9 Day Spiti Road Trip – May 2019

Spiti valley is also known as the “Middle Land” is a Trans-Himalayan terrain bordering with Tibet at an average altitude of 4000 meters. Spiti valley is home to some of the oldest monasteries in the Himalayan region like Tabo monastery, Dhankar monastery, Sherkhang monastery, and Kye monastery.

A stronghold of the Buchen Lamas in Pin Valley, Amchis; famous for Tibetan medicine, the fossils of Langza village, highest motorable villages of Komic and Kibber, passes like Kunzum and scenic lakes like Chandrataal. A 1000-year-old culture, beautiful villages, simple, humble people and an out of the world landscape. Come and explore a civilization frozen in time.

A trip that covers the least explored of Himachal with the trip starting from Narkanda and then touching the east most parts of Himachal like Sangla and Kalpa taking the Hindustan Tibet Road with Sutlej (coming from China) all along the way. After covering Kinnaur, you shall drive through the Trans-Himalayan deserts of Spiti valley. Spiti Fixed Departures group tour has been planned in a way that you explore Spiti like a local and at a pace that helps you acclimatize and enjoy at the same time.

Duration: 8 Nights & 9 Days

The trip will span across 8 nights and 9 days of adventure and fun over the high Himalayas of Spiti Valley via Hindustan – Tibet Highway

Highlights of this Group Spiti Trip

  • Visit Kinnaur and the apple belt of Himachal covering Narkanda, Sangla and Kalpa
  • Visit one of the highest motor-able villages in the world – Komic
  • Send postcards from the highest post office in the world – Hikkim
  • Visit Asia’s highest bridge above sea level – Chicham bridge
  • Hike to Dhankar Lake (optional)
  • Hike to the meditation caves in Tabo (optional)
  • Homestay experience in Pin Valley
  • Fossil Excursion at Langza
Route Map for this Shared Group Tour of Spiti Valley
Route Map for this Shared Group Tour of Spiti Valley

Short Itinerary

  • DAY 1: Chandigarh – Narkanda
  • DAY 2: Narkanda – Sangla
  • DAY 3: Sangla – Chitkul – Kalpa
  • DAY 4: Kalpa – Gue – Tabo
  • DAY 5: Tabo – Dhankar – Key – Khibber – Kaza
  • DAY 6: Kaza – Langza – Hikkim – Komic – Pin Valley
  • DAY 7: Pin Valley – Nako
  • DAY 8: Nako – Narkanda
  • DAY 9: Narkanda – Chandigarh

Complete Itinerary of this Spiti Tour

DAY 1: Chandigarh to Narkanda

Everyone reaches Chandigarh by noon and then we head to Narkanda. We hit the lower Himalayas a few kilometers from Chandigarh and head to Narkanda. We shall escape the traffic of Shimla city and enjoy the scenic drive on your way to Narkanda. If time permits, we shall visit the famous Hatu temple and spend some time there. Relax in the evening.

Things to do today: Visit Hatu Peak and Temple.

Hatu Peak Temple
Hatu Peak Temple

DAY 2: Narkanda to Sangla

We shall head out early in the morning after breakfast, visit Hatu temple in Narkanda and hit the road to Sangla valley- one of the most beautiful valleys in India. After Rampur, you shall see the huge construction site of Wangtoo Karcham Dam and the ruthless side of Sutlej River. We shall call it a day after reaching Sangla. Stay in Sangla.

Things to do today: Visit Hatu Peak and Temple if you haven’t on Day 1, Cross Rampur and Karcham Dam on your way. Stop in one of the many famous dhabas for lunch.

Bridges in Kinnaur Spiti
Bridges in Kinnaur Spiti

DAY 3: Sangla to Kalpa via Chitkul

Get up in the morning and enjoy the beautiful view of Sangla valley. You can also see the back side of Kinner Kailash peaks from Sangla. After tea, we head for a walk to Basteri village through the woods and crossing the Baspa River. Walk through the village, the apple and apricot orchards and visit the ancient Badri Narayan temple.

Have breakfast and leave for Kalpa via a visit to Chitkul- the last village on Indo- Tibetan border. The drive to Chitkul is simply out of the world. Head to Kalpa from Chitkul. Enjoy the scenic view Kinner Kailash peaks over a cup of tea in Kalpa. If time permits, we shall visit the Old Shiva Temple and Buddhist Monastery in Kalpa. Enjoy your evening.

Things to do today: Go for a walk around Basteri Village, Visit Badri Narayan Temple, stop in Chitkul, the last village on the Indo-Tibetan border, visit the temple and monastery in Kalpa, explore the village.

Rakcham - Sangla
Rakcham – Sangla

DAY 4: Kalpa to Tabo via Nako and Giu Mummy

Have your breakfast early and head out to enter the cold desert terrain (also known as Trans Himalayan Terrain). As we leave Kalpa, you shall notice the change in terrain where you shall find lesser trees, greenery and increasing rocky, dry kind of mountains- this is when you know that you are entering cold deserts.

We shall take a 10 minutes break at Khab – the confluence of Sutlej and Spiti river which is a beautiful scenic spot for photography. From here we head into the high mountains and climb to a beautiful village called Nako- we shall stop here for lunch. Walk through the village and spend some time next to the lake. Head to the entry point of Spiti from the southern side.

Sumdo where we make our visitor entries before heading to Gue to see the 550-year-old Mummy of a Monk. The mummy is one of its kind in the entire Himalayan region and was found a few years back after an earthquake. You can spend some time wandering around the village and then we head to our final destination of the day- Tabo. By the time we reach it will be evening and the monastery will be shut. So we shall visit the Monastery next morning. Rest in Tabo

Things to do today: Stop at Khab for a view of the confluence of Sutlej and Spiti rivers, stop at Nako for lunch, visit gue village and the 550 yr old mummy of a monk.

Tabo Monastery
Tabo Monastery

DAY 5 : Tabo to Kaza via Dhankar, Key and Kibber

Start your morning with a nice breakfast and a visit to the Ajanta of Himalayas- Tabo Monastery. A 1000-year-old monastery and not even a single day has passed since it’s inception that prayers have not been offered. The murals, wall paintings, and Thangkas will leave you speechless- especially the wall of the 1000 Buddhas in the main sanctum.

We shall walk to the other side of Tabo where we shall visit the caves where the monks used to meditate during ancient times. We shall head out of Tabo and our next stop will be Dhankar Monastery- a 1000 years old monument whose setting is like none other.

Dhankar Monastery hangs on a cliff overlooking the confluence of Spiti and Pin River. Dhankar uses to be the seat of the King in ancient times and the monastery use to follow the sect of the King. The ones who want to check their lung capacity and are adventurous can hike to Dhankar lake which is a 45 minutes hike from Dhankar village. The non-adventurous ones will walk around the village and get ready for Lunch.

Post lunch we visit one of the most famous monasteries of Spiti valley – The Kye Monastery, have a cup of tea with the monks and understand their life. Kye Monastery is the biggest monastery in Spiti valley and is home to a young monk who comes here to follow Buddha’s path.

After spending some time at the Monastery, we head to Kibber village which used to be the highest village in the world sometime back before Komic took that position. Walk and hike around this beautiful village which is also part of a sanctuary. Visit the famous Chicham bridge nearby. Head back to Kaza and relax this evening.

Things to do today: Visit Tabo monastery early in the morning, visit Dhankar village and go for an optional morning hike to Dhankar Lake, lunch in Dhankar, visit Key monastery post lunch and spend some time with the monks, visit Khibber village, hike to Chichum bridge.

Dhankar Monastery
Dhankar Monastery

DAY 6: Kaza to Pin Valley via Langza, Hikkim and Komic

We shall head out to Langza this morning after breakfast. Langza is the 2nd highest motorable village after Komic and is home to Fossil search in the country. If you are lucky then you shall surely find some beautiful fossils while you take a stroll here. To make it a little more interesting at this altitude, the interested ones can hike from Langza to Komic via a small stop at Hikkim. In order not to forget our loved ones, visit the world’s highest post office in Hikkim and post a few postcards to your loved ones.

Trust me you will be amazed looking at the post office here. Head to our last point for the day, Komic and enjoy the spectacular view of snow-capped peaks around over a cup of tea and chat with the monks.

The monastery in Komic is functional in winters when temperatures dip down to -30 degrees and roads get blocked and it will be very interesting to understand life and survival of such happy souls at this altitude.

We shall finish our journey for the day at Mudh village – the entry point of Pin Valley National Park. Stay in a homestay at Mudh and understand the life of locals at this altitude- how they live, what they grow, what they eat, how do entertain themselves, their culture, music, food. Mudh is the starting/ ending point of 2 very famous treks- the Pin Parvati Pass trek and Bhaba Pass trek.

Things to do today: Go fossil hunting in Langza, Send postcards from the highest post office in the world in Hikkim, visit one of the highest motorable villages in the world – Komic.

