Spiti Valley Road Trip – All You Need To Know

by Arjun Dikshit
spiti valley

Nowadays, nature and adventure are the two most attractive calls for people leading a busy life in metropolis cities. They seek an unusual exciting experience at all times. The adventurer terrain of Spiti Valley and serene surroundings is a perfect getaway for those looking to add some fun element to their usual travel experience. Spiti Valley has all the attributes to allow people experience the same. It is not densely populated and attracts thousands of visitors every year.

Spiti valley is a cold desert, landlocked mountain valley that lies between India and Tibet. Literal meaning of Spiti is middle land. It is surrounded by thick snow crowned mountains, small villages, exotic greenery, spectacular valleys, and long winding roads.

Climate:

The valley is located at 12,500 feet above sea level in the Himalayan region of Himachal Pradesh. Climate is very harsh and has a cold desert terrain. In a year, the place gets sunshine for just 250 days and is one of the coldest places in the Himalayas. The best time to visit is from May to late September as during this time the weather becomes warm, snow begins to melt and all the roads are clear for travelling to the valley.

How to reach?

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You can reach Kaza (HQ of Spiti valley) either from Manali or from Shimla via Kinnaur. It takes two days when you go via the later route, although we advise it to split it into 3-4 days to visit places en-route. It is best to halt at Reekong Peo or Kalpa because travelling in one go can be very exhausting and you may have to compromise on your enjoyment. Both the halts are amazing to explore as well. Taking a longer route will also allow you to adapt to high altitude. Depending on road conditions, the former route takes a shorter time of 12 to 14 hours.

Travel with good health:

To explore the beauty of Spiti Valley, it demands you to be fit. The high altitude of spiti (3300 –5000mt) needs considerable acclimatization for every traveler whether it is first visit or routine visit of these sites. It is advisable to make up your journey plan slow. You must halt halfway in Kinnaur via Shimla or take adequate rest at Manali if taking the shorter route. Those who suffer from lung diseases, breathing problems or heart issues are advised to consult their doctors before planning the trip.

Permits:

Indian citizens do not need a permit to enter Spiti valley. Foreigners will need a permit if they are taking the Kinnaur route from Shimla. This specific route is close to the Tibetan border. Foreigners can get the permit from Reckong Peo near Kalpa.

Things to do:

Spiti valley is known as one of the world’s best trekking spot and called as a virgin paradise. It is ideal for nature lovers and adventure freaks. Places like Chandratal Lake, Pin Valley, and Kunzum Jot are the best for camping and trekking in the valley. The valley is home to some of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in the world as well. You can see crystal clear waters, magnificent glaciers, and experience mesmerizing views of mountains with fresh and clean air.

  • For an incredible adventurous experience enjoy some river rafting at Pin and Spiti River.
  • Visit the Pin Valley Park and enjoy the spectacular flora and fauna which will make you feel like heaven. You can also spot wildlife along with natural beauty which will definitely give you Goosebumps. It is huge attractions so do take out time to visit this amazing place. 
  • Experience peace and adventure when you visit Dhankar Lake. Heavenly views and challenging trek sites are absolutely worthy to pay a visit.
  • Visit Gue village to visit the monastery housing a 500 year old Mummy. The Mummy is in the position of a meditating Lama and that is why it is more of a mysterious experience to visit the place.

Important Places to visit in Spiti Valley

(i) Chandratal Lake – Crescent Shake Lake popularly known as Chandratal Lake is the centre of attraction for photographer’s adventure seekers. It is an official camping site where one can relax completely in the lap of nature.

Chandratal Lake Camping

(ii) Key Monastery – It is about 1000 yr. old Buddhist monastery located on a hilltop in spiti valley in midst of brown and white coated gigantic mountain ranges. It is also known as key gompa which has spectacular idols of Buddha in Dhyana, collection of ancient books and murals (paintings on walls). Everything will leave you amazed from ancient murals to the wonderful architecture of monasteries.

visit Key Monastery

(iii) Kunzum Pass –The pass looks extremely eye pleasing as you will notice different landscapes like huge glaciers and irregular mountains. The turquoise river of Spiti and dry Barren Mountains are worth seeing once in a lifetime.

(iv) The Pin Valley National Park – Situated in the Lahul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh this cold desert biosphere reserve located on high altitude is home for the rare species of famous Himalayan Snow leopards and Ibex. Trekkers are attracted more to this place.

(v) Dhankar Monastery –Between Kaza and Tabo cliff this classic, monastery is located. It displays magnificent sight of Buddhist religion and culture. One can see four Buddha statues seated in four different directions.

(vi) Tabo Monastery – Also known as Ajanta of Himalayas it is one of the oldest operating Buddhist enclaves in the Himalayas. It is famous for the stucco sculptures and murals carved on the walls like in Ajanta caves in Maharashtra.

(vii) Langza – This place is rich in fossils of marine animals and plants. That is because Spiti was submerged underwater millions of years back. You should go on treks around Langza and you will probably be able to find a few of these fossils.

Take a travel package to make the most of your trip:

An Innova car will be booked for ten days. Fuel charges, parking fees, driver charges, and toll charges are included in the package. You will get accommodation of a standard category for nine nights and ten days. Breakfast and dinner will be included. The complete travel is well booked from one place to another so you get to visit each and every place without any inconvenience. At the end of the trip, you will not feel that you have missed something. The cost-effective package will allow you to enjoy a memorable trip.

Conclusion:

The places mentioned above are some of the important places to visit and things to enjoy in Spiti Valley. The most attractive thing about the place is that Spiti Valley is a research and cultural centre for Buddhists. It has a unique cultural heritage for centuries which is worth discovering along with fascinating cuisines. It is very different from the rest of India. People are very kind in this place and though they experience a harsh life, they are very hospitable.

The splendid serenity, stunning natural beauty, and enormous activities is a complete package to plan a trip with friends to Spiti Valley. Buying a travel package can make things easy. Checkout out the packing essentials you should carry for your road trip. 

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5 comments

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[…] It all started with arriving at their destination, Amritsar, where our designated person Manish was to receive them. Their flight to Amritsar was comfortable and they were nothing short of ecstatic on arriving. However, they had to go for a little tour of Amritsar as the home stay wasn’t easily accessible in the wee hours. Needless to say, this added to the excitement of traveling in India, all by themselves. This was followed by a good nights sleep at Jasmeets homestay (who by the way was an excellent host); as the next morning they were scheduled to leave on a very long drive, the beginning of their road trip to Spiti. […]

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Ajay Thakur June 27, 2019 - 4:06 pm

Thanks for this wonderful and helpful information. It is one of the most visited tourist places in India. Spiti Valley such a beautiful place for a visit.

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shatakshi October 21, 2019 - 11:57 am

Really detailed and nice post. Spiti is indeed heaven on earth.
I visited Spiti in July first week. Here is the complete info of Delhi to Spiti road trip we did

Any feedback is welcomed

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