Hi Ankit :) You surely can visit Spiti in Jan/Feb - however it'll be all white, and covered in snow! So you gotta be well prepared for experiencing something incredible. To say the least, winter in Spiti would be surreal and absolutely breathtaking. I would suggest that you do a bit of research and then travel. You can check out this trip below and see if it suits you :)
Hey Ankit! Spiti is a magical wonderland that you HAVE to visit! However, Jan-Feb are not too conducive for an easy-going trip, especially if this is your first trip there. By that time, all of Spiti is covered in thick snow and has sub-zero temperature. To give you an idea of how bad the winter there is -- the water freezes in the pipes, you have to use dry toilets located outside the homestays, there is usually no electricity, and hot water is available only for essentials. In case an experience of the harsh winter is what you're looking for, then you can surely head to Spiti, but even then, I would suggest that you book with a tour operator, in order to make things easier for you. If not, then it is best to wait it out till next year and visit anytime between May - September. Happy travelling!
Hii, thank you for your response,but really wanted to see a winter spiti, and can go comfortably with winters but just query was, how much ahead in spiti i can reach, and where i can stuck there, so to be a little precautious about it before going.
Spiti transforms into a brilliant wonderland covered in powdery-white snow during winters each year. Sights like frozen lakes, waterfalls, and snow-covered mountains dotted with pugmarks of snow leopards are common. Visiting Spiti in winters is a once in a lifetime opportunity especially for travellers who love extreme winter adventures and enjoy activities like snow trekking, frozen waterfall climbing, and viewing the elusive snow leopard.
The valley, due to the absence of crowds, is quiet and calm. During the winter months, Spiti can be approached only from the Shimla side. Since the place is almost landlocked due to heavy snow cover, be prepared for a tough trip physically as well as mentally. Duration of winter: Winters in Spiti extend for 5 months i.e. from October to February.
Average Temperature: The average temperatures range between 0°C in the day to around -40°C in the night.
In winters, Spiti is accessible only from the Shimla side. The available route passes through Shimla – Narkanda – Rampur – Kalpa - Nako-Giu Village - Tabo Village – Dhankar - Pin Valley (Mud Village) – Kaza. Places to See During Winter:
- Chandratal Lake: This lake transforms into a frozen wonder in winters. Visit it to see the expanse of stark whiteness backdropped by dark mountains and blue skies.
- Gue Village: The village is famous for the intriguing mummy of a Buddhist monk who started mummifying his body while he was still alive. This was discovered during an earthquake in 1975 and is visited by people from all over the country. - Kibber: This village, surrounded by mountains, is famous for its snow-covered vistas in winter. Don’t miss to see the Tibetan-style houses, ancient monasteries, and wildlife like Blue Sheep, Tibetan Woolly Hare, Snow Leopards, and Ibex. - Chicham Bridge: Credited as the highest bridge in Asia and the second highest suspension bridge in the world, this bridge stands at a height of around 13,500 ft., this architectural marvel is a must-visit. Fairs & Festivals in Winter:
- Dechhang Festival: Celebrated in December, this is one of the most popular community festivals in Spiti. You will be treated to local food, bonfire, folk song and dance in this beautiful celebration. - Losar Festival: One of the most famous of the festivals, this marks the Tibetan New Year in the region. It is celebrated everywhere- right from the villages to the monasteries. This 3-day celebration sees processions, dances, music, massive bonfires, and praying sessions. - Gochi Festival: This interesting festival is celebrated in the month of February. Only families where a son was born in the preceding year can be a part of this. Dough and chhang (rice-based alcohol) is offered to the local deities on the day. - Fagli Festival: Celebrated after a fortnight of Amavasya, in the first half of February, this festival is dedicated to angels known as ‘Shikhara-Appa’, who are considered to be the ancestors of the mountains. People decorate their houses with oil lamps, flowers, bamboo, and offer barley flour and buttermilk to the local deities. Pros:
- Spiti is not visited by many travellers during the winter months, making it the perfect time for those who are seeking mountainside solitude. - For those interested in experiencing extreme winter adventures, this is the best time to visit Spiti valley to explore winter treks here and even catch live snowfall.
- Those interested in wildlife can hope to spot snow leopards during this time. Con’s:
- The weather is extremely harsh and brutal during winters. Those who cannot handle the blood-curdling cold should avoid venturing to Spiti in winters.
- Almost all the hotels, cafes, and markets are closed during winters. Your best bet will be homestays. You shouldn’t expect great facilities at this time. - Whichever hotels and homestays are functional will charge exorbitant prices. Don’t expect a budget stay during winters.
- Due to heavy snow, most of the roads will be blocked or in bad condition. They are slippery due to frost, slushy mud, and water crossings. Keep a few buffer days in hand if travelling during these months to avoid delays caused due to these conditions. - Due to sub-zero temperatures, don’t expect running water. You will have to make do with dry toilets and must be prepared to go for many days without taking a bath. - There are electricity fluctuations during this time. Bonfires or warm kitchen areas will be your place to be!
- The ATMs might be out of order due to the valley being cut-off and unavailability of electricity. - The phones will have intermittent coverage due to heavy snow cover. So prepare to remain cut-off for a while.
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