Spiti Valley via Manali | How to Plan Your Journey

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In the last article of the series "Comprehensive Travel Guide to Spiti Valley", we talked about how to plan a journey on road to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur Valley OR Hindustan – Tibet Highway. In this article, I will talk in detail about the other road to Spiti Valley which goes via Manali. The road to Spiti Valley. Like I elaborated in the last article, in order to visit this picturesque valley of the Trans – Himalayan region, either one can take a long 3 day journey over Hindustan – Tibet Highway running through Shimla – Kinnaur Valley OR they can tread along the path of Manali and then take Manali – Rohtang Pass – Kunzum Pass – Kaza (Spiti Valley) route in 2 days. As a practice and to enjoy the route entirely, it is always better to do the complete circuit for the first time and then keep coming back from one or the other route to explore more and more places in Spiti Valley which is quite difficult to explore in just one trip.

Unlike the long, treacherous, Hindustan – Tibet Highway, the major part of the journey to Spiti Valley via Manali is covered without any trouble up to Manali which is about 570 odd KMs from Delhi. Still, you can check, how to plan a journey to Manali in the article on its detailed travel guide: Delhi to Manali, Himachal Pradesh | Travel Guide. Now, that you know how to travel to Manali from Delhi, let’s cover in detail in this article about planning the rest of 200 odd KM journey to Spiti Valley from Manali to Kaza.

Welcome to Spiti Valley…
Welcome to Spiti Valley
Important Links for Road to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur

Before I dive into the specific details on planning the trip on road to Spiti Valley, I will suggest you to also refer these supporting articles of this on going series “Comprehensive Travel Guide to Spiti Valley”:

Season to Travel on Road to Spiti Valley

To know what is the season that will suit you to travel on the road to Spiti Valley, check the article: Best Season to Travel on Road to Spiti Valley

Modes of Travel on Road to Spiti Valley via Manali
Private Vehicles i.e. Cars and Bikes | Self Drive or Ride to Spiti Valley

Most people prefer to self drive or self ride to Spiti Valley by their own car or own bike and some also prefer to self drive or self ride to Spiti Valley by hiring a bike or car. You can take your own or rented, car or bike to Spiti Valley but one must be careful while driving or riding through slushy roads, snow and water crossing or nallas especially from Rohtang Pass to Kunzum Pass and almost upto Losar village. Also, it is always handy to learn little maintenance tasks of your vehicle prior to the start of this arduous journey to Spiti Valley from Manali.

For cars, although an SUV/MUV is good to have and a 4WD SUV will definitely help but I have seen hatchbacks (including Altos and Nano) and sedans doing good enough job on the road of Grapmhu to Kunzum Pass. If you want to try your sedan or hatch back drive to Spiti Valley then one must drive with extra care and caution and especially in Grapmhu to Kunzum Pass as it is almost like driving over the river bed.

Whenever you are in doubt, always step out of your car, walk down the path, inspect with your foot and plan the path of exit before crossing a dangerous landslide or water crossing on your vehicle. You can also park aside and see how others are crossing the risky section to plan your route of escape. In deep water crossings try to maintain the momentum without any half clutch measures and complete the entire stretch in one go only. Similarly, in slush stretches do not force the issue rather keep the smooth momentum with required speed to pass you through, without half clutch measures. Do keep an eye on the direction of the vehicle too. If you get stuck in slush then try to back and forth your vehicles to get out of the stuck position. It is always handy to ask your fellow co-travellers to get out of the car and push the vehicle from behind in case the car is struggling to pass through the slush or water crossing stretch. DO NOT forget to help other fellow travellers in need on the route.

Basic toolkit, screw driver set, small hammer, puncture repair kit, iron rod, two or three "2 ltr" empty bottles of pepsi / coke / limca etc to carry extra petrol or diesel (jerry cans will leak, cold drink bottles do not leak), funnel, towing rope, spare tube (must for bikes), elfy or fevi quick (2-3 sachets), jump start cables/wires, M-seal to prevent leakage etc. were among the few things which I carried along on my trip to Ladakh. Also, do not forget to get your vehicle (car/bike) serviced about 2-3 weeks before the start of the journey to trans Himalayas. This will ensure that you have proper time in advance to test your serviced vehicle and get fixed any hitches that may have been introduced in that service.

Hiring a Private Taxi | Taxi Number or Private Number

You can also hire a taxi from Manali or Delhi to travel on the road to Spiti Valley. It is always better to hire Xylo or Scorpio and mostly the charges ranges from 2800 to 3500 per day from Manali depending upon season of travel and your bargaining skills. Better confirm from the driver if he has done the route over Spiti Valley and when was the last time he did go on that route. Many a times, drivers from Manali are good unlike from Shimla who cover mainly lower hills but it is always better to double check before fixing a deal.

HRTC Bus Service &Shared Taxis| Economical mode of travel

You can take a Volvo run by HRTC or HPTDC to Manali from Delhi and then HRTC buses ply buses on Kullu – Manali – Rohtang Pass – Kunzum Pass – Kaza route. There are two HRTC buses which runs between Manali and Kaza every morning, as soon as road to Spiti Valley via Manali get open in the season, mostly in mid-June. These buses run from Kullu to Kaza via Manali and it reaches Manali around 4.45 AM and leaves at 5.00 AM. Ticket to Kaza will cost you only about INR 250 approximately per person.

In between, you can also buy yourself a seat in a shared taxi which runs between various places within Spiti Valley. Example, you can cover Dhangkar Monastery, Pin Valley, Kibber/Ki, Hikkim/Komik etc. all in shared taxis available from Tabo OR Kaza. Even shared taxis run between Losar and Kaza too.

