Kaza – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal – DoW Mega Meet 2014

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Last day was quit wonderful with loads of noble causes spreading smiles in around Kaza. And today, everyone was pumped up for the last leg of the Mega Meet as we leave for Kunzum Pass – Chandratal and then from there to Manali and back home. Chandratal (read travel guide here), yes, sounds pretty exciting again 😀 :D…

Key Monastery – A Distant View
Key Monastery - A Distant View

Day 8 | Kaza – Key – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal

It was time to settle the bills in the morning with Tsering bhai and with so many people in the group, it always was a chaotic deal. Since, the entire bills of our journey from Tabo to Kaza over last few days had to be settled, I decided to help Tsering bhai on it and yet again was a wrong decision as it took almost about 4 Hrs to settle up everything and in noon only our group with Samar and Pawanji could leave for Chandratal 😥 🙁 … We have lost quite amount of sunlight and usually it takes about 4 Hrs to reach Chandratal from Kaza but with small cars like mine and Anuj it meant hell lot of more time :cry:.

Meanwhile, Sany had asked us to visit Key Monastery and buy him that old ancient blazer which the old monk was selling during our White Spiti Winter Adventure in March 2014. So, first we had to go up there which almost backed us by another hour or so. We got that blazer, dumped in the car and moved as hurriedly as possible.

On the way from Kaza to Key Monastery
On the way from Kaza to Key Monastery

On the way from Kaza to Key Monastery
Key Monastery
Key Monastery
Key Monastery and Key Village
Key Monastery and Key Village
Another View – Key Monastery
Another View - Key Monastery
Well designed farm fields
Well designed farm fields
That heavenly view of Spiti Valley towards Moorang
That heavenly view of Spiti Valley towards Moorang
Remember the Alia bhatt from Highway?? Yes, it was from Key Monastery
Remember the Alia bhatt from Highway?? Yes, it was from Key Monastery
Vinay and that Old Monk
Vinay and that Old Monk

Yet again, I was traveling this beautiful section of the road from Kaza to Kunzum Pass in a hurried manner which forced us to have less stops for photographs despite the majestic and jaw dropping landscapes on this route. It was the third time in a row for me and this time sounded most disappointing all because so much time was wasted in settling the bills of the whole group rather any natural reason 🙁 🙁 … It was a wrong choice but has been corrected now in this mega meet where each individual team owner is accountable for the bill settlement 🙂 🙂 …

Rangrik Village
Rangrik Village
Key Monastery as seen from Rangrik
Key Monastery as seen from Rangrik

Key Monastery as seen from Rangrik
Shooting the shooters 🙂
Shooting the shooters :)
The Sun and Shades in Spiti Valley
The Sun and Shades in Spiti Valley

The Sun and Shades in Spiti Valley
On the way to Kunzum Pass from Kaza
On the way to Kunzum Pass from Kaza

On the way to Kunzum Pass from Kaza

On the way to Kunzum Pass from Kaza
Beautiful scenes near Phaldar grounds
Beautiful scenes near Phaldar grounds

Beautiful scenes near Phaldar grounds

Beautiful scenes near Phaldar grounds
The Grand Canyon of Spiti
The Grand Canyon of Spiti

Anyways by 5 PM we reached Losar, marked the entry in police register and moved ahead. Few cars from our convoy including Vipin and Anuj were waiting for us up there and moved with us towards Kunzum Pass which was about 19 KMs from Losar. The road now turned much worse and the speed was too slow due to rocks, boulders, big potholes, sharp stones and what now. Always there was a fear in mind that anything can happen on this road because these sharp stones on this route are known to puncture or pierce the tyres. The fear was not because of the puncture rather the fading daylight. At a snails pace, we somehow reached the Kunzum top in shades of fading light, did our Parikarma and moved quickly down towards Batal.

I had decided not to take the challenge of further adventure and do road to Chandratal in my car (dzire) that late in the evening in dark hours. So, we decided to continue to Batal, park the small cars there and then move to Chandratal in Pawanji’s and Vipin’s cars. This side of the road towards Batal from Kunzum Pass had more tricky sections to save the belly of our car with much bigger boulders and pot holes placed right at an angle which is difficult to negotiate on hair pin bends 😉 😉 … As if someone had placed them up for practice circuit of advanced off-roading level 😀 😀 …

However, just before the last light faded for the day, we safely reached Batal dhabha of dorje uncle and had two glasses each of tea and some chit-puts because none of us had luxury of having lunch due to shortage of time. Chandratal visit was already dusted in ground the moment we started around 1 PM from Kaza. Now, it was 3 KMs up climb to the diversion point of Chandratal road and further 12.5 Kms to the campsite. However, driving at night was quite a blessing in disguise for newcomers to the region as you can’t see the deep gorge aside you 😉 😉 … So, with some adventures in dark we were finally able to reach the campsite at Parsol Camps run Bishan bhai up there at Chandratal.

