Destinations - India Mountains

Spiti Valley Trip in 45 Spectacular Pictures with 2 Detailed Itineraries!

Written by Poorna & Brinda

Spiti Valley trip is spectacular in every sense. There is no doubt about it. The landscape, risky roads, monasteries, mountains, villages, the rivers…all this make this place awesome.

The Spiti valley trip comprise of driving through two spectacular valleys. The Sutlej valley in Kinnaur and the Spiti Valley in Lahual – Spiti region.

We start from Shimla and we drive through Kinnaur Valley which is is captivatingly beautiful. We have now given this a new name “The Cedar Valley” after driving through this beautiful valley in Himachal Pradesh. Driving along the Sutlej river is a test of skill and patience. In fact, driving in the hills is a test of skill and lots of patience!

Please check out these post cards from Kinnaur Valley first before we take you on a drive in Spiti Valley. Don’t blame us if it encourages you to plan your next trip there. But trust us, it is worth it!

A house in the middle of cedar forest!

This is why we call this as “Cedar Valley”!

A Panoramic view of Sutlej river

The famous landmark on this road – Stone carved tunnel!

 

….and the road. Carved through stone. Notice the valley on to the left. Deep down flows Sutlej

 

Can you spot the road? The road runs all along Sutlej. We thought this was toughest road. This was only a start in our drive to Kaza in Spiti.

Spectacular view of Kinner Kailash ranges on our way to Reckong Peo

Raldong Peak, Kinner Kailash range. Spectacularly beautiful in evening sun!

As the greenery fades and we enter the desert region of Lahual Spiti, we drive along Spiti river all the way to Kaza.

If you feel driving in Ladakh is tough, come to Spiti Valley. Ladakh is a cake walk these days with wide and good roads. How do you feel when you have to drive at 500 feet above the river with a huge rock wall on one side and a sheer drop on the other? The roads so narrow that you have to be on consistent vigil. But you are also awarded by some of the pristine and spectacular landscape anywhere in the world. Places so remote and unspoilt, you can feel them.

We present a glimpse of spectacular Spiti Valley thorough these lovely pictures. Click on them to see in larger size.

Yes, We were driving on the World’s Most Trecherous Road. True in every sense. See next picture for the proof…..

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Riskiest, Narrowest of the roads. Fits the title given in the previous picture in every sense……

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Treacherous, Yes. Spectacular too!!!

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On the way to Shipki La, the border post on Indo-Tibet border. The views from this road as we climb is spectacular with glorious Reo Pargil (20,000 ft) towering over the rest.

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The wild roses were everywhere on the way to Shipki La. It was a fragrance filled road!!

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The panoramic view of confluence of Sutlej and Spiti rivers. The Spiti valley starts from here.

Spiti Valley

The beginning of the climb in Spiti valley. One of the toughest roads.

Spiti Valley

Notice the sheer drop even as we climb the road. At some point, we were attest 400 feet above the Spiti river bed!

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Tabo Monastery – A UNESCO World Heritage site. Built in Mud, One of the most beautiful monasteries with amazing Thanka Murals. Beautifully maintained by Archeological Survey of India.

Spiti Valley

This is the best spot – after Tabo – on this leg of journey. Where Spiti does a turn and the view is mind blowing!

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Then you are greeted by astonishing landscape on the way to Dhankar Monastery…..

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Dhankar monastery ! Built on mud stilts!!

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The terraced landscape as seen from Dhankar. It is also confluence point of Spiti and Pin rivers. 

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We filled diesel at the world’s highest petrol bunk!

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Kaza town as seen from the road to Komic village……

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One of the treacherous stretches on the way to Komic. The landscape was Grand Canyonsque!

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Brinda in front of World’s highest post office @ Hikkim. It was also word’s most beautiful Post Office!

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Komic Village. The highest village in the world at 14,800 ft

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Langza. One of prettiest villages of Spiti.

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Spectacular setting of Kee Monastery – one of the largest in Spiti valley

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The road from Kaza to Manali via Batal is one of the most treacherous in the world. There is no road as such it is a jeep track at most of the places. You drive along Chenab river flowing from Kunzum La.

