Writing down my experience of my solo Motorcycle trip to Spiti valley made me feel nostalgic. While writing this, same set of muscles were fired as of during the motorcycle journey to Spiti.
This valley in Himachal Pradesh is an area alongside Spiti river where most of the local people are Buddhists. Their culture and way of living is totally different from the rest of the India.
Technically, Spiti region is located in India but when you visit, you will find yourself as a foreigner.
Because Spiti Valley is a small world in itself, which is totally different from the rest!
The Idea of solo Spiti motorcycle ride built up when the summer started to heat up the National Capital region, and I instantly decided to go to a colder region for a couple of days.
Delhi to Spiti Valley Solo Bike Trip Itinerary
Route Map Delhi To Kaza
Delhi to Bhabanagar – 570 KMs
Bhabanagar to Kaza – 260 KMs
Road Conditions Delhi to Kaza (Spiti Valley)
Delhi to Rampur and Bhabanagar, road conditions are quite good, some parts are under construction but easily doable with the average speed of 50KM.
After Bhabanagar, you will face bad road conditions after every 20-30KMs due to Nala crossings and falling stones.
In overexcitement I reached Bhabanagar, but I would suggest you to stay in Rampur Bushahr on day one. You will get good budget hotels and all other facilities like food and petrol pumps motorcycle service centers etc.
Delhi to Spiti Valley Solo Bike Trip Experience
I have done a few solo rides before but this was the toughest and longest so far.
I started my ride on March 27, 2017, at 3:30 AM from my Home in Delhi. I believe when you start your ride early morning you can cover more distance at better speed.
It was dark and the weather was quite good at that time. I started towards Chandigarh while enjoying the road. Chandigarh to Kaza distance is 510KMs.
Some negative thoughts were coming to my mind like what would happen if my Tyre gets flat in some remote location, or my motorcycle creates some problems.
I always get such thoughts during traveling. I think the safety mechanism of our brain restricts us to do any adventurous thing in our life. At some point, it’s helpful but over thinking about these things is not a good idea.
After riding continuously I stopped at 4:15 AM for pit-stop at a Dhaba in Sonipat to have water and a cup of hot tea. After clearing my thoughts over the tea, I resumed the journey.
Now, the time was 7:30 AM and I was hungry. After crossing Ambala, I stopped at a Dhaba to fill up my stomach.
I ordered a Gobi Paratha with Tea. Food and water both are important for long travel as you may lose appetite but your body always need the required energy bars to keep moving.
After crossing Chandigarh at 8:30 I was sure that I could reach Shimla by 12’o clock. The hilly area started and my speed was decreased.
Fact – Chandigarh-Shimla is a busy route, and you might be stuck in traffic jams.
Shimla to Kaza(Spiti Valley) Distance is just 450 KMs according to Google Maps but it is around 500 KMs as per my Bajaj Avenger Meter.
After crossing the jams, I took a Snickers break near Shimla for 10 minutes and decided that I would not stop at Shimla. My next pit-stop will be after Kufri only.
Shimla is a crowded place but, there are a couple of roads to bypass the heavy traffic. I took the bypass road which added extra 25KMs to my journey, but that was reasonable as I was away from the main Shimla town.
I stopped for a water break just after Kufri and met two foreigners from Poland. They were traveling on motorcycles too and heading towards Rishikesh.
We had a little chit-chat and we exchanged our journey details. They offered me a coffee which was very strong. It literally opened my eyes! 😛
At this time of the year, the lower areas of North India starts getting Summer heat waves. But, Kufri Narkanda’s pleasant weather gives you a break. So, there were a lot of tourists en route to Narkanda.
World’s Best Lunch, I must say!
It was around 1.30PM and I was feeling hungry again (a big fat foodie inside). Luckily, I saw a small Van offering food! I decided to stop and had Rajma Chawal and Kadi Chawal.
“Kadi Chawal” with a cup of Tea right on the highway. What else I could ask for!
It was nice and tasty budget food at just 50INR.
These choices can make your trip cheaper, especially when you’re riding on a budget. You need to stop looking for an x-star hotels and just look for good food.
While eating my lunch, I was planning my journey ahead!
Initially, Narkanda was my target but I was there at around 2 PM. I still had time left as I can ride till sunset.
I took the advantage and left from Narkanda. Next pit-stop was Rampur which was 65KMs from Narkanda. I felt confident as the roads were smooth and I was riding with an average speed of 50-55KMs.
The roads were pretty and curvy, I must admit!
As the journey was more scenic, I took many stops to capture the beauty of the mountains and nature. It took me around 2.5 hrs to cover that 65Kms of distance.
After reaching Rampur I still had time left and I was confused whether to stay in Rampur or go further.
When No Rooms were available
After riding away from Rampur, I entered in the Kinnaur district. There are many bridges, waterfalls, and the roads are fascinating. As usual, I stopped many times to capture them. But, the sun was going down and I had to stop somewhere to call the night.
I stopped at few villages, looking for a room or a hotel, but there wasn’t any option. Meanwhile, I reached Bhabanagar where I narrated the situation to a local guy.
