Spiti Valley via Shimla, Kalpa, Sangla
Drive through one of the most beautiful picture-perfect roads in the world while halting along in dreamy mountain villages. This Spiti Valley tour from Shimla goes through Kalpa of the Kinnaur Valley and finally enters Spiti through the village of Nako. Explore ancient thousand-year-old monasteries, ride a Yak, live in authentic homestays and spend time in some of the highest villages of Asia. Dubbed as “The world’s most treacherous road”, this Hindustan-Tibet highway is a visual masterpiece. Don’t let that misnomer frighten you because, despite its hairpin curves and steep drops, this road has been safely ferrying travelers since the 1850s.
Watch time stand still as you gaze into crystal clear blue skies, pristine turquoise rivers nestled between snow-capped peaks and a never-ending expanse of barren mountains. Sounds enticing, doesn’t it?
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- Vacation Style Holiday Type
- Snow & Ice
- Activity Level Fairly Easy
- Group Size Medium Group
In the months of April and May, before the Manali – Kaza Highway opens Spiti Valley to a busy, bustling world, there is a fantastic opportunity to explore Spiti Valley at its tranquil and peaceful best through the Hindustan – Tibet Highway starting from Shimla. Of the two roads to the stunning Spiti Valley, One, via Manali opens after mid-May and the other via Shimla – which is also called the Hindustan – Tibet Highway. While the rest of the country is baking in the smoldering summers, the high altitude mountains of the Spiti Valley are usually still drenched in snow. This Spiti Valley tour for seven days is perfect for you if you want a break from the heat, and only have time in months of April and May.
Best Season – April to October
HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS SPITI VALLEY TOUR
- Travel by a comfortable car – Toyota Innova for all 7 days.
- Drive through the Hindustan-Tibet Highway – Known as one of the world’s most treacherous road.
- Explore the beautiful Pin Valley
- Visit the 1000 year old UNESCO World Heritage Site – Tabo Monastery and the Ki Monastery
- Visit Asia’s Highest Himalayan Villages – Komik and Kibber
Customization and Group Booking
This Tour can be customized to suit your Travel need and requirements. If youre a Group of more than 6 Travellers – we can offer you a Discounted price.
- Delhi-Shimla Transfer By Volvo bus
- Accommodation on double sharing basis at a comfortable hotel in Kaza / Rangrik and Kalpa.
- Accommodation in Tabo will be in a hotel / homestay.
- Breakfast and Dinner at all places.
- All transfers by a comfortable non-AC Innova/Similar from Day 1 to Day7.
- Driver charges, fuel, all applicable toll
- Monastery Fees
- Service Tax of 4.5%
- Lunch / Any meals in Shimla.
- Guide and Permits
- Any additional costs incurred in case of a medical emergency / natural disaster / breakdown of vehicle / acts of God.
- Anything not mentioned in the “What’s Included” section.
- Day1 Delhi - Shimla
Meet the Group at the Designated pickup point. Board Bus for transfer to Shimla. Reach Shimla by evening and checkin at Hotel. Overnight at Shimla Hotel
- Day2 Shimla - Kalpa. Overnight at Kalpa Hotel (9711 feet / 9 – 10 hours)
On the second day of this Spiti Valley Tour, from Shimla, we drive through Narkandha and head towards the apple-orchard dotted town of Kalpa. Foreigners entering Spiti Valley through this route need a permit which can be obtained through a quick twenty-minute procedure in Reckong Peo from Monday to Saturday.
After a 7 kilometer winding road though pine forests, Kalpa is a splendid gem. According to legends, this is the winter abode of Lord Shiva. With the majestic views of the Kinner Kailash and Jordon Peaks, this enthralling village has spectacular sunrises with the crimson sunlight glowing on the snow-capped peaks. 3 kilometers away from Kalpa at Kothi, is a temple dedicated to the goddess Chanadika. An exquisite image of the goddess is enshrined in this sanctum.
Overnight at a hotel in Kalpa.
- Day3 Kalpa – Nako – Tabo. Overnight at Tabo Hotel / Tabo Homestay. (12,000 feet / 7 – 8 hours)
On the third day of this Spiti Valley tour, from Kalpa, we continue driving on the famous Hindustan – Tibet Highway or the NH 22 – This stretch famously known as one of “most treacherous roads of the world” by the ‘Lonely Planet’ in a visual spectacle. Don’t let that little piece of information deter you because your local drivers are highly skilled and experienced while driving on these roads. As you begin embracing the jaw-dropping views watch the mountains change their colours from the lush greens of the Kinnaur valley to the many hues of brown.
