Manali Leh Jeep Safari-My first experience
By Jai Govind Meena
The Manali Leh Jeep Safari was an amazing experience. We all reached Manali on the 16th of July in the morning for the Manali Leh Jeep Safari. We had breakfast and freshened up in a small hotel. We then loaded our luggage in a Qualis who’s driver Mr. Tule Ram is someone you can trust on any road, however bad.
In the first part I will be covering our journey from Manali to Leh and in Second part our excursion to Pangong Lake and Nubra Valley in the Manali Leh Jeep Safari.
We started our safari around 11 and our first big stop was Marhi where we did a bit of Paragliding.
Marhi is a small stopover on the way to Rohtang Pass (14000 Ft), We negotiated a deal for 7 of us to do Paragliding. A friend of mine ,Yugantar, had a small misadventure, his take off was not proper so he slid with the parachute for some distance. Thankfully he escaped with only a few bruises on one of his hands.
After paragliding we set out for Rohtang Pass our first high altitude pass. There was 8 to 11 ft of snow on both side of the road. Rishin another guy with us was fully charged up at this point of time.
After fun n masti at Rohtang top we started again and stopped at Khoksar for Lunch. We had some delicious Rajma, Dal, Mutton and Rice. Kokhsar is the first village on this route in the Lahaul and Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh. Here one need to stop to get police work done. Our plan was to stay at Sarchu but we got a bit late and had to spend the night in Keylong instead.Our driver paid the homage to Raja Ghaipan at Sissu and we filled diesel in Tandi which is the last Petrol Pump on this route. There was a sign there that clearly stated that the next petrol pump was 365 KM ahead.
At Keylong we stayed in a hotel with a nice view of the Himalayan Peaks in the background. In the morning we started early around 6 AM after having a cup of tea and stopped at Darcha for breakfast. Today was the toughest day of the Manali Leh Jeep Safari as we had to cross four of the world’s highest passes, cover a distance in excess of 350 KMs on roads that were non existent.
The first pass on our way was Baralacha La at the height of 4980 metres. The steep ascent to Baralacha La starts at a place called ZingZing Bar Anyone who loves a drink or two will never miss it. There is a bar in Manali with the same name. This pass connects the Lahaul district of Himachal Pradesh to the region of Ladakh.
A few kilometres from the pass we can see the Surya Taal(Lake) from where the Bhaga river, a tributary of the Chenab river originates. The other major tributary of the Chenab, the Chandra also originates from glacier in this region. Both the rivers originates from two sides of the pass and meet to become Chandrabhaga River and the same river becomes Chenab entering Pakistan.
To be continued in part 2 (If your interested in our Manali Leh Jeep Safari)
More Photos of the Manali Leh Jeep Safari on Facebook here: