Spiti Valley Road Trip A Journey of a LifeTime

By: TM Abbas & Aasiya Mehmood Shaikh

Last Updated: 12- Oct- 2021

Spiti Valley Road Trip A Journey of a LifeTime

At an average altitude of 12,500 feet above sea level, Spiti Valley perched high in the Himalayas is the most breathtaking destination for travel geeks. It is a cold desert mountain valley, lies amidst Himachal Pradesh and Tibet boundary.  The rustic landscape, cliffhanger roads, treacherous curves, and high passes are a few of the things that will charm you. If you love nature, adventure, and always in awe of its charisma, Spiti has to be your next trip.  The picturesque place has a cultural mix of Tibetan and Indian beliefs and Buddhism deep-rooted in the locals, spiritually. The road trip to Spiti Valley will be full of dangerous alleys, rough terrain, fascinating landscapes, drop-dead gorgeous valleys, sparkling glaciers, and a life-changing experience.

Best time for Spiti Valley Road Trip

Spiti Valley trip is permissible throughout the year. For a warmer summer with a bit of snowy experience, April to September is highly recommended. Visiting Spiti Valley in winter is an entirely different experience. The temperature is very chilly, snow bed covering the mountain, valley, and river completely!  Also, some part of the region gets inaccessible due to heavy snowfall!

Key Highlights of the Trip:

  1. Spiti has a charm in its mighty peaks, beautiful valleys, friendly locals, and very old monasteries.
  2. Enjoy Chaam festival in July end, with masked dances, prayer wheels &rituals
  3. Tabo monastery is the Ajanta of Himalaya, declared as a ‘World’s Heritage Site’ 
  4. Treat your taste buds with local cuisines like Spitian bread, dal, rice, and vegetables 
  5. Must visit spots: India's only mummy, highest village, post office & fuel Station


DAY1: Drive up from Chandigarh & travel to Narkanda Via Shimla

The excitement begins as you step at Chandigarh and begin your road trip journey to Narkanda. Brace yourself as this journey will cover the narrow path, rugged terrain, scary twists and turns, and a lot more fun.  This day majorly takes you through the route of Shimla and Kufri. Two most popular hill stations offering breathtaking landscapes and scenic views to cover. If time permits, you can take a break and enjoy visiting some places in Shimla and Kufri. Don't forget the most talked about Mall Road of Shimla; sip in some noodles and chill. 

DAY 2: Narkanda to Sangla/Chitkul

On this route, you will visit Hatu Peak, and enjoy the panoramic view from the top. Later, you can catch the remarkable Tani Jubbar Lake sight, a beautiful and remote lake covered with hills and breathtaking pine trees all around. Take a ride from the majestic Baspa Dam and brace yourself for the exciting road route ahead. An alluring pine tree near the dam will surely please your eyes and soul. 

Pass by small villages in Sangla to finally reaching the last village of India, Chitkul. Meet the locals, enjoy the cuisine offered in the town and have a good time sipping hot coffee in the cold weather. You will get an excellent valley view, and it is as offbeat as it gets. A must-stop by spot, situated at the Indo-Tibetan Border, the last point in India that one can travel to.

DAY 3: Sangla/Chitkul to Kalpa

Chitkul, a village on the edge of India is situated at the height of 3450, marks the end of Sangla Valley. Explore the natural chitkul village, enjoy local cuisine that you will relish for life. This journey will also cover the impressive chitkul temple. Also, Rakcham Village, it is a relatively unknown destination, but the view due to its remoteness gives tourist a treat to their eyes. En route, you will pass by Reckong Peo, which is the headquarters of the Kinnaur district, offering a gorgeous panoramic view of Kinnaur Kailash.

The snow-covered peak of the Kinnaur Kailash mountains will surely delight your experience here! Next is to witness Kalpa, a small village and legendary winter home of Shiva. You will have a spectacular sight in the morning of the rising sun touching the gorgeous snow-capped mountains, offering crimson light. 

DAY 4: Kalpa to Tabo Via Nako, Gue

The scenic route will keep you hooked up and mesmerized throughout. Visit Khab Confluence, Ka Zigs, high altitude Nako Lake surrounded beautifully with willow and poplar trees. From eating the sumptuous local food to exploring traditional marketing, viewing snowy peaks, and passing by apple orchards. You will be in love with Spiti Valley. 

Also, a must-visit spot in Gue village, Gue Mummy Stupa, one of the famous places in Kaza. Gue village ideally stored and well-preserved 500-year-old mummy of Sangha Tenzing, which is worth viewing. You are sure to get chills, as the local shares with you the history of the mummy.

DAY 5: Tabo to Pin Valley via Tabo, Dhankar, Lahlung

As you move forward, the road ahead gets more beautiful; it covers a gorgeous valley, riverbank and Tabo monastery on its route. The monastery is tucked  at the height of 10,007 feet, and is  one of the oldest Buddhist pilgrims pots, almost around a 1000-year-old. Tabo is sure to give you the most enchanting view of the milky way. Sight some rarely seen blue mountain goats while your visit to the Dhankar Monastery and Lahlung Golden Temple. 