After a quick refuelling stop at Puh, we proceed to Nako – the last hamlet of Kinnaur, before we enter the gates of Spiti Valley. After lunch in Nako, we drive through Sumdo, the first village of Spiti Valley on this side of the road, to Tabo, which would be our first stop in the glorious, mystical Spiti Valley.
The second largest village of the Spiti Valley, Tabo is known worldwide for its 1000-year-old Tabo Monastery. Walk around this UNESCO world heritage site and gain a deeper insight into Buddhism. Unlike other monastery in the Spiti Valley, the Tabo monastery is located at the bottom of the valley.
Overnight at a hotel or a homestay in Tabo
- Day4 Tabo – Dhankar – Dhankar Lake Trek – Lhalung – Kaza. Overnight at a Kaza Hotel. (12,774 feet / 4 – 5 hours)
On the fourth day of this Spiti Valley tour, we drive to the charming and high villages of Dhankar and Lhalung.
Dhankar, the former capital of the Spiti Valley, offers panoramic views of Spiti Valley. Dhankar stands perched above the confluence of the Spiti and Pin river. Perhaps there must have been a fort here once, but today Dhankar is renowned for its 1200-year old monastery balanced precariously on a rocky precipice. If time and energy permit, we do the easy 45 minute trek to the stunning turquoise coloured Dhankar Lake.
After the trek, we drive to the nearby village of Lhalung. Literally translating to the “Land of God”, Lhalung is located at the foot of the Tangmar Mountains. The locals believe their God lives in these mountains and the mountain changes it’s colors through wide arrays of reds, yellows, browns depending on the mood of their God. Visit one of the oldest gompas in the Spiti Valley which the natives say was built by angels one night. Bear in mind not to touch the walls of this monastery for people believe that it will make the angels go away.
In Lhalung, visit the Lhalung Monastery famous for its statue of the three cornered Buddha which symbolizes the Buddha looking in all directions at one time.
If time permits take a short, traditional Yak safari or learn how to make steaming hot momos with the locals.
Gain a better understanding of the Spiti culture as you spend this night in a homestay. Enjoy authentic, freshly prepared cuisines and sleep in the comforts of a clean, warm and comfortable bed.
We spend the night at an authentic local homestay with a local family, listening to stories of
life at above 12,000 feet.
Overnight at a homestay in Lhalung.
- Day 5 Kaza – Pin Valley – Kungri – Mudh – Kaza. Overnight at Kaza Hotel (12,000 feet / 4 – 5 hours)
On the fifth day of this Spiti Valley tour, we drive towards the beautiful Pin Valley.
Imagine a national park with an abundance of animals and birds, with some rare plant varieties, a river that gushes when it isn’t frozen and trekking opportunities for the adventure-seekers. The Pin Valley promises all this and more.
We first visit the Kungri Monastery and then the beautiful hamlet of Mudh – the last motorable village of the Pin Valley.
Declared a national park in 1987, Pin Valley has altitudes ranging from 11,000 to 20,000 feet and is home to at least 12 endangered snow leopards. In addition, other animals indigenous to the region and park are the Siberian ibex, bharal, weasel, red fox and marten. Birds such as the pika, griffon, golden eagle, bearded vulture, chukor and raven paint the skies a pretty picture.
By evening, drive to Kaza, the commercial capital of the Spiti valley and spend the night in a hotel in either Kaza or the nearby village of Rangrik.
Overnight at a hotel in Kaza / Rangrik.
- Day 6 Kaza – Langza – Hikkim – Komik – Ki Monastery – Kibber – Gette – Kaza. Overnight at Kaza hotel (14,800 feet / 5 – 6 hours)
On the sixth day of this Spiti Valley tour, we drive to some of the highest inhabited regions of the world.
