considerably.
Waterfall on the way to Keylong

DAY TWO 22.06.08 (Sunday)
Reached Chandigarh at about 0500 hrs but could not find any place to get relieved and freshen up as had been planned and so, continued the journey. Once we reached Kiratpur Sahib, mountainous region started. Near Bilaspur there was a jam for about half an hour. There was heavy movement of trucks around Bilaspur because of cement factory in the vicinity but most of the truck drivers were cooperative and had good driving sense, unlike Delhi.
Just as we were wondering whether we would ever be able to find a public toilet near road or one in an eatery, we saw a petrol pump. The vehicle was in need of petrol too. We just casually asked an employee of the petrol pump if there was a toilet in the building premises and he said “yes”. Stroke of luck, all freshened up one by one. Toilets are a big problem on this route, you consider yourself lucky if you find one on the route.
We reached Mandi at about 1400 hrs and had our lunch there. The drive from Mandi to Manali via Kullu was smooth and traffic free. There was a dam (Pandoh) near Mandi en route to Kullu which is worth seeing but photography was strictly prohibited there. On our way from Mandi to Kullu, we had to cross a tunnel on the way. This tunnel is about 1.9 Kms long and has got emergency exits in between. Once inside, one seems to have entered a cave lit by dim lights.
We reached Manali at 1800 hrs and stayed in Hotel Kunzum, one of the best hotel in Manali. There are other good budget hotels available in Manali on the Mall road itself. These hotels cost you anything between 250 to 500 during off season and 500 to 700 during peak season. Mall road has now been made a no traffic zone so you can enjoy a walk on the road, which is usually crowed during peak season.

DAY THREE 23.06.08 (Monday)

Manali to Keylong
From Manali, one has to cross Rohtang Pass in order to reach Keylong. There are buses and taxi services available from manali. On one’s own, one should preferably travel in an SUV or any 4X4 vehicle as the terrain is very rough and avoid traveling in a small car like Alto as we did. But to our surprise most of the four wheelers we found in Keylong were either Maruti 800 or Omni (Van). The driver should be an experienced hand in driving on such hilly terrain. People have good traffic sense here and they don’t honk and overtake unnecessarily and dangerously. Enough warm clothing should be carried along so as to meet any emergency in case of sudden change of climate.
We started our journey to Keylong at around 0900 hrs. Due to heavy rains, roads were badly damaged and repair work was being carried by GREF and due to this there was a heavy jam. Hundreds of vehicles were stuck enroute to Rohtang. A woman in one of the vehicles coming from the opposite direction lamented vehemently that they had been waiting for six hours and now were returning as there was no scope to move forward. We decided that we would rather wait than return. The hawkers made merry, selling eatables, jewellery, handicrafts, herbs, et al. After about an hour, we reached a spot that was the cause of the jam. A steep curve that was under repair was quite difficult to negotiate. We reached the top of Rohtang at around 1600 hours; it means that we covered 52 kms (from Manali to Rohtang) in 7 hours, which on any other day would have taken not more than 3½ hours. Rohtang appeared quite dull as compared to what it earlier used to be. There were patches of snow here and there and due to pollution even snow had turned grayish. We stopped for a while and resumed our downhill journey towards Keylong. Clearly, today’s Rohtang Pass is a poor shadow of what it used to be earlier. Soot emitted by tourist vehicles and trucks and global warming has evidently taken its toll on the snow.

Lonely road to Keylong

Journey from Rohtang to Keylong is downhill all the way. The immediate stretch of road from Rohtang towards Keylong was also in bad shape. Accommodations were very limited at places like Losar, Kaza and Tabo enroute. On the way, after an hour’s journey, we reached the village called Khoksar which was really just a bunch of dhabhas and a police station put together. It is after Khoksar that the best part of our journey began when we entered the Chandra valley. The valley is completely barren, flanked by dry, snow-capped mountains on either side. On the sides of the road, you can see hills covered with masses of snow. It is almost that a gush of water was flowing down the mountain in its full glory, when someone lifted a finger and said: Statue. And the water froze midway, without getting a chance to settle down.

