Shimla to Kaza – A Road Review

Its not very common for me to not rush my road-reviews. Yeah thats two nots, read again. Its not very common for me to not rush my road-reviews. But as you grow up (and old) you sort of start to mellow down. In my case I would still blame on office-work, home-work, in-transit-work for my procrastination rather then this mellow philosophy, after all in the end we did drive all the way from Delhi-to-Shimla-to-Kaza-to-Manali-to-Delhi. So here’s a road review of Shimla-Kaza circuit. Delhi-Shimla is already covered here and any updates on that route are best to be found there.

Shimla-Kaza is a long one and its not a single day-light drive. We did in two parts, first Thanedaar-Sangla and then Sangla-Kaza. Both took a great part of day.

Himalaya, Rocky Mountain High

The route can be divided into following 7 sections

1. Shimla – Rampur
2. Rampur – Wangtu – Karchham
3. Karchham – Espillo
4. Espillo – Khab
5. Khab – Nako
6. Nako – Chango – Sumdoh
7. Sumdoh – Tabo – Dhankar – Kaza

1. Shimla – Rampur
Distance – 100+ KMs , Driving Time – 2 hours 30 minutes

As you approach Shimla, you would find a fork, the right of which goes to Rampur via Shimla-bypass. It seemed like a obvious choice but our confirm-at-next-turn experience made us take a U turn. When we asked few bus drivers, we were almost forced to go back since the bypass road is much more longer or so it was told. As a result of that U turn, we entered Simla city, after a while took a left which goes through a tunnel kind of thing and then it was Simla everywhere. Being the capital city, Simla is pretty big and if not it being a hill, it would compete very closely with other bigger towns in terms of overall chaos, garbage, haphazard development and what not. We had started from our home at Indirapuram, Ghaziabad sometime around 0530 hrs and it was already beyond 2, so we ignored the city and after a 30 minute slow but moving drive, we carried on towards our destination of the day viz. Thanedar.

Thanedar is the apple country of India and I would try to do that story separately. As we went past Kufri, I called up the hotel guys and was told that it would be at least 3 hours away, so we stopped for lunch at the roadside dhaba. It was a fairly clean dhaba and our steward-waiter had this high-pitch tone, made us wonder that probably Pankaj Kapoor researched this accent for ‘The Blue Umbrella‘.

We reached Thanedar which is not on main highway and left next morning at around 1000 hrs. We were on inside roads and with couple of clean-the-windshield-using-stream-water and giving a lift to a lady, ensure that we spent close to 2 hours before we joined NH22 again. It was lovely driving through winding inner roads, flanked with apple orchards, with no traffic and hardly any movement.

As we drove further, the road gets wider and better. There is a large Power Plant thing being done and from now till Spillow, power plants were constantly accompanying us, seemed as if HP is going to be the power capital of the world. Gradually Pines gave way to Eucalyptus and it was difficult to believe that we are really in Hills. Later we figured out that Rampur is at 900-1000 m while Shimla is at 2200-2300 meter. Thats quite a gap.

So courtesy non winding wide roads, we picked up speed and with in no time we found ourselves at Rampur. Rampur seemed more industrious then Simla.

2. Rampur – Wangtu – Karchham
Distance – 70 Kms , Driving Time – 2 hours


We were now in Kinnaur. AS we approach Wangtu, you would encounter a massive power plant project by JayPee group. Roads are all gone, probably for a better future. You gain height and roads jutting out of rocks becomes a more common sight. As you go further from Simla, the vehicle density keeps going down and while there were lot of truck movement because of power project, we started to see less of roadways buses, jeeps and other local transport.


The landscape is green, rocky and big. The canvas is beginning to grow and you now can see far and wide. We took a break post Wangtu and had our thought-fully packed-lunch which our hotel guys gave us. It took just a small request to a small sweets shop to let us sit inside and have our food. We did try to buy a coke and few munchies to keep him in good humor but guess that was not needed. We carried on. Its so much different to be in a shop with no rush. A couple was enjoying the soda pop waiting for the next bus, the guy must be in late twenties and from the conversation which I could gather, he seemed to be in a mood to stretch it and ensured by convincing his partner to skip the bus which came while we were not done with our food.

