I woke up in the morning and it was drizzling with no one around and so I went again for a nap after getting free from morning rituals. Woke up again around 0900 hrs and came out to see the drizzle still continuing. There was a heavy fog kind of setup in the direction where Parbati was flowing. Perhaps it was mist created by furor Parbati and all that we could hear was the guzzling sound of Parbati making it’s way downwards in the valley, crushing the large boulders it faced. (more…)
We got up around 0330 hrs and freshened up and by 0430, we were all set to zip. Sany has already expressed his desire to be on wheels as he wanted to test the Beast’s power and it was agreed that he would be driving for the entire trip. Couple of calls were exchanged with Dheeraj as it was decided that we’d be meeting at Mukarba Chowk by 0500 hrs and we were already late by that standards. We told them to drive ahead and wait at Murthal, the time they can utilize in having breakfast.
All stuffed and set
The journey starts
We tried to catch up with them, however, were able to reach Murthal only by 0530 hrs. By the time Dheeraj etc had already had their breakfast, and so we advised them to proceed ahead and we’ll catch up with them later.
We stopped at Hari Dhaba as the so famous Amrik Sukhdev has gone bonkers with the taste and they’re now just minting money owing to their name. Hari Dhaba is Sany’s trusted place. We had some paranthas and tea at the dhaba and then started further. The time read 0610.
Hari Dhaba, Murthal
By 0705, we crossed the Panipat toll and next 40 minutes to cross Karnal toll. We were aware that Bilaspur-Swarghat-Sundernagar route is broken like hell and so we had decided to take Kiratpur-Anandpur-Una-Bhota-Ner Chowk-Mandi route. At the outskirts of Chandigarh, we were supposed to catch up with Dheeraj. However, they took the Zirakpur road from Ambala passing through the Chandigarh city, while we preferred going ahead to Shambhu Barrier and then turning right on the Landran-Kharar road to avoid the city hustle-bustle and in the melee, Dheeraj again remained ahead of us.
By 0915, passing by Landran, we saw police personnel on both sides of the road, stopping vehicles with non-Punjab registration with hawk eyes. We were also waved to stop and a policeman asked for the papers. Now since I always keep all the papers in original and PUC updated, I had no fears and so started handing over the papers. When all papers including PUC were in order, the policeman took all the papers and insisted that we meet someone in a police picket at the crossing itself. We went inside and I saw a person who was showing his MTNL ID card as proof of employment and requesting to let go – his offense, he wasn’t wearing seat belts. The policeman was threatening him for a challan of 1000 Rupees and finally, he paid a bribe of 200 and left. The guy – I still remember his name since I had noted it down – Balvinder Singh, had a look at our papers and then said that we have to pay a fine of 2000 Rupees as our vehicle had film on the window. Well, I did had a film on the windows, installed by the agency in 2007 when I took the delivery of the vehicle. That was a Garware film with over 70% transparency and usually you can’t make it out just by seeing. I was surprised and shocked! This guy, sitting inside, how can he come to know that there is a film? Then I understood that perhaps the other policeman, while taking papers from us would have noticed the same and signaled him – in a way that we were not able to see and comprehend! Again the usual threat of getting us challaned was done. Me and wifey were of the opinion that we shall pay the full amount and get a receipt and challan so that the policeman don’t benefit out of it, however, Sany asked me to keep quiet and that he would settle the matter. A bit of persuasion with 200 Rupees and finally Mr. Balvinder Singh agreed for INR 300! I couldn’t believe myself – we just paid a bribe! That too to Punjab Police, whose image is very good in my eyes as I understand from friends that they are very strict and don’t accept the bribe. Further, this is not my way, I’ve never paid a bribe in life and it was disgusting to go through it. Had Sany not been with us, I would have paid the entire amount! This left a bad taste in my mind – given the first opportunity, I’d get the film removed. Sany said that since we would be passing through this place during evening on return, it would be best to get it removed at Noida itself.
Anyways, starting from there, we passed by Kharar, Kurali and then passing through Ropar (or Rup Nagar as the new name), we arrived at Kiratpur, taking the road towards Anandpur Sahib, arriving at the Kiratpur-Una toll by 1025 hours. The roads were very good and we were zipping by.