Reaching Pin Valley and finally exploring Kungri Monastery, the second oldest Gompa in the Lahaul and Spiti Valley. Then further traveling to Mudh, a small village located at an altitude of 12,000 feet, its beauty couldn’t be expressed in words and the picture won't do justice.

DAY 6: Pin Valley to Kaza via Demul, Hikkim, Komic, Langza

This route is all about exploring a few of the most exciting spots of the journey. Visit Komic Highest Village (15,027ft), Snow-covered mountains, drop-dead gorgeous alleys, and warm people pretty much describes the place. Moving on to the most awaited Hikkim Highest Post office (14,567ft). Considering the rugged path, remoteness of this village, reaching the post office is a bit of a challenge. Hikkim is a beautiful village, with the highest post office, said to be the only vital connection to the world outside. Plus, during heavy snowfall, the place remains cut off from the outer world. 

Also, Komic Monastery and Langza Village will leave you in awe with their charming natural charisma. Komic monastery is built on the deep canyon's edge and is shaped as a fortified castle, situated at the height of 15027 feet above sea level. Look out for the fossils formed millions of years ago bearing testimony to the collision of the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates forming the mighty Himalayas.  Lastly, visit the world's Highest Fuel Station (12,270ft), take a break, and soak in the Himalayan breeze!

DAY 7: Kaza to Chandrataal via Key, Khibber

Stroll through Kaza village, visit the Kee Monastery, enjoy the local and cultural life of the people. En route, you will explore the sightseeing at Losar Village, Khibber, Chicham Bridge, Asia's Highest Bridge. The bridge is at the height of 13596 ft; it connects the two villages named Chicham and Kibber.  As scary as it looks, it will give you chills yet a stomach aching excitement while you are driving on it. Also, the route takes you through Kunzum Pass (14,931 ft), ending at Chandrataal lake. The end to this day is something worth remembering and the best part about the trip. 

Tonight is a night full of stargazing beside the mesmerizing view of Chandrataal Lake.

Enjoy night camping at this marvelous Moon Lake, an experience that you will never forget in your life. 

Chandrataal Star Gazing  PC: SIA Photography

DAY 8: Chandrataal to Manali Via Rothang Pass 

Chandrataal is the most awaited part of the trip; the clear view, the beauty of the snow-clad peaks, and the green meadows will keep you hooked into it. Today is the day you reach Manali via exploring spots like Batal, Chatru, Rohtang Pass/Atul Tunnel, and Gulaba View Point, Solang Nalla Vashisht Temple. Each of the sites holds unique importance, offering vivid vies and spectacular charm of nature. 

View from Rothang Pass

Further, as you reach Manali via Rohtang Pass; the challenging roads wait for you! Rohtang is one of the scariest passes, not less than a roller coaster ride.  Do not miss out on the hot springs of Vashisht temple and enjoy sipping tea and Maggi at Jogini fall, soak the virgin beauty of this landscape. And finally, visit the mall road, stroll around the market, shop, and relish the good times spent here.

Trip End: Manali to Chandigarh/Delhi Airport.

The most awaited Spiti valley road trip ends here. Checkout and morning transfer to Chandigarh/Delhi Airport. Take back beautiful memories along with you, something to relish throughout your life. This trip is overloaded with natural charms, monasteries, river crossing, highest passes, and overflowing fun and adventure. 

If you have extra days with you, it is highly recommended that you explore off-beat places like Kasol, Trithan Valley, and Jibhi too. These places will again leave you in awe with their breathtaking natural charms. 

Tips for Travelers: As exciting as it sounds, Spiti Valley can bring challenges if you do not travel ready! Here is a short guide for travelers on the adventuresome journey to Spiti Valley. 

  1. BSNL network works well in Spiti, so it is best to carry one since you need to be connected to the outer world. 

  2. Keep an eye on the petrol pumps regularly, as there aren't many!

  3. For adventure seekers, trekking geeks, Sopana Lake and Pin Valley Trekking is a must. 

  4. Using a washroom in the night at a Chandrataal campsite is extremely tough. The temperature drops -6/-7 degrees Celsius. Accordingly, make the proper arrangements. 

  5. A 7-12 days itinerary for Spiti Valley is the ideal duration for exploring! Short trips won't let you explore the untouched beauty of this heavenly location. 

  6. Carry extra and high-quality windcheaters. Also, woolen socks and thermal inners are an absolute pick. Don't forget to keep sunglasses and caps, first-aid kits, water bottles, power banks as handy items.

  7. It is always better to plan your Spiti trip with a group tour, considering the extreme and remote conditions prevailing in this region. 

Wrapping Up 

The impeccable charm of Spiti Valley will offer you inner fulfillment and a sense of happiness worth experiencing. The snow-clad mountain, crystal clear Lake water, serendipitously beautiful route will make you fall in love with this place. Plan your next adventuresome trip to Spiti and add your lifetime of experience. 

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