Fortunately, he helped me to get a room in a small guest house of his relative. They even cooked dinner for me and it cost me 600INR for stay and food.
I completed around 570KMs of distance on day 1. I was too tired for any exploring out there, so after having dinner, I slept.
Day One Route: Delhi to Chandigarh to Shimla to Narkanda to Rampur to Bhabanagar.
I woke up at 6 AM and got ready at 6:30 AM. My target was to reach Nako or Tabo at the end of the day. It was around 250KMs far from my current location and the journey was through the mountain roads.
I started my motorcycle and left it turned ON for a while to warm up the engine. It was cold in the morning as the temperature was around 5 Degree Celsius. I was packed with riding jacket, inners, gloves and double socks. and thanks to my riding Jacket, I was protected from the chilly wind.
Breakfast in Powari
I reached Powari at around 8’o clock and was hungry. I saw a small food joint so I held my motorcycle and order the breakfast. They offered me Momos at 8 AM in the morning, which isn’t a common thing for me, as in Delhi, nobody eats Momos that early in the morning.
So, I asked if I can get some bread omelet, and luckily they said yes. Here is a picture of the same. Delicious and simple!
While having my breakfast with tea, the weather was getting normal. Sun was rising up, making it pretty awesome to ride further.
One Last Petrol Pump
I saw the petrol pump in Powari (Kinnaur) and decided to fuel up my bike tank and I was carrying extra 1L in the bottle (in case of emergency).
Fact: I didn’t see any other petrol pump after Powari. The next one is in Kaza only!
The road from Powari to Ribba was a big headache. It was totally destroyed and the average riding speed came down to just 10 KMs/Hr.
Also Read: Tips for Long Motorcycle Rides in India
I started thinking about what if the whole journey would be like this. Fortunately, after about 15KMs, the roads were quite satisfying.
Note: Reliance Jio Stopped working after Powari!
I was riding and taking breaks in between for the photographs and water. I had my SJcam mounted on my Helmet for the video. When I decide to go for a solo road trip, I always focus on the route, it has to be scenic!
I continued enjoying the ride as it was featuring mesmerising views of the mountains, Nala crossings with some harsh road conditions in regular intervals.
After crossing Ribba, I was stopped by the Police at a check post. When you visit Spiti Valley, you need to prove your identity and fill up the journey details in their registers. They keep this information for the records!
I checked my phone there was no network on Airtel and Jio, Airtel works till Pooh after that only BSNL works.
Crossing Mighty Malling Nala
My Ride continued for next couple of hours. I crossed Nako and the time was around 1:30 PM. Nako Lake and Nako monastery both are one of the major attractions of Spiti Valley. I planned it to visit these during my return journey.
Just after Nako, I took a pit-stop at Malling Nala for a couple of minutes. Sun was shining above it and it was totally frozen. I clicked a few photographs and nobody was there.
I was alone in the deserted mountain roads. Yay!
Meeting an ITBP Soldier
Just before entering Sumdu, there is another check post. They asked to fill my details again.
That area is very close to China border, so they track records of every vehicle and person who visit Spiti valley.
After writing my details, I was on my track again. Then I saw an ITBP Soldier walking on the road in the middle of nowhere. He asked me where am I going, I said: “I am going to Kaza.”
I offered him a lift. He agrees I removed everything from my back seat. Next, he was sitting on my motorcycle. We were talking and sharing information about each other.
I asked, “What are you doing here?”
He said, “I am here to make a call to my family. We don’t have any network at our post.”
I was shocked, and after 6 Km we reached to his post, I was feeling sad that they have to walk 6-7 KMs daily to make calls to their families. They are really amazing people and they welcomed me to their post, offering lunch and tea. I accepted to have tea only!
There were around 5 Soldiers, we talked for few more minutes over the tea, and then I said goodbye to all of them. It was a great experience for me, as they are serving our nation without thinking about their families much.
My ride resumed with beautiful views and alongside with the Spiti River.
It was around 4 PM and I reached Tabo. I had plans to stay in Tabo, but I still had time left so I took the advantage and continued my ride to Kaza.
Ride from Tabo to Kaza was a treat to watch! Snowclad mountains, frozen Spiti river trying to flow in a small melted stream. There was everything for a nature lover!
I never counted, how many time I stopped during the whole ride of “Delhi to Kaza in 2 Days” to take pictures.
After riding next 2 Hrs, at around 6:15 PM I entered Kaza. It’s a town with (almost) all kind of facilities but, I went there in off season, so, most of the homestays and shops were closed.
Only a few people dare to visit Spiti Valley in Winters, Weather in Spiti Valley is very brutal in the winter season. I did my Delhi to Spiti Valley solo Motorcycle ride when the Spiti Valley Weather was neutral and winter season was ending.
(March comes under winters in Spiti and tourists and travelers usually come to this remote location after 15 April.)
The next big thing was to find a homestay, there are plenty of Hotels in Spiti Valley but most of the people prefer Homestays in Kaza or Tabo.
Video of my Spiti Valley Solo Motorcycle Ride from Delhi
This is the whole experience of my solo bike trip to Spiti Valley from Delhi. I will come with more stories and weird experiences of my solo Spiti Valley road trip!