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            We have been planning a trip to the land of the lama's and monasteries  for many years now , finally our dreams came true as we four friends Ravi, Ajay , Brij and Parth (me) agreed on dates and after initial planning fixed a date i.e. 27th July 2002 for departure .

Brij who had been to Sangla valley earlier , made the checklist which includes provisions like , tents , gas , rucksacks , spare parts for the jeep , kind of clothes , amount of alcohol to carry , etc.. we divided the tasks and finally got everything ready and crosscheked with each other .   

27th July 2002 . ( Delhi - Shimla ) ( 380 kms )

Me , Ajay and Brij picked up Ravi from his office at 10.45 am and started our first leg of the journey i.e. Delhi - Shimla ( 380 kms ) . Our safari jeep was at its best smoothly cruising the national highway at 120 kms/h with jokes , fun and stories being shared on the way . Ravi has his in-laws home in Shimla , we reached safe and sound and before time at around 7.00 pm in the evening . It is a lovely home which is away from main crowded Shimla with peaceful calm and cool atmosphere and greenery with un spoilt forests . The House keeper Nandu served us lovely simple dinner  which we really cherished and retired early after a small night trek around the area .

Kalpa

28th July 2002  Shimla-Kalpa 244 Kms

After some minor problems in the morning with the jeep alternator , we finally left for our destination at around 11.30 a.m. The journey was nice with minor ups and downs and the road getting  narrower and  more stones and bumpy rides . Till Chail and Narkanda the jungles with pine forests looked great and  surroundings very exiting and with breathtaking view .We crossed enroute Rampur , Jeori , Wangtu, Karcham , Pawari and Recong peo .  We reached  Kalpa at 9.00 pm and were short of 1 kms by reaching our hotel of Himachal Tourism , when we were halted by a procession of the local villagers who were carrying their gods and goddess on a palanquin . The scene was very interesting and a new education for us . The gods were swinging up and down on the palanquin , the local villagers were sorting out their problems by asking questions from the gods and if the gods sway their side itb is a yes and if the other side it is a no . Gods word is the final judgment .

Kalpa has all the makings of an Indian Fairyland. At a height of 10,900 feet in Himachal Pradesh, 265 kms ahead of Shimla on the NH22 in Kinnaur District is this hideaway town. It is located at the base of the imposing Kinner Kailash ranges and Shivling peaks which rise upto 20,000 feet, towering above the clouds, kissing the heavens, encircling the area around. Kalpa itself is spread amidst chilgoza forests, apple plantations and the holy deodhars. It is reached after crossing the quaint town of Recong Peo, which has a hundred-year-old monastery. 

Passing through an old village – Chinni Gaon – you climb up to the Kinner Villa, concealed from all but the discerning traveller. Kinner Villa is a comfortable hotel built in Kinnauri architectural style in grey stone and a liberal use of conifer-wood with ornate hand carvings. Wooden ceilings and lion headed balustrades lend it a mystic aura. Most of the rooms have great views of the snow peaks through huge glass windows. Besides there are nice common sitouts, lobbies and balconies which also afford terrific views. The service is very courteous and delicious, tasty food is served in the restaurant from a multi cuisine menu. Trails originating from the back of the hotel through orchards and forests offer pleasant walks. With the Sutlej thundering, down below, through the deep gorges and the sun’s hues playing havoc across the white mountain ranges, with Chinni Gaon in the foreshadow, the moments spent in Kalpa, stolen out of a mortal existence, can be awe inspiringly bewitching. I am so happy that on our return from Sangla Valley we decided to
spend a night in this celestial piece of earth where one effortlessly transcends beyond human banalities. 


29th July 2002 Kalpa - Kaza ( Landslide )- Nako - Bhavnagar  257 kms .

After admiring the stunning awesome view of the Kinnar kailash , we departed at around 9.00 am for our next destination i.e. Tabo . We got our tanks filled up as this was the last point after which Diesel would be available only at Kaza . The roads were getting worse with the little greenery vanishing from the horizon . At Jangi Check post we were informed that there is a landslide that may take some time to clear . Never the less we heard different versions of the landslide and though best to explore and see with our own eyes . The landslide was near a place called Maling which was around 8-10 kms from Nako (3660 m) . The sight was awesome and never ever we have witnessed such an event by ur own eyes. There was a water that usually flows from the lake up on the mountains , which in turn is connected to glaciers through an internal junction . The heat spell was continues for some days , due to which the glacier melted which resulted in overflowing of the water with such intensity to take the whole chunk of the mountain. A state transport bus was stranded , luckily the passengers managed to evacuate in time and we saw it plunge into the gorge 2000 mtrs down. We had to reverse back and came back after stopping briefly at Nako tal and camped late in night at Bhavnagar .


30th July 2002 Bhavnagar - Manali 234 kms

Early morning started after getting the puncture repaired . There was a short cut from Rampur via sainj through Jalori pass , lovely jungle terrain and drive with pictures landscapes and beauty , we crossed Jalori pass at 3223 mtrs  and reached Manali via  Aut at around  9.00 pm and checked in a hotel named Manali Mahal. Our negotiator Brij got a fabulous deal at just Rs.200/- per room .

31st July 2002 Manali - Kaza (3600 mts )  236 kms .

Early next morning departed to Kaza via Rohtang Pass and came across such beautiful landscapes and cold desert that it is very difficult to describe . Very bad roads , rocky mountain terrain , avalanche prone area , with cold winds . To do some justice , some pictures are enclosed about the terrain and the roads and endless mystical beauty of the dessert.


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