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Shimla-Kaza-Chhatru-Manali Road update
#1
Information 
Hi All,

Quick update on the road trip from Shimla to Kaza and back via Manali-Bilaspur-Chandigarh-Delhi.
Travel from 24/08/2014 to 01/09/2014

I'll restrict myself to Road status between points. This journey was with a 4x4, so may not be really indicative of a trip with an RE.
Legend below:
Great - few diversions, good road and few potholes
Good - patches may have potholes, eroded road, but overall good
Tough - bumpity bump road, possibly only metalled road. Fun road for RE
Ouch - Really tough, only the barest illusion of a road. Fun, but a bit tough for RE in parts

Delhi-Shimla-Narkanda : Great
Narkanda-Thanedar-Rampur - Good (this route is not the highway)
Rampur-Jakri - Good
Jakri -Karcham ( the last hour to Karcham is Tough-Ouch) - Good
Karcham - Pooh : Tough
Pooh - Nako : Tough to Good
Nako -Hurling-Tabo - Good to great
Tabo-Kaza: Good to Great
Kaza to Kunzum - Good to Tough
Kunzum to Chandratal - Tough
Chandratal to Batal - Tough
Batal to Chhota Dhara - Ouch
Chotta Dhara to Chhatru - Ouch and towards Chhatru gets to good
Chhatru to Gramphu - Good
Gramphu to Rohtang - Good to Tough
Rohtang to Manali - Good to Great (some road widening going on in parts)
Manali to Bilaspur - Great to Good
Bilaspur to Chandigarh - Good to Great

The toughest part on this road was Batal to Chhota Dhara, where you have mostly a metalled road, but often foot deep erosion by ruts, so we had some unavoidable bottom scraping of the SUV.

Places to stay along the route:
Banjara, Thanedar - excellent place. We were there on the invitation of the owner, but otherwise, it would be pricey (2.5-4k? /room)

Banjara , Sangla - same as above. Excellent property with great walks available to Chittkul, Sangla Meadows, and Rakcham

Nako - has a Kinnaur Camp nearby (we did not stay here)
Tabo - homestays available (we did not stay here)

Kaza - Taste of Spiti (near old circuit house - basic clean rooms between 700-500 INR/night)

Chandratal - Several camps available here. You can set up your own tent at no charge. Temperatures get to below 0 C, so warm sleeping bags highly recommended.

Chhota Dhara - Only has a PWD guesthouse with 2 rooms (there is a 3rd, but the guard there needs persuading). The guard charges you 480 INR/room. We paid 1,300 INR for 3 people sharing a room, dinner for the 3 on 1 night and tea 3 times (9 cups in all). Warm sleeping bags highly recommended.

Chhatru - only a guest house is available, but you have to talk to the chowkidar in one of the 3 Dhabas by the bridge. Other options are staying at Chandra Dhaba, or a small shack beside one of the Dhabas where they rent a bed by 100 INR/night. Sleeping bags highly recommended.

Hope this helps the next travelers!
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#2
Thanks a ton bro.... i am sure this is gonna be a very valuable post for anyone planning this trip. But with winters round the cornor i am sure most if this route will be closed till next april.
Shut up and RIDE!!
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#3
Valid point Abid. Road officially closes on the 15th of Oct.

And again, there's always the rainfall that may degrade roads further.
K.
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