Solo Trip to the Winter Wonderland- Spiti in December - January.

Tripoto
28th Dec 2019

Drop-Dead Gorgeous- Kee Gompa

Photo of Solo Trip to the Winter Wonderland- Spiti in December - January. by Rushabh_Shah_25_28

SPITI!

Julley!

How strongly have you desired to live a fairy tale straight in front of your eyes? I mean just imagine, you are just entering a closet of world wearing a blanket of white snow all around and you are walking in territory as same as you witnessed in Narnia. How do you feel when you leave footprints adorned in fresh snow and you keep watching then again and again? If you can imagine this scene, then SPITI in winter is not far.

In extreme winter conditions, if you want to visit one place of India, nothing could be a better choice than Spiti if you really wish to be in a world away from world. Every single existential and non-existential object in Spiti wears a thick blanket of fresh snow. Every hut, road, wooden home, monastery, village, plain land, mountain dons the snowy mantle and flaunts it with unimaginable beauty.

Winter Spiti is like a miniature of paradise created in one high altitude closet of world itself. It’s not a wish to have, it’s a compelling dream to experience and live. Come with open hearts, and find a sparkle to your frozen feelings being in frozen world of its own. Sleepy countryside, dusty roads, ancient monasteries, silence at every inch, humble people, sense of adrenaline in veins, snow-covered mountains, snail-speedy life, diverse culture and typical anonymity with the world(and with the self too), these are some jewels that Spiti is wearing very proudly, at the same time attracting wanderlust souls like me from all around the world. -Team SoloYolo.

*Major Places covered in 7 days- Shimla, Kalpa, Giu, Pin Valley, Kaza, Langza, Hikkim, Komic, Kee Monastery, Kibber, Chicham, Tabo, Dhankar monastery.

Day 1

Day 1: Shimla - Rampur - Kalpa

Traveling - 242 km (10-11 hours)

Night Stay: Kalpa - Hotel Accommodation

*Our trip to Winter Wonderland started from Queen of Hills Station-Shimla around 8:30 am.

*Passing through the Hindustan Tibet Highway (NH 505), we took lunch at Rampur - Bushahr before entering the spectacular Kinnaur Valley.

Hindustan Tibet Highway

Photo of Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India by Rushabh_Shah_25_28

*With the glimpse of the thrillingly majestic views of the Kinnaur - Kailash looming right above the village, around 7:30 pm we reached to Kalpa (9,711 ft) capital of Kinnaur district. It is said to be the summer adobe of Lord Shiva.

Road to the Heaven

Photo of Kalpa, Himachal Pradesh, India by Rushabh_Shah_25_28

*I stayed at The Hotel- Alpline Crest. Cozy rooms, good hospitality, friendly staff, delicious food, mesmerizing view of Kailash mountain (19,850 ft) even from our rooms, What else can we expect more!

*At night we can see the part of Milky way through naked eyes without any external equipment. Sky was so clear and view was so enthralling that it stretched me to take photos even at -7° Celsius temperature.

Day 2

Day 2: Kalpa - Nako - Tabo

Traveling - 150 km (7 hours)

Night Stay: Tabo - Home stay

*Next morning we woke up with this amazing view and the temperature was around -5º Celsius. It was so freezing but the view of Kailash made us forget everything. After breakfast we left for the Tabo.

Spectacular Kinnaur - Kailash.

Photo of Solo Trip to the Winter Wonderland- Spiti in December - January. by Rushabh_Shah_25_28
Day 3

Tabo - Dhankar - 32 km (1 hours)

*After that we went to the Dhankar village (12,774 ft) at around 1 pm.

*It is also known as Dhangkar. Dhang means cliff, and kar or khar means fort. Hence Dhangkar means fort on a cliff.

Enthralling Dhankar Gompa!

Photo of Dhankar Monastery, Sichling-Dhankhar Gompa, Dhankhar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Rushabh_Shah_25_28

Dhankar - Pin Valley - 50 km (2.5 hours)

*We entered in Pin Valley (11500 ft) around 2:30 pm. Complete road was covered with minimum of 1 ft of snow. With fear of slipping on black ice, slowly and safely we reached to Sangnam village. We had awesome local handmade Momos there.

Road To the Pin Valley.

