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Spiti Tourism | How to Plan a Trip to Spiti


  • Spiti Valley Valley in Himachal Pradesh
Spiti At a Glance
  • Average Climate:2°C - 35°C
  • Best Time to Visit:Throughout the year
  • STD Code:01906

Spiti Tourism | Spiti Travel Guide

Spiti Valley is one of the country's most exotic and less-explored destinations. This charming destination is adorned by the high-altitude mountain peaks of the Himalayas. Therefore, Spiti is far and wide known as a fantastic tourist destination for peace seekers and nature lovers. To learn more about this place, look at the Spiti Valley travel guide, which comprises all the site's details.

Tucked away in the lap of the mighty Himalayan ranges and embellished with the glistening river, Spiti Valley is a gem of Himachal Pradesh. Echoing spirituality and tranquility, this picturesque valley is popularly known as a cold desert mountain valley. Boasts about ancient monasteries, glacier lakes, quaint villages, and pristine valleys, Spiti is a mystical land that offers a unique experience to travelers. The fluttering prayer flags, the monks in their maroon robes, and the crystal clear sky enhances the charm of Spiti and makes it appear like a reflection of heaven.

Meaning 'the middle land,' Spiti is surrounded by Tibet in the east, Ladakh in the north, Kullu and Lahaul in the south, and Kinnaur Valley in the South East. It is one of the remotest sites in the country and usually remains cut off from most the tourist maps. Although the valley remains accessible throughout the year from Shimla and Manali, it gets virtually disconnected with the arrival of winters. The summer is the best time to visit Spiti Valley as the region experiences harsh colds during the winter. However, the valley is covered in snow, which looks like a wonderland in winter. It is a great place to witness the true marvels of nature being discovered in front of your very eyes.

Perched at an altitude of 3,800 above sea level, Spiti is located on the banks of the Spiti River and reverberates with new culture and paradisiacal natural beauty. Trekkers and bikers usually access the place as its surreal landscapes, glaciers, and relatively natural environment is too tempting. As a result, every village in this incredible valley appears like a fantasyland. Here is the Spiti Valley tourist guide with which one can gather detailed information about the place, including how to reach it, the best time to visit, things to do, places to visit, accommodation facilities, and tips.

History

This is a cold desert mountain valley snuggled amidst Tibet and India. Flanked by the Spiti River, the valley is renowned for Vajrayana Buddhism, similar to that found in Tibet and Ladakh regions. Spiti Valley has had an introversive culture for centuries where the lives of the locals remained focused around its monasteries. It was ruled by hereditary Waziers, a self-styled 'Nono.' In brief periods, the valley was also attacked by an invader from neighboring kingdoms. An army of Jammu and Kashmir led by generals Ghulam Khan and Rahim Khan invaded Spiti in 1841 AD. A few years later, in 1846, the Sikh army raided the valley, and finally, the East India Company took control of Spiti 1846. However, nothing changed after this, as Nono of Kyuling continued to rule as the hereditary Wazier of Spiti.

In 1960, Lahaul Valley and Spiti Valley merged to make India's 4th least populated district. These two valleys are connected through Kunzum Pass, located at an altitude of 4,551 m above sea level. In the last two decades, tourism in the valley has risen at a drastic rate owing to its breathtaking landscape and jaw-dropping locales.

Why visit Spiti Valley?

Blessed with the jaw-dropping locales, breathtaking landscapes, gurgling rivers, gushing cascades, and emerald blue rivers, Spiti Valley is a perfect holiday retreat for vacationers. The tranquil environs, unexplored hamlets, pristine beauty, and untouched nature of the valley make it a paradise for nature lovers. It is also home to many trekking trails and hidden gems, attracting thrill-seekers and adventure enthusiasts. Some of the fantastic places of Spiti Valley are Chandertal, Kibber, Kaza, Hikkim, Komic, Langza, Kunzum Pass, Tabo, Nako, and Dhankar.

Spiti Valley is proudly home to the world's highest village connected by a motorable road, Komik Village, and the world's highest post office in Hikkim. Langza is known as the fossil village of the country, where one can easily find the fossils of marine animals and plants that were submerged under the Tethys Sea. The region's monasteries are among the oldest Gompas in the country, comprising the oldest relics, thangkas, murals, and artifacts. Some of the renowned Gompas of the region are Key Monastery, Dhankar Monastery, Tabo Monastery, Komik Monastery, Sakya Tangyud Monastery, and Kungri Gompa. The winding roads and hairpin bend with the backdrop of the unique landscape of the Spiti Valley make it a favorite destination for bikers. Chandratal Lake is a gem of Spiti Valley, located in the lap of the mighty Himalayas and blessed with incredible landscapes.

How to reach Spiti Valley?

Spiti Valley is well-connected with the major cities and towns of the country by different modes of transport. However, it does not have an airport or railway station. The nearest airport is Bhuntar Airport in Kullu, and the nearest railhead is Shimla railway station. There are two routes to visit Spiti Valley – Shimla and Manali. Spiti Valley is accessible from the Manali side only for six months as in winters; mountain passes get blocked due to heavy snowfall. From the Shimla route, Spiti Valley is accessible throughout the year. Here is the detailed information about how to reach West Sikkim.