If you are really tight on budget, then to get some tips on how save more, please refer an article: Chandratal Lake | Cheapest Ways To Travel There

Let’s Ride into the Wild … Spiti Valley…
Let's Ride into the Wild ... Spiti Valley
Planning Night Stay or Accommodation on Road to Spiti Valley via Manali

Based on my experience, you can opt to plan a journey on Road to Spiti Valley via Manali in one of the following ways –

Three Day Journey to Spiti Valley via Manali

It is always better to traverse the road to Spiti Valley over Manali – Rohtang Pass route in 3 days, so that your body is a bit more acclimatized to the high altitude of Spiti Valley within these 3 days. Though unlike traveling on Hindustan – Tibet highway which provides gradual ascend still braking the journey at Khoksar in Lahaul or if you have more days than may for couple of days in Keylong after Manali will be a great option to take. Anyhow, the general breakup of the journey in 3 days is like below:

  • Day 1: Delhi – Manali or Solang Valley (better to halt at Solang as it will help in acclimatization which Manali does not do.)
  • Day 2: Manali or Solang Valley – Rohtang Pass – Gramphu – Khoksar
  • Day 3: Khoksar – Gramphu – Kunzum Pass – Kaza (Spiti Valley)

This way spending a night at Khoksar will help you a lot in terms of acclimatization. If you have couple of days then go ahead and stay at Jispa for 2 days and explore around Lahaul Valley and finally on Day 4 make a dash to Spiti Valley over Kunzum Pass from Jispa itself.

Two Day Journey to Spiti Valley via Manali

This is the most generally followed by many but it increases the chances of AMS while reaching Spiti Valley. The general breakup is like below:

  • Day 1: Delhi – Manali or Solang Valley (better to halt at Solang as it will help in acclimatization which Manali does not do.)
  • Day 2: Manali or Solang Valley – Rohtang Pass – Gramphu – Kunzum Pass – Kaza/Tabo (Spiti Valley)

In this case, I generally suggest that you start very early in the morning and try to reach Tabo instead of Kaza on Day 2 from Manali. Though going all the way to Tabo will mean 2 hrs more journey as compared to Kaza, being 45 odd KMs ahead. However, it will help you acclimatize better and combat AMS as it is 600 odd Mtrs lower than Kaza. Having said all that, if you take necessary precautions, Kaza is generally OK for majority of people too.

Most Common Itinerary for Spiti Valley

In case, you are interested in entire circuit including Kinnaur, Spiti & Manali and have about 10-12 days then you can also look at the link: Spiti Valley | Most Common Itinerary

Sightseeing on Road to Spiti Valley via Manali

Traveling over this beautiful yet adventurous road to Spiti Valley is a sightseeing in itself. However, while traversing over it there are some fabulous places which you can visit alongside this highway to heaven. To name few,

Manali, Solang Valley (a bit off track, 16 KMs), Rohtang Pass (though I never liked it personally) and then Chandratal (a bit off track just ahead of Battal and it shall always be done while coming back from Spiti Valley). The whole route from Gramphu to Kunzum Pass to Losar to Kaza is sightseeing in itself, believe me. The treacherous it is, the more beautiful it becomes :D…

A beautiful view at Losar Village… A beautiful view at Losar Village in Spiti Valley
List of Accommodation or Stay Options on Road to Spiti Valley via Manali

Unlike Hindustan – Tibet Highway, there isn’t much to think about accommodation while traveling to Spiti Valley via Manali. First day you end up at Manali or Solang which has wide range of hotels and next day you can either stay at Khoksar PWD Rest House or reach Kaza or Tabo which again has many accommodation options available for yourself. In between, there is a PWD Rest house at Chota Dhara and there is new PWD rest houses started in July 2013 even at Batal before you enter Spiti beyond Kunzum Pass.

You can also go ahead and vouch for these PWD Rest Houses along the entire road to Spiti Valley, which are though comfortable and economic but may not suit needs of every family. Also, you require bookings for them and sometimes in case of some VIP visit they may try to push you though not in rights. But, in general and in case you are OK with average comfort conditions, Quite Recommended!! You can refer: How to Book HP PWD Rest Houses or FRHs

Narkanda looking calm and soothing… View of Batal before Kunzum Pass
Acclimatization & its importance on Road to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur

Like Manali – Leh Highway, the journey on road to Spiti Valley over Rohtang Pass and Kunzum Pass is quite treacherous especially beyond Rohtang Pass and few 15 odd KMs before the top of it. That is why going through Hindustan – Tibet Highway is always preferred for road trip to Spiti Valley as compared to than going via Manali – Kunzum Pass – Kaza route. While traveling to Spiti Valley from this route through Kinnaur Valley, one gives himself a chance to properly acclimatize to the high altitudes there by decreasing the chances of being hit by AMS. In the return leg, you can come back to Delhi via Kaza – Kunzum Pass – Manali route to complete the entire circuit. This helps you enjoy the whole or high altitude places of Spiti Valley including Chandratal Lake in a much better way as well.

Having said that if you have no option to go via Kinnaur then on a road trip to Spiti Valley via Manali, it is always good that you take little precautions to minimize the effects of high altitude sickness. Here are some tips which will help acclimatizing the body faster in first few days of the trip:

  • Try to sleep at Solang Valley not Manali as Solang Valley does help in acclimatization while Manali does not do so.
  • Try to reach Kaza with at least 3 night stays, if you have time.
  • But, if reaching on second night then better try to reach Tabo to stay over the second night as Tabo is much lower in altitude than Kaza
  • Keep your body properly hydrated.
  • Avoid sleeping at high altitudes earlier in the trip.
  • Avoid over exertion.
  • Avoid tobacco and smoking and alcohol and other depressant drugs.
  • Keep your body warm and eat lots of carbohydrates.
  • Avoid sleep during the day.
  • Sleep in upright position, if possible.
  • Carry preventive medicines for AMS.
  • Immediately descend towards Tabo, if symptoms increase.

