Spiti Valley via Kinnaur | How to Plan Your Journey

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Situated high up in the trans-Himalayan territory, Spiti Valley, meaning “the middle land,” is a place to travel at least once in a lifetime or maybe for a person like me now and then in a lifetime. You can travel to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur – Shimla route, or you can take the route to Spiti from Manali side.

How to plan a Spiti Valley trip from Kinnaur side?
How to plan a Spiti Valley trip from Kinnaur side?

In this article, I will share with you the complete travel guide of traveling to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur – Spiti route. I will talk about the route, the best time to travel, the general itinerary of the Spiti Valley road trip as well as all other details that you always wanted to know for traveling to Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh.

Spiti Valley via Kinnaur – Shimla | A Complete Guide

Similar to Leh Ladakh, I am quite fond of traveling to Spiti Valley as well. With Leh Ladakh and Spiti Valley, it is not only the terrain and the landscape which are more or less similar to each other, but even the culture has its history attached or co-related by one or the other means. Spiti Valley is a place that can surely leave you spellbound by its charismatic natural beauty. The journey on the road to Spiti Valley is not far behind in decorating the entire Spiti road trip with a more beautiful landscape and the thrill of adventure.

The road to Spiti Valley, commonly known as Hindustan Tibet Highway, is a destination in itself. This road that runs to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur – Shimla is also termed as one of the treacherous or deadliest roads in the world. Hats off to the efforts of BRO for creating such a gem of a road network to the far-flung trans-Himalayan places like Spiti Valley. In this article of my “How to Travel” series, we will talk about how to plan a journey on the road to Spiti Valley or Hindustan Tibet Highway.

How many days does it take to reach Spiti Valley from Kinnaur side?

To visit this picturesque valley of the trans–Himalayan region, you can take a long three-day journey over NH05 running through Shimla – Kinnaur Valley. You can also tread along the path of Manali and then take Manali – Rohtang Pass – Kunzum Pass – Kaza (Spiti Valley) route as well. Hence, it will take you three days to reach Spiti Valley via Kinnaur and two days to reach Spiti from Manali side.

As a practice and to enjoy the route entirely, it is always better to do the complete circuit for the first time. Then, you can keep coming back to Spiti trips from one or the other route and explore more and more places in Spiti Valley which is quite difficult to explore or cover in just one road trip to Spiti.

That is my ride, sitting high and handsome on road to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur - Shimla
That is my ride, sitting high and handsome on road to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur – Shimla

Is there a problem if I travel to Spiti from the shorter route of Manali?

Sometimes, people traveling or going directly to Spiti Valley or Kaza / Losar from Manali suffer from acute mountain sickness due to the sudden change of altitude with which the body is adapted as Kaza is about 3600 Mtrs high in altitude. However, the route to Spiti Valley from Kinnaur Valley provides a gradual ascent to travelers thus helping them fight any chances of acute mountain sickness (AMS) caused due to high altitudes and letting them enjoy the beautiful vistas in a relaxed manner.

However, when traveling over one of the most adventurous roads of the world that are the Hindustan – Tibet Highway, we all must know about it. Its terrain, the route, and the places that fall on this route, the accommodation, modes of travel, basic amenities on the route, time or season to visit, etc.

This will ensure that you have an unforgettable memory of the trip to Spiti Valley. The journey on the road to Spiti Valley can easily turn into a nightmare if planned incorrectly and can get you in trouble, stranded in the middle of nowhere. In this article of the series, “Comprehensive Travel Guide to Spiti Valley,” I will try to put down all my knowledge for traveling to this road to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur.

Do not forget to check the five reasons to travel to Spiti Valley from Shimla side.

Best Time to Visit Spiti Valley via Kinnaur – Shimla

The road to Spiti Valley via Shimla – Kinnaur remains open all around the year barring days of inclement weather and heavy snowfall in Kinnaur & Spiti. However, if you want to travel to Spiti and do the full circuit of exiting Kaza via Manali side, you will have to travel from June to September – October.

September, in general, is one of the best times to visit Spiti Valley from Kinnaur – Shimla side because roads are pretty much dry and landslides of monsoon settle in Kinnaur Valley.

The winter months from December to March may have intermittent road closures as well due to heavy snowfall on the route. April – May, and October – November is when you will find that the roads to Spiti open from Kinnaur side but closed from Manali side.

To get into the details of the month by month guide on traveling to Spiti Valley and understanding what is the best time to visit Spiti via Kinnaur, please check my article on Best Season to Travel on Road to Spiti Valley

Do you think this is the best time to visit Spiti Valley?
Do you think this is the best time to visit Spiti Valley?

Modes of Travel on Road to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur

When planning a road trip to Spiti Valley, you have many options. You can plan to self-ride by bike, or you can travel in your car. Unlike Leh Ladakh, there is no restriction of outside commercial vehicles, as well. So, you can self-drive your car or rental cars as well. If you are making a budget trip to Spiti Valley, then public transport is also an option to travel to Spiti via Kinnaur.

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 car or own bike, and some also prefer to self-drive or self-ride to Spiti Valley by renting a bike or car. In any case, hired car/bike or personal car/bike, the idea is to live the passion of driving or riding through one of the toughest and adventurous terrains accessible not only in India but the world, i.e., Hindustan – Tibet Highway.

Can I take a rented bike or rented a self-drive car to Spiti Valley?

Unlike Leh Ladakh, where outside rented taxis and rented bikes are not allowed for local sightseeing, in Spiti Valley, you can take your own or rented, car, or bike to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur or Manali. However, one must be careful while driving or riding through slushy roads, snow, and water crossing or nallas that come on the route to Spiti. Also, it is always handy to learn little things about maintenance tasks of your vehicle like fixing a puncture before the start of this arduous road journey to Spiti Valley over Hindustan – Tibet Highway.

What is the best car for Spiti Valley road trip?

Well, there is nothing as such the best car for Spiti Valley road trip. It all depends upon the time you are traveling and your driving skills to travel on such rough roads in the Himalayas. Still, regarding the best-suited cars for the Spiti road trip, an SUV/MUV car with high ground clearance is good to have, and of course, a 4WD SUV will help further in deep water crossings.

However, I have seen hatchbacks (including Altos and Nano) and sedans doing a good enough job on Hindustan – Tibet Highway or in Spiti Valley. If you want to drive your sedan or hatchback to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur, then you must drive with extra care and caution, especially in Kinnaur Valley and the road from Kinnaur to Tabo.

Hindustan Tibet Highway in Kinnaur Valley
Hindustan Tibet Highway in Kinnaur Valley

Tips for a bike ride or self-drive trip to Spiti

Given below are some of the important tips for a road trip to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur – Shimla route.

  • 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 the 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. It will help you get out of the stuck position and use a wooden plank to get out of it.
  • It is always handy to ask your fellow co-travelers 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 travelers in need on the route.

Essential things to carry for a self-drive to Spiti

The basic toolkit, screwdriver 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, a spare tube (must for bikes), Elfy or Fevi quick (2-3 sachets), jump-start cables/wires, car inverter, M-seal to prevent leakage, etc. were among the few things which I carry along on my trip to Ladakh or Spiti Valley.

Also, do not forget to get your vehicle (car/bike) serviced about 2-3 weeks before the start of the trans-Himalayan journey. 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.

Do not forget to check a 40 MUST-HAVE list of things to pack for a self-drive trip to Spiti Valley.

Hiring a Private Taxi | Taxi Number or Private Number

You can also hire a taxi from Shimla or Chandigarh or Delhi to travel on the road to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur Valley. It is always better to hire Xylo or Scorpio, and mostly, the charges range from 3000 to 3500 per day from Shimla depending upon the season of travel, the number of days you will travel, and your bargaining skills. But, if you’re traveling in a group, this might not be that expensive of a proposition.

