Rudyard Kipling described his visit to Spiti as, “At last entered a world within a world – a valley of leagues where the high hills were fashioned of the mere rubble and refuse from off the knees of the mountains… Surely the Gods live here.”
Tucked away in the interiors of the Trans-Himalayan belt of Himachal Pradesh, the spellbinding Spiti valley is a cold desert, a heady mix of austere barren mountains, unexpected bursts of green fields and deep gorges formed by the fierce Spiti River.
The proximity of Spiti to Tibet also means there is more than a fair bit of Buddhist influence in the region. The valley’s moon-like landscape is dotted with several important gompas (monasteries) that are a favourite with the Dalai Lama himself. Preserved inside them are ancient treasures of art, scriptures and statues that date back to the beginning of Buddhism.
The rugged landscape and rustic surroundings around the secluded villages in the Spiti Valley, are a dream destination for those seeking adventure on an offbeat frontier holiday.
Kaza, Himachal Pradesh, India
- Transportation in private vehicle from Shimla to Manali.
- Accommodation at Homestays.
- MAP ( Breakfast + Dinner)
- Expert Guide
- First Aid
- All transportation Delhi/Chandigarh to Shimla
- All transportation from Manali to Delhi/Chandigarh
- All meals not mentioned above
- Personal expenses and tips
Get ready for a beautiful drive of 250 km to Reckong peo via Rampur route. We drive down from Shimla and cross over to the other side of the river, and follow the Hindustan - Tibet road to Reckong Peo, the principal township in Kinnaur.
Reckong Peo is considered to be the land of Gods and is a splendid beauty showcased by the Himalayas. The town is serene and is famous for its apple orchards. It is inhabited by Kinnauri people and has a diverse culture even in today's modern era.
From Peo, a climb brings us to the beautiful village of Kalpa, nestled amongst apple orchards and Chilgoza pine trees. Kalpa and a couple of villages around it such as Chini and Roghi, provide some of the most spectacular views of the Kinaaur Kailash range across the valley. We will spend the night at Homestay and indulge in some local food.
Our journey today takes us to Tabo village, reknowned for the ancient Tabo Monastery. Tabo is a small village, situated on the left bank of river Spiti in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh. Flanked on either side by hills, it houses one of the most important Buddhist monastery, that is regarded by many as only next to the Tholing Gompa in Tibet. This monastery is said to be over a thousand years old, founded back in 996 A.D.
To reach Tabo, we pass through the peaceful and picturesque Nako village which is perched on the banks of the Nako lake. We spend some time here before we take a short detour to Giu to see the famous 500-years-old mummy of a Buddhist monk.
After breakfast, we start from Tabo to Dhankar village. The beautiful Dhankar Village is one of the most stunning attractions in Lahual and Spiti Valley, a home to the most beautiful and awe-inspiring Dhankar Monastery and Dhankar Fort that are perched on the top of the hill in Dhankar. Dhankar looks like a bowl-shaped structure in the hills. It looks almost as if all the old Dhankar houses and fort have emerged straight from the mountains with their back wall being merged on the hill.
We have lunch at Dhankar and then head off to Mud to explore th Pin Valley. Mud is the last motorable village of the Pin Valley. Mud village also acts as the base for trekking route towards or from Pin-Parvati Pass or Bhabha Valley. The views in the entire Pin Valley including Mud village is just majestic, and the valley is mostly virgin, serene, barren and beautiful.
Today is a relaxed day. After breakfast, we drive to Kaza, the capital and the largest settlement of Spiti region. This is also our last place with an ATM and petrol bunk. Being the largest settlement in Spiti Valley, it is well-equipped to meet needs of travellers. We spend the evening exploring this quaint village and call it a day.
Key – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang are places around Kaza in Spiti Valley which can be easily explored in a day and hence, today, after breakfast we head off for a day trip to these places.
Key Monastery is a beautiful Tibetan Buddhist monastery situated right on top of a hill at an altitude of 13500 ft. The monastery has some really beautiful scriptures and paintings of Lord Buddha and other gods. The Key gompa is also famous for its priceless collection of ancient thangkas, including Tibetan silk thangkas upto 800 years old and frescoes depicting the life of Padmasambhava. There is a Key Village that comes just before the Key monastery. The views from this vantage point are just breathtaking from where you can also view Rangrik Village across the Spiti River.
About 9-10 KMs from Key Monastery ahead and at an altitude of 14200ft, there lies another beautiful village named Kibber. You will surely enjoy the drive from Key monastery to Kibber where the road is not that paved but the views are very enchanting once you reach Kibber. Spend some time in this timeless village as well to feel the culture around. The houses in Kibber village are unique to Spiti as most of them are made of stones instead of mud or brick used extensively in other parts of the Spiti Valley though looks similar to what you might have seen yet in Spiti. The vistas surrounding the Kibber and Gette villages are all mountains of limestone rocks which adds more colours to this beautiful valley.
After spending some time at Kibber, we head back to Kaza in the evening.
The Langza, Hikkim, and Koumik are three villages above Kaza. They are one of the highest motorable villages in the world. We start our journey from Kaza post breakfast and make our first pit stop at Hikkim. The road from Kaza to Hikkim will give you goosebumps at certain sections being too narrow overlooking a 1000 Mtrs vertical drop down to Kaza.