Bridge at Satluj Kanal before Kiratpur sahib
We stopped at Verka Milk Bar (Verka is the brand name of Punjab Milk Producer’s cooperative), bang on the road at Anandpur Sahib (ok, in fact we passed by and then Sany discussed about it and we took a U-turn to come back) and had some lassi and chhachh (buttermilk). My kiddo was excited to see some chicken in a coop. 🙂
During the drive, a lot of phone calls were coming to Sany and he had some heated exchange of words with someone. He later explained that he has shifted to a new premises and someone was trying to be bossy. But that meant that he had to reach office as early as possible and hence he won’t be able to make it to Tirthan. Since we were sharing the car, that meant I had to cancel my plan too, but then that’s called mutual understanding! Some other time Tirthan, some other time.
By 1100 hrs, we reached Himachal border at Mehtapur and by 1120 hrs, we were at Una ready to turn towards Bhota. We decided to tank up at Una as afterwards it was mostly the interior roads till Ner Chowk and we were not sure of fuel availability. My kiddo hadn’t eaten much since morning and so we utilized this time to buy some bananas for her.
We started again and drove towards Bhota and the roads indeed were in better shape, in fact good!
Another hour in drive and my little kiddo started throwing tantrums as she became too hungry, not have eaten the bananas we bought. Just before Bhota near Bangana, we stopped at a road side dhaba which had maggi with them. The lady prepared maggi for the kiddo and we had our share of tea, and then we started again.
Further ahead, the road condition started deteriorating and at one point near Barshar (or was it Salouni) there was a bifurcation of road, the left one looking somewhat good and the right one completely in dilapidated conditions. We took the left fork, but couple of meters ahead it was appearing to climb up high, decided to ask for directions with some people who were sitting at the junction and they advised to take the right fork to reach Bhota. Now this road was on a cliff, broken at places, so much so that there was barely space for one vehicle to pass. Couple of hundreds meters, the road conditions improved again.
We reached Bhota and then took the road towards Jahu, passing over the Jahu bridge (the same bridge that was swept in this year’s flood), and then the road towards Ner Chowk via Kalkhar and Dahnun. We were in touch with Dheeraj constantly over phone and they stated that they were just ahead, about to reach Mandi. The time read 1500 hrs and we were feeling hungry as well. It was decided that we’ll have lunch at Mandi after crossing the bridge and Dheeraj et el would let us know where they’ve stopped.
Shortly, by the time we approached the outskirts of Mandi, Dheeraj called up to inform that they’re stopping at Roti Restaurant after crossing the forest produce check-post. By 1530 hrs, we also reached the place. Dheeraj et el had placed their orders by then and they were being served. We gave our orders and waited for the same to be served. Half an hour passed and Dheeraj et el had almost finished their lunch and we were still weren’t served even a glass of water. We got frustrated and left the place, giving the person managing the counter a mouthful about the poor services they have. We decided that we’ll have something on any roadside dhaba and informed Dheeraj so and that we’ll catch up.
We drove a little further and came across this small dhaba and decided to stop. The dhaba was nondescript, but had a bathroom, a little swing and served freshly made food. We had veg sandwiches, which were freshly made and tasted fantastic. We also had two round of tea while my little kiddo enjoyed the swing with her mother. We decided to get some sandwiches packed too!
Enjoying the swing at the dhaba
Hunger satiated, we proceeded ahead to pass by Pandoh and then Aut tunnel. Just as we approach Bhunter even before the airport, we saw huge queue of vehicles, crawling like snail and stopping for long stretches. We also got in the line. We wasted a lot of time in the jam and then when I checked the GPS navigation system, it displayed a road passing through the market. We left the highway and took the road which passes through the bus stand and market area. However, as we approached the bridge over Beas river, there was huge commotion of vehicles from every side and everywhere jostling to get on the bridge. The traffic on the bridge was being regulated as only one side was operational and so it was being opened for traffic for a certain period from one side. It took us long to approach the bridge and finally we were able to pass through. The scenario on the other side of the bridge too was of chaos, but somehow we managed to sneak through. The time read 1850 hrs.
crossing the bridge on Beas river
Traffic jam after the bridge
We called up Dheeraj and he informed that they’ve already reached. We were still short by around 25 kms, but assumed that that would hardly take half an hour. How wrong you could be when you are driving on hills and the road conditions are on mercy of GOD! It took us over an hour to reach Kasol.
Somewhere between Bhuntar and Kasol
Dheeraj, Samar, Doulos, Amit and everyone else were already there, contemplating to move to Om Negi’s camp at Chalal. We decided that we won’t pitch our own tents as that would have cost 150 INR and then Om’s tents were already available at 300 INR. We unloaded only the required luggage from the beast and then went to park our cars in the open parking area ahead of Kasol FRH and Hotel Sandhya Kasol.