We went through the lonely and lovely journey full of breathtaking landscapes, snowcapped mountains and time stopping silence crossing several villages, mountains, bridges, bad and good stretches of roads for three odd hours before we reached Tandi, where we got the car tank filled. It is the last petrol pump till Leh. By the time we reached Keylong, it was 1930 hours. But to our surprise, even at that time, sunset had not happened. By 2000 hours, it finally occurred. The chilly winds of Keylong rejuvenated our moods and we refreshed ourselves. We had our bookings in PWD Guest House. The Guest House was a pretty decent one and the rooms were cosy, neat and tidy. There are other good budget hotels in Keylong. Occupancy is very low because only foreigners or adventurous tourists like us visit this place.

Nitesh  at flower valley

FOOD: Keylong has few restaurants and dhabas where though one can find North Indian Food also but not each and every North Indian dish is available there. Momos in Keylong are a must to taste and relinquish. Especially the Momos chutney is soooooo….. tasty that one will surely miss that when one goes back from Keylong.
DAY FOUR & FIVE24.06.08 (Tuesday) and 25.06.08 (Wednesday)
We walked on the majestic bank of wild grass which was full of music. We lay down on the grass under trees, listening to the murmur of the water, and watching the clouds float across the sky. We climbed the hilly terrains and got their good tidings. Nature’s peace had flown into our souls as sunshine had flown into trees. The winds blew their own freshness into us. Keylong is a perfect vacation destination. One can find a plethora of small and large waterfalls amidst this valley where the crystallized water flows. One can find a perfect peace away from our hectic schedule of life. Keylong has also Buddhist Monasteries to be visited. Kardang, Shasur, and Tayul monasteries are a must to be visited. Besides, one can experience a beautiful landscape in this valley of Keylong.
Near Tandi, there is a bridge (Thakur Devi Singh Pul) and after crossing that bridge there is a beautiful place on the bank of river. We sat down on the sand, feeling like VIPs coz no other soul was present there. As if the whole of bank had been booked for us. While resting there, we saw a group of around 25-30 foreign adventurous tourists traveling on motor bikes one after another going towards Leh. The sight of these foreigners including female drivers on their powerful bikes equipped with petrol cans, beddings, tents, etc. whizzing on the rugged track raising clouds of dust was just like a scene out of a Hollywood movie.

DAY SIX 26.06.08 (Thursday)
Return journey to Manali was smooth and we left for Manali at 0800 hrs and reached there at 1400 hrs.
In the evening we saw folk dance being performed by men and women in very colourful traditional dresses on the mall road from balcony of our hotel.

DAY SEVEN 27.06.08 (Friday)
Started return journey from Manali to Delhi at around 0900 hrs in the morning. On the way, after crossing the tunnel, we clicked some snaps of wonderful waterfalls and green mountains. The rain had washed the dust and soot off the tree leaves, if there would have been any, making the mountains look greener. There is this uncanny similarity between these mountains and those in Arunachal Pradesh and other areas of the North-East, more so during rainy overcast conditions, vegetation and trees being a bit different, causing a dejavu.
We did not face any problem on the way and reached Delhi at around 0100 hrs.

27 Comments

  • Sparsha says:

    Nice description. I love traveling and to share stories too. Looking forward for more such.

  • rachsam says:

    From your description it appears to be a beautiful and adventurous place. can u tell me what is the best time to visit this place and what about the conditions of the roads? i am planning to go in my indica?

  • Ram Dhall says:

    Welcome aboard Majoormod.

    You have announced your arrival with a beautifully narrated post. All through. I felt that I was a part of the entourage.

    Your observation about environmental unfriendly vehicles is very correct. It’s pity though that our administrations are just not in a mood to respond to these challenges.

    I wish you had used some pictures to support this excellent narrative.

    Well done, anyway.

    Look forward to your next post.

  • Majoormod says:

    dear Ram Dhall thnx for your nice words i tried but could not upload the photographs on this site so i did it on

    http://www.travelblog.org/Asia/India/National-Capital-Territory/New-Delhi/blog-331111.html

    if u r interested u can check out there

  • Anju says:

    Nice article that covers everything.We are planning to visit there now,

  • Vishal says:

    Nice description for guys who want to travel by Road.

  • vikas says:

    Good description

  • Vijay Yadav says:

    The Description is mesmerizing and trancing, literally I am lost in dream, such a place exist in India.

  • Shivraj Patil says:

    If there is no more explosion before Diwali, I will holiday in Keylong.

  • Sweety says:

    I’m going to get married this month. Majoormod, please tell me whether this place is good for honey moon.

