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 of 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?

In order 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 suffers 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 helps them fight any chances of acute mountain sickness (AMS) caused due to high altitudes and let them enjoy the beautiful vistas in a relaxed manner.

However, when traveling over one of the most adventurous roads of the world that are 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 in the months of 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.

In order to get into the details of 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 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 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

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, 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 the 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 which 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:

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  • 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.

Next day, you can start towards the adventurous journey by first getting down all the way to Rampur where you can halt for the lunch at either of 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 drive/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 have just HP PWD Rest Houses.

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

Again, this two day trip 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. does offer a varied amount of accommodation options which may suit the budget for different pockets. So, it always better to break the journey at Shimla/Narkanda, then in Kinnaur at Kalpa, Peo or Sangla Valley.

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

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 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 own food, I will recommend them to save money!! You can always refer 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 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 may be 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, last fuel pump at Rampur (while going from Shimla) and Kaza to refuel petrol in my car.

ATMs

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 of 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.

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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 HPPWD Rest Houses, FRH Rest Houses, and a few IPH Rest Houses. Refer accommodation section for complete lists.
Food / BeveragesLots of options all the way up to Powari, then a few options at every other small village/hamlet all the way 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. works in 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 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 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 rest I am not aware of 😉

Conclusion

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 ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram too. I also conduct a weekly Q&A session every Saturday evening on Instagram, so see you there.

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.

If you know your friends or family are planning a trip to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur, do share this article with them to help them make a memorable trip.

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Helping travelers, backpackers & tourists in planning memorable trips to the Himalayas - Smartly, Safely, Responsibly and Economically. I am in love with Spreading Smiles in the Himalayas through DoW Causes. You can read more about me in detail by checking out About Me section from the main menu.

291 Comments

  1. Comments section gets closed in 90 days. You can follow me on Instagram and ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram too. I also conduct a weekly Q&A session every Saturday evening on Instagram, so see you there !!

  2. shankar karmakar on

    i want to travel simla to manali via kalpa, sangla, kunjum on own scooter in ist week of october 2015.
    any suggestion ?

  3. Hi dheeraj,
    I’m planning to complete the circuit from Delhi -shimla-kalpa/sangla-kaza-kunzumla-manali during 23 th sept to 28 sept by own car. Wiil the weather & road conditions allow to complete the circuit during this period .Is it possible to complete the circuit in 5 days. Thanks

  4. Bharatvir on

    planning to do a 6 night trip ariund the 15th aug weekend from delhi to kaza and back. using 4×4 fortuner

    Any tips in terms of road conditions and other do’s and dont’s

    night halts at narkanda, puh, kaza, tabo, kalpa/peo, narkanda

    diesel pumps ahead of Rampur ?

    • Bharatvir, why coming back from same route. You can exit from Manali as well. Ahead of Rampur you will have fuel pump at near Jeori, Tapri and reckong peo. Then all the way at Kaza

      • I’m also planning to complete the circuit from Delhi -shimla-kalpa/sangla-kaza-kunzumla-manali during 14th Aug to 22Aug but by public transport. Wiil the weather & road conditions allow to complete the circuit during this period and will the public transport will be available between Kaza-Manali. Thanks

  5. Hi Deeraj,

    we are planning to go spiti in second week of Aug. I have read your almost all article 🙂 they are really great.
    Can you please tell where we will get mobile network in the whole circuit . We are going from Shimla route.

    I know only BSNL works there but I want to know which are the places we will find NW.

    Thanks 🙂

    • No Suneel, you will not get mobile signals in the whole circuit. The moment you will leave Kaza it will depend Losar signals, in case losar has power. Once you cross losar, you enter a no signal zone from Kunzum Pass to almost upto base of Rohtang Pass. Same happens the moment you cross over from Spellow/Moorang from Kinnaur side and until you reach Tabo.

      • Thanks 🙂 …. so we will get network in Moorang –> Tabo–> Kaza (will depand on Losar sugnals) –> after Rohtang pass. Is that correct?

        We are going from Kinnaur side and coming back from manali..

        • Suneel ji, sorry for confusion due to language but I meant up to Moorang there will be signal and then there is no signal up to almost Tabo. In between Tabo – Kaza, patchy signals. Beyond Kaza, all depends upon Losar signals. Beyond Losar up to Gramphu no signal at all.

  6. PREM GANGWAR on

    can we make my trip for spiti valley by santro or alto or not ? plz suggest a car & best time to visit with route from Dehradun

    • Prem, in case you are making a trip to Spiti Valley or Kinnaur in September mid and beyond, than it should be fine to travel by small car as well as water becomes less in water crossings. Though roads will be bad but manageable.

  7. Thank you for all the informations you have shared on your blog. I am planing a trip to Kinnaur and Spiti valley with my friends. On this regard I need your expert advise and guidance to make a practical plan.

    Our travel plan is as follows
    Day 1 reaching Shimla
    Day 2 Shimla-Sarahan-Sangla- Chitkul
    Day 3 Chitkul- Reckong Peo- Kalpa
    Day 4 Kalpa-Puh-Nako-Tabo
    Day 5 Tabo-Kaza-Langza-Komic-Kaza
    Day 6 Kaza-Losar-Kunzum Pass- Batal -Rohtang Pass-Manali (Chandratal Lake is also in the wish list)
    Day 7 Manali-Sight seeing
    Day 8 Manali- Kalka

    We are going to travel on third week of October (i.e; Puja vacation). We have total six travellers with two women, all ages between 25-30.

    Is it practically possible to cover the whole plan during that time?

    What will be the expected status of Kunzum Pass and Rohtang Pass During that period of time?

    On day 6, can we cover Chandratal Lake also on the way to Manali from Kaza?

    As we will be six people travelling, what should the ideal car available and from where should we book this car?

    Is there any necessity to book car and hotel in advance? (as we are travelling on peak season)

    Waiting for your reply ….

    • Hi Anikendu,

      Practically possible yes but you will be at a greater risk of passing the no mans land that late in the season which in general is not recommended at all. Do check the weather before going past Kunzum Pass because you may get stuck in scase it snow up there.

      You can cover Chandratal but leave by 5 AM from Kaza. Book a xylo or innova for 6 people.

      • Thank You Dheeraj,

        I have few more quarries …

        Will there be any problem reaching Kaza on that route during that time?
        Will we get a weather update of Kunzum Pass from Kaza and if we get, how much reliable it can be?
        Can you give us an idea about the fare rate of Xylo or Innova?
        Do we need to book them in advance?

        And last but not the least ….
        Can you suggest us an alternative plan for that region?? (if Kunzum la is not open).

        Please reply ….

        • Reaching Kaza from Shimla side is not problem but snowfall starts at high passes from September end and road gets blocked. You need to cross Kunzum Pass from MAnali – Kaza road that is where the risk is. In case you find weather is not good in Kaza, better come back from the same route of Kaza – Kinnaur Shimla. No need of any advance booking.

          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

  8. Hello sir,

    You have done a great job with this blogs, your write up are the only torch light for travellers to spiti valley. We are a group of 4 planing to drive from Delhi on 5 th July, entering through Shimla route and return on 11th July through Rohtang pass, we want to know the weather and road conditions during this period. And also we want to know if any airlift or helicopter service available in case of any emergencies, if yes how long would it take us to be back to Chandigarh or Kullu.

    • Prabhu, in case of extreme issue GOVT does help by chopper like in August few years back when a big group got stuck in extreme weather otherwise for normal road block nothing happens than wait for road to get cleared. Weather in general remains fine till mid of July. Road conditions starting from Kinnaur to Rohtang PAss over Spiti Valley are mostly bad with Kunzum Pass to Gramphu very bad in shape.

