Himachal Pradesh is home to some of the most breathtaking valleys in the world flanked by high and mighty peaks and ranges like the Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar. It is no surprise then that people from both India and outside flock here in search of different things. Be it close proximity to nature, spirituality, peace, adventure or just a few days off with friends and family, this beautiful land of Himachal Pradesh has it all. Regions like Dharamshala, Manali, and Shimla are some of the most popular in the state, but the formidable Kinnaur and Spiti have a different charm altogether.
Located at such a high altitude that people often feel the lack of oxygen, only the most adventurous dare to venture here. Kinnaur is much different than Spiti in terms of landscape with its mighty high peaks and lush green trees everywhere. Spiti is known for its naked barren mountain with no proper roads. There is only one petrol pump in the entire district! Although the two are way different, they have one thing in common- they teach their visitors how to be humble and revere nature in its rawest and purest forms.
Lahaul and Spiti district has the largest area but the least population density in Himachal Pradesh. It has nearly 25% area of the state and the population density is only 2 persons per square kilometre. This district is located between Pir Panjal and the Great Himalayan mountain ranges. Spipi Valley offers a striking contrast in landscape from the rest of Himachal. A visit to Spiti is an awe-inspiring experience and rarely is the traveller indifferent to the stark beauty of the region.
Kinnaur has been a major Trans-Himalayan corridor for centuries. The Valley has some of the most interesting meadows, viewpoints, lakes and lush green pastures in the state. Along with that, it is believed that the Pandavas lived here while in exile. Ancient traditions, beliefs and Buddhist monasteries established thousands of years ago point to the richness of the culture here. Also, this district is open to visitors since 1989. Furthermore, Foreign Nationals need a permit to visit this region.
Kinnaur and Spiti Map:
Day 1 (14 May)- SHIMLA TO CHITKUL – We rise and shine early in the morning and get a head start on our road trip to cover 250 kilometres towards Chitkul in 9 hours. This small village in the Kinnaur district is the home to some of the finest potatoes of the world. Popularly known as the last inhabited village near the Indo- Tibetan Border, the Indian roads end here at Chitkul. The village is famous for its traditional pahadi houses with roofs made of either slate or wooden planks. Adorned with high snowclad mountain peaks, Chitkul is also often known as the Swiss Alps of India! After feasting on some lunch and dinner en route, we spend the night tucked in a comfortable hotel, ready for the day ahead.
Day 2 (15 May)- CHITKUL TO NAKO– On the next day, we push off early morning and head to Nako covering 150 kilometres in 6 hours. Located close to the Indo- Tibetan Border in the Trans Himalayan region, Nako is a village in the Kinnaur District, most famous for its Nako Lake. Nako Monastery is another major attraction, which dates back to 1025 AD! After a hearty lunch and dinner, we spend the night in a traditional homestay, taking in the warm Kinnauri hospitality that is famous all around.
Day 3 (16 May)- NAKO TO GUI TO DHANKAR TO KAZA– This day is going to be filled with adventures and a lot of sightseeing on the way. Our first stop would be the mysterious Giu Monastery, often known as the Mummy Village of Spiti Valley. Giu is known for its display of a mummified body inside a glass case, with no bandages on, but with its eyes, teeth and hair still intact! This Mummy is said to be some 500 years old and if it wasn’t for this Mummy, Giu would probably never be known to the world! After our mysterious escapades in Giu, we head on to Dhankar, home of the famous Dhankar Gompa, a monastery interestingly spread over a hill on top of steep cliffs. This small village once used to be the administrative headquarters of Spiti Valley, until the needs of the modern day shifted the capital to Kaza. With barren mountains surrounding it on one side, and the Spiti River gently flowing on the other, Dhankar is a very picturesque village, perfect for some peace and quiet. From Dhankar, we then head on towards our last stop for the day, Kaza. Kaza is the largest, and perhaps the only, town in the Valley of Spiti. The town is divided into two- old and new- known as Kaza Khas and Kaza Soma respectively. While the new town is home to the official buildings, most homestays, hostels, cafes, and markets, Old Kaza is home to local residents and is much more beautiful and peaceful than New Kaza. After a tiring day of adventures and fun, we loosen up with some fresh food and rest the night to prepare for another fun-filled day ahead.
