7 Days Spiti Valley Road Trip
MAY - OCTOBER 2018
Spiti Valley Road Trip Highlights
Cost per person
The experience at Spiti Valley can be best described through Rudyard Kipling's words, “Surely the Gods must live here, this is no place for men.”
Located at an average height of 12,500 feet above sea level, Spiti Valley consists of stark high alpine lands, scattered with small postcard-perfect villages of whitewashed mud-homes and monasteries. Prepare to travel to a world where villages appear like a mirage after miles of trailing a turquoise green river nestled between snow-capped barren mountains and blue lakes; a world which has the coldest winters you’ll ever see, but therein reside the warmest people you will meet.
This comfortable and carefully curated seven-day Spiti Valley Innova Jeep tour is designed for travellers looking for an authentic Spiti Valley experience in a week’s time. Shared by a small group of travellers, this Spiti Valley Tour includes travelling in a comfortable Toyota Innova to some of the most popular villages of Spiti Valley including Asia’s highest villages – Komik and Kibber. Marvel at the wondrous structure of the Ki Monastery and get ready to be amazed by the Tabo Monastery – a 1020-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site. 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.View Full Itinerary
We begin this Spiti Valley tour by hitting the road from Manali. We pass through the popular adventure-haven Rohtang Pass. Then we drive into the desolate and stunning brown-badland landscape and approach Chattru and Batal. At 14,931 feet, we catch our first chill at the august Kunzum Pass and then descend into Losar Village, the first in Spiti valley.
Having warmed up with cup of chai (tea), we continue driving through the stunning landscapes and reach Kaza where we spend the night at a comfortable hotel.
On the second day of the 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 4,513 meters. This farm-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 brings 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 may 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 4,400 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 into 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 4,205 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 traversable 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.
We drive back to Kaza in the evening and spend the night in a comfortable and warm Kaza hotel.
On the third day of our Spiti Valley tour, we drive towards the beautiful Pin Valley.
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 drive back to Kaza in the evening and spend the night in a comfortable and warm Kaza hotel.
After a delicious breakfast, we continue our Spiti Valley tour and drive towards the only other town of Spiti Valley – Tabo. Also known as the ‘Ajanta of the Himalayas’, Tabo houses the 1020 year-old Tabo Monastery – which is a UNESCO world heritage site and is famous for its ancient paintings that depict the life of The Buddha, and intricate portraits of gods and demons along with life-size statues of bodhisattvas, in a fusion of western Tibetan, Indian and Kashmiri styles.
After spending a couple of hours at Tabo, we drive towards Dhankar. Perched high above the confluence of the Spiti and Pin River, in a hidden bowl, is the tiny hamlet of Dhankar. The former capital of the Royals of Spiti Valley, also known as the Nono, who ruled the dust-coloured badlands of Spiti Valley. Go 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 which offers views over the valley and towards the twin peaks of Mane Rang (6593 meters).
Later, we take a short drive 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. Apart from being home to hospitable local families, the village of Lhalung is also home to one of the oldest gompas in Spiti valley. The Lhalung Monastery – also known as Sarkhang and golden Temple – is situated at a height of 3658 meters.
We spend the night at an authentic local homestay with a local family, listening to life tales at above 12,000 feet.
This day, we commence our journey back home and trace our steps back on the Kaza – Manali road. However, we take one last stop at another Spitian wonder – Chandratal Lake. The mystical and beautiful Chandratal Lake, which translates to Moon Lake, is located at a height of 14,100 feet. The Chandra Bhaga mountain range forms a striking backdrop for the lake, which changes appearance according to the pictures painted in the sky.
After capturing the colours of the beautiful Chandratal Lake, we drive to our camping site where a hot supper under the gaze of a million stars and the Milky Way awaits us.
Our camps at Chandratal Lake are equipped with camping equipment including tents, high altitude sleeping bags / blankets and a comfortable mattress.
With visuals of the stunning Chandratal Lake captured in minds and cameras, we continue tracing our steps back, driving on the Kaza – Manali road and after a few hours of driving and some more stunning landscape, we pass through the famous Rohtang Pass and reach Manali where we bid goodbye to our drivers.
You can choose to explore Manali’s markets in the evening if you are up for it or you can rest in the comforts of your Manali hotel.
You could choose to pack the following items for your Spiti Valley holiday:
*If you are buying new shoes for your Spiti Valley holiday, please remember to use them for at least a month before you commence your holiday.
Request you to carry only one backpack per person.
Some Important Points:
1) The tour starts and ends in Manali.
If you need help with accommodation in Manali on the day before the tour starts and ends, please let us know and we'll arrange a room for you in a good hotel.
2) Vegetarian food will be easily available. If you need Jain food or have any dietary restrictions, please let us know and we will make the required arrangements.
3) We recommend a start time of 5 AM from Manali on Day 1. Hence, it would be ideal if you reached Manali one day before the start of the tour. The car will pick you up from your hotel in Manali.
4) Manali is accessible by road from New Delhi / Chandigarh.
If you want, we would be happy to organize a comfortable taxi to travel between New Delhi / Chandigarh and Manali.
Regarding any safety concerns:
If you are concerned about your safety, please note that we have been arranging tours and treks in Spiti Valley for the last 29 years and there has never been an untoward incident. Spiti Valley and generally the whole of Himachal Pradesh is very safe. The guides and the drivers we work with have been with us for several years.
Please do not worry about your safety - for us, in our our culture - you are like our family members and you will be treated like the same - with lots of respect.
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…
29 years of experience in organising tours within Spiti valley
The only local Spiti travel company to be Recommended by Lonely Planet
The best local prices minus any middle man or commissions.
Drive from Manali – Rohtang Pass – Kunzum La – Losar – Kaza. Overnight in a Kaza Hotel.
Drive from Kaza – Langza – Hikkim – Komik – Ki Monastery – Kibber – Gette – Kaza. Overnight in a Kaza hotel.
Drive from Kaza to Pin Valley – Kungri – Mudh – Kaza. Overnight in a Kaza Hotel.
Drive from Kaza to Tabo – Dhankar – Dhankar Lake Trek – Lhalung. Overnight in a Lhalung Homestay.
Drive from Lhalung to Losar – Kunzum La – Chandratal Lake. Overnight in Camps near Chandratal Lake.
Drive from Chandratal Lake to Rohtang Pass – Manali
Check Out of Manali
We visited Spiti this march and i must say, It was a really nice trip! It was perfectly planned. The itenary made sure that we were acclimated with the climate before we reached Kaza and none of the group members didn't faced any health problems during the entire trip! There were some instances when some of us had headaches after treks, but herbal teas in homestays helped a lot. Drivers were really cooperative and we enjoyed every bit of spiti valley. The homestays and the hotels were quite comfortable. Thanks to @RameshLotey for choosing such nice places for us to stay! Some things that could make this trip even better - I believe it would be good if we can add Pin valley national park to the itenary. Courtesy: Facebook (@spitiholiday)
We (family of 4) had an excellent time in spiti with a 7-day tour arranged by spiti holiday adventure. The itinerary was well planned and ensured we hit all the high spots in spiti. We also had an excellent driver, Bunty who was very safe and knew the roads well. Given some bad road conditions we all felt very safe with his driving. The hotel in Kaja, the Homestay in Lhalung the tent cabin in Chandratal as well as the hotel in Manali were great. A lot of logistics behind the scenes was handled well leading to an excellent holiday. A very big thank you! Courtesy: Facebook (@spitiholiday)