Back-Pack-Go! Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh (8N/9D)
Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
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- 9 Days 8 Nights
Welcome to Back-Pack-Go! Spiti. This experience takes you deep into the ancient kingdom of Spiti, nestled in the cold Himalayan deserts of eastern Himachal Pradesh. This peaceful valley is one of those places that makes you forget where you came from and makes time stand still. With its breathtaking landscapes, treacherous roads, and ancient monuments, Spiti is a land of amazing stories, and we’re going to write some of our own. Coming?
-Visit Key monastery, the biggest monastery in Spiti valley -Explore the bustling town of Manali before our journey into Spiti -Scenic drives through the bumpy desert valley roads -Exploring the pristine Chandratal lake -Visit the world’s highest post office at Hikkim (14,567 ft) -Langza-Hikkim-Komic trail -Visit the magnificent Dhankar monastery -Visit Gue monastery, home to the 500 yr old mummified monk
Who should attend?
-There isn’t an age restriction on any of our experiences, everyone is welcome. However, the average Vagabond customer is anywhere between 20 – 32 years old. The experiences involve a good amount of time spent with the group. Depending on what experience you’re opting for, there could be a lot of walking and physical exertion. -It’s important to understand that most of our experiences include very rustic accommodation and not a luxurious means of transport. These may be basic in their facilities, but the hospitality is homely and comforting. If you’re someone who doesn’t like compromising on your comforts while traveling, this experience may not be very enjoyable. -Most of our trips have a healthy number of solo travelers. We encourage you to join us solo, especially if you’re tired of waiting on your friends. We promise you’ll return with many more. -We try our best to be responsible travelers. Everyone is welcome to explore with us, but we pay utmost importance to cleanliness on all our experiences. We encourage you to #LeaveNoTrace behind while you discover the beauty of the outdoors. -It’s important to understand that in a limited amount of time, only a limited amount of experiences can be had. We like to cover a few places in-depth rather than just ticking off a long list of things to do and places-to-go. However, if you are that kind of traveler, on almost all trips you can feel free to wander by yourself to places of your interest. -At a Vagabond Experience, it’s important to stay open-minded and positive when things don’t go as per plan. The essence of traveling in a group is being able to help each other out when in need. The weather could go bad, and plans could get altered. In such situations, we urge you to have faith in your group leader to make the most informed decision for the group.
Day 1: Our journey will begin from D-town. We board the bus from Delhi at 4:00 pm at R.K Ashram Metro (Pillar no. 26) and make our way to Manali. Travel: 12-13hrs bus journey (Delhi>Manali) Dinner en-route: Not included Stay: N/A Day 2: We reach Manali, early in the morning and check into our rooms. After breakfast, you have the rest of the day to explore the town at your own pace. Visit the quaint Old Manali, try out some dope restaurants or do your last-minute winterwear shopping—it’s up to you. We regroup for an early dinner and hit the sack. Travel: None Meals: None Stay: Manali Day 3: With a good night’s rest, we head into the heart of Spiti. On our way, we will first visit the grand Cheecham Bridge and the historic village of Kibber. Come winter, this is the best place to spot Ibexes, Tibetan Wolves, and the elusive Snow Leopard. The next stop on our route is the iconic Key Monastery,—home to hundreds of monks, young and old—this is the largest monastery in Spiti Valley. We reach Kaza, the district centre of this remote desert valley before sundown, and settle into our home for the next 2 nights. Travel: 7-8 hrs (Manali>Kibber>Key>Kaza) Breakfast at Manali: Included Lunch en-route: Not included Dinner at Kaza: Included Stay: Kaza Day 4: We continue our exploration of the valley. Today we will cover the Langza-Hikkim-Komic trail. After breakfast, our first stop will be Langza AKA ‘The Fossil Village’. Did you know that these mountains were once beaches? (WHAAAT!) Yep. Owing to which, this place boasts of a very high number of fossilised ammonites that you could find literally, just