Ride to Kibber

So before I begin, i think its ritualistic to first introduce myself. I am Vasanth (Vas), a rider from Delhi. I have a royal enfield bullet electra. My ridography includes a solo ride to Ladakh in 2007, a ride to chittorgarh, rajasthan with my wife and many other short rides to rishikesh etc.

So what is this journal about. well, post ladakh, i was wondering if there is another ride that could match its magnanimity, the unkind of super human effort that it takes to complete the ride especially solo. well “wonderings” took almost 2 years to materialize and i zeroed in on “Kibber”, the highest inhabited village in the world. More than the destination, i found out that the journey is as surreal and demanding as the one to leh. so after 2 years of hibernation, my bull, called “the messiah” and I are embarking on our quest of sublimity. but this time, i am not alone since i have got 5 others who have offered their company to me on this ride.

Chapter-1: PREPARING & WAITING

our ride begins on july 1st and should possibly end by 12th. this chapter before the ride begins is what i call preparing and waiting.

The progress so far:

bullet serviced
carriage fixed
route plan prepared

after having done the basics so far, now we await the d-day when we shall begin the ride….

5 more days to go

Yep, with 5 more days to go, things are pretty much falling into place. On Saturday i.e. day after tomorrow, I will be going to the “India mountaineering foundation” to get the tents and camping materials. My bull is serviced with couple of nagging issues here and there which i will get fixed.

I feel this is also the right time for me to introduce my fellow riders.

1. Sidarth Raj–arguably the craziest rider that I have ever met in real life. this guy did delhi-badrinath non-stop in 24 hrs on his 125cc yamaha gladiator.
2. harish–my brother-in-law and a newbie. with only one full ride behind his back, he is one excited chum who is raring to burn the highway on his pulsar 200cc.
3. Faizi Rizvi–the nawab of lucknow…has an envious standard 350cc in top condition..first ride.
4. Vikram–he will be one of the 2 pillion riders that we have got for the ride…a gentle giant, he is very fond of food and is quite rustic and down-to-earth.
5. Mike–well, truly last but not the least..his lean figure belies the spirit that he carries within…he is the 2nd pillion rider that we have and i am sure the entire way from delhi to kaza is going to light up with laughter because of him.

so that’s our gang…

will we get to camp..????
Well there was something special about this ride… this was the first time that i had planned to camp on my way…so i approached the indian mountaineering foundation and inquired about the availability of camping materials… i was happy to know that they provide tents and sleeping bags on rent with a security deposit… so with the ride day looming large in front of me, i intended to go to imf and take the equipments..

but as they say, “man proposes, god disposes”… yep, i called to check about the availability of the equipment and the guy who took the call very harshly said that since there was a minister visiting the campus therefore, all staffs were occupied in his service..

this means, i am gonna have to wait till tuesday, which is just a day before my ride day to check if the equipments are available…

will we get to camp.. read on…

one more day to go…
and then we are off to the open road… man i am excited… this was the same feeling that I had when i set off to ladakh 2 years ago… solo…

coming back to the progress of our ride…

so we are not getting to camp on the way since the indian mountaineering foundation has given away all of their tents to an expedition so none is available…

also, i just got to know that one of the person in our gang is down with fever and therefore, he has chosen to back out so we are already down to 5… another one has decided to go only till about a certain place from where he will turn back… so by the time we will end the ride (god willing), we should possibly be down to four…

while am preparing for this ride, i must mention the help that i am getting from one of the fellow indiamikers who has been giving me constant update about the weather and the road condition since he is doing the same route and is in manali right now… thankx monkeyboy… i really appreciate your help…

in a little while from now, i will be packing my things up… with no tents, i have ample amount of space… yipeee…

now this ride is a very special one for me… i first witnessed the landscapes of lahaul & spiti in the promos of the movie, Paap… trust me guys, i wasn’t ogling at Udita Goswami… i know she was hot but Lahaul & Spiti beat her hands down… i was simply mesmerised by the landscapes there… so this about 3 years ago… but at that time i was a beginner… so i hesitated to go to such places…

