The Ridge - Shimla

Spiti

Lamas

On the way

Nako

Chitkul

Landscape Spiti

Spiti Valley Tour 

  13 days / 12 nights

India :

  • Shimla. Sarahan. Kalpa. Chitkul. Tabo. Manali

  Jeep Tour.
15th June – 30th September

  Trans Himalayan Region
  Fully Escorted Tour

    5 star Rating

Spiti Valley Tour with Shimla and Manali

13 Days – 12 Nights

Spiti valley is one of the must-visit places in this world. A real experience of the Himalayas this trip brings you close to the remotely located villages and their people. A Jeep Safari that begins from Shimla – the former Summer Capital of the Imperial Government in India and ends at Manali. Gradually you enter the hills and drive over the high motor-able roads, over high passes, (Kunzum La – 4500 m) providing a spectacular view of the Himalayan ranges. Sarahan, Kalpa, Tabo, and Kaza are the places on the way where we are going to stop. There are Buddhist Monasteries, a lake, cedar forests, the mighty river Satluj, and woodcraft. This tour introduces you to the actual culture and the lifestyle in the remote locations of the Trans Himalayan regions. You will, gradually be reaching some must-visit places in the world and see the real geography of these youngest mountains in the world.

Everything mentioned here shall be included in the cost when you ask for it.

Accommodation 

We use and recommend only homestays or experiential properties where the experience is absolutely different than traditional hotels. It is always subject to their availability because some of them, e.g. Chonor House in Dharamsala, get bookings more than six months in advance. We have given the links to the accommodation units, in the itinerary, that we recommend. You can click on the link and know the place where we are going to put you.

    Your Tour Guide / Tour Escort
    • This tour is escorted by an English Speaking local Guide who is very well versed with the history of Sikhism, Buddhism, and British Raj in India. He shall remain with for throughout the tour, from arrival at Amritsar till your departure in Chandigarh. The escort keeps a deep knowledge of the area, the incidents, and the present situation of the places that you are going to visit with him. All the walks shall also be conducted by him and he will share a great amount of knowledge with you, about all the things that may surprise you in the temples, on the roads, in the villages and, at any other place while on the trip.
    • Language: We do not have Other Language Speaking Guides other than English.
    Meals:

    Meals shall be included as per the list given below. Any extra meals shall be on a direct payment basis.

    • Breakfast: The menu remains North Indian, South Indian, Continental, and others. Porridge / Corn Flakes with milk (hot / Cold) are the essential part of the breakfast, added with toast, butter, jam, honey, marmalade, fruit, a variety of Indian bread such as paranthas and poori with freshly cooked vegetables and pickles, sausages, tea/coffee, all depending upon the quality of the hotel.
    • Dinner: Depending on the place to place we prefer to have dinner. For Example, Shimla and Dharamsala have a variety of restaurants so we dine out whereas at other places we prefer to have dinner in the hotel.
      • Shimla: Room + Breakfast + Dinner
      • Sarahan: Room + Breakfast + Dinner
      • Chitkul: Room + Breakfast + Dinner
      • Kalpa: Room + Breakfast + Dinner
      • Nako: Room + Packed Lunch + Breakfast + Dinner
      • Tabo: Room + Breakfast + Dinner
      • Kaza: Room + Breakfast + Dinner
      • Manali: Room + Breakfast + Dinner
    Transport

    Like many other tour operators, to keep the cost down, we try NOT to use big coaches or buses. The reasons are that many types of coaches are not allowed inside the big towns. They are allowed to go up to a certain point and then from there, either you are transported to the small cars or asked to walk to the hotel. We use only big cars, preferably, Toyota Crysta or Tempo Travellers which are completely refurbished and fitted with superbly comfortable seats with seat belts and enough leg space.