More of Kinnaur in Pics. Its beautiful.




A note for my fellow ghumakkar, biker dude, Indians do not need to take any permit in Recong Po or infact till Kaza, as you pass through Espillo you do need to get registered and again at Sumdoh.

Our destination of the day was Sangla, a beautiful valley and Karchham was our point of detour. The road from Karchham to Sangla is best left unaccounted. Well, its a single lane narrow road with a gorge on one side and towering rocks on the other. The road is as winding as it would want to be and if there is an oncoming vehicle and if you are on the gorge side, well it does test your nerve. A miss or a slip or a push can make things end. Sorry to scare you but if you are ever going towards Sangla, ensure that you reach Karchham when its broad day light.

When we reached our camp, it was almost 5 PM, it was heartening to listen to other folks on how dangerous the drive was. You are never alone.

3. Karchham – Espillo – Khab
Distance – 80 Kms , Driving Time – 2 hours 30 minutes

You come back to Rakccham to join the main road which would be with you till Sumdoh. There is hardly any traffic till Rakccham but as you hit it, the power-plant-caravan catches up. Keep driving among tall mountains, an accompanying river to keep the monotony away.


Take extra caution to fill-up the tank at Powari since that’s the only petrol station you would find before Kaza. It was noon and we passed several very small villages which in fact could hardly be noticed but owing to a little bit rough terrain, hills and almost none traffic, we were not going too quick. Sometimes absence of rush makes you go slow, strange.



On the way, you see some of the huge falls, portions of roads which have never seen two vehicles side-by-side ever, since their width can’t accommodate them (ok ok.. poor joke, move on) , tall huge rocky mountains, a LOT of clear Sun and occasionally a snow-peak. I am not a sun-glass guy but sometimes its so bright that you better use them.


It was not too late when we reached Espillo and there you get into the protected zone. There is a small barricade and you log your credentials with the Army there. A small quick conversation and we move further. Its gets more lonenly post Espillo.

5. Espillo – Khab
See 4.


Though the distance is not too much for this section but I would rate this section as the most demanding. It could see the best of your patience, grit and perseverance. The driver in you need to take the front seat and the video-gamer would have to wait for a while. This section has the famous Khab zig.


As you go further and survive some of the real bad patches, you notice that you have started climbing. And after a while you would see that you are actually going in a zig pattern with one side having a not-so-high mountain rubble wall and the other side down-looking at the previous zig-arm which you just left. Though this may not sound too harsh but each arm of zig is fairly long, probably a Km or may be less so at that scale you are climbing and as you would have guessed its a 1.5 lane road. So if you get company from the other side and you are on the dont-look-down side of zig, you have it. Its not uncommon to occasionally run into a Army caravan with their ‘Shaktimaans’ in a big long line.


The views though makes up for the challenges. There are more than many places where you can pull in and take a eye full of the mammoth surroundings. I say mammoth because the mountains are like real big tall huge mountains, the Himalayas, you can see as far as you want to, as deep as you want to and sometimes feel strange to find just you, your spouse and your 4 year old as a company.


You get that ‘Waiting for Godot’ kind of feeling and you really don’t think that this road can ever go to a dusty town, it might appear so much of out-of-world that you better try to get out of it and start driving again.

We tried to capture the zig. Look at pictures and try to get the scale.

You go all the way up and are at 3000 mtr, the place is called Ka, I believe. The snow peaks are at the same eye-level. Just be there, look around, feel special and move on.