  • By Air:

The nearest airport from Kaza, the capital of Spiti Valley, is Bhuntar Airport, the major airport of the Kullu region. The Bhuntar Airport is situated 234 km away from Kaza. It is well-connected with the country's major cities by direct and connecting flights, including Delhi, Chandigarh, Kangra, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. In addition, several airlines serve this route, and tourists can reach there without hassle. From the airport, travelers can hire a private taxi or board a bus for Kaza, which ply daily.

  • By Rail:

Shimla railway station is the nearest railhead, connecting Kaza to the rest of the country. The railway station is approximately 400 km from Kaza, which takes almost 12 hours to reach. From the railway station, tourists can board a bus or hire a private taxi from the railway station to Kaza.

  • By Road:

The nearest major town from Kaza is Manali and Shimla, which are well-connected with the major towns and cities of the nearby states, including Delhi, Jammu, Chandigarh, Haryana, and Punjab. There are regular buses ply from Shimla and Kullu for Kaza. Tourists can reach these towns and board the government-run buses or shared jeep that runs on a daily basis. Also, travelers can hire a private taxi from their respective cities or Shimla and Manali.

How to get around in Spiti Valley?

In Spiti Valley, the most convenient option to travel within the city is by private taxi, which is easily available. Shared taxis and government-run buses are also available in Kaza. However, it is recommendable to confirm the timings in advance. Otherwise, hire a private taxi to travel in the valley and explore the region's tourist places. Trekking is also a good option here.

Best time to visit Spiti Valley

The best time to visit Spiti Valley is in the summer season. For half of the year, the valley remains virtually disconnected from the other parts of the country. However, tourists can visit her from the Shimla side in winter, but from the Manali side, the roads get blocked owing to heavy snowfall. From May to September, the region's weather remains comfortable for the excursion. Here is the detailed season-wise information about the region.

  • Summers (May to June)

Spiti Valley experiences pleasant summer weather, making touring and outdoor activities easy. The average temperature ranges from 8⁰C to 15° C in summers in Spiti Valley. This is the peak season of trekking and adventure activities in the region, and the most popular trek is the Pin Bhaba Pass Trek, Chandratal trek, and Langza Dhankar trek. The region becomes easily accessible from the Manali and Shimla routes.

  • Monsoon (July to September)

Spiti Valley is located in a rain shadow region and receives practically little to no rainfall. This is an ideal time to visit Spiti Valley from either of the routes as the snow has already melted from the Rohtang Pass and Kunzum Pass, making the excursion possible from the Manali side. This season, tourists can indulge in trekking, mountain biking, cycling, camping, and other adventure activities. It is a perfect time to visit Spiti Valley away from the hustle-bustle and enjoy the time in seclusion in the lap of the mighty mountains.

  • Winters (October to April)

The winter season starts in October till April, and the temperature dips up to -15⁰C. The challenging weather conditions make the sightseeing tour difficult. However, the region transforms into a wonderland during this season. The frozen lakes, icy waterfalls, and snow-clad mountains make Spiti Valley look like a fairyland. This is the perfect time for the Snow Leopard trek to spot the Snow Leopard, which is an endangered species. If someone is looking to indulge in snow trekking or frozen waterfall climbing, then they can choose to visit here in winter. Otherwise, it is not recommendable to visit here.

Tourist Places to visit in Spiti Valley

Spiti Valley is a charming hill town that houses many tourist attractions. Replete with ancient monasteries, idyllic hamlets, high-altitude lakes, jaw-dropping trekking trails, gurgling cascades, and breathtaking landscapes, Spiti Valley is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure junkies. This offbeat destination is a gem of Himachal Pradesh, a popular place among bikers and avid travelers. Some of the famous attractions of Spiti Valley are the Tabo Monastery, one of the oldest Buddhist centers in the Western Himalayas and known for its great charm. It is home to some fabulous Ajanta-like paintings, and Buddhists Lamas can be seen singing, dancing, and playing musical instruments while chanting their mantras. Dhankar Monastery, Key Monastery, Komik Monastery, and Kungri Gompa. Hikkim, Langza, Komik, Key, Losar, Dhankar, and Mane are the quaint villages of the valley that offer deep insight into the lifestyle of the locals and unparalleled experience.

Things to do in Spiti Valley

Popular for its jaw-dropping locales, breathtaking landscapes, snow-clad mountain peaks, and tranquil lakes, Spiti Valley is a haven for nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, and shutterbugs. There are a plethora of activities in which you can participate during the Spiti Valley tour. In winters, tourists can indulge in the Snow Leopard Trek, which allows visitors to spot this endangered species. Take a look at the best things to do in Spiti Valley are:

  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Rock Climbing
  • Bike Riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Cycling
  • Off-roading
  • Camping

How many days are enough for the Spiti Valley trip?

8-10 days are enough to explore Spiti Valley. This is a vast place to explore along with many tourist places, so it takes time for an excursion. It is an ideal duration to explore Spiti Valley's renowned places and get glimpses of the vibrant lifestyle and immense beauty of the valley. However, the duration of the trip can vary as per the activities tourists wish to indulge in, such as trekking, camping, and rock climbing.