      • In this tour, we use only Toyota Crysta cars for 2 to 3 passengers traveling together: Toyota Crysta. The tour escort/Guide will also travel with you in the same car. (see the photo in slider)
    • All transport services start from Amritsar till Sarchu AC Toyota Crysta. These cars will be with you only till Sarchu.
    • At Sachu you will have other cars because cars going from Manali are not allowed to go beyond that point.
    • The cars which come to pick you up at Sarchu will remain with you throughout the tour.
    Other things Include
    • Baggage Handling Charges.
    • All Assistance from the airports/railway stations.
    • Tour Escort/Guide for the entire journey.
    • All applicable taxes will be included in the package cost.
    • Any airfares.
    • Any Kind of Personal Expenses or Optional Tours / Extra Meals Ordered.
    • Anything not specifically mentioned under the head “Prices included”.
    • Tips, Insurance, Laundry, Phone Calls.
    • The Services of Vehicle is not included on leisure days & after finishing the sightseeing tour as per the Itinerary.
    • Any Kind of Drinks / Table drinks (Alcoholic, Aerated).
    • Camera fee, Soft or Hard drinks, Starters.
    • Medical & Travel insurance.
    • Additional costs due to flight cancellation, train delays roadblocks, natural calamity, etc.

    Tips

    In most cases, people ask us about the tips in the restaurants, for the drivers and for the guides. We recommend the following.

    • In the restaurants: Normally it is 10% of the total bill.

    For the Driver:

    • This man works very hard as he drives on the narrow and bumpy road with great care and at night hardly finds any place to sleep. The next morning he has to drive again and so a sound sleep is required. He expects the hotelier to provide him with a comfortable room and some hotels do that but in most cases, he sleeps in his car. The tip recommended to him is Rs. 300/- per day.

    For the Guides/ Tour Manager:

    • This man is your friend, philosopher, the guide throughout the trip and with his knowledge, he keeps your trip alive and brings different experiences to the front. He takes care of check-ins/checkouts at the hotels /organizes and decided the venue for your meals, organizes local guides for you, takes care of you in case of emergency, helps you with the local language, remains your local caretaker, and remains your friend forever even after the trip is over. He deserves the better portion of the tip and so we recommend a minimum of Rs. 500/- per person per day for him.

     

     

    • Travel Research
      • These trips are for those who enjoy walking & traveling. Although we run these walking programs on fixed itineraries but still we keep the trips as flexible as possible for the convenience and comforts of our clients. On these trips, we offer the opportunity to walk to some remote areas where everyone wishes to go at least once in his or her life but due to certain reasons, such as health, or time sometimes can’t go there.
      Physical Rating
      • The participant in these Walks should have a certain level of fitness. You may be expected to walk for 3-5 hours a day with your daypack.
      • We shall be walking on the trails through the green area. The trails at a number of places are narrow, bumpy, or dusty. At some places, we might be crossing the streams of water flow. So due to these conditions we are likely to walk slowly and might become irritating for you. But only those shall enjoy these treks who know how to enjoy the natural beauty and the landscape around.
      • We are dead sure that the Geographical Carvings and the Landscape on these treks is so stunning that it does not give you an opportunity to get irritated and leave your camera.
      • Since we remain under the Treeline so the effects of altitude cannot be a problem, but sometimes if the gradient is steep for you then it is suggested to slow down and go gradually.
       Group Size

      Looking at the comforts of the Travelers and the Staff our group size remains as follows :

      • Maximum – 8 pax
      • Minimum – 2 pax
      Health
      • Before you travel to India it is advised that you should consult your doctor for up to date information and prescriptions for vaccinations, anti-malarial requirements, and any reasonably foreseeable illnesses.
      • Although a First Aid Box is always a part of our Kit still we recommend that you carry any personal medical requirements if you have.
      Cultural Shock
      • India is a country that may be very different from something that you may have experienced before. And especially when you in the interiors of the Himalayan Foothills it might be very different from other areas you have traveled to. In most of the villages here, simplicity and poverty can result in initial culture shock. Some villages are still under the poverty line but they follow their traditions and culture strictly. So all this should be seen as an exciting new challenge.
      Weather Conditions
      • July to September are the monsoon months in India and there could be some unforeseen problems like road blockages due to landslides or road damages. So a change or delay in itinerary could be there or we reach the destination from some other route, however, it is quite unlikely.
      • Check out the latest weather condition at accuweather.com.

