The clockwise circuit trail of Spiti valley starts from Chandigarh and passes through Shimla, Narkanda, Sarahan, Chitkul, Nako, Tabo and Kaza.
The closing branch of the circuit traverses along the Spiti river and meets Manali town after it passes through the Atal tunnel.
The valley is bounded by the districts of Kinnaur in the south-east, Kullu in the south, and the valleys of Zanskar & Ladakh in the north. In the east, Spiti shares its boundary with Tibet. The name Spiti or Piti — as it is known among the locals — means ‘The middle land’ that is the land between India and Tibet.
Spiti Valley Tour Rundown
|Vehicle||4WD/ Toyota Innova|
|Stay||Camping /Hotels / Homestays|
|Highest Point||Kunzum La (pass) 4551mts.|
|Highest Village||Komik (4513 mts).|
|Best time to visit||May to October|
Spiti Valley Circuit Tour(Via Narkanda – Kinnaur)
What Does The Spiti Valley Tour Cost?
The Cost number of a road trip to Spiti Valley is subjected to the time of visit, mode of transportation, the level of comfort (stay) you expect, and place of pickup and drop location.
To get the Spiti valley circuit tour cost details, please let us know the following variables:
- The group size
- Departure city (Chandigarh/Shimla)
- Arrival city (Shimla/Manali), and tour type (standard/premium) etc.
- Time of visit
- Mode of transportation etc.
Spiti valley and upper Kinnaur region is a remote high altitude rugged terrain. Expect stunning vales and dreamy vistas instead of fancy hotels or road tracks similar to F1 grand prix circuits.
Drop an email to avail group offers & early bird discounts.
Spiti Valley Circuit Itinerary
Day 1: Chandigarh to Narkanda
5 – 6 hours drivetime. On arrival at Chandigarh drive to Narkanda(8,858 feet). Overnight stay at HPTDC hotel.
Day 2: Narkanda to Sarahan
Distance 100 Kms. Drive from Narkanda to Sarahan( alt. 2800 meters). Visit Hatu temple en route and relish Dhauladhar and Kinnaur-Garhwal mountain ranges from there. Drive to Sarahan. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3: Sarahan to Chitkul village of Kinnaur
Sarahan is a beautiful village renowned for the historical Bhimakali temple, which is about 1500 years old. We can take in the stunning views of the Srikhand Mahadev peak (5150 meters).
While not actually close enough as it seems, the spectacular Srikhand Mahadev mountain range appears as if it is just an arm’s length away. Visit the bird sanctuary of a near-extinct bird species. Drive to Chitkul village and stay there in a hotel. Drive distance is about 110 Kms. Night stay at hotel in Chitkul.
Day 4: Chitkul to Kalpa
Chitkul (3400-meter altitude ) is the last village on Indo-Tibetan border nestled in the beautiful Baspa valley. Visit Chitkul Mata temple and drive to Sangla. Walk to Bering Nag temple at Sangla. Visit the ancient fort at Kamru village.
After breakfast drive(65 Km distance)to Kalpa that is located at 8800 feet. Visit Chini village monastery and temple, Roghi cliff point and Roghi village. Overnight stay at the HPTDC Kalpa hotel.
Day 5 : Kalpa to Charang
Kalpa ( alt. 3000 meter). Kalpa offers a splendid view of Kinner Kailash mountain range. One can take in the visceral views Kinner Kailash peak & Shivlingam, Raldang peak & Jorakanden peak. Explore places around Kalpa like Chini market and village, monastery and Kalpa Narayanes & Vishnu temple. Drive to Charang village & camp there.
Day 5: Charang to Tabo
Village walk in Charang ( alt 3400 mtr ) and visit Rangrik monastery which is thousands years old. Charang has Zanskar kind of landscape and houses and similar to houses built by the people Zanskar region. Drive to Thangi and visit to Lochwa monastery at Thangi village. Visit Moorang fort and Moorang village.
After lunch, head toward Nako. Nako is located at an altitude of 10496 feet in the barren Hangrang valley of Kinnaur. Visit Nako lake and monastery and drive to the oldest monastery of Himachal , Tabo. Overnight at a hotel/homestay.
