Why do we travel? We travel because we are curious about the world.
Travel means different things to different people. Some people travel alone, some with friends, some with family, some like their travel to be managed, some like travel to include adventure and some like it quiet and private.
One among them is a road trip. It is a popular travel option across the world. However, most road trips are constrained by road infrastructure and safety. When the roads and destinations are remote and harsh, we often see only youngsters or adventure lovers making it.
Long road trips in India with children are possibly among the rare ones. This is a video story of two families making a 3 week road trip to Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India from Bangalore. Starting from South of India to the very north, they travel in some of the most remote villages of the valley, documenting almost everything they came across.
(Of the 3 weeks, 12 days was in the valley together)
The video was edited at home by non-professionals with a lot of dedication. The travel is beautifully described with post recorded narration, by the travelers themselves.
In the words of the travelers, it was a trip of a lifetime. While the adults enjoyed every part of the planning, execution, driving and photography, the kids learned a lot about the how incredible India is — an “experiential learning” to complement their school geography books.
The video is presented in four short episodes. The first episode goes over the planning and the drive from Bangalore to Delhi though the western part of Golden Quadrilateral. The family joins the car in Delhi, right after the kids finish their exams and start of Dussehra holidays. They enter into the Himalayan region covering the towns of Narkanda and Sangla.
In Episode 2, they go to the heart of the valley covering the towns of Sangla, Kalpa, Nako and Tabo. Highlights include visiting the last village on Indo-Tebetian road, children playing in apple orchards. They drive on the claimed “World’s Most Treacherous Road”. It also includes visit to the beautiful Nako lake and the 996AD constructed Tabo Monastery.
Episode 3 includes visits to the towns/villages of Tabo, Kaza, Hikkim, Langza, Kibber, Komic and Losar. The monasteries covered are Dhankar, Ki, Komic and Sakya. They also visit the the highest petrol pump of the world and post letters back home from the World’s highest post office. They land up in world’s highest village connected by motor-able road too.
The episode has a short clip on how Buddhist prayer flags are hand printed by a Lama and also contains some stunning Milky Way photography.
In the 4th and final episode, they get on to the worst roads of the trip. They also document how they got stuck due to Raid-De-Himalaya motor rally. The video includes short clips of the racing cars. A visit to the Moon Lake followed by crossing both Rohtang Pass and Kunzum Pass adds more interest. As they end the trip, they reflect their incredible journey through the 3km long Aut tunnel.
Its not an easy task driving in such conditions. If you are inspired by these videos, and want to drive out there, the author also published a few time lapse videos of the road as seen from their car dashboard. These videos will hopefully help you prepare for the road ahead.
The time lapse and all the above videos can be found in a single playlist which is
There are many travel videos on Spiti Valley in the internet. What makes this video series unique is the fact that two families with kids made it look very easy and encouraging which otherwise is mostly frequented by adventure loving youths. Family road trips in India are only getting more feasibly with better infrastructure. Its time to enjoy together the great country we proudly call “Incredible India”.