Spiti valley is the most trending destination now in India. It is attracting all the travellers from around the globe. You might have come across tonnes of photos of Spiti valley in Instagram. Am sure you have also thought about going there some time. A few months back, I travelled to Spiti valley with few of my friends. It was a 10 days trip for me in total including travel from the south of the country. I am gonna share with you how I spend my days there.This one week Spiti valley itinerary will be helpful for you to plan your journey.
Day 1: Journey starts from Manali
An overnight bus from Delhi brought us to Manali. The bus service to Kaza is a matter of doubt always, sometimes without any notice, they may cancel the service. But we were lucky, booked our tickets to Kaza for the next day. Spent that day in Manali simply walking all around. Manali was full of tourists.
The bus to Kaza starts at 5 in the morning. The travel itself was an experience. We were on the bus for the complete day. Travelled through one of the toughest and roughest roads. The views on both sides were amazing. Reached Kaza by 6 in the evening, our host Tandup was waiting there. We had a warm welcome, the family treated us with a lot of food which was much needed after the long journey.
Read: Manali to Kaza in bus
Day 2: Langza, Hikkim and Komic
The next morning, wake up to see one of the best morning ever. The mountains were beautiful in the first light of the day. Our host Tandup gave us an idea about the places here. He suggested us to pick the direction towards Langza, Hikkim and Komic that day.
Langza is a small scenic village about 18 km from Kaza at an altitude of 14500 feet. A big statue of Buddha overlooks the entire valley, which is said to be thousand years old. When we get down at Langza, kids and woman come around with pieces of rocks hiding in their palms. They are fossils which are found in these mountains. Before buying them, consider first that possession of fossils is illegal in India and you may find it difficult to carry through the airport.
Hikkim is the next village ahead, about 9 km from Langza. The postmaster from the highest post office in the world will be waiting for you with a bunch of Spiti postcards, ready to paste the stamp and put it in the post box. He lives in the next room with his family. He has a lot of stories to tell, but you have to make him talk.
Our next village, Komic is one of the highest villages in the valley. Very few people live here. There is a very old monastery here. The monastery and temple are of great importance in the Buddhist beliefs of this valley.
There is no public transport available up to Komic. Either you should catch any vehicle going in this direction or else hire a taxi. Trekking is also possible. Many of the families are allowing travellers to stay at their houses in every village. It will be a good experience to understand the life here. You will also get accommodation at the monastery in Komic.
Day 3: Key, Kibber and Tashigang
The next day, we picked up another direction towards Kibber. The Key monastery in on the way, in a picturesque location.The monastery is visible from a long distance, it looks stunning. It is one of the famous monasteries in the valley. Rooms are available in the Key monastery also. Kibber is a bigger village, it is comparatively touristy, you can find many homestays and restaurants. Bus service is available from Kaza up to Kibber every morning.
But our destination was Tashigang, the highest village in the valley. Only three families live here. Our taxi driver was from Tashigang and dropped us there. We stayed in one of the houses for the night. They were very nice people, told us how the life here is, especially during winters where there will be 5-6 foot thick snow. Only very few travellers come up to Tashigang and stay here. It will be very cold at night here. The oxygen is little less, you may feel little uncomfortable.
Day 4: In and around Kaza
We came back from Tashigang and spent that day in Kaza. Walked around the biggest settlement in the valley. It is divided into two, Kaza 1 and 2. Kaza 2 has a modern outlook with newly constructed buildings. The town was busy with markets, shops and restaurants. People from all the other villages in the valley depends on Kaza for offices, hospitals, schools etc. Kaza is the centre for transportation also. Government buses and private taxis are available from here to most of the villages.
Day 5: Dhankar
Visited Dhankar next day.It is about 30 km from Kaza towards the Shimla side. A big village, beautiful and much greener. It was earlier the capital of the Kingdom who ruled the valley. There is a fort on the top of the hill and a very old monastery. The monastery is at the edge of collapse. From the top of the fort, we will get the best views of both Pin river and Spiti river joining together.
There is a lake little higher on the mountains, it is a 2-hour trek to reach the lake. So if you have enough time, definitely trek up to the Dhankar lake.
We had to come back to Kaza that day itself, because next day morning, we start early for Chandratal lake. Shared taxis are available to drop either in Batal or Kunzum pass top. If you go and check with the taxi driver union office, you can easily find people looking for others to share their ride.
Day 6: Trek to Chandratal
Started early morning from Kaza. It took us around 3 hours to reach Kunzum pass top. Started the trek to Chandratal lake, the terrain was pretty hard but the views were amazing. After a long 5 hours walk, reached Chandratal by evening.
Nights in Chandratal are colder than Kaza. Tents are available in the camping site, 2 km before the lake. Don’t miss to see the milky way at night. It is stunning from there.
Day 7: Back to Manali
The next morning, woke up very early. We had to catch the bus to Manali. The night before, we asked everyone in the campsite for a vehicle to drop us to Batal, 14 km from Chandratal. But the response was negative. So we had to walk all the way. The bus from Kaza will reach Batal by around 8.30 morning. It was little tough to cover 14 km in 3 hours with our backpacks but somehow made it with the help of some good souls we met on the road.
The bus came around 9 AM and then back to Manali.
The most known destinations in the Himalayas like Manali, Kasol etc.. are getting more crowded these days. These places have lost their charm. So people started to look for more offbeat experiences. Spiti valley became the hotspot for travellers very recently. Spiti is peaceful now, it is unique and we have a lot to experience here. But as this place is getting busy with tourists, it is changing gradually. Life is changing, new buildings, more vehicles, more plastics and more pollution. Pollution of water is a serious issue now. The Spiti river had become a dumping ground for the garbage from hotels. The people who live here are affected worse by the growth of commercialised tourism.
As travellers, we have a responsibility towards this heavenly place. There are many initiatives to promote responsible tourism in the valley. Many organisations are working for this cause. Be a part of it, you can do a lot. Explore Spiti, experience what it has to offer, watch those stunning night skies and hear as many stories from the most friendly people. Respect them and keep this beautiful valley as it is.
Hope that this Spiti valley itinerary will be helpful for you.
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