Spiti Valley Sprint | A Scenic Drive from Mud Village to Kaza

38

The Journey so far-

A Teaser… Vistas worth dying for at Pin Valley…
Views between Kaza and Pin Valley
Day 3 – 7th October, 2011 | Mud Village – Pin Valley – Kaza

After some quality time at Mud Village in Pin Valley with children and other locals, we started towards Kaza first to get some Pet Puja (brunch) and then to get the tyre fixed. There was nothing much to do apart from enjoying the vistas – barren, beautiful, colourful and what not. We enjoyed every bit of the drive throughout the Pin Valley to Attargoo. From Attargoo, we took left towards Kaza (about 19 KMs away) on state highway where we were joined by the Spiti River again alongside highway. As we bypassed the turn/ Y fork towards Lingti Valley (sadly due to less days in hand :() the views started to widen up more and more. It was a feeling of being in heaven and nowhere else. The whole journey upto now produced some marvellous views of Spiti Valley and there was nothing much but to capture them in the camera.

Vistas we are leaving behind at Pin Valley…
Views between Kaza and Pin Valley
Tailing Village bridge in Spiti Valley…
Tailing Village bridge in Spiti Valley
Beauty keeps getting better in Pin Valley…
Views between Kaza and Pin Valley
Beauty keeps getting better in Pin Valley
Views between Kaza and Pin Valley
Sagnam Village in Pin Valley…
Views between Kaza and Pin Valley
Magical Colors as we exit Pin Valley…
Views between Kaza and Pin Valley
The Devil’s Angel… Sitting Low…
Views between Kaza and Pin Valley
Naturally Painted Colors in Pin Valley…
Views between Kaza and Pin Valley

Soon we reached Kaza entrance gate, where on the left there was Maruti Suzuki Workshop 😀 … Hats off to the guys for opening it earlier his year I guess as working in such extreme conditions is some challenge. However, I am not sure if it remains open in the winters or not. As the cars are not allowed to enter Kaza town, we parked our car at the bus stand. The highway was running staright upwards from the bus stand towards Ki – Kibber, Rangrik, Losar, Kunzum Pass etc. But, for us our hungry stomach was shouting for some good food. I had heard lot about Khyoma restaurant but at that odd hour of the day they only had Thupka to serve which we didn’t want. We explored town for more restaurant and most of them had closed the kitchen for paranthas and stuff, only thupka or nothing. Meanwhile, we bought some juices, chocolates, wafers etc. to keep us satisfied in such long drives 😀 … As we were strolling back towards the car we found one shop serving Chole Bhathuras 😀 … Without wasting a second we ordered four plates and they were quite decent in taste.

Leading to Heaven…
Views between Kaza and Pin Valley
Heaven starts here I believe…
Views between Kaza and Pin Valley
Inside Heaven…
Views between Kaza and Pin Valley
Further inside Heaven…
Views between Kaza and Pin Valley
A breather for Devil’s Angel…
Views between Kaza and Pin Valley
Kaza welcomes DeViL…
Views between Kaza and Pin Valley

It was time to check out some mechanic to get the puncture fixed. Everyone told that we will find one ahead of Petrol Pump of Kaza on Kaza – Losar road. Since, we were running out of fuel as well so we decided to refuel on the world’s highest petrol pump as claimed by Indian Oil Corp. The machine installed at the petrol pump didn’t have the meter for amount to be paid. It just shows the quantity which you need to first note and then using calculator find the cost of the fuel you took 🙂 … Seems quite old one. The guy at the petrol pump told us that mechanic is just 100 meters ahead and we need to take a sloping down road where he had a huge setup. He tried level best to find the puncture but no luck at all. After about 15-20 minutes of inspection again and again nothing was found and he filled the air to the required pressure in all tiers. We were quite confused too but at least mentally satisfied that there was no puncture. We had plans to stay at Tabo on the way back the very next day, so decided to take bookings from PWD Office at Kaza. After doing all formalities we came to know that there is only one room that can be offered to us at Tabo and no room available even at Poh PWD rest house. They asked us to check with some other GOVT. department (I forgot the name) whose office was also close to PWD Office just at backside of Kaza Petrol Pump. There as well we had no luck because the officer who had to approve the bookings was out of town. After wasting quite some time in running office to office, it was time to leave for Ki – Kibber and finally our stay at Losar.

Highest Petrol Pump in the World at Kaza… as claimed by IOC…
Highest Petrol Pump in th World at Kaza, as claimed by IOC

End of this part!!!

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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 ...

38 Comments

  1. Sir, i m from Kurukshetra (haryana) and i want to complete the circuit Shimla-Kaza-Manali by car (maruti swift Desire). I m planing to leave on 27th may 2016 and have 7-8 days for this tour. Kindly suggest me.

    Regards
    Yashwant

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  3. Col VK Arora on

    Dheeraj hats off to you. Your guidance to the youth of the nation in adventure activity needs volumes of praises.

  4. Saru Singhal on

    I feel rather ashamed of myself as being a Himachali I’ve never been here. Whenever I plan, something urgent comes up but I think I’ll plan it on my next trip to India.