then in 2007, ladakh happened… due to some unforseen circumstances my fellow riders (2 of them and 1 pillion) who were supposed to join me on my ride to leh backed out and i was left with no choice but to start solo… my wife really supported me on this… i love her so much…

so since about 2005-2006, the circuit has been hovering in some small little corner of my heart and now finally it is getting matrerialized… am i nervous..?? yes, am i anxious…?? yes… why? well, as they– “there are too many slips between the cup and the lip…”

so what’s on the agenda today..??? well, i have got to go to karol bagh since my bike’s left indicator is still not willing to let the other commuters know that i will be taking a turn, i need to get my bike’s pollution check done and obviously, i need to pack things up for good… we plan to meet at faizi’s place today evening and kick off early in the morning from there…

i am so glad that the weather is turning around… i am expecting rains, cold, chill and most importantly… LANDSLIDES…

All set to ride

All set to ride

Which way to go..??

Which way to go..??

where is the internet, Mr. Prime Minister..??

so i fondly remember one of the election manifesto stating that there would be internet availabe in every village of our country… may kufri missed its turn or is at the last position coz i could not find any internet in kufri and that’s the reason why the hournal has not been updated yesterday…

ok, now coming back to the ride progress… so we had to start as early as 03:30 from delhi but by the time we started t was 06:30

by the time we hit nh-1 it started to rain, may i say, dinosaurs instead of the proverbial cats & dogs… so the rain took its massive toll on us… it played hide and seek and made us take off our rain coats and then put them on after a while… this obviously consumed a lot of time and by the time it was dark, we could only reach upto kufri, about 45kms short of the scheduled destination-narkanda…we were drenched in the rain, dog tired so we decided to retire in kufri…

today morning, we started pretty early… vikram’s relatives had invited us for breakfast and we were supposed to reach a place called Sainj by 10…we made it by 10:45… had a very sumptuous meal for a breakfast….thanks vikram… since we could not make it to narkanda the previous day therefore, i had to make a small change in the itinerary… we decided not to go to sangla and chitkul and head straight to recong peo… we started from sainj at 11:45… immediately, faizi faced a problem with his bull since his front breaks were getting jammed… i knew this bullet mechanic just before ram[ur so we headed to that place to get the bike fixed… that took about 30 minutes…

post that, it was a smooth ride until we crossed rampur… so there is hydro electrc project that is being constructed on the satluj and while it is going to bring electricity, properity, economic boost… it pretty much messed up the entire road to Recong…anyone who has been recently through that road would agree that its a sacrilege to call it a road….its all slush, only that it is made of mud and cement…

so most of the mud and cement landed up on our clothes and our bikes and anybody could mistake us for labourers from the same hydro project… hmmmm… faizi being so fair could be mistaken for a supervisor, vikram being so gigantic could be a security guard…

but apart from all the mud and slush, we were really awestruck by the current of the river satluj… it was so powerful that its very sight sent electricity through out veins… no kidding…

but as they say, all well’s that ends well so all of us were priveleged to witness one of the most amazing exponents of nature, the kinner kailash parbat… yes, it was one sight to watch, one that humbled us completely and also assured us that the god almighty is keeping a very close watch on us…

bam bam bhole… side pe ho-le

Bam Bam Bhole..!! First view of Kinner Kailash

Bam Bam Bhole..!! First view of Kinner Kailash

ad astra per aspera
which literally means, “a rough road leads to the stars” and this pretty much came true for us when we started our ride from recong peo to tabo. recong peo was a let down. i am being honest in my criticism…it was a disappointing place and the only thing that was worth remembering is the sight of the mighty kinnr kailash. I am feeling blessed to have seen it.

Kinner Kailash adorned by beautiful clouds

Kinner Kailash adorned by beautiful clouds

post recong peo, we were heading towards Tabo. en route we stoppd at nako and we were simpy bowled over by the place… the place was so quite and peacful…

The idyllic village of Nako

The idyllic village of Nako

we had a sumptuou tibetan meal followed by a hot cup of tea. here we also fulfilled one of our long pending wishes- tieing prayer flags on our bikes..so each one of us picked up a prayer flag and tied it to our bikes. the old lady at the shop told us to write our names in the flag. we also met this vry nice kid by the name of Ajay who ofered to take us on a guided tour of the nako lake and the monastery..

