Spiti Homestay Trip (8 days)
Spiti valley also known as the “Middle Land” is a Trans-Himalayan terrain bordering with Tibet at an average altitude of 4000 meters. Spiti valley is home to some of the oldest monasteries in the Himalayan region like Tabo monastery, Dhankar monastery, Sherkhang monastery and Kye monastery. A strong hold of the Buchen Lamas in Pin Valley, Amchis; famous for Tibetan medicine, the fossils of Langza
village, highest motor-able villages of Komic and Khibber, passes like Kunzum and scenic lakes like Chandrataal. A 1000 years old culture, beautiful villages, simple, humble people and an out of the world land-scape. Come and explore a civilization frozen in time.
Spiti Homestay Fixed Departures have been planned in such a way that you explore Spiti like a local, live like a local to help give you a deeper understanding of the region. Let us take you through this breathtaking region and help you explore the place the way you would want to.
22nd - 29th June 2019
13th - 20th July 2019
10th - 17th August 2019
28th Sept - 5th October 2019
Spiti Homestay Trip Details
- Duration: 7 Nights and 8 days
- Cost: Rs. 16,700/- per person (excluding 5% GST)
Highlights of the Trip
- A session on Spitian food and food tasting
- Introduction to Cheese making, Rope Making, Liquor Brewing
- An introduction to Buddhism from a local monk
- Visit the world’s highest bridge from sea level - Chicham bridge
- Hike to Dhankar Lake
- A visit to the meditation caves in Tabo
- Fossil Excursion at Langza
- Live in local homestays across the valley
Itinerary for Spiti Homestay Trip
Day 1 - Reach Manali and relax
Reach Manali in the morning from Delhi/Chandigarh after an overnight journey and check-in to the hotel. You will be free to do whatever you want on this day, but the most important thing is to relax and acclimatize and not overexert. Once the every-one has arrived by afternoon, we will hold a small briefing session along with the guide. This will also be a good time for you to get acquainted with the rest of the group. We suggest you call it an early night as your body needs proper rest for the long journey ahead. We will be leaving very early the next day; proper rest will help you in acclimatizing.
Day 2 - Manali to Kaza via Rohtang and Kunzum Pass
Today we head to Spiti valley which will take around 10 hours (220 km), if everything goes as planned. We leave early in the morning around 5 am as we have a long way to go and ascend the mighty Rohtang Pass. From Gramphoo you will start noticing a change in terrain with fewer trees and more steep mountain peaks and the start of a barren landscape. From here we head towards Chatru and cross some of the biggest waterfalls which can be a nightmare for a non-experienced driver, but luckily you’ll will be in a very experienced hands. The terrain will change drastically from Chatru and all you will see is rocks all over with huge streams overflowing on the road and converging in the ruthless Chandra river. We will take a lunch break at Batal at the famous Chandra Dhaba. We head to Kunzum Pass and at Kunzum top, we will stop for you to pay our respects to the Kunzum Goddess as you enter Spiti valley. The jumpy ride on non-existent roads which started from Gramphoo will end in Lohsar. From Lohsar we head to Kaza, it will take another 2 hours to reach from here. Once you reach Kaza and meet your homestay host, you can relax and enjoy a cup of tea with them. We shall have a small briefing session over dinner.
Day 3 - Kaza to Key, Khibber and back
Start the day easy over a nice homemade local breakfast. Visit the local market in Kaza if you’d like. We will head out to spend our afternoon next to the river where we shall serve you lunch made in the homestay, picnic style and you can spend time relaxing and soaking in the Spitian sun. After lunch, we shall head to Kye monastery, the center of learning in Spiti valley. The monastery is set on a small hill from where you get a complete view of the valley. Have a cup of tea at the monastery, and spend some time with the monks. Next we shall head to Khibber village, which used to be the highest motorable village in the world. The mountains around Khibber are home to the rare Snow Leopard and Siberian Ibex. A little ahead of Khibber is the famous Chicham bridge, said to be the Asia's highest bridge from sea level at 4037m (13,244ft). It’s one of the most spectacular bridges in the world. We head back to Kaza after your visit to Chicham, where we will have a small talk on Buddhism conducted by one of the monks at the monastery.
Day 4 - Kaza to Dhankar via Tabo
After a relaxed breakfast in the morning we will head to 1000 years old Tabo Monastery, a UNESCO heritage site, also known as the “Ajantas of the Himalayas”. Paintings and murals on the walls of the main sanctum makes it a master piece and worth visiting. You can visit the nearby meditation caves that the monks have been using for centuries. This is an optional hike for those interested. We shall then have lunch at a local homestay where we will take you through the different types of Spitian food. After lunch we will head to Dhankar where you will visit the Monastery, and for those up to it, hike to the nearby Lake which is a steep 45 min walk one way. Dhankar monastery, claimed to be 1000 years old, is on the cliff of a mountain overlooking the confluence of Pin and Spiti rivers. Spend some time at the lake if you end up doing the hike and head to your homestay in Dhankar. You can spend the evening with your host family, helping them in the kitchen to prepare the evening’s meal.
