Sakya Abode Kaza – An Enriching Experience in Spiti Valley

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8.6 Awesome to stay

Sakya Abode is one of the finest places to stay in Spiti Valley. The enriching experience you get at this hotel is just too good to be real. Every time I travel to Spiti Valley, there is no other place where I stay than Sakya Abode or Snow Lion

  • Value for Money Spent 8.5
  • Cleanliness / Hygiene 8.5
  • Comfort & Spacious 7.5
  • Service & Hospitality 10
  • Food Quality & Taste 9
  • Location 8
  • User Ratings (6 Votes) 5.7

I rarely stay at some hotel or guest house twice but Sakya Abode Kaza – Spiti Valley is one such place I love most that every time I am in Kaza, I stay only with Sakya Abode or Sakya Homestay or Snow Lion or Kumphen. All of them run by a gem of a person named Tsering who not only believes in cultural values of Spiti but respect the environment, tourism and concern about doing his bit for local society, equally. Spiti Valley has its head quarters in Kaza and due to which it has varied number of hotels or guest houses or home stays suiting to various budgeting needs. However, what makes Sakya Abode Kaza so special is that it is value for money, the locals running it are concern about their surroundings & respect it and above all the warmest of hospitality you will receive from Tsering and his staff including motu bhai 🙂 🙂

So, if you are traveling to Spiti Valley and looking for a decent, value for money stay in Kaza for you or your family where you find yourself lost among many options on offer, then believe me and head to Sakya Abode Kaza or Sakya Home Stay any given day or time when you are in Spiti Valley. It is such a nice place to stay at the price on offer that we recently awarded Sakya Abode, our DoW Community’s: Devil’s Den Award too. Along with Sakya Abode, Tsering also runs couple of home stays by the name of Sakya Home stays, one hotel named Kumphen which is almost there in the complex of Sakya Tangyud Monastery in Kaza and one hotel named Snow Lion. All three of them are near to each other and have separate kitchens.

A Snowy view of Kaza
A Snowy view of Kaza

Like I have said, there are many options of stay in Kaza but today I will share my enriching experience of Sakya Abode and Sakya Home stays I had over last few years of my visit to Spiti Valley…

Despite being popular among many travellers, Sakya Abode & its home stays continues to offer better and better quality topped with great hospitality with every passing year… Hats off to the dedication & efforts put in by Tsering & his team to continuously offer this enriching experience to the travellers in Himalayas. All this comes at a great VFM price range of Rs 1000-1300 per day based on the season and time you traveling. With the experience of staying at so many properties in Himalayas over last 5 years, I can easily say that it is quite decent in return of the enriching experience you live at Sakya Abode including the hospitality and support on offer to you The only concern I see is the limited room sizes sometimes and hence, if you planning to fit in way too many in one room, it could be difficult prospect. Max of 3 will be comfortable with extra bed on floor. However, since it (including Home Stays) is built on traditional grounds & architecture, it is much warmer than other properties run by Tsering in Kaza including Snow Lion & Kumphen.

I will start writing the detailed travel tale of my last winter trip to White Spiti Valley soon but before that let me share the detailed review of Sakya Abode Kaza. Those who are not aware of Spiti Valley & how to reach there can of course check out couple of articles linked here and here.

Complete review of Sakya Abode Kaza – Spiti Valley
Pictures

First and foremost, as my trademark saying goes pictures are better than a thousand words…

Rooms at Sakya Abode Kaza
Rooms at Sakya Abode Kaza

Rooms at Sakya Abode Kaza

Rooms at Sakya Abode Kaza
Corridor at Sakya Abode Kaza
Corridor at Sakya Abode Kaza
Rooms at Sakya Abode Home Stay
Rooms at Sakya Abode Home Stay

Rooms at Sakya Abode Home Stay

Rooms at Sakya Abode Home Stay

Rooms at Sakya Abode Home Stay
Washrooms at Sakya Abode Home Stay
Washrooms at Sakya Abode Home Stay
Rooms at Snow Lion Kaza
Rooms at Snow Lion Kaza

