Spiti Valley | Most Common Itinerary

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Spiti Valley is one of my favourite location to travel after Leh – Ladakh and in fact if someone ask me which one is better of the two (Ladakh or Spiti Valley), sometimes I do not have an answer 🙂 … In fact, covering Ladakh so extensively I feel I can forever go to Spiti Valley but may skip journey to Ladakh ;). Reason??

Well, I feel sooner or later Ladakh will be full of mad rush of tourists, almost you can see the glimpse of this thing happening in season time. However, Spiti Valley is altogether untouched as of now and people mostly confuse it with Lahaul Valley or they are more or less restricted to only a visit to Chandratal (Read my Travel Guide to Chandratal here). The real beauty of Spiti Valley starts beyond Kunzum Pass, towards Losar then to Kaza and then towards Tabo and then towards Nako or Kinnaur Valley… Not to forget the Pin Valley in between and there is hell lot of heavenly beauty to explore in Spiti Valley.

Teaser… Leading us to heaven…
Autumn Colors in Spiti Valley

I will be starting up the most comprehensive Travel Guide to Spiti Valley on the blog with this article in a similar fashion what was done for Leh – Ladakh i.e. with the Most Common Itinerary for Spiti Valley. I am sure as the Most Common Ladakh Itinerary has proved super successful in guiding and helping countless travellers, this article will too acts as a special guide for all such people who are looking forward to explore the magical colours of Spiti Valley. This article covers almost all major places in Spiti Valley including Tabo, Kaza, Losar, Chandratal, Kunzum Pass, Ki, Kibber, Pin Valley etc. There are two routes to enter Spiti Valley viz. Delhi – Manali – Rohtang Pass – Kunzum Pass – Losar – Kaza AND Delhi – Shimla – Narkanda – Kinnaur Valley – Tabo – Kaza. So, you can see that one can enter from one side (say Shimla) and exit back to Delhi from other side (Manali) making it the complete circuit.

In this article, I will be starting from Shimla side and exiting from Manali side due to two basic advantages. Firstly, Spiti Valley is a cold desert situated in Trans Himalayan region at an altitude of 11000+ Feet mostly and hence, your body will require certain amount of acclimatization before you enter the Spiti Valley. Going via Shimla side will help you gradually increase the altitude and your body gets acclimatized properly, hence less chances of getting hit with Acute Mountain Sickness (read more info on AMS here). If you start from Manali side then you reach High Altitude terrain pretty quickly which increases the chances of Mountain Sickness that can spoil the trip. Secondly, you get a chance to traverse the Hindustan – Tibet Highway which is one of the most adventurous (some call deadliest too :)) roads of the world. Riding or Driving on Hindustan – Tibet Road is a journey in itself even if you do not visit any places in Spiti Valley 🙂 … So, with these two reasons in mind lets start below from Shimla side and exit via Manali side.

Most Common Itinerary of Spiti Valley for 11 – 12 Days

Day 1 | Delhi – Shimla / Narkanda

  • Shimla sightseeing includes Famous Ridge, Mall Road, Lakkar Bazaar, Jakhu Temple
  • Narkanda is about 60 KMs from Shimla takes about 2 Hrs
  • About 8 Hrs drive to Shimla
  • Overnight at Shimla or Narkanda, which ever suits your timings

Day 2 | Shimla / Narkanda – Sangla / Chitkul (Kinnaur Valley)

  • Leave early, if from Shimla and enjoy the vistas en route
  • You can plan for lunch at Rampur
  • About 8 – 9 Hrs of beautiful drive through Kinnaur Valley
  • Overnight at Sangla

Day 3 | Sangla – Chitkul – Sangla – Kalpa

  • Leave early to spend some time at beautiful Chitkul Village
  • Visit Kamru Fort at Sangla as well before going back to Kalpa
  • Watch the lovely sunset and sunrise (next day) at Kalpa over Mount Kinner Kailash
  • About 4 – 5 Hrs of total drive on this day
  • Overnight at Kalpa

Day 4 | Kalpa – Nako – Nako Lake – Geyu Mummy – Tabo

  • Start your day early and watch the vistas en route over Hindustan Tibet Highway
  • Check Out Khab, Confluence of Spiti and Satluj Rivers
  • See the Leo Purygal Peak from Khab Bridge
  • Have your lunch at Nako Lake
  • Meet the dreaded Malling Nalla ahead of Nako
  • After Chango – Sumdo you will enter Spiti Valley.
  • After Sumdo police registration, detour towards Geyu Village to visit the 500 Year old Mummy
  • About 8 – 9 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between
  • Overnight at Tabo

Day 5 | Tabo – Dhankar – Dhankar Lake – Pin Valley (Mud Village)

  • Visit Dhankar Monastery and Dhankar Lake and leave after early lunch
  • Enjoy the magnificent vistas all day
  • Traverse the Pin Valley | Kungri – Sagnam – Mud – Tailing
  • About 4 – 5 Hrs of drive in the day
  • Overnight at Mud Village in Pin Valley

Day 6 | Pin Valley – Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang – Kaza

  • Head for Kaza, headquarters of Spiti Valley
  • Have lunch at Kaza and check in to Hotel
  • Visit Ki – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang in the second half of the day
  • Ki is a famous monastery and others are places to explore as a lovely drive
  • Tashigang is where the road ends but again beautiful drive
  • About 4 – 5 Hrs of drive in the day
  • Overnight at Kaza