Day 6: Tabo – Pin Valley: ( 3-4 hrs drive )
After breakfast at Tabo we drive to Mudh village, the last village in Pin valley. Pin valleyis the least explored valley in Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh. Explore Mikkim and Sangnam village. Visit the Kungri Monastery and then the beautiful hamlet of Mudh – the last motorable village of the Pin Valley. Overnight stay at Mud(12000feet)
Day 7: Mud – Dhankar monastery – Kaza (3–4 hours)
Drive to the charming and high villages of Dhankar. Dhankar, the former capital of the Spiti Valley, offers panoramic views of Spiti Valley. Visit one of the oldest gompas in the Spiti Valley. Overnight at a hotel in Kaza
Day 8: Kaza-Hikkim-Lalung-Langza-Key-Kibber (5 – 6 hours drive)
The highest village in Asia, Komik, which literally translates to ‘eye of a snowcock’, is situated at a height of 4513 meters. Later, we drive to Hikkim where we visit the world’s highest post office in the world. After sending out a postcard, we drive to Langza. Once you are here, you can walk around the village and visit the ancient Lang (Temple) which is estimated to be around 1000 years old. Visit to Key monastery. Overnight stay at Cherring’s homestay , Kibber.
Day 9: Drive from Kaza to Kunzum top (4551 meter ) & camping at Chandertal Lake (4270 meters).
Drive to one of the most photogenic places in Spiti Valley – the Chandratal Lake. Before that, we pass through the high altitude pass of Kunzum La. Stop by at the stupa and pay tribute to the local goddess, “Kuzum Mata” as she’s known. At 15,000 feet above sea-level, the Kunzum Pass connects Kullu and Lahaul to the Spiti Valley. Live your dream of camping comfortably in the Himalayas as you spend your evening gazing at the Milky Way and the millions of stars on a clear night. Overnight at a camp 2 km away from Chandratal Lake.
Day 10:Chandertal to Manali via Atal tunnel
On the 10th day of this Spiti Valley tour, drive from Chandratal Lake towards Manali. Drive through the engineering marvel i.e. Atal tunnel and drive to Manali to end our breath-taking Spiti Valley sojourn. Overnight at a hotel in Manali.
Day 11. Manali to Chandigarh.
After breakfast enjoy some brilliant views of the Himalayas from your hotel in Manali. Proceed to Chandigarh after breakfast. Drop at Chandigarh airport in the afternoon. The Spiti circuit tour ends here.
- All arrangements for overnight stays during the trip.
- All food expenses
- Food will usually consist of morning breakfast, lunch, evening high tea and dinner.
- All food will be vegetarian.
- Special trained certified guides trained for emergency situations.
- Local guides and workers with in-depth knowledge about the local area.
- It will be a cultural and traditional experience as all stays will be mostly in villages.
- One luggage per person will be transported by us.
- Inner line permits and arrangements en route will be arranged by the operator.
- All stays and lodging on a twin sharing basis shall be provided.
- Any kind of personal expenses.
- Camera fees or any other costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances and situation beyond our control
Places to visit en route Spiti valley
Narkanda is a small town in the Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh. It is located at an altitude of 2750 meters on the Hindustan-Tibet Road (NH 05). Surrounded by the forest Kinnaur – Garhwal Himalayan Range. The experience of a panormic view from the Hatu top is not to be missed.
Padam Palace, Rampur Bushahr
The palace of erstwhile Bushahr princely state is built in neo-gothic architecture. Built between 1919 and 1925 for the Raja of Bushehr, the main building is still private, but one section is now the Nau Nabh Hotel, and the garden is open to visitors. From here you can admire the facade’s stone arches, carved-wood upper storey, peaked gables, and turreted towers. In front is a remarkable multi-gabled bandstand carved with peacock figures.
Sarahan is a small village near Jeori town. It is the site of the Bhimakali Temple, dedicated to the goddess Bhimakali, the presiding deity of the rulers of the former Bushahr State. The temple is situated about 170 kilometers from Shimla and 12 kilometers from Jeori town.
Also known as Jajurana Bird Sanctuary, this park is worth a visit. It hosts Jajurana, the state bird of Himachal Pradesh and a few other rare birds. Please note that the sanctuary remains closed from July to September for Bird mating season. If you are traveling in any month apart from these three, a visit is highly recommended.
Baspa valley of Kinnaur
Bordering along western Himalaya with Tibet and Garhwal, the Baspa valley of Kinnaur has been open to visitors since the early nineties. The valley got its name from the Baspa river which originates from Chung Sakhago pass and meanders for around 30 km before meeting Satluj on its left bank near Karcham. Unlike the Spiti valley and Hangrang region of Kinnaur, the Baspa valley is a green paradise in largely barren mountains.