Rooms at Snow Lion Kaza

Rooms at Snow Lion Kaza
Washrooms at Snow Lion Kaza
Washrooms at Snow Lion Kaza
Corridor at Snow Lion Kaza
Corridor at Snow Lion Kaza
Snow Lion Kaza
Snow Lion Kaza
Kumphen Hotel, a branch of Sakya Abode Kaza
Kumphen Hotel, a branch of Sakya Abode Kaza
Price & Bookings

You can get in touch with Sakya Abode using the below contact details:

The price ranges from Rs 1000-1300 per day based on the season and time you traveling. You can refer my name or DoW name and I am sure whatever best price Tsering can offer you will be given to you. He is more than a friend to me, so I can assure he will be able to offer best he can for you 🙂

Location

As you reach Kaza, keep going straight on Kaza – Losar road. Just before the Sakya Tangyud Monastery or Kaza Petrol pump, Sakya Abode lies on the road towards left. The Kumphen lies in the complex of Sakya Tangyud Monastery and Snow Lion comes first, left on road as you are moving towards Monastery before crossing the bridge over the stream. Sakya Abode and Snow Lion are opposite of each other with water stream separating them.

Parking

Parking has to be done on road for Sakya Abode, but you will find a safe place somewhere near the hotel to park your car.

Personal Experience at Sakya Abode Kaza

Like I said above, my experience has always been fantastic every time I stayed with Tsering in Sakya Abode or his home stay or at Snow Lion. Apart from Tsering, all the members in the team I have interacted with including the ever so nice Motu Bhai, have been very helpful, supportive and were always present there whenever there was any need. The rooms especially in Sakya Abode and home stays were very cosy despite cold conditions of October and even March too.

I have always loved the way the dining of Sakya Abode has been setup and wonderfully done giving it to an extent a feel of an authentic Himalayan dining room of Spiti. There is a small setup of Internet Cafe too in the dining room itself. Market is also at walking distance if you know the right short cuts, else by road you need to take your car.

Dining Room of Sakya Abode Kaza
Dining Room of Sakya Abode Kaza
Dining Room of Snow Lion Kaza
Dining Room of Snow Lion Kaza

Dining Room of Snow Lion Kaza

Rooms in the guest house are small, basic YET quite comfortable, nice, very cosy and of course, very clean. The best thing was at such a remote location you are getting such kind of homely experience, which is a kind of luxury in itself for a person like me. Rooms are small (but can fit 3 people) with attached bathroom having hot water supply and on request room heaters can be arranged.

If somehow you could not get booking or room at Sakya Abode or his Home stay or Kumphen then first three rooms of Snow Lion (branch of Sakya Abode) are much cosy than other rooms, so prefer them over others.

In case of Sakya Home Stay, you will need to come down to restaurant or dining room of Snow Lion Hotel for food.

Quality of food is quite good and homely. The cook especially at Sakya Abode Kaza has a great gift to cook some delicious food. I loved the food there and in fact we had food always in the hotel itself, sharing some gup-shups with Motu bhai or Tsering bhai. Motu bhai is just a call away and will always be present for you to take care of anything required, a bit shy but very helpful 🙂 🙂

An ample garden or lawn space is also present in Sakya Abode, good to bask in the sun on a cold day and read some good books they have available for reading in their hotels.

Lawn at Sakya Abode Kaza
Lawn at Sakya Abode Kaza
Lawn at Sakya Abode Kaza filled with Snow in March
Lawn at Sakya Abode filled with Snow in March

Well for booze lovers, Liquor shop is there in Kaza market but do take care and be away from liquor in initial days so as to acclimatize properly. Otherwise, liquor can hamper the acclimatization which can lead to AMS.