Returning from there, we made our move towards Chalal which involved taking the hanging bridge behind the market and trekking for about a kilometer. It was already pitch dark and we were using our torches on a track that was formed just by people using it. Samar, who was leading the way (he had been to the camp about an hour ago), forgot the way and we had to backtrack. 🙂 Finally, we managed to reach the camps, which is just besides roaring Parvati river flowing by. We inquired about the bigger tents which Om said were already booked and smaller T2 were not sufficient for us families (couldn’t have accommodated me, wifey and kiddo). We looked around and saw a cemented structure too. Upon inquiring, Om told that we can get rooms there as well, they are his elder brother’s, with toilets shared as usual. There were only two rooms available and so me and Sany decided that we could use the same room as we just had to pass the night. Dheeraj took the other room for his family.
We had already communicated to Om about our food preference and so it was chicken served with rice & rotis around 2200 hrs. Om had also arranged for a bonfire and music systems. Some students were also camping and they appeared to be inebriated with weed smoke. Some of us decided to have alcohol and so Om arranged for it through someone who was already in market. Now I witnessed a novel way of chilling the beers – placing them in the chilled waters of Parvati River! 🙂
Chilling the beer
Finished with the dinner, we chit-chatted for a while and then went to sleep around 0000 hrs.
During our chit-chats, Dheeraj communicated to us that the village Pradhan, who had assured to be personally present along with the sweepers would not be available as he had to join someone’s marriage somewhere else and so he was not in Kasol. We tried calling him, but his phone appeared switched off! This meant no local support at all except for Om! Those who came early in the evening, also informed that they couldn’t locate any of the posters that Aashish had put up there – seems someone had ripped them off! This was a big dampener on the morale! We’ll have to re-think our strategy tomorrow!!
Next: Kasol Cleanup drive
Total Distance covered: Approx 607 kms
Driving Directions from Noida to Kasol via Una: From Noida, take the road going towards Mayur Vihar Phase I (Dadri Main road) to cross the Noida gate. Take the flyover and pass by Mayur Vihar and then again take the flyover on Noida link road to pass by Akshardham metro station. Take the right fork to go towards Geeta Colony (the left fork goes towards ITO) and pass by Laxminagar followed by Geeta Colony. Take the left turn to cross the Geeta Colony bridge over Yamuna and take the left clover to join on the Ring Road. Drive straight to pass by Monastry market and keep straight near Chandagi Ram Akhada to be on Outer Ring road (Vikash bhawan should be on your left; the left fork goes towards Old Secretariat). Keep on following the Outer Ring road to pass by Wazirabad followed by Nirankari Samagar grounds and reach Mukarba Chowk (Maqbara Chowk). Take the left clover at Mukarba Chowk to join NH1 and pass by Alipur village followed by Singhu Border, Kundli, Sonipat and arrive at Murthal. Drive further ahead on NH1 to pass by Gannaur, Samalkha, Panipat, Karnal, Kurukshetra and arrive at Ambala Cantt. Take the flyover at Ambala Cantt to reach Ambala. At Ambala, just ahead to Volkswagen showroom, you’d see a fork marked as Ambala-Chandigarh Expressway – DO NOT take that unless you want to go via Dera Bassi, Zirakpur and crossing entire Chandigarh city. Keep on NH1 and arrive at Shambhu Barrier. Just before the actual toll gates, there is a right turn – take that (Just heard that the toll gates have been moved and the right turn is now after you end up paying toll). Drive ahead to pass by Banur, Landran and Kharar (where the road from Ambala via meets) on NH 3. Drive ahead following the road to pass by Kurali and Ropar (Roopnagar). Driving ahead on NH 3 at Thali, take the left fork (right fork goes towards Shimla) and drive along the Satluj canal to arrive at Kirtpur Sahib. Keep left and do not take the flyover which goes to Swarghat-Bilaspur. Drive ahead on SH 22 to pass by Anandpur Sahib, Nangal (cross the Bhakra Nangal dam and here by on SH 25) and arrive at Una. At Una main bazar, just ahead of the Indian Oil Petrol pump, take right to be on Una-Bhota / Una-Jahu-Ner Chowk road (SH 32). Keep following the road and pass by Jhambar and arrive at Khurwain. Take the right fork at Khurwain to be on the Una-Bhota road and drive ahead to arrive at Bangana (marked by Trishala Automobiles and Central Bank of India). Keep following the major road and