6. Khab – Chango – Sumdoh
Distance – 40 Kms , Driving Time – 1 hour


Khab has nothing more than a few auto shops but there is a village down the road, a monastery where you can stay for the night and I believe some lodges. We kept moving and noticed a raised hand looking for a lift. We let her in. She was with us till Chhango, another village few KMs away. I was surprised to find her speak very good Hindi and we got wiser about the local terrain and ways. We bid goodbye to her at Chhango and gave ride to another lady with a small baby. We drove a few meters and noticed these two backpackers. I stopped and they requested for a ride till Tabo. The journey from Khab to Nako sees much more habitation but you are really in an arid land now and you can’t miss it. We dropped the lady with the baby at some place and our conversation with the two backpakkers continued. The roads are good, not too wide but its simpler to drive, you do get long stretches of straight strip of tar.


The guy was Peter and the lady was called Lucy, with such common names, you would not believe them assuming that it can’t be true, reminds of Badal Sircar’s ‘Evam Indrajit’ play where the protagonist says that his name is Nirmal when the other three who are accompanying him are called Amal, Vimal and Kamal. Peter and Lucy are originally from Czech but working in Afghanistan. For last three months they have been traveling in India and it was probably their 4th or 8th trip. They were with an NGO and take up assignments, save money, get out to travel. Because of their extensive traveling there were very well versed with India, Indian names, a bit of culture and all that. We did share our common interest around ***ching things we do not like.

Now we were traveling amid total arid, rubble mountains. The area looks more like a part of China than India, from names to features and probably that’s what this whole country is all about, with varied cultures, varied terrains and what not.


At Sumodh, we stopped again to get our vehicle registration logged. Peter and Lucy had to undergo a little more detailed procedure since their permit needed to be scrutinized. All this happened in not so much time and we moved towards Tabo by 4ish.

7. Tabo – Dhankar – Kaza
Distance – 60 Kms , Driving Time – 1 hour 30 minutes


Their being with us ensured that we got the much needed company and its not much a distance to cover from Tabo to Kaza where it would be back to three of us. We dropped them at Tabo where they were to stay there for the night at the Monastery and were planning to be at Dhankar the next day and finally at Kaza. Tabo looked like a small town with a Buddhist gateway welcoming you. Not many rather any people.

We quickly shot this assuming its a Yak. True City people. Its a cow.
We quickly shot this assuming its a Yak. True City people. Its a cow.

From Tabo, it was to be to Dhankar. You keep going, it was getting dark by now but now we could find longer stretches of straight strips. Dhankar came and went as another small clean town with the Monastery and the last leg was spent wondering on how Kaza would be.


It was almost dark, 7 PM or so, when we entered Kaza and it took a bit of asking around to reach our destination. When I finally reached our hotel, and shook hands with the manager, It was hard to imagine that we have come that kind of distance from Delhi.

The Kaza-Manali, the reason for which we did all of this was still left and the roads were not yet open. As I lay flat in the bed, looking around the humble room, with all our bags scattered and my spouse giving some hot-water leg-massage to our 4 year old, it was getting difficult to believe that we have finally made it.

Thanks for reading this far. A day well spent.


  • Anando says:

    Dear Suman,

    I think you are making a mistake. This is a very short trip you are making for such a place specially considering YOU HAVE TO ACCLIMATISE . Chitkul is very high up . Also I would suggest you stay longer at kalpa coz it has better place to stay, you can try the hptd hotel , its nice. I stayed there. Atleast go for 7 nights .

  • Suman DG says:

    Thanks Anando-I will then go in with 7days plan- can you please help me devide the 7 nights for me- like where to stay more..

  • Anando says:

    I am guessing you are going through Shimla , if thats true then you can stay one night at Narkanda 3 nights in kalpa/reckong peo and 2 nights in Chitkul. Chitkul is technically a very small village however its really beautiful..its so high up yet its in a valley between lush green mountains .

    I had put up some photos of kalpa and chitkul here..u can check it out . Rest one day at kalpa to acclimatise.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    @ Suman – Anando has already answered most of your questions. Sangla has better acco options and you can do a easy lunch-trip from Sangla to Chitkul.

    You would see snow in Sangla and Chitkul. Narkanda gets snow as well but you would be a bit early for it. You get tons of snow in June on Kaza-Manali stretch (Kunzum, Rohtang).