      • Thanks Dheeraj for your valuable input.
        we just want to know, in case of personal emergencies can we hire a helicopter to Chandigarh or any nearest big cities, as one of us are a little aged and not in great health. In such case how fast can we reach the nearest airport.

        • Prabhu, it will take sometime to reach to safety. Airstrip is in Kullu and at times flight cancel too. Regarding chopper, there are services but not sure if they will be operational in summers as they are in winters.

  9. Hii Dheeraj

    I am too adventure & mountain lover and Its good to see you helping/inspiring others to ‘journey to reach the destination’.
    I am planning a road trip in first week of July for 10-12 days from delhi to Lahaul-Spiti Vally via Kinnaur & Sangla Valley. Pls help to make itinerary for my trip. In between i also want to explore areas of Kinnaur & Sangla Valley. How are road conditions if i make my return via Kaza-Keylong-Manali or should i come back by the same rout.

  10. Thats valuable info Dheeraj !! Love the each & every details mentioned out here ! I`m planning to for a bike trip for 9 days. What would be the best time bracket to go ? I stay in Gurgaon. Could you suggest an itinerary that would do the complete circle ?

    Regards

    • Hi Rahul,

      You can travel to Spiti before the rains hit the himachal region and then in September. Regarding plan for 9 days to Spiti,

      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
      — 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 6 | Kaza Local Sightseeing (Hikkim, Koumik) 
      — Hikkim, Komik, Langza circuit 
      Day 7 | Kaza – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal/Losar
      Day 8 | Chandratal – Manali
      Day 9 | Manali – Delhi

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Wow !! that`s a brilliant neat plan !! Thanks for all the help Dheeraj !!
        One last question – Is july the right time to go there ?

        Rahul

        • Yes Rahul, July will be good time to go. Better make it before last week of July before the rain hits the region of lower Himachal.

  11. DoW is doing a great job. My appreciations to you, Dheeraj. Though I went through the conversations on Spiti trip, I wished I take some information from you before deciding on my itinerary. I had plans of visiting Tirthan valley and Dharamsala for about 7 days. But after reading the conversations here, I am pondering on the idea of making it to Spiti. I’ll be reaching Delhi on 29th morning from Hyderabad and I have my return journey on 7th evening from Delhi which means I am left with 9 nights. I am a budget traveler (solo) intending to take public transport or a shared vehicle / budget accommodations. Can you suggest a suitable itinerary for me?

    • Hello Sarathy,

      You can follow something like below:

      29: Delhi – Narkanda
      30: Narkanda – Reckong Peo – Kalpa
      1: Kalpa – Tabo, bus runs from Reckong Peo to Kaza every morning at 7 AM
      2: Catch the same bus coming from Reckong Peo to get to Kaza on this day
      3: Use shared taxi and explore Ki, Kibber
      4: Use shared taxi and explore Langza, Hikkim, Komik
      5: Kaza – Chandratal
      6: Chandratal – Manali and take the evening volvo to Delhi from Manali.

      For 5 and 6 date commute and planning, please refer: Chandratal Lake | Cheapest Ways To Travel There

      • Hi Dheeraj, Thanks for your valuable suggestions. I missed the month in my earlier message. I’m reaching Delhi on 29th July & my return train is on 7th Aug. Do you still suggest this itinerary? Just few more quick questions –

        1) Is it better to take a bus to Rampur instead of Narkanda? I prefer to travel by AC bus so that it’ll be a little comfortable.
        2) Which is the best option? To stay in Kalpa or Reckong Peo?
        3) Do you suggest a night stay at Langza?
        4) Do you suggest booking of rooms in advance?

        • Yeah, I will still prefer the same plan for you.

          1. Yes it will be better to go to Rampur too. I doubt you will get AC buses all the way
          2. If you can manage to come down from Kalpa to take morning bus from Reckong Peo to Kaza in time, better stay at Kalpa.
          3. If you have time, then go ahead with night stay at Langza.
          4. Not really, you will be able to manage on the spot as well.

          Regards
          Dheeraj

        • Thanks for your response. One last question – Are there days buses to Narkanda from Delhi? My train reaches Delhi by 9.15am.

      • Hi Dhiraj

        first thank you very much for such a detailed note on your web page. really helpful

        am planning about 13 days (including one day for any delay) on a bike with my wife

        will be reaching chandigarh on 7th evening (if all goes well) from Ahmedabad and will leave for Narkanda on 8th july.

        and reach 19th or 20th to keylong and then proceeding to udaipur / killar (to cover such pass) and on to chamba or delhousie

        is kunzum pass and such pass open now ?

        • Ajay, Sach Pass is not open yet but by the time you will reach there, it will get open. Kunzum Pass and road from Manali to Kaza is open

  12. Hello Dheeraj,
    Though I could see in DOW page Manali-Kunzum pass -Kaza , Kaza -Kunzum pass – Keylong and Manali-Keylong-Leh routes are not opened yet. Do you any rough idea when these road will open?
    We are planning Manali -> Kunzum pass -Kaza on 27-Jun-15 and from Kaza – Keylong -Leh on 28-Jun-15. Is these routes will be open by then? What about Manali -> keylong->Leh route? when is this route expected to be open ? waiting for your valuable reply. thanks

  13. i m planning bike trip tp lazuli spit via shimla kinnaur kalpa, kaza. can anyone tell , is i have to change my punctured tyre by myself or in between shops ka available nearest to fuel pumps,

    • Jitendra, best is that you should know how to fix the puncture because there will be places where you not find any puncture shop in between. There is one at Spellow, than Puh and then Nako and then Tabo. In between, I did not seee any puncture repair shops.

  14. Planning a tour with family (H/W/C 12/C 6) to visit Shimla – Narkanda – Sarahan – Kalpa – Sangla – Tabo – Nako – Kaza from 29/05/2015 to 8/06/2015. What are the aftereffects of earthquake ? How are the road conditions now? Will it be safe to travel ? Please advise.

    • There is no after effects of earthquake as such I know or reported yet from this region. Road conditions from Kinnaur always remain bad and they are bad. Safety, not sure in which sense you meant?

  15. Debarshi Das on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning a trip to Lahual Spiti Kinnaur. Below is my intenerary. Please suggest with your valuable tips.

    Day 1 :
    Morning flight from Bengaluru to Chandigarh
    chandigarh to narkanda : 180 km in (5 hrs)
    Day2 :Narkanda to Sangla 160km (4 hrs) sangla to chitkul 25km (1hr) chitkul to reckong peo to kalpa 70kms (2hrs)
    Day3 : Kalpa Nako Tabo 160kms wid break and lunch max 8 hrs
    Day 4:Tabo > Dhankar(35kms), Dhankar > Mud Village(55kms), Mud village to kaza (50kms)
    Day5 : Kaza >Kye> Kibber>Tashigang>50kms(4hrs)
    Day6 :kaza>hikim>komik>langza> (28 kms) Langza>Losar (entire spiti scenic beauty) 68kms
    Day7:losar to chandrataal vuia kunzum pass (78kms) and stay in camps near lake 4-5hrs drive
    Day8 : Chandrataal to rohtang pass via Kunzum (80kms) Rohtang to manali 55kms
    Day 9 :Manali sightseeing and then start from manali to chandigarh (300kms drive 6hrs)
    Day 10 : Return flight from Chandigarh to bengaluru

    Please suggest whether the above itenerary is feasible or not.