Nako Lake..so serene, so calm

Nako Lake..so serene, so calm

once this guided tour was over, we offered a reward to Ajay and he very respetfully refused to accept any tip. Whern he insisted, he said that its his job to do so and therefore, he does not want any special rewards. we were very impressed by his self-esteem… we aso met this uy by the name of anthony who has quit hs job for a year and is touring India..he is an indian by the way, if you were thinking only foreigners do this.

so post the sojourn at Nako, we proceeded towards Tabo…oh man, what a place… what a beautiful place… nestled amidst snow capped mountains, tabo is where one of the oldest monasteries is situated. vry cool place…

 The green fields of Tabo

The green fields of Tabo

we also found a very economical place to stay..after dumping all our luggages we went to the terrace of the hotel and had couple of omlettes… hmmmm… yumm… after this, we headed for a walk since Faizi was deperately wanting to have a cup of coffee..we found a very nice German Bakery owned by guy called Raju. Very nice guy who makes very nice coffee.. we all lovd it… the electricity was playing hide and seek and we could not use the internet…there were 2 other things that were bothring us-one was faizi’ bike not having enough petrol and second our digicam memory getting closer to being full… in fact, faizi’s camera meory card was already full and mine was heading towards completion so we deperately needed a system from where we could transfer few of the phots on to a pen drve tht faizi brought along..but due to no electricity, we could not do this… since there was no electricity there was nothing much to do so we all retired to bed..

07-04-09: we started from tabo and our destination was kaza via dankar… we began the day by visiting the tabo monastery which was getting a makeover due to a visit by H.H.Dalai lama.

The decorations at Tabo Monastery

The decorations at Tabo Monastery

now i remembered there was a monastry at Gye wich housed a mummified body of a lama…i read about this in this site nly and wanted to visit that place…but since it was about 30 km behind tabo therefore, i was not very inclined to go on our bikes…so we struck a deal with a local and he arranged a cab for 800/- for an up-down to gye..we also got petrol from the same guy for a whopping 65/- per litre…the visit to gye was very spooky what with the mummy of the lama but it was also quite supernatural since we got to see the mummy in real life…

The mummy lama of Gye Monastery

The mummy lama of Gye Monastery

we could not spend much time over there due tyo the presence of the army so we headed back..

after returning to tabo we packed our bags and started our ride to Kaza via Dankar… now the road to Dankar is what i would call the “rough road” that lead us to the “star” the almighty…

Dhankar Monastery seen through fluttering prayer flags

Dhankar Monastery seen through fluttering prayer flags

the visit to the dankar monastery was sublime what with the confluence of pin and spiti valley as a backdrop…we witnessed sights that were not seen before… atleast i had seen them only in pics but never in real life…

 The confluence of Spiti and Pin river

The confluence of Spiti and Pin river

From atop Dhankar Monastery

From atop Dhankar Monastery

we had a hearty meal of rajma-chawal at the monastery kitchen and this was served very lovingly by the caretaker over there…

After the visit to dankar we had a dilemma of whether to visit pin valley or not but keepin in mind the time and the fuel quantity, we decided to head to kaza directly…

 Entrance to Kaza

Entrance to Kaza

so here I am at kaza…we found a good mechanic to fix our bikes, i also got my shoe polished and Faizi is quite envious about it..we were able to transfer most of the photos on to faizi’s pen drive..we got our fuel tank filled up and also got a very decent place to stay…we also found a very nice guy called Puran who would be our guide on our tour tomorrow to Key, Kibber and Komik…we all are looking forward to it and we hope that we all will have as good a time we did till now…