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 times, drivers from Shimla are good but sometimes they are majorly bogged onto local routes in Himachal Pradesh which are in no comparison to the roads of Trans-Himalayas. So, confirm twice before fixing a deal. Hence, it is best to travel to Shimla and rent a taxi from a known driver who has been to Spiti Valley routes.

You can always get connected with local taxi drivers in this list of taxi drivers in Kinnaur and Spiti Valley.

Further, self-drive cars available in Delhi and Chandigarh are also a great way to travel to Spiti Valley from Delhi. These self-drive cars can easily be booked from your starting location point and sometimes proves less expensive than hiring taxis.

Carved Roads on the way to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur
Carved Roads on the way to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur

HRTC Bus Service & Shared Taxis| Economical mode of travel

HRTC buses ply buses on Chandigarh – Shimla – Reckong Peo – Kaza route along with some semi-deluxe buses as well. You can always reach Shimla from Delhi or Chandigarh by Volvo buses run by both HRTC and HPTDC departments of Himachal Pradesh.

I do not have much idea about the fare, as soon as I get that, I will update it in this section, but regarding the timings, there is one bus that starts from Chandigarh at 5.45 PM and reach Reckong Peo in the morning by 8 AM. Then, there is one bus that leaves Reckong Peo at 7 AM for Kaza by which you can go to Kaza or get down at Tabo which reaches Tabo around 3 PM.

In between, you can also buy yourself a seat in a shared taxi that runs between various places within Spiti Valley. For 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.

Check my article on how to plan a budget trip to Spiti Valley via Public Transport?

Kinnaur Valley Public Transport Bus Schedule
Kinnaur Valley Public Transport Bus Schedule

How to reach Spiti from Kinnaur – Shimla side?

The journey over Shimla to Kinnaur Valley and further to upper Kinnaur and Spiti is a pretty long one. Based on my experience, you can opt to plan a journey on the road to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur or Hindustan – Tibet Highway in one of the following ways –

Three Day Trip on Hindustan – Tibet Highway

It is always better to travel the road to Spiti Valley over Hindustan – Tibet Highway in 3 days. Traveling with sufficient time on hand not only eases out the arduous road trip a bit but also helps your body is well acclimatized to the high altitude of Spiti Valley because you ascend gradually within these three days in terms of altitude. The general breakup of night stays to reach Spiti via Kinnaur is like below:

  • Day 1: Delhi – Narkanda
  • Day 2: Narkanda – Reckong Peo or Kalpa or Sangla
  • Day 3: Reckong Peo or Kalpa or Sangla – Nako – Tabo (Spiti)

On Day 1, you can start easily from Delhi and reach Narkanda by evening where you can relax for the rest of the evening and take overnight rest. After the opening of Panchkula to Parwanoo Toll road, also called Himalayan Expressway, it is quite an easy drive except for jams around Shimla town.

The next day, you can start towards the adventurous journey by first getting down to Rampur where you can halt for the lunch at either HPTDC Satluj Cafe or HPTDC Bhushahar Regency. Food is OK and acceptable though not very good.

Once you cross over Bhawanagar then you will start to experience the bad roads throughout Kinnaur Valley. You can plan to stay at Kalpa which is a bit off from the main highway ahead of Reckong Peo but has many comfortable options of stay available. Or else, you can either plan to stay at Sangla Valley too but it will increase the distance to Tabo on the next day. If you are interested in budget accommodation then you can also opt for a stay at Reckong Peo OR Shongtong Village.

Finally, on the third day, you can start towards Spiti Valley to either stay at Tabo or Kaza. I always like to stay at Tabo so that I am least bothered by AMS and spend at least three nights at a lower altitude before venturing to the high altitude of Kaza. Another advantage of staying at Tabo is that you can cover Pin Valley or Dhankar Monastery on the next day (Day 4) while traveling from Tabo to Kaza.

Two Day Journey from Delhi to Kinnaur to Kaza

In case you are short on days and still want to travel the road to Spiti Valley over Hindustan – Tibet Highway, but in two days, then you need to play with your fatigues levels and go for a long winding drive to Kinnaur on the first day itself. The general breakup is like below:

  • Day 1: Delhi – Peo/Ribba/Jangi (Almost 15+ Hrs drive/ride)
  • Day 2: Peo/Ribba – Tabo

OR, you can also plan like below

  • Day 1: Delhi – Rampur / Tapri
  • Day 2: Rampur / Tapri – Nako – Chango – Tabo

You can start the day in the evening or night or late night say by 2 AM from Delhi and can continue driving/ride till next evening, which is Day 1 to reach either Peo OR Ribba. Please keep in mind that you need to suffer fatigue, you should be accustomed to such long drives in the mountains, and ready to toil for about 15+ Hrs on the road.

You will reach Reckong Peo, or Ribba/Jangi exhausted enough. Peo has some good budgeted accommodation, and Ribba/Jangi ahead of Peo/Powari has just HP PWD Rest Houses.

Another way is to try to reach Rampur or whatever ahead possible. Stay there and again the next morning leaves early to reach Tabo by nightfall.

Again, this two-day trip is not recommended if you are with family or people who love a relaxing trip rather being just on the roads.

Itinerary for Spiti Trip from Shimla – Kinnaur Side

In the above section, you learned about how to reach Spiti from Shimla – Kinnaur side. However, it does not talk about a detailed day-by-day plan to plan such a trip. I will recommend that if you are not making a circuit trip, then you can follow my itinerary of a trip to Spiti from Shimla – Kinnaur only.

Trip to Spiti Valley from Shimla side in 10 days
Trip to Spiti Valley from Shimla side in 10 days

Sightseeing on Road to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur

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

Shimla, Narkanda (Hatu Peak, Tanijubbar Lake), Daranghaati, Kinnaur Valley (Sarahan, Kalpa, Sangla, Chitkul), Nako Lake, Khab, Shipki La Pass, Mummy at Geyu Village, Moorang Fort etc.

Special thanks to Dhananjay for a couple of amazing routes mentioned below as tips for a pleasant change in case you are repeating the journey some twice or thrice. However, keep in mind that because these are link roads, they will take more time while reaching your destination as compared to a quite wider national highway. But, these new routes can be a retreat from the busy National highway in his words ;).

Anyways, he suggests, you can travel like:

  • Look at the ridgeline road option from Narkanda till Sarahan. From Narkanda to Baghi, Khadrala, Sungri, Bahli, Taklech, uphill to Daranghati, down to Mashnu, Kinnu, Gharat and then Sarahan.
  • Also from Kalpa, the route to Pangi, Rarang, Jangi and then down to Kiran Khud just three km before Spillo can also be followed to get a different feel on this road trip to Spiti via Kinnaur.
BRO Creates, Connects and Cares… So, true…
BRO Creates, Connects, and Cares… So, true…

List of Accommodation or Stay Options

Among three of the topmost adventurous roads of India, Hindustan – Tibet Highway or the road to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur, is much better than its competitor Manali – Leh Highway in terms of accommodation options it offers.

You can find a decent place to stay within 70 odd km at max on this route from Shimla to Kaza. At some places like beyond Jeori, while going from Shimla, the accommodation options could be a minimal and basic guesthouse or homestay type, including HP PWD Guest Houses widely spread across this tribal belt.

On the other hand, the places like Shimla, Narkanda, Rampur, Reckong Peo, Sangla, Kalpa, etc. do offer a varied amount of accommodation options which may suit the budget for different pockets. So, it is always better to break the journey at Shimla/Narkanda, than in Kinnaur at Kalpa, Peo, or Sangla Valley.

You can check this preferred list of places to stay on Kinnaur and Spiti Valley road trips.

HPTDC Cafe Satluj, Rampur
HPTDC Cafe Satluj, Rampur

HP PWD Rest Houses – Decent Option of Stay

Apart from private accommodation options, you can also go ahead and vouch for many PWD Rest Houses along the entire road to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur – Shimla. The PWD guest houses are comfortable and economical but may not suit the needs of every family due to the cleanliness and food offered. 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 and your food, I will recommend them to save money!! You can always refer to my article on How to Book HP PWD Rest Houses or FRHs

Please keep in mind that Kalpa and Sangla – Chitkul are not exactly on Hindustan – Tibet Highway and you need to take diversions near Karcham for Sangla Valley and near Powari towards Reckong Peo – Kalpa. Hence, keep in mind when doing hotels bookings on your road trip to Spiti Valley from Kinnaur side.