    If any other off beat places can be covered please do mention. Thanks a lot for your help

    Regards,
    Debarshi

    • Please find my inputs below:

      1. Not sure which month you planning but Manali – Kaza roads open after mid of June only.
      2. Narkanda to Sangla can only be covered, may be next day do Sangla – Chitkul – Nako/Chango and skip Kalpa
      3. Day 4 now becomes Nako/Chango – Tabo, explore Tabo and move to Pin Valley or Dhangkar.
      4. Rest looks OK

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  16. shresth tiwari on

    hye folks,planning for a trip to lahaul & spiti valley in May, and hence need ur valuable inputs from you.
    please share an itinerary for 7 days to cover spiti & lahaul, we will be starting from delhi.
    what is the best time to visit?

    • Shresth, 7 days are a bit less time to explore both Lahaul and Spiti Valley and in May it will not be possible to explore Lahaul as roads to Lahaul might be closed. For Spiti you can choose to travel from Kinnaur Valley but it takes 3 days to reach Spiti just and 3 days to come back. 1 day you need complete rest for acclimatization.

      • which places are covered in Lahul and which places are covered in Spiti?

        Also I am planning a bike trip to Spiti starting from Shimla then covering whole spiti and ending at rohtang (manali) during 1st week of June? Will the roads be clear?

  17. Hi Dheeraj,
    I have been reading your travelogues and inspired to travel to kaza.Is it possible to travel up to kaza by H R T C bus during the first week of DEC 2014 from shimla with sufficient breaks in between for acclimatization,my choice of December is to enjoy snowfall will there be any during this period.I will be happy to know the bus timing fromshimla to kaza and return.
    Regards
    N.Balaji

    • Balaji, thank you so much and glad to know that you were inspired. Buses do run in winters too upto Kaza but all depends the amount of snowfall. IN most cases if the road is closed then bus drops you at one point where people walk to the other end and exchange passengers to the bus coming from the other side. But, all hotels will be closed, water in pipes will be frozen so only dry toilets. First you need to reach Reckong Peo from Shimla and then you need to take bus that leaves Reckong Peo to Kaza.

  18. Hi Dheeraj Bhai, We intend to do the entire route from Shimla, Rampur, Peo to Kaza, Manali. We live in shimla. I want to ask few questions- 1. I have a Santro car with me which I have driven myself to Chamba, Jot Pass, Khajiyar and interiors, Rohru-mid way till Chanshal over snow and till Sarahan. Would it be ok to take the car on the entire circuit. 2. I have a 3+ years daughter and my friend has a 4+ years daughter, would it be ok to bring them along on the trip. Both are fond of camping and travelling. 3. We intend to travel in first week of October this year, is it fine to travel now or should we reschedule the trip for next year?

    • Gaurav, I will sincerely suggest to travel next year as even the children will also have grown up and the dry chillness in the air will be less too. Santro with a bit difficulty should be able to do it as we just completed the circuit with a dZire and Alto. But, the bruises were made at the underbelly, so that needs to be sacrificed and above all you should know what to sacrifice and what not to.

    • Dheeraj bhai,
      Thank you for the reply.Is it possible to know about the amount of snowfall around kaza by way of any weather forecast sites before embarking on the journey and if the hotels are closed is there any other alterative.I had checked HRTC website for timing of buses to kaza from reckong pio but it is not listing any,does that mean the services are withdrawn during this period.

      • Balaji, you can check yr.no website as I use it more for my weather updates verification. Homestays will be open and some running but with dry toilets, basic food and facilities. The bus from Kaza to Reckong Peo leaves at 7 AM and same time from the opposite end.

  19. Hi Dheeraj, It’s a veritable landmine of information here, and thanks for that! I would like to know if a Shimla-Spiti trip can be done in 7 days (excluding of course my return to Delhi after that). Also, for that number of days, how much should the car hire cost? I spoke to some and they said for 6/7 days it will be too steep (45oo per day). What do you suggest?

    • Asad, Sorry for the delayed reply but I was away on DoW Mega Meet in Spiti Valley for last 10 days.

      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 too.

      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

      7 days will be good enough for a trip to Spiti Valley via Manali.

  20. Dheeraj,

    Could you lease advise on the route : manali- kaza – kinnaur-shimla(fagu). We will be starting on Oct 1, 2014.

  21. Hello Dheeraj,
    I and my wife are planning on traveling from Delhi to Kinnaur, Tabo on a bike (Pulsar) around the 1st week of Oct 2014.
    1. Is it Ok to travel pillion?
    2. Would the Pulsar bike be ok for the trip?

    Regards
    Vishal

      • Dheeraj, I have a few doubts if you can help me clear them:
        1. What is your suggestion for the Kinnaur Tabo route/trip?
        2. Chances of AMS ?
        3. How much days should we have at hand to do the trip?
        4. Weather during the 1st week of Oct.
        5. Any places/destinations you suggest around Tabo, since this would be my first trip to the region.

        Your thoughts would be welcome.

        Regards
        Vishal

        • Hi vishal,

          1. Kinnaur – Spiti Road trip in October first week will be filled with lovely colors, though it will be cold up there. So, go prepared with layers of woolens.
          2. If you travel easy without much fatigue, drink water at regular intervals and travel from Kinnaur side, chances of AMS decreases quite a lot.
          3. Refer: Spiti Valley | Most Common Itinerary
          4. Will be cold up there.
          5. Point 3

          Regards
          dheeraj sharma

    • Hi Vishal…

      I am also travelling to spiti valley with my friend. but we are staring on 27th sept 2014.
      we can further communicate via emails.
      my email id is [email protected]

  22. Hi, For my end of sept. tour please suggest few car driver name with phone no.

    • 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 too.

      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

  23. Dalbir Singh on

    Hi Dheeraj
    We are planning a Spiti tour from 27th Sep to 2nd Oct.
    Please find below my itinerary:
    27 SEP: Chandigarh-Kalpa
    28 SEP: Kalpa-Tabo
    29 SEP: Tabo-Losar
    30 SEP: Losar-Manali
    01 OCT: Manali-Banjar
    02 OCT: Banjar-Narkanda-Chandigarh
    We are approx. 12 people and traveling on Honda Jazz petrol, Figo petrol, Swift diesel.
    Is my plan fine? And most importantly is the drive on hatchbacks advisable on Losar – Manali road, crossing Kunzum and Rohtang?
    I have driven hatchback from Chandigarh to Kalpa 2 weeks back. Somebody adviced me to avoid hatchbacks for this tour. I am confused.

    • Dalbir, why stay at Losar. Stay at Kaza and do some sightseeing at least. BTW, you ae just measuring the road rather enjoying anything these places offer. It can be done but will be tough, very tough specially from Kunzum Pass to Gramphu before Rohtang Pass.

  24. Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks a lot for sharing your insightful experience.

    We are group of 7 people planning a trip to Spiti Valley from Oct 2-7.

    Below is the itinerary which we have planned till now, request your views/suggestions on the same

    Oct 1: Since we are working on Oct 1 hence we will start in the evening at 7pm and stay over at chandigarh

    Oct 2: Chandigarh to Sangla/Chittkul

    Oct 3: Sangla/Chittkul to Tabo via Nako & Kalpa

    Oct 4: Tabo to Pin Valley & around

    Oct 5: Pin Valley to Kaza & around

    Oct 6: Kaza to Sarhan

    Oct 7 Sarhan to Delhi

    We don’t have an option of increasing the no of days hence we have to adjust in 6 days only.