For more information on Acute Mountain Sickness and all above acclimatization tips, please refer the following link at least once: Acute Mountain Sickness and Importance of Acclimatization

Snow between Chota Dhara and Batal…
Snow between Chota Dhara and Batal in Spiti Valley
Fuel or Petrol Pumps on Road to Spiti Valley via Manali

You will be able to find fuel pumps only at: Manali and Kaza. It is very important not to miss to refuel at Kaza.

ATMs on Road to Spiti Valley via Manali

As per my knowledge there are ATMs available only at Manali and at some places en-route. There is no ATM at Kaza as well AFAIK, so no ATM in Spiti Valley. Hence, it is advised that you carry cash from Manali. I guess you should carry enough cash with you on trans Himalayan trip because ATMs at these limited places can run out of money or become un-operational at any day or time.

Places on Road to Spiti Valley via Manali

The places that falls on this route along with approximate distances between them goes like Manali – Marhi – Rohtang Pass – Gramphu – Chattru – Chota Dhara – Batal – Kunzum Pass – Losar – Kaza

The approximate distances along with altitude of these places is shown in the chart below. This will help you judge over acclimatization schedule too.

Road to Spiti Valley via Manali Altitude & Distance Graph
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Road to Spiti Valley via Manali Altitude & Distance Graph
Permits for Manali – Rohtang Pass Road

Since 2010, all non-HP vehicles going to Rohtang Pass needs permits which can be obtained free of cost by showing vehicle’s RC and DL copy.

Timings for the SDM Office, Manali are 10.00 AM to 5.00 PM and SDM Office Manali will be closed on National / Local Holidays, Sundays, Second Saturdays. So get in touch with some agent to get in advance if you are landing there on these days.

Bikes were exempted from the permits because in last 2 years none of the readers who are bikers on the blog reported any issue. But, bikers also need permits as per the latest updates in 2013

Now, since July there are different updates on how to get these permits. Some people have got the permits from Green Tax barrier at Manali entrance where they just note down the details of your license and vehicle RC and hand over the permit to you. In an other variations, now Rs 100 is charged as a congestion fees from the vehicle going beyond Rohtang Pass and permit is issued from local tourism office in Manali town, where forms are also available. Which one is exactly rue between these two, is yet unknown and as soon as I travel, I will get the updates again OR if you have the updated info, feel free to shoot a comment below, will be really grateful to you.

If you are coming from Keylong side or Kaza side, then you do not need any permit to ply on Manali – Rohtang Pass road even if you have a non-HP registered vehicle. Permit is required only if you are going from Manali side towards Rohtang Pass.

You can read detailed article at: Non – HP Vehicles Need Permit on Manali – Rohtang Pass Road

Chatru on Manali – Kaza Road…
Chatru on Manali - Kaza Road
Timings of Manali – Rohtang Pass Road

Starting this year, 2013, traffic on Manali – Rohtang Pass Road has been regulated with timings and traffic will be allowed only one way in those timings. Following is the summary of the regulations:

  • Vehicles going to Rohtang Pass will only be allowed to go from Manali to Rohtang Pass from 6 AM to 11 AM.
  • After 11 AM, tourists or any taxis or vehicle will not be allowed to go to Rohtang Pass, this is like vehicles will not be allowed to cross barrier at Marhi after 11 AM
  • Only exceptions are emergency vehicles and HRTC buses and vehicles coming from Lahaul or Spiti Valley which should be certified by Khoksar Check post.
  • Vehicles will only be allowed to come back from Rohtang Pass to Manali after 1 PM to 6 PM only where 11 AM to 1 PM is the maintenance timings when there will not be any movement of vehicles.
  • Vehicles going beyond Rohtang Pass i.e. to Leh – Ladakh or Lahaul + Spiti Valley WILL be allowed from 5 PM to 6 AM too.
  • NO restrictions are present for Ambulances or vehicles in emergency.
  • Any violations to these rules may lead to seizure of the vehicles too.

You can read detailed article at: Manali – Rohtang Pass Road | Timings and One Way Traffic Regulations

On the way to Rohtang Pass from Manali…
On the way to Rohtang Pass from Manali

Conclusion

Have you ever been to Spiti Valley through Hindustan – Tibet Highway or via Manali? If yes, please share your view points, suggestions or inputs as comments below, it will help other fellow travellers to plan their own journey too.

Are you planning to go to Spiti Valley via Hindustan – Tibet Highway or Manali? If yes, please feel free to ask any queries or doubts you have regarding the your plan either in comments section OR in the DoW – Himalayan Travel Community & Forums. I will be happy to reply and discuss them with you. Looking forward to your responses 🙂

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258 Comments

  1. Hemanth Phani on

    Hey there,

    I will be in Manali by May 9th and would love to visit Spiti because I have my return booked on 13th, So these 4 nights or 5 days, I want to make it to Spiti. Please let me know how much would the Taxi be from Manali to Spiti to Manali as a round trip. Never been there, hence the question about the taxi fare as I heard that during second week of May, only Taxis will be available but not public transport.

    Also, will 4 days be enough to reach Spiti-Khaza and get back to Manali ??
    Regards,
    Hemanth Phani

  2. Shubham Mansingka on

    Dheeraj bhai, definitely the most exhaustive website with regards to travel planning in these remote regions.

    You have covered all the minute points. Superb work.

  3. Shubham Mansingka on

    Dheeraj bhai, definitely the most exhaustive website with regards to travel planning in these remote regions.

    Fantastic work, as always.

  4. Yash Lahoti on

    Hello,
    We are planning to visit Spiti Valley in last week of May. Can you please guide us with the route through Manali or kasol?
    Also, what places should we visit in the valley in given 36 hours and how should we proceed back to chandigarh?

