How to do Spiti Valley Circuit : Shimla-Spiti-Manali

2nd Jun 2017

SPITI VALLEY: No place for men, Gods must have lived here

Photo of How to do Spiti Valley Circuit : Shimla-Spiti-Manali by NIKHIL JAIN

Spiti or "the middle land" is the land between India and Tibet. It is not a place rather it is an experience in itself. Situated in Himachal Pradesh, India this place is surrounded by mountains and remains cut off for most part of the year due to heavy snowfall. Together with Lahaul valley it forms Lahaul-Spiti district.

I, along with a couple of friends decided to go to Spiti this summer. We booked our Spiti Valley tour from an agent, Spiti Holiday Adventure. Initially, we were reluctant to go with a Spiti tour operator for our Spiti Valley trip since I always like to explore on my own but then we decided to go with it

How to reach Spiti Valley

There are two routes for a Spiti Valley road trip.

1. Via Shimla - This route generally remains open throughout the year and you enter Spiti valley from Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. Kaza, which is sub-divisional headquarter of Spiti valley is around 430km from Shimla. While going from Shimla many major places of this region like Reckonpeo-Kalpa-Sangla-Chitkul-Nako-Tabo-Dhankar-Pin valley falls en route.

2. Via Manali - This route generally remains after the snow is cleared which is usually after May. Road from Gramphoo to Batal is mostly pathetic with numerous water crossing and at few places full of stones specially are around chota dharra. Manali to Kaza is nearly around 220 Kms. But one just cannot afford to miss Chandratal lake. It's a must visit for everyone who is going to that region.

Day 1

Spiti Valley itinerary

Find below our Spiti itinerary -

Day 1: Shimla -Sangla-Chitkul-Sangla

Distance & Duration: nearly 230 Kms ( 7 hrs)

Mesmerizing Chitkul

Photo of Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh, India by NIKHIL JAIN

We started early morning around 7:00 AM from Shimla and then going via Sarahan, Reckong peo we went to Sangla. We crossed Sangla in order to go to Chitkul which is about 20 Kms and one of the amazing places to start with. Its the last inhabited village near Indo-China border. After spending some we came back to Sangla

Stay: Igloo Camps, Sangla

Day 2

Day 2: Sangla - Nako

Distance & Duration: nearly 125 Kms ( 5 hrs)

Nako Village

Photo of Nako Lake, Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh, India by NIKHIL JAIN

Nako is famous for its lake and monastery. We did a small hike upto the hill top about 2 kms where there was a prayer wheel. Nako lake is surrounded by willow and poplar trees. Our hotel had a lovely view of lake in front of us.

Stay: Lake view hotel, Nako

Day 3: Nako - Tabo - Dhankar - KAZA

Distance & Duration: Nako - Tabo nearly 65 Kms ( 1.5 hrs)

Day 3

Tabo Monastery

Photo of Tabo Monastery, Himachal Pradesh, India by NIKHIL JAIN

Tabo monastery was founded in 996 CE. This monastery is known to be the oldest continuously operating Buddhist monastery.

Distance & Duration: Tabo - Dhankar nearly 32 Kms ( 1 hr)

Dhankar village

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

Trek to Dhankar lake which is approx 2 kms from monastery is a straight uphill hike.

Dhankar Lake

Photo of Dhankar Lake, Dhar Nipti, Himachal Pradesh, India by NIKHIL JAIN

Mostly a barren land while trekking but a splendid view en-route to lake. After this trek we went to Kaza, the headquarter of Spiti valley.

Distance & Duration: Dhankar - Kaza nearly 35 Kms ( 1 hr)

Stay: Hotel Spiti Sarai, Kaza

Day 4: Kaza - Pin valley - Mud village - Kaza

Distance & Duration: Kaza-Mud nearly 60 Kms ( 2 hrs)

Day 4

Pin valley

Photo of Pin Valley National Park, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by NIKHIL JAIN

Pin valley is a place where Pin River meets Spiti river. Mountains here have different textures and colors. It is a cold desert. Snow leopards are found in this region during winters.

Kungri monastery

Photo of Kungri Gompa, Kungri, Himachal Pradesh, India by NIKHIL JAIN

On our way we went to Kungri monastery as well.

View from Mud village

Photo of Mud, Himachal Pradesh, India by NIKHIL JAIN

Our next and final destination for the day was Mud village. One of the picturesque village I have been to. From here Pin- Parvati trek starts. Road is not accessible after this village. Tara guest house offers amazing food here.

Stay: Hotel Spiti Sarai, Kaza

Day 5: Kaza - Langza - Hikkim - Komic - Kaza

Distance & Duration: Kaza - Langza nearly 14 Kms ( 1 hr)

Day 5

Buddha Statue at Langza

Photo of Langza Buddha Statue, Hikam, Himachal Pradesh, India by NIKHIL JAIN

Langza is at an altitude of about 4300mtr. It is best known for fossils of marine animals and plants. There is a Lord Buddha statue over there which looks after the valley like an eye of the tiger.