Narkanda on Hindustan - Tibet highway
Narkanda on Hindustan – Tibet highway

Acclimatization & its importance on Road to Kaza from Kinnaur

Like Manali – Leh Highway, the journey on the road to Spiti Valley over Hindustan – Tibet Highway is quite treacherous, in fact, more than it. However, this route goes through a gradual increase in altitude, thereby helping your body to get acclimatized properly for the high altitude of Spiti Valley.

That is why traveling to Spiti from Hindustan – Tibet Highway is always preferred for a road trip to Spiti Valley as compared to traveling 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, thereby decreasing the chances of being hit by AMS.

In the return leg, you can come back to Delhi from Spiti via Kaza – Kunzum Pass – Manali route and complete the entire Spiti circuit. Coming back via the Manali side 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 even on Hindustan – Tibet Highway, it is always good that you take little precautions to minimize the effects of high altitude sickness further. Here are some tips which will help to acclimatize the body faster in the first few days of the trip:

  • Try to reach Spiti Valley or perhaps Kaza with at least three-night stays over Hindustan – Tibet Highway viz. Narkanda, Kalpa, Tabo and then finally Kaza on the fourth night.
  • Keep your body properly hydrated.
  • Try and avoid sleeping at high altitudes earlier in the trip.
  • Better limit or avoid overexertion
  • 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 an upright position, if possible.
  • Carry preventive medicines for AMS after consulting your doctor.
  • Immediately descend, if symptoms increase.

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

Gateway to Kaza
Gateway to Kaza

Fuel or Petrol Pumps on route to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur

You will be able to find fuel pumps only at Shimla, Theog, Narkanda, Rampur, Jeori, Tapri, Reckong Peo, and Kaza. It is essential not to miss to refuel at Kaza as well as maybe Reckong Peo or Tapri if you are staying at Kalpa or Peo.

There used to be one fuel pump at Powari, but during my recent visit to Spiti Valley, that was not functional. However, there is a new Petrol Pump at Tapri now. Also, there comes a petrol pump once you cross Rampur town completely whose quality is good enough along with the Narkanda Fuel pump.

I only use Narkanda, the last fuel pump at Rampur (while going from Shimla), and Kaza to refuel petrol in my car.


As per my knowledge, there are ATMs available only at Shimla, Reckong Peo, and Rampur. There is an ATM at Kaza as well now but its working condition may be a question at times.

Hence, it is advised that you carry enough cash from home or Shimla, Reckong Peo, and Rampur. I guess you should carry enough cash with you on any trans-Himalayan trips because ATMs at these limited places can run out of money or become un-operational at any day or time.

Attractions in Spiti Road Trip from Shimla

Generally, the places on Road to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur including Hindustan – Tibet Highway goes like Shimla – Kufri – Narkanda – Rampur – Jeori – Tapri – Karcham – Powari – Akpa – Moorang – Spillow – Puh – Khab – Nako – Maling – Chango – Shialkhar – Sumdo – Tabo – Kaza.

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

Hindustan – Tibet Road Altitude & Distance Graph

Click on the picture to enlarge
Road to Spiti Valley from Shimla Altitude & Distance Graph
Road to Spiti Valley from Shimla Altitude & Distance Graph

You may also check this less than 3-minute video on DevilOnWheels YouTube Channel on these five reasons to take Shimla to Kaza route instead of Manali to Kaza. If you like my video, please do not forget to SUBSCRIBE to the YouTube channel.

Why travel to Spiti Valley from Shimla Kinnaur side?

Facilities or Amenities on Hindustan – Tibet Highway

Here is a summary of important facilities or amenities that comes along as you make a Spiti Valley road trip from the Shimla – Kinnaur route.

Accommodations / Stay OptionsRegarding hotels and guest houses, there are lots of options between Shimla and Jeori, then Shontong, Sangla, Reckong Peo, Kalpa, Puh, Nako, Chango, Tabo, Kaza, Dhangkar, Pin Valley, Losar.
Even on smaller villages in between along the whole route, there are lots of HP PWD Rest Houses, FRH Rest Houses, and a few IPH Rest Houses. Refer accommodation section for complete lists.
Food / BeveragesLots of options up to Powari, then a few options at every other small village/hamlet up to Kaza.
Diesel / Petrol PumpsShimla, Theog, Narkanda, Rampur, Jeori, Tapri, Reckong Peo, Kaza There was one at Powari too but think it has been closed and Tapri has a new one, dated May 2013
Mobile ConnectivityMost of the connections work throughout the route but once you cross Powari, the other connections start dying, and eventually from Ribba – Akpa belt only BSNL works, and that too in between only.
Of course, BSNL has more coverage and better connectivity within this range than any other operator. Other operators like Airtel, Vodafone, Aircel, etc. work up to Powari – Ribba – Akpa but with poor connectivity.
Even BSNL loses connectivity too in between, at places from Akpa – Jangi – Nako – Tabo – Kaza route.
SMS does work fine for both BSNL.
Packet data works with BSNL that too with EDGE only. It is very slow and terrible.
Beyond Kaza, only limited connectivity, and at Losar, if the light/electricity is coming then its tower gets the supply and your mobile comes alive.
You should refer to my tips on mobile connectivity in Spiti Valley.
Fixed PhonesAlmost all the towns/villages en-route Spiti Valley have fixed landline telephone connectivity and I wonder if there is any town that lacks it, apart from very tiny hamlets.
ElectricityAlmost all the towns/villages en-route Spiti Valley have electricity and I wonder if there is any town that lacks it, apart from very tiny hamlets.
Medical FacilitiesThe majority of the villages en-route Spiti Valley have medical facilities as local dispensaries and some big towns like Reckong Peo, Rampur, Kaza, etc. have bigger hospitals. You can get basic to mediocre medical treatments at these facilities en-route.
ATMsShimla, Rampur, Reckong Peo, Kaza (But always carry enough cash)
Mechanic / Puncture ShopsFrom Shimla to Jeori, you will find many mechanic shops with almost every village passing by. Then, you will find it at Tapri, Reckong Peo, near Akpa, Spillo, Puh.
Do not miss the mechanic shop at Puh for air or puncture or some minor repairs as nothing will be there up to Kaza almost.
Not sure about Tabo, but you will find one big mechanic shop at Kaza, just ahead of Sakya Tangyud monastery.
Liquor ShopsShimla, Rampur, Reckong Peo, Kaza. There could be more in between but the rest I am not aware of 😉


Have you ever been to Spiti Valley through Hindustan – Tibet Highway or via Manali? If yes, please share your viewpoints, suggestions, or inputs as comments below and help other fellow travelers to plan their journey on one of the treacherous BUT beautiful highways of the world that is Hindustan – Tibet Highway. In the next article, I am going to talk about traveling to Spiti Valley from Manali side.

Have a travel question?? You can follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel to ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram or comment on my YouTube videos.

Are you planning to go to Spiti Valley via Hindustan – Tibet Highway or Manali? If yes, please feel free to ask any questions or doubts you have regarding your plan either in the comments section OR my Instagram account. I will be happy to reply and discuss them with you.

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  1. Comments section gets closed in 90 days. To ask your travel questions, you can follow my YouTube Channel for a faster reply or for a much slower reply follow me on Instagram. :)

  2. Aman Mahajan on

    what all things we can cover from 23rd of june to 26 from manali to kaza, as we are on road trip.
    we are 5 people. and where we cam place our tents near manali (no to trekking). is it safe to place our tents in kaza open area roadside ?

    thank you.


    Dear Dheeraj,

    I want to travel to kinnaur and spiti valley with a total 360 degree from shimla to manali on around mid of sept. Can you please suggest me one perfect itinerary in this route?