  5. i want to visit Spiti valley in Mid May this year.Could please guide me how to reach in this region from Manali?
    As i am going on solo journey,Is is possible to travel through any public transport?

  6. Pratik Tarpara on

    Hiee,
    We are planning to visit spiti valley on our way from Leh. Please have a look at the below plan for spiti :
    16th June: Leh to Jispa. night stay at jispa
    17th June: Jispa to spiti via gramphu, night stay at spiti (200Km)
    18th June: spiti to sollang valley, night at solang
    19th June: manali to chandigarh

    What time we will reach spiti if we leave jispa early morning by 6-7am, (200Km Distance)?
    Will the roads open by 17th june on our way to spiti?
    Can we set up our own tent at spiti or are there any tents availabe to stay?

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Pratik,

      Jispa to Kaza is a long drive. I will recommend skipping it and at max doing Chandratal as Spiti needs 4-5 days inside it to explore something in it. Also, reach Keylong from Leh then do Keylong to Chandratal next day and then Chandratal to Solang/Manali the next one.

  7. hi Dheeraj,

    Loved your blog.

    I am planning to reach Manali with a friend who is coming from overseas just to see the Spiti Valley. We will be arriving to Manali on the 28th Jan from Shimla. We are planning to spend around 4-5 days and cover as much of Spiti Valley. We have a flight back from Delhi on 2nd Feb morning, so between 28th Jan – 1st Feb what can you recommend will be good for us?
    As none of us are drivers, we will be hiring a private car. Given the time constraint, what itinerary can you suggest for us?

    • In just 4-5 days you will reach Spiti and come back with more than 9+ Hrs only on road for the day. Also, it is extremmly harsh and cold now in winters in Spiti Valley and in case it snows the chances of getting stuck are from few days to few weeks. Are you sure you want to take this trip?

  8. Ananth John on

    Hey Dheeraj. Ananth here from Vellore. I’m a student here at Christian Medical College.
    I have been reading your blog for sometime now and I must say it’s wonderfully written and boy, haven’t you traveled quite a bit.
    My friends and I are planning a trip to Manali in mid May. May 13-14 to be precise. It’s always been my dream to bike from Manali to Leh. Well my friends didn’t quite agree to that but they did agree to visiting Spiti Valley.
    So we planned on reaching Manali and renting bikes there and riding till Chandartal lake camping there for the night. Then riding upto Kaza and langza the next morning and back to Chandartal. And finally leaving for Manali the next day.
    I’ve read your blogs on travelling to Spiti from Manali and camping in Spiti too. I was wondering if you could tell me a few things about the journey.
    1) Will the road to Spiti be open. If yes, how long will it take to reach Chandartal lake from Manali? Or would you suggest a better place to camp at.
    2) Could you please tell me how the renting scene is in Manali. Do you get good bikes? And about the deposits and trusted dealers. Any information will be very helpful.
    3) Do you think it’s possible to reach Manali early morning and rent a bike and leave for Spiti Valley? Or would you suggest we go to Solang Valley or somewhere else and ride only the next day.
    4) Do you think there are some major flaws with the plan? Could you please tell us the changed to be made to the plan? Or could you please suggest us a better plan.

    Thank you,
    Ananth.

  9. Hi Dheeraj ji , love your passion. I will be Manali on 27 and 28 May along with family. I have one more week in hand. Can I do Keylong-Kaja -Manali-Delhi circuit ? Will the Rohtang Pass is expected to remain open ?
    Thanks in advance

    • Somnath ji, Rohtang Pass will be open BUT the road to Kunzum Pass might not be open from Manali side to go over to Kaza. If you are really determined to do t, then probably you can have yourself dropped to one end of road closure from where you can walk for about 4-5 KMs through snowy patches and reach the other end of the road closure towards Kaza. At that end you can ask another taxi from Kaza to pick you up and then you can go inside Spiti Valley. Route to Keylong – Baralacha La falls under Lahaul and should be open by that time of the year.

      • Thanks Dheeraj bhai. I have decided to go through Simla side and return through the same route as well, as I will be having kids with me. My schedule is like this : Delhi-Narkanda-kalpa-nako-dhankar-kaza for 3 nights-rekong peo-simla-Delhi. Any suggestion will be highly appreciated.

        • Avoid overnight stay at Nako, you may get hit with AMS. After Kalpa, stay at Tabo. Then in Kaza. While return instead of Rekong Peo, go over to Sangla and stay Rakcham. Cover Chitkul and then head back to Shimla – Delhi

  10. Hey !!
    I am looking forward to travelling to the spiti valley a group of 3 bikers, this October end what will be the road conditions during this time ? I have done tosh, khir-ganga, Kausani (Trishul), rohtang pass ! one of my friend accompanying this time was born in the hills. What would you recommend ? What would be the condition of Kunzum Pass? river passes? please give me a few details ? i called people up in spiti they say kunzum is open at this time as well as the tibetan highway ? what would you suggest ?

  11. Shekhar Narwal on

    Hello Dheeraj!
    We are 7 people planning to complete Spiti Circuit in from 1-6 Nov. 2016. Our Itinerary:

    Nov. 1: DELHI TO SHIMLA
    Nov. 2: SHIMLA TO SANGLA
    Nov. 3: SANGLA TO SUMDO
    Nov. 4: SUMDO TO KAZA
    Nov. 5: KAZA TO MANALI
    Nov. 6: MANALI TO DELHI

    Q.1 Its kinda fast tracked trip but we wish to do this in a Scorpio with 2 drivers. Will it be possible?
    Q.2 Would it be possible to go to Manali from Kaza on Nov. 5? Will Kunzum Pass be open till then?
    Q.3 What temp range can be expected during this time of the year? Do we need to have some anti-freezing gel for fuel in the vehicle?
    Q.4 We are planning to stay in rented tents along the way for entire trips. is it doable? Are there any okish sites to camp on?
    Its our first time, do not wish to mess up. Please help!
    Thanks in Advance.

