Most popular travel circuit in Himachal Himalayas is the Leh-Ladakh Circuit. Next comes the Spiti Valley Circuit but not much is heard about the remaining three circuits namely Udaipur – Pangi – Kishtwar, Chamba – Saach – Udaipur, and Rohru – Tiuni – Shillai.
The first two take you through the higher and Pir Panjal Himalayas and that’s the reason they are known to most of the travel enthusiasts.
Snow, you see, is a great motivation.
The Rohru – Tuni – Shillai circuit rides through the Shivalik and lower ranges of Dhauladhar Himalayas. On top of that the road condition is not good. However, there are enough reasons for you to hit the road and see this relatively unexplored region of the Himalayas.
Here are the five good reasons.
Riding through the Conifers: This road takes you to the ‘Apple Belt’ of Himachal. From Kotkhai to Rohru you will see apple orchards all around. Colorful houses in the middle of an Apple orchard look beautiful. Riding through the conifers, 2000 meters above sea level with cool wind blowing in your face will certainly remind you of Shimla.
And if you are riding in winters make sure you have either a huge belly or a gigantic bag to carry apples. Believe me, eating apple in an orchard is an experience in itself.
Chanshal Peak & Chandranahan Lake: Chanshal Peak (4520 meters) is the highest peak of this region. The Chandranahan Lake originates from the Chanshal Ranges and it is one of the most beautiful lakes of the Himachal Himalayas. It feeds the main stream of the Pabbar River which runs down all the way to Tiuni before becoming one with Tons River.
Chanshal is one day trek from Rohru.
Trek Difficulty: Moderate.
The Hatkoti Shrine: Even if you are not a religious person, you will admire the beauty of Hatkoti Temple and its premises. Hatkoti Village gives you first glimpse of the Pabbar River and the view is mesmerizing. Rohru is 30 KM from Hatkoti and spending some time in the temple will certainly charge your cells.
The temple architecture is magnificent and it might remind you of the Parashar Temple in Mandi.
The Mahasu Mahashiva Temple:Mahasu Hanol temple in Tiuni, Uttarakhand (UK) is a new world in itself. A trek route opens from here to the beautiful Har Ki Doon Valley in UK. River Tons flows close by and the story of its origin is quite interesting. [Read Here]
The most unusual aspect of the temple is two spherical rocks about one foot in diameter. The fun part is to lift these rocks on your shoulder and head and then throw them to the ground. It is believed that only a pious-hearted person can lift up these rocks. And you will also learn that from Shimla to Shillai, the whole region was once known as Mahasu Region.
Dehradun is just a 160 kilometers from Hanol-Mahasu village, FYI.
HaripurDhar, Shillai: HaripurDhar connects the Churdhar region to Shillai region of Sirmour district. It is said that fog is all you find here in winters, summers, and the rainy season. The Churdhar Peak (3600 meters) stands tall in the foreground inviting you to scale it. The ‘weather reporting saint’ of Churdhar stays atop the peak across the year, even when it is 6 feet snow outside.
One road leads to the Renuka Ji Lake while the other takes you to Solan-Shimla through one of the thickest forests of Himachal.
Fancy meeting a black bear or a leopard?
There are enough stay options at Hatkoti, Rohru, Tiuni, and HaripurDhar. However, ATM and petrol pump are at Rohru and Hatkoti only. From Tiuni to HaripurDhar the road is always under construction, ALWAYS!
Hope you will enjoy travelling on this road someday. HRTC (Himachal State Transport) runs regular buses between Rohru-Tiuni-Dehradun. In order to go to Shillai, HaripurDhar, you will private cabs, private buses, and sharing cabs in Tiuni.