Yes, we call it roads…
Yes, we call it roads...
On the way to Losar
On the way to Losar
Losar Village
Losar Village
Kunzum Pass Top
Kunzum Pass Top
Yes, thats me and the machine at Kunzum Pass Top
Yes, thats me and the machine at Kunzum Pass Top
On the way to Chandratal from Batal in dark hours
On the way to Chandratal from Batal in dark hours

There was no mood now to pitch the camp and Bishan bhai along with Nawang bhai had already spared one for three of us. Aah, some relief it was 🙂 :)… It was damn cold up there and Aashish (our mod in DoW Community) had also reached there with his friend for a visit to Chandratal. I felt glad to see him up there and meet as it was an opportunity for me to release some frustrations out of last few days 😉 😉 … The food was OK and after many chit – chats in long cold hours, we went for the sleep. It was getting colder and colder that night with strong cold wind blowing outside the camp midst pin-drop silence around. The night was pitch black as if the stars in the galaxy up in sky would just come over you and take you with them. Just mind-blowing and how I came to know?? 😀 😀 …

Stay tuned for the last part of this Spiti Valley Mega Meet !!

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You can call me an Avid Traveler, a Day - Night Dreamer and a Passionate Lover of Himalayas who has a high zest for driving whilst exploring new places in Himalayas & sharing back those Himalayan Travel experiences with the other fellow Travelers... I am in love with Spreading Smiles in Himalayas through DoW Causes & currently enjoying life as Happy Traveling Soul at DoW Community. You can read more about me in detail at the link here ...

15 Comments

  1. Nilanjan Patra on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We’ll go to kalpa, sangla, kaza, kunzum, manali on 12-19 Oct. I’d like to know about temperature at that time. What kind of clothes we must take? Any special medicine needed? Will Kunzum pass remain open till 18th Oct?
    Pls suggest.
    Thanks & regards,
    Nilanjan

    • Nilanjan, carry woollens clothes as in Kinnaur the weather will be plesant but in Spiti Valley it will be quite cold. Also, traveling over Kunzum PAss that late in the season is not something which is recommended but you can take a call after reaching KAza and talking to locals.

  2. how to reach spiti i am planning to visit in 1 week of November specify the routes i live in jalandhar

  3. Sitanshu barik on

    Hello sir

    Would like to know your advice if maruti swift can make it to chandrataal and manali from kaza.

    We re planning a trip within the next two three days from Delhi.

    • Sitanshu, car will struggle quite up there on Manali – Kaza road and finally to Chandratal from Batal. If you really dont love your car then you can take it, else better hire taxi from Manali

  4. Pingback: Adventures of Gramphu - Batal Road - DoW Mega Meet 2014

  5. Hi Guys,

    Thanks for this wonderful informational site. My group (total 4 persons) is planning for the trip to kaza in the last week of September 2015, Below is out itinerary:

    23rd sept: Leave for Manali from Delhi (night)
    24th sept: Reach and spend day in Manali.
    25th sept: Leave for Kaza early morning – via Rohtang and Kunzum Pass. Reach in the evening. Spend night in kaza
    26th sept: Visit Dhankar and Tabo . Return to Kaza for night.
    27th sept: First Visit to Key Monastery then to Chandratal lake and spend the remaining day there or if possible camp for the night.
    28th sept: Leave back for Manali in morning and on the same day leave for Delhi in the evening.

    However i need some advice, it is possible to visit both Key monastery and chandratal lake in a day. Also I would like to know that local taxi rates these days to roam around kaza.

  6. Hi Dheeraj,
    This is one filmy style journey. Loved reading through the entire story of your trip. At the end a small query, how feasible is it to do Simla-kaza-kunzum-rohtang-manali in first week of october?? usually hows the road conditions for this route?? And will we encounter snow at some high points??

    • Thank you Nikhil, it just got concluded with last part up too 😀 …

      It is quite possible to do this circuit in first week of October anytime later becomes risky affair to travel between Manali – Kaza. Road will be best in shape in comparison to whole season but as worst as it always is.

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