pass by Barsar and Salauni to arrive at Bhota. At Bhota, take the right fork to pass by the Bus stop and take right again at Radha Soami Charitable Hospital to pass by HP Petrol pump and take left along with the campus of the Radha Soami Hospital to pass by Patta (marked by Kangra Cooperative Bank), Lathwan (a petrol pump), Ladraur (Kangra Coop Bank and Santoshi Mata Temple) to reach Jahu. Cross the bridge at Jahu (it is the same bridge that was washed away in 2014 monsoons) and keep left and pass by HP petrol pump followed by Jaboth. Keep on right fork at the Kenchi Mod and arrive at Bhambla. Take the right fork and then the left fork to remain on SH 32 and pass by Dhalwan (keep right on the major road), Kalkhar (keep right and pass by HP Petrol Pump), Dahnun (marked by Chamunda Temple), Nalwari (Bus stop), cross the river at Maltehr to arrive at Ner Chowk. Turn left at Ner Chowk (where NH 3 from, Swarghat-Bilaspur meets) and drive ahead to reach outskirts of Mandi town. Turn right to cross the bridge on the river at the first opportunity and turn left immediately. Follow the road till you reach the third bridge (Mandi bridge), turn right and then take the right fork to drive along the Beas river and pass by Pandoh dam & reservoir and further to Thalaut and Aut tunnel, just short of Larji. Turn left to go in the Aut Tunnel, drive further ahead along with Beas river to pass by Bajaura and arrive at Bhuntar. Just ahead of the airport, take the right fork to cross the Beas and Parbati confluence and immediately turn left. Keep right now (Do not cross the next bridge on the left, it goes to Manali) and drive ahead now on Manikaran road with Parbati river giving company on left. Keep driving passing by small hamlets and when you see big boards of The Himalayan Village, you’ve almost arrived at Kasol. Drive further ahead to pass through Kasol Market and you arrive at FRH and Hotel Sandhya Kasol to your left. The parking space is located on the left of the road in a big open ground (the road straight goes to Manikaran Sahib).
Google Map directions for Noida to Kasol via Una: https://goo.gl/maps/GqMvh
Stranded and walking on the road and at times trying to sleep, we spend our night….
At the break of the dawn, as soon as first light is visible, we wake up our driver and ask him to go and search for the diesel. He argues that it is too early in the morning (0500 hrs) and the petrol bunks would still not be open. We are all fed up with his tantrums and antics and fuming at the fact that he could have led us all to die, we threaten him with dire consequences if he doesn’t leaves immediately. We tell him that we’ll throw him in the gorge if he doesn’t go, and that we will also let the tow truck along with our car fall into the gorge – we have our car insured! Finally he pays heed and hops onto a pickup van passing by.
First ray of light
We’re hungry too and so we decide to cook something. So out comes the gas stove, with the new burner that we procured at Keylong. And find a flat place to start cooking, however, the winds are strong and since we’re trying this on the edge, the fire quickly dies down. We’ll have to find a better place, shielded from wind. So we go to the rear of the tow truck and ignite the gas. We’ve already give all the Maggi that we had to Chacha at Batal and now left with some MTR packets of jeera-chawal (salted cummin rice) and one more variety, that too because Chacha refused to take them as no one liked it. We did had water with us, so we read the instructions and heat up the MTR packets. We’re so hungry that we don’t even allow it to cook properly and eat them half cooked.
Trying to ignite, facing the winds
No, it won’t work, we have to find another place
Let’s go to the rear of the vehicle
Yeah! This is a better place
Body satisfied, we discuss what we did to the driver and we all agree that we shouldn’t have done that to him. Afterall, he’s just the driver and not the owner of the vehicle – he could just jump out at one such turn and let us all die. We can’t take chances. We’ll deal with him once we reach Mandi. Agreed!
Waiting for the driver, we click the morning…
A glacier at distance
We notice that there is a truck fallen in the gorge at the base of waterfall. We could have met the same fate last night!! Is this Rahalla Waterfall?
Our driver hasn’t come back yet and time is passing. We are walking on the road to spend time. At around 0830 hrs, we hear a commotion in a pickup van that just passed us. It stops after the truck and then we see that our driver is sleeping comfortably in the rear and other passangers are shaking him up trying to wake him “Teri gaadi aa gayee hai” (You vehicle is there). How casual!!
