Spiti Valley, which derives its name from the river also means "The Middle Land", the land between India and Tibet. Keeping up to its name, this road trip is designed to take you from both the routes to and from Spiti valley. We start the trip from the capital of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla and begin our journey towards the meadows of Sangla Valley. We will halt overnight to the sound of river Baspa and start our Day-2 journey alongside the riverbank, all the way to the last village on the Indo-Tibet border, Chitkul. Here we will soak in the view of the splendid valley and spend some time letting go off our worries amidst the meadow to the sound of the river. While trying not to get lost with the winds, we head to the majestic Kalpa village for the sunset which looks overs the grandees Kinner Kailash range. Day - 3 is the day we have been all waiting for to enter the magnanimous desert landscape we all have been waiting for, but before that, we ll halt over quickly to take a look at the lake village called Nako. Its confluence of Hinduism and Buddhism is a rare sight and cannot be missed on each and every wall here. After a quick 'pradakshina' of the lake - we will head to the first monastery village of Spiti - Tabo. It is also the most ancient monastery of all in Spiti, said to be over 1000 years old. Here on you are on an adventure of a lifetime, at 12,500 feet above sea level, Spiti Valley is where you'd see, a different side of Himalayas. So sit back, relax and be assured to be safe in the hands of the most trusted local partner. Form overnight stay at Mudh, to get high on night skies to the wondrous structure of the Ki Monastery. End this tour on a high note (literally), as you spend a night, gazing at the Milky Way and the millions of stars while camping around the stunningly beautiful Chandratal Lake. We end the trip at the haven of Himachal, Manali. Here we shall be back by 6 PM, you can then choose to stay back or take a bus/cab to New Delhi / Chandigarh.
- Accommodation on double (for couples) / triple sharing basis at all destinations as per the itinerary.
- Breakfast and dinner at all hotels
- homestays and camps except in Manali.
- Comfortable non-AC Force Traveller shared by ten people
- for all days as per the itinerary (Day 1 to Day 8)
- experienced and adept English-speaking local driver with great knowledge of the area and the terrain.
- Local coordinator for the tour from Day 1 to Day 8.
- Driver and coordinator charges
- driver accommodation
- fuel and inter-state toll.
- Camping fees
- comfortable tents and sleeping bags at Chandratal Lake if included in the itinerary.
- Monastery / Museum Entrance Fees
- Lunch / Any Personal Expenses / Tips / Beverages / Meals that are not mentioned in the itinerary.
- 5% Tax (GST)
- Additional Guide / Porters / Private vehicle
- Any activities
- accommodation or transfers other than what is mentioned in the itinerary.
- Any cost arising out of unforeseen circumstances including medical emergencies and acts of God.
- Anything that is not mentioned in the above list of inclusions.
Day 01 :
Drive from Shimla – Sangla
We start our epic Himalayan road trip today and start driving to Sangla. With the Baspa river magically weaving itself through the forested slopes, this exquisite 95-kilometer stretch of the Sangla Valley is a sight to behold. Known predominantly for its agriculture, almost every house in Sangla will have cultivations of apples, pears, walnuts, apricots or potatoes.
Day 02 :
Drive from Sangla – Chitkul – Kalpa
On the second day of this Spiti Valley Tour, we have breakfast, basking in the first rays of the sun, and later head towards Chitkul. Chitkul can be described as one of the most scenic settlements in the valley and the last inhabited village before the India-China border. This short drive from Sangla to Chitkul will be one of the most scenic drives you’ll take with plenty of opportunities to take stunning photographs. Walk around the Bapsa river and pay tribute to the Mathi Goddess at the temple in the village. After spending time in Chitkul, we turn around and head to Kalpa. Legend has it that Kalpa was the winter home of Lord Shiva. If it’s true, he couldn’t have found a more remarkable abode for himself, with enthrallingly majestic views of the Kinner-Kailash and Jorkandan peaks looming right above the village. Overnight at a hotel in Kalpa.
Day 03 :
Drive from Kalpa – Nako – Tabo
On the third day of this Spiti Valley tour, from Kalpa, we continue driving on the famous Hindustan – Tibet Highway or the NH 22 – This stretch is famously known as one of “most treacherous roads of the world” by the lonely planet in a visual spectacle. Don’t let that little piece of information deter you because your local drivers are highly skilled and experienced while driving on these roads. As you begin embracing the jaw-dropping views watch the mountains change their colours from the lush greens of the Kinnaur valley to the many hues of brown. After a quick refueling stop at Puh, we proceed to Nako – the last hamlet of Kinnaur, before we enter the gates of Spiti Valley. After lunch in Nako, we drive through Sumdo, the first village of Spiti Valley on this road, to Tabo, where the most ancient monastery is. When then take a quick evening drive to Kaza Overnight at a hotel in Tabo.
Day 04 :
Drive from Tabo - Pin Valley - Mudh - Kaza
On the fourth day of this Spiti Valley tour, we drive to the charming and tiny villages of Pin Valley. Today, we drive to the mesmerizing valley of Pin. Imagine a national park with an abundance of animals and birds, with some rare plant varieties, a river that gushes when it isn’t frozen and trekking opportunities for the adventure-seekers. The Pin Valley promises all this and more. We first visit the Kungri Monastery and then the beautiful hamlet of Mudh – the last motorable village of the Pin Valley. Declared a national park in 1987, Pin Valley has altitudes ranging from 11,000 to 20,000 feet and is home to at least 12 endangered snow leopards. In addition, other animals indigenous to the region and park are the Siberian ibex, bharal, weasel, red fox and marten. Birds such as the pika, griffon, golden eagle, bearded vulture, chukor and raven paint the skies a pretty picture.
