14th September 2014, Sunday……Day(4) Killar-Udaipur-Keylong 133 km
After a day’s rest and a visit to Sural Bhatori area of Pangi Valley, it was time to say goodbye to Killar. The morning in Killar was so good that leaving it was a bit of pain.
The destination for the day was Keylong. The entire road was along beautiful Chandra Bhaga (Chenab) river. Loved riding along the beautiful blue Chenab in that rugged wilderness and bone breaking tough lonely road. It was so wild and beautiful that I was stopping after every few kilometers, savouring the landscape and clicking pictures.
The first water crossing was Mahlu nallah one kilometer after Killar. This nallah is a kind of natural boundary for the employees from other areas posted in Killar. They feel like getting out of prison while going back on leave or posting back to their respective areas.
This entire ROAD……from Bairagarh to Udaipur (130 kilometer, via Saach Pass) will test your butts and mental strength. It is one of the toughest I have been on so far. It ranks very close to Kaza-Batal-Manali road. The landscape is eerie and fearsome. Most of the road is along Chandrabhaga river which is wild and beautiful.
The road is steep, narrow, slushy, potholed, lonely, full of gushing water streams with danger of falling boulders looming large all the time. It becomes super dangerous during monsoons. It is difficult to get immediate help in case of emergency and break down.
Mobile connectivity is also very weak. There are ample places to eat all along the route from Killar to Keylong though. Forest Rest Houses and PWD Rest Houses are available almost every 10 kilometers.
Shaor is gateway to Pangi. Purthi is a major village 26 km from Killar. Tindi, 63 km from Killar, is a popular pit stop. Udaipur, 80 km from Killar is the biggest town on the route.
It was 6pm evening and I was still at Trilokinath temple. Keylong was still 52 kilometers away. So I thought I was in for another night ride on an unknown mountain road. But it was different this time than Bagotu-Killar ride.
The road was comparatively good and passed through some prosperous lahauli villages. At few places in between I tried to find a place for stay, did not find one and continued riding in the night towards Keylong.
Reached Keylong at around 9pm and found a good place for stay on the main Leh-Manali road. It took me around 14 hours to reach 130 kilometers from Killar to Keylong on yet another butt breaking and willpower testing road.
Of Course the time taken included numerous photo stops, pit stops and leisure stops. But all in all another memorable ride. I was on the main Manali-Rohtang-Leh route. The only difference was…by following Amritsar-Saach Pass-Killar-Keylong route, I was able to byepass Rohtang Pass………….!!!