Hospitality we received from Tsering has always been exceptional. They always took care of most of our on the fly requests too. Thanks to them that they even opened the hotel just for me and my friend when I went there in March this year in difficult circumstances of extreme cold and lack of their staff too. They were always present there for us, no matter what and took extremely good care of us in such extreme cold. It was hard to believe in this unreal world but that is what we went through 🙂 🙂 … Tsering also guided us for executing our DoW Causes, a step towards Responsible Travel by DoW, in the villages of Lalung and Kibber. You can read about these causes at the links DoW Cause | GYAAN 500 in action at Lalung, Spiti Valley and DoW Cause | GYAAN 500 in action at Kibber, Spiti Valley

DoW Causes | Spreading Smiles in Kibber Village
DoW Causes | Spreading Smiles in Kibber Village

DoW Causes | Spreading Smiles in Kibber Village
DoW Causes | Spreading Smiles in Lalung Village
DoW Causes | Spreading Smiles in Lalung Village

DoW Causes | Spreading Smiles in Lalung Village
Medical Help

For any medical assistance, you will have to approach the Hospital in Kaza which is very near to Sakya Abode, hardly 5-10 minutes of walk. In case of extreme emergency you need to get to Shimla mostly or Reckong Peo whichever is suggested by doctors in Kaza. Locals in all over Spiti Valley rely on the hospital facilities of Kaza.

ATM

There is an SBI ATM in Kaza and for all the SBI Account Holders, the adjacent branch of SBI has also installed couple of POS where also you can withdraw money in case ATM is facing some issues.

State Bank ATM at Kaza, Spiti Valley
State Bank ATM at Kaza, Spiti Valley
Petrol Pump

Kaza also has an Indian Oil petrol pump, very near to Sakya Abode, which they claim to be the highest petrol pump in the world 🙂 …

Indian Oil Petrol Pump at Kaza, Spiti Valley – Highest in the world as claimed
Indian Oil Petrol Pump at Kaza, Spiti Valley - Highest in the world as claimed

Indian Oil Petrol Pump at Kaza, Spiti Valley - Highest in the world as claimed
Activities and Attraction In-Around Sakya Abode Kaza

Kaza is considered as the base for exploring entire Spiti Valley, so there is no dearth of places or attractions to visit around. You can pay a visit to Ki, Kibber, Hikkim, Komik, Langza, Pin Valley, Dhangkar, Tabo, Gete, Tashigang, etc.. It needs an entire dedicated Travel Guide to list them all and provide details. I am working on that comprehensive travel guide, should be up in couple of months.

Then, you can try some Hikes to near by villages as well from Kaza. If interested, you can also try Mountain Biking, Camping, Rafting in Spiti River and gears/equipment for such activities are available for rent too at Sakya Abode or they can arrange. In fact Rafting in Spiti Valley has been started by Tsering only. They can arrange the downhill mountain biking rides too for you, if required 🙂

Conclusion

In the end, I will again say that Sakya Abode Kaza is a great Value for money option for stay in Spiti Valley in terms of return you get from the stay, support of staff and decent food. Hospitality is one of the best you will receive and being one of the properties to have bagged our community’s Devil’s Den Award, you will surely be getting an enriching experience in Himalayas of Spiti Valley 🙂 🙂

Devil’s Den Award | Sakya Abode Kaza – Spiti Valley
Devil's Den Award | Sakya Abode, Kaza - Spiti Valley

I just hope that as more and more people visit Spiti Valley, Sakya Abode Kaza continues to provide this excellence in hospitality and amazing services to the people traveling to this part of Himalayas.

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About Author

You can call me an Avid Traveler, a Day - Night Dreamer and a Passionate Lover of Himalayas who has a high zest for driving whilst exploring new places in Himalayas & sharing back those Himalayan Travel experiences with the other fellow Travelers... I am in love with Spreading Smiles in Himalayas through DoW Causes & currently enjoying life as Happy Traveling Soul at DoW Community. You can read more about me in detail at the link here ...

44 Comments

  1. Are there any restrictions for Delhi taxies (non local) while driving to spiti similar to leh region?
    If one enters from Shimla side and returns via manali would there be an issue while travelling from taxi(non-local)

    Appreciate the wonderful work on this blog…

    • Thanks Dheeraj..I am planning to take the trip to Spiti in second week of Oct …I have got a two year old baby along with me…do u think it would be possible to goto Spiti with such a small child…
      What all precautions wouldu suggest if the answer is yes…
      Thanks in advance

      • It depends on person to person to take the children of such age group because AMS do not matter with respect to age or sex or any fitness level. It can happen to anyone of any age or sex or fitness I shall say :D… The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to and this elevates the chances of getting struck with AMS. Secondly, they are not much expressive about their uneasy feelings, so it is parents who need to watch out and take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly. With less than 4 year child, I think he/she will also be NOT able to convey the uneasiness she may feel. You have to be vigilant and if you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling then please do not ascend anywhere, either descend to lower altitude or stay at the same place to watch things overnight and if symptom increase then start descending immediately. Same is applicable for any adult as well. And yes, do keep the body adequately hydrated!!

