Winter, which embraces Spiti Valley in the first week of November, and stays on until the fourth week of March, is a cold, harsh and tough time in the valley. While it may not be the easiest time to travel through Spiti Valley valley, it certainly is the most rewarding time to come visit. Everything – every house, hamlet, road and village – dons a cloak of white. The cottony snow is constant - stretching on for as far as the eye can see. The horizon is a myth, for you can never tell where land ends and the skies begin. As winter sets in, Spiti Valley assumes a timeless nature – like an enchanting postcard waiting for you to dive right in. With temperatures going below -20 degrees centigrade, the Spiti river has more or less frozen up. A few defiant streams tirelessly cut through the ice, giving a surreal glazed feel to the basin. During these months, the famous Manali – Rohtang Pass – Kunzum La – Kaza road closes due to heavy snowfall. Hence, the only way of reaching Spiti Valley is through the Hindustan – Tibet Highway (Shimla – Kalpa – Kaza). You will be using this road both ways – to enter and exit Spiti Valley. This curated seven-day Spiti Valley Winter Expedition is designed for travellers for an authentic Spiti Valley tour through the winter months. Shared by a small group of travellers, this Spiti Valley Winter Expedition includes travelling in comfortable and safe Force Traveler to some of the most popular villages of Spiti Valley including Asia’s highest villages – Komik and Kibber. Marvel at the wondrous structures of the Ki Monastery and Tabo Monastery shrouded in snow.
- Hotel Accommodation with breakfast and dinner in Kalpa / Rampur on double sharing basis.
- Homestay Accommodation with breakfast
- lunch and dinner at Tabo and Kaza.
- Transfers by Non-AC Force Traveller (12 seater) shared by ten people for all days as per the itinerary (Day 1 - Day 7).
- experienced and adept English-speaking local driver cum guide with great knowledge of the area and the terrain.
- Driver charges
- driver accommodation
- fuel and inter-state toll.
- All Applicable Monastery / Museum Fees
- Any Personal Expenses / Tips / Permits
- 5% GST (Tax)
- Guide / Porters
- Meals in Transit / Lunch in Kalpa or Rampur / Any Beverages / Any meals that are not mentioned in the itinerary.
- Sightseeing in Shimla / Any accommodation
- activities 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 to Kalpa / Rampur
We begin this Spiti Valley Winter Expedition by hitting the road from Shimla. We pass through popular towns of Sarahan and Rampur-Bushahr before entering the spectacular Kinnaur Valley. Before entering Kalpa at 7549 feet, we catch a glimpse the famous Kinner Kailash Peak – said to be the summer adobe of Lord Shiva.At Kalpa, you will warm up with a piping cup of tea before checking into your warm hotel room.Overnight at a hotel in Kalpa.
Day 02 :
Drive from Kalpa - Nako - Tabo
After a comfortable night’s rest at Kalpa, we set off on the famous Hindustan-Tibet Highway. Famed for its spectacular views and proximity to Tibet, this road snakes north into Nako, the last hamlet of Kinnaur district. We have a steaming hot lunch at Nako, before entering the magical Spiti Valley. Here, we spend the night at a comfortable and authentic homestay in Tabo. Overnight at a homestay in Tabo
Day 03 :
Drive from Tabo - Pin Valley - Mudh - Kazza
We start the day with a visit to the 1021 – year old Tabo Monastery, UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk around this sacred site and gain a deeper understanding of Buddhism. Unlike other monasteries in Spiti Valley, the Tabo monastery is located at the bottom of the valley. From Tabo, we drive to the spectacular Pin Valley. Imagine a national park with an abundance of animals and birds, with some rare plant varieties and a river that is frozen. Pin Valley promises all this. 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. Overnight at a homestay in Kaza.
Day 04 :
Drive from Kaza - Ki Monastery - Kibber - Kaza
We begin the fourth day, with a drive to renowned Ki Monastery. The car will first stop at the base of the monastery hill for the ultimate photo opportunity of this remarkable structure amid white snow. 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 snowy 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 back to Kaza for the night. Overnight at a homestay in Kaza.
Day 05 :
Drive from Kaza - Komik - Hikkim - Langza - Kaza
On the fifth day of this Spiti Valley Winter Expedition, 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, mostly cut-off from the rest of the world during this part of the year. If accessible during this tour, we will make the drive to Komik. 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 frosty-white 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. Overnight at a homestay in Kaza.
Day 06 :
Drive from Kaza - Kalpa / Rampur
The sixth day marks the beginning of the end of this expedition. We make our way south towards Kinnaur Valley. Along this journey, you can get to capturing some scenic visions that you might have missed out on your camera. After a scenic and memorable drive, we will end the journey at Kalpa. Overnight stay at a hotel in Kalpa.
Day 07 :
Drive from Kalpa - Shimla
The last leg of this 7 Day Winter Expedition is here. We drive for Shimla with a bag of delightful memories and exciting stories to recount. Tour ends.