    • Abhishek, the plan is very very hectic but just doable if you are one of those who can do it. If you want to do further in 6 days then remove Kalpa. But keep in mind that this will be back breaking drive.

  25. Dheeraj,
    Finally i have booked my to and fro tickets to Delhi to do Simla – Spiti – Manali circuit this Aug 23rd..
    Earlier i have planned twice but couldnt go as my son was 2 years at that time.. He is 4 now and now we have decided to do this circuit.
    Read through your recommendation and chalked out this plan

    Aug 23rd : Arrive Delhi at 1pm – Proceed to Simla(Nigtht Stay)
    Aug 24th : Simla – Sarahan(HPTDC Shrikand)
    AUg 25th : Sarahan – Chitkul(Panchali Guest House)
    AUg 26th : Chitkul – Kalpa(HPTDC Kinner Kailash)
    Aug 27th : Kalpa – Nako – Tabo(Tiger Den)
    AUg 28th : Tabo – Dhankar- Pin Valley – Mud(Tara Guest House)
    AUg 29th : Mudh-Kye-Kibber-Tashigang- Kaza(Hotel Spiti Valley Owned by Jamaica)
    AUg 30th : Kaza-Hikkim – Langza -Kaumik- Demul – Kaza(Hotel Spiti Valley Owned by Jamaica)
    Aug 31st : Kaza – Chandrataal(Jamaica’s Tent)
    Sep 1st : Chandrataal – Manali(Johnsons Guest house)
    Sep 2nd : Manali Sight Seeing and back to Delhi
    Sep 3rd : Delhi (22:30)to SG

    Bookings are made through some of my friends and Innova has been arranged for the trip..

    How easy the trip will be?

    How will be the Cold in Chitkul and Chandratal?

    Should we need heavy or light woolen? will the temprature drop less than 10 deg in any of the places?

    Pin Valley to Kaza for lunch and proceed to Sight seeing or can we go directly to Langza, Komic and Hikkim and then to Kaza? where can we have lunch on that day?

    As i m bringing my 4 year kid around thought of preparing mentally on the same.

    Thanks for your time Dheeraj

    • It is fine Chandra. Cold will be fine too, more or less cool. Carry at least one pair of heavy woolens for backup plan. Lunch should be at Kaza. Bhai, please take care of the kid and be vigilant of the conditions.

      • Thanks for your words Dheeraj and a wonderful site you are maintaining.

        We have checked with local doctor and they have mentioned that Kids are generally not affected on AMS issue and he has asked me to plan in such a way that the height is gradually increased to get better accilimatisation. And going through your recommendation i have planned to do through Shimla.

        Will the monsoon gets subsidised by end of August? Just getting worried about the Rains in Himachal area..

        • Chandra, they should get but you never know. Some residual rains still remains. So, all you can do is keep an eye on the weather forecasts.

      • Saugata Mahindar on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        How are you? Once again I have to refer to you. With your good tips, I had made a remarkable trip to Ladakh (upto Hanley) in Oct’11 and this time I have planned to go to Spiti in coming Sep-Oct’14. I spoke to 2-3 tour operators based at Spiti and we’re going to finalise with one of them. I need your specific advise on going to Kaurik/Lepcha village from Sumdo. No tour operator is willing to go to that route by saying that tourist won’t be permitted in that road…only Army tankers move in this 22 km stretch from Sumdo.
        Please let me know how to obtain appropriate permission to travel in this road? We, two families with 2 kids(12-13 yrs)will be travelling by a hired car. Both the families have had experience to visit Ladakh. I arranged permit in Ladakh to travel through Man, Merak, Chusul area…but here nobody is willing to support. One tour operator has agreed to go under pressure provided I have to arrange the permission to go there ! Do we have to approach to ITBP? Please do advise at the earliest.
        Saugata Mahindar

        • Hi Saugata,

          I am doing good… Hope the same from you too. That is really good to know that you had a wonderful trip to Ladakh. Yes, they are right and you do not get permissions to visit Kaurik and Lepcha post.

          It is extremely hard to get these permissions and if at all you need, probably you need to take permissions from Army / ITBP CO at Reckong Peo (I am guessing)… I think only CO can give you that permissions. You were able to get the permits for Ladakh because there is a standardized procedure for it and that is why people were ready to help. Here, there is no procedure. You may need to beg to CO at Reckong Peo or some top shot in Army who can only help you get such a permission

          Regards
          dheeraj

        • Saugata Mahindar on

          Many thanks for your tips, Dheeraj. Sorry, I could not respond to you so early. We actually planned to enter spiti valley through Rohtang Pass-Losar-Kaza-Mud-Tabo route. So can I have any means at Kaza to get the permission for Kaurik/Lepcha Post? Can you suggest some good contacts? I would try heart and soul to visit these places. Can I write a letter now to ITBP HO seeking the said permission? Please help…it has become simply irresistible to me to be at Lepcha outpost & watch the Chinese village from Indian territory!
          Saugata

        • Saugata, I do not think you can get permissions to visit Kaurik or Lepcha at all. It is forbidden for civilians and unless and until you can ensure the CO there and apply for permissions and he grants you, I think then is the only possibility. Do not thing at Kaza you will be able to get the permission, may be Reckong Peo or ask when you reach the Sumdo post as they will be able to better suggest from where the permission can be taken.

  26. Moumita Mitra on

    Hii….

    I am planning to visit Kinnaur and Spiti next year first week of April. As I hardly know anything about that place so I have started my research work for the coming trip very early…

    As we want see snow please suggest me what should be our itinerary.. We have got 8 days in hand. We are from Kolkata so whether we should go via delhi or chandigarh???
    Could we reach till Loser???

    Please suggest…

    • Moumita, I doubt you will be able to reach Losar in first week of April and please note that it will be winter like conditions especially in Kinnaur with most of the roads closed. Following is the itinerary you can think to attempt. But a lot will depend upon which is open and which is not. So, take a call accordingly.

      Day 1: Chandigarh – Sarahan
      Day 2: Sarahan – Kalpa
      Day 3: Kalpa – Nako – Nako Lake – Tabo
      Day 4: Tabo – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake – Pin Valley – Kaza
      Day 5: Kaza – Ki, Kibber, Komik, Langza – Kaza
      Day 6: Kaza – Tabo – Nako – Sangla / Chitkul
      Day 7: Sangla / Chitkul – Narkanda / Shimla
      Day 8: Narkanda / Shimla – Chandigarh

      • Moumita Mitra on

        Thanks a lot for your reply.. actually our main target to see snow.. that’s why we are opting for 1st week of April. Snow will be there (either in Kinnaur or Spiti) at that time??

      • Moumita Mitra on

        1)How long it will take from Narkanda to Chandigarh??
        2)I want to stay at Kalpa for 2 days atleast. How could it be adjusted into this itinerary??
        3)How is Rakcham?? Should I go for it??

        • 1) Narkanda to Chandigarh is about 5-6 Hrs drive
          3) Rakcham will fall on the way to Chitkul from Sangla. You can rest there.
          2) You can skip a day in Kaza if you want to add Kalpa. Though not really wise.

        • Moumita Mitra on

          Hii..
          After reading your blogs and different suggestionss I have decided a tentative itinerary… please go through it and correct me whereever I am wrong… I have got some queries also-

          Day 1: Chandigarh Airport (arrival @12.20pm) – Narkanda
          Q1 – is it possible?? How long it will take??

          Day 2: Narkanda – Kalpa
          Q2 – how long it will take and any sightseeing in between??

          Day 3: Kalpa
          Q3 – any sightseeing??