        Also, PLEASE read the article: Traveling to Ladakh with Kids or Babies. This article covers this topic in complete detail.

  2. Hi Dhirajji .just retuened 2 days back from kinnurand spititour .Thanks alot DOW . It helps alot for selecting driver and hotels. Without help from Dow this tour was not possible for me.

    • That is wonderful to know, and super glad that DoW played its own sweet part. If possible do share the travel tale or photo tale with us too or may be hotel reviews or any details that help other fellow travellers.

  3. Simon rongmei on

    Dear bro dheeraj, m planning a trip with my fiancee from shimla to manali via kinnaur on BIKE, please suggest and guide me as to how to carry out the trip…place of intrests, where to halt n stay etc. Ur guidance will be of immense help

    Regards
    Simon rongmei
    Nagaland

  4. Chittaranjan Bhattacharjee on

    Dear Dheeraj Sharma,
    I have gone through your Hotel list in Lahu,Spiti & kinnue. really it is very helpful to me. I planed to visit Lahu, Spiti, kinnur. But I want to see RED Apples & Golden Apples hanging on trees. So kindly guide me when should I proceed the above places
    C.R.Bhattacharjee- 04.09.15

  5. Jayaprasad on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are planning a trip to spiti valley from manali during october first week. We are looking forward to hire bikes from manali and ride till spiti.

    Here is our plan.

    Oct 3rd morning start from manali , reach spiti by evening.
    Next whole day spend time in spiti.
    5th early morning start from spiti to manali, catch bus to delhi at 5 in the evening.

    The given are my concerns.

    Is two wheeler ride possible in manali -spiti route during oct first week.?
    if possible, how much time it would take approx.?
    Is there any point where we can halt for some time enroute to spiti?
    Travelling during night is safe in this route?

    Expecting your reply at the earliest.

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  7. hii guys…
    need ur hlp…
    m plang to visit kaza ths june(18)…as my budget is limited m travlng by bus…i want to cover kaza,key,kibbar and chandrtal lake…wil bus servce frm manali start til 18th???n i wil b travlng all d way through public transport …so how should i mange in kaza….any 2 wheelar rent facility in kaza ….plz answer all d qstn…

    • Omkar, Manali – Kaza road will not be open by that time of the year. Manali – Kaza bus does run when the road is opened for heavy vehicles. As of now on your date you can only travel from Shimla side and in case the road opens from Manali side you can come back from Kaza to Manali by bus.

  8. Hi dheeraj
    I have read everything u wrote.
    I have a query we are planning to go to kaza.can v reach kaza from manali in a day.what is the distance between manali and kaza.n where should we stay in kaza.snow lion or others.

    • Chandni, yes, start early from Manali, say 5-6 AM and you will reach Kaza by evening. Manali – Kaza is around 205 KM. Best to stay up in Kaza is Sakya Abode or snow lion.

  9. Hey Dheeraj, I’m planning a solo backpack to Spiti in first week of June.

    Which of Tsering’s hotels/homestays would be best and cheap for solo traveler. And,

    How good is June first week to be in Spiti valley. I’m also planning to visit pin valley from Kaza. Could you plz point me to a good read on knowing more about pin valley. Based on your brief mentions about the same at different places on your blog, sounds like a must visit place. 🙂

    • Atul, either you can stay in Sakya Home Stay or Homestay of Tsering bhai house in case it is functional this season. Regarding good read, talk to Tsering bhai on the phone number and he will be able to suggest it to you as he is quite a reader too 😀

