Kunzum Top, Spiti, Lahaul, Rpad Trip, Himalaya, Hatchback, Ford Figo, Blog, Travelogue

My Tryst With Kunzum Pass: Road trip From Kaza To Kunzum Top

Something Hidden. Go find it. Go and look behind ranges – something lost behind the ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go.                      ~Rudyard Kipling

Kunzum Pass or Kunzum La at 4950 mt ASL is a high mountain pass in Himachal Pradesh, India connecting Kullu and Lahaul Valley with Spiti Valley. It’s one of the highest motorable  pass in the world that remain closed for  7-8 months in a year thus every year it exhibits its mighty importance by forcing people to foot walk the high glacier mountains to reach other side. It’s a divine place on earth surrounded by the grandeur of Himalaya which not only connects two important valleys but also signifies the confluence of two cultures i.e. Hinduism of Kullu and Lahual with Buddhism of Spiti.

Kunzum Top: A confluence of Hindduisma nd Buddhism!

Kunzum Top: A confluence of Hinduism and Buddhism!

One has to pass many ordeals from either side to reach this place but at the end each ordeal pays heavy dividend in the form of pristine beauty on either side of this Pass. Kunzum Top has a definitive allure which pull you towards it which I never felt anywhere ever. Goddess Kunzum is the residing deity and keeps guard over this pass. Every passerby has high reverence towards her and without paying due obeisance no one passes from here as they believe Goddess Kunzum wards off all the evil and peril of this treacherous road.

To witness the might and the beauty of Kunzum Range we started our road trip from Kaza side and it was a 70 KM journey along River Spiti – a last leg of extreme adventure high adrenaline filled with all adjectives one can think of for a road trip..It was offbeat, off-track, adventurous, Self-elevating, risky, scary, heavenly etc etc.  Each turn of the road from Kaza to Kunzum brings another breathtaking awe and thus we stopped every mile to capture the expanse of visual scenery spread in all directions.

Expanse of Spiti Valley from Kaza as we start our road trip to Kunzum

Expanse of Spiti Valley from Kaza as we start our road trip to Kunzum

Key Monastery from other other side of Spiti: 6 KM from Kaza on the road to Kunzum

Key Monastery from other side of Spiti: 6 KM from Kaza on the road to Kunzum

Kunzum Top. Spiti, Lahaul, Rpad Trip, Himalaya, Spiti RIver, Landscape, Hatchback, Ford Figo, Blog, Travelogue

Road to Heaven called Kunzum!

On this road while driving up steep incline, I started to believe that God of Landscaping must have started to paint the Canvas of Spiti Valley while sitting at Kunzum Top overlooking entire Spiti Valley and certainly Spiti is his most beautiful art form. With best of all his skills and knowledge he colored every inch of Spiti Valley and then he created the Kunzum Pass to guard his pristine beauty from the outside world.

Awesome Landscapes!

Awesome Landscapes!

Road to Heaven called Kunzum!

Road to Heaven called Kunzum!

God of Landscaping inspired by God of Sculpture.

God of Landscaping inspired by God of Sculpture.

It seems as if soldiers of by gone era still standing and gurading the River Spiti

It seems as if soldiers of by gone era still standing and gaurding the River Spiti

Snow Capped Himalyan Peaks!

Snow Capped Himalayan Peaks!

Spiti River: A constant Companioin!

Spiti River: A constant Companioin!

Vibrant and colorful Spiti River Bed

Vibrant and colorful Spiti River Bed

After crossing sparsely populated hamlets such as Rangrik, Murang, Hull, Kyata, Losar and enjoying all around amusement recreated by nature we reached Kunzum in 4 Hours. A series of Chortens decorated with Buddhist Prayer Flags welcome us, however, I got the overwhelming kick by standing next to the Sign Board confirming our arrival to Kuzum Top. Another landmark achieved and it was invaluable.

Another achievement!

Another achievement!

The Kunzum Top: Prayer Flags

The Kunzum Top: Prayer Flags

Kunzum Pass!

Kunzum Pass!

The entire set-up is a symbol of mutual respect people of this region have for Hinduism and Buddhism as Chorten with Prayer flags resemble Buddhism but the Goddess inside the Chorten is Hindu Goddess Durga revered at Goddess Kunzum here. A gravel road off-shootong from main road encircles this Hindu Temple before merging with Main road. Local people and truckers revere this as path of good luck and insist on everyone to circumambulate the temple before going further, so we also took this path to keep lady luck on our side. Another ritual to follow here is to stick a metal coin on a statue inside the temple through the window. Success in doing so confirms you as a person with good karma and failure ask you to keep trying. I was the third person of the day who could successfully stick the coin. Woohooo..

Kunzum Top. Spiti, Lahaul, Rpad Trip, Himalaya, Hatchback

Temple of Goddess Kunzum!

The Kunzum Pass or Kunzum La!

The Kunzum Pass or Kunzum La!

We together at the top of the world!

We together at the top of the world!