The highest village in Asia, Komik, which literally translates to ‘eye of a snow cock’, is situated at a height of 4513 metres. This farming village has a population of 84 people, living in utter isolation, cut-off from the rest of the world for most parts of the year. This little hamlet ensures to bring you thousands of miles away from your familiar settings to a place of soft brown pastures and snow-white mountain peaks. Some of the common animals of the region are the Tibetan wolf, blue sheep, red fox, hare, snow cock, Himalayan griffin, rock pigeon etc.
Later, we drive to Hikkim where we visit the world’s highest post office in the world. If possible, you can even meet the post-master and hear his stories.
After sending out a postcard, we drive to Langza. Langza village is situated at an altitude of 4400 meters and belongs to the Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Langza houses a population of 137 in 33 households. Once you are here, you can walk about the village and visit the ancient Lang (Temple) which is estimated to be around 1000 years old. At Langza, walk back to the prehistoric era when Spiti was submerged by the Tethys Sea, as you explore a land very rich with fossils of Marine animals and plants which were here millions of years ago.
We drive back down to Kaza for lunch. After that, we visit the world famous Ki Monastery. The car will first stop at the base of the monastery hill for the ultimate photo opportunity of this remarkable structure. With over 1000 years’ worth stories to tell, the Ki Monastery situated at a height of 13,668 feet was founded by a disciple of the famous Atisha, in the 11th century CE. Belonging to the Yellow Hat or Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, this monastery is famous as a prominent centre of learning as well as refuge for Tibetans. Being remotely located atop a hill overlooking endless plains, the Ki Monastery is an obvious choice for those seeking peace and calm.
Then we will move farther up the valley to the picturesque village of Kibber. Located at a height of 4205 metres and 18 km from Kaza, this formerly highest permanently inhabited village of this region, is also a popular base camp to embark on adventure and treks to adjoining mountains of high altitude. The expanses of beautiful landscapes and immeasurable beauty of the snow-tipped mountains makes the place a haven for nature-lovers and photographers alike. From Kibber you can trek to Chicham Village, located across a sharp and precipitous canyon traversable only by a suspended wire cable basket system known as a Jula. We drive higher up to the secluded village of Gette where we absorb stunning aerial views of Kaza and tie a prayer flag.
We drive back to Kaza / Rangrik in the evening and spend the night in a comfortable and warm Kaza / Rangrik hotel.
- Day 7 Kaza- Kalpa
On the seventh day of this Spiti Valley tour, we are almost towards the end of this magical trip. Today, we set out to return to Shimla across the Hindustan-Tibet highway. The first stop on this leg would be the charming village of Kalpa which we had previously visited on our way up to Spiti Valley.
Overnight at a hotel in Kalpa.
- Day 8 Kalpa – Shimla - Delhi. Tour ends. (7,238 feet / 9 – 10 hours)
Drive from Kalpa – Shimla. Board Your Bus for overnight return journey to Delhi. Tour ends. (7,238 feet / 9 – 10 hours)
Spiti Valley is a high altitude Himalayan desert and experiences an extreme range of temperatures.
The temperature in April will be cold / extremely cold and the valley is usually covered by a layer of snow. The temperatures may range between 10 Degrees Centigrade and -10 Degrees Centigrade.
In May, the weather starts to get relatively warmer and most of the layers of the snow in the valley would have melted. The temperatures may range between 15 Degrees Centigrade and 0 Degrees Centigrade.
The summers (June – October) which are the best season to visit Spiti Valley, experience average temperatures ranging from a maximum of 25 degrees centigrade (77F) and a minimum of 5 degrees centigrade (41F).
The winters (November – March) are extremely cold and they’re not an ideal season to visit Spiti Valley. Temperatures can dip to as low as -30 degrees centigrade (-22F).
On this Spiti Valley Tour, breakfast and dinner are included on all days as specified in the Whats Included section. The menu for Breakfast and Dinner is regular Indian Cuisine in veg and addition of a local specialty on select days. We also add a Non-veg Dish to the menu on one of the days depending on availability.
Though not prohibited, we would advise NO. In these expeditions we are going to pass through, visit and stay at some of the Highest Altitude Places in the world. At high Altitudes the Oxygen in the atmosphere is low and this causes AMS [Acute Mountain Sickness]. Drinking Alcohol at such places can make things worse as Alcohol lowers the oxygen absorption capacity of your Blood. So please Don’t.
Once registered we will send you a detailed list of Things to Carry which includes minute details from Toiletries to essential Medicines.