Spiti

PlaceSpiti
DistrictLahaul and Spiti
StateHimachal Pradesh
Stay optionHome Stay and Hotels Available
Places of InterestKey, Kibber, Langza, Hikkim, Komic, Lalung, Tabo, Dhankar, Demul Village, Lossar, Pin Valley, Mud Village, Chandratal, Kunzum Pass and Manali
Best Time to VisitMid May to October Mid

More Information

    Spiti
Stunning Beauty but Brutal

Spiti


Snapshot of My Journey

Duration   9 Days

Travel Month/Year   September 2015

Estimated Trip Cost   INR 12,500

Includes   Transport, Food and Stay


Spiti  was there in my wish list since year 2012 and this time I was fortunate to get a welcome break for some days from my office. An exhausting trip but one of its kind having lot of monasteries and lonely villages with smiling people. At a height of 12,000 ft. above sea level, Spiti is a trip of around 8 – 10 days and you can’t plan it at the last moment as we usually do for places around our location. A trip to Spiti needs proper planning and it is a must to carry essential things. So when you plan your visit there; have around 7-10 days in your bucket.

I made Kaza as my base camp in a home stay to cover Spiti  (“Lhamo Home stay” near Traveler Union – Contact 09418575728) and spent one night in Losar.

KAZA

 

Losar Village – It is the first village while coming from Manali to Kaza.

LOSAR VILLAGE

 

Stay options at Losar

Samsong Hotel (Rakesh)                  089881-06969 / 089881-06970

IBEX Home Stay                               094592-70076 / 094598 - 47136

 

You can visit Spiti either from Manali or Shimla. If you wish to complete the round trip then start your journey from Manali and return from Shimla or vice versa.

On the basis of my experience and information collected from local people and the people I met, I will try to provide most of the information to make your trip an organized one and even hassle-free!  I made Kaza as my base camp to cover Spiti and preferred home stay.

 

About Spiti

Undoubtedly Spiti is the place which you can’t afford to miss. It is an offbeat place for hardcore travelers. The Valley comprises of cold desert mountains located high in the Himalayan Mountain Range in the north-eastern part of Himachal Pradesh. Spiti is not a place for an average traveler or weak hearted. Bumpy roads, no network except BSNL, electricity is available in only some part of Spiti and not available in most of the places. It’s a place where you can see the nature in its purest form and the views are breathtaking. Most of the time it’s covered with snow. People are friendly and cooperative. The place is safe for solo travelers as well.

The journey to Spiti itself is a destination.

                                                           

Way to SPITI

 

Best time to Visit

Spiti is cut from rest of the world from November to May from the Manali route because of snow. The only time to visit Spiti is from Mid-May to Mid-October from Manali route. You can go to Spiti from Shimla route anytime throughout the year. But it’s advisable to visit during June to Mid-October as this is best time.

 

How to Reach

There are two ways to reach Spiti. One is from Manali and the other one is from Shimla.

From Manali it’s around 215-225 km and from Shimla it’s around 410-420 Km

There are regular buses that ply from Delhi to Manali and Shimla. I used Manali route to reach because I had a few days for my visit. If you go from Shimla you need one extra day as compared to Manali route.


From Manali there are three ways to reach Spiti;

Bus  – Himachal roadways bus move daily at 5.00 am from Manali bus stand (Start from Kullu) which costs you around INR 250. Leave at 5.00 am and reach Spiti by 8 pm.

Private Taxi  – Will cost you an average INR 8500. Rest depending on bargaining skill.

Shared Tempo Traveler  - This is the best mode to reach Spiti from Manali. It would cost you INR 800 per seat and it is more comfortable as compared to other modes and will take less time. Tempo traveler leaves from “Kiran Guest House” near to SBI ATM before Mall Road. It moves around 5.30 am from there and reach Spiti by 5.00 pm.

You can contact Kiran Guest house for the tempo traveler booking or contact  Angrup Dorje - 09459965284/09459728538 - he is the driver and owner of the tempo traveler.

