This is 12 days of hard core adventure. It is said to be the toughest challenge in the Himalayas. A beginner rider would find this difficult and even an experienced rider will find it challenging. The route will be approximately 50% dirt roads, it’ll probably be wet for two days, we’ll get some serious altitude and the days are long. You will be as exhausted as you are refreshed, ready to take on whatever the world can throw at you. If your life is lacking a bit of motivation then this is the adventure for you.
Hosted by Mark Hawwa
Himalayan Heroes has devised a route that will push you to your limits. Let us take you to the most remote part of the Himalayas, where the roads are rebuilt every spring after the harsh winter has taken its toll. Starting in the Kullu Valley, we’ll visit isolated villages and camp under a million stars in the Spiti Valley before tackling the notorious roads of the Pangi Valley. We’ll zigzag over unimaginable mountain roads on the newest motorcycles in the fleet – the Royal Enfield Himalayan (Classic and Bullets 500cc are available upon request).
After the very first day of riding on dusty roads more akin to 4wd tracks with the odd patch of tarmac, along narrow mountain roads, through deep gorges and wide open valleys littered with cold glacial streams, you’ll know you’re in for one hell of an adventure. The scenery is sublime, imposing and mystical. Nature’s grandeur has never been so in your face. The enchanting Sach Pass awaits as we ride through lush green valleys, orchards, rhododendron forests, sandy desert regions and restricted areas where passports are checked close to the Tibetan border.
We’ll visit monasteries that are over 1000 years old and national parks with Snow Leopards and Ibex and pass through one of the highest permanent settlements in the world. The great rivers – Satluj and Chenab are our guides as it weaves its way through the gorge it has created over millions of years, lashing itself into a fury alongside the never ending hairpins of the infamous Sach Pass at 4,420m. The cliffs we ride along, through and sometimes even under have a sheer drop of over 600m in places and the rivers we cross will be axle deep.
On the final leg, we’ll either take an epic dirt road ride through a valley, littered with tiny villages of shepherds and farmers, or we’ll take a longer route that has more corners per kilometre than any other part of the adventure. The constant flicking from left to right around the corners will have you buzzing and is the most epic way to end your adventure as we ride into the hometown of the exiled Dalai Lama.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||New Delhi, India|
|TOUR DATES||2018 – Tuesday 9th October- Saturday 20th October|
|PRICES||Usual Rider Price: US$3,690 per person
Usual Pillion Price: US$3,090 per person
Sydney Cafe Racer price: US$3390
|WHAT’S INCLUDED|| Transfers to/from Airport and Hotel
All internal transfers and other travel for the duration of the adventure
A low kilometre, fastidiously maintained Royal Enfield Motorcycle
Quality Accommodation on a twin share basis (Comfort hotels/guest houses/Camps/tents)
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner for the entire tour
English speaking guides
Medical kit available and Oxygen on high altitude adventures
Mechanics with all necessary spare parts
Support vehicles to carry all luggage (if riders are injured or feeling unwell they can take a break and jump into our back-up jeep to relax!)
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: These prices are based on…
- a minimum tour group of 10 people (usually tours are between 10 and 15 people) and…
- sharing a hotel room or a tent. (If you’d like your own room/tent then add US$650)
Payment terms: A US$1,000 deposit must be made at time of booking. Balance payment can be paid in US$ upon arrival or prepaid a minimum of 8 weeks before the tour start date. Payment plans are available.Terms & Conditions What To Bring Price Guarantee
This motorcycle adventure has been specifically designed to be the most challenging 12-day route in the Himalayas. It is not for the feint hearted and is suitable for experienced riders.
Most flights land at New Delhi IGIA at midnight. A Himalayan Heroes representative will meet and greet you at the airport and accompany you in a private bus or taxi to our hotel for an overnight stay. We will start early the next day so please ensure you arrive with plenty of time to catch the domestic flight the next morning. Alternatively, if you would like to arrive a day early and relax or sight-see, let us know and we can arrange the extra accommodation.
