Destinations Covered : Delhi – Manali – Kaza – Dhankhar – Tabo – Komic – Kaza – Manali – Delhi
Duration : 10 days
Trekking, Jeep Safari, Yak Safari, Traditional Home Stay, Cultural Performance.
About The Itenary:
This essential Spiti valley jeep safari begins at Manali and meandering through the magnificent Rohtang and Kunzam passes, the drive takes you through the little known valleys of the Chandra, Spiti, Pin, and the mighty Satluj rivers and ends at Shimla. First couple of days are spent on the left bank plateau to get acclimatized to the high altitude.
From there, travel to some of the highest villages in the world and experience Spitian culture through traditional homestays along with visits to ancient monasteries that are the cultural and spiritual hubs of the Spitian way of life.
Day 1 : Delhi to Manali
Drive through the famous Grand Trunk Road built by Sher Shah Suri. The drive takes you through the Shivalik ranges and gradually make our way to the Middle Himalayan ranges to Manali.
Overnight in a hotel.
Day 2: Manali
Manali is a small little hill station bustling with tourists. Start the day early with a drive on the left bank of the Beas to the village of Naggar, which is famous for the Russian artist Roerich’s gallery. Naggar also has a famous castle and the views around the area are spectacular. Come back to Manali and drive to Solang, which is the paragliding and skiing zone of the area.
Day 3: Manali to Kaza
The day long journey takes you through Rohtang pass and descend into the valley of the Chandra river and over the Kunzum. By evening reach Kaza. Entire drive is through breath-taking landscape.
Overnight in a small hotel.
Day 4: Kaza
Today you travel to the highlands of the left bank plateau for altitude acclimatization and return to Kaza for overnight stay. Visit the Kye village (about a ½ hour drive) and the Kye gompa, the largest monastery in Spiti. Drive upto Kibber village (another ½ hour drive away), which at 14,000 feet above sea level, is the road head for the trade route into Ladakh over the Parang La. Continue to the village of Gette and Tashigang (about 1 hour drive), high up in the mountains. If time permits, on return journey you could walk down a spectacular steep downhill trail to Kye gompa, where jeeps pick you up for the drive back. The evening can be spent roaming the Kaza market where you may find interesting local handicrafts.
Overnight in Hotel/guesthouse.
Day 5: Kaza – Lhalung – Dhankhar
Lhalung is the largest village of the Lingti valley and is famous for its 1000 year old temple ‘Serkhang’ (the golden temple) and possibly one of the oldest trees (dating back to over a 1000 years). Lhalung is also known for its cultural performances. You get to participate and witness a Cultural performance by the local folk and the warm hospitality of these mountain people. An hours drive from Lhalung brings you to one of the most stunning locations in the Spiti valley, Dhankhar, the ancient capital of Spiti, which houses an ancient Monastery perched precariously between unique wind eroded structures.
Day 6: Dhankhar – Giu – Tabo
Tabo is famous for its 1012 years old Monastery. In 1996, the Tabo monastery celebrated its thousand years with a Kalachakra ceremony, which was presided by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. You spend time exploring the Monastery and the numerous temples at the monastery, before heading to Giu (1 hour). Giu is the furthest and most isolated village of Spiti, lying close to the border of Tibet (China). Giu village is also interesting as the body of an old monk ( 675 years old) sitting in meditation still exists intact till date. It is said that the hair and nails of this monk are still growing. After having a look around the village and at this interesting mummy, head back to Tabo, to spend the night.
Overnight in Hotel/ Guesthouse.
Day 7: Tabo – Langza – Komik
Drive to Langza village (2.5 hours), located in a large high mountain meadow with a beautiful mountain, Chau Chau Kang Nilda, towering above this village. Here find evidence of the Tethy’s sea before the Indian mainland collided with the Tibetan plateau and formed the Himalayas, which are still rising today. Sea fossils can be found a short trek (1/2-1 hour) away from the village. From here visit the ruins of an ancient monastery deserted a few decades ago. The monastery has a unique location and the locals have interesting interpretations and legends about its location. Thereafter continue to one of Asia’s highest villages, Komic where you spend the night in a traditional homestay (1/2 hour). Komic is also adorned by a legendary monastery. The day provides a fascinating insight into the Spiti way of life.
Day 8: Komic – Demul – Kaza
Today, start early (preferably 7 am) and adopt the local mode of transport, yaks. Explore the Trans-Himalayan Deserts and travel into the grazing pastures of the local livestock and wild herbivores (such as the Blue Sheep). This is also the hunting ground for the Tibetan Wolf and Snow Leopard. If lucky, spotting of the Wolf can be possible. Travel to a vantage poinwet and finally make your way to the neighboring village of Demul, famous for its local brew (arak). From here head to Kaza in our jeeps (2 hours), spend the rest of the evening shopping in Kaza.
Day 9: Kaza – Manali
After early (7 am) breakfast drive back to Manali along the same route that you took to reach Kaza. Enroute visit Chandra Tal, the lake of the moon goddess. After crossing Kunzam La (4551 mts) take a short detour to Chandra Tal (4270 mts), time permitting. Chandra Tal is placed between a low ridge and the main Kunzam range with an outlet into the Chandra river. The visit to Chandra tal is dependent on road conditions and time availability in the event that one has to walk to the lake.
Day 10: Manali – Delhi
The last day of the journey and youou retrace your steps back to Delhi via the same route as y took to come to Manali. It’s a long day on the road and takes about 12 hours all the way up to Delhi.