          Day 4: Kalpa – Nako – Nako Lake – Tabo
          Q4 – the timing it can take??

          Day 5: Tabo – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake – Pin Valley – Kaza

          Day 6: Kaza – Ki, Kibber, Komik, Langza – Kaza
          Q5 – if Geu mummy visit can be accommodated in beteen somewhere??

          Day 7: Kaza – Tabo – Nako – Chitkul
          Q6 – is it possible and how long it will take??

          Day 8: Chitkul – Sarahan
          Q7 – whether I should stay in Sangla or chitkul??

          Day 9: Sarahan – Chandigarh airport to catch 5.45pm flight to Kolkata
          Q8 – as we ll have to catch evening flight whether we will be able to reach by 3 pm from Sarahan or not??

          Please I am eagerly waiting for your reply…

        • Hi Moumita,

          Below are the replies to your queries:

          Day 1: Chandigarh Airport (arrival @12.20pm) – Narkanda
          Q1 – Possible, around 5-6 Hrs it will take.

          Day 2: Narkanda – Kalpa
          Q2 – It will take about 6 Hrs to reach Kalpa from Narkanda

          Day 3: Kalpa
          Q3 – Refer Kinnaur Valley Travel Guide | Kalpa, Sangla & Chitkul

          Day 4: Kalpa – Nako – Nako Lake – Tabo
          Q4 – About 6-7 Hrs it will take.

          Day 5: Tabo – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake – Pin Valley – Kaza

          Day 6: Kaza – Ki, Kibber, Komik, Langza – Kaza
          Q5 – There is no Geyu here, it is about 2 Hours detour while coming to Tabo from Nako as soon as you cross Sumdo.

          Day 7: Kaza – Tabo – Nako – Chitkul
          Q6 – Possible but a bit long. About 9-10 Hrs drive. Leave Early.

          Day 8: Chitkul – Sarahan
          Q7 – Stay at some home stay guest house at Chitkul OR stay at Rakcham may be.

          Day 9: Sarahan – Chandigarh airport to catch 5.45pm flight to Kolkata
          Q8 – It will take about 9 Hrs to reach Chandigarh from Sarahan. So, leave accordingly.

          Regards
          Dheeraj

        • Moumita Mitra on

          Thanks a lot for your immediate response… Its a great help for me.. I ll definitely plan accordingly..

  27. Hello Dheeraj and DoW

    We [me and 4 other friends] just completed a Shimla-Kinnaur-Spiti-Shimla trip. It was a superfast trip because some of the guys had tight leave schedules; we literally spent more time traveling than staying at a place. And having suffered from HAPE in Ladakh a few months back, I was extremely wary of altitude issues [it was the first time the rest of the gang had done 3000 mtrs plus]]

    But it went off brilliantly thanks to all the helpful information your site has. We based our itinerary almost entirely on your advice. We did miss out a lot of places [we had just 6 days from Shimla > Kaza > Shimla and we lost a few hours waiting out landslides at Pangi Nala] but that has left us even more enthusiastic about returning to this place next year on our motorcycles.

    Once again, many thanks to DoW from our group, keep up the great work!

    Info for fellow travellers – Our schedule:[6 days/5 nights] from 3rd to 8th July 2014. Our route : Shimla to Sarahan, Sarahan to Sangla, Sangla to Nako, Nako to Kaza, Kaza to Kalpa, Kalpa to Shimla. Mode of transport : We booked a Xylo from Shimla : 19k for 6 days all inclusive. Stay : we booked hotels after reaching our destinations and scouting around, we paid between 1000-1200 for 2 rooms shared by 5 guys.

    Road conditions – Roads were clear apart from a 20 km detour we had to take around Karcham. We were held up near Pangi for 5 hours because of a small slide, but overall, roads are OK.

    People – The people are amazing. You will notice it more if you are coming from Delhi 😉

    Conclusion – Absolutely blown away; can’t wait for the next trip!!!

    • Hi Sumit,

      Thank you so much for jotting down the experience of your Spiti Valley trip here with us. I am sure this is going to help many. I have moved that into the DoW Community at the link here so that it is preserved and much wider audience of people can benefit from your experience. If possible do add some pictures and more elaborated stories to this summary of your trip.

      Yeah, that Pangi Nalla has become every day stoppage in Kinnaur now. Hope one day it gets to stabilized.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  28. Pingback: Sakya Abode Kaza - An Enriching Experience in Spiti Valley - DeViL on WheeLs

  29. Your research must have saved so many people from trouble.
    Its a general site but so statistical, so helpful in severe terrain and condition. Why not send it to listing of best sites in the world?

  30. I just visited Spiti from the 20th to the 30th of June and witnessed one of the most beautiful places ever.The entire credit goes to our driver Mr. Tenzin Chauppel, a local resident of Kaza, who knew the dangerous road to Spiti Valley from Manali in and out. Being a local, he took us to many exciting places which a non resident driver would not know. i got his number through Dorgee, who is also a resident of Kaza and is highly recommended on this blog to appoint as a driver. Since Dorgee was not free, he gave us Tenzin’s number and the beautiful journey started from there. If any of you is looking out for a driver for your trip, Tenzin is highly recommended. His number – 09418433973. He’s a 25 year old, innocent chap but an excellent driver and now our very good Tibetian friend 🙂

    • That is awesome to know Preeti, thanks alot for the update. I think you have posted in the DoW Community under the drive list thread too, thanks again.

    • Nupur Ghosh on

      Hi Preeti,
      Based on your positive comments, we have booked our trip to Spiti with Tenzin. If it is not a problem, can you please share with us how much did he charge you for the entire trip and also the per day charge. This would really help us a lot… thanking you in advance and awaiting your reply eagerly…

      Best Regards,
      Nupur

  31. Hi Dheeraj,

    Your blog is very well written and I have been reading from last two hours. I am planning to go to spitti valley ( Chandigarh-Spitti-Manali-Chandigarh) driving myself and 1-2 other driver friends. I have driven in mountains to shimla before. Will it be ok to drive my own car(i20 {does i20 have enough ground clearance with the kind of roads}) or hire a taxi, please suggest.

    Thanks,
    Mayank

    • 1. Hiring a taxi will be the best option.
      2. i20 has less ground clearance and you may face problems in some the stretches, including road at landslide cleared and streams overflowing sites. But it could be manageable with proper driving techniques and risk. Locals drive Alto on this route regularly.
      3. Hiring a local (spiti or upper kinnaur) driver (although difficult to get one) to drive your i20 could also be an option.

      Dheeraj bhai: Hill driving require some special skill and techniques. Why don’t you put a write up on it? You have been driving swift Dzire and know the skills. This will help many, as most of the travelers own cars (and not SUVs)and they will always dream about taking/driving their own car.

    • Mayank, I will not suggest you to take i20 there as it has quite a low ground clearance. Better hire taxi for the trip. Even if there is some other hatch or sedan, I could have said yes but i feel i20 is less GC as compared to other cars. I drive my dzire on this route anyhow and if you don’t love your car more than adventure then For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway Or Spiti Valley via Manali Or Ladakh, please refer the link: FAQ | Can I do Leh – Ladakh / Spiti / Manali – Leh trip in Hatchback or Sedan? for more details.

      • Subhasish Naha on

        Dheeraj, can a Figo diesel would be capable to sustain on that road if driven carefully.

        I see that there is only difference of 2 mm between figo and dzire in ground clearence

        • Subhashish, yeah it can but you need to be sure enough that you do not love the vehicle more than your spirit or passion of travel and adventure. If you love your car I will not suggest you take it especially from Kaza to Manali route.