Day 05 :
Drive from Kaza – Langza – Hikkim – Komik – Ki Monastery – Kibber – Gette – Kaza
On the fifth day of this Spiti Valley tour, we drive to some of the highest inhabited regions of the world. The highest village in Asia, Komik, which literally translates to ‘eye of a snow cock’, is situated at a height of 4513 meters. This farming village has a population of 84 people, living in utter isolation, cut-off from the rest of the world for most parts of the year. This little hamlet ensures to bring you thousands of miles away from your familiar settings to a place of soft brown pastures and snow-white mountain peaks. Some of the common animals of the region are the Tibetan wolf, blue sheep, red fox, hare, snow cock, Himalayan griffin, rock pigeon etc. Later, we drive to Hikkim where we visit the world’s highest post office in the world. If possible, you might even meet the post-master and hear his stories. After sending out a postcard, we drive to Langza. Langza village is situated at an altitude of 4400 meters and belongs to the Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Langza houses a population of 137 in 33 households. Once you are here, you can walk around the village and visit the ancient Lang (Temple) which is estimated to be around 1000 years old. At Langza, walk back to the prehistoric era when Spiti was submerged by the Tethys Sea, as you explore a land very rich with fossils of Marine animals and plants which were here millions of years ago. We drive back down to Kaza for lunch. After that, we visit the world famous Ki Monastery. The car will first stop at the base of the monastery hill for the ultimate photo opportunity of this remarkable structure. With over 1000 years’ worth stories to tell, the Ki Monastery situated at a height of 13,668 feet was founded by a disciple of the famous Atisha, in the 11th century CE. Belonging to the Yellow Hat or Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, this monastery is famous as a prominent center of learning as well as a refuge for Tibetans. Being remotely located atop a hill overlooking endless plains, the Ki Monastery is an obvious choice for those seeking peace and calm. Then we will move farther up the valley to the picturesque village of Kibber. Located at a height of 4205 meters and 18 km from Kaza, this formerly highest permanently inhabited village in this region, is also a popular base camp to embark on adventure and treks to adjoining mountains of high altitude. The expanses of beautiful landscapes and immeasurable beauty of the snow-tipped mountains make the place a haven for nature-lovers and photographers alike. From Kibber you can trek to Chicham Village, located across a sharp and precipitous canyon traversible only by a suspended wire cable basket system known as a Jula. We drive higher up to the secluded village of Gette where we absorb stunning aerial views of Kaza and tie a prayer flag.
Day 06 :
Drive from Kaza - Dhankar - Dhankar Lake (Hike) - Lhalung
On the sixth day of this Spiti Valley tour, we drive words the tiny hamlet of Dhankar. Perched high above the confluence of the Spiti and Pin River, the former capital of the Royals of Spiti Valley also known as the Nono, who ruled the dust-coloured badlands of Spiti Valley is a historic delight. Walk back in time, as you explore the 1200-year-old Dhankar Gompa which perches precariously between eroded rocky pinnacles on the edge of a cliff. If time permits, do take an hour’s climb above the village to visit the stunning turquoise Dhankar Tso or Dhankar Lake. Later, we end the day by making our way to Lhalung – another beautiful high altitude Spiti valley village. The word Lhalung means ‘land of god’ and the village of Lhalung is located at the foot of the Tangmar Mountains which supposedly transforms in colour depending on the mood of the deities. Red denotes anger while yellow signifies happiness. We spend the night with a local family and indulge in a cooking session at their authentic homestay. We listen to their tales and enjoy the delicious homecooked meal before we rest overnight at Lhalung in our warm homestays.
Day 07 :
Drive from Lhalung - Losar - Chandratal
On the seventh day of this Spiti Valley tour, we drive to one of the most photogenic places in Spiti Valley – the Chandratal Lake. Before that, we pass through the high altitude pass of Kunzum La. Stop by at the stupa and pay tribute to the local goddess, “Kuzum Mata” as she's known. At 15,000 feet above sea-level, the Kuzum Pass connects Kullu and Lahaul to the Spiti Valley. From there, we head to Chandratal Lake – A visual marvel, this stunning blue-coloured lake is set at an altitude of 4,300 meters above sea level in the heart of high Himalayas and is a must see on a full moon night. It derives its name, “Chandra” (Moon) and “Taal” (Lake) from the crescent shape of the lake. Watch the lake change colours from crystal clear shades of blue to emerald greens by dusk. Otherwise barren and bereft of any human settlement, the blue lake bordered by carpeted green meadows couple with the pristine white of the Chandra Bhaga mountain range makes this an ideal camping ground. Live your dream of camping comfortably in the Himalayas as you spend your evening gazing at the Milky Way and the millions of stars on a clear night. Our camps at Chandratal Lake are equipped with camping equipment including tents, high altitude sleeping bags / blankets and a comfortable mattress. Overnight at a camp 2 km away from Chandratal Lake.
Day 08 :
Drive from Chandratal Lake – Chattru – Rohtang Pass – Manali
On the eight day of this Spiti Valley tour, drive from Chandratal Lake towards Manali. We take a quick stop at Batal for a cup of tea at a small tea shop run by a beautiful old couple. From there, we continue driving on the Kaza – Manali highway and stop at Chatru for lunch. Drive through the famous Rohtang Pass and return to Manali to end your breath-taking Spiti Valley sojourn. Here, we bid goodbye to you with our driver and guide who have been your friends for the past eight days.