2400Km of Solo Spiti Sauntering – Day 3 – Purola to Sangla

2400Km of Solo Spiti Sauntering – Compendium – Links to rest of the Spiti travelog

Day 3 – Tue, Sep 5 2017

Day 3 route map

As usual I was up around 0500 and on the road before 0600. The sky was overcast and I was worried about rain. Given that I was running behind schedule, I decided to skip Chanshal Pass which was the original plan.

Town of Purola spread over a small valley. Purola is on the trekking route to Har-Ki-Dun

Wide river valley which descends down to Tons river.

Excellent road down from Purola to Mori through Pine jungles.

A gurgling stream near Mori

Village of Mori on the banks of Tons River

On the banks of Tons river. Had a passerby help take this picture.

The ride down to Mori was excellent. Roads were good and through my favorite Pine jungles. Mori itself is beautifully located in the valley of Tons River and on the way to several trekking route. I was happy that I had decided to stop at Purola on the previous night. Riding in dark on this road would have made me miss the beauty of the place.

I was looking for fuel, but there was none in Mori. Locals suggested that I try my luck at Tiuni.

Road following the Tons River

Village huts on the way to Tiuni

After Mori, the road follows the Tons river,  first at the river level and then rises up in the hills, still tracking the river. Tons river flows down from Tiuni defining the border of Himanchal and Uttarakhand, later joining Yamuna river at Dakpathar.

At Tiuni, road crosses the river and then follows the Pabbar River up to Rohru.

Leaving Uttaranchal

At Arakot I crossed over into Himanchal. There was a petrol bunk immediately after crossing. Filled up fuel there.

The road from Theog joins at Hatkoti. Having decided to skip Chanshal, I was planning to stop at Rampur Bushahr or Sarahan for the night.

Locals suggested that I go towards Theog and then take the Narkanda route to Rampur B. Google Maps suggested a route through Rohru and then cutting over the hills towards Rampur B through some small and unmarked roads. Seeing the truck traffic coming from the Theog side, I turned towards Rohru.

That was going to be a good and bad decision.

Crossing the river in style.

City of Rohru spread out along the Pabbar River.

The road onward was excellent and wider than any other roads I have seen in the hills. As I entered Rohru, I realized this was due to the Rohru being the apple trade center. Hundreds of pickup trucks were bringing apples from the hills into Rohru for packing and then shipping out on large trucks.

After getting stuck in the apple traffic for a while, I asked a traffic constable for direction and he directed me to a short cut which put me on a small road, climbing rapidly out of the mess of the small city.

While the roads were in pretty bad condition, the route was scenic. My mind oscillated between regretting the choice of this route and being happy about the same.

Lush greenery of Himanchal hills.

Lankra Veer Temple at Summerkot

Haven’t eaten anything since morning, I took a break at Summerkot for tea and omelet. I should have waited a little as I was about to enter the apple territory. Could have fed myself on the apples only.

Apples being sorted for sending to Rohru.

While most of the trees were already plucked, some were completely laded. The large number of apples on one tree was a surprise for me.

Couldn’t resist plucking a few apples and enjoying a crispy and juicy one.

Nice well maintained houses in the hills. 

One difference I observed between Uttarakhand and Himanchal is that in Himanchal there are nice big modern houses spread through out the hills. There are hardly any patches of completely untouched jungles. On the other hand in Uttarakhand it is easy to find large stretched of jungles without any houses or any other habitation.

Another apple packing station. Had a small chat with the packers. They also shared a few apples with me.

Deteriorating road conditions.

As I approached Badharsh, the road conditions improved (around 12Km before)

View of the Sutlej River.


At Badharsh, I joined NH5 and turned towards Rampur B. The road was wide and well tarred. Few Km before Rampur B, stopped for lunch at a road side dhabha. It was around 1430. Looking at the road conditions, I hoped to cover more distance.

Since both Rampur B and Sarahan was nearby, I decide to proceed further. Was looking to push towards Kalpa or Sangla.

Entering Kinnaur.

The cliche picture of the Spiti Riders.

From Jeori, the road narrows down and condition deteriorates. Now I was doubtful of reaching Sangla or Kalpa before dark. The view also weren’t great. There were too many bald patches and electric poles all around.

Road across the Sutlej River.

The rock overhang road. Road makers in Himalayan are expert at this.

A few Km after Suru, the road was blocked due to construction activity. Waiting there I started chatting with a local teacher. He was going towards Reckong Po. He recommended that I go towards Sangla as the road was better and then I could go to Chitkul in the morning. He was confident that I would reach Sangla before dark. I was not so sure.

I was thinking if I could find a decent place to stay before that I would stop. It was already past 1630. On solo rides 1600 is my cutoff time to start looking for night stay.

Karcham Dam

Not finding any accommodation on the way, at Karcham I headed towards Sangla. From Badharsh onwards the road had been following the Sutlej river. At Karcham, the road to Sangla crosses over Sutlej and climbs up the Baspa River valley.

Between Wangtu to Karcham the road was great, however after turning towards Sangla the road was again narrow and messed up. By now my bum was hurting at every small or large abrasion on the road.

Another cut in the rock overhang.

Entering Sangla.

Reached Sangla a little after 1800. It didn’t take me long to find a decent hotel – Mount Kailash. The place is full of hotels – small and large and it was off season. After dumping my stuff in the room, ordered tea and pakora. The room was nice and cosy, though it was quite cold outside. I started wondering whether I had under packed for cold.

It had been a long tiring day. The bad roads between Rohru and Badharsh had tired me out. Additionally I had covered around 300Km all in the hills. Decided to stick around the hotel and not venture out into the market, which I usually do in the evenings.

Over dinner of paratha and curd, It dawned to me that I was unnecessarily rushing. This was supposed to be a relaxed trip rather than cover-all-places ride. Promised myself to take it easy and not worry about sticking to my itinerary.

Day Stats

Distance: 300.5Km
Start/End Time: 0545-1830
Expenses – Food: Rs390/-
Expenses – Fuel: Rs650/-
Expenses – Stay: Rs800/-