    • Hello Shekar,

      There is nothing to stay at Sumdo, you will have to reach Tabo. I will not suggest at all to make the trip from Manali – Kaza road at that time of the year. In case of any eventuality, that terrain will do no good to you guys during that time of the year. In case you want to return the same route, add one more day and have this longish tiring journey in 6 days.

  12. HELLO,
    We are two people, will be reaching manali by morning 9th oct. We are planning to visit kaza either by bike or through hrtc bus from manali. The problem is we are not sure whether there are sufficient transportation for us in kaza to travel around the town (if we dont choose the bike option) and visit nearby things like the Ki monestary and the prices of accomodation and transportation. And can we rent a bike from kaza itself rather then hiring from manali(which i guess saves some money).
    Is it possible for us to visit chandratal lake without personal vehicle.
    Note:- we are planning to spend not more than 3-4 days from manali(As our budget is tight)

      • Aman Sharma on

        hi dheeraj , as i joined college this year and never get a opportunity to travel or live alone. And i want to go on lahul spiti trip from chandigrh as i checkd ur blog and thats very informative would you please tell me what would be the total expenses shared by 2 3 guys by local transport. travelling time 1 week.

        • Hello Aman,

          Where do you want to travel? Lahaul or Spiti? Both are far apart and follow different routes. Also, when are you planning the trip?

  13. Hi Dheeraj,

    We will arrive Manali on 1st morning, Can you please make an itinerary for us to cover all the must visits around Spiti Valley and Chandrataal Lake in about 6-7 days? And also the best means of transport and their availability between the places.

    Thanks a lot.
    Nikhil

    • Nikhil, you may like to do below plan:

      Day 1 : Reach Manali by overnight volvo of and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
      Day 2 : Manali / Solang – Kaza
      Day 3 : Kaza – Dhangkar – Tabo
      Day 4 : Tabo – Pin Valley – Kaza. Do Ki, Kibber in the evening.
      Day 5 : Kaza – Langza – Komik – Hikkim – Chandratal
      Day 6 : Chandratal – Manali
      Day 7 : Reach Delhi by overnight Volvo from Manali

  14. Nikita Gurwani on

    Hello Dheeraj,
    We are 2 girls planning to go Manali on 1st week of November. We are planning to visit Manali to Spiti valley by Activa. Will it be feasible? Do you have a any contact person which can rent Scooties(in a good condition) from Manali.

    • Nikita, you cannot to Manali – Spiti Valley in November. Rohtang Pass officially closes by end of October, means no rescue operations are carried out after that date. Have you ever under taken a trip like it? Spiti Valley roads are one of the harshest and treacherous roads in the world. So, without much experience with riding in Himalayas and such terrain, it is not recommmended even in season time to do such a trip.

  15. Kuntal Mukhopadhyay on

    Dear Dheeraj,
    Good Afternoon!
    Yesterday to my query on suitability of visit to SPITI valley in month of late June you responded (thanks to quick response).
    Well what i am looking for is whether Chandratal lake and it’s blue colours are seen in Late June? or in other words in late june Chandratal lake wouldn’t be covered in snow?
    Thanks in advance
    Best Regards

    • Yes Kuntal, Chandratal when possible to visit in summers, emit blue hues colors. So, you will be able to see it in beautiful form. When Chandratal is frozen, it is very very hard to visit the lake.

    • HI, we are 2 friends planning a trip from Chandigarh – Manali – Spiti – Chandigarh/Delhi. dates are 8th Oct to 13th Oct. can someone plz suggest thebest router and places to visit. we have a budget of around 10-12 k Mam per person. people can joing us if they want. My contact no is 9860956445

      Appreciate your Help!

      • Nikhil, you just have 6 days in hand. Feel free to pick from below routes:

        Day 1 : Reach Manali and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
        Day 2 : Manali / Solang – Kaza
        Day 3 : Kaza – Dhangkar – Tabo – Kaza OR Kaza – Langza – Komik – Hikkim – Kaza
        Day 4 : Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Ki – Rangrik – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal/Batal
        Day 5 : Chandratal/Batal – Manali
        Day 6 : Manali – Delhi

        Day 1 : Reach Manali by overnight and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
        Day 2 : Manali / Solang – Kaza
        Day 3 : Kaza – Dhangkar – Tabo – Kaza
        Day 4 : Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Langza – Komik – Hikkim – Kaza
        Day 5 : Kaza – Chandratal – Manali
        Day 6 : Reach Delhi by overnight Volvo from Manali (do adventure sports in day time at Solang Valley)

  16. Hi Dheeraj ,

    I am planning a solo travel to Spiti valley, but I don’t have any vehicle with me. So I am planning to take bus and shared taxis and all. I have 10 days with me. from here i got to know everyday 2 buses are going to Spiti from Kulu … and if I reach at Spiti , can I get any shared taxis or something to visit places ?? how much they will ask for each places.?

    and what about the accommodation ?

    can u make me an itinerary please ?
    Thanks in advance ,

    Regards,
    Jubeesh

    • Yes, you will get local shared taxis to nearby places. No worries on that front. It should not be more than 50-100 bucks for the places. You will find plenty of home stays in Spiti, so no issues on that front. I will suggest you below flow, you can do based on availability of transport.

