Day 1: Delhi to Shimla, Spiti Circuit

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Delhi – Spiti Roadtrip Planning

Was planning with family on going on a trip slightly different, off-beat and a pinch of adventure attached to it and was contemplating between Leh-Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir to Spiti Valley in Himachal.

For some reason, the tickets of Hyderabad – Leh are always at a premium taking into consideration the no. of flights and the tourist destination it is and zeroed in on Spiti valley which is not frequented by tourists who either visit Shimla / Manali on either sides and do not explore further.

The beauty of this Himalayan region lies beyond both these places and that is where we decided to explore.

So the Planning part to start with, watching YouTube videos, reading blogs, mesmerizing over Instagram feeds of fellow travel bloggers.

Planning the initial itinerary

Firstly, understanding the route, pit stops, fuel outlets, food, washrooms enroute and in planning out this stuff came a planning website handy which you should visit: ScoutMyTrip

This startup just does not help you in planning but also helps you in identifying tourist attractions which are a must visit.

Here is my Travel Plan: Travel Plan – ScoutMyTrip

Noteworthy YouTube Channels are as below:

Mountain Trekker: Click Here

Himalayan Roads: Click Here

India in Motion: Click Here

Day One: Travel to Delhi and Accommodation

We are from Hyderabad and took a flight on a Friday evening to Delhi, having reached late night, we in for a bad taste of Delhi as had to wait for the Meru cab for an hour at airport and after boarding this gentleman driver ditched us en-route with an excuse of traffic leaving us no where to go, to add to the misery, it started to rain.

As we were starting to struggle, a auto driver came to our rescue (a good Samaritan) he not just helped us find the hotel we booked but ensured we were in comfortably and did not charge a bomb which could have been the case as we were past midnight by then.

Now, we booked a OYO Rooms in Delhi as we entered (pictures can be deceiving at times as listed on website), we had a tiny room assigned to us. Well, with all the travel and the adventure with Meru Cabs we decided, it was enough for a night and retired to bed after a long night.

Starting from Delhi

With the alarms set for 0700 hrs, we were prompt to wake up, get ready, have breakfast and were in again for a bad experience with MylesCars when the car that we booked was yet to arrive even after an hour. Reason quoted was that the verification documents didnot reach them on time.

One major complaint with Myles would be the outdated / bad cars they offer to customers who are caught unaware if it is a home delivery requested which we did  in our case.

Car allotted to us by Myles, This has dents all over (Hood, Bonnet were making crazy sounds and other challenges you just need to name it)

Finally, we started at 1030 Hrs (instead of our planned 0900 hrs).

So we started off the trip and the circuit is as below:

We started from New Delhi (Airport) and wanted to cover until Shimla on Day One.

Source: Google (a bike expedition community)

Actual time taken for the Circuit

DayFrom To Distance (kms)Time Taken (hrs)Remarks
OneNew DelhiShimla4309:30 
TwoShimlaKalpa (Reckong Peo)2468:00 
FourTaboKaza654:00Enroute visited Dhankar Gompa
FiveKazaKi Gompa – Kaza152:00 
SixKazaChandratal Lake86.26:00Very narrow roads & in very bad condition
SevenChandratal LakeManali1239.50Narrow paths and ~15 nalas (water crossings)
NineManaliDelhi56014Heavy traffic (due to long weekend)

The entire journey was good with no major challenges other than the rain and wonderful foggy conditions making it a bit challenge to see the roads ahead. Stopped en-route to take the Punjab / Haryana Road tax at their numerous Tax counters beside petrol filling stations / Dhabas. The cost is around Rs. 270 (which includes some commission that is not on the Tax receipt) by the agents.

Roads as we are driving on the Delhi – Chandigarh Highway

Now coming to the most important part of our journey, we stopped at Haldirams for Lunch around 1300 hrs.

Had a wonderful meal of Roti and Paneer Gravy rice.

Tandoori Roti at Haldirams
Mixed Veg Curry @ Haldirams
Cottage Cheese (Paneer) Gravy with Rice @ Haldirams

As we start on our journey, we start to climb the mountains / Ghat section somewhere close to Solan as we enter Himachal Pradesh.

A delight to the eye with rain, fog, roads being repaired yet you are going forward!

As we start on our way to Shimla crossing Solan, Himachal
A Mud slide being repaired
28ca4 img 0333
It was as if we were traveled into the clouds

A video of the Solan to Shimla and the beautiful nature it has to offer:

After a good amount of drive we reach our destination after some confusion, checking with locals, OYO was very helpful here.

We were surprised with this new property, looked very well maintained with parking, the place offered us an upgrade knowing we were coming all the way from Delhi and were on a Spiti Circuit. Soo nice of them.

We were lucky to identify this property through OYO rooms and is a fairly new property constructed and starting business in Dec’16. Good beds with a few rooms which have a balcony with great views.

Our Room for the night with OYO Rooms, The Bodhi Tree BnB, Shimla
Kadai Panner @ The Bodhi Tree BnB
Vegetable Maggi @ Bodhi Tree
Tandoori Roti @ Bodhi Tree

After a wonderful dinner, we hit the bed with the heater on and all tired.

Day One was a wonderful experience, and had a gala time driving, enjoying nature, food, and wonderful surroundings.

A small video of a part of Day One journey: Solan to Shimla

A few views from the Bodhi Tree BnB i stayed at

View from The Bodhi Tree BnB, Shimla
The Bodhi Tree BnB, Shimla
View from The Bodhi Tree BnB, Shimla

Stay Tuned for the rest of my #SpitiCircuit Stories:


Any suggestions and feedback welcome…

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5 responses to “Day 1: Delhi to Shimla, Spiti Circuit”

  1. Nice property it seems for the Shimla stop. Guess you had taken the photographs of the car in detail so as to avoid later confrontation with the Myles guys.

    Great start!

    • Yes detailed ones… Was a bit disappointed when it was delivered but had to continue with the trip, touch wood other than strange sounds and puncture, all went fine and it stood the test in the Spiti Circuit

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