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How to make the best use of six days in Spiti Valley

Spiti Valley

Six days in Spiti Valley – Imagine travelling to an unknown destination for a week which is off mobile connectivity, internet and other worldly pleasures. It’s all about you and the true beauty of nature. Ready for a lifetime of an experience? I surely was not until I saw it for real.

Raw beauty of Spiti

I had the opportunity to spend a week in Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh through Transforming Travels. These guys organize small group tours (private as well) with focus on eco-friendly and responsible ways of travelling and ensure visitors cause no damage to Mother Nature. While I try to do my bit by being a nature-friendly traveller, associating with Transforming Travels only seemed natural.

Get ready as we travel through Spiti, one day at a time. This will help you plan the days while I shall be elaborating about each of these places in separate posts.

Check out this video before you read on, will you? 😉

Day One: Manali – Rohtang Pass – Kunzum Pass – Kaza

Spiti valley roads

We started at 04:45 from Old Manali. Our first stop was for breakfast at 07:00 on the Leh-Manali highway. From here it took us an hour to reach Rohtang Pass. It was cloudy the whole time we spent there and we left from there to Kunzum. The drive was absolutely beautiful – the landscape was continuously changing from lots of greenery to snow-capped mountains to rivers flowing rapidly to almost desert-like barren lands. If you shut your eyes even for a minute, you were missing something beautiful and I had my eyes wide open all the time! where you can notice how the landscape starts to change. This was a road trip, but without roads.

Pass between Manali and Spiti

Before Kunzum Pass which is about 70 km from Rohtang, we stopped at Kunzum Dhaba at 10:30 in Lahaul to recharge ourselves with chai and Maggi. The route was bumpy with stones of all shapes and sizes for roads but the views were just fantastic. For lunch, we reached the famous Chacha-Chachi Dhaba in Batal (Manali Khab Link Road) at 13:15. It took us another hour from the Dhaba to reach Kunzum Pass.

Also Read:  Spiti - A Dream Trip With Transforming Travels
Passes in Spiti

From Kunzum, the drive to Kaza was another 2-3 hours. Once we crossed the Lossar checkpoint, we were in Spiti Valley. We checked into Kunphen Sakya at about 17:30. We stayed here for two nights.

Day Two: Kaza – Key Monastery, Gete, Kibber, Chicham Bridge, Kaza Night Market

We started at 08:00 in the morning to visit the Key (Kee) Monastery. Key Monastery is the biggest monastery in the Spiti Valley and is a famous religious training centre for the Lamas. The views from here were spectacular. From Key Monastery, you can go up to another village called Gete which we couldn’t go due to rains.

One of the oldest monasteries in India

From Key, we left to Kibber village (14,010 feet) which has about 77 families in all living there and is 20 km from Kaza. We simply walked around the village which lead us to lush green fields. We continued walking all the way to Chicham Bridge which is Asia’s highest suspension bridge.

highest suspension in Asia

We returned to Kaza by 16:00 and relaxed a bit before setting out to explore the small hippie town which has a market (Himalayan Cafe was my favourite) and amazing views all around you.

Mountains in Kaza


Day Three: Kaza – Tabo Monastery – Dhankar Village

Tabo Village in Spiti Valley

We started from Kaza at 08:30 and reached Tabo village at 10:30 with a few pitstops to take pictures. We spent the first half of the day exploring the village and the monasteries, had lunch at around 13:30 in one of the restaurants and left to Dhankar village which is about 35 km away.

Dhankar Monastery and village in Spiti

We reached Dhankar Guesthouse by 15:00. The views were just amazing, so when you do head there, ensure that you don’t fall asleep! Dhankar village used to be the traditional capital of Spiti Valley. Nestled at 12,774 feet, the Dhankar Monastery housed the Dalai Lama in 2004. The place also offers the best views of the meeting point of Spiti and Pin river. While you are there, make it a point to visit Dhankar Lake, which is a short trek that one needs to take from the village.

Also Read:  Spiti - A Dream Trip With Transforming Travels

  Day Four: Dhankar – Lingti – Pin Valley – Mudh – Demul Village

Landscape in Spiti

We started from Dhankar at 08:45 and crossed many beautiful places in the Pin Valley National Park, especially Lingti. We reached the Kungri Monastery in Pin Valley at 10:00. This is one of the most beautiful monasteries you will come across in Spiti.

Kungri Monastery in Pin Valley

After the monastery, on the way to Demul, we crossed a small suspension bridge in Upper Teling and reached Mudh Village for lunch. After lunch at Tara homestay, we walked around Mudh village, sat staring at a small waterfall, walked around the fields taking in the serenity and the calmness around and left to Demul Village.

Demul Khas from a distance

We reached Demul at 18:45. Each homestay could house two people, so our group split up and stayed in different homestays for the night. This was a great way to spend time with the local family there, understand their lifestyle, play with the kids, cook and experience a different life.

Day Five: Demul – Hikkim – Komic – Langcha

One thing about Demul is that it was one of the first villages to be fully solar powered and had dry toilets. Dry toilet – as the name suggests is a room built a little above the ground and the human excreta is mixed with manure to ensure it doesn’t smell and gets reused. Water is scarce in Spiti and so the people use it with utmost care. Interesting isn’t it?

Also Read:  Spiti - A Dream Trip With Transforming Travels
Highest post office in the world

We left Demul at 08:45 and reached Hikkim at 09:45. Hikkim houses the World’s Highest Post office at 14,567 feet. While here, I got to try something new – the Sea Buckthorn Chai. It was different and yummy! Once we sent out postcards to our loved ones, we left towards Komic Village.

Komic village is known as the highest village in the world at 15,027 feet connected via motorable road. We visited the monasteries here, ate in the organic restaurant and were pretty much lost in the amazing views all around us.

Postcard village in Spiti Valley

We proceeded to Langcha aka Langza and reached the Tanzi Home Stay at 13:30. This village houses the huge Buddha Statue and is definitely a sight that you wouldn’t miss.

Day Six: Langcha – Chandrataal

Started at 08:00, we were on our way to visit Chandrataal Lake. We crossed the Kunzum Pass again and stopped at Losar for lunch at 13:00.  The roads to Chandrataal were practically non-existent and we reached here at 15:30. A short trek (20 to 30 minutes) later, we reached this prettiness nestled at 14075 feet.

lake in Spiti valley

Sit, stare or do what you feel like as the calmness around you is sure to make you happy for being alive and to have visited here. We stayed in tents that night and the star-studded milky way skies here was so magical to me.

Day Seven: Chandrataal – Manali

Lahaul in Kullu Manali

We started at 05:30 and we took packed breakfast to avoid the rush and traffic towards Manali. The return ride will take about 8 hours, so you can plan accordingly.

If you are planning a trip to Spiti, I’d totally recommend planning one with Transforming Travels. You may contact Chandni, who runs Transforming Travels at +91 99997 49677.

Now, just go and get Spiti’d!

Preethika
Founder of Passing Ports, Preethika is a traveler whom you just can't ignore. A juggler between office hours and personal life, nothing gets her more excited than exploring new destinations and cultures. Extremely passionate about going to lesser known places, Preethika started penning down her experiences, and Passing Ports is the result of that love for travel, thus inspiring others to experience a life beyond the rants of our daily lives.

8 thoughts on “How to make the best use of six days in Spiti Valley

  1. In Greek language spiti means home. Amazing that it’s exact the same word! Your photos are very nice and your post very detailed and enjoyable to read! Thanks for your effort 🙂

    1. Hey Val. I can definitely called this Spiti as home too. Thanks a lot for your kind words and I hope you get a chance to visit this amazing landscape.

  2. There’s something about villages surrounded by mountains, they just fascinates me to the ends. Which is why I have a particular fondness in your visit to Kaza, Tabo Monastery, and Dhankar Village.

    1. Hey Noel. My favourite of the three you’ve mentioned is Dhankar Monastery. It was pretty simple and beautiful 🙂 And I totally get it when you say that there is something about villages nicely nestled amidst huge mountains – it’s definitely a sight that doesn’t vanish from one’s end soon.

  3. Such as amazing journey of the Himalayans and thanks for sharing your experience with us. I think it was tough but congratulations that you made it! The scenery is really incredible! @ knycx.jourenying

    1. I am truly glad that I got to visit this place in the first place. Once I was there, I couldn’t wait to share the experiences I had in this beautiful place.

    1. Ah I wish you get to go there soon Sumita. Just book those tickets cos I can guarantee you will not regret 🙂

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