The Hikkim village has the honor of having the highest post office and polling station in the world. Do not forget to send a postcard to your loved ones from here.
After Hikkim, we drive to Koumik, a village which is famous for having the highest motorable monastery in the world. According to locals, it is believed that this monastery houses some hidden treasures which are made to public only once in 60 years due to security concerns. This includes an egg of a dragon, the horn of a unicorn, the upper tooth of a sheep, the ribcage of a giant demon and the tail of a prehistoric man.
After Koumik we head off to Langza, popularly known for hunting marine fossils and breathtaking view of Chau Chau Kang Nelda peak sitting on top of the village. If you are fond of fossils, you can hike a bit higher around Langza village, look around/beneath the rocks to observe some ancient fossils. You can also visit Chaudua (Fossil) center in Langza village to know more about these fossils. Apart from the breathtaking landscape, the presence of a big, 1000 year odd old Lord Buddha statue in the meadow makes Langza as heavenly as one possibly can imagine. It is one of the most beautiful villages of entire Spiti Valley. We stay overnight at a homestay in Langza.
Trip to Mystic Spiti Valley is incomplete without Chandratal. It’s a beautiful lake about a km long and half a km wide.
Chandra Tal literally means the lake of moon - it is believed to be named so because of its crescent shape. There are many interesting tales about this lake. Beautiful tale of two lovers who decided to meet at Barrachula Pass and merged into each other to remain one forever is one of the most popular ones.
Locals also believe this lake is the location from where God Indira’s Chariot picked up Yudhishthra , the eldest of Pandava brothers.
We drive from Langza to Chandratal via the high altitude pass Khunzum La (15500 ft) and spend the night at the beautiful campsite 200 m below the lake
Stay Not Applicable
It is a final leg of our journey and the most trecherous one. The Chandratal - Manali route is not for the faint hearted. The road is rough and you have to cross several strams and high passes. Start early today.
The road to Manali takes you through Rohtang at 13000 ft. We will reach Manali by evening.
Two girls meet on a Himalayan trek and that is how it all starts, both leave their jobs to start a company together to curate experiences for groups and families. Two years later, from being an amateur to becoming a pro, The Great Escape has become one of the most sought after travel companions for outdoor enthusiasts, family and groups. They are one of the few travel startups to be wholly owned by females. Over the years they have specialized in organizing leisure trips and group outdoors to give local experience without losing the professional touch.
We are people working extensively to add experience to your excursion and travels. We wish to promote a healthier life by bringing people closer to nature and away from gadgets, we are the Escape key that you have always been wanting to press from a long time.
"Jammy" as we fondly call her has been trekking and backpacking all over India and neighboring countries for more than 10 years. Her favorite drink is tea, her most comfortable bed is under the stars and the mountains are her second home. Working earlier as an Interior designer, Jammy found her calling in the mountains and now she has been successfully leading and guiding teams on treks and expeditions for 8 years . If you are up for some tuneless karaoke and lots of singing, reach out to her
Try to catch up to her pace on an uphill climb, I dare you, I double dare you. An accomplished mountaineer, Reetu's love for trekking and travelling started 8 years ago. From then onwards, she left her lucrative career as an electronic engineer and pursued her dream of travelling around the world. A good book, a campsite by the river and lots of dogs and puppies is what keeps her going. Don't forget to ask her to make a cup of masala chai and Maggi for you, it's delicious. 😃
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"The Great Escape" upholds its name, literally! Among the couple of trekking organisations that I have hiked with in Himalayas, TGE is one of the best. They plan the trek very well, adapting the route and camping locations to factors like weather and the footfall. The support staff is experienced and deft, food great, and trekking practices "green". The organisers themselves are friendly and look after the group well. At the same time, they are firm, decisive, and in a mode of continuous improvement! It is a pleasure trekking with TGE, and I would highly recommend them! Good luck Reetu & Jamila...and keep rocking !
The review is long due. I went with the organizers of The Great Escape multiple times and it was a very memorable experience. Well organized and curated treks with attention given to the minutest details. The organizers Reetu and Jamila are the best and I would recommend them to any
Here from the past few trek experiences organised by The Great Escape are GREAT 👍 Professionally a well organised and friendly team, you guys (Reetu & Jamila) have built a great team (on & off the field) Almost this team is very good in all stages like the accommodation, food, travel, guidance & instant decision making. They value the time & money spent by their customers. This unique experience – it is much and seriously appreciated. Continue delivering the same 👏 Hope to join more trekking/trips in future with The Great Escape 😊 Best wishes to grow big & bigger 👍
Joined the Spiti Valley trek ...Very well organized in every aspect ( Travelling by Road , Homestays , Trekking ) ..Reetu & Jamila you both are super girls, good knowledge about the terrain, always ready to help & take care of every team member...I would recommend everyone to go with these guys ...
Very well organized treks. I know the organizers personally and can vouch for fun filled events that they organize. I have already done three Himalaya treks and taken multiple trips with them. They're my go to travel companions
I have attended only one trip/event with TGE as of now and I loved it. It was well organized, the organizer was really cooperative and helped everyone in the team to make the trip a memorable one. I'd highly recommend this group to all friends and family and would love to attend their future events. Thank you.