Distance & Duration: Langza - Komic nearly 14 Kms ( 30 min)

Komic : No caption needed

Photo of Komic, Himachal Pradesh, India by NIKHIL JAIN

Komic is the highest village in the World connected with motorable road. It is situated above 15000ft. Nested in between hills and mountain there are roughly about 13-14 houses.

Distance & Duration: Komic - Hikkim nearly 10 Kms ( 40 min)

Been here did that. Hikkim: World's highest post office

Photo of Hikkim Post Office, Hikkim, Himachal Pradesh, India by NIKHIL JAIN

Hikkim is famous for having World's highest Post office at an height of 4440mtr. One can actually send post cards to their loved ones from here.

Distance & Duration: Hikkim-Kaza nearly 20 Kms ( 1 hr)

Stay: Hotel Spiti Sarai, Kaza

Day 6: Kaza - Key monastey - Kibber

Distance & Duration: Kaza to Key nearly 12 Kms ( 20 min)

Key monastery is situated at around 4100mtr above sea level. It was founded by Dromton, one of the students of teacher, Atisha. Being situated on hill top, it gives the most amazing view of Spiti valley and it is one of the famous monastery of this valley.

Distance & Duration: Key monastery - Kibber nearly 10 Kms ( 20 min)

Day 6

Kibber it is baby

Photo of Kibber, Himachal Pradesh, India by NIKHIL JAIN

Kibber is situated at a height of around 4270mtr. Before Komic it used to be the highest motorable village in Asia.

Stay: Norling homestay, Kibber

Day 7: Kibber - Kunzum la - Chandratal lake

We started early around 05:30AM from Kibber and came back to Kaza and from there on we continued our journey to Kunzum la and Chandratal lake. We saw breathtaking view on our journey from Kaza to Losar.

Distance & Duration: Kaza to Kunzum la nearly 95 Kms ( 3 hrs)

Day 7

Kunzum la

Photo of Kunzum Pass, Dhar Thachakarpo, Himachal Pradesh, India by NIKHIL JAIN

Kunzum pass is at a height of 4590mtr. Goddess Kunzum temple is situated at this pass. One can watch the amazing view of Bara Sigri glacier, the second longest glacier of the World from here.

Distance & Duration: Kunzum la - Chandratal nearly 30 Kms ( 1 hrs)

Heavenly Chandratal Lake

Photo of Chandra Taal, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by NIKHIL JAIN

Chandratal was an like an ocean of blue water. Chandratal got its name because of its crescent shape and rightly so. It is situated at a height of 4300mtr.

Stay: Chandratal camps

Day 8: Chandratal - Rohtang la - Manali

Distance & Duration: nearly 140 Kms ( 6 hrs)

Day 8

Snowfall for the first

Photo of Rohtang Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by NIKHIL JAIN

Road from Gramphoo to Batal was horrible with stones, and number of water crossings.

Finally our trip to Spiti Valley ended on a high note with snowfall. We reached Manali and checked into a hotel for couple of hours. We took a bus for Chandigarh and its over.

I still cannot forget Spiti. For me it will always be an experience rather than a place and surely I will be visiting it soon just to find the piece of me which I left there.

6 Comment(s)
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Hey Nikhil, We are following the same exact route for upcoming trip. Can you share the details of the places you stayed if any contact available. It would be really helpful. Thanks.
Fri 06 01 18, 12:53 · Reply (1) · Report
hey i am so sorry. i somehow missed your comment. I hope your journey would have been fantastic
Mon 06 04 18, 07:09 · Report
Hey Nikhil, thanks for sharing your experience with us.. Actually i am planning to go to spiti valley around 15th july to 25th july. I need to know that you traveled whole route on your own vehicle/ rented / used public transport from one place to another?
Thu 05 31 18, 03:40 · Reply (1) · Report
hey. sorry sanjay for the late response. We went through agent in which car and stay everything was covered.
Mon 06 04 18, 07:11 · Report
Hey Nikhil, can you share the exact itinerary with all the inclusions and exclusions also mentioning the places that you stayed in as received by Spiti Holiday Adventure? is my email address. :) Thanks.
Mon 05 21 18, 05:35 · Reply (1) · Report
I will soon send t to you
Tue 05 22 18, 10:03 · Report
Very detailed one. Hey, could you tell me if I visit in July will there be any snow? I wanna go when there is no snow.
Wed 01 10 18, 08:29 · Reply (1) · Report
In July you wont find snowfall .. weather would be perfect and moreover you could explore places too
Thu 01 11 18, 09:50 · Report
Hi. i am planning from Delhi. Can you tell me at what time you visited?
Sun 09 03 17, 22:22 · Reply (1) · Report
Hey! I visited in June!! June to September is rhe best time to visit!!
Mon 09 04 17, 08:45 · Report
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