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Seek zen in the mountainscapes of Lahaul and Spiti

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8 Days/ 7 Nights
Availability : 10.08.19 – 19.08.19
Manali, Himachal Pradesh
Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

 

 

9 N/10D - LAHAUL – SPITI (10.08.19 – 19.08.19)

The gateway to the northernmost reaches of the nation, the district of Lahaul and Spiti are located at an average height of 3340 m from sea level, in the north eastern corner of Himchal Pradesh.

Surrounded by high mountain ranges, its landscapes are marked by high alpine lands, scattered with small postcard-perfect villages of mud-homes and monasteries.

Spanning across ten days, starting at Shimla, and navigating through Chitkul, Kalpa, Tabo, Kaza, and Langza, while covering smaller villages on the way, we conclude the tour at Manali, stopping at some of the Asia’s highest villages and the world’s oldest heritage sites, taking you across lush green valleys and cold deserts which host an unique blend of the Hindu and Buddhist faith to captivate your spiritual side, with plenty of opportunities to trek, ski and river raft for the more adventurous.

Departure & Return Location

Pick up from Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

Drop to Manali, Himachal Pradesh

Departure Time

3 Hours Before Flight Time

Price Includes

  • Accommodation.
  • All transportation in the destination location.
  • Airport transfers.
  • Sightseeing and excursions as per the itinerary.
  • Meals as per the itinerary.

Price Excludes

  • Airfares.
  • Any expenses of personal nature/ room service fee/ tips.
  • Visa/ GST if applicable.
  • Cost of excursions, entrance fees and guides availed by passengers other than those mentioned under tour inclusions.

Things to carry

  • Comfortable clothing and shoes suitable to the destination.
  • Sunscreen/ sunglasses/ umbrella/ hats/ caps.
  • Identity documents and other travel documents ( visa, if applicable).
  • Medication and first aid along with prescription.

For more details  refer to Travel Planning Guide 

What to Expect

Day 01 – 10.08.19 | Saturday| Chandigarh| Shimla

Day 02 – 11.08.19 | Sunday | Shimla | Sangla 

Day 03 – 12.08.19 | Monday | Sangla | Chitkul | Kalpa

Day 04 – 13.08.19 | Tuesday | Kalpa | Gue And Nako | Tabo

Day 05 – 14.08.19 |Wednesday | Tabo | Dhankar | Lhalung | Mudh

Day 06 – 15.08.19 | Thursday | Mudh | Kee | Kibber | Chicham |Gette |Kaza

Day 07 – 16.08.19 | Friday | Kaza | Hikkim | Komic | Langza

Day 08 – 17.08.19 | Saturday | Langza | Kunzum La | Chandratal

Day 09 – 18.08.19 | Sunday | Chandratal | Manali

Day 10 – 19.08.19 | Monday | Manali | Chandigarh | Departure

  • The picturesque drive across Sangla valley.
  • A tour of the heritage village of Kalpa.
  • The mesmerizing landscapes of Nako.
  • A visit to the ‘Ajanta of the Himalayas’ - the oldest monastery complex in India at Tabo.
  • The thrill of seeking endangered animals at the Pin Valley National Park.
  • Key Monastery.
  • The Kunzum La Pass on the way to Chandratal Lake.
  • An exciting night of camping on the shores of Chandratal Lake.
Itinerary

Day 0111.08.19 | Monday | Shimla | Sangla

This group tour starts from Shimla. The nearest Airport being Chandigarh, you would need to fly to Chandigarh a day before, then travel to Shimla and stay overnight at Shimla.

The next day in Shimla on 11th August, you’ll be met by our representative, to make headway towards Sangla, driving via the NH5.

Drive along the Sangla valley, dotted with places rich in history and mythology, with the Himalayan ranges as a backdrop, on an undulating terrain which is lined with glacier-fed lakes, lush vegetation and scarcely populated towns.

Arrive to find one of the most beautiful valleys in India, with the Baspa river flowing through it, and the Kinner Kailash Peak towering over it.

Spend the night in this picturesque town, before driving down to Chitul.

(Inclusions – Dinner)
(Overnight at Sangla)

Day 0212.08.19 | Tuesday | Sangla | Chitkul | Kalpa

Get an early start and make headway to Chitul down the Sangla Valley, which continues down from to Chitul, a town close to the borders of Tibet. This journey is a mesmerizing experience, with the River Baspa leading you and sparcely populated villages nestled in the valleys.

Chitul is the last village located on the Indo-Tibetan road and opens up into bewitching stretches of orchids, mountains, meadows, huge rocks, river, forests, and grasslands.

Enjoy a trek in the forest or visit the Rackham Wildlife Sanctuary, before heading to Kalpa, driving for about 62.3 km(2hr 30 min).