  • Anando says:

    I read people are saying they have either done or will be doing Behror to Narkanda? I think its nuts. There is always a huge traffic jam these days outside Delhi/Gurgaon that takes around 3 hours to come out of. I think a better idea would be to stay in Gurgaon and then start early morning to Narkanda.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Hi Jyoti,

    Responding to your query here so that it is easier to track. Please make a new comment if you have more questions.

    1. Indore-Behor would take most of your day and then Behror to Narkanda would be a long haul as well. Leave as early as possible from Behror to avoid traffic at GGN Toll. Did you explore coming via NH2 ?

    2. Since first two days have been pretty long, avoid Sarahan. It is on a detour and would make Sangla drive hard. The last leg of Sangla drive should happen in day light. Skip Sarahan.

    3. Skip Kalpa but stay for two days at Tabo. 2 days at a place would give you a much needed break before we climb further to Kaza and Tabo is like being in heart of Spiti. Kalpa is for ‘Mount Kailash’ view which you can see somewhere or the other as you drive to Tabo.

    4. Pin has a different access point. Needs more time. Skip. You already have quite a plate full.

    5. Good thing you did by booking hotels. :-) If you are already booked at Kalpa and can’t change it then let be it.

    6. Chandrataal needs more planning. Find out status at Kaza and then decide. Kunzum is a high pass so you dont know when the weather would change hence keep more time with you and keep moving.

    7. Manali Delhi is again a long haul. And Delhi-Indore would again need a break. So instead I would suggest that you break your journey at ‘Mandi’ and visit ‘Rewalsar Lake’. Next day start from Rewaslar and go as far as ‘Shivpuri’ and stay in jungle.


  • Anando says:

    Ya those are good points but again I would suggest gurgaon rather than Behror …because I have found traffic jams at 3 am at that point

  • Hi Nandan, the way you have presented the Shimla Kaza road trip, it seems to be quite interesting. I and my friends have been planning a road trip from a long time; this is a great idea. Thanks for providing the details.

  • Rubal Walia says:

    Thanks for posting such informative blog. Will be really helpful in my travel to Kaza. I have a question though. Will a Maruti Ritz go on this road (Sangla to Kaza)?

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Rubal – Thanks. Ritz is an excellent choice because vehicles like Ritz (and Alto, Santro etc) are very agile so altitude wont come in way. They are very successful in hills and they never get stuck because of being light.

    The only problem which I see is the ground-clearance, especially beyond Rakchham since in certain sections the roads are in pathetic conditions because of power-plant business (heavy machineries, heavy vehicles ruin the road, not much can be done except to wait for the power-plant work to finish) so be careful. Do not load the back too much and go steady. All the best.

  • Rubal Walia says:

    Superb! sounds great. I’ll take my chances, I guess :). Thanks again. Your quick response is much appreciated.

  • Yohann says:


    How long would it take approx from Kasol to Nako by bus and car ?

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Kasol to Nako via Aut-Rampur and then the regular Indo-Tibet road would be in excess of 12 hours. Kasol to Nako via Manali-Kaza would again be in excess of 12 hours.

  • Kailash Mehta says:

    hi Nandan
    Great post. Definately I planned for this road trip in my next vacations. Nice & well descriptive writeup.
    Great Work.

  • akash vashisth says:

    1.I would like to ask that is it the same pattern journey as while going to leh as i have been thr .
    2.which all cars are preferable thr . as i have altis or i have to arrange suv sought.
    3. whr will be hotels available in whole tour .

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Hi Akash –
    If you have driven to Leh then Shimla-Kaza is much simpler. Kaza-Manali via Baltal can be harder than Leh. Of course it greatly depends on when you go.

    Altis would work fine, just be watchful in Karcham area where the road is broken because of numerous power projects.

    Hotels are available at most of the places. Kaza, Sangla, Kalpa, Sarahan and Shimla are bigger towns and would have hotels.