Photo of Pin Valley National Park, Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India by Rushabh_Shah_25_28

Pin Valley - Kaza - 50 km (2 hours)

*Finally after so much of waiting around 8 pm we reached to Headquarter of Spiti- Kaza (12500 ft)!

*In Kaza I stayed in "SOLO YOLO Homestay" At -26 Celsius the hospitality, the food, the care, mainly Fun, really appreciable Staff and management. You can't get better then that.

Day 3: Tabo - Dhankar - Pin Valley - Kaza

Traveling - 140 km (10 hours with site seeing)

Night Stay: Kaza- Solo Yolo- Home stay

Temp range- -3° to -23° Celsius

*Next morning we woke up with amazing view and the temperature was around -14° Celsius. We visited Tabo monastery, which was founded by Buddhist king "Yashe-O" in 996 CE.

Tabo Monastery.

Photo of Solo Trip to the Winter Wonderland- Spiti in December - January. by Rushabh_Shah_25_28
Day 4

Day 4: Kaza - Langza - Komic - Hikkim - Kaza

Traveling - 50 km (6 hours with site seeing)

Night Stay: Kaza- Solo Yolo- Home stay

Temp range- -5° to -26° Celsius

*Our next day site seeing was started around 11 am from Kaza with World's Highest Retail outlet of Petrol/Diesel. (12270 ft)

World's Highest Retail Fuel Outlet.

Photo of Solo Trip to the Winter Wonderland- Spiti in December - January. by Rushabh_Shah_25_28
Day 5

Day 5: Kaza - Chicham - Kibber - Kee - Kaza

Traveling - 70 km (6 hours with site seeing)

Night Stay: Kaza- Solo Yolo- Home stay

Temp range- -3° to -23° Celsius

*My first day of New year was started with snow fight and today we going to explore one of the best places of the trip and personally first in my list of Spiti trip is Key monastery.

*Before reaching Kee village, we found group of Blue sheep and Ibex on a road from Kaza to Kee.

Ibex and Blue Sheep

Photo of Solo Trip to the Winter Wonderland- Spiti in December - January. by Rushabh_Shah_25_28
Day 6

Day 6: Kaza - Giu - Kalpa

Traveling - 220 km (9 hours with site seeing)

Night Stay: Kalpa - Hotel Accommodation

Temp range- -6° to -20° Celsius

*With lots of memories, photos and new Family We left Kaza in early morning for a Giu.

Day 7

Day 7: Kalpa - Shimla

Traveling - 242 km (10 hours)

*With early morning breakfast we departed for Shimla. As road passing the number of crowds of people was increasing, Once again phone calls started as network coming, once again this harsh life going to be start and millions of thoughts like this are increasing as we are reaching near Shimla and with all these thoughts, lots of non forgettable memories and heavy heart my trip to The Winter Wonderland- Spiti ended!

Day 4

Kaza - Langza - 15 km (1 hours)

*We went to the Langza (14500 ft). It is known as Fossil village of Spiti. Langza and many other villages of Spiti submerged under the ancient geological Tethys Ocean, more than 200 million years ago.

Mesmerizing Langza Village.

Photo of Langza, Himachal Pradesh, India by Rushabh_Shah_25_28

Langza - Hikkim - 9 km (30 mins)

*Hikkim (14567 ft) is famous for the World's highest Post office at a height of 4440 mtr.

World Highest Post Office with his Post Master!

Photo of Hikkim Post Office हिक्कीम पोस्ट ऑफिस, Hikkim, Himachal Pradesh, India by Rushabh_Shah_25_28
Day 5

Kaza - Chicham - 22 km (1 hour)

*We reached famous Chicham Bridge (13596 ft) around 1:30 pm. It is Asia's Highest bridge.

Asia's Highest bridge - Chicham Bridge

Photo of Chicham Bridge, Chicham Khas, Himachal Pradesh, India by Rushabh_Shah_25_28

Chicham - Kibber - 6 km (15 mins)

*After that we went to the Kibber village (14,200 ft) - home for the Grey ghosts - Snow leopards.

Bewitching Kibber Village.