Further, we spend 10 minutes on this pass and I could sense over joyous calm seeping deep inside my mind and filling my soul with blissful elation. This in all senses was a self-elevating experience which I never felt earlier and more so because I reached  the top of the world on my hatchback and this realization doubled up the joy. But the grand presence of the Himalaya amidst the vastness of nothing all around made me feel humbled and I bowed again before the residing deity before pulling the ignition of my car.

My Hatchback finally conqured Kunzum Pass

My Hatchback finally conquered Kunzum Pass

Some More Photographs of my road trip from Kaza to Kunzum:

IMG_4734 IMG_4741 IMG_4745 IMG_4747 IMG_4773 IMG_4775 IMG_4813 IMG_4814 IMG_4819 IMG_4821 IMG_4823 IMG_4827 IMG_4834 IMG_4835 IMG_4843 IMG_4859

********

How to Reach Kunzum:

This can be reached only by road triping either from Manali/Keylong side or from Kaza Side.

From Manali/Keylong: Both routes from Manali and Keylong merge at Gramphu which is 60 KM from Kunzum. Manali to Kunzum is 130 KM and Keylong to Kunzuum is 110KM.

From Kaza Side: 70 KM drive from Kaza mostly along Spiti river takes you to Kunzum Pass.

********

Related Posts:

30 Black & White Images Of Spiti Valley

Quick View: Self Drive Road Trip to Spiti Valley, Himachal, India

Chandratal Lake: Stunning Natural Beauty In High Himalayas

********

75 thoughts on “My Tryst With Kunzum Pass: Road trip From Kaza To Kunzum Top

  1. galanda23 says:

    Your post and gorgeous photos unveil to me a side of India very few people talk about. It’s the beauty of the less beaten path, where the culture is still untouched by the modern civilization. Thank you for sharing this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. theglobewanderers says:

    What an incredible landscape. Your photos are certainly selling this to me!
    It all looks so vast yet beautiful. So pleased to have read this. Never knew much about this area before.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. theoldfellowgoesrunning says:

    Bravo to your little red Ford hatchback to take you up through that pass, 4590 metres is such a long way up for a car to keep running with lower oxygen.

    Your pictures are absolutely breathtaking. You captured the vastness of it so well. How much more it would be like in person.

    The picture which was 2 pictures after your little red car, is incredible. The drop offs on the road with no guardrails whatsoever. Certainly would not want to meet another car there. Just AMAZING!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

    ~Carl~

    Like

  4. Steve says:

    Well written, beautiful pictures, and it’s a road trip story (which I love to do too!). I’ve roadtripped in the Sierras, Rockies, Andes, and Alps/Dolomites and the Himalayas are next on my list. Thanks for including tips on doing this…

    Like

  5. Sanket D. says:

    I narrowly missed out on a volunteer opportunity in Spiti earlier this year. I’ve been wanting to explore the area for a bit. Great pictures here, Himanshu. Glad you had a lot of fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Himanshu says:

      Thanks Bharat. You must go there. For any support do let me know. And i ahev received your mail but due to diwali festive season. Could nt get time to plan and revert. But certainly we would work out. Will connect over mail on that.

      Like

  6. Andapo says:

    Great photos… I don’t follow from where to where you went… kaza pass connects from one valley to Spiti… and the brown dry landscape along with changes in few places with new capped mountains somewhere… well it was nice to know about the tolerance or merger of Hinduism with Buddhism here…pretty cool!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Himanshu says:

      Haha…. you may have to read other post on my spiti tour to understand where all i visited.
      This plae in Himalaya is really amazing place. and offers different kind of experience.

      Like

  7. Manish says:

    Beautiful pictures. I am planning this june to do the same circuit. I am thinking of doing it in a Hyundai Grand i10, Ground clearance is 165mm whereas figo is 170mm. Did you anywhere phase any difficulty in taking figo throughout the trip?
    Is it easy for hatchbacks?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Everything_Candid says:

      Hii Manish,
      You will facee some issue near Batal-Chhatru if plan in June as melting water overflows and that hides everything. Plan for September or early October as by then flow of melting water will be less and easily you could drive through rough patches.
      I didnt phase any problem as i did it in September last week.

      Like

      • Manish says:

        Hi
        Thanks for the quick response. Few more things I would like to ask is
        1) Did your car get any underbelly hits?
        2) Did you visit Chandratal lake too?
        3) Now I have planned to hire a self drive figo with 3 people on board. Apart from the water nallas crossing the road(Which we will somehow manage to cross), Will the Figo manage to escape without getting underbelly hits and undamaged bumpers?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Everything_Candid says:

        Hey anish,
        1. Yes i had few underbelly hits but fortunately nothing serious.
        2. Yes i did visit Chandratal. All the way upto Chandratal aprking. Check my blogpost: https://everythingcandid.com/2015/10/23/chandratal-lake-stunning-natural-beauty-in-high-himalayas/
        3. I cannot answer this directly. But my suggestion would be to have highest level of patience and you would certainly make it. Whenever you are in doubt, ask your team member to go down and guide you. I believe it is doable. However, will again suggest you to go in September 🙂 with Figo.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s