  • Nitin says:

    Hi Nandan,

    Found out your earlier comments very useful.

    I am trying to plan my journey in two halves. First at Kalpa for 1 day. Then at kaza for next 2 days. Back to kalpa for 1 day and sarahan for one day. Is it ok. Can I cover most of the nearby places.

    Can you also please suggest on the following :-
    1. Driving time from Shimla- Kalpa
    2. Driving time from Kalpa- Kaza


  • Nandan Jha says:

    Hi Nitin – Shimla-Kalpa would be about 8 hours (may be a bit less). Kalpa-Kaza would take 8 hours. I would suggest that you spend 1 full day at Kalpa (try to reach by late afternoon and leave by noon next day). 2 days at Kaza and then break at some other place (may be Tabo/Shoja or some place else). Wishes.

  • Sujoy Palit says:

    Hi Nandan,

    Enchanting and a very informative read as above. Would be reaching Shimla/Manali on 7th Oct with my family (spouse, twins 5+ yrs old). Starting 8th – Intend to visit Shimla – Kalpa – Kaza – Kunzum La – Rohtang – Manali – Delhi (to reach Delhi by 13th morning/eve) or Manali – Rohtang – Kunzum La – Kaza – Kalpa – Shimla – Delhi.

    Few queries :
    1. Is this doable within 7th – 12th, will it be very hectic with kids, is it advisable?
    2. If not, how should I plan my itienary (start – end dates fixed)
    3. Where should I plan my stays/night stays?
    4. Where should I take the cab from, will small cars like indica worth journey or else and approximate per/day expenses?
    Awaiting your response on this and thanks in advance!

    Best Regards,
    Sujoy Palit

  • Nandan Jha says:

    @ Sujoy – Thank you for your praise. I wrote a long comment but then deleted it. I wont advise it with 2 young kids. That terrain can be unpredictable beginning October.

    If you are keen on Himalayas then doing a relaxed Manali Hills (Mandi, Manali, Kasol, Manikaran etc) or Kumaon (Nainital Lake district, Binsar, Ranikhet, Kausani etc) might be more manageable.

  • Pankaj says:

    HI All,

    I am Pankaj Verma, I have reviewed the comments you guys has shared and they are very useful. I am Planning a tour to Kinnaur district with my friends.
    Our trip will be starting on 15th October around 1600hrs and anyhow we have to comeback by afternoon of 19th October. We have hired a Tempo Traveller for this trip. I really appreciate if you guys can help me in planning my travel itinerary along with must visit places.
    this trip means a lot to me


  • Nandan Jha says:

    @ Pankaj – You have about 4 days. Sangla + Chitkul is the heart of Kinnaur and they are more than a day’s drive away. Usually there is always much more energy and enthusiasm on first day so if your driver can make it then then try to go all the way to Kalpa. You should reach there by lunch, if not sooner. Stay there for 16th night. Next morning head for Sangla. Stay there for 17th and 18th day. Start by evening on 18th and you should be close to Delhi by 19th noon. Depending upon how critical it is for you to reach here at a specific time, you can decide on whether you should take a break on 18th night or not. Kasauli/Solan is a good place. After that it is all plains.

    If I were you and I had 4 days then I would not go as far as Kinnaur. Instead I would do things like Fagu/Narkanda/Hatu-Peak/Solan etc.

    All the best.

  • vinod chauhan says:

    Dear Friend,

    I am from Delhi and planning to visit Kaza. I am planning to start in December last week to January full first week. Is this good time to go, i love snow and hill driving. My son 11 year and daughter 3 year are also going with me along with my wife. if its good please suggest me itinerary. I am having Scorpio and xuv 5oo so vehicle is not a problem for me.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    @ Vinod – It would be too cold to venture during Dec-Jan time frame. If you are keen on snow, then please head to Narkanda (a little beyond Shimla). Driving in snow needs special gear as well as expertise and I wont recommend it to you. Wishes.