  32. Rupesh Choudhary on

    Dear Dheeraj,

    We are planning a trip to spiti valley.We are planning to reach kalka on 28th June early morning and our returning journey is on 6th july night.
    So there are 9 whole days.I have been in contact with Mr Vinkal(mentioned in the list of drivers in your site) and he has given me the following itenerary

    Day 1. Pick from CHD to shimla night halt at hotel –116 km
    Day 2. After breakfast proseed to Sarahan via Kufri & narkanda night halt at hotel –150 km
    Day 3. In the morning visit famous bhima Kali temple and proseed to sangla or rakchham over night at hotel –97.9 km
    Day 4. Visit chhitkul village and proseed to kalpa over night at hotel –70 km
    Day 5 after breakfast proseed to tabo via nako lake(100km) over night at hotel –161.0 km
    Day 6 visit tabo monastery in morning and proseed to kaza via dhankar monastery over night at hotel –48km
    Day 7. Day trip to key monastery and kibber village and back to hotel
    Day 8 proseed ko Manali via kunzum pass if possible visit chandertal lake over night at hotel –204 km
    Day 9. Proseed to CHD or kalka drop –283.4 km

    Requesting you to please check the itinerary and suggest whether its alright?Is there some places which we will not cover as per the itinerary?If so,please

    amend the itinerary and tell us the best places to cover in 9 days.
    I have further more queries.

    1)He has charged Rs 3000 per day for travelling.Is it ok?
    2)Whats the average room rent per day over the whole tour?
    3)Is it possible to visit chandratal?If so ,is there possibility to have a night stay in chandratal?
    4)Losar /mud village/pin valley /Geyu Mummy/Dhankar Lake /Gette / Tashigang Hikkim / Komik /Langzais missing in our itinerary.Can that be incorporated?

    Please amend my itineray,if required in a way so that we can cover almost all the beautiful places in spiti valley.

    Thanks
    Rupesh

    • Hi Rupesh,

      Here are my replies:

      The plan for Spiti is fine. But, I will suggest to drop Sarahan and directly go to Sangla from Shimla, in fact stay at Narkanda on first day. So, second day go to Sangla staright from Narkanda. This way you will save one day. Use that one day to spend a day in Kaza and do Langza + Komik on that day.

      I have further more queries.

      1) Refer DoW or Vinod’s name, should be Rs 2800-2900.
      2) Should be around 800-1200
      3) Should be possible to visit Chandratal at this time. There will be camps too at that time. So no worries, else go prepared from Kaza.
      4) Hikkim, Komik, Langza can be done as I suggested above for saving a day.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Rupesh Choudhary on

        Dear Dheeraj,

        Thanks a lot for your suggestions 🙂

        As per your suggestions, i have modified our itinerary in this way. Please check and confirm whether its ok now.

        Day 1 : chandigarh to narkanda
        Day 2 : narkanda to sangla
        Day 3 : Visit chhitkul village and proseed to kalpa over night at hotel
        Day 4 : after breakfast proseed to tabo via nako lake(100km) over night at hotel
        Day 5 : visit tabo monastery in morning and proseed to kaza via dhankar monastery over night at hotel
        Day 6 : Day trip to key monastery and kibber village and back to hotel
        Day 7 : Kaza – Hikkim – Komik – Langza – Kaza / Losar
        Day 8 : proseed ko Manali via kunzum pass if possible visit chandertal lake over night at hotel
        Day 9 : Proseed to kalka drop

        Justa few more queries 🙂

        1) Can Dhankar Lake and Pin Valley (Mud Village) be incorporated on Day 5 ?
        2) On day 7,whether we should go to losar and start the next day from losar to Manali via kunzum pass and chandrataal OR should we head back to kaza on day 7

        end and start the day 8 from kaza?

        3)Please give us (if possible ) the list of atleast one hotel for accomodation in all the places mentioned above.We are ready to spend 1000-1200 Rs per day

        per room.

        Thanking you in anticipation
        Rupesh

      • Rupesh Choudhary on

        Dear Dheeraj bro,
        Thanks a lot for the suggestions. 🙂

        Regards
        Rupesh

  33. ashutohs kalia on

    hi,we are planing to lahual speti in next month. would u please suggest the best way to go there. by bus or taxi.we are 3 guys.plz reply soon..

    • yes, you can put tents. Best is to use some locals villager space so that you get a comfort a safety as well as availability of help and food around, if required.

  34. This the travel plan which we followed last year and it came out exactly as on paper. No regrets, except the HPTDC hotels, as they are not value for money options and they are very poorly maintained. I will never stay in them again. There are very good hotel options available which you will find on net.

    Travel itinerary for the East Himachal & Spiti Valley

    25th May : Pune to Chandigarh and stay.
    Day 1 (26th May 2013)
    1) Start form Shimla at 12.00 noon ( all participants will meet at Main Bus stand at Shimla for the pick up by the cars) —65 km – 2 hrs—Narkanda (Hatu Peak – 7 km – 20 min – from Narkanda – time spent – 30 min. Total time – max 1 1/2 hrs. Panoramic view of snow Dhauladhar range (higher Himalaya part in Himachal Pradesh).
    2) Hatu Peak(Narkanda) — 65 km – 2 1/2 hrs (via Rampur)— Sarahan (Night Stay – at Hotel Shrikand HPTDC or Hotel Bhimkali complex.

    Day 2 (27th May 2013)
    Sight seeing at Sarahan, BhimkaaliTemple; beautiful view of Shrikand Mahadev peak.
    Start from Sarahan before or after noon —-82 km – 3 hrs —Sangla. Night Stay at Sangla HPTDC hotel or at Chitkul (28 km from Sangla).
    visit Kamru Fort and Chitkul.
    Suggest, have lunch in Chitkul.

    Day 3 (28th May 2013)
    Sight seeing at Chitkul/Sangla and around Baspa river. Trout fishing / angling can be explored. One more Night Stay at Sangla.

    Day 4 (29th May 2013)
    Start at morning from Sangla —-51 km – 3 hrs —Kalpa. Night stay at Hotel Kinnar Kailash HPTDC or Hotel Kinnar Villa. Late afternoon view of Roldang , Jaikanden and the colour changing Kinnar Kailash (Shivaling) peaks, 1000 year old Monastery, Narayan Nagani Temple. Night stay at Kalpa.
    Enroute: Visit St. Mary’s Church and Tannijubbar Lake.
    Suggest, have lunch in a ‘Dhabha’ famous for Rajma Chawal, before entering Kinnaur District.

    Day 5 (30th May 2013)
    Kalpa to Tabo – 180 km of total travel.
    Start early morning from Kalpa (7.00 am) — 105 km —–Nako lake. En-route , have breakfast at Speelo as u start entering into theTrans-himalaya zone.
    Nako — 46 km Gue ( 1000 year old Mummy) —-32 km —-Tabo. (Night Stay at Monastery).
    Enroute: Will be crossing Khab, motor able entry point of Satluj in India from China +
    confluence point of Spiti & Satluj rivers + visit Nako Lake & 500+ yrs old Mummy at Gue.
    Suggest, have lunch in Nako.

    Day 6 (31st May 2013)
    Tabo — 30 km —Dhankar (Monastery, Lake etc) —Stay at Kaza.
    Enroute: Visit Tabo Monastery built and Dhangkar Monastery + Explore Kaza Bazaar in the evening.
    Suggest, have lunch in Dhangkar.