walking around. From Langza we will take the trail to Hikkim, the home of one of the highest post offices in the world. You can be a cool kid and bring your own stamps from home and whatnot. We'll end the trail in Komik; the highest motorable village in Asia. We spend the evening chilling in Kaza, shopping, soaking in the vibrant cafe scenes, and chomping down on some local delicacies. Travel: 3-4 hrs (Kaza>Langza>Hikkim>Komic>Kaza) Breakfast at Kaza: Included Lunch en-route: Not included Dinner at Kaza: Included Stay: Kaza Day 5: We'll check out from Kaza and make our way to the Dhankar Gompa. This used to be the capital of Spiti. Dhankar is also famous for its fort ruins and the lake. After visiting the ancient monastery, we will shift our base to Tabo, a tranquil little town with the oldest continuously functioning monastery in India. The monastery is a work of wonder. It houses paintings and murals from 900 years ago! It also has a centuries-old library that houses a collection of ancient Buddhist scriptures. This is a great place to shop for some Spitian handicrafts and even try some local alcohol-infused treats! We’ll spend the night in Tabo. Travel: 3-4 hrs (Kaza>Dhankar>Tabo) Breakfast at Kaza: Included Lunch en-route: Not included Dinner at Tabo: Included Stay: Tabo Day 6: About 40 kilometres away from Tabo in Gue sits India’s only mummy. The uniquely well-preserved body of Sangha Tenzing, a Buddhist monk, was discovered in Spiti with skin and hair intact! Gue is also one of the last villages near the India-Tibet border. After the day’s excursion, we’ll spend the rest of the day chilling in the calm and picturesque village of Tabo. Travel: 2-3 hrs (Tabo>Gue>Tabo) Breakfast at Tabo: Included Lunch en-route: Not included Dinner at Tabo: Included Stay: Tabo Day 7: We board our vehicle early in the morning and begin our long journey towards one of the most scenic spots in the valley: Chandratal Lake. No, the pictures don’t do justice to the actual thing. You are not ready for this. After an afternoon by the lake and a gazillion pictures later, we will head over to the green fields in the plateaus of Losar. Brace yourselves for a beautiful night under the stars. Travel: 3-4 hrs (Tabo>Chandratal>Losar) Breakfast at Tabo: Included Lunch en-route: Not included Dinner at Losar: Included Stay: Losar Day 8: We start our journey back homeward and drive to Manali. We will have a few hours in Manali. Eat some good food, and get ready to board the bus back to Delhi by 7pm. Travel: 6-7hrs bus journey (Losar>Manali) Breakfast at Losar: Included Lunch en-route: Not included Dinner en-route: Not included Stay: N/A Day 9: We reach Delhi early in the day. It’s time to bid farewell to each other and make our ways back home. Travel: 12-13hrs bus journey (Manali>Delhi)
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Vagabond started out as a project by four friends with a disdain for the ordinary. The idea was simple; take people out of their comfort zones. Not like Roadies, but just enough to bond them together through beautiful and authentic experiences. Happiness, as they say, is only real when shared. And share we did. The company was founded in 2014. As fresh Bachelor of Arts degree holders, companies were lining up to hire us fine gentlemen; we’re kidding. Fueled by entrepreneurial zeal, we started with small events in the city like heritage walks through Bombay’s old quarters. As musicians and travellers ourselves, we decided to marry these two loves of our lives. That is how the idea for the first Fields of Sound™ came about. Since then, it has only been onward and upwards for us. Since 2014, we’ve made friends like family through our journey. Our little ‘Vaga’-Fam. It’s safe to say, it’s been quite an adventure. One we would like you to join :)
-Bus fares from Delhi and Manali in semi-sleeper AC Volvo buses -Accommodation in home-stays at Manali, Kaza, Tabo and Losar. -Two meals a day i.e. breakfast and dinner while in Spiti [Veg & Non-veg (if available)] -Private internal transport during the trip (tempo travellers) -All activities as per itinerary -Visits to places as per itinerary -First-aid kit and assistance -All permits, tolls and parking charges -Experienced local guides -Assistance by Vagabond EMs
-Meals while travelling in the bus from Delhi to Manali and back -One meal a day in Spiti -Travel insurance (we suggest you take one)
THINGS TO CARRY
Footwear: Sturdy shoes for walking/climbing, slippers/flip-flops.