Day 7 | Kaza – Hikkim – Komik – Langza – Kaza / Losar

  • Today visit the road less travelled or off beat places near Kaza
  • Great view of Chau Chau Kang Nelda peak from Langza
  • Statue of the Buddha near Langza looking down the valley
  • Tanggyud monastery at Komik, is one of the most important and the highest monastery in the Spiti Valley
  • You can move to Losar if you would like to stay away from hustle bustle of Kaza
  • About 2 – 3 Hrs of drive in the day excluding Losar
  • If planning to go to Losar, Enjoy the most scenic drive of entire Spiti Valley between Losar and Kaza at an easy pace
  • About 2 – 2.5 Hrs drive between Losar and Kaza, depending upon the breaks you take in between
  • Overnight at Kaza or Losar

Day 8 | Kaza / Losar – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal / Battal

  • Visit Chandratal via Kunzum Pass and enjoy the day there
  • Camps are about 2.5 KMs from the lake, either stay there or back to Battal where there is a PWD rest house now though without electricity. But, no point going back a painful ride to Losar over Kunzum Pass unless you want to stay in guest house with electricity. Better stay at Battal and save time as well as energy for next day.
  • About 4 – 5 Hrs drive minimum
  • Overnight at Battal or Chandratal Camps

Day 9 | Battal / Chandratal – Kunzum Pass – Rohtang Pass – Manali

  • Head back to Manali via Rohtang Pass
  • Drive through Battal – Chattru – Gramphu towards Rohtang Pass is out of the world
  • About 7 – 8 Hrs drive easily if you do not get messed up Rohtang Pass
  • Overnight at Manali

Day 10 | Manali – Delhi

  • If there is time explore Manali, that is if going by overnight Volvo which starts around 5.30 PM
  • Manali Local sightseeing which includes Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Mall Road, Local Monastery, Old Manali, Vashisth Hot Water Springs (never found it interesting) etc.
  • About 12-14 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between
  • Back Home

Day 11-12 | Buffer days to be kept in case of road closure due to landslides or snowfall or perhaps you want to enjoy more 🙂

Add On Days

If you have more days then perhaps you can choose any of the days to explore more beautiful places within Spiti Valley…

  • Spend a Day to explore more of Kinnaur Valley, may be after Shimla stay at Sarahan before reaching Sangla or at Chitkul/Sangla itself.
  • Spend a Day to explore Rama Valley and Lingti Valley that includes Demul, Lallung
  • Spend a day to explore Mane Village in Spiti Valley
Petrol Pumps After Shimla
  • Theog
  • Narkanda Do Top Up Here
  • Rampur After crossing the town, the last one on right side is pretty reliable
  • Jeori
  • Tapri – New one, not sure if one can rely on it
  • Powari – Mostly Closed
  • Rekong Peo
  • Kaza – Do Not Miss

Foreign Nationals visiting the protected areas of Spiti Valley and Kinnaur Valley are required to get the inner line permits or ILP. Domestic (Indian) tourist do not require any permits. If you are Indian, then just carry a valid photo ID proof of your nationality to be on safe side. You can get all the details for these permits and its process at the article linked here

Conclusion

I am sure the above itinerary if not help you 100% with planning a trip to Spiti Valley but can certainly act as a starting point for your upcoming Spiti Valley trip. Do share your valuable thoughts or queries or doubts you have and we can discuss more about your upcoming Travel Plans for Spiti Valley 🙂

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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 ...

1,461 Comments

  1. Yogendra Shidhore on

    Hi Dheeraj!
    Superb article from you about the spiti valley bike ride road map.
    We are planning our ride from 2nd August to 13th August’17.
    Please advise me will it be a good season to visit. I have heard that batal to Gramphu road patch is bit challenging and maybtake longer time to cross.
    Please advise.
    Yogendra

  2. Hi Dheeraj,

    I came to this post here after you suggested to my comment on your other post about being safe rather than unwell on full moon night 🙂
    So your advice is well taken by the group and we have changed the route to start from Shimla now and exit from Manali. Now just two quick queries about the itinerary above:
    1. we have 9 days total instead of 10 mentioned above starting from delhi. please suggest where can we cut short one day from the schedule
    2. shall we stay at Shimla or Narkanda on the first night?

    Thanks so much in advance for the help.

    • That is wonderful to know Apoorv, you guys will enjoy it alot in this direction. in 9 days, you can follow a plan as below:

      Day 1 | Delhi – Narkanda
      Day 2 | Narkanda – Kalpa
      Day 3 | Kalpa – Nako – Nako Lake – Geyu Mummy – Tabo
      Day 4 | Tabo – Dhankar – Dhankar Lake – Pin Valley (Mudh Village) – Kaza
      Day 5 | Kaza Local Sightseeing 
      — Ki, Kibber, Gette, Tashigang in the second half of the day
      Day 6 | Kaza Local Sightseeing (Hikkim, Komik) 
      — Hikkim, Komik, Langza circuit 
      Day 7 | Kaza – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal
      Day 8 | Chandratal – Manali
      Day 9 | Manali – Delhi

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