  • Tanmay says:

    Hey everyone

    Is the Shimla-Kaza-Manali route open in March? I will be driving a Ford Ecosport with a friend.

  • PANKAJ says:

    Nandan i am sure you must be enjoying a trip somewhere.

    I want you to help me.
    I have a plan for my friends to have short trip either to Chanshal Pass or to Jalori Pass on the first weekend of april i.e. 02nd april to 5th April.
    we plan to leave Delhi on Thursday evening and return by Sunday evening.

    We are 4 and all are good driver.

    Nandan in my last trip i have visited Dalhousi, Khajjiar, Chamba & Bharmour and return back to delhi on 4th day

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Hello Pankaj,

    I am indeed away so apologies for late response. Jalori would be COLD in April. I have no clue of Chanshal Pass.

    I would recommend that you get advice from Anand on the following post.

    You may want to post your query by saying that Nandan recommended us to get advice from you :-) and hopefully Anand would respond back. All the best.

  • Vishal Chauhan says:

    Hi Nandan. Indeed an excellent review with explicit details. I am planning this route from 13 June to 20 June. Starting from jalandhar with proposed stays om 13th at Subatu, sarhan, sangla,kalpa, …., ……, ……., ……, Manali. Pls help me fill the places of stay from kalpa to Manali.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    @ Vishal – Thank you. Considering that you have 1 week, I would suggest that you stay at Kaza and then do Kaza-Manali directly. If you have more time, and if you are up for some adventure then I would recommend ‘Chandra Tal’ (between Kaza and Manali) as well. You may choose to skip Subathu and have more time at Sangla. All the best.

  • Ashwani kumar says:

    Hi Pankaj I’m planning to visit Sangla valley,chitkul , Sarahan(Bimkali Mandir) kalpa ,kaja and want to come back via Manali fr 4th June 2015 with frds.come back on 10th June . We have nova. Starting from Pathankot
    Is it possible and kunjam pass is open in these days. Plz . guide & help me.

  • Hi,

    Great travelogue. I came here looking for estimated time for travel between Shimla and Pooh. I live in Shimla btw.

    I just want to point out that there seems to be some error in the time given for Shimla – Rampur. Shimla to Narkanda itself would take you 2 hours, and then Rampur further would take about 2 hours. So it isn’t humanely possible to cover the 4 hour distance in 1.5 hours as mentioned.

    Please review.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Yes Nikhil. That doesn’t seem right. I wonder, it took close to 6 years and numerous comments for someone to point this :-). Thank you.

    I thought that I wont update the log (just for posterity) but then a lot of readers may just read it briefly and might get mis-led. Thanks again.

  • Dev says:

    Hey Nandan,

    Great post, quite informative, me and my brother are planning for a trip to Kaza from Chandigarh, on a Bajaj Avenger 220cc, i have got enough knowledge from your post though. Just want ask what is the condition of roads these days as we will plan for July most probably..!

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Hey Dev – Thanks. From what I last heard (my co-brother drove last year), there is a detour after Khab because of some big damage and that detour stretches the time to reach by an hour or so. All the best and when you return, please update here on current road status.

  • Sitanshu barik says:

    We are planning a road trip from Delhi shimla kaza manali Delhi within the next few days.
    Would maruti swift be able to cross kaza manali part?

    Kindly guide.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Yes, Swift would be able to manage during this time of year as you are unlikely to find any snow on the road. Please be watchful of total load.


  • chartered sharma says:

    can hyundai i10 1.1 engine 68BHP do it with 4 adults? and what will be the road conditions in february

    • Anando says:

      It can but I wouldnt recommend it really. A small car = two people at the most otherwise SUV

      • chartered sharma says:

        hey thanks ..
        what if i limit my trip to kinnaur valley or to chitkul…will it be easy for 68 bhp small baby?
        please tell me which is the best place for the scenic beauty … kinnaur (reckong peo ) or chitkul i will be going only at please tell
        and please reply to my another query for upcoming trip to badrinath ji in mid of november before shrine closes

        • Anando says:

          well yes technically you can make it however i would recommend no but if you still do go in it make sure you are carrying puncture fixers and power tyre inflators . Also carry towing rope so incase you get stuck some larger car can help you. Problem is there are loads of hydel power construction going on and landslides take place which really make the road quality bad.