A hamlet famous for its orchards and its mesmerizing landscape and apple orchards, at the foot of the Kinner Kailash(fabled to be the winter home of Lord Shiva) is home to the Narayan-Nagani Temple and a handful of Buddhist monasteries, Lochawa La-Khang, the most famous among them, showing exemplary local craftsmanship,Kalpa is the quintessential heritage village.

(Inclusions – Breakfast and Dinner)
(Overnight at Kalpa)

Day 0313.08.19 | Wednesday | Kalpa | Gue And Nako | Tabo

Early next morning, drive towards Tabo, on a 4 hr journey stopping at Gue and Nako.

Unlike along the earlier Sangla Valley, the landscape here changes from hilly to rocky and the roads take longer to navigate. Passing by water streams and waterfalls, marvel at the changing landscape.

Stop at Khab, home to an ancient monastery and bordering the cold desert of Spiti, to see the confluence of rivers Spiti and Satluj both clearly different, Sutlej big, fierce, murky and Spiti small, less loud, fresh with a tinge of green.

Continue along bridges and paved roads, flanked by stunning landscapes to arrive at Nako.

The town of Nako, built around the Nako Lake, with the snow-capped peaks of the Reo Purgyal as the backdrop, is unspoilt, serene and picture perfect.

Leaving behind the Tibetian prayer flags of Nako, drive to the check post at Sudmo. Here the roads become better and scenery majestic.

Take a detour to the village of Gue, to see the monastery which houses the only Lama Mummy in India. Legend has it that the Lama sacrificed himself to save the village from a Scorpio plague. The Goma sits at the end of the village, on a hilltop looking over the few hundred people who live there.

Reconnecting to the main road, and driving on we finally close in on Tabo, mountains peaked with snow set against the usual barren landscape so typical to the Spithi Valley.

Famed for apple orchards and on the banks of the Spiti river, Tabo is located at the foot of the Trans Himalayas. Set on the left bank of the Spithi River, the monastery of Tabo is the oldest monastery in India, continuously in use since its inception. Called the ‘Ajanta of the Himalayas’ because of the intricate and elaborate murals on its inner walls, wonderfully juxtaposed by its mud-walled exterior. Other points of interest include, there are caves and cliff-like structures (chortens) that are used by the monks for meditation, within the complex of the monastery.

(Inclusions – Breakfast and Dinner)
(Overnight at Tabo)

Day 0414.08.19 | Thursday | Tabo | Dhankar | Mudh

After an early start, drive to Dhankar, the old capital of the Spiti Valley, home to the Dhankar fort and monastery. At a point higher than the rest of the village, the monastery at Dhankar, famous for its murals, overlooks the village and the confluence of the Rivers Spiti and Pin. Built a little higher from here is the Fort of Dhankar, traditionally home to the Royals of Spiti,with magnificent views of the Lake of Dhankar,the water clear and the background of snow-capped mountains, at a distance of 2.5 km from the fort, accessible by a hiking trail, tourists often hike, for splendid panoramas of the lake and the valley below.

End the day with a drive to Mudh in the Pin valley, its landscapes quite unlike the rest of the Spiti Valley, with the River Sip running free and rushed, leaving the valley refreshing and green. Home to the Pin Valley National Park, it is the natural habitat of several other endangered animals like Siberaian Ibex, Bharal, Weasel, Red fox and Marten.

It is the last village accessible by motorable road in the Pin Valley, a small village with mud houses painted white, Mudh has a population of about 200 who mostly are active in animal husbandry and farming.

Sign up for a home stay and enjoy the hospitality of the locals.

(Inclusions – Breakfast and Dinner)
(Overnight at Mudh)

Day 0515.08.19 | Friday | Mudh | Kee | Kibber | Chicham |Gette | Kaza

After breakfast, drive to Kaza, along a barren and colourful vista to the Kee Monastery at the village of Key, the monastery is dramatically located with the magnanimous Himalayas on one side and the Spiti river valley, on the other. The oldest monastery in the Spiti valley, it is home to an average of 300 Buddhist pupils who undergo religious training here. known for its ancient murals, rare thangkas and ancient weapons and collection of musical instruments like trumpets, cymbals and drums, this beautiful monastery is considered to be the jewel of the Himalayas.

Driving on for another 10 km, to arrive at Kibber, a small village surrounded by mountains of limestone, adding colour to this beautiful valley in the autumn. A key point to note is that the houses here are built of stone rather than the usual mud or brick as in the rest of the Spiti Valley. This scenic village is situated in a cold desert, surrounded by picturesque mountains, barren landscape, and green meadows, home to a beautiful monastery set at the highest point of the village. Kibber is also home to a cable car ride going over a 110 deep gorge connecting it to a neighbouring village, without which the distance between them would be fivefold.