       

      Safety and Security
      • Check with the embassy in your country and follow their advice for their latest travel information.
      • It is recommended that you use a neck wallet or money belt while traveling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travelers’ cheques, cash, credit cards, debit cards, ATM cards, and other valuable items.
      • Leave your valuable jewelry at home as you won’t need it while traveling.
      • Keep your baggage under lock and key.
       Travel Light
      • During the itinerary, you will be traveling most of the time so pack as lightly as possible (stay under 10 kg/22lb). Most travelers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice. Avoid Suitcases.
      • The mountains can be cold. Nighttime temperatures can be as low as 5 degrees, so bring a set of warmer clothes; thermal underclothes, being small and light, can be very useful. A warm jumper/jacket, cap, gloves, and sunglasses no matter what time of the year, as we travel at altitudes above 3500m.
      Dressing
      • It is very important that when you are traveling to India, you kindly dress up keeping in mind the respect for the locale culture, especially Ladies. In some areas, you might have some people gathering around you, touching you, and looking at you for a long time, as you are a foreigner.
      • As a general guideline full shirts and full-length skirts or knee covered skirts are recommended. At some places or the religious buildings, shorts are not allowed as it will restrict your entry into buildings.
      • At religious places, you shall be required to cover your head. The cloth is provided by the temple. So kindly follow the tradition otherwise the authorities might not allow you to enter the premises.
      • In India, before entering all religious places you are required to remove your shoes. You can also bring a pair of floaters footwear that are easily available in the markets in India too, these footwear are easy to remove and wear.
      • Women are sometimes not allowed to enter some of the religious places in the hills.
       Photography and Interaction with Local
      • During our Walks, there will be many opportunities for you to meet and talk with locals. You are allowed to take pictures but it is also suggested that you take permission before clicking their houses, lifestyle, and them. One way to start any conversation is with pictures.
      • Children in the villages might ask you to click their pictures. If you have a digital camera you click and show them on screen.
      • Also if possible for you to bring some photos/postcards of your family, home, city, or country where you live, animals peculiar to your country to show them.
      • People in the hills are very simple and hospitable. They might ask you to come to their house and have a cup of tea as tea is a very common and untimely drink in India. They shall be very happy if you accept their invitation.
      Check List
      • Travel documents: passport, visa, travel insurance, air tickets.
      • Health requirements arranged. 1 photocopy of the above documents, Money: cash/credit card/traveler’s cheques, Money pouch.
      • Your personal First-Aid kit including rehydration salts, sunscreen, lip balm, and sunglasses due to harsh sunlight and exposure to high altitudes.
      • Wide brim hat or umbrella
      • Antibacterial hand gel, when water is scarce.
      • Day pack to carry your personal needs during the day.
      • Walking Boots – light weight.
      • Boot Protector.
      • Thin Liner socks : 3 pairs
      • Heavier outer socks.
      • Tights, for Women. At least one pair.
      • T-Shirts. Take several light-weighted.
      • Walking pants.
      • Rain Pants.
      • Warm socks.
      • Alarm clock and torch/flashlight.
      • Lightweight travel towel.
      • Refillable water bottle, for filling from a thermos.
      • Earplugs can be useful if avoid someone snoring in the group.
      • Your own sleeping bag.
      • Warm clothes. It is recommended to bring thermal underwear, and either a down or a fleece jacket.
      • A windproof jacket.
      • A pair of gloves.
      • A scarf or face mask for dust, Sarong for covering up when washing/showering.
      • Three pairs are enough.
      • For Women, a couple.
      • Tampons or Sanitary Napkins. They are easily available in the open market.
      • Toilet Kit.
      • Insect Repellent.
      • Bug Powder.
      • A candle, large and small rubber bands, plastic bags, tape extra pens, etc.

    Detailed Itinerary

    Please Note

    For accommodation, we are just mentioning what we suggest. Final names of the hotels shall be given after the costing, as per your requirement.

    Day 01 Arrival Chandigarh and drive to Shimla

    Stay: Hotel / Homestay     Meals: Breakfast. Dinner    Distance: 120 km      Driving Time: 4.5 hours     

    We welcome you at Chandigarh, the base of the Himalayas. Your tour escort cum tour guide is going to meet you here, outside the exit gate of the airport. And then, we together drive to Shimla – the former Summer Capital of British India. A thirty minutes drive brings us to Kalka, the entry gate to Himalaya from where we follow the continuous incline towards Shimla. 