Our driver fills in the diesel in the tank. But it needs priming the pump and for that, the entire driver cabin has to be tilted. We seek help from another truck driver passing by, and he gladly helps. So we tilt the cabin, the other truck driver starts priming the pump and our driver cranks the ignition. Viola! It works!! The engine has started!!! We’re saved!!! 🙂
Ummm… there is one problem now. Now what? The driver cabin can’t be lowered in neutral gear. The gear has to be shifted, then only there will be enough space near the gear shaft to lower the driver cabin. Ok, then change the gear. No! I don’t want to shut the engine down now, for it may not start again! So while I’m sitting in the cabin, engaging the gear, clutch and brakes, you people lower the cabin! What?? Somehow, we 5 (four of us and the truck driver) manage to lower the driver’s cabin while our driver is sitting comfortably. We thank the truck driver for the help, hop on the tow truck (and the car atop it) and proceed ahead. Finally!
We pass by Gulaba checkpost and are about to approach Manali, when our driver spots a BRO guy and decides to ask for diesel. We advise against it, but he says that this way we can get cheaper diesel and of good quality. This would also compensate the extra premium we paid yesterday. I don’t like the idea and fortunately, the officer denies any availability.
Shortly ahead, we reach Manali and get the tow truck refueled. As we proceed ahead, we hear loud thundering sound from rear wheel of the tow truck. We get down and check – there is a large stone stuck between the two tyres and that is causing the noise. This could be dangerous – this could fly out at any time and damage or injure oncoming vehicle or people. Our driver tries to remove it, but is not successful as it is badly stuck. He decides to drive ahead as is and says that this would require the tyre to be unbolted which he’ll do at Mandi. We don’t like the idea, but agree to him as there is no other way.
Driving ahead after sometime, the driver stops the tow truck at Bhunter and says that he needs to have lunch as it is 1200 hrs. We’re in a hurry to reach Mandi and get our XUV5oo fixed, but he is throwing all sorts of tantrums knowing fully well that we are dependent on him at this moment. We decide to teach him a lesson once we reach the M&M workshop and so for now we stop. We have some cold drinks and chips while he has his lunch. Free with that, we drive ahead and reach the M&M ASS (after sales service) workshop of Simla Automobiles. The time reads 1330 hours.
The driver is now in a hurry to leave and says that the workshop is full and that he would drop the vehicle on the roadside itself and go as his responsibility was only this. We threaten him not to leave until the workshop guys have seen the XUV and advise on getting it unloaded. He reluctantly agrees. Soon the service person ask the entire tow truck to be brought in the workshop, which is done with some difficulty as the tow truck’s rear end touches the ground while descending down the ramp.
We contact the service person, who directs us to the Manager. Nice fellow! We all are agitated for the failure of the OEM spanner and tell him that he should try opening the tyre with the same spanner and we will video-graph it as evidence. He calms us sympathetically and says that all is not necessary. The service guys have a look at the tyre condition and state that the only way out is to get this to a lathe and cut open the entire stud by boring and the stud will be replaced. So the two truck is taken to a lathe machine, a bore is made and new stud and bolts fitted. It is by 1730 hrs that the tow truck comes back with the XUV5oo and the driver is all cribbing about spending extra time. He says that he has got a call to go somewhere else to rescue another vehicle and he is not getting time to rest. We had planned to give him a good thrashing after reaching Mandi, but then think that this punishment of making him spend extra time is enough and let him go.
Then we talk to the manager and ask him to get minor repairs done to the XUV5oo which includes fixing the silencer as one has come down dangling and the front bumper as it was also hanging in. If this has to be driven in this condition to Delhi, both will fall off for sure. Helpful guys that they are – the M&M ASS guys – they fix these things on priority and we are ready to jump on the XUV5oo again. The time reads 1800 hrs.
We start towards Delhi and soon face the so called road that is filled with potholes. This begins just after Mandi and continues. We all are too tired, having not slept properly last night, spending the night on the road and then we also realize that we hadn’t eaten anything proper since noon yesterday – after leaving Batal. And so we stop at the famous Mayur Dhaba at Sundernagar. Now there are couple of them named Mayur dhaba and we stop at the last one (first one while coming from Delhi). We see a garbage bin and the first thing we do is to dispose off all the garbage we had collected in our entire journey since leaving Jammu there. We then go for the lunch (or dinner shall we call it, for the time was somewhere around 1930 hours). The charges are exhorbitant – 140 INR for a pathetic plate of Dal Fry that is Yuk!! 🙁 Barely do we stuff something and proceed ahead.
We all are tired and feeling sleepy. We decide to stop next at Chandigarh McDonald’s and I go off to sleep, occasionally being woken up by bumps. Full credits to Cheena to have the courage to drive all through the night, being equally tired and still managing the bumpy drive on the twisty roads.
