Explore a white Spiti Valley and experience life as a local
A trip to Spiti valley in the winter is not for the faint hearted. If you live for adventure day in and day out and want to explore one of the toughest terrains in this country when temperatures dip down to -30ºC during the night. Get to see some snow laden mountains and meet locals over some hot butter tea. It is one of the best trips to understand how Spitian people survive winters in conditions so severe.
Narkanda, Kalpa, Nako, Tabo, Dhankar, Kaza, Key, Khibber, Rampur
Best Time to Visit
November till April
Breakfast and Dinner
Local experienced driver
*It gets very cold in winter i.e. December through February with temperatures hitting – 30C. You will need to be mentally and physically fit and must have done some high altitude travel in order to be able to handle travelling through this high altitude terrain.
*All hotels and guest houses will be shut at the time and you will only get homestays which have dry eco friendly squatting toilets. You will need to be okay with this as wet toilets are not available due to water lines freezing.
*Because of the water lines freezing, the locals need to carry the water all the way in the freezing cold from a nearby water source and hence having a bath while you are in Spiti will not be possible.
*In peak winter i.e. January and early February all the places might not be open due to adverse weather conditions. We will keep you updated of the same in case any last minute changes need to be made to your plan.
*Winter time is off season in Spiti, and you will not have many options in terms of activities, and because of the cold, you won’t be able to move around as much and will end up spending time in the homestay. We recommend travellers to make the most of the situation, and turn their time at the homestay as getting to know more about Spitian life, food and culture from the locals.
*Because of winter, there will not be many options in terms of food and in a homestay you will need to be understanding and eat the hearty but basic food that your hosts provide.
*Be prepared to be understanding and flexible, as we can make last minute plan changes due to bad weather for your safety and wellbeing.
Day 1: Chandigarh to Narkanda (180 kms/7-8 hrs)
Land in Chandigarh and head towards Narkanda. Take appropriate breaks on the way and enjoy the beauty as you leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind. Lose yourself amidst scenic valleys on either side of the road. Feel like you are staying in the middle of nowhere. Your winter adventure begins.
Day 2: Narkanda to Kalpa (160 kms/7-8 hrs)
Enjoy a nice, warm breakfast with a view of the mountains and head to Kalpa. Enjoy the stunning view of Kinner Kailash peaks over a cup of tea. Reach your destination and rest for the night.
Day 3: Kalpa to Tabo via Nako (160 kms/ 9 -10 hrs)
This morning since it is a long journey to Tabo you will be leaving around 7 am or so. Enjoy a nice, warm, early morning breakfast with a view of the mountains. The journey will take about 8-9 hours if everything goes as planned. On your way you will notice the terrain change and you will see the end of tree line. See the confluence of Spiti and Sutlej river at Khab. We shall have a lunch break at the scenic Nako village- visit the lake in Nako after lunch. Tonight you will get your first experience in a local Spitian homestay. You can gather around the local style tandoor in the evening and interact with your host family over dinner. Take enough rest in the night.
Day 4: Tabo to Kaza Via Dhankar (170 kms/3-4 hrs)
Take the morning easy, have your breakfast and visit the “Ajanta of Himalayas”- The Tabo Monastery which is close to a 1000 years old now. The murals, thankas and paintings are believed by the locals to have been made in a single night by the Gods themselves. On your way visit Dhankar Monastery, if the road is open – Dhankar used to be the Seat of the King in ancient times- the most beautiful setting for a monument which hangs on a cliff and overlooks the confluence of the Spiti and Pin rivers. Stay in Kaza for the night. Warm up by the tandoor and help out in the kitchen if you want to. A great way to bond with your host is by making and sharing a meal together. 🙂
Day 5: Kaza to Kye and Khibber (40 kms/2-3 hrs) and a snow drive towards Lohsar
Take the morning easy and stroll through Kaza village. You can chat with the locals over a cup of Tea. After breakfast, we shall head to Kye Monastery and Khibber Village, if the road is open. Kye monastery is on top of a mountain overlooking the Spiti valley and the Spiti river. After Key monastery, we will go a bit further and visit Khibber Village- which used to be one of the highest villages in the world once upon a time. We will also go on a snow drive towards Lohsar till the road is open. On your way, we will make a couple of designated stops for you to take some pictures. Stay in Kaza for the night. Make the most of your homestay experience by learning about local life, festivals and traditions from your host family.
Day 6: In Kaza – Snow hike around Kaza with a guide
Enjoy a heavy breakfast and get ready for your hike to the village around Kaza. Because of the cold and the heavy snow, a hike is an invigorating way to keep warm and also experience Spiti just like the locals do.
Day 7: Kaza to Rampur (282 kms/ 9-10 hrs)
We leave early morning today for Rampur and as it is a long journey, breakfast and lunch will be done along the way. Say your goodbyes to your wonderful hosts this morning.
Day 8: Rampur to Chandigarh (240 kms/9-10 hrs)
Leave early in the morning to catch your evening flight from Chandigarh back to your hometown and take back memories back of a isolated civilisation and trans Himalayan terrain. Trip ends here. 🙂
*Breakfast and Dinner at all stays
*Transport for 8 days as per the plan
*Stay at the list of hotels/homestays shared as per the plan
*Driver to act as a basic guide
*Local Guide on Day 6 for the hike
*All driver expenses, fuel and tolls are paid for
*Local coordinator in Kaza and Manali
*Lunch, snacks and beverages (except the ones with meals)
*Any kind of insurance
*Guide for any additional days
*Cost of any emergency
*Flight/Train/Bus ticket cost Chandigarh/Shimla and back
*Monument Entry fee/Cost of permits