Spiti and Kinnaur Road Trip is for the travellers who would want to drift from the usual tourist trails. Lahaul and Spiti Valley is tucked in the middle of Tibet and India, and hence also known as the “Middle Land”. The desert mountain valley high in the Himalayas of Himachal Pradesh has recently seen an increase in the tourism. It is one of the most unexplored places in India, and also one of the most picture perfect. You will be spellbound by the rugged mountain terrains, gushing streams, high altitude lakes and the beautiful Spiti River.
The Spiti- Kinnaur route or National Highway-11, also popularly known as the Hindustan Tibet Road makes for one of the greatest road-trips in Asia. You will simply love to take this route if you are in love with adventure. The valley is home to some of the kindest and friendliest people in India, who with their warmth and welcoming nature will make you want to come back again. Summer season, May to late September is the perfect time to explore the place as the weather warms up and the road gets clear. The Spiti and Kinnaur Road Trip ex Chandigarh is the perfect getaway for 10 days, away from all the pollution, noise and summer heat!
Take the adventure and get on the road! You will be more than fascinated by the culture, traditions and the beautiful monasteries of the valley.
DAY 01: Chandigarh - Shimla (7,238 feet / 3-4 hours / 113 KM)
Our trip starts from Chandigarh from where we will take you to Shimla. Enjoy the scenic road from plains to mountains, and the pleasant weather away from the heat and pollution of the cities. Grab lunch on the way and then continue towards Shimla. We will reach Shimla by early evening and check in to the hotel. Shimla has maintained its old charm; the hill station will remind you of the British style of living. Explore the Mall Road in the evening and stroll around the market. Stay overnight and rest well to travel to higher altitudes.
DAY 02: Drive from Shimla – Sarahan – Sangla – Chitkul. (8,900 feet / 6-7 hours / 246 KM)
On the second day of our The Spiti and Kinnaur Tour we will head to Bhimakali Temple in Sarahan. Our next stop will be Sangla, a scenic village in Himachal Pradesh known as the Land of Gods. The drive through Oak and Pine tree with the Sutlej River flowing along the way will be breathtaking and refreshing. Our last stop for this day will be Chitkul, and a drive through the picture perfect place with the backdrop of Himalayan Ranges is all you would want to see at the end of the day. We will return to Sangla and camp there for the night.
DAY 3: Drive from Sangla - Kalpa – Nako (12,000 feet / 6 – 7 hours / 140 KM)
After the breakfast we will move towards Kalpa passing through Reckong Peo, which is the gateway to Spiti Valley. Kalpa is said to be winter home of Lord Shiva, and we will take a quick stop at Kalpa to admire the majestic views of the Kinner Kailash and Jorkandan Peaks above the valley. After taking a fuel stop at Puh, we will proceed to Nako. Spend the night at Nako.
DAY 4: Drive from Nako – Tabo – Dhankar (12,774 feet / 4 – 5 hours / 94 KM)
On this day we will drive to Tabo, home to the famous Tabo Monastery which dates back to 996 CE and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tabo is one of the rare places in Spiti to get cell phone network, so you can make quick important calls, and also grab something to eat before heading to Dhankar. The valley stands beautifully above the confluence of Spiti and Pin River and is known for its 1200-year old Dhankar Monastery. If we have time and energy, we can head to a short and easy trek to the Dhankar Lake, known for its enchanting turquoise color. Spend the night in a homestay at Dhankar and explore the culture and traditions of Spiti closely. Enjoy authentic and freshly prepared food by the locals.
DAY 5: Drive from Dhankar – Lalung – Demul – Kaza (14,435 feet / 4 – 5 hours / 92 KM)
On the fifth day of Spiti and Kinnaur Road Tour we will head to Lalung after breakfast at the homestay. Lalung is famous for its statue of the three cornered Buddha, looking in different directions at the same time. After Lalung, we will head to Demul which is one of the most remote valleys in Spiti. Demul at a height of 14,435 turns verdant in the harvest season. If time permits, take the Yak Safari and learn how to make steamed momos with the locals! By the evening drive to Kaza and spend the night in a hotel.
DAY 6: Drive from Kaza – Komik – Langza – Kaza (14,800 feet / 2-3 hours / 50 KM)
On this day we will drive to the highest inhabited village of Spiti Valley - Komik. You can send a postcard from the highest post office in the world at Hikkim and ascend 14,800 feet above sea-level to the highest inhabited village in all of Asia. Take a walk in the Komik Monastery and admire its architecture. Our next stop will be Langza, known for fossils of marine life, and the giant Buddha statue! Return to Kaza and stay overnight.
DAY 7: Drive from Kaza – Ki Monastery – Tashigang – Gette – Chicham – Kibber (13,800 feet / 3-4 hours / 38 KM)
Drive to the picturesque Ki Monastery, said to be the largest monastery in Spiti Valley. Capture the stunning vistas of Spiti River and the snow clad mountains in the backdrop! The monastery is home to 250 monks, and we can witness the prayer and the ceremony if we arrive on time. Our final stop for the day will be Kibber, home to around 80 families that depend on agriculture for their living. Explore the village around which also serves as the base camp for many known Himalayan treks. Spend the night in a comfortable homestay in Kibber.
DAY 8: Drive from Kibber – Losar – Kunzum La – Chandratal Lake (14,000 feet / 5-6 hours / 110 KM)
Today we will drive to one of the most enchanting places in Spiti Valley - Chandratal Lake also called as the Moon Lake. Passing through a high altitude Kunzum Pass at 14800 feet we will reach the beautiful high altitude Himalayan Lake. The stunning blue colour lake changes its colour to emerald green from dusk to dawn, it is a sight to behold! Spend the night in the Swiss tents around the lake and gaze at the starry sky which is never found in the cities!
DAY 9: Drive from Chandratal Lake – Batal – Chhatru – Rohtang La – Manali (50 KM- 6-7 hours)
Wake up to a beautiful sunrise over the lake and then leave for Manali. We will take a quick stop at Batal for a cup of tea at a small tea-shop run by a beautiful old couple. We will stop at Chhatru on Kaza - Manali Highway to grab a quick lunch, and then continue to drive through the famous Rohtang Pass and reach Manali by evening.
DAY 10: Drive from Manali – Chandigarh (291 KM / 7-8 hours)
On our last day of Spiti and Kinnaur Road Trip we will start early at 5 AM and head to Chandigarh. Bid adieu to the beautiful Himachal Pradesh and the perfect 10 days of your life! Your tour ends at Chandigarh!
July 2016 - 1st, 22nd | August 2016 - 12th, 19th | September 2016 - 2nd, 9th | October 2016 - 3rd
Maximum Altitude: 14,800 Feet
Total Distance: 1224 KM
Duration: 9 Nights / 10 Days
Region: Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Temperatures: Summers (May - October) – Maximum 25 degree C & Minimum 5 degree C.
Winters (November – April) – Temperatures drop to 45 degrees C below zero.
Handling altitude sickness
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) can occur to anyone at an altitude above 10,000 feet – which is the average elevation of Spiti Valley.
Common symptoms are headache, disturbed sleep, loss of appetite, nausea, coughing, irregular breathing, breathlessness, lack of energy, difficulty in passing urine, lack of concentration and chest gurgles.
To avoid AMS, it is extremely important to acclimatize well to the conditions and the altitude. Once you reach Spiti Valley, it is advisable to take complete rest for a day before starting any physical excursion. AMS can be alleviated or avoided by slowing the pace of ascent. It is for this reason that we usually recommend a minimum of seven days for a tour of Spiti valley. This gives the body plenty of time to adapt to the increasing altitude.
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