    • Ajay chauhan on

      Dear Dheeraj, I want to travel to spiti in last week of June and we have ford aspire car is it ok to travel in this area with sedan car please suggest me.

      • Ajay, you are definitely going to struggle between Kunzum Pass to Batal – Gramphu – Rohtang Pass but rest should be manageable. I am not saying it is not possible as I have driven my dZire to almost all parts of Himalayas but it is tough and need sacrifices to the car at times.

  4. Dear Dhiraj

    Thanks for your reply, one more thing I want to know that whether month of August is ok for visiting Spiti or which is best time to visit, due to some work I want to visit in August only.

    • Munesh, you will have to face the monsoon hassles in such a case in Kinnaur and lower hills from Manali side. Landslides are pretty common in lower hills on heavy rain days. Once you enter Spiti, being rain shadow region, it hardly rains in Spiti but it remains overcast at times.

      • Dear Dhiraj

        Thank for reply, whether I have to get any permission for visiting spiti, or being an Indian citizen I can move with my id anywhere.


        • No permits are required for Indians in case you travel from Shimla side and come from Manali side. In case you travel from Manali side, you need to get Beyond Rohtang Pass permits.

  5. hi Dheeraj,

    scooter/scooty rides are possible on this route in june???

      • ahh i have been to uttrakhand 2-3 times (kedarnath,badrinath) and a small part of ladakh(on scooty),i know this will be different and difficult ride and i can not compare it with my previous rides…

        • Yes Rachna, this will be altogether different, tiring and challenging. I will not advice you to take a scooty on this route if you are not experienced with riding scooty/scooter, fixing repair or punctures on your own. The roads are desolated at places, the water streams are violent on Manali – Kaza road and Kinnaur – Kaza has the possibility of punctures with no mechanic in miles to fix it.

  6. Dear Dhiraj

    I am planning a trip of Spiti valley from Ahmedabad with my family and two kids of age 12 and 6 years on my own vehicle (SUV), in last month I have travelled to Tawang, Selapass at 13700 ft. now can you suggest ideal itinerary ( I am planning for 15 days trip from Ahmedabad).


  7. Amar Acharya. on

    hi Dheeraj, I am planning a trip to Spiti Valley with a close friend of mine on bicycle. Can u suggest how do i plan the trip. I will start from Shimla. I have planned to go like this: Shimla-Narkanda-Rampur-Sarahan-Wangtu-Kalpa-Spello-Pooh-Nako-Tabo-Pin Valley-Kaza-Kibber-Losar-Batal-Chandra Taal-Rohtang Pass-Vashist-Manali. Am planning to return to Shimla from Manali by bus.
    Please help me by giving ur valuable suggestions.
    Thanks and Regards,,
    Amar Acharya.

    • Hi Amar,

      I will suggest something like below based on days you have in hand

      Simla – Narkanda / Sainj
      Narkanda / Sainj – Rampur
      Rampur – Sarahan
      Sarahan – Tapri
      Tapri – Sangla / Kalpa
      Kalpa – Puh
      Puh – Nako
      Nako – Tabo
      Tabo – Pin Valley
      Pin Valley – Kaza
      Kaza – Ki – Kibber
      Ki – Kibber – Langza – Komik
      Komik – Demul – Lhalung
      Lhalung – Lingti – Kaza
      Kaza – Rangrik – Losar
      Losar – Chandratal
      Chandratal – Batal – Chota Dhara – Chatru
      Chatru – Gramphu – Khoksar / Sissu / Marhi
      Khoksar / Sissu – Rohtang Pass – Marhi – Manali

  8. Aman Verma on

    Hello Dheeraj Sir,
    Thanks a lot for the information that you have provided, it is very helpful.

    We are 5 persons planning for spiti in maximum 6 days from delhi.
    We are planning to travel from 20 may so have to take the shimla-kinnaur way towards spiti as we have no other option.
    The points for which I want your kind suggestions are-
    1. Is it better to take our private taxi from delhi for the entire travel or to take a taxi from shimla? For me the point is, it is always better to have a known driver rather an unknown one.
    2. Do we have to pre book all the hotels and accommodations on each and every stop of our 3 day journey or we can get them on the spot (a decent accommodation) ??


    • IN 6 days it will be very hectic trip to Spiti valley with most time on the road only. Best is to have the taxi from Shimla as those are the best known people on those roads. Prebooking hotels will not be required.

      Day 1: Delhi – Shimla / Narkanda
      Day 2: Shimla / Narkanda – Kalpa
      Day 3: Kalpa – Nako – Nako Lake – Tabo
      Day 4: Tabo – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake – Pin Valley – Kaza
      Day 5: Kaza – Ki, Kibber, Komik, Hikkim
      Day 6: Kaza – Tabo – Nako – Kalpa – Rampur/Jeori (very long day)
      Day 7: Rampur/Jeori – Delhi (again a long day)

      You can get connected directly to some drivers in Spiti Valley or Kinnaur Valley at the link: List of Taxi Drivers for Spiti Valley & Kinnaur Valley. These drivers can come and pick you up from Manali / Shimla / Delhi / Chandigarh too, of course with a price of pickup as well.

      The rates of the taxis are about Rs 3000-3500 per day depending upon the number of days you plan to travel, more the days, less the price.

      Otherwise, taxis in general are also available on the spot from Shimla or Manali from respective taxi stands


    Thank to you for sharing info about spiti valley .
    I m planning a 5 day trip in spity valley . KINDLY HELP ME WITH A ITENARY .
    im reaching shimla by train on 26 th of may . 27 28 29 30 31 are my dates june 1 2 im heading back to chennai .
    thanking you ,
    vignesh m

    • Vignesh, 5 day trip to Spiti valley is very hectic but stil I can tell you a feasible yet hectic plan:

      Day 1: Shimla / Narkanda – Kalpa
      Day 2: Kalpa – Nako – Nako Lake – Tabo
      Day 3: Tabo – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake – Pin Valley – Kaza
      Day 4: Kaza – Ki, Kibber, Komik, Hikkim
      Day 5: Kaza – Tabo – Nako – Kalpa – Rampur/Jeori (very long day)
      Day 6: Rampur/Jeori – Delhi (again a long day)

      • Thank you very much Dheeraj 🙂 .
        i shall try to extend it to 7 days .

  10. puneet khurana on

    I am going 2 plan spiti valley in mid April…whether it is possible to cover delhi to spiti I’m 2 dayz via shimla?
    Where should I reach at first night to complete d way in 2 dayz

  11. Hello Dheeraj,

    Your blog took me to Tungnath few years back and again your Spiti blog taking me there..this time with my better half. 🙂

    Looking to do entire circuit with Bike. planning for around 10-12 days with few small treks like Chandrataal.
    I m still not sure about going by bike as I have never done biking in himalayas,only in western ghats.

    So asking you if it safe and advisable to do by bike alone-only two of us? what should be good months to do- early in Mid-June or in September? If something goes terribly wrong with bike in between- how to deal with that-possibility of any mechanic can come from nearby and check it ?

    Hope you can answer 🙂

    • That;s wonderful to know Akash 🙂

      I will recommend September month for the trip but please keep in mind that you will surely face some challenges especially on Manali – Kaza road and if you are not much used to bikes, well, the challenge can seems really arduous. Mechanic will not be there but well, it is a route that is frequented by travellers so someone will surely help you out 🙂

      You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Spiti Valley followed by many travellers including me at the link here for 10-11 days: Most Common Itinerary for Spiti Valley.

      • Thank you Dheeraj for advice..!

        Only purpose of going there by bike is independently we can go anywhere and change plan according to conditions without worrying about transport.

        I always prefer 2-3 buffer days if I go super tired or something breaks.. with Bus its very straightforward, with strict timings, we can go/stay at certain places only ..and Taxi for 7-8 days will be a costly affair.