Having tea at 13500 ft…
Did you ever drink a cup of tea..?? Am sure you all would have.. Ok, how about a cup of butter tea…??? Hmmm, probably some of you would have.. Alrite, how about a cup of butter tea in a monastery..?? let me add 13500 ft of height, a monk and two beautiful ladies to this…howz that for an experience..??? I am sure not many of us would have had that experience. As the old adage goes…be careful of what you wish for…so when sid wished to have a cup of butter tea in a monastery, he certainly would not have wished to have it with the above characteristics.. all of the above describes Kye monastery…one that was built probably 1000 years ago and is the biggest monastery in the entire spiti valley…and that’s where we went from kaza.. at kaza, we not only got a nice place to stay, we also got a very nice guy by the name of Puran who agreed to join us in our visit to the different monasteries around Kaza. The first monastery we went to was kye and it was here that Sid’s wish was fulfilled. the moment we entered the monastery, a very nice Lama guided us to the monastery kitchen and offered each of us a hot cuppa butter tea. the monastery was so serene and beautiful.

Having butter tea inside the Kye Monastery Kitchen

Having butter tea inside the Kye Monastery Kitchen

Kye Monastery on top of a hill

Kye Monastery on top of a hill

It was such an amazing experience to witness the prayer hall and also the old prayer room where they have still preserved the couch on which the dalai lama sat back in 1972. after having spent good enough time at kye and taken some pictures, we proceeded towards kibber. there are quite a few arguments around the corner for an against the information that Kibber is the world’s highest inhabited village…the foreigner at nako gave his opinion against this information and said that its actually a village called Gete which is above Kibber that is the highest village but because people of this village move down during winters therefore, it is not counted as an “inhabited” place…well, what the heck, whether it it is the highest or lowest, it is one helluva place..we were happy to have reached here since this was the destination of our ride…we practically travelled almost 900 km to have reached this place and in order to celebrate the occassion, we made a video where each one of us-harish, faizi, sid and myself commented on how we felt about reaching Kibber.

Kibber, our destination of the ride

Kibber, our destination of the ride

Locals at Kibber

Locals at Kibber

Post this small celebration we proceeded towards a hotel to have breakfast…yes, kibber does have a hotel which serves almost everything that you can ask for and you know what is special about this..?? there is a foreigner who does the job of waiting on you….yeah…don’t believe it..?? go see for yourself..So we had a delicious meal served very pleasingly by heather (that’s the waitress’ name). when we were about to take off from Kibber, Faizi suggested that as a token of thanks for the good service, we must get a picture of the people at the hotel. so we went back and did that…very sweet looking people.

For a change, a foreigner waited on our table..!!

For a change, a foreigner waited on our table..!!

After Kibber, our next destination was supposed to be Komick monastery but that’s where Mr. Puran intervened and advised us not to go there instead go to a place called Langza…

Langza: have you ever heard of this place..??? I have never heard about this place, I could not even locate this in the map..what is this place. We were very restless but we kept following Mr. Puran as if he were the pied piper and we were rats of England…So we kept going and going before we finally started entering Langza…so if none of you have been there then you must go there…those of you who have been there, I am sure you would remember the huge statue of Buddha that can be seen from very far away.

Surprise package of our ride, Langza

Surprise package of our ride, Langza

Oh man, what a beautiful place. It was as if we were in the court of heaven. And that statue of Buddha was so awe-inspiring. Now Sid has this habit of doing push-ups so as a special gesture, he made us do push-ups in front of the Buddha statue…Imagine…doing push-ups at 13000 ft above sea-level…!!!!! So we spent a few serene moments sitting in front of the statue overlooking the Himalayas. As we came back to the monastery where there is this lone monk, we were asked if we would like to have tea. Well, who would not? Especially, if you are at such a height. So this monk was so kind to take us to the monastery kitchen (man what a cozy place it was..!!) and made tea for us specially…very nice guy.

Langza Monastery

Langza Monastery

So after having spent such a heavenly time at the Langza monastery, we proceeded towards kaza. Once we reached Kaza, we realized that Harish’s pulsar tire was punctured. Thankfully it was a tubeless tire so not much damage was done however, the air was continually coming out. Kaza did not have anybody who could fix the tubeless puncture so we went to the same mechanic as yesterday and requested him to do some jugaad. He asked for fevi-quick and glued some stuff into the hole that made the air leakage stop. We then packed our bags, gave 200/- reward to Puran for accompanying us as a guide and started our ride to Losar.