     Shimla came into existence after the Gurkha British wars in 1816. From then till 1947 the British used it at a holiday resort and then as their Summer Capital. Completely developed by the British Officers Shimla takes you back to the bygone era as the town is a Victorian and post Victorian architecture. A large number of buildings built by the Imperial government remain scattered and the climate of the town has a clear resemblance to Europe.

    Day 02 Shimla Heritage Walk

    Stay: Hotel/Homestay     Meals: Breakfast, and Dinner. 

    Shimla is Walker’s paradise. Many people coming to Shimla regret if they miss it, so we keep here two nights for you so that you can walk through the Heritage Lanes of Shimla with your guide. There are beautiful Churches, A Viceregal Lodge now called Institute of Advanced Study, Army Heritage Museum, Annandale Ground, Gaiety theater, and of course The Mall road – a busy street but meant only for the pedestrians.

    After breakfast, we proceed for a Heritage Walk of Shimla with your local historian. This is the best way to learn about Shimla and know it better. You will be walking with Sumit, a local historian and a published author of eight books.

     

    Day 03 Shimla - Sarahan

    Stay: Small Hotel/Guest House      Meals: Breakfast, and Dinner.     Distance: 175 km      Driving Time:  6 hours     

    The drive is through the Apple orchards, lush landscape and over Narkanda – a small but busy town at the elevation of 9000 feet.

    Early morning breakfast, Sarahan, a beautiful village surrounded by apple orchards and dominated by Shrikhand Mahadev Peak (5155 M/ 16,912 feet) which resembles the “Shivling.” We visit the Bhimakali Temple, a wonderful mixture of Buddhist and Hindu architecture. It is very sacred to both communities. The idol of Goddess Bhimakali is approximately 200 years old.

    Day 04 : Sarahan - Chitkul

    Stay: Small Hotel/Guest House    Meals: Breakfast, and Dinner    Distance: 75 km          Driving Time: 3 hrs

    Chitkul is one place that is not to be missed on this trail. This is the last village in the valley of river Baspa and keeps an amazing landscape with its temple of the village at the backdrop.

    Day 05 : Chitkul - Kalpa

    Stay: Hotel Grand Shambhala    Meals: Breakfast, and Dinner    Distance: 45 km          Driving Time: 2 hrs

    Morning drive to Kalpa. On the way, we shall visit village Batseri and village Kamru. Looming above Kalpa village is the impressive Mt. Kinner Kailash (6050 M/ 19,850 feet).

    Afternoon: Also, we need to appear before the State Divisional Magistrate to obtain Permits for the Inner line area. (Please note: If you are a foreigner in India then your this day in Kalpa must be a  weekday and a working day).

    After lunch, a short walk for three kilometers, along the old road to village Roghi is worth it.

    Day 06 : Kalpa

    Stay: Hotel Grand Shambhala    Meals: Breakfast, and Dinner    

    After breakfast walk around the villages in and around Kalpa. These are the ancient and exquisite villages of Chini, Kothi, Pangi, and Telangi. Make good use of your camera as the landscape and the architecture attract you repeatedly.

    Day 07 : Kalpa - Nako

    Stay: Fixed Camp with attached facilities.    Meals: Breakfast, and Dinner    Distance: 105 km          Driving Time: 4 hrs

    The village of Nako lies at an altitude of 3625 meters (11,893 feet), high above the last stretch of the Spiti Valley. It was once a very important center of Buddhism in the region. There are different small-sized temples belonging to different periods between the 11th and 12th centuries distributed all over the village, including a monastic complex on its western edge. Boasting four temples and a number of additional buildings, this complex preserves the earliest artistic heritage. The austere and unornamented exteriors of the buildings give little hint of the important artistic and religious legacy that lies within the walls.

    Day 08 : Nako - Tabo

    Stay: Hotel/Homestay    Meals: Breakfast, and Dinner    Distance: 70 km          Driving Time: 4 hrs

    Today we enter the Spiti Valley. Geographically and archeologically, Spiti is a living museum. The mountains are devoid of any vegetation due to erosion by wind, sun, and snow over thousands of years. Our vehicles climb up to the village of Tabo (3050 M/ 10,006 feet). Built in the year 996 AD, the Chos Khor Monastery at Tabo is the largest monastery in Spiti and one of the few remaining examples of the Golden Period of Buddhist Culture in the Himalayan Region. The wall frescos of the monastery are comparable in their antiquity and quality to those of the Ajanta caves, hence they are called the Ajanta of the Himalayas. It houses more than 100 Lamas, a large number of scriptures and pieces of art, wall paintings, thangkas, and stucco. We will reach Tabo for lunch. In the afternoon and evening, we will visit the monastery and village.