        Will definitely keep your advice before final decision 🙂

        • Sure Aakash, makes sense. Take it easy and it should be OK in such a case. Many people entice by the luring pictures and make rushed plans which increases the difficulty level of doing these trips.

  12. Sampa Paul on

    We 5 persons go to simla via Saharan,sangla,chitkul,kalpa,kaza,and manali how much money spent for10day hotels rate .?tell me minimum rate of hotels.

  13. Sampa Paul on

    We will go Chandigarh 2 kalpa nd kunjum pass to manali 15th may to 27 may .this time open kunjum pass road .

    • Sampa, usually the Manali to Kaza road over Kunzum Pass opens by second week of June, so on above dates it is unlikely that Manali to Kaza road will be open because this year there has been lot of amount of snowfall

  14. Sampa Paul on

    We r 5 persons .we will go to Chandigarh via Saharan to kunjum pass.l want to know how much money spent for tata sumo?pls ans

        • Sampa, usually the Manali to Kaza road over Kunzum Pass opens by second week of June, so on above dates it is unlikely that Manali to Kaza road will be open because this year there has been lot of amount of snowfall

  15. Shivam Rathore on

    I m planning to visit spiti on march ,can you please tell me is this the correct season to visit

    • Shivam, Spiti in march is still harsh and frozen. If you are used to such conditions then only plan a trip as even the hotels will be closed and only home stays will be working condition, so make sure you are determined to make such a trip else plan the trip in season time.

  16. Viveck Karwanyoon on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    you have set up such a useful and informative site here. it is really heartening to get such extensive and reliable information about one of the most exciting but elusive (illusive in terms of information) stretch. I must commend and thank you for the same.
    I plan to visit the Spiti valley in the last week of this march with my wife and two daughters and i need a little information. If you could help.
    1. My kids have been hankering me to do a camping holiday, hence I was thinking if I could carry our own camping gear on this trip. the question is , a) will the weather be suitable for tenting in the places on the route ? b) is it safe to tent with three women ? c) are there places where we can pitch our own tents?
    2. How many places will be accessible during this period like chandratal, kibber, MUDH etc?.
    await your response.
    warm Regards

  17. sir,i m planning to go spiti velly in this may. we r three members.which route i shoud select shimla to kaza or manali to kaza?can we go rampur by bus from shimla and then hire a taxi to kaza from there?

  18. Surajit Sengupta on

    Hi Dheeraj

    I am planning to visit Spiti valley in the first week of October (8 October to 15 October). Since none of my friends really showed up, I’ll have to go there alone. I am planning on hiring a bike, although I have no experience of driving in rough terrain. Now I am confused whether I should take the Manali-Kaza route or Shimla- Kaza route, keeping factors like snow fall and rough terrain in mind.
    Will be ever grateful if you can help me choose the better route of the two available, for I will be going for sure, be it with or without anyone.

    • Surajit, if you do not have experience of riding in rough terrain I will strongly not advice you to do Spiti Valley on your own alone as they are one of the worst roads you might have come across.

  19. Jitender Bhateja on

    Hey Dheeraj,

    Me and my 5 friends are planning a trip to Chandratal Lake, we are primarily looking to spend a night at Chandratal lake in the second week of October. Below is the rough itinerary, can you please suggest how feasible this is:

    Day 1: Leave for Manali from Delhi, Himachal Tourism Bus.
    Day 2: Reach Manali, eat Breakfast and leave for Batal, acclimatize and stay overnight in tent at Batal.
    Day 3: Take a local sumo/cab for Chandratal Lake. Stay Overnight at Chandratal Lake.
    Day 4: Chandratal Lake to Manali. Stay overnight at Manali.
    Day 5: Manali to Delhi.

    Can we expect accommodation and dinner/food supply at Chandratal Lake in second week of October or we need to take the same with us.

    Thanks in anticipation.

    • Keep in mind that it will be freezing cold night at Chandratal during the month of October. You can rest at PWD Rest house in Batal or Uncle Dorje dhabha. You have to have a cab with you, no cab will be available at Batal to take you to Chandratal.

  20. hi, we 4 friends are planning a round trip from Shimla to Spiti Valley covering Manali and Sangla on motorbikes in 7 days. Please suggest suitable time period and how much it may cost us approximately.

    • Jatin, you can follow below plan:

      Day 1 : Reach Manali by overnight volvo of and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
      Day 2 : Manali / Solang – Chandratal – Kaza. Leave early morning from Manali to see Chandratal too.
      Day 3 : Kaza – Rest Day. Evening pay a visit to Ki, Kibber
      Day 4 : Kaza – Langza – Komik – Hikkim – Kaza – Tabo
      Day 5 : Tabo – Geyu Mummy – Nako – Kalpa
      Day 6 : Kalpa – Sangla / Chitkul – Sarahan / Rampur
      Day 7 : Sarahan / Rampur – Delhi, long drive back

  21. Mansi Singhal on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are a group of 5 people who are planning a trip via Chandigarh – Rampur – Sangla – Tabo – Kaza – Manali – Chandigarh in a self drive SUV (Duster) between 14th – 22nd August with 2 of us to drive.

    Do you suggest this as a good time to travel ?

    • Mansi, you may be going to face monsoon hassles in lower hills and once you cross Kinnaur, you will enter the rain shadow region of Spiti Valley where there wont be much rains. It will mostly be cloudy and overcast with light rains if at all. The weather at yr.no shows partial clouds, light rains during this period in Kalpa and around.

  22. Hi Dheeraj,

    I am back in manali after a ladakh trip. I will be leaving to spiti via kinnaur on 6th morning. Driving a swift diesel 2010 model. The overwhelming advice from locals at khoksar was not to try gramphoo baltal road on a hatchback. Traveling with my wife and have time to do it via kinnaur. So, back to manali now. What do you suggest regarding itineray. I would like to include chandratal.
    We have 6 days in hand and have to reach Bangalore by 15th.

    Also, I saw a road to sangla from manali via Aut, Bandar, shoja, Tinman and Rampur. Need your advice on that.

    As I will be leaving very early tomorrow, a quick response is highly appreciated.

    • Vageesh, well, it will surely be challenge to take a hatchback on Gramphu – Batal road. If you really want to accept the challenge, you can take the risk but leave by 4 AM so that water crossings have less water by the time you reach there. Else take a taxi and do Spiti trip and come back. In 6 days in hand, you can easily do

      Day 1 : Manali / Solang – Kaza
      Day 2 : Kaza – Dhangkar – Tabo
      Day 3 : Tabo – Pin Valley
      Day 4 : Pin Valley – Kaza. Do Ki, Kibber in the evening.
      Day 5 : Kaza – Langza – Komik – Hikkim – Chandratal
      Day 6 : Chandratal – Manali

      Or you can take the route from Shoja – Jalori Pass on your own car and visit Sangla – Chitkul – Kalpa in these 6 days:

      Day 1 | Manali – Shoja – Jalori Pass – Rampur – Sarahan
      Day 2 | Sarahan – Sangla
      Day 3 | Sangla – Chitkul – Sangla
      Day 4 | Sangla – Kalpa
      Day 5 | Kalpa – Narkanda
      Day 6 | Back home

  23. Hi Dheeraj,
    First of all I want to thank you for writing such lovely and informative articles. You are really the king of himalayas :).
    I am planning a trip from chandigarh to Kaza in a 4×4 suv. Sadly it is a short 5 day trip from 13th aug to 17th aug. Need your inputs in the below iterery.

    Day1: chandigarh – kalpa/peo
    Day2: kalpa – mud/sangnam(pin valley)
    Day3: mud – kaza – ki – kibber – losar
    Day4 losar – Chandrtal – manali
    Day5 manali – Chandigarh

    Chandrtal is 1 place I really want to cover, that is why i am planning to stay in losar.

    • Well it looks OK to me but have been better that you stay at Kaza only on Day 3 and next day moved to Chandratal as an easy drive afeter covering Langza, Hikkim. Needless to stay it is prone to AMS and very hectic.