Day 5 - Dhankar to Langza via Demul, Komic and Hikkim
Today will be an interesting day, as you will be visiting a couple of villages, learning a bit about life at a high altitude. We head out to Demul in the morning after breakfast, where you will be able to meet and interact with the locals. From Demul we will head to Komic, which is one of the highest motorable villages in the world. Komic has a beautiful monastery for you to explore. You can sit near the monastery and enjoy the spectacular view of snowcapped peaks around over a cup of tea and chat with the monks. The monastery in Komic is functional in winters when temperatures dip down to -30 degrees and roads get blocked. It will be very interesting to understand the life and survival of such happy souls at this altitude. The next stop is Hikkim which has the world’s highest post office. Not to forget your loved ones, you can send out postcards from the post office. You will be amazed at the quantum of postcards
leaving the post office daily and will love meeting the post master who is a unique personality.
Our last stop for the day Langza, is also famous for its fossils. In the evening, you can go on a small fossil excursion around the village. Millions of years ago, Spiti lay submerged under the Tethys sea. Fossils of sea life can easily be found scattered close to the village. Once you have found your fossil, we urge you to leave it behind in the village where it belongs so as to disturb the ecology of the area as little as possible. At the end of your day you will learn a little about how local cheese, liquor, and yak rope are made.
Day 6 - Langza to Chandrataal via Lohsar and Kunzum Pass
After breakfast with your host family, we head towards Chandrataal Lake early in the morning. This is one location where you will find difficult to stop clicking photographs. The lake is a landscape photographer’s dream come true, changing its appearance almost with every passing hour, each shot as stunning as the last one. Tonight we camp in style; excellent dome tents set up to protect you from the cold and biting night winds. If you are lucky and the communal fireplace is burning, you can warm up and meet other travellers over dinner.
Day 7 - Chandrataal to Manali via Kunzum and Rohtang pass
We leave early this morning to Manali after an early breakfast. We will take a small break at Batal to say goodbye to Chacha and Chachi at Chandra Dhaba. The aim is to try and reach Rohtang pass by early afternoon and spend some time at the pass. Head to Manali and relax. We will have a small get together in the evening over dinner. Stay in Manali for the night.
Day 8 - Departure
Trip ends this afternoon as you head back to take your bus back to Delhi or respective places.
What is included in the tour
- All Transport in a Tempo Traveller from Day 2 to Day 7
- Stay in Manali on a twin sharing basis on Day 1 and 7, Camping near Chandrataal Lake on Day 6 and Homestays on Day 2,3,4 and 5
- 3 meals on each day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) from Day 2 to Day 7
- Local Spitian guide on all days
- All activities mentioned in the plan
- All entry fees to monasteries in Spiti (if any)
What is NOT included in the tour
- Snacks and beverages (except the ones with meals)
- Bus/Train/Air fare
- Any kind of insurance
- Service tax exclusive (GST)
- Personal expenses like camera charges, etc.
- Any kind of cost which is not mentioned in the cost includes above
- All expenses incurred due to unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances like roadblocks, bad weather
- Cost of any medical emergency or other emergency if required
- 2/3-liter water bottle
- Hiking/ trekking shoes
- Lip balm
- Some thermals
- Woolen socks
- Woolen cap
- Wind cheater
- Sweat shirt
- Woolen gloves
- Toilet paper
- Extra camera batteries
- Personal medical kit and personal medicines
- Identity proof
Things to note for the trek
Minimum requirement: The trip runs if we have a minimum of 4 confirmed participants. In the event that we don’t get the requisite numbers we can run with less than 4
participants if participants are willing to pay extra. We will revise the costing according to the no. of participants. Alternatively, in the event the trip gets cancelled, we will
reimburse the amount paid to the participants minus any minimal bank charges that may have been cut.
Room Sharing: All stays in guesthouses will be on a twin sharing basis except for homestays where it will be as per the layout of the homestay i.e. 2,3 or 4 people in one room basis the size of the room. Rooms are divided amongst same sex participants which is most comfortable for solo travellers and friends. Only if there is a couple amongst the group will they get to stay together.
Type of participants: Our groups usually have participants between the ages of 20-40 and we have a healthy 50-50 male to female ratio in the group, with friends, couples and solo travellers alike.
Homestays: You shall stay in homestays where you shall be sharing some space with a local family. It will be a wonderful experience to see the life of people at this altitude and how content they are. Stay and food will be very basic and you will get to have simple local food.
Dry Toilets: Since there is lack of water in cold deserts and carrying water is not easy at such high altitudes - the concept of dry toilets have been prevalent in Spiti since the beginning. While trekking we shall be covering a terrain where all the homestays have dry toilets. We can also provide a stool if some people have difficulty squatting but there shall be an extra charge for the same.
Bathing and Hot Water at Homestay: Since we shall be around 4000 meters, getting hot water for everyone will not be possible. Hot water for drinking shall not be an issue but for bathing it will not be possible.