Climbing up to Kunzum La

It started snowing unusually. The snow fall had happened on the previous day as well.

Please check out our drive to Kunzum La in Snow here.

https://youtu.be/XlxwRsDQPfI

Kunzum La top. Totally whitewashed!

Pashmina goats!

You drive through these ice walls on non existing roads!

And cross these dreaded water crossings…..

You are also greeted with some magnificent mountainscapes!

Then you heave a sigh of relief on reaching snow bound Rohtang La

Then the lovely meadows of Manali mountains…..

Aren’t these pictures enough for you to plan your next trip to Spiti. Travel in Spiti is tough. But it is worth every mile…….

In the mean time, for anyone planning Spiti valley trip, here is a good itinerary from Chandigarh. If you are Travelling from Delhi then you can straight go to Chail.

11 Day Itinereray for Spiti Valley

Day 1 – Chandigarh – Chail (night stay in Chail)

Day 2 – Chail – Saharan (Explore Chail and then proceed to Sahran. Night Stay in Saharan)

Day 3 – Saharan – Chitkul (Explore Saharan and then proceed to Chitkul. Night Stay in Saharan)

Day 4 – Chitkul – Kalpa (Explore Chitkul and then proceed to Kalpa. Night stay in Kalpa)

Day 5 – Kalpa – Nako – Gue – Tabo ( Explore the lovely town of Nako and the mummy at Gue monastery and UNESCO World heritage site of Tabo monastery. Night stay in Tabo)

Day 6 – Tabo – Dhankar – Pin Valley – Kaza ( Explore lovely Dhankar monastery, Pin valley. Night stay in Kaza)

Day 7 – Kaza – Ke – Tashi Ganga – Langza ( Explore Ke Monstery and night stay in Langza)

Day 8 – Langza – Komic – Kaza ( Vsist the highest post office in the world in Komic. Night stay in Kaza)

Day 9 – Kaza – Chandratal. Night stay at Chandratal.

Day 10 – Chandratal – Batal – Rohtang la – Manali (Night stay in Manali)

Day 11 – Manali – Chandigarh

8 Days itinerary for Spiti Valley

Day 1 – Chandigarh – Chail (night stay in Chail)

Day 2 – Chail – Kalpa (Explore Chitkul and then proceed to Kalpa. Night stay in Kalpa)

Day 3 – Kalpa – Nako – Gue – Tabo ( Explore the lovely town of Nako and the mummy at Gue monastery and UNESCO World heritage site of Tabo monastery. Night stay in Tabo)

Day 4 – Tabo – Dhankar – Pin Valley – Kaza ( Explore lovely Dhankar monastery, Pin valley. Night stay in Kaza)

Day 5 – Kaza – Ke – Tashi Ganga – Langza ( Explore Ke Monstery and night stay in Langza)

Day 6 – Langza – Komic – Kaza ( Vsist the highest post office in the world in Komic. Night stay in Kaza)

Day 7 – Kaza – Batal – Rohtang la – Manali (Night stay in Manali)

Day 8 – Manali – Chandigarh

Android users may please download an excellent navigation app HVK Routo and request for a map for the above itineraries. These maps are curated based on real life experiences and latest updates. This navigation app comes with audio alerts. It has Petrol pumps, restaurants, Hotels, toll gates and other alerts. We have used it in all our road trips and is extremely useful.

We strongly recommend you to stay in Home Stays as it will enrich the travel experience. Spiti Ecosphere an NGO working in Spiti Valley have pioneered the concept of Home Stays in Spiti Valley. Check out details here.

http://www.spitiecosphere.com/index.htm

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About the author

Poorna & Brinda

We are Brinda and Poorna from Bengaluru, the “Silicon city” or “Garden city” of India.

We travel together. We caught the travel bug 20 years back. On our honey moon, we traveled over the sea, in the train, by bus and in an aircraft! Our adventures probably started in that year. It continues, ever since.

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