    Shots are gorgeous, enough to strengthen my vow.

    • Thank You so much Saru!! Very nice to see you here on the blog. Spiti is a definitive place to go once in a life just like Ladakh. Do let me know in case you need any inputs for planning the trip to Spiti 🙂

  5. Dear Dheeraj,

    it is possible to travel to kaza via shimla during third week of december with family(5 yr old kid).

    • Hi Shiva,

      Well, it is possible but with difficulties for sure. You need to be heavily woolens draped because it will be like extreme conditions in Spiti Valley that time of the year. If you want adventure then only try it else avoid it. Delhi – Kaza road remains open throughout the year barring few days of heavy snowfall or any landslides.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

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  7. swapnil k on

    Hello sir,

    This photos are really fantastic & awe-inspiring. Particularly color of water is really fantastic.
    I wish to visit this place in future. Can you tell me common itinerary ?, how many days will it take from delhi to delhi ? & best month to visit this place.

    Thanks & regards
    Swapnil K.

    • Hello Swapnil,

      Thanks alot brother. There cannot be a common itinerary for Spiti and all depends upon the places you are interested in and how many days you can plan for it. There is hell lot of things to be seen on the way or in Spiti Valley itself, so if you really want to explore at least a little bit then do plan for at least 9 days. Best month again for me is September end or upto October mid types because of the lovely colors you see up there in pictures along with apple orchards but again devoid of snow.

      The road upto Kaza remains open throughout the year, so one can go anytime even in winters if one dares to 😉

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • hello Dheeraj Sharma ji, It is very glad to see on wheels. we are planing to go leh through spiti valley return via kargil Kashmir on enfield (bullet)motor cycle with pillion rider starts 20th october from viyawada upto chandigarh by train. our trip starts by bike at chandigarh on 22 th via kalpa kaza kelong leh nubra, kargil kashmir, jammu end directly jam mu to Vijayawada by train ;– so i request you best advise and necessary itinerary, tips, accommodation and suggestions fair comment on my trip. please reply sir.

        • Hello Ramesh,

          The season for Ladakh is almost over and I will strongly advice against riding/driving your OWN vehicle on Manali – Leh Highway that late in the season and that too via Spiti Valley which further could delay the ride on it. I will advice you plan this trip next year.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

      • ramesh babu on

        thanks brother, one clarification i need, shall we proceed spiti-valley chandigarh-kalpa-kaza-manali-chandigarh. why i so tress every dasara vactions used to making a trip on my bike. According to plan the things and reservations are fixed in this vacations. other vacations not permitted us freely. so I should make one tour in this vacation. please….clarify sir

        • Hello Ramesh,

          I will suggest you make a trip to Himachal covering Spiti Valley at that time of the year where chances of getting stuck are not there. Going all the way to Leh via Manali – Leh Highway poses a risk of getting you stuck and your vehicle stuck for more than 6 months. Zozi La got the first snowfall of the season yesterday and it was white out there. Manali – Leh must have also started to get snowfall by now and the ice on the roads had started becoming prominnenet since past few weeks now. Not an ideal time to make a road journey unless you are OK with the idea of getting full adventure and do not have something important to join back after vacations plus you have the luxury of buffer days.

          Otherwise, just make a trip to Spiti + Kinnaur Valley and I am sure you will enjoy it completely.

          Regards,
          Dheeraj Sharma

  8. Thanks for reply Dheeraj, please reply to following questions.I wish to do Vadodara-delhi-shimla-sangla-chhitkul-kalpa-tabo-kaza-batal-chandratal-manali-delhi-vadodara in september in swift Dzire petrol with my mother,wife & 2.5 years old son.
    Please clear some doubts which are lingering in my mind.
    1) Can my car go to Hatu,Ki,Kibber,Langza,Komic,Tashigang & Gui village.If not, please suggest alternatives.
    2) Is this tour possible in 2 weeks comfortably.Vadodara to delhi is 1000 km.
    3) Should I dare to attempt chandratal, Kunzum La & Rohtang La in Dzire or return via shimla.
    4) Please suggest family accomodations limited to 1000 Rs. per day for all of us in shimla,narkanda,sarahan,sangla/rackcham/chhitkul,kalpa,tabo,Kaza/Ragrik,Losar.Please give me an estimate of budget for the trip.
    5) While returning from manali to vadodara, can i skip delhi.I heard there is a new expressway connecting Kishangarh(Rajasthan) to Punjab.Which will be the shorter route in terms of time?
    I am finalizing the itinerary.I will post it in near future for BCMTians valuable suggestions

    – – – Updated – – –

    Leaves are granted.I will sail from 22/09/2012 to 06/09/2012 from vadodara for my Spiti trip.Here is my tentative itinerary for the trip.
    Day1 Vadodara – Behror
    Day2 Behror-shimla
    Day3 Shimla – Hatu Peak- Sarahan
    Day4 Sarahan-Sangla-Chhitkul
    Day5 Chitkul – Kalpa
    Day6 Kalpa-Nako-Giu-Tabo
    Day7 Tabo – Dhankhar-Kaza
    Day8 Kaza-Ki-Kibber-Hikkim-Komic-Losar
    Day9 Losar – Kunzum La – Batal – Chandratal – Solang
    Day10 Manali-Behror
    Day11 Behror-Vadodara
    I have kept one day rest at Kalpa/Chhitkul and two days buffer.
    Please guide if this is possible.I will be driving first time in Himalayas.what precautions i should take in this trip.
    Please reply to my last post also.