Baspa valley or Sangla valley is known for fruit-laden orchards, cedar-covered slopes and flower crusted meadows. Bhojpatra tree is abundantly found in the Chitkul region. A land of blue skies, buzzing Baspa river, soaring peaks, deep valleys, apple orchards, and syncretic culture — Baspa valley a place for people who are seeking genuine peace and soul-calming solitude far, far from the madding crowd. The fort of Kamru is another landmark in Baspa valley.
Chitkul, Rackcham, Sangla, Kamru and Chansu villages should be on your bucket list if you are visiting Kinnaur for the first time.
A small village about 10 kilometers from district headquarters Reckong Peo, known for the magnificent view of Kinner Kailash peaks. The focal point is Chini village and surrounding places like Kalpa Narayanas temple and Buddhist monastery.
Kalpa will probably be the last town where your phone will work flawlessly, no matter which network you are on. As you cross Kalpa and continue towards Pooh, your phone services will be a come and go before it completely dies. Only the BSNL network works in the Spiti & Lahaul valley.
At an altitude of 6816m, it is the highest peak in all of Himachal Pradesh. You can get a good view of the peak from Khab Bridge if the weather is clear. If not from Khab Bridge, you will have to go up to Namgia or Tashigang village to get a clear view. Nako Village is located on the slopes of this mountain.
Nako Lake And Monastery
A small man-made lake in the village of Nako. It is not much to look at during day time but try some photography around the lake at either dusk or dawn and you will be able to get some good shots.
Nako Monastery is an 11th-century ancient monastery located in the village of Nako. It was built by Buddhist Mahaguru Rinchen Zangpo who translated many Sanskrit Buddhist text into Tibetan. He founded around 100 monasteries in western Tibet including Tabo monastery.
Tabo Monastery: An ancient monastery believed to be over a thousand years old and one of the holiest. Founded in 996 AD it is also known as Ajanta of the Himalayas. Many priceless collections of scroll paintings, manuscripts, well-preserved statues, fresco, and extensive murals can be found here.
Also known as Dhangkar Gompa, it is an ancient monastery built on a 1000 foot high cliff overlooking the confluence of Spiti and Pin Rivers. Apart from its heritage, this monastery is also famous for this spectacular setting. “Dhang” means cliff and “Kar” means fort, hence the literal name of the place is “Fort on a cliff”.
Also known as Kye or Ki Gompa, it is one of the largest monasteries in Spiti valley that also serves as a training center for Lamas. It is believed to be over a thousand years old and has a vast collection of ancient murals and books.
Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary
It was established in 1992, Kibber is India’s only wildlife sanctuary in cold desert and is home to several rare animals like Ibex, Blue Sheep, Red Fox, Tibetan woolly hare, Himalayan wolf, lynx, pika, Tibetan wild ass.
Your first high altitude pass of the journey, unless you have somehow managed to climb up to Shipki La in which case Kunzum will be your second. Connecting the valleys of Lahaul and Spiti, this pass is at an elevation of 4,590 meters, higher than Rohtang La. It remains closed from late October until early June.
Chandratal Lake: The Lake of Moon
A beautiful lake is also the origin point of the river Chandrabhaga. If you can manage to be around here after sunset, it is a perfect place for capturing some magnificent late night shots.
This small lake is one of the key highlights of the journey to Spiti valley and a perfect camping spot. There is also a legend associated with this lake. Click at the link below to read in detail.
The mighty Rohtang pass, the spot where you will cross over to Manali and finish your Spiti journey. The name of this pass literally means “a pile of corpses” which I believe attributes to the fact that a lot of people died while crossing it in ancient times. Expect to find snow at the top no matter which month you are traveling in. The vistas around from the top of the pass and even on the ascent/descent are quite breathtaking.
FAQs About Spiti Valley Circuit Tour
Though the Manali to Spiti valley route gets closed — most often after November/early December till March — during winters, the Shimla-Narkanda-Rampur-Nako-Kaza road stays open even during wintertime. During long spells of snowfall, Shimla-Kaza road may get closed for a day or two. BRO team from Project Deepak and local administration employs dozers, snow cutters, and excavators to clear the snow and reopen the route after a spell of snow the route. Ping us to get the latest road and connectivity updates.
