This is an adrenaline-fuelled adventure that will totally blow your mind. The mountain passes you’ll cross on this adventure are twice as high as most in Europe and infinitely more challenging. We tackle the infamous Killar to Kishtwar road that will have you gripping onto your handlebars for dear life. Not for the faint-hearted, this road has 600m drop-offs with no guard rails. Thankfully, we’ll probably be the only ones crazy enough to attempt it so there won’t be a crazy truck driver coming the other way.
After a welcome party in Shimla, we’ll head north towards Manali before crossing the imposing Rohtang Pass which has featured on an episode of Ice Road Truckers Deadliest Roads. It’s far safer now but it’s still challenging if the weather is questionable. It is a narrow and sinuous string of road that snakes its way through a lush green forest and above the tree line to valleys of the Lahaul District on the other side.
We head west to the annexed state of J&K and stay the night atop a mountain under the skies in Killar. The next day is the reason you joined this adventure, a decision you will question as you round the corner and see the insane valley below you. With sheer drops of 600m below and the mountains touching the sky more than a kilometre above you, you’ll feel at the mercy of nature.
The Chenab River is our guide as we weave our way through the gorge created over millions of years, lashing itself into a fury alongside the seemingly unending hairpins of the treacherous Sach Pass at 4420m. The riding gets more challenging each day as we ride through lush green valleys, orchards, rhododendron forests, sandy desert regions and restricted areas where passports are checked at military checkpoints.
As we descend into Khajjiar, known as Little Switzerland, the forests envelop us and provide spectacular scenery as the roads changes from switchbacks to perfect tarmac roads with just the right mix of sweepers and wandering bovines to keep you on your toes. We’ll pop in and say hello to the exiled Dalai Lama before flying back to Delhi and home the next day. What a Trip!
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||New Delhi, India|
|ADVENTURE DATES||2023 – September, Thursday 7th – Saturday 16th|
|PRIVATE ADVENTURES||This adventure is also available as a private tour for solo adventurers, a couple, a club or even just a group of mates. This can be any combination of riders, pillions, 4WD passengers or even your family in one of our expedition support vehicles. The adventure can be shortened or lengthened to suit your desires so please contact us to discuss your needs.
The best months are June, July, August and September
|PRICES||Rider: US$3,690 per person
Pillion: US$2,990 per person
|WHAT’S INCLUDED|| Transfers to/from Airport and Hotel
All internal transfers for the duration of the adventure
Your choice of Royal Enfield Himalayan or Classic 500
Quality Accommodation on a twin share basis (Comfort hotels/guest houses/Camps/tents)
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner for the entire adventure
English speaking guides
Medical kit available and Oxygen on high-altitude adventures
Mechanics with all necessary spare parts
Support vehicles to carry your luggage and tired riders
Bottled mineral water throughout the adventure
Tea/Chai & snacks en-route
Permits for restricted areas
All entrance fees en-route
|NOT INCLUDED|| International flights
VISA (details sent with rider pack)
Travel Insurance (compulsory)
NOTE: The prices above are based on a twin share basis. If you’d like your own room, then there is a US$650 supplement.
Payment terms: A US$500 deposit must be made at the time of booking. Balance payment must be paid 8 weeks before the tour start date. Payment plans are available upon request.Terms & Conditions What To Bring Price Guarantee
|Rider or Pillion||Rider, Pillion|
We catch an early train to Kalka before stepping back in time aboard the Kalka-Shimla Toy Train, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that connects the Indian plains to the ‘Queen of Hills, Shimla. Built in 1903, this toy train ride is one of India’s most incredible feats of engineering covering a staggering 102 tunnels, 864 bridges and 919 stunning curves. Shimla is the capital of the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, once the summer capital of British India. Stretching out along a 12km ridge, with forests draped over steep hillsides in every direction, Shimla is one of India’s most popular resorts, abuzz with Indian vacationers and tourists from far and wide.
After breakfast, we’ll have a rider briefing with our adventure leader, check personal equipment and cover safety precautions before being properly introduced to the Royal Enfield motorcycles. We’ll head north along spaghetti-like roads to our first stop.
We continue north to the confluence of the Tirthan and Beas rivers and head through the poorly lit 6km Aut tunnel. Stay behind a car as we’ve seen cows roaming through the tunnel! We head off the main road with its crazy traffic and stay on the eastern side of the Beas river towards Naggar Castle for lunch. It’s only a short ride into the tourist town of Manali where you can stock up on any necessary items. Hippies love Manali for certain botanical species that grow everywhere and its favourite honeymoon area for Newlyweds
After breakfast, we will ride to the tribal area of Himachal which is influenced by both Hindu & Buddhist cultures. The first 35km of roads are winding all the way to Marhi where we make our way through the traffic & challenging muddy roads on the way up Rohtang Pass. Here you catch fantastic views back towards Manali and the surrounding Himalayas. We then descend into the Chandra Valley before stopping at a checkpoint and one of many “chai breaks” before we continue along the bank of the mighty Chandra. After Tandi, we enter the Ghar Valley along the Bhaga river, through the town of Keylong. We have another chai break and then finally head to Udaipur where we stay in a riverside camp. You are free to discover the surroundings of Pattan valley on your own. The main attractions of the valley are Tandi (Guruhantal Monastery), Udaipur (Mrikukala Mata temple) and Trilokinath (Shiv temple).
