The journey from Manali is often referred to as one of the best road trips for any travel enthusiast. So when it was time to plan summer vacation my friend Silky had absolutely no doubts on where to go. Her friends agreed to join and June was finalized.
I will break this post into two parts. I will cover Day 1 & Day 2 in this post. In the next post I will write about Day 3.
Day 1: Manali to Keylong
They started the journey from Manali on 19th June. Their first day destination was Keylong which is around 118 kms from Manali. The route is via Rohtang Pass. Because of the high traffic volume they started early in the morning around 3 or 4. They reached Rohtang by the break of dawn. Snow everywhere along with green hills and a view of the valley with Chandra River coming from Spiti valley will make anybody a nature lover. After crossing the hill they had breakfast and then set off for Keylong. They crossed the other end of Rohtang tunnel which, once completed would totally bypass Rohtang & save a good 2-3 hrs for travellers to Leh.
A few kms down they reached the Sangam Point where the Chandra River meets the Bhaga River & forms ChandraBhaga, which further goes to Pakistan to become Chenab. They reached their hotel in Kelong at around 11 am.
Day 2: Keylong to Sarchu
Early morning they left at 8.30 am. They planned to cover a distance of 110 odd kms in 8 hours. After crossing Stingri, they descended down via Gemur to Jispa where tented as well as hotel accommodations are available. Next at Darcha there are bunch of shops. They reached ZingZing Bar from where the climb to Baralacha La starts. They reached Baralacha La, which is the highest point on this road at 16,040 ft.
The road descends very quickly after Baralacha La reaching Bharatpur which is nothing but a seasonal settlement of shops. A few Kms ahead, they finally reached the plateau of Sarchu, accompanied by the Yunam River. Sarchu is at about 14,000 ft. and hence colder than Keylong.
In the next post I will write how my friends found the journey from Sarchu to Leh.
Here are some pics my friend Sudha shared with me.