Day 4 (17 May)- KAZA TO KEY TO KOMIC TO HIKKIM TO LANGZA TO TABO– From Kaza, we head to the Key village which is just about 11 kilometres from the town. Home to the famous Key Monastery, it sits by the banks of the Spiti River formidably on high steep cliffs. Our next stop would be Hikkim, a small village not too far away. Hikkim is famous for being the home to the highest post office in the world. Rinchen Chhering has been the postmaster here ever since the post office’s inception. Also one of the highest year-round inhabited places in the country, Hikkim sits at a whopping 4,400 meters above sea level! Next, we stop at Komic, a small village located at the periphery of the Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary. Home to the Tangyud Monastery, Komic is often famed as the highest motorable village in Asia, located at an elevation of 4,520 meters above sea level. Tangyud Monastery is only one of the two Sakya Sect gompas remaining in Spiti, the other one being in Kaza itself. After Komic, we make a brief halt at Langza which is known for its rich fossils millions of years old. Anthropologists and geologists come here often to dig out more and more information about these fossils. Other attractions in Langza include the mighty tall statue of Lord Buddha which is a very famous picture location for most photographers. From Langza, we finally head to our final destination of the day, Tabo. Tabo is a small village in the Spiti district, home to the famous Tabo Caves. The Dalai Lama has expressed his wishes to Tabo Monastery since it is considered one of the holiest. After a full day of moving around Spiti, we finally call it a night at a hotel in Tabo.
Day 5 (18 May)- TABO TO KALPA– It’s finally time to bid adieu to the magical and mesmerizing landscapes of Spiti. We start afresh in the morning to start off for the last leg of our journey, driving to Kalpa in the Kinnaur District. Kalpa is a beautiful village, known best for its apples and chilgoza or the pinus gerardiana. Located at the base of the Kinnaur Kailash Range,Kalpa is blessed with spectacular views of the higher mountains, especially during sunrise and sunset with the light rays of the sun touching the snowclad peaks. The Shivling Peak standing 6,000 meters tall also looms over the village of Kalpa! After exploring through this naturally beautiful village, we retire for the night in our comfortable hotel rooms.
Day 6 (19 May)- KALPA TO SHIMLA– From Kalpa, we finally head back to the base of our road trip and call it an end. As we touch down at Shimla, we leave the wagon with a heart filled with happy memories we will remember for a lifetime. As it is often said, ‘friends made on the road remain forever’.
Meals- Vegetarian Nutritious and Tasty Meals during the Trek with Evening Tea.
Breakfast on Day 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
Lunch on Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
Dinner on Day 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
Experienced tour leaders and cook.
Transport from Shimla to Spiti Valley and back in comfortable Tempo Traveller.
First-Aid Kit/ Oxygen Cylinder.
Travellers are reminded that there is a 15kg limit on personal luggage for all trips.
Cameras, whether video or film, needed to be protected against the severe cold either in a warm pouch or the interior pockets of your clothing. Do not keep your camera in your backpack at higher elevations.
We do not provide donkeys or porters to carry luggage.
No insurance is provided during the trek.
When between camps, please carry your daily personal rubbish to the next camp.
Remember – “Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints”. So, keep the mountains clean and green.
Aspirins and Paracetamols are highly recommended for headaches and because they also thin the blood that will help improving circulation & oxygen delivery to the body. Strong painkillers are not recommended as they can suppress respiration.
Personal expense of any kind will not be entertained.
Personal Equipment Required:
A good sturdy pair of shoes and a backpack with plastic or water-proof lining.
Comfortable, lightweight clothing.
Sunglasses or goggles.
Woollen hat for warmth.
Scarf or bandana.
Ear plugs. (Optional)
Spare contact lenses or glasses.
Extra polythene bags.
Reading materials, Games, Cards. (Optional)
Towel especially lightweight quick-dry type.
Track pants with more pockets. Carry around 2 pants. Avoid jeans.
Waterproof jackets and gloves.
A raincoat since the weather can be unpredictable sometimes. (Optional)
Identification proof like Passport, Driving license, Aadhar card etc.
1 Passport size photograph.
REFUND & CANCELLATION POLICY
Cancellation of booking of tour 31 days or more before the date of Departure will result in a 20% deduction in the cost of the tour.
Cancellation of booking of tour 21-30 days before the date of Departure will result in 40% deduction of the cost of the tour.
Cancellation of booking of tour 11-20 days before the date of Departure will result in 60% deduction of the cost of the tour.
Cancellation of booking of tour 6-10 days before the date of Departure will result in 80% deduction of the cost of the tour.
Cancellation of booking of tour 1-5 days before the date of Departure will result in a 100% deduction of the cost of the tour.