      Day 01 : Reach Manali and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
      Day 02 : Manali / Solang – Kaza
      Day 03 : Kaza – Lingti Valley (Lhalung) – Tabo
      Day 04 : Tabo – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake – Pin Valley
      Day 05 : Pin Valley(Mud) – Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Kaza
      — Start a trekking tour in Spiti for its most beautiful villages, it is motorable so you can go up there by car and then start day treks in between these villages. Awesome way to soak in the beauty of trans Himalayas.
      Day 06 : Kaza – Langza – Komic – Hikkim – Demul – Kaza | Villages trek (Stay at Langza)
      Day 07 : Kaza – Langza – Komic – Hikkim – Demul – Kaza | Villages trek (Stay at Komic)
      Day 08 : Kaza – Langza – Komic – Hikkim – Demul – Kaza | Villages trek (Stay at Demul)
      — End tour
      Day 09 : Kaza – Chandratal
      Day 10 : Chandratal – Manali
      Day 11 : Manali – Delhi

  17. Hi Dheeraj,

    That’s a lot of helpful information! I’m visiting Himachal next week. Spiti and Parvathy Valley are the destinations. The article is kind of making me paranoid with hidden dangers like AMS and fuel management.

    Given below is my plan from Manali. I’m slightly concerned about the AMS hitting me and fuel management of the rented bike. Hopefully travelling in September won’t be that harsh. It would be really helpful if you could let me know if this plan has major flaws and if we’d be able to manage.

    Day 1 | Manali stay
    Day 2 | Travel to Spiti, stay at Kaza, visit Key, Kibber Komic
    Day 3 | Tabo
    Day 4 | Travel to Kasol, Stay at Kasol
    Day 5 | Local Visits around Kasol, Stay at Kasol
    Day 6 | Manikaran, Stay at Kasol
    Day 7 | Tosh, Stay at Kasol
    Day 8 | Travel to Manali and bus back

    Manali to Spiti to Kasol to Manali, we’ll be renting out a bike (2 people).

    Do you think I should add a day at Spiti and cut short of one at Parvati Valley?

    Thanks in advance,
    John

    • Hello John,

      You have clubbed too many things in the plan you have above. You should focus either on Spiti Valley or on Parvati Valley. For 8 days trip to Spiti Valley, I will suggest you follow something like below:

      Day 1 : Reach Manali by overnight volvo of and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
      Day 2 : Manali / Solang – Kaza
      Day 3 : Kaza – Dhangkar – Tabo
      Day 4 : Tabo – Pin Valley
      Day 5 : Pin Valley – Kaza. Do Ki, Kibber in the evening.
      Day 6 : Kaza – Langza – Komik – Hikkim – Kaza / Losar
      Day 7 : Kaza / Losar – Chandratal – Manali
      Day 8 : Reach Delhi by overnight Volvo from Manali

  18. Hi Dear,

    Thanks a lot for sufficient information which I was looking for.

    I need suggestion if you can help that will be great…

    Planning for spiti valley in second week of October via Manali . I think that’s not at all bad time to visit the place. Is it possible to complete the trip in 6-7 days???from Delhi n then coming back home. Maximum 7 days I have.

    For camping I will use the link you have shared. I am more interested watching the neutral beauty instead of that expensive travel or stay, there will be 3-4 guys. Please suggest for this free of cost query 🙁

    Thanks in Advance

    • Its not bad but its not even a good time too in case it snows heavily during those days. Chances are less but there are always chances in October. Given below is a plan you can follow for 7 day Spiti Valley trip.

      Regarding camping, make sure you have very good camps and sleeping bags of at least sub zero as in night the winds will be too cold in October

      Day 1 : Reach Manali by overnight volvo of 28 and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
      Day 2 : Manali / Solang – Kaza
      Day 3 : Kaza – Dhangkar – Tabo – Kaza OR Kaza – Langza – Komik – Hikkim – Kaza
      Day 4 : Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Chandratal
      Day 5 : Chandratal – Manali
      Day 6 : Chill around Manali and take evening Volvo
      Day 7 : Reach Delhi by overnight Volvo from Manali

        • Nazim Hoda on

          Hi Dheeraj,

          How are you Doing???

          One query 🙁 please provide the best way to reach Chandratal from kibber and the after a night stay at Chandratal how we can get back to manali from Chandratal .

          And what are the possible options of spending night at Chandratal.

          Thanks in Advance.I know you can provide the best possible options.I am totally confused on this as everyone is posting via Batal or Losar but nowhere it’s mentioned a straight answer as how to reach from kibber,and then get back to manali from Chandratal.

        • From Kibber to Rangrik and then heading towards Chandrabhal via Losar as suggested below.

          Will I have to trek it or any transport facility is available for it from Kibber. Because we will not be on a bike, and the diversion which you telling, for that signs are there to direct(just to avoid any trouble at this lonely planet). You have been to this place so you must be knowing more.

          Please clear this part and it will be a Big Help.

          Thanks in Advance.

        • There should be shared local taxis running between Kibber and Kaza. Once, you reach Kaza, get a taxi to Chandratal. Yes, there is a sign board at the diversion but keep in mind that only one diversion on right will come while getting down from Kunzum Pass to Batal. Only 1 diversion, about 2-3 KMs before Batal. Rest there is no diversion on the right.

  19. Hi, thanks for this wonderful blog.. i’m travelling today and this blog has really helped me in answering some of the queries that i had and i was not sure who to ask for. Thanks again. I’m planning a short 4 days trip from Manali – chandratal – kibber- Manali on bike starting tuesday.

  20. We are planning to go spiti valley in this Oct or Nov..Can we cover distance from Delhi to Spiti Valley in 4 days or less, if yes, then please help me in good itinerary so that i can cover that distance as early as possible.

    Thanks in advance

    • Shubham, road from Manali – Kaza will not be recommended to travel that late in the season. Are you trying to make a 4 days trip for complete Spiti tour? It takes three days to reach Spiti Valley from Kinnaur side.

  21. Hello Dheeraj

    Is it possible to camb in spiti? I’m taking my tent with me for the ride. Can you suggest any camping point pls.

