2400Km of Solo Spiti Sauntering – Day 9 – Chandratal to Sundernagar

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

Day 9 – Mon, Sep 11 2017 – Chandartal to Sundernagar

Day 9 – Route Map

It was a tough night and I barely slept at all. I didn’t feel much cold as the quilts were nice and comfortable. Maybe it was the AMS effect.

Made a mistake of waking up on my usual time. As I stepped out of the tent, it was cold, grey and drizzling.

Was in two minds as to whether go to the lake or leave for the day. And then it started snowing. Made a hasty decision to leave. Didn’t want to hand around for the rain/sleet to intensify and then get stuck.

Bad idea. Should have gone to the lake once. Pretty soon I was on the road to Batal.

Snow and Rain on the bike

Towards Batal


The bridge at Batal. Chacha-Chachi dhabha is just on the right side of the bridge.

The dhabha was open at Batal. Stopped to warm myself up and eat some food. Then started for Grampho.

The road was as bad as I had heard or read. Early in the morning there was no other vehicular traffic. In fact I would not see a vehicle till Chhatru.

Yet the ride was fun. I wasn’t feeling as cold and the skies had cleared up. Other than a could of water crossings where I got my feet wet, there was nothing serious.

Onwards to Grampho

Roads were as bad as everyone had said.

Small hamlet of Chhatru

Few Km after Chhatru, I gave lift to a Raghav who wanted a ride till Grampho.

Along the way we stuck up a conversation. Raghav was a shepherd who grazed his sheep on the other side of Chandratal. He was now bringing his sheep down towards Manali for shearing.  His family stayed near Pathankot with the kids going to school. He spent all his summers grazing sheep in the meadows in the Chandratal area.

There were a few big water crossings after Chhatru which I managed to negotiate without asking Raghav to get off. At Grampho I bade goodbye to him.


The road up to Rohtang was pretty messed up. Around a Km below the top, the tar road started. After that it was a breeze.

Upwards to Rohtang

Crowds at Rohtang

Rohtang was a typical tourist spot. Driving down from Rohtang to Manali, I probably crossed 10X more bikes than I had seen on the entire trip till then. Royal Enfield probably does 75% of their sales between Manali and Kerala (which is the other place I see a lot of RE).

Took a quick tea break after the Solang cutoff and then onto Manali.

Distant waterfall below Rohtang

At Manali, I choose to the old Mandi road which goes via Naggar. A while back someone had recommended that I take this road. Since I had some time, why not.

This was a good choice. While the road was narrow and had good traffic, it was more picturesque than what I remembered of the main Manali-Mandi highway.

Deodar jungle

Apples galore

After Kullu, it was a regular ride trying to cover as much distance as I could. I was hoping to get to Chandigarh by noon on the next day.

Reservoir before Mandi

Quick break for chole-kulche

By the time I reached Sundernagar, it was getting dark. So decided to stay there. Bilaspur would have been too late.

Found a decent room at Hotel Hamsafar and rested a while. Later went to the stalls near the bus stand for dinner before calling it a day.

Day Stats

Distance: 280.2Km
Start/End Time: 0615-1830
Expenses – Food: Rs340/-
Expenses – Fuel: Rs500/-
Expenses – Stay: Rs510/-

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