A backpacking tour over 3 Passes in Himachal Pradesh  ... using Local Buses & Share-Maxx'es. A non-touristy route from South of GNHP (Great Himalayan National Park) over Jalori-Pass, then crossing Rohtang-La to Keylong in Lahaul and then West into Pangi Valley, almost to J&K border ... and then south crossing over the rarely used Sach-Pass to Chamba and Dalhousie. 

The planned route shown as Google Image below. But ended up not doing the bit between Gramphoo & Losar over the Kun-Jum-La Pass. 

You can download the route KMZ file "HP-Backpack-Route" from the "Files D/L" page here ... and see/fly over the entire route in detail on, in 3D, if you have Google Earth loaded on your computer.

Somehow all my treks have been mostly in Uttarakhand and all my bus-&-jeep tours mostly in Himachal Pradesh! 

So this time too, I decided on a back-packing bus tours to areas of HP that I have not seen so far. Looking at HP map provided the obvious answer and thus the route emerged as shown in the Google Map along side. 

24th July 2011: I reached Delhi by Air and caught the Howrah-Kalka Mail at 9:15PM from Old Delhi Railway Station. At 4:30AM reached Kalka and got into a connecting narrow gauge train - The Shivalik Express starting at 5:30AM.

Departing Kalka Station on Toy-train

The toy-train idea was last minute decision to re-do a similar journey, with my two kids, way back in 1988. In those days it was a steam engine, but now its a diesel one. 

Was I wrong? ... in this old pic (click to enlarge) it looks like it was a diesel engine in 1988!   

Reached Shimla at around 10:30AM and walked  into a Hotel - Gulmarg Residency, and got a room for 1 night stay. Tomorrow will start the first leg to Jalori Pass. The diary-logs in sub-pages: 


KS HP backpacking route July-Aug 2011

Looking back at the tail of Shivalik Express

Gulmarg Residency in Shimla

The actual itinerary turned out as:
24th July : Mumbai - Delhi -Kalka
25th July : Kalka -Shimla 
26th July: Shimla - Narkanda
27th July: Narkanda - Sainj - Jalori - Shoja
28th July: Shoja - Banjara - Aut - Manali
29th July: Manali - Rohtang La - Keylong
30th July: Keylong - Udeypur - Killar 
31st July: Killar (rest day)
 1st Aug : Killar - SachPass - Chamba
 2nd Aug: Chamba - Delhi
 3rd Aug: Delhi - Mumbai