  22. hello, Dheeraj
    first of all lemme tell u that the blog is soo useful and amaizing. u hav included all the things in it and its great job.
    me and my friend is planning a trip to himachal. as per the plan we are heading to kheer ganga first and after tat heading to manali and to spiti using bikes. is it a good plan or i should change it?
    can i take rohtang pass on aug last week?
    is there any issue in using the other way to come back from spiti? (i need to explore more places)

    • Thank you Unaiz. Yes, it is a good plan. However in august it rains, so if it is raining then Kheerganga trek will be slippery and risky, take caution and wise decision in case it is. You can do the entire circuit but you need days in hand and buffer days in case it rains.

  23. Tarun Rohra on

    Hey,

    I just wanted to ask whether it’s possible to rent bicycles in Kaza and if I can take a cycle on rent from Manali in a HRTC bus?

    Thanks a ton!

    • Hi Tarun, You can get in touch with Tsering at 09418208987, he is more than a friend to me and knows us very very well. He will be able to provide bikes on rent to you guys. In general he provide bikes for his hotel guests but you can surely check.

  24. Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning to visit Spiti valley from delhi. I will take my own car and will start at 5 AM from delhi in August first week. I read your blog and found that travelling via manali will be a good option. I have total 6-7 days. Please suggest what all places I can cover in these days. What would be the perfect itinerary for the trip.

    • Hi Harsh,

      You can plan something like below:

      Day 1 : Reach Manali and get the Rohtang Pass permits
      Day 2 : Manali / Solang – Kaza
      Day 3 : Kaza – Dhangkar – Tabo
      Day 4 : Tabo – Pin Valley – Kaza. Do Ki, Kibber in the evening.
      Day 5 : Kaza – Langza – Komik – Hikkim – Kaza / Losar / Chandratal
      Day 6 : Kaza / Losar / Chandratal – Manali
      Day 7 : Reach Delhi by overnight Volvo from Manali

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        Thank you for the reply. But one thing I want to discuss as I heard that at this particular time road condition via Manali to Spiti are not preferred if you are taking your sedan for the journey. So I thought to change the plan and go via Shimla route.
        Please provide you suggestions over this and also what all things I can cover in that.

        • Hi Harsh,

          Well, mountains in Kinnaur are more fragile than the roads of going through Manali to Kaza. Monsoons is not a good time to be in Kinnaur. The road from Manali to Kaza is never recommended for a sedan unless you want to test your driving skills in such region and do not love your car much. There are under bellies hit expected on that route for sure and in case you get careless, you may damage the chamber itself.

  25. Wanderlust on

    Hello dheeraj Is it safe to travel manali-kaza-manali amid kashmir protests now? And pls tell me about the timing of bus from manali to kaza .i want to know if there is any bus after the 5am one ..or even after 8..9 am

  26. Hi Dheeraj,

    Can I complete the Delhi-Manali (Via Spiti)- Leh-Jammu in 14 days (23rd July to August 5th 2016)?

    If Yes, please suggest an itineray for the same. Thanks in Advance

  27. Hi Dheeraj,

    We are planning to cover Manalim Kasol, Spiti, Kheerganga starting from Delhi on the 7th of July earling morning 5 am. We are traveling by our own car(Maruti Ertiga). We want to return back by 14th (making it a 7 days trip). Are we trying to cover a lot of things? What should be our detailed itinerary? Also, I want to add that we dont have any prior experience of driving on difficult terrains. Also, is it possible to hire a driver from Manali to Spiti (in our car) and what are the cab rates for Innova/Ertiga/or any 6-seater car from Manali to Spiti?

    Looking forward to your reply!
    Thanks!

    • Hi Rahul,

      I will suggest following for a 7 days trip:

      Day 1 : Reach Manali and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
      Day 2 : Manali / Solang – Kaza
      Day 3 : Kaza – Dhangkar – Tabo
      Day 4 : Tabo – Pin Valley – Kaza. Do Ki, Kibber in the evening.
      Day 5 : Kaza – Langza – Komik – Hikkim – Kaza / Losar / Chandratal
      Day 6 : Kaza / Losar / Chandratal – Manali
      Day 7 : Start for Delhi

  28. Aditya Madheshiya on

    Hi,

    I am leaving for spiti on 1at July and return on 10th from Delhi, entering from Shimla leaving from Manali. I need to inquire about the staying and accommodation through the route. Also we are two friends going on our own Enfield what are the most important things that needs to be taken care of apart from the basics. We have already done most of our preparations.
    Request you to please advise on this.

    Thanks

  29. Varun Dhiman on

    Hi DOW,
    As per your first recommended option of 3 days from Manali to Kaza, lodging is required at Solang valley, Khoksar and Kaza. Please correct me if I am wrong. I am going from 2nd Jul to 10th Jul and still to book hotels. I have following questions for lodging :

    Q.1 I am planning to get advance booking for Solang Valley. But if I do not get it, are there enough good options available in this valley where we can stay without having advance bookings? We are a double couple coming from Gurgaon to Manali by Ecosport.

    Q.2 For Khoksar & kaza also if we don’t book in advance, what are the chances that we can get good accommodation?