Accommodation in Spiti Valley

Spiti Valley is becoming a tourist hotspot, and to cater to different kinds of travelers, it houses many accommodation options. Spiti Valley has everything to make the vacations memorable, from hotels, homestays, guest houses, and lodges. Equipped with basic amenities, the accommodation options of the valley offer glimpses of scenic vistas and enchanting landscapes. Here are some of the best options to stay in Spiti Valley:

  • Red Rock Spiti, Kaza
  • Hotel Winter Wind Andys, Kaza
  • Hotel Deyzor, Kaza
  • Norbuling Guesthouse, Kaza
  • The Alpinist Café and Resort, Kaza
  • Spiti Village Resort, Kaza
  • Hotel Zangchuk and Restaurant, Kaza
  • Moustache, Kaza
  • NotOnMap – Sonam’s House, Kaza
  • Tethys Himalayan Den, Chicham
  • NotOnMay – Mulche House, Lara
  • Kesang Homestay, Tabo
  • Nima Regency Homestay, Tabo
  • Dhankar Guest House, Dhankar
  • Bairagi Hostel, Nako
  • Lovon Hotel and Restaurant, Nako

Where to eat in Spiti Valley?

Located in Himachal Pradesh and the proximity to Tibet, Spiti Valley is a mix of various cultures. The rich cultural heritage of Spit Valley can be witnessed in the diversity of their cuisines. North India and Tibet influence the ingredients and flavor of this region. The staple items of this region are Momos, Thukpa, butter tea, and a local beer, 'Chang', fermented foods are popular given the natural conditions. Arkah is another popular drink in the valley, which is a locally made whiskey. In addition, the valley villages are swayed with barley, which is almost essential in each meal. Also, authentic and aromatic teas, along with a handful of meat and vegetable delicacies, added charm to the delectable meals of the valley. Some of the best restaurants and eateries in Spiti Valley to tantalize your taste buds are:

  • Sol Café
  • The Himalayan Café
  • Café Kunzum Top
  • Dragon Restaurant
  • Taste of Spiti
  • Kelsang's Kitchen
  • Kazpian Kafe
  • Spiti Horizon Café
  • Café Zomsa
  • Rangyul Café
  • Sherab Food Corner

Shopping in Spiti Valley

Spiti Valley is famous for winter clothes and handicrafts such as carpets, pure wool shawls, and local jewelry. Barley Powder and Sea Buckthorn Tea are some of the most common things in the valley. In addition, there are plenty of markets and shops in Spiti Valley from where you can enjoy street shopping and buy some souvenirs for your loved ones. Some of the best shopping places in Spiti Valley are:

  • Kunzum Shopping Complex
  • Spiti Souvenir Shop
  • Sanjay Handloom Shawls
  • Spiti Ecosphere
  • Kaza Garments

Useful Tips for Spiti Valley

  • Spiti Valley is an offbeat and idyllic tourist destination. The valley is now receiving a large number of tourists. However, accommodation facilities are limited. So it is advisable to book your accommodation in advance to avoid the last-minute hassles.
  • To explore the unique charm and know about the hidden gems of this place, it is advisable to travel in the valley with a certified guide so that you will not miss important information about the region.
  • Private taxis are the most convenient option to get around the valley. However, you can also trek to some places and board the buses, which have limited service.
  • Maintain the decorum of the monasteries and the tourist places.
  • Spiti Valley is a critical ecological place, so it is advisable not to litter.
  • Wear decent clothes and cover yourself adequately while visiting religious places. Cover your shoulders and knees.
  • Check the weather conditions while packing and carry light woolens during summers as well.

Nearby Tourist Places to Spiti Valley

Many places around Spiti Valley are worth exploring. Some of the famous nearby tourist places in Spiti Valley where you can visit during your tour:

  • Pin Valley
  • Lahaul Valley
  • Keylong
  • Sissu
  • Sarchu
  • Darcha
  • Suraj Tal Lake
  • Reckong Peo
  • Kalpa
  • Chitkul
  • Sangla

Fairs & Festivals in Spiti Valley

Fairs and festivals in Spiti Valley are an integral part of their day-to-day life. These ceremonies are celebrated here with great zeal and vigor, depicting their local lifestyle. Moreover, these celebrations give the tourists opportunities to get glimpses of the region's rich cultural heritage. Other festivals are celebrated all over the Spiti Valley are:

  • Dechhang Festival
  • Losar Festival or Halda Festival
  • Gochi Festival
  • Fagli Festival
  • Tshechu Fair
  • Ladarcha Festival and Fair
  • Gataur Mela
  • Chakhar Mela
  • Kalachakra Festival at Key Monastery
  • Ki Cham Festival at Key Monastery

This travel guide of Spiti gives you an idea about what this holiday destination offers. However, our well-crafted Spiti tour packages provide you a travel journey with a smooth travel experience. We cover meals, accommodations, transfers, and sightseeing in our tour packages of Spiti.





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