      • Thanks for your inputs. Just wanted to clear is kaza – Chandratal – manali possible in single day? Is there any other place between kaza and losar where we can get accommodation.

        • No, you can either reach Losar or Batal or Chandratal after Kaza to stay. Yes, if you leave early morning Kaza to Chandratal to Manali is possible

  24. Hi Dhiraj I am Sandhu from Haryana. And want to go Kinnaur to spiti. But I am alone or one more. Wht date sute me. And I need to come here. U can call me 9996399964 pls msg first on whatsapp. Soon

      • Jitin pal on

        Ya many things which month suitable for shimla to kinnaur and spiti. What auto motor we use. What the need items in bag pack and what the price of trip many more bcos its my first.9996399964 my no pls call me but first msg me on whtsap

  25. Vinay Rawat on

    I am planning to visit Spiti valley with friend by car by the end of august. please tell me is it right time to visit spiti valley.


    Vinay Rawat

      • vinay Rawat on

        Hello Dheeraj,

        Is swift will be ok for travel on this route? because Ground Clearance of swift is 170 mm.


        Vinay Rawat

        • Vinay, it will definitely take a beating on these roads of Kinnaur and Spiti. The road from Gramphu to Battal in Spiti Valley will be a hell road and would definitely test driving and patience skills with low GC vehicle. Expect some bruises in under belly of the car on that route.

  26. Rashmi Ranjan on

    Dear Dheeraj,
    Thanks for detailed information. We are two family going on a 7 day trip to losar village in spiti.
    We are 4 adults and 3 kids age 9,4 and 2 yrs.
    Our vehicle will be Tata Zest diesel which has 165 mm ground clearance.
    Our itinerary is as follows:
    August 9: Delhi to Narkanda
    August 10: Narkanda to Kalpa
    August 11: Kalpa to tabo
    August 12:. Tabo to Losar
    August 13,14,15 : losar as base with visit to chandratal, key monastery and few other villages.
    August 16: losar to Manali
    August 17: manali to delhi
    Can you suggest if the plan is good or not considering 3 children with us.
    Is tata Zest will be ok for travel on this route?
    If not till which city we can go by tata Zest and from there we can hire local car for further journey.?

    In case we change our car and need to return via similar route through Narkanda, what are the places we should stay enroute without repeating the same locations.
    Is August is ok to travel to spiti valley.
    We need vey calm and lonely places and hate crowd. Hence can you suggest us places where we can stay while returning.
    Personally I hate manali due to crowd?
    What precaution we should take for children and adult specially AMS.

    • Hi Rashmi,

      Why is Losar base to visit Chandratal and other places, any specific reason. Well, Losar is a harsh and high place and you are going with kids. Bodies will not be acclimmatized by then. If you afraid of crowd, well, you can stay at Rangrik at Spiti Sarai, 7 KMs ahead of Kaza. Ki, Kibber, Langza, Komik, etcc. places are far more closer to Kaza and it makes more sense to stay in Kaza as you have better places to stay and better facilities at disposal in case required. With 2 yr kid, I will not recommend sleeping at Chandratal at all or will say skip it. If required, You can go over and stay at Sissu or Khoksar from Kaza whie doing Chandratal.

      • Rashmi Ranjan on

        Dear Dheeraj,
        We are not staying at Chandratal. Though we will be visiting chandratal.
        We will be spending the whole day in losar on 12th and 13th August at our guest house to acclimatize . Is 2 day not enough to acclimatize for us.
        I just randomly picked losar as very less people stay there and I found nomads place a good place to stay.
        If you say I can increase a day at guest house to acclimatize. Please suggest. Due to acclimatization issue I had selected higher altitude stopover. In case acclimatization will not happen in this itinerary. Can you suggest which place should we make our base for 12-16 August. After tabo or before tabo for 4 days. Our earlier plan was a night halt at Sissu only when I was planning via manali. But I dropped the idea because I do not want to stay at manali or solang valley. and altitude change seemed to me very drastic and was more afraid of road condition from manali to losar.
        Please help me suggesting a lonely alternative to losar if possible in case you find my itinerary not suitable for proper acclimatization.

        • Hi Rashmi,

          That is what I suggested. You cannot be acclimatized to sleep at altitude of Losar after sleeping at Tabo and with kids it is a high risky situation. I will not suggest at all. I will suggest that you stay at Rangrik which is just 8 KMs from Kaza, away from hustly bustle and quite village. Offers views of the valley and near by Spiti river streams. From there only the roads to Ki-Kibber goes up and you can easily visit these places including Langza, Hikkim, Komik too. So, spend the two days at Rangrik instead of Losar and visit these places at very ease.

          Then, you should leave at 7 AM from Rangrik, go over to Chandratal spend couple of hrs there and move back towards Battal. Have lunch at Battal dhabha at uncle Dorje place and from Batal leave for either Khoksar PWD Rest house, if there if no availability you can move ahead to Sissu to stay at Hotel Triveni or any other up there. This way you will distribute the journey to Manali and will be able to enjoy the Chandratal for couple of hrs too. If you get the stay at Khoksar, nothing like it but Sissu is just 30-35 minutes ahead with fine roads from Khoksar. Next morning you can cross over Rohtang Pass from Khoksar or Sissu to Manali.

  27. Hiren Pandya on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Just wanted to tell that You are awesome.

    I am going on your suggested itinerary in 9 days.
    Delhi–Narkanda-kalpa-nako-tabo-dhankar-pin valley-kaza-chandratal-manali-delhi

    The dates are 13 Aug – 21 Aug.

    I read in your multiple blogs that avoid Monsoon in Kinnaur valley. I just want to ask your advice on few questions –
    is it impossible to make this trip in mentioned dates?
    Or if we have 2 spare days can we still make it facing few troubles?
    We will be traveling in a Fiat-Linea (sedan) which has 185 mm ground clearance. Will linea make it?

    • 1. It will be monsoons, Kinnaur is not a place to be in monsoons.
      2. No one can predict that but of course in monsoons, you will need buffer days.

      You will have to face slush, the road from Tapri – Urni will be in mess then once you start towards Nako from Kalpa, then it will be in mess at places in between. With rains, slush will make it a little more difficult if you are not used to driving on such roads.

  28. Hi guys, thank you for the great info. you’ve really inspired me. I’ve decided to go this season to spiti & kinnaur but I plan on doing it mostly by foot – do you think its possible to walk on the motorable road or is it too dangerous?

  29. Abhishek Roy on

    Hi i have been reading the comprehensive guide to spiti valley in the DOW website and i must say its wonderful.. i am planning for a solo roadtrip to spiti via kinnaur and back to manali during late August-September.. the guide has covered everything (almost) but i have few querries.. please take some time out and reply :-
    1)as i would be travelling solo(or at max if i can persue one of my friend to join) ,can i hire a dZire for may be 2500 per day(keeping in mind that DUV/MUV’s charges around 3000 per day)? Please note that i am looking out for cost cutting but also am sceptical about travelling in buses or shared taxis because it reduces the flexibilty of ” viewing the road trip ” to the fullest and also by travelling in a private car i have the option to halt during the journey to few more places on the way ..
    2) We only have to pay for the car or do we also need to pay for the driver’s fooding and lodging?
    3)i have read the article on homestayshotels around spiti . Is it advisable to book them prior or do spot booking ?the travel time would be around august end or september begining !!

    Once again thanks for whatever you are doing here …..:)

    • Vikas sharma. on

      Hi. I m Vikas from chd.
      Suggest me abt route condition from Mandi to sangla via Jalori. Any extra precautions for route Banjar, Shoja, luhri.
      1. Mandi-sangla
      3. Sarahan-Chandigarh

        • Hi Dheeraj

          Thanks for your excellent articles on Himalayan travels.We have often used to plan our trips. We are now planning to go to Sangla later this week. Due to the weather and the fact that we have aFord Figo, we decided not to go all the way to Kaza, and just stick to the Sangla area. The only thing is we are starting from Jalandhar, as we are visiting friends. What route should we take from Jalandhar- Google shows one through Chandigarh shimla and another through ropar nalagarh and SH 22, avoiding shimla. Is that second route okay? Can we take it?
          Also we have not made any reservations, will we get rooms easily? And finally, can we take Figo to Tabo?

