Spiti Road Trip (9 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, strong hold of Buchen Lamas in Pin Valley, famous for Tibetan medicine system and Amchis, fossils of Langza village, highest motorable villages and passes, scenic lakes, 1000 years old culture, tough life, beautiful villages and people and out of the world landscape. Come and explore with us as we go through a civilization frozen in time.
A trip that covers the least explored of Himachal with the trip starting from Narkanda and then touching the east most parts of Himachal like Sangla and Kalpa taking the Hindustan Tibet Road with Sutlej (coming from China) all along the way. After covering Kinnaur, you shall drive through the Trans-Himalayan deserts of Spiti valley. Spiti Fixed Departures have been planned in a way that you explore Spiti like a local and at a pace that helps you acclimatise and enjoy at the same time.
18th - 26th May 2019 (full)
Spiti Road Trip Event Details
- Duration: 8 Nights and 9 days
- Trip Cost: Rs. 26,500/- per person (excluding GST)
Highlights of the Trip
- Visit Kinnaur and the apple belt of Himachal covering Narkanda, Sangla and Kalpa.
- Visit one of the highest motor-able villages in the world - Komic
- Send post cards from the highest post office in the world - Hikkim
- Visit Asia’s highest bridge above sea level - Chicham bridge
- Hike to Dhankar Lake (optional)
- Hike to the meditation caves in Tabo (optional)
- Homestay experience in Pin Valley
- Fossil Excursion at Langza
Itinerary for Spiti Road Trip
Day 1 - Chandigarh to Narkanda
Everyone reaches Chandigarh by noon and then we head to Narkanda. We hit the lower Himalayas a few kilometers from Chandigarh and head to Narkanda. We shall escape the traffic of Shimla city and enjoy the scenic drive on your way to Narkanda. If time permits, we shall visit the famous Hatu temple and spend some time there. Relax in the evening.
Day 2 - Narkanda to Sangla
We shall head out early in the morning after breakfast, visit Hatu temple in Narkanda and hit the road to Sangla valley- one of the most beautiful valleys in India. After Rampur, you shall see the huge construction site of Wangtoo Karcham Dam and the ruthless side of Sutlej River. We shall call it a day after reaching Sangla. Stay in Sangla.
Day 3 - Sangla to Kalpa via Chitkul
Get up in the morning and enjoy the beautiful view of Sangla valley. You can also see the back side of Kinner Kailash peaks from Sangla. After tea, we head for a walk to Basteri village through the woods and crossing the Baspa River. Walk through the village, the apple and apricot orchards and visit the ancient Badri Narayan temple. Have breakfast and leave for Kalpa via a visit to Chitkul- the last village on Indo-Tibetan border. The drive to Chitkul is simply out of the world. Head to Kalpa from Chitkul. Enjoy the scenic view Kinner Kailash peaks over a cup of tea in Kalpa. If time permits, we shall visit the Old Shiva Temple and Buddhist Monastery in Kalpa. Enjoy your evening.
Day 4 - Kalpa to Tabo via Nako and Gue
Have your breakfast early and head out to enter the cold desert terrain (also known as Trans Himalayan Terrain). As we leave Kalpa, you shall notice the change in terrain where you shall find lesser trees, greenery and increasing rocky, dry kind of mountains- this is when you know that you are entering cold deserts. We shall take a 10 minutes break at Khab- the confluence of Sutlej and Spiti river which is a beautiful scenic spot for photography. From here we head into the high mountains and climb to a beautiful village called Nako- we shall stop here for lunch. Walk through the village and spend some time next to the lake. Head to the entry point of Spiti from the southern side- Sumdo where we make our visitor entries before heading to Gue to see the 550 years old Mummy of a Monk. The mummy is one of its kind in the entire Himalayan region and was found a few years back after an earthquake. You can spend some time wandering around the village and then we head to our final destination of the day- Tabo. By the time we reach it will be evening and the monastery will be shut. So we shall visit the Monastery next morning. Rest in Tabo
Day 5 - Tabo to Kaza via Dhankar, Key and Khibber
Start your morning with a nice breakfast and a visit to the Ajantas of Himalayas- Tabo Monastery. A 1000 years old monastery and not even a single day has passed since its inception that prayers have not been offered. The murals, wall paintings and thankas will leave you speechless especially the wall of the 1000 Buddhas in the main sanctum. We shall walk to the other side of Tabo where we shall visit the caves where the monks used to meditate during ancient times. We shall head out of Tabo and our next stop will be Dhankar Monastery- a 1000 years old monument whose setting is like none other. Dhankar Monastery hangs on a cliff overlooking the confluence of Spiti and Pin River. Dhankar use to be the seat of the King in the ancient times and the monastery use to follow the sect of the King. The ones who want to check their lung ca-pacity and are adventurous can hike to Dhankar lake which is a 45 minutes hike from Dhankar village. The non-adventurous ones will walk around the village and get ready for Lunch.
Post lunch we visit one of the most famous monastery of Spiti valley- The Kye Monastery, have a cup of tea with the monks and understand their life. Kye Monastery is the biggest monastery in Spiti valley and is home to a young monk who come here to follow Buddha’s path. After spending some time at the Monastery, we head to Khibber village which use to be highest village in the world some time back before Komic took that position. Walk and hike around this beautiful village which is also part of a sanctuary. Visit the famous Chicum bridge nearby. Head back to Kaza and relax this evening.
Day 6 - Kaza to Pin Valley via Langza, Hikkim and Komic
We shall head out to Langza this morning after breakfast. Langza is the 2nd highest motorable village after Komic and is home to Fossil search in the country. To make it a little more interesting at this altitude, the interested ones can hike from Langza to Komic via a small stop at Hikkim. In order not to forget our loved ones, visit the world’s highest post office in Hikkim and post a few post cards to your loved ones. Trust me you will be amazed looking at the post office here. Head to our last point for the day, Komic 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 and it will be very interesting to understand life and survival of such happy souls at this altitude. We shall finish our journey for the day at Mudh village- the entry point of Pin Valley National Park. Stay in a homestay at Mudh and understand the life of locals at this altitude- how they live, what they grow, what they eat, how do entertain themselves, their culture, music, food. Mudh is the starting/ ending point of 2 very famous treks- the Pin Parvati Pass trek and Bhaba Pass trek.
Day 7 - Pin Valley to Nako
Before we leave Pin Valley, we will visit Khungri Monastery in Sagnam village which is the strong hold of Buchen Lamas of Nyingma sec of Buddhism in the morning after breakfast. This is a light day, so once you reach Nako you can relax, go on a stroll to the famous Nako Lake and enjoy a quiet evening by the lake.
Day 8 - Nako to Narkanda
We leave today early in the morning as it’s a long journey to Rampur. We leave after breakfast and as you leave Spiti you will see the landscape change Kalpa and beyond. We will make some stops along the way at places for pictures. The last night of your trans-himalayan adventure, you reach the hotel and gather for a last meal together with the entire group. Stay in Narkanda for the night.
Day 9 - Narkanda to Chandigarh
We leave early this morning to Chandigarh after an early breakfast as everyone will have a flight/bus to catch from Chandigarh. We won’t be taking many stops along the way keeping in mind the 8 hours journey and the fact that many people have their flights in the evening. Reach Chandigarh airport and move towards your respective city.
What is included in the tour
- All Transport in Tempo Traveller from Chandigarh to Chandigarh
- Accommodation for 8 nights on twin sharing basis
- 3 meals on each day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) from Day 1 to Day 10
- Local Spitian Guide on all days
- 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: 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.