UDAIPUR TO KILLAR (140 km / 5-6 hours)
Follow the narrow Chenab valley to Killar along a breathtaking road that offers a magnificent ride full of hairpins. Careful on the curves here, as it is so narrow that it is hard to find somewhere to pull over to let others coming in the opposite direction, have room to pass. After stopping for lunch, we steady ourselves for the infamous cliffhanger road that is on the bucket list of adventurous riders the world over. Thousands of metres high in the Himalayan mountains and deep gorges make this day exceptional and truly unforgettable. In the afternoon, we climb the mountain and camp under a million stars. If this night doesn’t blow you away, nothing will.
KILLAR TO TISSA over Sachs Pass (100 km / 5-6 hours)
We cross the Chenab River and ride along a shady cliff road with waterfalls cascading over the road onto the frozen crust of ice that covers the rivers below. We stop for a break before the now legendary 50m river crossing that gets deeper and harder the further you get into it. Not everybody makes it across without coming off, but everyone comes away with a story at the end of it.
From here we continue up and over Sachs Pass until we get to a military checkpoint where the adrenaline is seeping out of our pores and we’re waved through. Enjoy the view of the valley before a snaking descent through villages perched on the side of the mountains. In the afternoon, we’ll reach Tissa and spend the night in a guest house with a ridiculous view of the valley below. Photographers usually set up their cameras for some epic time-lapse photography from the roof of the guest house while we’re barbecuing.
TISSA TO KHAJJIAR (80 km / 4-5 hours)
We take the forest road that is spotted with small villages, through the valley all the way to Khajjiar. Called India’s Mini Switzerland, you’ll know why as soon as you roll into town. The lush green fields are fringed with thick forests of cedar with the snowline above. There is a 12th-century temple dedicated to Khajji Nag that contains life-size, wooden images of the Pandavas brothers.
KHAJJIAR TO DHARAMSALA over Jot Pass (140 km / 5-7 hours)
Ride early in the morning via a snaking road until Jot Pass where we’ll enjoy the magnificent view of the Dhauladhar mountain range and the Chamba valley. We descend via a seemingly endless twisting cliff road to Chowari through a Rhododendron and Oak forest. Be careful descending as the bewitching beauty of the paddy fields below will jostle for your attention just as much as oncoming traffic. After lunch, the roads get wider and better surfaced but keep an eye out for vultures that feed on roadkill carcasses; they’re huge and you’ll come off second best if you hit one. We ride into Dharamsala and stay at a great hotel next to a beautiful garden that is home to an impressive Buddhist temple.
DHARAMSALA TO DELHI
A lazy day before we catch the afternoon flight to Delhi. After breakfast, we visit the home of the Dalai Lama and explore McLeod Ganj before heading for a little surprise. I’m not going to tell you what it is because it wouldn’t be a surprise but trust me, you’ll love it (or freak out if you’re scared of heights!) We should land in Delhi at 5:30 pm in time for your evening flight home. You are welcome to stay the night and see Delhi or maybe head to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. So many options!
Optional Add-On – Taj Mahal
As most flights leave in the evening we have time for a quick day trip to see the Taj Mahal. We’ll travel via a private minibus to the Taj stopping for lunch along the way. An English speaking guide, an air conditioned vehicle, entry fees, lunch and one nights accommodation is included in the price of US$250
INSURANCE IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
(INDIA, NEPAL, BHUTAN, TIBET, MONGOLIA, and PAKISTAN)
In the countries we conduct adventures, commercial insurance on motor vehicles is either not available, or is of questionable value. 3rd party insurance will usually not cover foreigners and even if it does, it is generally worthless if one needs to make a claim. In the event of an accident in these countries, the situation is usually settled on the spot without the “assistance” of insurance companies. If insurance companies are involved, it can take days, weeks and even months before there is a resolution.
Damage Cap Option “DCO”
Himalayan Heroes offers its riders the option of capping the cost of your damage bill on the motorcycle you are riding. The cost of this damage cap option “DCO” is US$195, paid as a lump sum before the tour starts. In the event you damage the motorcycle, the DCO will cap your damage bill at US$200.
- If, like most of our riders, you do not damage the motorcycle then the total cost to you is only the cost of the DCO = US$195.
- If, like some of our riders, you put the bike down at slow speed and damage mirrors, levers, foot pegs etc and the damage bill is say, US$120 then you pay the US$120. The total cost to you is US$315 (US$195 DCO + US$120 damage bill)
- If you have a big off and damage the tank, forks etc and the damage bill is say US$750 then your damage bill is capped at US$200. The total cost to you is US$395 (US$195 DCO + US$200 damage bill).
The DCO is optional, so if you would like to carry the risk yourself, you are welcome to. At the completion of the tour, you will be presented with an itemised bill of the damage to the bike. Approximately 50% of our riders do not damage the bikes and of the 50% that do receive a damage bill, the majority of the bills are less than $300. Please send us an email if you’ve got any questions about the DCO.
The DCO is not an insurance policy and therefore any costs related to it cannot be claimed on a travel insurance claim.