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Greatest roads in India: Jalori Pass

Jalori Pass

After many years both sides of the mountain are paved with great new tarmac and the road is in the best condition ever – Jalori Pass is a must visit

If I remember clearly, Jalori Pass may have been one of the first passes I tackled back in the day. It was no easy feat back then, I recollect pushing the bike up some of the sections because there was just no power in the bike to climb the last few bits (okay, my sister pushed while I rode). But that was over a decade ago and things have changed on that mountain. After many years both sides of the mountain are paved with great new tarmac and the road is in the best condition ever. If you are coming from the Shimla side there is a 13km gnarly off-road detour they have built because of some road works but the powers that be are hard at work to get that done soon.

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Once you finish the 13km of off-roading, the road is brilliant. You start in the valley and start riding towards Anni. On crossing Anni, you start climbing up this single landed road cutting through thickets of trees, small villages and brilliant vistas. The road just keeps climbing for 30-odd kilometres to the top. It a perfect road for a motorcycle but be warned this is a public road and the HPDTC does run buses and the locals are sharing the same road. So please be careful and don’t get overzealous; there is very little room for error on these narrow roads. Plan your ride up the pass so you get to the top for lunch and grab the only thing that could beat the ride up.  Which is a mouth-watering plate of kadi or rajmah chawal or, if you are like me, someone who can’t choose, get both.

If you are riding up from the Manali side, the road is a bit more crowded as you need to take a turn before the Aut tunnel towards Banjar and follow the road up. The road cuts through more populated parts so by that virtue it’s just more tedious. Whichever way you do it, it’s a must. If you are planning to ride to the deeper Himalayas this season, add it as detour it will be worth every moment.

Read more about Kaza-Kalpa route here.

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