(7 nights 8 days)
A fascinating self-drive trip across the back roads of Uttrakhand and Himachal.
- Day 1: Delhi- Chakrata (2270M) - 320 kms/ 8-9 hrs Altitude gained: 2033M
Assemble at 0600 hrs at Banjara office in Delhi and begin your drive to Chakrata. Once we leave highway and cross Dehradun, the drive becomes more pleasant. Chakrata is a lovely little hill town with thick lush green forests and is situated in western part of Garhwal Himalayas. It is a cantonment situated between Yamuna and Tons rivers. Reach Chakrata late afternoon/ early evening. Settle into your rooms. Rest of the evening at leisure. Night stay in a resort.
- Day 2: Chakrata- Thanedar (2400M) - 195 kms/ 6-7 hrs Altitude gained: 130M
Todays’ is one of the most interesting days of the trip as move from western Garhwal mountains and drive towards Shimla hills. This is one of the more remote parts of both Uttarakhand and Himachal and you are unlikely to encounter many vehicles. We drive from Chakrata to Thanedar via Tiuni and Hatkoti. Reach Thanedar in the evening. Thanedar is the birthplace of apples in India and is an orchard town. Night stay at Banjara retreat.
- Day 3: Thanedar- Layover day in Thanedar Altitude gained: 952M
Relax at Thanedar for the day and enjoy the vistas. You could also visit the Tani-Jubbar Lake (2400M) which is famous for the Nag-Devta temple. From here, drive to the Hatu Peak which, at 3352m offers a panoramic view of the snowline of Shrikhand Mahadev mountains. You could also hike up to Hatu peak instead of driving. Evening around a bonfire. Nights stay in retreat.
- Day 4: Thanedar- Sojha (2700M) - 80 kms/ 3-4 hrs Altitude lost and gained: 1051M and 1785M respectively
We drive down to Sainj (along Sutlej River) and then cross over the river to start climb to Kullu hills. This is one of the most picturesque and lesser known routes of Himachal. The drive is along the Gandah Nallah gorge (more like a river than Nallah). In summer, the Silver Oak forest along the road is full of blue Iris. Cross over the Jalori pass and into Sojha village. Spend the evening around a bonfire. Night stay in Banjara Retreat.
- Day 5: Sojha- Gushaini- Sojha- 80 kms/ 3-4 hrs Altitude lost and gained: 1100M each
After breakfast, drive to Gushaini in Tirthan river valley. This is another beautiful and lesser known part of Himachal. Tirthan River valley is an extension of The Great Himalayan National Park. We spend the day by the river exploring the region. Back to Sojha in the evening. Evening around a bonfire. Night stay n retreat.
- Day 6: Sojha- Bir (1681M) - 90 kms/ 4-5 hrs Altitude lost and gained: 1656M and 637M respectively
Route: Sojha- Aut- Mandi- Jogindernagar- Bir
Leave for Bir after breakfast. We drive down to Mandi and again start uphill drive to Bir. Bir is another small town in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh famous as landing site for Paragliding championship in Billing held every year. It is a world coveted site for paragliders. It is another beautiful and lesser known part of Himachal Pradesh. Reach Bir in the afternoon. Settle into your rooms. Rest of the day at leisure. If time permits, you could also drive to Shiva temple in baijnath or go for a hike or visit a tea garden and factory. Night stay in resort.
- Day 7: Bir- Nalagarh (371M - 174 kms/ 7-8 hrs Altitude lost: 1309M
Another longish day on the road as we head back towards Delhi. Drive from Bir to Nalagarh via Palampur, Sujanpur, Hamirpur, Bilaspur and Swarghat. Reach Nalagarh in the evening. Evening at leisure. Night stay in resort.
- Day 8: Nalagarh- Ambala- Delhi- 290 kms/ 7 hrs Drive back to Ambala where we once again hit the highway and back to Delhi.