Photo of Kibber, Himachal Pradesh, India by Rushabh_Shah_25_28

Kibber - Kee Gompa - 7 km (20 mins)

*With the most amazing view of Spiti valley and one of the best places of the trip and personally first in my list of Spiti valley is Key monastery (13688 ft)

*It is the largest monastery in the entire Spiti Valley. Kye monastery falls in the ‘Pasada’ style of architecture. There was 3 floor in the monastery, Walls were covered with painting and murals. It accommodates nearly 350 monks nowadays.

Drop-Dead Gorgeous Key Gompa.

Photo of Key Gompa, Key Monastery, Key, Himachal Pradesh, India by Rushabh_Shah_25_28
Day 6

Kaza - Giu - 80 km (2 hours)

*Giu is a small village situated at a height of around 10,000 ft, between the towns of Sumdo and Tabo. The shrine with a dead body dried up through a natural process, with its eyes, teeth and hair intact, is present there.

Giu Monastery

Photo of Giu Thach by Rushabh_Shah_25_28

Giu - Kalpa - 140 km (6 hours)

*Around 7:30 we reached to Kalpa- The Alpline Crest. Had dinner and went for the sky gazing. At that time the temperature was -16° Celsius but still the enthralling view stretched me.

Day 4

Hikkim - Komic - 10 km (30 mins)

*According to HPPWD, Komic (15050 ft) is the Highest Village in the World connected with the Motorable Road. There is also one age old monastery, which has stuffed leopard body.

Photo of Komic, Himachal Pradesh, India by Rushabh_Shah_25_28
Day 2

Kalpa - Nako - 110 km (3.5 hours)

*With mesmerizing view of Kinnaur district we reached to the Nako (11,893 ft) Had lunch there and left for the Tabo village.

Beautiful Nako Village!

Photo of Nako, Himachal Pradesh, India by Rushabh_Shah_25_28

Nako - Tabo - 65 km (2 hours)

*By evening we reached Tabo (10,760 ft) and stayed in home stay with the locals in and had local food with them. There is no tape water in entire Spiti valley in winter, all pipelines are blocked so we have to use dry toilet everywhere.

Sand Mountain in Spiti.

Photo of Tabo, Himachal Pradesh, India by Rushabh_Shah_25_28
Day 7

*Once again we needed to go towards the reality, leaving the dreams behind, towards the overcrowded cities, towards the jungles of concrete, rushing to reach before 10 am and struggling to leave at 7 pm from the cage.

*Around 6:30 pm we reached in Shimla and took a bus from ISBT for Delhi and there onward we went to our respective cities...

Glimpse of the Some of the Best Landscapes of Trip.

Photo of Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India by Rushabh_Shah_25_28

*It has a plethora of wall paintings and mud statues made by hand. It is noted for being the oldest continuously operating Buddhist enclave in both India and the Himalayas.

*It is a 16th century old fort monastery, It was the traditional capital of the Spiti Valley during the 17th century. The Dhankar Gomba is over 1000 years old. Due to several earthquakes, attacks and erosion of base some sections of the gompa have been abandoned.

*In 2006, World Monuments Fund selected Dhankar gompa as one of the 100 most endangered sites in the world.

*A massive statue of Lord Budhha guarding the hamlet is the tallest structure here (35 ft) and it looks like it taking watch over whole village.

Dazzling Buddha Statue

Photo of Solo Trip to the Winter Wonderland- Spiti in December - January. by Rushabh_Shah_25_28

*One can send a postcard and it will be reached in any part of India within 30 days. It also acts as a savings bank for locals.

*After that we drove back towards our homestay had best ever New Year Party there even at -26° Celsius.

*It connects the two villages Chicham and Kibber. Look down this one and you will find yourself gaping below, at a 1000 ft deep gorge! The gorge below is known by the name of Samba Lamba Nallah.

*In addition to snow leopards, the sanctuary inhabits Tibetan Wolf, Ibex, Himalayan Blue Sheep, Tibetan Woolly Hare, Pale Weasel, Tibetan Wild Ass and Red Fox.

*The Key Monastery was founded by Dromton, who was a pupil of Atisha, in the 11th century. It has been attacked and destroyed many times but still it is one of the most attractive places in India.

*This Tibetan mummy is over 500 years old. The body parts have not decayed either, despite no chemical preservation. It is beside newly constructed Giu Monastery.

*The Never ending journey of Life- Winter Wonderland-Spiti!

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