By 1149 hours, I think we managed to pass by Bilaspur and Swarghat reaching around the HP-Punjab border….
Next: At last, reached home!
Total Distance covered: Approx 252 kms
Driving Directions from Gulaba to HP-Punjab border: Drive ahead from the Gulaba checkpost towards Manali. Take the left fork at Palchan tri-junction to go towards Manali, the right one goes to Solang valley. Keep straight and take the left fork which is the main highway at next tri-junction and drive along the Beas river, the right one goes towards Hadimba Devi temple. Take the right fork at the next tri-junction to remain on the highway, the left one goes to Vashisth. Driving ahead, arrive at a bridge crossing the Beas river towards the right. Do not take this one (although you may come back on the highway taking a detour) and drive ahead to take the next bridge to the right fork (the left/straight fork also goes to Kullu, however, is narrow). Turn left after crossing the bridge (the right one goes to the previous bridge) and drive straight ahead. At the next fork, take left one to come completely out of Manali town and be on the highway – NH 3. Keep driving ahead on the NH, with Beas on your left and do not take any left or right turn on any insignificant road. If you happen to cross a bridge over the Beas, take a U-turn and come back. Driving straight ahead on the NH, pass by Raison and reach Kullu. Cross the first bridge at the outskirts of Kullu to take the bypass road so that Beas is on your right now and keep on driving straight to Bhuntar where the road from Manikaran joins after you cross the Parbati river and take a right turn at the tri-junction. Drive ahead and turn right again to cross Beas and then turn left after the market at the T-point. Do not take any left or right cut and follow the major road that is the national highway to arrive at Aut tunnel. Cross the tunnel to emerge at Larji and take immediate right to go towards Pandoh, the left road goes to Larji Dam and further to Banjar (Tirthan valley). Follow to road to arrive at Pandoh dam and take the road built on the dam and immediately turn right to go towards Mandi. Following the road, cross the Jayuli channel and keep on straight following the main broad road with Beas giving company on the right, not crossing it. Driving ahead, you arrive at Simla Automobiles at the outskirts of Mandi. Keep on following the road and do not turn right yet to leave the first and the second bridge on Beas river. Take left at the second bridge and then take right at the next bridge to cross Beas river. Take immediate left after crossing the Beas and this ensure that you remain outside Mandi town and cross it. Drive ahead with Beas now on your left and keep on the broad road to reach Ner Chowk. Take left at the Ner Chowk tri-junction, the right one goes to Jahu-Una. Cross the river and take the right fork at the tri-junction to go towards Sundernagar, the left one goes to Baggi. After crossing Naulakha, take the right fork at the tri-junction to go towards Sundernagar town, the left one goes to Tattapani. Keep driving along the water channel and keep to your right, but do not take any right fork yet. Just after Sukhdev Vatika garden, take the left fork to remain on the NH and keep following the road until you reach Sundernagar Hospital where you take absolute right at the tri-junction. Now keep onto your left and do not take any right cut to pass by JNGEC on the outskirts of Sundernagar town. Drive on straight and you pass by Harabaag area from where a small stream starts giving you company on your right. Driving further ahead, arrive at lots of Mayur Dhabas on your right at the edge of the hill. Keep on driving and pass by Jarol and then Sadhwan where you can see a river giving you company – that’s Satluj! Cross the bridge on Satluj and take immediate right to remain on the NH. Take the left fork ahead at Bhantrehar to remain on the NH and keep on driving without taking any cut to arrive at Ghaghas. At Ghaghas, take the left fork (right/straight one goes to Jahkan-Kandrour) and then after crossing the bridge, take immediate right towards Bagi. Keep on the NH and drive further to arrive at Bamta (outskirts of Bilaspur). Keep on following the major road that is NH and do not take any road that appears to be arterial. Any confusion, ask for directions to Swarghat or simply follow the trucks. Just after passing Nauni, take the right fork at the tri-junction and pass by Kallar, the left fork goes towards Bhararighat-Darlaghat. Drive further to pass by Charol and then Jamli after which cross the bridge on the river to pass by Baner. Keep towards your left and keep on the major road to arrive at Swarghat marked by big craters on the road. Drive ahead on the NH and do not take any right or left cut and any insignificant road till you reach the tri-junction where the right one goes to Naina Devi. Keep left, drive ahead and arrive at HP-Punjab border, marked by HP toll collection booth on the other side of the road.
Google Map directions for Gulaba to HP-Punjab border travel: http://goo.gl/maps/PfvAW