    Day 7 (1st June 2013)
    Kaza—-Demul—-21 village point trek (2 km)—-lunch on the open meadow—Back to Kaza for night stay. Lallung will be visited as and when possible.

    Day 8 (2nd June 2013)
    Start early morning from Kaza —– Shepherds camp (near Demul)—–Hikkim—-Comic Monastery—-Langza—-Kaza. Night stay at Kaza

    Day 9 (3rd June 2013).
    Kaza—Kee—Tashigong—-Gette (world highest village connected with motorable road)—Kibber—-Kaza. (night stay). Around 160 km.
    visit Langza & Komic + explore the pastures and meadows at one of the highest motor able villages of the World. Today, you will get packed lunch.

    Day 10 (4th June 2103)
    Kaza—-Pin Valley—Stay at Losar
    visit Takcha ( Yak grazing grounds ) and Kunzam la/Kunzum pass.

    Day 11 (5th June 2103)
    TOTAL DISTANCE – 104KMS)
    Losar—– Near Losar sight seeing — start by 12.00 noon -reach and stay at Tabo)

    Day 12 (6th June 2103)
    Tabo (early morning)—215 km – 8 hrs—– directly to Rampur for an overnight stay.

    Day 13 (7th June 2103) (Optional and buffer day)
    Start early morning from Rampur —– have sight seeing in Shimla. Or proceed to Manali and other places ……..further on…..

    Retiring Room at Kalka Railway Station: 01733-225088

    Hotel The Lotus:
    Basic hotel at 300 metres from the station
    Ordinary room: Rs. 650/- ; Delux: Rs. 850/-
    Tel: 01733 224 533

    Kalka Shimla Toy Train Timings
    Train Name Dep (Kalka) Arr (Shimla) Fare
    72451 Rail Motor
    05:10 09:50 FC: Rs. 247
    52451 Shivalik Delux
    05:30 10:15 CC: Rs. 280
    52453 Simla Express 06:00 11:05 2S: Rs.48
    52455 Himalayan Queen 12:10 17:20 CC: Rs.167
    Shivalik Express train Booking
    Bookings for Shivalik Express can be made at IRCTC website.
    “KLK” is the station code for Kalka, “SML” is the station code for Shimla
    52451 /54452 are the train numbers for Shivalik Deluxe Express
    Trains are in demand, please book tickets ASAP

    Indigo Flights
    MUM-CHG – 16:30
    CHG-MUM – 17.10

    Bus tickets
    http://www.hrtc.gov.in/hrtctickets/
    Also try Punjab roadways website for online booking. They well timed buses for Shimla.

    • Thanks for the detailed plan. Yeah, it looks really good. Guess there are few typos, like Tannijubar Lake should be on Day 1 near Narkanda not near Kalpa. Also, I suggest to better visit Pin Valley while coming back from Losar towards Tabo instead of coming back to Pin Valley from Kaza and then going to Losar again. Or else, Kaza – Losar – Kaza – Pin Valley can be done.

  35. Sheshadri Trivedi on

    Dear Dheeraj!
    I’ve been an avid reader of your interesting posts and feel greatly benefited from your well researched and experienced accounts. You’ve done a terrific job indeed.
    I’m visiting spiti valley on the 9th of June onwards. We are two families consisting of two couples and two children, one boy aged 13 and my daughter aged 5 years. Our itinerary is like this:
    1. Shimla to Rekong PEO visiting sangla
    2. Rekong PEO – chitkul – Rekong PEO
    3. Rekong PEO to Tabo
    4. Tabo – Dhankar – Kaza
    5. Kaza – chandratal- Kaza
    6. Kaza – Rekong PEO
    7. Rekong PEO – Sarahan
    8. Sarahan – Shimla end of tour.
    Sir this tour has been prepared as per the advice of my travel agent. Is it feasible? Kindly also let me know about chances of ams during the tour. I’m a bit apprehensive about the chandratal part. Can you please suggest any alternative destination or sightseeing?
    I’ll be eagerly awaiting your reply.
    Regards. Sheshadri Trivedi.

    • Helllo Sheshadri,

      Firstly whosoever is your Travel Agent PLEASE DROP him as he doesn’t know about Kinnaur or Spiti Valley. HE is putting you up in concrete jungle of Reckong Peo when there is Kalpa. He is taking you to peo after visiting sangla and then again asking you to come back to sangla, visit chitkul and go back 🙁 🙁

      Best is that you kind of drop Chandratal firs as it will be difficult to do with kids that early in the season.

      Regarding itineray, please follow something like below:

      1. Shimla to Sangla
      2. Sangla – chitkul – Sangla – Peo – Kalpa
      3. Kalpa to Tabo
      4. Tabo – Pin Valley – Dhangkar – Kaza
      5. Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Gette in first half, Komik, Langza, Hikkim in second half. Rest at Kaza.
      6. Kaza – Tabo – Geyu Mummy – Nako
      7. Nako – Sarahan
      8. Sarahan – Shimla end of tour.

      OR if Kunzum Pass and route to Manali opens from Kaza by that time then do like

      3. Kalpa – Nako Lake – Geyu Mummy – Tabo
      4. Tabo – Pin Valley – Dhangkar – Kaza
      5. Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Gette – Kaza,
      6. Kaza – Komik, Langza, Hikkim – Kaza
      6. Kaza – Kunzum Pass – Rohtang Pas – Manali
      7. Manali
      8. Manali – Chandigarh/Shimla

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  36. hi,

    Im planning for a trip to Spiti in July(4-5 people) please help me with my queries below:
    1. Is it safe for all girls
    2. I am planing to take the Manali-Rohtang Pass-Kunzum Pass-Kaza road. Can you please help us on places we should halt overnight to avoid AMS or acclimatization?
    3. It would be great if you could help us with an iternary going this way to spiti & around for 5-6 days Manali-Spiti-Manali.
    (including place to visit in spiti)

    Thanks,
    Amrita K.

    • Hi Amrita,

      Most of the queries are replied in the other post. You have 6 days from Manali to Spiti to Manali, I will propose that you follow the plan like below:

      Day 1 | Manali – Rohtang Pass – Kunzum Pass – Kaza – Tabo
      — Staying at Tabo will help you with acclimatization
      Day 2 | Tabo – Dhangkar Lake – Dhangkar Monastery – Pin Valley
      Day 3 | Pin Valley – Kaza. Do Ki, Kibber in the evening
      Day 4 | Kaza – Langza – Komik – Hikkim – Kaza
      Day 5 | Kaza – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal
      Day 6 | Chandratal – manali

      You can stay at Sakya Abode or Sakya Homestays in Kaza which is run by a dear friend of mine, Tsering. You can get connected with him at 09418208987 and can refer my name to him. He will ensure any concerns you have over there being taken care.

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Hey….m sorry bt my friends r confused between leh Ladakh n spiti valley…can u please help.?
        In terms of cost per person as r budget is 15-20k per person.n it’s all r first time up north.what do u recommend?

        • Amrita, cost wise Spiti Valley will be much economic and again beauty wise as well you will never regret the decision of opting the trip to Spiti Valley. Both have their own unique beauty, whatever Ladakh offers, Spiti Offers in much less wider aspect. Examples, lakes in Ladakh are hugely wide, so as valleys but in spiti there are much less wider though similar in terrain.

  37. chandrachur on

    hii,
    I am planning for a trip to simla-kalpa-chitkul-sangla-manali in the month of june(end)& july(1st).I think it will be little rainy but I have no option left.what do you suggest?

  38. sanjay desai on

    can i travel from shimla via kinnuar , kaza & end at manali in 9 days.by road. give me the best itenary . we are six in family. want to start from delhi on 9/5/14. is road will be open.