  • nandanjha says:

    Welcome aboard Majoormod.

    For the first story, we have this bureaucracy to not allow direct posting. Not being able to insert pic is just a side-effect of that policy. Since the first story is out, now you can upload/insert pics here and you can also publish it when you want.

    I have read numerous posts on Leh and everytime it seemed that to go to Leh one would have to have 10 odd days ex Delhi. After reading your post, now I know that one can actually go till Keylong, get a feel of the place and the drive and then probably do Leh later, when the time permits.

    I have driven till Manali and I prefer starting early and avoiding night-drive as much as possible. If I am not wrong then a 5 day thing can be worked out (Delhi-Manali (1 night) -Keylong (2 nights) -Mandi (1 night) -Delhi).

    hope to read more from you.

    Also, its mandatory to have loos at all Petrol Pumps so if you stop at a decent one (say COCOs) then you would find a clean enough loo. You can also find loo at most of the shops/dhabas. They wont mind their customers using it.

  • Patrick Jones says:

    Lovely post. Hope to see the snaps soon.

    The description of Rohtang Pass saddened me; I’ve never been there. Must do it before it gets worse.

  • hahaha says:

    Yes Yes i cant forget this trip of yours. You didnt bother to take us along at the last moment!

  • patrick jasper says:

    One day one day i wll do the trip too. Its like a final frontier u know Rohtang pass, keylong etc. By the when is teh best time to travel over there and still snow?

  • majoormod says:

    Patrick, ideally August-September is the best time to go there but i m not sure about snow. you may find it in October but there is a danger of closure of rohtang pass and in that case u will be stuck there.

  • Celine says:

    I’ve passed through through this valley of beautiful landscapes and snow-capped mountains. It is part of what I call as “one of the best road journeys” from Manali to Leh. Thank you for sharing your experiences that refreshed those wonderful memories with your lovely narration.

  • chetan says:

    nice description of a beautiful place.

  • Somnath Lal says:

    Is there any good Bar in Keylong. Majoor please inform me.
    In bitter cold you may require a few gulps of Rum. Do I have to carry it from the plains?

  • majoormod says:

    hi somnath,
    Bars were not there but there was wine shop near Bus Terminal. you can find bars in Manali.

  • Manish Khamesra says:

    Majoormod,

    So finally I got to read this post which is topping the “Ghumakkar travel Mala” for such a long time :)

    Its a beautiful description, after reading it and also reading the one by Manish Chachra, Delhi-Manali-Leh route seems so familiar. It will not be possible for me to travel to cold places for some time now, but it does not prevent me from enjoying the beauty with nice description as that of yours.

    Thanks and keep sharing.

  • Jeetu says:

    Beautiful description, congrats for such a nice write up. hope to see more such nice and detailed writeups from you.

  • suhani says:

    from your description, it appears to be a very beautiful place. how far it is from chandiigarh?

  • jatin says:

    xclent write up

  • I just couldn’t believe the way the lovely journey to this little peice of heaven on earth has been brought to life with words. Overwhelming, hats off to you dudes.

  • sunil nayak says:

    i’m eager to visit keylong next month. will it be better to visit it near end of the october ? how is the atmosphre of keylong in october ending ?

  • bikerdude says:

    Sunil, Keylong would be offlilmits next month. recent reports, about a week old, point to the fact that Rohtang is seeing some unexpected snowfall, resulting in the pass being declared offlimits… roads blocked and tourists stranded on the other side.

    The best time to do this would be in June of next year when the pass is cleared and opened for tourist traffic.

    Theoretically, you could travel as the BRo is supposed to keep the pass open till October, but IMO, it would be taking a huge risk… the risk of being stranded in a place which can be inhospitable if the climate changes and with the onset of winters (yeah that place usually starts the winter season by mid sept) the chances of the roads being snowed in are huge…

    If I were you, I would postpone the trip to next year… no point risking life just to get some kicks out of it…

  • Vikash says:

    Hi,

    I am planning Keylong visit on July 28. It will be as follows-
    1. Leave Delhi on 27 July (Friday Night by 11 PM).
    2. On 28 July will take night stay in Manali.
    3. On 29 July will visit Solang and head toward Keylong and stay there.
    4. Local visit in Keylong and night stay.
    5. Back to Delhi from Keylong.

    Please let me know if it is fissible or not as I will be accompanied by a two year baby and two females.

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