We took a flight from Mumbai to Chandigarh and then boarded a bus from Chandigarh at 10.00 pm which dropped us to Manali at 7.00 am. We stayed at Manali for one day and visited local tourist attractions like Hadimba temple, Beas river, Buddhist Monastery.
The Buddhist Monastery at Manali has a guest house and provides accommodation for INR 800 per room. You may stay at the Monastery guest house and meditate in the Monastery on the upper floor (there is a separate section where where you can sit and meditate).
At Manali, everyone (including HRTC bus staff) told us that the road from Manali to Kaza and Spiti are closed as the snow has not melted. We had read on blogs that the roads open in May and had planned our trip in June, however it is very difficult to find out whether the road has opened before you reach Manali. Hence, if you are planning to reach Spiti from Manali, plan your trip in mid-June to ensure that the roads are open.
After inquiring at a lot of places we finally went to Kiran Travels who told us that small vehicles and tempo travelers are plying between Manali and Kaza. We luckily met a person from Spiti who was travelling from Manali to Spiti in Tempo traveler. He agreed to take us to Spiti for INR 1500 per person.
We started our trip from Manali to Kaza at 6.00 am in the morning. The distance is around 200 km. The road was very good till Rohtang pass, but after that the road was narrow and in a very bad condition. So we reached Kaza at 7.00 pm, travelling at the speed of 15km/hr. Though it was a bumpy ride and a tiring journey, the trip was worth all the trouble due to the scenic beauty.
The Kaza monastery guest house offers rooms for INR 1700 per day. We chose to stay at Dey Zor hotel which offered nice comfortable rooms starting at INR 950. Next day we booked a local taxi for INR 500 to go to Key Monastery. We stayed at Key Monastery, which offers rooms on sharing basis with common toilet-bathroom for INR 250 per person/day including 3 meals.
Room at Key Monastery
Shared room at Key Monastery
View from Key Monastery
Next morning we left from Key. We visited Kibber and then took a taxi from Kaza to Tabo . On our way to Tabo, we visited the Lalung monastery which is one of the oldest monasteries in Spiti. Next we halted at Dhankar monastery which is on a hill. The old Dhankar monastery is very quiet and peaceful. They also have a guest house. However, we did not stay there and left for Tabo where we reached at around 6.00 pm.
The guest house at Tabo monastery charges INR 500 for double bed room with attached bathroom (meals not included), but we chose to stay at Tiger's Den hotel. Tabo is a very quiet place where you can sit and meditate. There are also caves near Tabo monastery which are very quiet and peaceful.
View of Tabo Monastery and Tabo village from the caves
Next day we left from Tabo. We took the HRTC bus at 5.30 am to Reckong Peo. From there we went to Shimla and visited local tourist spots like Mall road, Jakhoo temple, Christ church. The trip got over the next day when we went to Chandigarh and then back to Mumbai.