Now Losar was about 30 odd kms from kaza and we thought it would be an easy ride but that was not supposed to be. First, the breathtaking view of the Spiti valley and secondly the strong wind that was blowing against us and thirdly, with the setting sun, the temperature was also decreasing. But somehow, we made it to Losar and we were not very pleased to find only 2 hotels. We first checked one of the hotels and we realized that the bathroom was outside. We nay’d this place and checked out another hotel which was manned by, well, a grandmom. Very nice lady, she gave us this big room for 200/-. It had four beds, quilts etc but a common bathroom. Since we had to spend only one night so we took it. It was quite windy and chilly and we had a very nice meal for dinner in the hotel kitchen.

Earlier, Faizi fell from his bike and hurt his thigh. He was wondering if a hot water bottle would be available with the hotel owner. When the grandmom came to know that Faizi was hurt and since she did not have any hot water bottle, she offered to make an impromptu hot water fomentation facility with a piece of cloth and salt. Faizi was very relieved after using it. Well that was not all, granny made the same stuff again in the morning even without being asked and ensured that faizi used it. Now that’s true love and care..:-)

No pains, no gains
The next day we started from Losar and our plan was to pass through Kunzum top and visit Chandertal. Post this, we intended to stay at either Batal, Chotta Dhara or Chatru since many of the locals advised that there is nothing available to stay at Gramphoo. So on paper, the ride seemed all of 100 odd kilometers with one entire day ahead of us to finish it. At the very onset, it seemed we would have to work very hard to pass through those 100 kilometers. There were practically no roads, only stones, pebbles and tones and tones of water. No wonder, Losar-Gramphoo road is considered the toughest road in our country. Our spirits were very high since pretty soon we reached Kunzum top.

Kunzum Pass-the highest point between Kaza and Manali

Kunzum Pass-the highest point between Kaza and Manali

 Kunzum Mata ka Mandir

Kunzum Mata ka Mandir

We took some regulation snaps and moved on to batal. As we were approaching Batal, we noticed the road towards Chandertal. I was of the opinion that we should head straight to Chandertal instead of going to Batal and then returning to Chandertal but Harish insisted that we should go to batal, have breakfast and more importantly leave our luggages. I am so glad that we all agreed to Harish’s suggestion. After having breakfast at batal, we proceeded towards Chandertal. I have never experienced a tougher terrain to ride than this. While the condition of the road was the regulation stones, pebbles, mud and water streams, it was the landscape that was so overwhelming. It was actually killing our spirit to proceed. It was so desolate, almost mars like terrain. Across the entire façade, we were the only 4 people riding our bikes. There were so many scary thoughts that were crossing my mind-what if one of our bikes broke down? What if, one of us fell down and got hurt? We would be so stranded. Twice my bullet got stuck in the water stream flowing on the road. Both the times, harish came to my rescue and helped me push my bullet out of the stream. Once I saw that my bike’s silence went underneath the water and I missed a heartbeat when I realized that probably some water may have gone inside the engine through the exhaust pipe. I quickly tried to start the bike and as I raised the accelerator, a good amount water spewed out of the exhaust pipe. That was such a relief. During the second time, while I was entering the stream to cross it, my bullet fell into a gap. Bang!! The front drum got jammed in between two stones. Here, I felt that my front shock absorbers would have gotten damaged but thankfully nothing happened. But all of these pains were worth experiencing when we finally saw the gushing blue water of Chandertal.

 And, there it is, the marvellous Chandertal

And, there it is, the marvellous Chandertal

Is there really a place like Chandertal on this earth..?? I refuse to believe it. How can the water be so blue and crystal clear..?? the very sight of those ice capped mountains overlooking the clear blue water of Chandertal was something straight out of a poem.

Chandertal, can the water be so blue..??

Chandertal, can the water be so blue..??

Just chilling at Chandertal

Just chilling at Chandertal

To have been there and seeing those sights first hand was really a privilege. Thank you God for giving me this opportunity. The return journey from Chandertal to batal was completed quickly. From Batal, we started for our next destination which was yet to be decided. A local who wanted to go a little forward sought a ride and Sid, the good Samaritan, very readily offered a ride.