        • Sorry Mini, I missed replying it earlier. You should be able to get the room easily as it is end of season now. So, no worries on that front. Yes from Kinnaur side drive slow on bad roads to avoid punctures and you should be good with taking Figo to Tabo. However, make sure it will go under punishment for sure on such roads in Kinnaur. DO NOT come from Manali – Kaza road now at this time fo the year as it will further punish the vehicle and snowfall has started. Regarding the routes for avoiding Shimla and going via Shimla, Ropar – Nalagarh is OK in condition too.

  30. Hi dheeraj
    We are 8 friends going spiti on 5th June . we have 8/9 days. We have planned for whole circuit drive entering shimla and exiting through manali. We have a Renault duster and Ford figo for the same. What will be the best possible stopages and what all we should take during this season. What mobile networks are available their? Will Ford figo 2011 model be okay? Do I need to increase its height with spacers? Suspension and tyres are new. What all need to prevent and cure AMC. Please explain in detail. Your blog is really helpful but need some answers specially about car and mobile network. Thanks in advance

    • Sunil Dhankar on

      Hi Sam,

      We are also planning our tour via same route from 18th June

      Please share your experience and suggestions

      We have 7 days

      Thanks in advance.


  31. Hi Dheeraj,
    We are four people travelling from delhi, want to visit lahaul & spiti on 10-12 june
    We are in a self drive car, we want to take the delhi-shimla-lahaul& spiti- manali- delhi route.
    The main problem is we have only 6 days in hand.
    So, can u pls suggest an optimum travel itinerary for what places we should be visting and planning for to and fro journey in these 6 days.
    ~Thanks in Advance

  32. Dear Dheeraj,

    I am your neighbour, staying in Rama Park C Block and I even had a pleasure to meet your better half & your adorable son due to some charity initiative. I am taking this route to go to Kaza, just let me know if you see any hiccups in the Itinerary:-

    14th May: Delhi-Ambala (starting in the evening).
    15th May: Ambala-Sarahan
    16th May: Sarahan-Nako
    17th May: Nako-Kaza
    18th May-Kaza
    19th May: Kaza-Giu-Tabo
    20th May: Tabo-Kalpa
    21st May: Kalpa-Shimla
    22nd May: Shimla-Delhi

    It is going to be a crazy driving trip in my Humble Alto, and I am prepared for that. What do you say Mr. Pro?

    • Hello PRatik,

      Dear Dheeraj,

      Sorry for a delayed reply bhai and good to know that you met them and stay close to our home. We moved to US for couple of years else would have met you in person and gave the response.

      14th May: Delhi-Ambala (starting in the evening).
      15th May: Ambala-Sarahan
      16th May: Sarahan-Nako
      — Stay at Chango in case you do not feel well at Nako, there is a PWD guest house in there
      17th May: Nako-Kaza
      18th May-Kaza
      Do, for sure Langza, Hikkim, Komik
      19th May: Kaza-Giu-Tabo
      Giu will be done when moving from Tabo to Kalpa
      20th May: Tabo-Kalpa
      21st May: Kalpa-Shimla
      22nd May: Shimla-Delhi

      Rest looks OK and if you drive slow, with caution the alto shall be fine to complete the trip. If you over speed, the chances of puncturing the tyre becomes higher.

      • Dear Dheeraj,

        Thank you so much, I got the news of you moving to US from your home last week. Appreciate your response, and all the best for your new endeavour.
        See you soon, when you come back to India.


  33. Hi.
    I am from kolkata. I want to have a trip over mainly spiti kaza via kinnar or manali whatever suits for.
    Remember we are going for a honeymoon trip. Will it b a hectic one ?
    plz give me a plan & itinerary.

    • Dear Pritam,

      Spiti is a cold desert area where body looses water very quickly. It is meant for adventure and pushing your fitness to the limit to enjoy such a beauty. For honeymooners, it is recommended only if the couples are “Adrenaline Junkies”.. 😉

    • Pritam, Spiti Valley is anot a place for honeymooon rather adventure. Are you sure and have checked with your better half to do it?








    • You can follow below plan:

      Day 1 | Delhi – Narkanda
      Day 2 | Nakranda – Sarahan
      Day 3 | Sarahan – Sangla/Chitkul
      Day 4 | Sangla/Chitkul – Kalpa
      Day 5 | Kalpa – Nako – Nako Lake – Geyu Mummy – Tabo
      Day 6 | Tabo – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake – Lallung
      Day 7 | Lallung – Pin Valley
      Day 8 | Pin Valley – Kaza Local Sightseeing
      — For stay check Sakya Abode or snow lion are two good options at Kaza apart from PWD Guest houses. Get in touch with Tsering bhai, the guy who runs it. He is a very good friend of mine.
      Day 9 | Kaza Local Sightseeing
      — Ki, Kibber, Gette, Tashigang
      Day 10 | Kaza Local Sightseeing
      — Hikkim, Komik, Langza circuit
      Day 11 | Kaza – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal
      Day 12 | Chandratal – Manali
      Day 13 | Manali – Hissar
      Day 14 | Rest daywhereever you like above, Chitkul will be great place to spend one more night
      Day 15 | Rest day whereever you like above

  35. Pradeep Vittal on


    I am planning for shimla to manali via spiti valley on june 10. I spoke to some drivers mentioned on the website. They are saying 80% chance of road opening to manali during journey period. Is it safe to travel? Should I opt for a package option or hire a vehicle since I am planning with my family?

    • Yes Praddep, most likel the road will be open from Kaza to Manali during this time of the year. Hiring the vehicle will be better and rest can be sorted once you reach the place. Most of the drivers will have contact to help in case you are unable to find any decent stay.

  36. Hi Dheeraj,

    Your posts and inputs are truly invaluable for people like us planning to visit Himalayas for the first time…. I, along with, a friend planning to do a bike trip from Delhi to Spiti valley between 11th – 23rd April. Basis your inputs, we plan to go via Hindustan- Tibet highway.

    Wondering if you have any updates on the road conditions on this route and what’s the weather expectations during this period given less snowfall this time in this region?

    Thanks, Neeraj

    • Neeraj, the route from Shimla – Kinnaur to Spiti Valley is open. In general March, April are months of snow melting with snowslides/landslides common. So, you have good number of days in hand and shall be OK with 1-2 days of blockage if at all on your journey. Do Carry heavy woolens with you AND above all leave as early as possible in the day because snow melts as sun comes up causing snow slides/landslides, wind starts picking up pace as sun comes up causing shooting stones especially in upper Kinnaur and entire Spiti region. So, the early you start the day the early you reach the destinations.

      • Thanks for your super prompt response, Dheeraj. What time you recommend to start and end the day to minimise chances of getting stuck because of snowslides?

        What kind of temperature one can expect during day time and night time?

        Any tried and tested places to stay along the way as per your suggested itinerary?

        Thanks, Neeraj

  37. Hi Dheeraj, an silent admirer of your work. can please assist me as I am planning Delhi – Shimla – Spiti valley trip from April 8 to April 17. Is this a right time to make a trip and can I rent a bike in Shimla to KAZA and give back the bike in return trip to Shimla, is bike rentals available in Shimla and also help me with budget ? Thanks Dheeraj

    • There might be few options available in Shimla but not many I am aware about. You have good number of days in hand from Shimla and it will be a good trip for you. Roads conditions will be tricky and climate will be quite cold though in Spiti. So, go prepared. There will be landslides snow slides along with shooting stones common in these days due to snow melting. So, leave early each day as more wind starts in afternoon resulting in more shooting stones and same is true for snow melting later in the day. So, key is to leave early in the day.