Warm wear: Warm fleece/down jackets, thick socks, gloves, beanie, neck warmer/scarf/muffler, thermals (base layer).
Accessories: Torch, cap, polarised sunglasses, swiss knife (optional), water bottle, multi-plug
Toiletries: Towel, soap, face wash, lip balm, sunscreen (min 40 SPF), hand sanitizer, toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper
Rainwear: Raincoat/jacket/poncho, rain cover for bags (VERY IMPORTANT), spare plastic bags (to waterproof your belongings)
Medical: Personal medication (Asthma, Allergen medication, etc.), crepe-bandage (each person should have a roll each), basic medicines (aspirin, cold and flu, painkillers, motion sickness, etc)
Personal recreation: Camera, binoculars, books, music, cards, etc. (Important for those long boring times when the weather turns bad)
Miscellaneous: Rucksack (no suitcases, trolley or duffle bags), an extra day bag for day outings, valid photo ID/address proof, 3 passport-sized photographs
Tips: Avoid carrying new clothes as colors tend to fade in sunlight there. Avoid jeans and other kinds of rigid/uncomfortable clothing.
Policy and Terms
-In case of cancellations 1 month prior to the trip, Rs 7,000 will be deducted.
-In case of cancellations 15 days prior to the trip, Rs 12,000 will be deducted.
-In case of cancellations 1 week prior to the trip, Rs 15,000 will be deducted.
-In case of cancellations within 1 week of the trip, Rs 20,000 will be deducted.
-In case of cancellations on the day of departure, no refund shall be admissible.
Terms and Conditions
-All timings and activities are subject to weather, group size, capabilities of participants, etc.
-Vagabond holds the right to cancel the event due to unforeseen circumstances (for eg. unfavorable weather)
-By registering for this trip, you agree to have read through and abide by the Vagabond Terms & Conditions mentioned in the footer.
1) What region of north India are we traveling to?
We're traveling from Delhi > Manali > Spiti Valley, which belongs to the northeastern region of Himachal Pradesh. The name "Spiti" means "The Middle Land", i.e. the land between Tibet and India.
2) What altitude would we be traveling to?
Spiti is at an altitude of approximately 12,500 ft (3,800 meters)
3) What will the temperature be like while we're there?
Temperatures rise to a maximum of 25°C during the day and can drop to a minimum of 13°C during the night
4) Is there mobile connectivity in Spiti?
Only BSNL/MTNL and JIO networks get coverage in Spiti. However, all networks work between Delhi and Manali.
5) Are there any ATMs where we're traveling?
There are close to few or no ATMs in Spiti valley. Please carry adequate liquid cash.
6) Can I smoke/drink on this trip?
We at Vagabond do not refrain our participants from smoking or drinking on our backpacking trips. However, there are times you will be disallowed to do so (public places, religious monuments etc). Please indulge in these activities responsibly. Any misbehaviour on any account will warrant severe penalties.
7) What will the group size be?
We will be between 10-20 travelers including 1-2 Vagabond EMs.
8) Is there any age limit to join this trip?
No. There is no age limit to join this trip. However, based on our previous experiences, the age group of travelers is usually between 21-35.
9) Can I join this expedition solo?
Yes, of course, you can! We have a good number of solo travelers on almost every Vagabond experience.
10) How physically fit do I need to be to join this trip?
This trip doesn't have a very high physical requirement. You need to be able to walk long distances on flat plains and be able to do a few climbs too. Our Spiti expedition doesn't have much physical activity but it's always safe to be in a good physical condition. Those who have a low tolerance of cold should be prepared with temperature appropriate clothing.
11) How do I avoid altitude sickness?
The oxygen levels in Spiti are indeed less compared to a city at sea level. However, you can avoid AMS (Altitude Mountain Sickness) if you just remember to keep yourself hydrated and well-rested constantly. In the scenario that you aren't coping with the altitude well enough, we have medication that will help you acclimatize better.
12) Are there doctors/hospitals in Spiti Valley?
Every town has a basic health care centre.