Day 01: New Delhi - Kalka - Shimla (By Train/ Bus)
You shall be joining the tour by boarding an express train from the New Delhi Railway station (ETD 0700 hrs). The 4 hour journey will bring you to Kalka (at the foot steps of the Himalayas). A 4 hour bus/coach journey from here will bring you to Shimla (capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh & erstwhile “summer capital” of India).
Day 02: Shimla (short familiarisation ride – 70 KM) - Narkanda
Today you’ll meet your Royal Enfield Motorcycle, your ride for the next several days. After an exhaustive briefing by your ride leader you’ll be taking a short ride in an effort to know your bike better and to get familiar with its controls and riding conditions in India. Today’s ride is comparatively short but challenging nonetheless. You’ll be leaving Shimla and riding up the Hindustan-Tibet Highway (NH-22) to Narkanda, situated at 2850 M amidst dense “deodar” forest.
Day 03: Narkanda - Sangla (180 KM)
Riding further on the NH-22 you’ll continue towards Kinnaur. Riding along the fierce Sutlej river flowing angrily in the gorges below you’ll reach Karchham. At this turning point, a road continues towards Spiti and another turns towards the Baspa Valley and on to the beautifull village of Sangla. This is another 18 km stretch of narrow winding road with hair-raising gorges & cliffs high above the Baspa river gushing below. Accommodation is in comfortable tented camps at a beautiful setting at the banks of the river.
Day 04: Sangla (Return trip to Chitkul - 40 KM)
After enjoying a quite morning in the lap of Sangla valley you’ll saddle-up once again, for a short ride to Chitkul, another quaint village in the Baspa Valley. Chitkul is the last village on this road towards border with Tibet (China) and offers great views of snow clad peaks of the Kinnaur region. After spending a little time here you’ll return to Sangla in time for lunch. The evening is at your disposal to take a walk along the Baspa river or just enjoy the view & the setting from the camp.
Day 05: Sangla - Kalpa (55 KM)
Again backtracking to the NH-22 at Karchham you’ll continue on the road towards Recong Peo, nestled 7 km above which is the village of Kalpa. You’ll most likely be spending this day absorbing the stunning views of the “Kinner Kailash” and reminiscing the past few days after you left Shimla. Or perhaps, taking walks around this lovely village & its apple orchards. We, on the other hand, will be busy arranging your Inner-line permits (which are required by “foreign visitors” for visiting the areas ahead) and giving the motorcycles a thorough check-up for the journey ahead. You’ll be heading further up the NH-22 tomorrow and soon enter a region devoid of certain amenities (cell phone networks & provision stores, among other things) so its your last chance to make long distance phone calls & stack-up on toiletries & whatnot.
Day 06: Kalpa - Nako Lake (120 KM)
As you ride further up the Hindustan-Tibet highway, the mountain landscape starts to change from green to rocky & barren. Still riding along the Sutlej you’ll reach Spello where your permits will be checked at a Police check-post. Another 35 km ride will bring you to Khab, a small village at the confluence of the Spiti & Sutlej rivers. Leaving Sutlej, from this point on you’ll be riding along the Spiti river to reach Nako, a village situated near the small but beautiful Nako lake (3660 M). This is first of the many high altitude lakes visited by you on this tour. The location of this village is remote & infrastructure is basic. Accommodation here, is in comfortable tented camps.
Day 07: Nako - Tabo - Kaza (120 KM)
Today’s ride will take you further up into higher mountains (& across the infamous “Maling Nala”, your first major water crossing) and down to Chango where you’ll enter Spiti Valley. Your first destination is Tabo where you visit the historic monastery. After having a look at the 1000 year old monastery, a 47 km ride along the Spiti river brings you to Kaza.
Day 08: Kaza (Optional ride - 70 KM)
Kaza is the head-quarters of the Spiti sub-division and you’ll be staying here for 3 consecutive nights. You’ll be able to use facilities like Internet & long distance phone calls again, “luxuries” you left behind at Kalpa. You’ll also be visiting the Key Gompa and riding to Komic village (4520 M), considered to be one of the highest villages linked by road.
Day 09: Kaza (Rest day/ sightseeing)
Half way through the tour, a complete rest day is well timed and Kaza is the place to do it. However, you can use the day to explore this quaint little town. For the restless, we can organize more interesting excursions.
Day 10: Kaza - Chandra Tal (100 KM)
Continuing up the Spiti Valley & further into higher Himalayas, today you’ll arrive at the second High Altitude Lake on your tour. After crossing a high pass (Kunzum La, 4550 M) and a couple of streams (glacier melts) you’ll reach a pasture land 4 KM short of the beautiful & desolate lake of Chandra Taal (Vehicles are not allowed beyond this point & camping is no longer permitted near the lake shore). Here, the accommodation will be at a “make-shift” camp-site in “dome” tent (sleeps two each). Sleeping bags will be provided. Dinner & breakfast will be basic “camping meals”. Call of nature will have to be answered in a small toilet tents or “in the open”, as per your preference.
