The Enigmatic Spiti Valley
Popularly known as Little Tibet, Spiti is nestled in the Himalayan Mountain range in Himachal Pradesh. Accessible only during summer, Spiti is as remote as it gets. Surrounded by mountains and glaciers, villages perched on mountain crests, quaint old monasteries, crystal clear rivers and streams, prayer flags fluttering in the wind and monks in their robes evoke strong comparisons with Tibet and leaves tourists to this remote region spellbound.
Spiti literally means ‘middle land’ as it is bordered by Tibet in the east, Ladakh to the north, Kinnaur to the south east and Lahaul and Kullu to the south. Situated at an average height of around 12,500 feet above mean sea level, Spiti lies along the Himalayan river of the same name. Cut off from the tourist map because of its remoteness, Spiti, along with its twin valley of Lahaul, has retained its pristine charm. Spiti and Lahaul are sub-divisions in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh.
Backpack around Spiti and see the best of the region!
(Drive from Manali – Rohtang Pass – Kunzum La – Kaza. Overnight in a Kaza Hotel. (11,980 feet / 9 – 10 hours)) We begin our journey by burning the road from Manali. We pass through the popular adventure-haven Rohtang Pass. We begin to 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 a chai, we continue driving through the stunning landscape and reach Kaza where we spend the night at Kaza.
(Kazan to Dhankar and back to Kaza.)
After a delicious breakfast, 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 everyone is up for it we can have’s a short hike to the stunning turquoise Dhankar Tso or Dhankar Lake which offers views over the valley and towards the twin peaks of Mane Rang (6593 meters).
Today, 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 metres. 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. Later, we drive to Hikkim where we visit the world’s highest post office in the world. If possible, you can even meet the post-master and hear his stories.Stay overnight at Kaza!
Today, we will move up the valley to the picturesque village of Kibber. The expanses of beautiful landscapes and immeasurable beauty of the snow-tipped mountains makes the place a haven for nature-lovers and photographers alike. From Kibber,we visit the world famous Ki Monastery. 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 centre of learning as well as 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.Stay overnight at Key!
Key monastary to the mystical and beautiful Chandratal Lake, which translates to Moon Lake, 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.We will be camping at Chandartaal!
(Drive from Chandratal Lake to Rohtang Pass – Manali. Overnight in a Manali hotel (6,726 feet / 6 – 7 hours))
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 hostel.
We wake up late, a sumptuous breakfast and some brilliant views of the Himalayas from your hostel in Manali. You are free to explore Manali on foot today.
Transportationin Car, all around. (Either innova or traveler or sumo, depending on the number of people)
Accommodations in clean and comfortable homestays and guest houses.
Camping and food in Chandartaal lake included ( dinner, breakfast and tent accommodation)
Any kind of Insurance
Any expense of personal nature
Any expense not specified in the inclusion list.
Temperature in summer (June to September) can touch 25 degrees with a minimum of 3-4 degrees depending on the place. The temperature can go down to -30 degrees in late December and January.Annual rainfall is 6″.
What all do we need to carry taking into consideration the climate of Spiti Valley?
Carrying jacket, pullovers and warmers are always advisable. Sometimes there is a rain or snow in early June therefore you need wind cheaters or raincoat. Good waterproof shoes are needed while trekking and extra pair of shoes and loads of socks. A good spacious rucksack is needed to carry your items of use and a good sleeping bag is a must to carry. Things like sunscreen, lip gel, sunglasses, cap, torch are always handy in this terrain.
What are the facilities of Post and Telecommunication?
Yes, both are available in Kaza and Keylong. At times, the phone lines do not work due to lack of electricity.
Are credit or debit cards acceptable by hotels and shops?
No, credit or debit cards are accepted by hotels or shops. However, there are ATMs of State Bank of India in Kaza and Keylong.
Is internet service available?
Yes, there is one internet café in Kaza.
What are the languages spoken in Spiti Valley?
Bhot (boti) is the main language spoken. Hindi and English is also among the other spoken languages.
What are the precautions to be taken while traveling in Spiti valley?
Acute mountain sickness can occur to any one at an altitude above 10,000 feet from the sea level with symptoms like headache, disturbed sleep, loss of appetite, nausea, coughing, irregular breathing, breathlessness and lack of concentration. It is advisable to acclimatize well in the conditions. Take complete rest for at least 24 hours.
Consult a doctor if you develop any of the above symptoms.
Do not use plastic bag since plastic is officially banned in Lahoul and Spiti District. Always separate and properly dispose off litter burns burnable, bury biodegradable materials.
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Pullovers / Sweatshirts
Warmers / Thermals
Woolen caps, mufflers, gloves and socks
Raincoat (not necessary – but good to have one)
Waterproof / snow-proof trekking shoes
An extra pair of shoes
Sleeping bag (if you are trekking on your own)
Solar chargers / Power banks
Inhalers (if you suffer from asthma)
BSNL Prepaid / Postpaid SIM Card
Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh 172114