Jispa to Pang – Lahaul Valley to Ladakh

by Vargis.Khan

This post is in continuation with a previous one and a part of my Ladakh bike trip log. We reached Jispa from Delhi on the first 2 days of the trip and camped there for the night. On Day 3, we traveled from Jispa to Pang, details of which are described in the post below. To read the previous parts of the travelogue, please click on the links below.

The Journey So Far:

I really like the location of Jispa. To be quite honest, I find this particular town to be the most scenic one on the entire Manali Leh route. Keylong usually becomes the preferred choice of stay due to its wider range of accommodation options. But to me, Jispa is far better in terms of scenic beauty.

While Keylong remains to be a bit crowded, Jispa is just a handful of houses with fewer people. There are a few campsites and a couple of hotels here. I would highly recommend that you break the journey at Jispa rather than Keylong.

Day 3 – Jispa to Pang

I was again the first one to get out of bed to find that there was still no electricity in the town. The black-out from last night continued the next morning as well. Our next stop was the Chadar tents at Pang and there too, electricity is not guaranteed.

The only thing that got me a bit worried was not being able to charge my DSLR. I switched it on and the battery was showing at about 75%, enough juice to last the next 2 days.

After waking up our hosts and asking for a cup of tea, I grabbed my camera and took a stroll around the river flowing right next to our camping site.

Finding a Mechanic in Jispa

Last morning in Manali, I went around looking for a puncture repair shop and this morning was no different. Our luggage, including the puncture repair kit, was still on the motorcycles. We did not remove it the night before to avoid the hassle of roping it again the next morning.

Also, I was sure that neither of us would be in the mood of fixing a flat Tire early morning. After inquiring from the camping site owner, I went around for a walk in the village. The idea was to find the puncture repair shop that I was told usually opens early in the morning.

After walking around leisurely for almost half an hour clicking photos, I finally spotted the repair shop. Contrary to what I was told, It was still closed.

I asked a few locals but no one could tell me when it would open. So the only option left was to walk back to the camping site, check out of there and get the puncture repaired while on our way to Pang.

Camping in Jispa, the huts we stayed at.

jispa village

Met this beautiful child. She was so eager to pose for a few photographs.

jispa village

Hotel Ibex Jispa

On my way back, I noticed the sound of a generator in Hotel Jispa. I looked at the meter on my camera and it was still at 75% battery. Still, I walked into the hotel restaurant, ordered a cup of tea, and plugged in the camera to the nearby socket to get it charged.

I spoke to the guy at the restaurant and after taking his consent, left my camera’s battery still plugged into the socket. I walked back to the camping site and got the Trio out of their beds. After a quick breakfast, we checked out of the campsite, grabbed my camera’s battery from Hotel Jispa, and were soon standing at the puncture repair shop.

So far in 2 days of journey, we already had 5 flat tires and I wondered if there were more to come. With such happy thoughts, we finally started our Day 3 towards Pang.

Jispa to Pang Distance

The total distance between Jispa and Pang is approximately 165 kilometers. This journey will approximately take you anywhere between 4-7 hours depending on your speed.

We knew that we were going to be stopping a lot for sightseeing. I was already quite sure that we will only get to Pang by sunset.

Deepak Tal

It wasn’t long before we reached our 1st lake for this trip, the mesmerizing Deepak Taal, and broke the journey for a quick photo session.

deepak taal

Deepak Taal is a very small lake and you can walk around it in full circle in 15-20 minutes but this doesn’t make it any lesser in beauty. There is some open space right on the banks of the lake and if you are carrying your own camping gear, it is a perfect place to pitch your tent.

There are a few dhabas right next to the lake. Before you go camping here, I would urge that you talk to the dhaba owners and take their consent.

Actually, the dhabas are another reason which makes this lake a good camping spot. You will not have to worry about food and washroom facility; just pay a little to the dhaba owners and you can use their washrooms. For more details, take a look at Deepak Tal – How to Reach, Best Time & Sightseeing.

Baralacha La

Soon we were standing atop Baralacha La, our 2nd high altitude pass. I was expecting to find it covered with snow like we did the last time but was disappointed. Snow was only limited to the top of distant peaks and a little on side of the road.

vargis khan

Our 2nd lake, Sooraj Taal was completely frozen under a sheet of white during our last trip but this time it was all green.

sooraj tal

There is an interesting tale related to Baralacha La, Suraj Tal, and Chandratal. Read The Legend of Chandratal for an amazing love story written in the stars.

We crossed Baralacha La and the next stop was at Chamba Dhaba, just after the mighty pass. The road so far in the journey was 50% bad, 25% OK, and 25% good.

As we moved towards Sarchu, conditions deteriorated, limiting our speed to merely 15-20 km/hour. The only relief was in the fact that roads were a mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly, and the ugly part didn’t continue for long.

Came across this unknown lake, our 3rd for the trip.

jispa to pang

Jispa to Sarchu Distance

Distance between Jispa and Sarchu is approximately 86 kilometers which will take you about 3-4 hours to cover depending upon your breaks and speed. Since we were stopping too often, we took way longer to cover the distance.

Just before Sarchu, we came across a section of road that was in pretty good condition straight ahead, inviting us to speed up a little, which we all did.

The moment we accelerated our motorcycles to around 70-80, out of nowhere came a pigeon flying so low that it was hit by Shoaib’s motorcycle and died instantly.

We all stopped and after removing the poor bird off-road, decided to take it as a sign that this journey is not meant for speeding up. From there on, we strictly limited our speed to around 40-50 kilometers per hour.

jispa to pang

Gata Loops

We were soon on Gata Loops, ascending our way to our 3rd high altitude pass of the journey. There is an interesting story related to these loops. You can read The Ghost of Gata Loops for the story of the ghost that is said to haunt the place.

The small temple that the ghost story is related to.

gata loops

Finally at our 3rd high altitude pass, Nakeela.

Not long after Nakeela came Lachulung La, our 4th high altitude pass.

jispa to pang

By now the sun had already started settling down. The Trio was already way ahead of me but I still could not resist the frequent breaks to click the virgin beauty of this region.

Pang

It was almost dark by the time I reached Pang. Others were already there and had already checked into a tenting accommodation.

At Pang, just like Jispa, we again thought of leaving our luggage tied on the motorcycles. After thinking for a while though, we decided against it and moved it inside the tent.

After a few cups of tea and delicious dinner, we were all crawled in our respective blankets, dozing off in a matter of few minutes.

Jispa to Leh Distance

The total distance between Jispa and Leh is about 335 kilometers. This journey may very well take you at least 10-11 hours with breaks limited to a minimum.

Jispa to Leh in One Day

Some people try to make it to Leh from Jispa in one day. This can be easily done but please ensure that you start as early as you can from Jispa, possibly by 5-6 AM, so that you can make it to Leh before dark. The HRTC bus that does this journey in a day from Keylong starts at 4-5 AM so you can imagine how long this journey will be.

Thus ended our 3rd day of the journey. So far we have had 5 breakdowns, all in the form of flat tires, crossed 4 high-altitude passes and saw 3 high-altitude lakes. The destination for tomorrow was the beautiful town of Leh. Please click on the link above to continue reading the next part of the travelogue.

Jispa to Pang – Conclusion

I hope the travelogue, pictures, and information on traveling from Jispa to Pang were of help. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below, or at our Community Forum, and I will be happy to answer.

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