  10. Hi Dheeraj. Thank you so much for recommending Sakya Abode and Snow Lion. I am just back from Kinnaur & Spiti and am so grateful for your guidance through this site.
    We did the entire trip by bus and as part of the deal reached some of our destinations at the most ungodly hours. In case of Kaza the bus came in about 4 hours late and thus reached after 8:30 p.m. on a beautifully moonlit April night. There was a powercut in the valley all day and the town had already gone to sleep. My wife and I walked in the midst of snow (thanks to offline Google maps) to reach Sakya Abode only to find that it was closed for renovation. After some knocking the neighbours’ doors, we were able to locate Snow Lion where we were politely told that the hotel was still not operational for the season. That is when we asked to see Tsering bhai and mentioned your name. And it worked like magic. Tsering bhai not only organized a room for us to stay but also offered us a much needed hot meal. There was no water in the town but that did not Tserign bhai from personally fetching us two buckets of water from the tubewell across the road.
    After staying at the Snow Lion for two nights and some long chats with Tsering bhai, I can happily add to your recommendation of Snow Lion/Sakya Abode as one of the best places to stay in Spiti.

    • Wow, fabulous to know about it Deb and glad that you had a wonderful trip to Spiti Valley. Tsering bhai is gem of a person and when it comes to Spiti, no other name comes to my mind 😀 😀

      I would like to have two requests, first to give your ratings as User Votes above in the review section 😀 😀

      Second, If possible, try and share your Himalayan experience with us at DoW – Himalayan Travel Community as Photo Tale or Travel Tale Or your reviews of the hotels/guest houses where you stayed or dhabhas/restaurants you ate food on your trip… All this might help others planning the similar trip too 🙂 🙂

      • Hi Dhrreaj. Could not figure out how to put my vote on the ratings above. While trying to click around, I think accidentally I left a rating of 4.2. Is there a way of undoing this? I would very much like to leave a rating of 10.

        I’ll definitely love to share a photo journal of our trip especially becuase not much information was available for people like me who would like to do a backpacking trip by bus. Will take a little time to do that. In the mean time I have left a comment with detailed information on the places we stayed in on your post on Places to Stay in Spiti.

        • Thanks Dheeraj. Unfortunately, editing the rating is not possible. Since I am the only one who has voted, you may want to chec if it is possible to reset the counter so that we can rate afresh.It will be a shame if because of my ineptness the user rating for Sakya Abode stands so low.

          Will share my photo log on the dedicated thread shortly.

        • Sure, I will look into it how can I get that reset or corrected. But, I believe it shall not be in my hand anymore since the system is to accept your vote only without any intervention or change from the Admin 🙁 … Though I will see for a possibility that the same user at least be allowed to change in case he/she want to.

  11. Om Prakash Sharma on

    I am planning to travel with wife and 9 year old Kid in spiti area by SUMO in June Last week .
    My tentative planning of spiti trip is as under-
    Day 1- Chandigarh to Manali (Leave Chandigarh in morning by HRTC bus and reach manali in Evening) Planning to stay in Old Manali.
    Day2- Manali
    Day3- Leave Manali in morning by Sumo and Planning to reach Tabo. Night Stay at Tabo. I have preferred Tabo as my first night hold looking to comparatively lower .
    Day 4 – Morning Visit the Tabo and then leave for Dhankar (try to Visit Dhankar Lake) Night Hold
    Day 6- Mud Village
    Day 7- Kaza(key Kibber)
    Day 8 – Kaza (langza Komic)
    Day 9- Losar
    Day 10- Losar to Chandratal and then to Manali (night Hold Manali)
    Day 11- Manali to Chandigarh by Bus

    My queries are
    1. Should I stay one more Night at Tabo to acclimatize? (I may extend the trip for one more day)
    2. Or this one more day should be given to Mud Village.
    3. In day 7, where should I took night hold Kaza, rangrik or Kibber?
    4. In day 8, where should I took night hold Kaza, rangrik or Langza? In case I took night hold at langza, it is possible to find Home stay on the spot.
    5. Should I skip the Night hold at Losar and Directly go to Chandratal and then to manali?
    6. Since we are not accompanying with any other family, is it safe for night hold at camps in chandratal is we Plan?
    Regards,

