8 Day Road Trip
JUNE - OCTOBER 2020
Road Trip Highlights
Cost per person
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, so you can choose to stay back for the day or take a bus to Delhi / Chandigarh overnight.
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.
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.
On the thrid 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, almost 1000 years old.
Overnight at a hotel in Tabo.
On the fourth day of this Spiti Valley tour, we drive to the charming and high villages of Dhankar and Pin Valley.
Dhankar, the former capital of the Spiti Valley, offers panoramic views of Spiti Valley. Dhankar stands perched above the confluence of the Spiti and Pin river. Perhaps there must have been a fort here once, but today Dhankar is renowned for its 1200-year old monastery balanced precariously on a rocky precipice. If time and energy permit, we do the easy 45-minute trek to the stunning turquoise coloured Dhankar Lake.
After the trek, 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.
We stay here overnight at a homestay far away tucked into the mountains. P.S: Away from mobile network as well.
On the fifth day of this Spiti Valley tour, we drive to some of the popular and landmark regions of Spiti.
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.
On the seventh 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.
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.
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.
The 6 day Spiti holiday we had in the month of August 2016 was one of the most exciting, hassel-free and filled with enriching experiences.Big Thank you goes to each and everyone in Spiti Holiday Adventure for the amazing time we had.It was indeed a pleasure to meet Rahul Mansur who organised the trip for us at a very short notice.Special thanks to Team at Hotel Spiti Serai, Rangrik for their hospitality and our driver Tilak.Would definitely love to experience more off-beat destinations organised by you guys.
Do yourself a big favour and visit Spiti Valley using this company. The whole team is extremely professional and just a lovely bunch! We did 7-day jeep ride which provided a great itinerary to see a lot of what this amazing place has to offer. Spiti Valley is a once in a lifetime experience and totally worth the effort to go!
Thank you for an amazing "Spiti" experience. This was one of the well arranged and managed travel experience that I have been part of. Still missing the hospitality of all the people who hosted us at all places be it Khansar at kaza, Home-stay at Kibber or Mountain Trail Hotel at Manali. Once again a thank you very much and of course hope to travel with you guys once again. As JRR Tolkien says... Home is behind, The world ahead; And there are many paths to tread…
31 years of experience in organising tours within the Himalayas
The only local Spiti travel company to be Recommended by Lonely Planet
The best local prices minus any middle man or commissions.
Drive from Shimla – Sangla
Drive from Sangla – Chitkul – Kalpa
Drive from Kalpa – Nako – Tabo
Drive from Tabo - Dhankar - Mudh
Driver from Mudh - Ki - Kibber - Kaza
Drive from Kaza – Langza – Hikkim – Komic - Kaza
Drive from Kaza - Chandratal
Drive from Chandratal Lake – Chattru – Rohtang Pass – Manali