  38. Nupur Banerjee on

    Dheeraj, Thanks for writing such an eloquent article. I would like have your suggestions regarding my upcoming trip from Kolkata to the Shimla- Spiti -Manali route in the last week of May this year. From your article it’s now clear to me that I won’t be able to make it to Manali at that period of time since the road from Kunzum-Manali opens after mid-June. I believe we will be able to go up to Tabo/Kaza.
    Can you please suggest whether it will be better for us to return to Shimla- via the same route? I would also like to know what is the easiest way to reach to Amritsar from Kaza as we also planned to visit there.
    Is there any possibility that the road to Manali from Kunzum will be opened in the end of May or the first week of June. I will be grateful to you if you please make the possible plan for the trip. We would like to catch our train to Kolkata on 3rd or 4th June.

    • Nupur, well, this year there has not been much of a snow. So, the chances are that road from Kaza to Manali over Kunzum Pass may open in May and you may travel over that road. You should keep both options open

      Day 1 | Chandigarh – Narkanda – Sarahan
      Day 2 | Sarahan – Rakcham/Sangla/Chitkul
      Day 3 | Rakcham/Sangla/Chitkul – Nako – Geyu Mummy – Tabo
      Day 4 | Tabo – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake – Pin Valley – Kaza
      — For stay check Sakya Abode or snow lion are two good options at Kaza apart from PWD Guest houses. Get in touch with Tsering, the guy who runs it. He is a very good friend of mine and you can refer my name or DoW to him. Read more about Sakya Abode at: Sakya Abode Kaza – An Enriching Experience in Spiti Valley
      Day 5 | Kaza Rest and Local Sightseeing
      — Ki, Kibber, Gette, Tashigang
      Day 6 | Kaza – Hikkim, Komik, Langza circuit – Kaza, may be in the second half go towards Kunzum Pass or till where the road is open towards it.
      Day 7 | Kaza – Tabo – Nako – Kalpa
      Day 8 | Kalpa – Narkanda
      Day 9 | Narkanda – Chandigarh


      Day 1 | Delhi – Narkanda
      Day 2 | Narkanda – Sangla/Chitkul
      Day 3 | Sangla/Chitkul – Kalpa
      Day 4 | Kalpa – Nako – Nako Lake – Geyu Mummy – Tabo
      Day 5 | Tabo – Dhankar – Dhankar Lake – Pin Valley (Mudh Village)
      Day 6 | Pin Valley – Kaza Local Sightseeing 
      — Ki, Kibber, Gette, Tashigang in the second half of the day
      — Sakya abode or snow lion are two best options at Kaza. Get in touch with Tsering at 09418208987, he is more than a friend to me. Will offer you best price. Both are run by him only. He has home stays too.
      Day 7 | Kaza Local Sightseeing (Hikkim, Koumik) 
      — Hikkim, Kaumik, Langza circuit 
      Day 8 | Kaza – Kuzum Pass – Rohtang Pass – Manali
      — Many options, my fav. is Johnson. Check Sabya review in Hote Review forum.
      Day 9 | Manali – Delhi

      • Nupur Banerjee on

        Dheeraj, Sorry for my late reply. Thanks again for your suggestions and guidance. I have two more queries.
        1.Where from shall we get the proper information regarding opening up of the road from Kunzum to Manali? Will u post it?
        2. Shall we be needing any kind of route permit for travelling on the road?

        I will be in contact with you.

        • Nupur, yes, we have a dedicated thread in DoW Community to track updates on Kaza – Kunzum Pass – Manali route. Here is the link, you can subscribe to it to get the mail updates: Manali – Kunzum Pass – Spiti Valley Road Status

          In case you are traveling in the direction from Manali to Kunzum Pass then only permit is required but if you are travel in opposite direction that is from Kunzum Pass to Manali, then no permit is required. Rest of Spiti Valley and Kinnaur Valley also do not require any permit in case you do not have any foreigner in the group

      • Nupur Banerjee on

        Hello Dheeraj, As I told you before, we are on our way to Shimla- and we are reaching there on 27th May. We, me and my husband, have planned our trip like this:
        28th May: Shimla-Sangla
        29th: Sangla-Chitkul-Sangla
        30th: sangla-Kalpa
        31st: Kalpa-Kaza
        1st June: Kaza sight seeing
        2nd: Kaza-Manali
        3rd: Manali-Ambala
        4th:Train to Howrah
        Or, if road is closed
        31st: Kalpa-Sarahan
        01st: Sarahan-Manali
        2nd: Manali Stay
        3rd: Manali-Ambala.
        Please suggest whether this plan is alright.
        Our problem is that we have not booked any accommodations. Can you assure if that’s alright at this time of the year? Please give me another suggestion. Is it safe to hire a small car on this road? Can we avail public transport on this road?
        You have been extremely helpful. Please reply as early as possible

        • Nupur, well, the road will not be open from Manali to Kaza almst 80% chances. Time is fine to travel and it is well connected with public transport.


    Sir, i am planning to go through this high way to spiti on the month of October this year. What is the best time to go there? Am also planning to visit sangla.. kalpa.. and chitkul…. How long it will take (more or less) to go from shimla to spiti via Kinnaur valley?

  40. Sananda Sen on

    Hi AM planning to travel to kinnau district from delhi on end of april/1st week of may…please suggest whether am making the rught plan or not

    1)Day1 start from delhi to shimla.
    8)night bus from Shimla-Chandigarh-Delhi

    Please tell me if its right itenary…..i have planned for Manali through Kunjum pass but heard that Kunjum will not be opened them

    While returing from KAzo/Tabo,,,i dont want to stay Kalpa,,,is their any other alternative on the way…

    Also can you please tell me the time taken to travel to Sarhan from Kaza/Tabo?
    NB: me and my wife will be the travellers

    • Hi Sananda,

      You can plan like:

      1) Day1 start from delhi to Narkanda.
      2) Narkanda-Sangla
      3) Sangla-Tabo
      4) Tabo-Kaza covering Dhangkar
      5) Kaza Rest day, may be cover Langza, Hikkim, Komik or Ki – Kibber
      6) Kaza-Kalpa
      7) Kalpa-Sarahan-Rampur
      8) Either take direct bus from Rampur to Delhi OR take Rampur Shimla in day and then Volvo bus from Shimla-Chandigarh-Delhi

      Yes Kunzum Pass will not be open during that time of the year.

  41. Hi Dheeraj,
    Many thanks to you for starting this blog which is so well written and maintained for fellow travellers. Thanks for introducing me to the lesser known parts of The Himalayas and how to travel through. I have been reading your blog since last two years and it has let me and my friends plan two good trips since last year. The very recent one been to Kinnaur and Spiti from 19th Oct till 24th Oct 2015. Literally we have been living each of your experiences, locations and even meeting people, described on DOW’s member articles regarding Kinnaur and Spiti Valley. We have thought we have reached in to some other world which can only exist in books, for those days. I will try built in an article to tell everyone of my first encounter with the spectacular, scenic, serene beauty, the hospitality, the food and culture of Kinnaur and Spiti. No words would be good enough to describe of what we experienced, it was so overwhelming. We have taken help to plan our trip by calling Vinkal – our driver friend (he has done many trips with DOW members) to reach Sunil-Our Driver cum Guide. We have stayed in the home of locals on top of Asia’s Highest motorable village-Komic. It is for sure love at first sight…We will go back again definitely . Just to add , we have completed the Shimla-Kalpa- Kaza-Kye-Kibber – Komic- Kalpa- Shimla in record 5 Days and 3Nights time.
    Wait till you read and see clicks on my travelogue to refresh your memories of the valley. Thanks Again. Archana & Neal.

    • Wow Neal, congrats for completing the trip. We will be waiting eagerly in the community for your experience to unfold. Super glad that we were able to help you out in making your Spiti – Kinnaur trip successful


    • Yes, there is an ATM in Kaza. But, mostly do not rely on it. On emergency bank also allows you to use POS and take out 1000 rs one time at times.

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