Driving East from Kibber for a distance of 10 km, and then after a trek of 1km, because of inaccessible roads reach Gatte, the landscapes similar too that of Kibber, the limestone mountains are a thing to be seen in the autumn.

Almost at the end of our days travels, we drive for about an hour more to get to the town of Kaza, the largest township in the Lahul and Spiti Valleys of the Himachal. Boasting of high mountains with snowy peaks, clear rivers, streams and the typically barren Spiti landscape with dashes of green, it is the sub-divisional headquarters of Spiti Valley, making it an important administrative and commercial centre.

Divided into two sections, the government offices are located in Kaza Soma while Kaza Khas has the king’s palace, monasteries, gompas and other historical buildings.

(Inclusions – Breakfast and Dinner)
(Overnight at Kaza)

Day 0616.08.19 | Saturday | Hikkim | Komic | Langza

Early morning, depart towards, Komic.

Covering 15.4 km in about 45 min, arrive at Hikkim, at an altitude of 4440 m (14567 feet) above the sea, Hikkim is said to be home to the world’s highest post office. The points of interest being a monastery and a post office, Hikkim makes up for the lack of touristy stuff with its mesmerizing landscapes of towering snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas and intriguing fossils.

Driving a distance of 3.4 km,we come to Komic, know for the Monastery of Tangyud, built like a fortified castle, painted in beautiful bright colours, on the edge of a canyon overlooking the town of Kaza, this monastery is considered to be over 500 years old and one of the highest altitude gompas in India. In the midst of mountains peaked with snow and green plains, look out for the occasional woolly hare, gazelle or ibex.

Stopping at Langza on the way,at a distance of about 14 kilometers from Kaza,like most other villages in this region,this too is famous for fossils of marine and plant species (Spithi is said to have been submerged under the Tethys Sea during the prehistoric era) and is home to a Fossil Centre,but what Langza is famed for is the statue of Buddha,set at the highest point of the village overlooking the houses and the monastery of the village. A striking sight, the Buddha set against the snow-capped peaks, offers breathtaking panoramas of the valley and is surrounded by an aura of tranquillity.

Stay in Langza for the night, before heading towards Chandratal tomorrow.

(Inclusions – Breakfast and Dinner)
(Overnight at Langza)

Day 0717.08.19 | Sunday | Kunzum La | Chandratal

Early next morning we head to Chandratal Lake, passing though Kunzum La Pass.

After a 2hr drive, covering a distance of 88km,arrive at Kunzum La Pass,known for Goddess Kunjum (Durga/Parvati) temple, which is located on the top of Kunzum Pass,stop to enjoy views of the majestic Chandra Bhaga ranges covered with snow peaked mountains, Bara-Sigri Glacier, the second largest Glacier in the world and the beauty of Spiti valley.

From here, Chandratal Lake is at a distance of 9.5 km. Deviating from the road that goes to Batal, you’ll reach Chandratal. Set in the middle of the snowcapped mountains this magnificent lake translates to mean moon lake, named so because of its crescent shape.

Stretches of grassy plains and rolling hills contrasting against the barren snow peaked mountains and clear water reflecting the blue skies is relaxing, rejuvenating and a true treat to the senses.

Stay at a camp near the mesmerising lake for the night.

(Inclusions – Breakfast and Dinner)
(Overnight on the shores of the Chandratal)

Day 0818.08.19 | Monday | Chandratal | Manali

Post breakfast set off toward Manali via Batal, Chatru and Rohtang Pass.

A total distance of 140 km from Chandratal to Manali will take a time frame of 7 to 8 hours, taking you through Batal, with the Chandra river running across it, large pebbles lining the river bank and mountains in the background, Batal is picture perfect and a perfect stop for hungry travellers.

Proceeding toward Manali, make a steep descent at Rotang pass, and come to the origin of the Beas river. After an hours worth of ride, arrive at Manali, nestled in the northern part of the Beas valley, it is surrounded by lush green forests, sprawling meadows carpeted with flowers, gushing blue streams and offers spellbinding views of snow peaked mountains, endless pine forests and the meandering river Beas.

Our tour ends at Manali. You would need to stay overnight at Manali at your own expense and reach Chandigarh the next day for your flight back home.

(Inclusions – Breakfast)

Please note: If you are doing flights till Chandigarh, you must reach Chandigarh on 10th August before 11.30 am and the return flight should be done on 19th August post 6 pm.
The stay arrangement at Manali and Shimla and airport transfers from Chandigarh can be done by us if requested at additional cost.

Map
Photos