          Kinnaur lahaul spiti all 3 are very beautiful and its a personal choice but I would recommend if you have to go to on of those 3 then try Kalpa which is slightly above reckong peo. Beautiful view of kinner kailash from there.

    • for Shimla-Kaza section – Yes
      for Gramphoo-Moorang section – NO

  • i10 will play good till Kalpa. Anando recommended good essentials. Chitkul may better than Kalpa. Fresh story is available here:

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Dear Mr. Sharma – Please write your query as a comment on any Badrinath story.

  • Ankit Bathija says:

    Hi Nandan,
    Interesting travelogue. I’m really keen on doing this route with my Bullet 350. Would it be possible to do that?

    Also, is it possible to do this route in April?

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Hi Ankit – Anything is possible with a Bullet 350. You can technically do it in April, but prepare for the bitting cold. All the best. Also while you can do Shimla-Kaza, you can not do Kaza-Manali in April because Kunzum pass is all blocked till late May (often Early June).

    All the best and thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Keep visiting Ghumakkar.

  • SANTANU says:

    Very useful and well described log. It is as long as a book. I liked it. Photos are also excellent. Thank you for not choosing the short cut way of writing.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Thank you Santanu. And your comment made me read it again and feel good about it :-). Thanks again. When your time allows, please also read Kaza-Manali log.

  • Dhananjay says:

    hi Nandan,

    I am planning to Visit Leh via Karnal ~ Kurukshetra ~ Ambala ~ Zirakpur ~ Panchakula ~ Pinjore ~ Solan ~ Narkand ~ Rampur Bushahr ~ Reckong Peo ~ Kaza ~ Pangmo ~ Batal ~ Chhatru Dhaba ~ Khoksar ~ Keylong ~ Jispa ~ Sarchu ~ Leh.

    Request you to please let me know Spiti Valley Road Status and where should I take night halt in the above mentioned route.

  • Dhananjay says:

    hi Nandan,
    I am planning to Visit Leh via
    Karnal ~ Ambala ~ Solan ~ Narkand ~ Rampur ~ Reckong Peo ~ Kaza ~ Keylong ~ Jispa ~ Sarchu ~ Leh. Request you to please let me know Spiti Valley Road Status/conditions and where should I take night halt in the above mentioned route.

    • Anando says:

      definitely have a good car for really tough passes like rohtang .

    • Nandan Jha says:

      1. Roads are mostly fine except in the RePeo/Sangla region because of the numerous large scale power-plan projects. Closer to Kaza, there is a detour since the main road is broken. Read Roopesh’s recent log (published in July 2016) on this please.

      2. Kashmir is going through a lot a of turbulence so if you are planning to return via Manali then you are good but if you are planning to complete the circuit via Srinagar then it is a not a great time to do that.

      3. Its a long drive, so I would recommend first stop at Sarahan (after Rampur), Sangla, Kaza, Keylong, Sarchu (afterwards keep the plan open) and then Leh.

      All the best.

      • Dhananjay Joshi says:

        Dear Nandan,

        Thank you for your reply.
        1. I will check Roopesh’s recent log. As you have mentioned Closer to Kaza, there is a detour since the main road is broken – that mean it is stony road ?
        2. Earlier I have planned to complete the circuit via Srinagar, but as you rightly said this is not a good time [may be next year :-)]
        3. I am planning to stay as follows
        Karnal, Reckong Peo , Kaza, Keylong/Jispa. Is it possible ?

        Also I am planning to take Hyundai Creta car.

  • Kanchan says:

    I am planning to go to kaza with my friend we both are senior citizens above 70 but in good health we plan to start on 1st may on my Renault pulse 1500cc diesel car .Can we do it pls suggest.