You need to follow Ambala-Zirakpur Expressway on National Highway(NH) 44 and Zirakpur to Shimla (111 km) on NH5 in Himachal Pradesh. Shimla to Narkanda-Rampur Bushahr-Powari-Pooh-Dubling village drive is on NH5. Dubling village to Nako-Tabo-Kaza drive is on NH505. Kaza is the headquarter of Spiti valley.
The road from Manali follows the Solang Valley-Atal tunnel-Gramphu-Batal-Kunzum Pass-Losar-Kaza route. The distance from Manali to Kaza is 183 km, and it takes about 5-6 hours (at one go) to reach Kaza. Manali-Kaza is a shorter route than the Shimla-Kaza route.
Though the Atal Tunnel has hardly reduced the road distance between Manali and Spiti valley by nearly 20km, the drive time between the two places has now been reduced by over 2 hours.
Manali town is one of the two — the second is Shimla — places to start the Spiti valley circuit tour.
Is it possible to drive to Spiti valley from Manali in winter (via Atal tunnel)?
No. Not until BRO (Border Road Organisation) punches another hole under Kunzum-La — a pass that keeps Spiti valley closed to vehicular traffic from November to May from Manali’s side.
What precautions do you need to take while driving through the Atal (Rohtang) tunnel?
If you are coming from any city located on the plains (like from Delhi/Chandigarh), do take a break in Manali — or a place located at a similar altitude.
Driving straight from a place located at 200m altitude to a place at 3000m can take a toll on your body. Moreover, the temperature difference between the two places is enormous — from temperatures above 40 degrees celsius to subzero temperatures at the north portal of the Atal tunnel (during winters).
The second thing you need to consider is the speed limit. As the Atal tunnel is built under the Seri Nallah stream. Water ingressing into the tunnel walls from Seri Nallah could cause the formation of black ice on tunnel tarmac during the winters as the tunnel will act as a venturi for icy winds blowing in through the North portal.
If you drive above the speed limits on a slippery surface, your car can easily go into a slide causing a major accident!
Shimla to Narkanda-Rampur Bushahr-Powari-Pooh-Dubling village drive is on National Highway 5 (NH5). The Dubling village to Nako-Tabo-Kaza drive is on NH505. Kaza is the headquarters of Spiti valley. During winters, Shimla-Narkanda-Rampur road gets closed for a day or two whenever there is a long spell of snowfall. During such events, take the Shimla-Suni-Rampur Bushahr route along the Satluj river. This route stays open for all 365 days of the year.
It takes longer — when compared from Manali to Spiti valley (Via Atal tunnel) route — to reach Kaza from Shimla.
Shimla is one of the two places (second is Manali town) to start the Spiti valley circuit tour.
Spiti valley is acclaimed for its distinctive Moon-esque landscapes and interesting landforms. 5 entities that define the Spiti valley are:
- Chandratal —.the lake of moon.
- Buddhist monasteries of Ki, Kaza, Kungri, and Tabo.
- Snow leopards of Kibber — the grey ghost of the Himalayas.
- Fascinating Tibetan culture and customs.
- Fossils — dating back to the Triassic period (252-201 million years ago) — of Langza village.
In summers, the maximum temperature crosses the 20 degrees Celcius mark in Spiti valley. During sunny daytime, you’ll feel comfortable just by wearing a t-shirt and trousers. It is always good to get wrapped in layers of clothes as the weather can change anytime in the Himalayas. Even if the sun starts shining again, you can always get rid of the outer layers of clothing.
Here is the packing list (summers) for Spiti valley:
- A windcheater/ rain jacket.
- Light woolen.
- A cap/hat.
- A pair of hiking shoes.
- 3/4 pairs of regular socks.
- A water purifier and filtration bottle (avoid plastic bottle).
- Personal hygiene essentials.
- Sunscreen sunblock cream.
Spiti valley packing list (for winters):
- A pair of good quality waterproof trekking boots.
- Three pairs of cotton socks.
- Two pairs of waterproof hiking pants.
- One pair of shorts
- Two pairs of fleece jumpers.
- Two pairs of thermal tops and bottoms
- One down jacket.
- Headgear (1 beanie/skull cap, 1 buff, and 1 trekking cap).
- A pair of thick gloves
- Personal hygiene essentials(alcohol-based gel hand sanitizer, soap, towels, toilet papers, baby wipes, etc.).
- UV-block sunglasses.
- First aid kit.
- A water purifier and filtration bottle.