 

From Manali to Kaza (Spiti)                                       From Shimla to Kaza (Spiti) 


Places to See

Key monastery  (Also spelled Ki, Kee is approx. 12 km from Kaza at an altitude of 13,668 ft. above sea level. The Monastery is over 1000 years old and the oldest training center for lamas. Stay option is available and the road condition is good from Kaza to Key.

Key Monastery

 

Kibber  is the second highest village after Komic at an altitude of 4270 meters or 14,200 ft. above sea level. It is approx. 18 km from Kaza (road condition is good) and near to Key Monastery. Home stay is available and I saw some camps as well. In extreme winters you even have a chance to see a snow leopard. In summers, local bus ply from Kaza in the evening at 5.00 pm and come back to Kaza next morning.

                                                              Kibber

 

You can hire a taxi to cover Key Monastery and Kibber which can cost you around INR 1,200 and will take around 3 hours. Another option is by hiring a Bullet Bike (for the bikers) on rent. It will cost you almost the same. There are two shops in the Kaza market for the same and you can hire it from there.           

 

Komic  is the highest village in the world at an altitude of 15,027 ft. above sea level. There are only 14 homes and a population of 114. Home stay option is available. There are two old monasteries and the new monastery has been made in Kaza.

                      

Komic

 

Hikkim  is situated at an altitude of 14,567 ft. above sea level. Hikkim earns the crown of having “The highest Post Office” in the World and highest polling booth in India. It is shelter for 30 homes and approx. 150 people. There is no stay option at Hikkim (only personal observation).

Hikkim

 

Langza  is also known for its rich fossil reserves. It has a Lord Buddha statue surrounded by mud households. It is situated at an altitude of 14,435 ft. above sea level. Home stay is available here. The total population of this village is around 150 people from 35 house.

Langza

 

The most economical way to cover Hikkim-Komic-Langza circuit is by local HRTC buses. Bus moves from Kaza to Hikkim twice a week on Tuesday and Saturday at 2.00 pm. The same bus goes further to Komic and Langza and comes back to Kaza at 5 pm on the same day.

Another way to cover Hikkim-Komic-Langza is by taxi. It will cost you around INR 1,800 and you can cover these places easily in half a day. If you are short of days during your overall trip, you can also cover Key Monastery and Kibber along with Hikkim-Komic-Langza in the same day and in a total, it will cost you approx. INR 3,000 but you have to leave early in the day.

 

Lalung Village and Monastery  - “Lalung” means the land of God. It is around 30 km from Kaza. The village has 1016 years old monastery also known as Golden temple. It is believed that it is created within a night with golden polish work on idols. Nobody is allowed to touch any of the idol inside the temple as this is the belief that if it’s touch by anyone, the power in these idols will be lost. As a result nobody cleans the Idols of this temple and if you will look closely at the idols of the temple, you can easily see the particles of dust. A new monastery is under construction along with the old one. Lalung village also has option of home stay.


Golden Temple

 

Dhankar -  Dhankar monastery and village is situated at a height of 12,774 ft. above sea level. The Monastery comes under one of the most endangered sites in the world. The Monastery is a home of about 150 monks and surrounded by Tabo and Kaza. It is about 25 Km from Kaza. There is no direct public transport available to Dhankar monastery and village but only available up to Schichling. From Schichling you need to rely on your luck to get a lift.Another option is of trekking. Home stay option is available there.


Dhankar


Tabo -  Tabo monastery was established in 996 AD.Tabo is famous for its exquisite murals and stucco sculptures which bear a striking resemblance to the paintings and sculpture in the Ajanta Caves. This is why Tabo has acquired the title of 'Himalayan Ajanta’. The old monastery is a mud structure. It is about 46 km from Kaza. Home stay option is available in Tabo.      

 Tabo

Best way to cover Dhankar and Tabo is by taxi. Ask your driver to include Lalung monastery (Golden Temple), usually driver don’t tell about Lalung. If you cover these three places it will cost approx. INR 3,000. It’s a whole day journey. Try to leave early so that you can cover these places and come back by evening. The more people you have, less would be the expense you bear.



 

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