Now what else could we have expected on the road but stones, pebbles, mud and even more deeper streams. The guy at the Batal dhaba warned us about the streams getting deeper because of the melting glaciers but we did not pay any heed to it and we proceeded only to regret later. But the only relief was the landscapes. We even encountered a place where there were two walls of ice on both sides and the road was passing in between.

Walls of Ice

Walls of Ice

What a panoramic view..?? So we stopped at Chota Dhara and found there was nothing to stay then we went to Chattru and there were only tents. In between we inquired some locals and were advised to proceed to Koksar. The only relief was that as we neared Gramphoo, the roads started to get better. Finally we made it to Gramphoo and proceeded to Koksar. We were relieved to find a place to stay at Koksar since apart from the PWD guest house there is only one hotel..!!!!! So we got this room that had a common toilet set up for, well, ”common people” and which would cost them 5/-. In fact, one of the by passers thought that Sid was the caretaker of the toilet and after using it, actually asked him whom should he pay the money..!!!!

After having dinner, we went off to sleep with the plan for next day to reach Manali.

After looking at the metalled road from Gramphoo to Koksar, I was hopeful that the roads proceeding towards Manali and further will be the same. I was so wrong. There is a double laning going on between Koksar and Manali via Rohtang Pass. It was such a horrible road, so bumpy that I felt I was riding a camel and not a bullet But as Sid put it, ”achchi sadkon pet ho sab chalate hain, aisi sadko par tho kuch hi log chala paate hain” Now that lifted our spirits and we somehow managed to make it to Marhi where we stopped for breakfast. Post this, we reached manali and checked into Dragon Lodge, Old manali in the afternoon. Post this, we hung around in the local market, did some shopping, had a delicious dinner at the hotel’s restaurant and went off to sleep. The next day’s plan was to start from manali and reach chandigarh. From chandigarh, we reached delhi today. Nothing much to write about the last leg of the ride.

The ride comes to an end….
In my college days, I read ”Joseph Andrews” by D. H. Lawrence in which he quotes that a man who travels, learns more than a man who reads from a book. I so much agree with this quote. Everybody travels from one place to another-yeah, everybody, man, woman, children and even cows and buffaloes (I have seen them standing behind a truck being transported from one place to another, and they definitely seem to enjoy it) and in each of the instance there is a lot to learn. To me, every ride that I go on, provides me with an opportunity to look at the world around me much closer than what I get to do when I am back to my routine ”work-life” cycle. I sometimes wonder that the very statement of ”work-life balance” seems to say it all that ”work” is not ”life” and we all have to keep making that effort to strike a balance between the two. I met a few people on my way who had left everything-their jobs, their homes and are living here in remote places. I know I can’t do that but whenever I get an opportunity to break away from tradition and mundane activities, I am sure I will grab on to it. This was one such opportunity and I am glad that all 5 of us ( and later 4) made the most of it.

I also realized from this ride that this ride from delhi-shimla-kaza-kibber-kaza-chandertal-manali (or vice-versa) is far tougher than Ladakh(its my personal opinion). To ride in absolute desolation with no sign of life around you, to be scared of any untoward happening and getting stuck in the middle of nowhere and then to overcome that fear and achieve your goal is what we got to learn from this ride. Kisi ne theek hi kaha tha ki ”dar ke aage jeet hai”.

25 Comments

  • vibha says:

    Wow. I really admire you Vasnath for taking this trip. Pictures and the write-up are awesome. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  • Onil Gandhi says:

    gr8 ride vasant… keep travelling … keep sharing

  • Tarun Talwar says:

    Amazing ride Vasanth. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing.

  • Sandeep Sehgal says:

    Absolutely awestruck both by the magnitude of the ride and the way you shared it!

  • kalpana says:

    well written and great pictures to back it up!!

    gud job done vas.

  • nandanjha says:

    I was there on same route, though on a 4 wheeler, a month back.

    Read as you find time
    http://www.ghumakkar.com/2009/08/11/shimla-to-kaza-a-road-review/

    Your log just refreshed my own experience and though me and my wife have talked about many times that we would want to do it again, your story just strengthened it even further.