Day 11: Chandra Taal - Jispa (140 KM)
After breakfast, you’ll say goodbye to the “Moon Lake” and head down into the Lahaul Valley, along the Chandra, a river originating from a glacier near Baralacha La. The road (or the lack of it) from Chandra Taal all the way to Gramphu (where it meets the popular Manali-Leh “highway”) offers some of the most thrilling riding experience you’ll have on this tour. This stretch of the journey has several big & small water crossings challenging enough to test your grit & determination. After Gramphu its a relatively smooth ride till Jispa (20 km ahead of Keylong) On the way, the Chandra & Bhaga rivers meet at Tandi (which is also the last fuel station before Leh) & together form the Chandrabhaga river which is renamed as “Chenab” in Jammu & Kashmir state. Jispa is small village, mainly serving as a convenient stop-over on the way to Ladakh.
Day 12: Jispa (Rest day/ sightseeing)
A well deserved rest day has been placed here after 2 challenging days of riding specially because another 3 days of back-to-back riding follows afterwards. Here you’ll be able to snuggle in a soft, warm bed once again (and enjoy a hot shower) in a beautiful Guest House right on the banks of Bhaga, a river originating from Suraj Taal (Sun Lake) also near Baralacha La.
Day 13: Jispa - Tso Kar (215 KM)
Heading further north, you will ride past Sarchu, the last settlement (& check-point) in Himachal Pradesh. You reach here after crossing over Baralacha La (4930 M), one of the many high passes on this tour & considered to get the maximum snowfall during the winters. You’ll also pass Suraj Taal, another of the high altitude lakes in the region. Once you leave Sarchu it becomes evident that you’re going deeper into the Himalayas and any sights of human settlement will become few & far between from here on, barring some temporary “tent restaurants”, truck stops & Indian Army barracks. Crossing another two high passes (Nakee La 4905M & Lachlung La 5095M) and the vast expanse of plain area called “the morey plains” (at an average height above 4000 M) which stretches for almost 35 km’s you’ll reach Tso Kar (4524 M), the third high altitude lake on this tour. Surrounded by a wild life sanctuary, Tso Kar is a salt lake and breeding ground of many rare migratory birds. Accommodation is in comfortable tent camps.
Day 14: Tso Kar - Sarchu (135 KM)
Leaving after breakfast, you will ride up to the highest pass on this tour, the Lachlung La (5340 M). From here, you'll start back-tracking down the same passes you crossed the day before riding over the high passes again, to Sarchu. The views in the opposite direction are equally spectacular and give a new perspective & experience. Accommodation is in comfortable tent camps.
Day 15: Sarchu - Sissu (130 KM)
Riding further south and back-tracking past Jispa, you’ll arrive at a small hamlet of Sissu, on the banks of the Chandra river. The camp here has a spectacular setting and offers the opportunity to take short hikes in the beautiful surroundings.
Day 16: Sissu - Manali (90 KM)
Riding past Gramphu, you leave the Chandra river behind as you ride up to Rohtang La (3978 M). The scenery starts to turn a lot greener as you head down the Rohtang pass to the town of Manali. Situated along the banks of River Beas at the northern end of the Kullu valley, Manali is a popular tourist destination attracting thousands of Indian tourists in the summers who want to beat the heat of the plains (back to civilization).
Day 17: Manali (Rest day/ sightseeing)
Another day for relaxation, exploration or contemplation depending on your inclination.
Day 18: Manali - Nagini (105 KM)
Heading south from Manali, along the banks of the Beas, today's ride takes you through some beautiful scenery. Riding down the Kullu valley past Naggar, you'll leave behind the Beas and turn south-east towards Banjar at Aut. From here, a 28 kilometer long path lined with apple orchards leads you to your destination, a small hamlet called Nagini, on the edge of "The Great Himalayan National Park".
Day 19: Nagini (Rest day, optional excursions)
Another perfect setting for a rest day. You shall have the option of joining a few excursions if you wish.
Day 20: Nagini - Tattapani (190 KM)
The penultimate days ride is another spectacular journey along the Beas, through the apple orchards of Karsog region, past several picturesque villages down to the village of Tattapani on the banks of river Sutlej.
Day 21: Tattapani - Shimla (70 KM)
You’ll saddle-up yet again and for the last time on this tour for your journey back to Shimla. The evening can be spent taking a stroll on The Mall and doing some souvenir shopping. A farewell dinner is organized at a popular restaurant in the city.
Day 22: Shimla - New Delhi (By Car/Train)
It’s time to say your good-bye’s to fellow travelers & the Himalayas. You’ll be taking a 4 hour Car/MUV ride down the Shivalik range to its footsteps at Kalka from where an Express Train will take you to New Delhi (in about another 4 hours) which shall be the end of the tour. Dinner is served in the train & is inclusive in the fare. If you’ve purchased a “Farewell” add-on you’ll be transferred to the hotel where your accommodation has been arranged.