    • Hi Shekhar,

      1. Yes, I have done all these places in my Dzire except Langza, Tashigang and Kaumik. Except Tashigang I think you can do the rest two as well.

      2. Yes, two weeks shall be enough.

      3. Well, Chandratal might be difficult being road very narrow, will say avoid it atleast. If you are self driving then you only have the option to drive through Kunzum Pass. Rohtang Pass should be manageable at that time. The issue I see is couple of water crossing at Kunzum Pass to Gramphu road and the sharp stones that may puncture the tyre. So, if possible carry extra stepny.

      4. You can keep a budget of about 600-700 per person for food and acco.

      5. Sorry no idea about that.

      As per itinerary the last few days seems to be very hectic. Losar – Chandratal – Losar/Khoksa then Losar/Khoksar – Solang/Manali. Manali – Behror seems too long to me.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Thanks Dheeraj.I will ease out the last three days itinerary as per your advice.
        I will carry extra tube also along with stepny.Shall i carry extra fuel also & how much since mine is petrol car.

        • Hi Shekhar,

          You need to carry extra fuel but do not forget to top up the tank at Powari Fuel Station (if not available, go to Reckong Peo to fill it) and then do not miss to top up the fuel at Kaza fuel pump. Then, you need not carry any extra fuel anywhere.

          I hope this helps. Let me know incase you need more info. or have any queries or doubts.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  9. I have planned a two week trip starting from 22/09/2012 to 06/10/2012 from vadodara-behror-shimla-sarahan-chitkul-kalpa-tabo-kaza-losar-batal-chandratal-manali-delhi-vadodara
    Please suggest itinerary for me.I will travel by Swift Dzire petrol with my mother,wife & 2.5 years old son.Can I do chandratal by car?Can i dare to attempt Kunzum la & Rohtang La with my car?Thanks

    • Hi Shekhar,

      Personally, I will not recommend you to drive through Kunzum La and beyond at that time of the year because one spell of snow on a day might close the road and even local do not recommend that route beyond September. Just wanted to let you know that you make a point about it and take this risk into account before venturing there. Based on that whether you wanna come back or go ahead with Kaza – Manali circuit, I will suggest the suitable itinerary.

      I hope this helps. Let me know incase you need more info. or have any queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  10. Hi,I am from Chandigarh and my name is Birinder Singh Guron .I love nature .My hobbies are angling,camping and adventure.I would like to go to kaza with my family ( My wife and twins 5 years old daughter and son) which direction is best to start the journey?”. chandigarh – sangla – kaza – minali – chandigarh or chandigarh – Minali- kaza – sangla – chandigarh. Last year we went to sangla in april. From chandigarh we stay first night at narkanda second stay at kalpa, third and fourth night at sangla fifth night at shimla .We like sangla more then kalpa and would like to visit sangla again.Kindly tell me which directioin is best to start journey? .Is it safe to travel with kids? I have a ford endavour thunder 4 x 4.From kaza to sangla or sangla to kaza can we go in one day or we have to stay one night at tabo or nako or any other place .Kindly suggest me.

    • Hello Birinder,

      It is always better to start from Shimla side to get the body acclimatized and return via Manali side. You can do something like below and add the number of days in between as per requirement and rest basis.

      Day 1 | Chandigarh – Sarahan
      Day 2 | Sarahan – Sangla
      Day 3 | Sangla – Nako – Nako Lake – Geyu Mummy – Tabo
      Day 4 | Tabo – Dhankar – Dhankar Lake – Kaza (in evening do Ki – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang – Kaza for overnight stay)
      Day 5 | Rest day in Kaza. Do Hikkim – Kaumik – Langza
      Day 6 | Kaza – Losar – Kunzum Pass – Rohtang Pass – Manali
      Day 7 | Manali – Chandigarh

      I hope this helps. Please let me know in case you need more info or have any doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Hi Dheeraj One more question kindly tell me which GPS navigation is the best which work properly in hills on leh, kaza.Someone told me that mapmyindia stop working on kaza manali road.Kindly suggest me .Thanks Birinder

        • Hello Birinder,

          I may not be the best guy to answer this query but from the personal experience MapMyIndia for phone would work to quite a good extent as we used the maps of 2010 in our journey to Spiti last year. I was carrying a downloaded Google map of that terrain which is what we mostly used but there was no voice based navigation there. I have also used Nokia OVI maps upto Kinnaur as well and they also worked pretty decently. The highway would be mapped in all of them I think, it is the link roads to small sightseeing seeing villages that might not be available for you.

          Still, I will suggest you ask the query in HV Kumar's sir Facebook Group page linked here

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  11. Hello Dheeraj

    I am planning to go to kaza from manali. you have any idea when road will open from manali to kaza.

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