We catch an early morning flight to Chandigargh, have breakfast and then jump in our private taxi’s along the mountainous and snaking roads to Banzar. We’ll have lunch before arriving in Banzar so that as soon as we get there, we can jump on the bikes to get acclimatised. After the rider briefing where we explain what is expected of you, give you a run-down on road safety and check everyone’s equipment, we’ll go for a spin around the town to get to know the bikes. If mirrors, pegs or levers need adjusting, now is the time to mention it. In the evening we get back to the hotel for dinner and rest before the tour starts proper.
A scenic road goes up 2500m through a pine forest to Narkanda which has great skiing in the winter months. A gentle descent through villages to join the main road from Shimla that leads to Kinnaur in the Spiti Valley. We continue to Sarahan, the summer capital of the Rampur Busheher. If time permits, we’ll visit a 800 year old temple of goddess Bhimakali and have an amazing view of the Shirkhand peaks.
First stop, the picturesque village of Chitkul in the stunning Sangla Valley. We should have time to visit the Kamru Fort, the Naga Temple and Sapni which is renown for its architectural elegance.
One of the prime attractions of Kalpa is the Kinnaur Kailash mountain as it is considered to be sacred by the locals of the region. A Shiva Lingam measuring 70m in height sits on top of the peak which attracts a large number of devotees and tourists all year round. We will ride through Sangla Valley and the city of Reckong Peo which offers a panoramic view of the Kinner Kailash Mountain.
KALPA TO KAZA (200kms | 7-8 hrs)
We leave Reckong Peo and enter a restricted area after getting our passport checked at Jangi. The route to Khab where Sutlej river enters India and merges into the Spiti river is simply amazing. It is uphill along a cliff, high over the Spiti River until Nako, where a magnificent view awaits us. To the north of the village is the monastic complex belonging to the Drugpa order. We continue along the cliff roads, driving through several villages until Tabo Monastery which was founded in 996 A.D. We’ll explore the village by foot before heading to Kaza via Dhankar. It is the ancient capital of the Spiti king and home to the most incredibly situated gompa, perched high on a barren rocky mountain. Continuing to Lallung and in the afternoon reaching Pin Valley, known for its national park which is home to snow leopards and ibex.
KAZA TO KEYLONG (176kms | 6 – 7 hrs)
If you’re still feeling good, we’ll make a very early start to the highest village in the world accessible via car. It’s a memorable road that will stick with you for the rest of your life. As we cross the Spiti river, we pass through some beautiful villages and checkpoints before ascending the 4590m Kunzum Pass where the view of the Chandra Valley is breath taking….or maybe that is the altitude taking your breath away.
The terrain starts to get much tougher from here as the roads are battered by the elements over winter and are often washed away. You need to back off the pace a little and ensure you stay upright as you carve the up the canyon.
KEYLONG TO KILLAR (120km | 3-4 hours)
Follow the narrow Chenab valley to Killar along a breathtaking road that offers a magnificent ride full of hairpins. We’ll stop briefly at Udaipur to visit the Mrikula Mata Temple. From Udaipur, we say goodbye to the tarmac and say hello to very challenging dirt roads. Careful on the curves here, as it so narrow that it is hard to find somewhere to pull over to let others coming in the opposite direction, room to pass. Thousands of metres high in the Himalayan mountains and deep gorges makes this day exceptional and truly unforgettable. We guarantee you’ve never camped in a more surreal place in your life. If this night doesn’t blow you away, nothing will.
EXPLORE KILLAR (180kms | 6-7 hrs)
You’ve seen the videos on YouTube where crazy riders tackle an extremely narrow mountain road with sheer drop offs, knee deep puddles of mud and waterfalls cascading over them, well now is your chance to be one of the crazy people. This is optional but highly encouraged. We head north east along the Chenab River before turning around to head back to our campsite on top of the mountain. Get your cameras out for some amazing time lapse photos of the milky way spiralling over the Himalayas.
