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Chanshal Pass, Shimla Overview

Also known by the name of Chanshal Valley, the Chanshal Pass is a refreshingly beautiful destination located in Himachal Pradesh, precisely 160 kilometres in distance from Shimla. Whether you work a tiring desk job or simply want to get away from the pollution and chaos of a metropolitan city, this gorgeous mountain valley is the perfect spot for your weekend getaway -- even if you are a traveller on a budget. Relaxing while watching a peaceful sunrise atop the mountain peaks here will actually cost you less of an expense than visiting fancy restaurants or the mall.

At the incredibly high altitude of 3,755 metres, the Valley is located directly on top of the highest peak in all of Shimla -- the Chanshal Peak. It is a 180-kilometre long road which forms a connection between the town of Rohru (Chirgaon) and the Dodra Kwar Valley. This serene valley has become extremely famous for its scenic, breathtaking views. You will truly feel one with nature no matter what month you decide to visit Chanshal in.

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Best Time To Visit Chanshal Pass

The best time to visit Chanshal Pass is late June, early September and then September as well as October. It’s thoroughly inadvisable to visit during the winters because these months experience countless blizzards and snowstorms in addition to extreme cold. Note that you should also avoid the pass really early in the summer because the fresh summer heat melts all the ice, making the path extremely slippery. Furthermore, trips during monsoon are also dangerous because the rainwater gives rise to various streams flowing across the path uphill, which makes it difficult to drive the vehicle of your choice over the slush and mud.

Tips For Visiting Chanshal Pass

1. If you're biking all the way to Chanshal Pass, then it's best to carry a special bag that can be tied to a hook in your motorcycle. In this manner, you prevent the excessive burden of lugging a backpack over your shoulders.
2. Don't overpack lest it becomes difficult to carry your luggage up the mountain. Although, make sure to carry adequate warm clothing.
3. It's best to pack lots of water bottles to prevent getting dehydrated. Furthermore, having some light snacks on your person would greatly aid in making the trekking easier on you.
4. Remember to wear shoes that don't slip over mud and rocks.
5. Remember to pack some basic medicinal supplies because no such facility is available on the way to the peak.
6. Carry extra cash in case no ATM facility is available.

Food and Accomodation

The way to Chanshal Pass is littered with countless eateries and dhabhas where you can stop to grab a quick snack. The options here are usually limited because of the lack of supplies, yet the food is known to be of decent quality. If you happen to be travelling on a particularly cold day, then these sites are like oases in a desert where you can obtain some respite through consuming warm beverages and enjoying the view! Additionally, on the peak itself, there happens to one tea stall where you can satiate your thirst after an arduous trek and relax.

Most people who visit Chanshal Pass choose to return on the same day, either to Shimla or to one of the Himachal villages they pass by on their to way to the peak, especially Larot. Yet those that stay opt for setting up camp by pitching a tent and getting cozy inside of it to ward off the chills! It makes for an immensely memorable experience, especially as you get to stargaze at night (in case the sky is not overriden with mist). Note that there’s only one guest house in Larot with just the two rooms available, so it’s not advisable to bank on lodging at the nearby villages when you’re travelling to Chanshal Pass.

If you’re seeking a trip to the Himalayas or already happen to be visiting Shimla, then you should consider giving Chanshal Pass a chance. Not only would its snowy gorgeousness and tricky climb leave you mesmerised, it will also offer you the opportunity to set up camp under the starry night sky and the prospect of engaging in great nature photography! It’s a summer trek that you cannot miss.

Things to Do

There’s a number of activities you can undertake both on the route to Chanshal Pass and at the top of the wondrous peak itself:

1. Biking

If you seek the thrill of racing against the winds as the panorama of Himalayas unfolds before you, then you cannot miss the opportunity to bike on the way from Shimla to Chanshal Pass. Not only is this a memorable experience for everyone involved, it also entails scenery straight out of some popular movie. You get a chance to enhance the enjoyment of your trip by so much more via biking all the way to Chanshal pass with your friends. Although, remember to pack a jacket that can shield you from the cold!

2. Photography

Any trip to the Himalayas serves those with a knack for photography incredibly well! So if you like nature photography and would love to put your skills to some good use, then don’t forget to pack your camera. The view from the top of the peak, as the sun is cloistered amongst snow-capped peaks far away, is enchanting. Such spellbinding experiences are best captured through a camera. Make sure to pack your camera lens with special care though.  

3. Trekking

The trek to Chanshal Pass is taxingly steep, and the going gets difficult if you don’t resort to a 4x4 vehicle -- but if you have it in you to obtain thrills from treacherous walks up a mountain, then this is an opportunity to not be missed. Not only will you have the chance to stop and soak in the amazing view of the sky-reaching peaks near the pass, you’ll also get a chance to engage in some photography and natural sightseeing.

How To Reach Chanshal Pass

Via Air: The nearest airport is the one in Shimla. Upon landing in the airport, you can proceed to rent a private vehicle or book a cab to head to Chanshal Pass.
Via Road: In order to reach Chanshal Valley from Shimla, there are two different paths:
> Shimla to Theog to Kotkhai to Kharapathar to Hatkoti to Rohru to Larot to Chanshal Pass (~160 km)
> Shimla to Theog to Narkanda to Tikkar to Rohru to Larot to Chanshal Pass (~175 km)
While the first route happens to be shorter, it is still not suitable for bike rides because of the bumpy roads it entails.
There are also ways to reach Chanshal Pass that don?t involve passing through Shimla first. In order to best make use of these paths, you should start early in the morning in order to not meet much traffic when exiting Delhi:
> Delhi to Sonipat to Panipat to Kurukhsetra to Yamuna Nagar to Paonta Sahib to Chakrata to Rohru to Chanshal Pass
> Delhi to Muzaffarnagar to Dehradun to Vikasnagar to Chakrata to Rohru to Chanshal Pass

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