    • Nandan Jha says:

      Dear Kanchan – I salute your spirit of travel.

      May 1st would be just too too cold for a place like Kaza. I wont recommend it. If you can not travel at some other time then I would suggest that you keep your plan open and then decide based on your experience at Shimla, Narkanda, Recong Peo, Sangla etc. Since you would be traveling by road, I am guessing that you would take stops on the way.

      Hope this helps.

  • shongruff says:


    I m planning to go to kaza lahaul and spiti in the first week of April. How much days do I need? and which will be the best route because Rohtang pass will be closed i guess.

    • Nandan Jha says:

      I am guessing that you are starting from Delhi. For a Delhi-Kaza-Delhi trip, please plan for at least 10 days. 15 days is ideal to make the most of Spiti. And there is only one route viz. Delhi – Shimla – Rampur – Peo – Karchham – Khab – Sumdo – Kaza.

      I do hope that you understand that April first week is gong to be super cold, beyond Rampur. Please plan accordingly. All the best.

  • Prakash says:

    Dear … thanks for writing such wonderful accounts of your travels.. I am planning Delhi – Shimla- Kalpa- Kaza- Manali- Delhi during the second week of July. Is it a good time to travel? Can I go in an alto K10… or u suggest me to take other modes of travel?



    • Nandan Jha says:

      July can be a little tricky till Kalpa because of Monsoons. Post that you should be OK. Weather (cold) wise, its a great great time since you would more day-light and you can venture out easily (much less cold). Alto K10 is a great car, small, agile, can be fixed anywhere so I wont be worried on those factors. Of course, a taller car helps.

      All the best.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Creta would be better over Innova. As for that broken road, I do not know the most recent status but till last year it was still broken and one had to take a circuitous route. Rest of NH is similar as this log. Please also read through the latest comments on this story and this other story by Roopesh –

    All the best.

  • Subhash Vasist says:

    Hi Nandan,
    I am doing a trip from Bangalore to Leh in August. I plan to take the Simla-kalpa-kaza-keylong rout to avoid Rothang Pass. Could you help me with hotel information that I could use for accommodation. I am driving my Duster 4×4. I plan to stay in Kalpa and Kaza. Please do suggest if I should change my route plan based on where to stay.
    Look forward to your response.

    • Nandan Jha says:

      Hello Subhash, Thats great to hear. Blr to Leh would be one long ride.

      – I am sure you know that Delhi-Ropar-Shimla-Kalpa-Kaza-Keylong is much much longer than Delhi-Ropar-Manali route. Please do not go by the total distance.
      – Kalpa has a lot of good homestays as well as hotels. Recently, Roopesh, stayed at ‘Apple Pie’, you may want to read and ask him here –

      – Kalpa – Kaza is not a single day-light drive. Please plan accordingly.

      – Once at Kaza, I recently read someone staying at Kibber, a homestay. If you do well from AMS angle then it would be a worthwhile to stay at Kibber.

      All the best.

      • Subhash Vasist says:

        Hi Nandan,

        Thank you so much for the response, I really appreciate it. I do understand it is a long route via kaza, but I thought may be not miss spiti valley this time. I have been to khardungla from Hyderabad via manali 12yrs ago on my bullet in July, so I am a little familiar I can say. For AMS I just need to worry abut my family who will join me. I do have buffer days, so if Kalpa – kaza is not a day’s drive, where do you suggest I stop over. Is it at Nako? If there is anything I need to be worried about, please do caution me. I am told that there are many petrol buks till kalpa, I hope that is true. I would really appreciate any advice from you as I am not part of any clubs and just travel all by myself. Sincere thanks again!


        • Nandan Jha says:

          Nako would be a good stop. I did Sangla-Kaza in one day. Till Peo, you are in a very active/buzzing area so no worries on petrol pumps. Post Peo, just be watchful.

          No advice as such, just go slow, keep the cabin atmosphere light :-) and enjoy the journey.

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