KILLAR TO KHAJJIAR (180kms | 7-8 hrs)
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 adrenalin 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 mountains.
We descend into the tree line and continue along the forest road that is spotted with small villages, through the valley all the way to until Khajjiar. Often called India’s Switzerland, the exquisite glade of has a circumference of approximately 5km. Along its fringes, thick forests of Himalayan Cedar climb the slopes, the snow-line rests above these woods. There is a 12th century temple dedicated to Khajji Nag that contains life size, wooden images of the Pandavas brothers.
DAY 10: ENDLESS TWISTIES
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 vis a seemingly endless twisting cliff road to Chowari through a Rhododendron and Oak forest. The bewitching beauty of the paddy fields will jostle for your attention while descending. The town of Dalhousie can be seen in the distance through the Jungle. After Chowari road we pass through a narrow valley and before joining main highway of Pathankot to Dharamsala, the home town of the Dalai Lama.
FREE DAY IN DHARAMSALA
A former colonial retreat, McLeod Ganj rose to prominence after the large scale exodus of Tibetans from their homeland in 1959. It is now the home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama with the majestic Hanuman Ka Tibba mountain behind it. As this is our last day on the bikes and very much a free day, we’ll have a late breakfast before visiting the Dalai Lama’s residence and if he’s in town we might be fortunate enough to hear him speak.
We’ll explore more of the local area, Tibetan handicraft centre, the monastery of Nurbulinga and the Hindu temple at Kangra. We’ll head back to our hotel and check over the bikes with the mechanics and pack for your flight to Delhi the next day. The evening dinner will be somewhere special to celebrate your phenomenal achievement.
Time to board the flight back to Delhi and head home. Back on home turf you won’t be able to explain the scale of this journey; photographs and videos will fail to do justice to your adventure. Your memories of this epic adventure will stay with your forever.
DHARAMSALA TO DELHI TO YOUR ONWARD DESTINATION
We take an early morning flight to New Delhi and we’ll transfer you to the hotel where you can shower and relax. If you have a late flight then you are free to shop or explore some of the many interesting sightseeing options, for example: seeing old Delhi by bicycle rickshaw, exploring the spice market, India Gate, the houses of parliament, the legendary Red Fort, walk in Lodi Gardens and much more.
Time to board the flight back to Delhi and head home. On the plane, it will hit you, what an insane adventure you’ve just been on and you’ll be smiling in your sleep as you completely zonk out. Once home, you won’t be able to explain the scale of this journey; photographs and videos will fail to do justice to your extraordinary adventure. Your memories of this epic adventure will stay with your forever.
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 mini bus, entry fees and lunch are included in the price of US$220
INSURANCE IN INDIA, NEPAL, BHUTAN, MONGOLIA, MYANMAR and SRI LANKA
In the countries we conduct adventures, commercial insurance on motor vehicles is either not available, or is of questionable value. They are generally worthless in the event one needs to make a claim. Accidents and damages occurring in these countries are usually settled on the spot and can take hours and even days.
Himalayan Heroes offers optional insurance that covers damage to the bike you are riding. The premium is US$20 per day of the tour, paid as a lump sum before the tour starts. In the event you damage the motorcycle, the insurance will cap your damage bill at US$200.(A US$200 excess)
3 Scenarios (based on a 12 day adventure)
- If, like most of our riders, you do not damage the motorcycle then the total cost to you is US$240.
- If, like some of our riders, you put the bike down and damage mirrors, levers, foot pegs etc and the damage bill is say US$120 then you pay the $120. The total cost to you is US$360 (US$240 + US$120)
- If you have a big off and damage the tank, forks etc and the damage bill is say US$750 then you only pay the $200 excess. The total cost to you is US$440 (US$240 premium + US$200 excess).
This insurance 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 insurance or are thinking about any of our adventures.