A Song Of Ice & ₹5k Entire – How To Do White Spiti On A Budget

Tripoto

What a splendid summer!

I had dreamed of a white Spiti, immersed in snow since forever. I finally got the chance to witness the beauty last April, and the experience simply blew my mind and everything else (quite literally, for it was still that nippy!). Spiti is undoubtedly one of the most scenic places on earth at any time of the year, but the winter months are extraordinarily gorgeous. Seeing the cold desert enveloped in fresh snow is magical, and that too on a budget. It is a steal! Here's how I did it

The onward route

New Delhi – Rampur Bushahr – Reckong Peo – Kaza

The first rule of a shoestring budget journey is using public transport. And, you are in great luck if your public transport happens to be HRTC – the lifeline of Himachal. I'll give you a heads up, the journey is long and treacherous, primarily from Reckong Peo to Kaza. Buses are not the most comfortable, but if you haven't seen Himachal from the window of an HRTC bus while travelling with the locals, then you haven't seen Himachal at all.

The deluxe bus ticket from Delhi to Rampur would cost somewhere between Rs 800 - 1000. The local bus ticket from Rampur to Peo is under Rs 180, and from Peo to Kaza, for under Rs 450. There's a 20% concession for women passengers on local HRTC buses.

The food all along the journey is pretty cheap, I had my lunch for Rs 40 in Peo, so you can imagine! Do not miss the momos, thukpa and vegetable soup in Kinnaur/Spiti, and the samosas in Rampur and Spillow (on the way from Peo to Kaza).

Between Delhi and Kaza, you only need one night's rest at Reckong Peo, and for this, you can book the government guest house online, it is close to the bus stand. There are many hotels with tariffs as low as Rs 100 per bed.

The food all along the journey is pretty cheap, I had my lunch for Rs 40 in Peo, so you can imagine! Do not miss the momos, thukpa and vegetable soup in Kinnaur/Spiti, and the samosas in Rampur and Spillow (on the way from Peo to Kaza).

Between Delhi and Kaza, you only need one night's rest at Reckong Peo, and for this, you can book the government guest house online, it is close to the bus stand. There are many hotels with tariffs as low as Rs 100 per bed.

The White Spiti – Local Sightseeing

Kaza – Key – Chicham – Kibber – Kaza – Langza – Hikkim – Komic –Kaza – Gue – Dhankar – Tabo – Kaza

From a thousand year-old monastery in Key, to one of the world's highest altitude bridges in Chicham. From the mummified lama in Gue to the fossil village of Langza guarded by a huge Buddha statue. From the highest post office in the world at Hikkim to one of the world's highest villages of Kibber –and all of it completely buried in snow. Spiti doesn't fail to amaze you ever. Everywhere you look it is a picture perfect frame.

Food is cheap in Spiti as well. It is simple yet delectable. My stay was at a budget hostel called Himalayan Drifters. It was clean, comfortable and had an amazing view. My experience here with the hosts and the local family was particularly warm. There are many budget homestays in Kaza. The most crucial thing here is the local commute, especially if you have a time constraint. HRTC buses are not very frequent and have fixed schedules only. That leaves you with the local tour operators and you can crack a cheap deal easily. If nothing else, be bold and hitchhike!

The return route

Kaza – Reckong Peo – Chandigarh – New Delhi

By the time the trip nears the end, we are exhausted and not as enthusiastic. And maybe already nostalgic for the places left behind. So I decided to take the fastest route, with fewer halts, this also means the cheapest route by default. Kaza to Peo is a 10 hour journey with HRTC, so a halt here is imperative. I had the same food from the same place. Next day, I caught the first bus to Chandigarh early morning. The journey is unbelievably long and testing. I started to feel a little dizzy by the time the bus reached Shimla, but had to hold on.

After we reached Chandigarh, we booked a nice and comfortable Volvo to Delhi from Sector 17 bus stand, this cost me around Rs 700, and felt like absolute luxury.

Now, in summers one can do a complete circuit of Spiti via Manali, ending in Shimla. But, in the colder months the Manali – Chandratal – Kunzum Pass route is closed, until the snow has completely melted and there are minimal chances of flash floods. The Shimla – Reckong Peo route is longer, but is breathtakingly stunning.

And Spiti in white is simply heaven, also because of the love and affection of the people here, Spiti stands out for all the right reasons. Although, with the wind chill considered, temperature even in April can go well below 0°C. So, pack accordingly. Spiti is in indeed one of the coldest places with the warmest people.

After we reached Chandigarh, we booked a nice and comfortable Volvo to Delhi from Sector 17 bus stand, this cost me around Rs700, and felt like absolute luxury.

Now, in summer, one can do a complete circuit of Spiti via Manali, ending in Shimla. But, in the colder months, the Manali – Chandratal – Kunzum Pass route is closed, until the snow has completely melted and there are minimal chances of flash floods. The Shimla – Reckong Peo route is longer, but breathtakingly stunning.

Spiti in white is simply heaven, and also because of the love and affection of the people here, Spiti stands out for all the right reasons. Although,considering the wind-chill, temperatures even in April can go well below 0°C. So, pack accordingly. Spiti is indeed one of the coldest places with the warmest people.

Have you been to Spiti? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

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2 Comment(s)
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Is it advisable to visit Spiti in December by your own conveyance (bike or car)?
Tue 09 03 19, 09:52 · Reply · Report
Did you do the Spiti sightseeing with Public Transportation or by a private tour?
Sat 05 11 19, 20:26 · Reply · Report