    Thanks Vasanth for the great ride.

    When do we get to hear about your other rides ? :-)

  • Sumit Nirmal Kumar says:

    Hi Vas,

    Good travelogue man. It was fantastic to read about some one who does a solo as well.
    I have been to Badri, Kedar, Gangotri, Rohtang and others on solo missions doing single day ride both ways. But that was a max 530 kms approx one side.
    Its always a single day ride for me while coming back and never been a part of a group ride.
    Reading your journal, i have already started calling my friends for a group activity like this.
    You are a champ man.

    Sumit Nirmal Kumar
    [email protected]

  • Very well written Vasanth. Its a pleasure to go through this beautiful travelogue. Beautiful place, beautiful people around and a wonderful journey.

    Kudos to you and yes, your wife should also get a part of this. Seemingly, she was the one who encouraged you to take the journey.

    Manish (Chachra) was feeling alone. He surely have a company now.

    Gr8 guys. Looking forward to read more from you. And yes guys, please remember SAFETY FIRST. Its important.

  • srijan says:

    very well written. Would love to do this ride someday.

  • aurojit says:

    Hi Vasanth,

    Quite a thrilling, fast paced account indeed. Case of the boy, Ajay is inspiring – things which remind us of our basics.

    And on your account of camping preparations, shouldn’t we say, ‘ man proposes, minister disposes’.

    And yep – agree with you – destinations that one may seek and draw real pleasure from – are mostly beyond the rote of work, profits , gross earnings defined by vagaries of bottomlines – and all such inconsequential issues which restrict oru vision, mind and soul.
    Keep moving, keep dreaming.
    Auro.

  • smitadhall says:

    Beautiful, splendid! Been on the route, all the way from the Buddha statue and the mesmerising views to Shilla Peak to Losar… your account brought back the beautiful memories, the chill, the nosebleed and the high of being on top of the world. Thanks so much!

  • Anil Sharma says:

    Excellent travelogue. Pics are great. Since I have myself been there, I can visualize what all you must have endured on bikes.

  • Anil Sharma says:

    Excellent travelogue. Great pics. Since I have been there, I can visualize what all you must have faced on faced biking in those valleys.

  • Sharmistha Dan says:

    Words are too small to describe the beauty of these places. Excellent writeup. Ladakh and Spiti Valley are my dream destinations. I do not know when, but I will surely travel to these places, and who knows you might find me serving food at your table at Kibber sometime !! :)

    • Vas says:

      hahaha..i wish you the best Sharmistha and I hope you get the sublime opportunity of living in a place like Kibber..!!

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Thank you Vas for helping us republish this.

    It still reads the same :-). wishes.

    • Vas says:

      Thanks Nandan for having my blog here. Its nice to know a medium like this exists where travellers can share their experience and opinions. You are doing a great job for the welfare of travelling.

  • Kailash Mehta says:

    Hi

    Thrilling & very well written. Pics & the entire post is very interesting & well descriptive (read twice to enjoy the trip) .

    Great Work.

  • dhanesh sharma says:

    Vasanth ji, very very thanks for such a good post .is it possible to cover whole the route, you have done by my tata safari 42.and give the road route with distance if possible.thanks for your courageous journey.

    • Vas says:

      Sir, a tata safari 4×2 can take you to the moon..!!! you can definitely and safely cover the entire circuit in it. i can give you a detailed road route for this trip..let me know your email id and i will send over the details. if you are in delhi then you can call me 9811860054 to discuss the same.

  • Jatinder Sethi says:

    I after reading the snippet, I went on to read your full POST.I wonder if there are any more ghumakkars of your age(32 only) who have done 70,oookm?Give us a detailed year by year mileage on these great trips.
    Reading such an interesting ,but long post, it seemed I was walking to Kibber. Wouldn’t you like to switch to Bikers Bike, next time?
    Good photos. Send some to Lonely Planet.

    • Vas says:

      Thanks Jatinder for your kind comments. I am thankful to god and my family for supporting my passion for travelling…and my boss too :-P…i will definitely put up a write up for the year by year mileage so long my memory serves me right..!!

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