    • Hi Varun,

      With 9 days in hand, I will suggest following itinerary:

      Day 1 : Reach Manali by overnight volvo of and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
      Day 2 : Manali / Solang – Chandratal – Kaza/Losar
      Day 3 : Kaza/Losar – Key – Kibber – Kaza
      Day 4 : Kaza – Langza – Komik – Hikkim – Kaza
      Day 5 : Kaza – Pin Valley – Dhangkar – Tabo
      Day 6 : Tabo – Geyu Mummy – Nako – Kalpa
      Day 7 : Kalpa – Sangla / Chitkul
      Day 8 : Sangla / Chitkul – Sarahan – Narkanda
      Day 9 : Narkanda – Delhi

      It will be much better if you do 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, Koumik) 
      — Hikkim, Komik, Langza circuit 
      Day 7 | Kaza – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal
      Day 8 | Chandratal – Manali
      Day 9 | Manali – Delhi

      • Varun Dhiman on

        Thanks,, for this detailed itinerary

        As I replied on your another post “Best Season to Travel on Road to Spiti Valley”. There are slightest change of plans for this year but definitely my target is to complete this circuit by next year,,,,

        Really impressed with the way you express Himalayas,,,

  30. pranay jaipuria on

    Is it possible to reach kaza from manali in a single day on bike… my friends and I have 6 days in hand and want to stay atleast 3 days at kye monastery .. we will reach manali at around 5 am in morning on the 27th june…but want to be back in delhi by 3rd july as one of my friends has exam on 6th in nagpur..how do we go about things if we want to stay at kye for 3 days?

  31. HI Dheeraj
    i would like to know entire tour cost of per person for lahaul spiti. Also i would like to explore entire valley, so can u recommend best no of days to plan my tour along with accommodation details and best time to visit the valley.

  32. Hi Dheeraj,

    Can you please guide us in planning our itinerary for Spiti Valley trip from 19th to 25th June. As of now, we have planned as per the below schedule. We have our parents along with us, so considering their age (around 55 yrs), can you please suggest amendments to this itinerary.

    19th June- Morning: Reach Kullu from Chandigarh by Volvo & book a cab for Spiti journey.

    20th June- 4 a.m : Start towards Batal, via Rohtang, reach Chandratal parking by 12-1 pm, trek to lake, start return journey towards Batal. Stay overnight at Dorje’s dhaba.

    21st June- Morning: Go towards Kaza. Explore the area. Stay at Kaza/Tabo.

    22nd June: Explore the vicinity.

    23rd June: Morning: Start return journey from Tabo. Stay at Kalpa on the way overnight.

    24th June: Travel from kalpa to Chandigarh.

    1. Which place shall we prefer for staying overnight- Batal or Tabo, since Tabo is at a much lower altitude. But for reaching Tabo same day, what time do we need to start from Kullu to cover Chandratal on the way coz I assume travelling in dark is not advisable?

    2. Since we will be taking cab from Kullu, is any permit required to travel through Rohtang?

    3. From Chandratal parking, how far is the lake and will it be a diffcult trek for parents? Also, how much time does it take to trek to lake from parking?

    4. Since 20th June being a full-moon night, I would have preferred watching the lake at night. Is it fine to stay overnight at the camping sites at Chandratal with parents?

    5. Would you suggest that we return from Tabo via Rohtang or take the Kalpa/Shimla route?

    6. Do you think it would be wiser to visit Chandratal while returning from Kaza via Rohtang, since we would be acclimatised?

    7. Also, do you think it is a good option to take a guide alongwith us who is familiar with the area. If yes, where can I find one?

    8. As a backup option, we were thinking of going to Keylong or Manikaran after visiting Chandratal, if any of us gets affected by AMS. What would you advise on this?

    Thanks!

    • Hello Kirti,

      1. It will be very difficult to reach there by that time. Battal shall be OK though you might feel AMS.

      2. Yes, he should have permit to cross Rohtang Pass

      3. It will take about 15 minutes.

      4. It will be risky of AMS at Battal itself, the higher will go the higher the risk will be. The camps are not besides lake they are at the parking lot

      5. Better come back from Manali side only as Kalpa route is long and tiring on body and you do not have days in hand to do that at ease

      6. Yes, very much.

      7. No, you can do it without any guide.

      8. If you are open to below plan it shall be fine

      19th June- Morning: Reach Manali from Chandigarh by Volvo & book a cab for Spiti journey.

      20th June- 6 a.m : Start towards Kaza and reach there by evening

      21st June- Morning: Kaza – Pin Valley – Tabo

      22nd June: Tabo – Kaza, Ki, Kibber and Langza, Komik

      23rd June: Morning: Kaza – Chandratal – Manali, start by 5 AM from Kaza

      24th June: Travel from Manali to Chandigarh.

    • Dinesh Saharan on

      I am also interested in Spiti velley.. But I am a single person.. can I join you or share a cab with you..?? Plz revert.
      Dinesh
      9555557340

    • Dinesh Saharan on

      I also want to roam in Spiti valley. But me a single person. Can I share a cab with you.
      Plz revert.
      Dinesh
      9555557340

  33. Hey ! Just curious about the buses. You mentioned there are two daily buses but the timing listed is only for one (the 5:00am one). Any chance you know about the second bus? Getting in to Manali from Delhi so will definitely be missing the 5:00am one!

    Cheers!

  34. Shrutya Mahajan on

    I would be going to spiti via manali on 1st june. Would the road be open by june?
    Secondly i would be driving Toyota fortuner automatic. I have heard that one should not prefer an automatic car in these reasons. Is that so?
    My second car is maruti ciaz. Which car should i take.
    Is there any permit required to reach solang valley from manali. As i would be reaching manali in the evening.

  35. Bharath A B on

    Hello,

    We are planning a trip to spiti valley in July 2016.We have 4-5 days to spend around spiti valley.Can someone suggest an itinerary for us to visit the best places around spiti valley in 4 days from manali-spiti valley-manali.It may be possible for us to extend it for another day .
    Thank you!

    • You should do this

      Day 1 | Delhi – Manali and stay overnight at Solang Valley
      Day 2 | Solang – Khoksar/Sissu/Chatru/Batal
      Day 3 | Khoksar/Sissu/Chatru/Batal – Chandratal
      Day 4 | Chandratal – Manali
      Day 5 | Manali – Delhi

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