    • Sanjay, in May Kunzum Pass does not open. Hence, you will not be able to do the entire circuit. If you want to do the circuit, the make the plan from mid June to September.

    • It will be a very difficult task, as the road beyond Rampur (after 20 – 30 km) is in very bad condition, upto Spiti. Treacherous journey, as they call it. If are traveling in a private vehicle, it will be start early from Shimla and late evening anchoring at Tabo. Beyond this, you will be a contender in The Great Himalayan Rally. But I will not recommend it unless you have traveled there earlier or you have an experienced driver regularly traveling on that route. You may try to halt at Nako (Kinnaur district), if you are so keen on it. But Rekong Peo will be a much safer bet.

      • your suggestion is very helpful.we hired a experienced driver(innova). we are considering to stay at rampur on 1st day and then at tabo or reckong peo.

        • If you are starting from Rampur, you may think of anchoring at Tabo. However, it depends on the condition that you are not stranded in between due to landslide and you are not interested in the places outside Spiti valley. Also,the itinerary given by Dheeraj is good choice for you. Still, my suggestions to all travelers will be that if you intend to spend more time outside Spiti valley, it is justified that you get driver from Shimla or Chandigarh. However, if your plan is to spend and travel more in Spiti, hiring a driver and vehicle belonging to Spiti/Kaza makes a sense. Plz be prepared for bone freezing cold. Day time will be fine. Hotels in Spiti do not provide room heating. Best wishes.

        • Anshul, both Kunzum & Rohtang Pass has got snow again and it is not recommended to travel as the roads might close down now in case of heavy snowfall. Do take calculative risk and suggestions by Ravindra ji.

  39. hi, on october24 ,2013 i alongwith my friends are going to spiti valley via shimla route . taking rest @shimla on 25 , if we leave early can we make upto kaza on that particular day !!

    • Anshul, guess I replied on other post. It is already very cold up there in Spiti Valley. Doing a circuit is not recommended now because Kunzum Pass & Rohtang Pass & surrounding hills have started getting snow and can close anytime. Still, wanna make it then in 7 days you can do something like below:

      Day 1 | Delhi – Narkanda
      Day 2 | Narkanda – Kalpa
      Day 3 | Kalpa – Tabo
      Day 4 | Tabo – Dhangkar – Pin Valley – Kaza
      Day 5 | Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Kaza in first half and then Kaza – Komik – Hikkim – Langza – Kaza in second half.
      Day 6 | Kaza – Kunzum Pass – Rohtang Pass – Manali
      Day 7 | Manali – Delhi

      Keep in mind it is a risky affair now.

      • dheeraj. thank u very much . this itenary will be very useful. i’ll plan accordingly.

        • thanks , as you said the roads are block in rohtang and kunjum pass . is it risky to go kaza via kinnaur and retrace while returning ?

  40. hi friends, october 12, 2013 i along with my friend are heading for kaza on bike. we dont have any plans as such, but we will appreciate suggesstion..

    • Which route are you taking Amit? Passes have started getting snowfall now and winters have started to set in too.

      PS: Sorry for delayed reply as I was traveling Ladakh for last couple of weeks.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • hi dheeraj, thnx for the reply, we will be taking shimla route, as i mentioned we don’t have plans, except we intend to camp where ever we find good place.. any suggestions for good camping options ?

        • Amit there are many places to put camps on including Narkanda, Rakcham, Tabo, Nako, Kaza, Pin Valley, etc.. but it all depends if you can brave such cold up there in Spiti in tents. There are already sub-zero winds/temperature.

  41. Pingback: 5 Reasons to Travel Spiti Valley from Manali Route - DeViL on WheeLs

  42. Ravindra Gavali on

    A small but a wise suggestion: Always hire a local taxi and tourist guide. If you intend spend more time in the lower stretches of Himalaya (Shimla or Manali), it is a god decision to hire a taxi from this place. But if your main focus is on Spiti valley, it make sense to hire taxi of that place in Manali or Shimla itself. Lower hills or Delhi drivers will ruin your journey and rob you from information and interpretation of Spiti valley. The taxiwala form upper valleys will always take you out from hopeless situations and never desert you. He will never complain about roads. you just wish, he will take you anywhere and anytime or help you find your way. I wonder how people, despite of doing all their homework manage to neglect this common sense fact for any tourist place.

    • Very true!! These local drivers know in and out of these routes and sometimes, even the drivers from plains or lower hills do not have much idea because they make more profit in lower hills, so are used to it only. hiring a local driver has numerous advantages and he gets more say as well and above all other find it hard to bully you as well. Drivers from plains usually are a big risk but for handful of money people do not understand that they are risking the entire tour, leaves, bookings and money spent just to save one portion of local taxis. Above all there is a life risk to involved with someone who has least knowledge of the terrain. I remember one incident when one driver cam from Bihar and the transport guy from plains sent him to Ladakh. He was terrified with the Manali – Leh highway, somehow we =escorted him and that family to Leh safely from where they finally returned just seeing khardung La as he could not take more. Loss of time, leaves, money and experience!!

      • Ravindra Gavali on

        I hope, fellow travelers do consider this suggestion seriously. Also, the duration spent, clothing, dehydration, high altitude sickness, mood swings and anger (yes, its there and its my observation for years together) and acclimatisation dos and donots as written on this website. High altitude environment is completely different than what we speculate about it. Yesterday, I read somewhere on this blog about you suggesting Mr. Mohit regarding acclimatisation and canceling his trip to Ladhak. I hope, he understands it. People take such suggestions very lightly. I wanted to pen down on travelers experience on your blog. But my month long Spiti valley trip was a box mixed feelings. Despite my (more than 15 years) traveling experience in Himalayas, my dearest friend and his wife (like a pampered teenage son) neglected all my suggestions. His wife is a doctor and was overconfident. The trip was the worst one for them. They literally ran away from Spiti, abandoning their trip. The other group of family friends (including senior citizens) followed all my instructions and experienced a wonderful trip (of a lifetime) with a feeling of returning to Spiti again. They also did the challenging 21 village point and junction of three rivers(Phalangri top). Some of them are planning the Spiti – Tsomorari trek for the next year. The handler and trek guides came out to be my students. Anyway, I am not consolidating myself to write the horrifying experience or the pleasure part. I am still not been able to come out of it. I hope the thanks giving treat planned by the second group will torque my energy.

        • Very well said sir!! I have tons of examples here at the blog where some people do report that just not following the valuable advices on AMS, how they have ruined their own trips!!! It feels bad sometimes that people feel too overconfident and take things that lightly in the end come back and pollute the name of the place by cribbing about it. It is like the way they have planned their own trip which was at fault not the place… Thanks for sharing this experience, I am sure others listening might follow too 😀

  43. Pingback: 5 Reasons to Travel Spiti Valley from Shimla - Kinnaur Route - DeViL on WheeLs

  44. Pingback: Spiti Valley via Manali | How to Plan Your Journey - DeViL on WheeLs

  45. Deepak Chadha on

    Thx! Dheeraj for sharing detailed information for travelling on this track

  46. Anunoy Samanta on

    Your article is of great help for enthusiast travelers like us… thanks a lot Sharma ji!

    • Thanks alot. Glad to know you too friend. Also, since you are avid traveller then request you to JOIN recently launched DoW – Himalayan Travel Community and share your Himalayan knowledge and experiences with other like minded travellers too and help us materialize the vision to help a Himalayan life & help travelers travel with a difference in various parts of Himalayas


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