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The Himalayas have always welcomed travelers from around the world. Be it famous hill stations like Shimla, Manali, or treks like Hampta pass and Kinnaur Kailash it feels like Himachal is blessed by mother nature. Chanshal Pass is another beautiful place that is quite popular among trekkers and riders for its serene environment and views. Chanshal Pass is named due to Chanshal valley which is a refreshing beautiful destination. This stunning landscape is deep in the valleys of Himachal.
Around 160 km from Shimla is this peaceful place away from the bustle of your city. Chanshal Pass is famous for hills views. These hills are so alluring that even in pricking heat of summers they remain full of snow. Road trip lovers and trekkers have never found a destination suited for both. The valley is on the top of Chanshal peak which is at an altitude of around 3750 m and is the highest point here in Shimla and around. The peak connects Rohru and Dodra Kwar. It is also known as the gateway to Dodra Kwar which further takes you to Rupin pass before reaching the Sangla valley.
The peaceful environment and scenic views attract many bikers here every year. While this place remains equally challenging and scenic like Rohtang pass but it was far off when compared in terms of popularity. If you want a road trip with your fellow gang without digging a hole in your pocket then Chanshal pass is the best option in Himachal for you.
How to reach Chanshal Pass
As this a bike trip so I would highly recommend you to have your own bike and take a trip with your gang. While you can also rent out bikes here in Shimla to at a pretty decent rate. Though the prices can fluctuate according to seasonality. Below I have mentioned how you can reach Shimla and then we will approach the Chanshal Pass from Shimla.
Reaching Shimla by air
The Shimla airport is the airport of Shimla city only. The airport also is known by the name of Jubbarhatti airport is only 20 km from the city. While the airport is not Functional all year round so it is better to check first. As it is a small airport so places like Chandigarh and Delhi are only connected via a flight. While the second-best and nearest airport is the Chandigarh airport which is only around 60 km from Shimla. There are various buses and taxis available from Chandigarh for Shimla.
Reaching Shimla by train
The nearest railway station is the Kalka railway station which is 90 km from Shimla. While the Shimla itself has its own small railway station but most trains come from Kalka only. There are various buses and taxis available from Kalka for Shimla.
Reaching Shimla by road
Buses for Shimla are available all around the year from all the major states and cities. Both public and private buses run from popular cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Punjab, Harayana, and many other nearby states. While if you are coming on your own bikes than NH 44 and NH5 lead you to Shimla from Delhi.
How to reach Chanshal pass from Shimla
There are two ways to reach the Chanshal pass from Shimla.
The first one starts from Shimla and goes through Hatkoti.
Shimla- Theog- Kotkhai- Kharapathar- Hatkoi- Rohru- Larot and then Chanshal pass( Total distance covered is 160 km)
While the second one starts from Shimla and goes through Tikkar.
Shimla- Theog- Narkanda- Tikkar- Rohru- Larot- Chanshal pass( Total distance covered 175 km)
The first one is short yet extremely tough and the road is only suitable for very experienced riders while the second remains a bit easy then the first one. At the time of our journey, the road conditions of the first ones were very harsh and we took the second route.
Delhi to Shimla
So we started our routine. Packed our bags and a few clothes for Chanshal. We started our journey in the morning so that we can reach Shimla till evening. We started our journey early in the morning and went rode towards Gurugram. From Gurugram the next destination was Sonipat in Haryana.
After a few hours, we crossed Karnal and then Kurukshetra. Kurukshetra was the first stop of our journey. We ate some good food and had a great refreshing tea. We again started our engines and headed towards Panchkula.
To reach Panchkula you have to take the zirakpur highway. After a treacherous ride soon we reached Solan valley. Solan valley was like our first welcome in the mighty hills. Even though we were riding from the morning as soon as we saw hills we were pretty pumped up. After around one and a half hours, we were in the bustling yet lovely city of Shimla. Shimla is already famous for its beautiful valleys and places. We thought to stay here only as we all were pretty tired from such a long ride.
Shimla To Rohru via Kharapathar
After exploring a bit of Shimla city we went to sleep last night. We started our journey for Chanshal pass again the next morning. From Shimla our next stop for today is Kharapathar. From Shimla, we started our journey for Rohru. While Shimla to Rohru is only around 110 km but sometimes due to bad road conditions it can take up to 5 hours to reach Rohru.
While we reached Rohru in around 6 hours. It was due to frequent stopping at Theog and Kharapathar. The road to Rohru depends on the season. To reach Rohru you will have to take the route via Theog. Theog is around an hour away from the city of Shimla.
You can take rest here or can continue your journey for Chanshal pass. As we reached in the evening so we decide on our stop in Rohru.
Rohru to Chanshal Pass
The real deal starts from here. The day we all have been waiting for. The road to Chanshal pass to see the beautiful valley. We started our journey around 8 am in the morning. After breakfast, we started our journey for Larot.
Larot is a small place which is around 30 km from rohru. This place remains the last place from Chanshal pass which you can say a place to live. The road till Larot was not in great condition but we cannot complain much. Actually the real test is from Larot to Chanshal pass where it looks like the road was never made.
Have you heard of adventure moto riding? We have heard it and did it a few times but never was such a track like Larot to Chanshal pass. The road expects from you the highest level of attention. While you will be covered around jungle all around and mud most of the time but still the road to pass excites you as it should.
Soon after we could see the blanket of Snow which we were expecting. The highest peak around the valley was now conquered by a few newbies. The Great Chanshal pass Which is known as impossible by many is not any more impossible.
The place from up above seems magical. The hills are alluring and some were covered in snow. The valleys are lush green and the atmosphere was beautiful. There are a lot of places in this world but these hills always amaze me more than anything. We parked our bike and started to explore the beautiful valley.
At times like summer also there is a good chance you will find snow up there. We experienced the beautiful valley and moved from one hill to another. We only explored the Chanshal pass for around 3 to 4 hours as we had to come back to Rohru today only. We started our journey back to Rohru.
Rohru to Narkanda and then Delhi
We planned to Delhi from Rohru in a day only. While it seems insane to ride for 12 hours but we accepted it as a challenge for ourselves.
We started our day very early from Rohru. We had no breakfast as we saved it for Narkanda. Narkanda is around 63km from Rohru and it takes around 2 and a half hours to reach.
We all had our Breakfast here in Narkanda only. From Narkanda we headed towards Shimla and then Chandigarh. We stopped a bit in Chandigarh and then our next stop was Delhi. The total journey today covered was around 500 km and we covered it in around 12 hours.
The Whole Chanshal pass journey remains extremely beautiful and memorable. While there are many instances where you will find the road impossible but as soon as you overcome that you will find the journey exciting.
Some important tips for Chanshal Pass
- Regular Buses are also available for Chanshal so even if you don’t want to do this trip on bikes this can be done on the bus too.
- You can even get a bus from Delhi till Chanshal but do keep in mind the journey will be long and tiring. For Himachal, Bus booking click here.
- While the valley is covered in Snow almost all the time of the year still winter remains the best time to visit the valley.
- While if you are going on this trip on the bike so carry bags that are made for bikes rather than carrying your handbags. Not only it will make your journey experience good but also hassle-free.
- Do make sure you are carrying a good basic first aid medical kit. I have emphasized it in many blogs that having a medical kit while trekking or road trips are always helpful.
- Go for minimum packaging.
- Do take some good clothes. The valley remains fairly cold all year round so it is better to take a good amount of clothes.
- Check weather updates before taking the road trip. The road becomes literally impossible to ride on when it is raining.