Langza, where god resides
Langza, where god resides

DAY 7 – Pin Valley to Nako

Before we leave Pin Valley, we will visit Khungri Monastery in Sagnam village which is the stronghold of Buchen Lamas of Nyingma sect of Buddhism in the morning after breakfast. This is a light day, so once you reach Nako you can relax, go on a stroll to the famous Nako Lake and enjoy a quiet evening by the lake.

Things to do today: Visit Khungri monastery, visit Nako lake and go for a stroll around Nako village.

View from the homestays
View from the homestays

DAY 8 : Nako to Narkanda

We leave today early in the morning as it’s a long journey to Rampur. We leave after breakfast and as you leave Spiti you will see the landscape change Kalpa and beyond. We will make some stops along the way at places for pictures. The last night of your trans-Himalayan adventure, you reach the hotel and gather for a last meal together with the entire group. Stay in Narkanda for the night.

Things to do today: Stop for pictures on the way to Narkanda, group dinner at the hotel.

Enjoying the cold weather in Spiti
Enjoying the cold weather in Spiti

DAY 9: Narkanda to Chandigarh andTrip ends

We leave early this morning to Chandigarh after an early breakfast as everyone will have a flight/bus to catch from Chandigarh. We won’t be taking many stops along the way keeping in mind the 7-8-hour journey and the fact that many people have their flights in the evening. Reach Chandigarh airport and say goodbye to the amazing people who shared this journey with you.

Inclusions of Spiti Group Tour

  • All Transport in a Tempo Traveller from Day 2 to Day 7
  • Local Spitian guide on all days
  • Stay in hotels/guesthouses for 6 nights on twin sharing basis and camping near Chandrataal Lake for 1 night on Day 6
  • 3 meals on each day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) from Day 2 to Day 7
  • All activities mentioned in the plan
  • All entry fees to monasteries in Spiti (if any)
  • All Transport in Tempo Traveller from Chandigarh to Chandigarh
  • Local Spitian Guide on all days
  • Accommodation for 8 nights on twin sharing basis
  • 3 meals on each day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) from Day 1 to Day 10
  • All entry fees to monasteries in Spiti (if any)

Exclusions of Spiti Group Tour

  • Snacks and beverages (except the ones with meals)
  • Any kind of insurance
  • GST
  • Cost of any emergency
  • Bus ticket costs
  • Camera Fees
Rock Cut Wonders of Kinnaur
Rock Cut Wonders of Kinnaur

Important Things to Note

Please take a note of below important things about this shared group tour to Spiti Valley.

Minimum Requirements

The trip runs if we have a minimum of 4 confirmed participants. In the event that we don’t get the requisite numbers, we can run with less than 4 participants if participants are willing to pay extra. We will revise the costing according to the no. of participants.

Alternatively, in the event the trip gets canceled, we will reimburse the amount paid to the participants minus any minimal bank charges that may have been cut.

Room Sharing

All stays in guesthouses will be on a twin sharing basis except for homestays where it will be as per the layout of the homestay i.e 2,3 or 4 people in one room basis the size of the room.

Rooms are divided amongst same-sex participants which are most comfortable for solo travelers and friends. Only if there is a couple amongst the group will they get to stay together.

Type of Participants

Our groups usually have participants between the ages of 20- 40 and we have a healthy 50-50 male to female ratio in the group, with friends, couples and solo travelers alike.

Homestays

You shall stay in a homestay for a night where you shall be sharing some space with a local family. It will be a wonderful experience to see the life of people at this altitude and how content they are. Stay and food will be very basic and your host will serve you local cuisine.

Dry Toilets

Since there is a lack of water in cold deserts and carrying water is not easy at such high altitudes- the concept of dry toilets have been prevalent in Spiti since the beginning. In your homestay, you will either get a common bathroom which you will be sharing with your host family or a dry toilet. We can also provide a stool if some people have difficulty squatting but there shall be an extra charge for the same.

Bathing and Hot Water in a Homestay:

Since we shall be around 4000 meters, getting hot water for everyone in a homestay will not be possible. Hot water for drinking shall not be an issue but for bathing, it will not be possible.

Cancellation Policy

In case you need to cancel your plans for the trip due to avoidable/unavoidable reasons, please do notify us in writing regarding the same. The cancellation charges levied will be as follows:

  • 60 – 46 days prior to the date of departure: 10% of the tour cost
  • 45 – 16 days prior to the date of departure: 20% of the tour cost
  • 15 – 8 days prior to the date of departure: 25% of the tour cost
  • 7 – 4 days prior to the date of departure: 50% of the tour cost
  • Less than 72 hours prior to the date of departure: No refund

How to book this 9 Day Road Trip to Spiti Valley in May?

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