    • Hello Om,

      1. I think one night is fine and your plan also looks fine though spending a day at Losar does not make any sense. Relax in Kaza only that day and may be go over directly to Chandratal after first half and stay for overnight at Chandratal only to save that day.
      Rest looks fine to me. Better stay in Kaza only on Day 7,8. Camps will be present about 1.5 Kms before the lake where it is allowed to camp.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  12. Kinshuk Ghosh on

    Hi dheeraj,
    We a group of 7 friends are planning to visit spiti with manali in October 15 from 23rd to 31st oct.we will be reaching manali or shimla on 23rd Oct .and we have to board flight from chandigarh on 31st Oct.
    Please suggest if a trip to chandratal is possible then or not.
    And if you can pleaes suggest a best tour plan for this.
    We are like to visit kaza,tabo,nako,chandratal.If possible kinnour also.Please do reply.

    • Kinshuk, it will be very risky to do circuit during that time of the year, that is enter from Shimla side and exit from Manali side. The road beyond Kunzum Pass to Manali is abandoned during that time with a risk of its closure for next 6 months. Hence, you can travel from Shimla side to Spiti Valley and come back from Kinnaur side only, though doing circuit will be very risky. Are you OK in traveling from Shimla side and come back from Shimla side?

      • Kinshuk Ghosh on

        Thanks DHEERAJ, Yes it will be Ok though we are traveling from Shimla side and come back from Shimla side.
        But actually we have been there in shimla 2 times.So we do not want to spent more time in that region.
        I think it will be very hectic if we are staring from shimla and came back to shimla after visiting upto kaza within 7days..What do you think?
        Please share if you can suggest any other trip at that time.

      • Kinshuk Ghosh on

        Hi Dheeraj,
        Sorry for replying late.
        No I have never been in tirthan valley before.Thanks for the feedback.
        But I have made a plan to spiti from shimla and back to shimla.Details are below mentioned.
        Please check out and let me know your views on this.
        Oct 23 – Shimla
        Oct 24 – Drive to Kinnaur Valley to Sangla. – S/s Chitkul village and overnight at Sangla.
        Oct 25 – Drive to Kamru Fort and proceed to Kalpa – overnight at Kalpa
        Oct 26 – Kalpa to Tabo.. S/S of Nako Lake, Malling Nalla, Giu Mummy and overnight at Tabo.
        Oct 27 – Tabo – dhangkar – Pin Valley – overnight at Kaza
        Oct 28 – Ki, Kibber in first half and Hikkim, Komik, Langza in the second half and overnight at Kaza
        Oct 29 – Back to kalpa overnight at kalpa
        Oct 30 – Back to sarahan/Rampur overnight at sarahan/Rampur
        Oct 31 – chandigarh
        Thanks and Regards
        Kinshuk

        • Hi Kinshuk,

          My suggestion on your Kinnaur Valley plan below:

          1. Shimla to Sangla and doing Chitkul as well will not be possible. You will reach Sangla late in evening.
          2. Better add Chitkul on Day 2
          3. In fact, you can make Sangla to Tabo and relax in Sangla – Chitkul on Day 2 to ease our some travel.
          4. Rest looks fine.

          Regards
          Dheeraj

    • Oshika, yes that can be done. However, the road conditions will be quite bad during that time of the year and landslides/snowslides are quite common in March late and April.

  13. Bina Thanawala on

    Thanks Dheeraj for a detail report of such a remote place.
    We are planning to visit Kaza in May,
    What will be open for us to see. Will we be able to go till Tabo and beyond.
    I want to come in April or May to get maximum snow on the Himalayas. What will the road conditions be at that time?

    • Bina, by May the roads will be open almost upto Losar village though ahead of Tabo and Kaza. While going to Spiti first comes Tabo and then Kaza. Road to Kaza remains all round the year. Also, better go in May as by that time road conditions settle down and you can find good snow up there towards Kunzum Pass.

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  15. Mousumi Das on

    Thank you for giving useful suggestions. It will really help those who are willing to explore spiti valley

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