    Day 09: Tabo - Kaza

    Stay: Hotel/Homestay    Meals: Breakfast, and Dinner    Distance: 47 km          Driving Time: 4 hrs

    Rise early if you want to join the monks in morning worship at Tabo monastery (5 min walk through the village).

    After breakfast, we drive to Kaza. On the way, we shall visit Dhankar, the ancient capital of Spiti. Dhankar Gompa (3800 M/ 12,467 feet) was built in the 12th century. This hilltop fort dominates the scene, and once served as a jail. It contains more than 160 scriptures of Lamas and Buddhists in the Bhoti language. A statue of Dhyan Buddha consisting of four complete figures seated back to back is the main attraction of this four to five-century-old monastery. Unfortunately, the ancient Gompa, situated on the very edge of the peak, is deteriorating. Entering the interior may be restricted in the very near future. They have shifted the main monastery to a new complex at the entrance of the village. His Holiness the Dalai Lama inaugurated this temple in June 2004.

    Before we drive to Kaza, a detour to Peen Valley is strongly recommended for a photographer. Peen Valley was the sea bed of the ocean Tythes from where Himalaya rose up. Commonly known as Geologist’s paradise Peen valley is known for its amazing rock folds and Moonlike landscape.  We continue our drive to Kaza.

    Day 10 : Kaza
    Day 11 : Kaza - Manali

    Stay: Small Hotel/Guest House      Meals: Breakfast, and Dinner    Distance:185 km Driving Time: 6 hours.

    This is going to be slightly a longer day. Drive over Khardung La (4600 m) and then follow the unmetalled road along with river Chandra. 

    On arrival check into your hotel and relax.

    Day 12 : Manali

    Stay: Small Hotel/Guest House      Meals: Breakfast, and Dinner    

    Visit Hidimba temple, Naggar Castle, and Roerich Art Gallery.  After lunch free to yourself.

    Day 13 : Manali Departure

    In the morning after breakfast drive to the airport for fifty km to board the flight to Delhi.

     

    Tour Ends

    Price

    On-Demand

    Highlights

    • Summer Capital of British India
    • Moonlike Landscape
    • Himalayan rural life
    • Drive over some of the highest passes
    • Kinnaur
    • Buddhist Monasteries
    • Interaction with the locals

    General Information

    Group Size

    04 to 08

    Pick up from

    Chandigarh

    Drop at

    Manali

    Experience

    • Local lifestyle
    • Religion
    • Buddhism
    • Walks to the unknown
    • Trans Himalayan Region

    Time Consumed

    13 Days / 12 Nights

    Level of Walks

    Easy

     Call or WhatsApp

    +91 7018703170

    Geographical Information

    Altitude

    240 m to 3500 m

    Weather

    • Spring: March-May
    • Monsoon: July–September
    • Autumn: October–November.
    • Winter: December – February.

    Click here to check the weather forecast.

    Temperature

    • The warmest month of the year is June, with an average temperature of 20.9 °C | 69.6 °F.
    • January has the lowest average temperature of the year. It is 5.6 °C | 42.1 °F.
    • Click here to check the current temperature.

    Inclines

    Level & Gradual

    Terrain

    Hilly.

    Traffic on the Walks

    You will be lucky if you see any.

    Other Information

    Tour Type

    This tour is 

    • Fully Escorted Private Tour.

    Do not Forget

    • Camera.
    • Credit / Debit Cards.
    • Walking Shoes.
    • Sunglasses.
    • Sun Screen.
    • Umbrella on a rainy day.
    • Rain Cover.
    • Sun Hat.
    • Personal medicine (if any)
    • Warm Jacket in Winter.

    Pets

    Not Allowed

    ‘Toilets’ & ‘Permanent Toilets’

    Yes

    Wheelchair Accessibility

    No

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