Spiti Valley (10N/11D)
Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
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- 11 Days 10 Nights
As Mark Twain once said,
“Nothing is more dangerous to your prejudice than traveling.”
Back-Pack-Go! Spiti takes you to the Himalayan heartland. We're going to experience the beauty, culture, and of course, the people of a completely different side of Himachal Pradesh. This trip is for those who are looking to explore the hills, those looking to find themselves, those looking to lose themselves, and those who just want a break. Break the monotony of the cities and join us for a trip that has been curated for those who appreciate new experiences. Amongst many other things, Spiti is a land of stories. We're going to hear them and maybe write some of our own
-Visit Key Monastery, the biggest monastery in Spiti Valley
-Explore the bustling town of Manali
-Scenic drives on our way to Spiti and back
-Witness the pristine Chandratal lake
-Visit the world’s highest post office at Hikkim (14,567 ft)
-Walk through the Langza-Hikkim-Komic trail
-Visit the magnificent and ancient Dhankar monastery
-Explore Mudh, the remote entry to Pin Valley National Park
-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 25 – 35 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.
Our journey will begin from D-town. We will assemble at 5:00 pm at R.K Ashram Metro (Pillar no 9-10). We board the bus and make our way from a sweltering Delhi to a chilly Manali.
Travel: 12-13 hrs bus journey (Delhi > Manali)
We reach Manali in the morning and start our journey toward Kaza. It's a very long road trip. We'll make our way passed the Atal Tunnel and onwards to the district center of Spiti. We will stop en route for lunch (and possibly dinner) before we reach our homestay late at night.
Travel: 8-10 hrs (Manali > Kaza)
We're diving right in. After a late breakfast, we're going to the iconic Key Monastery. If we're lucky we'll get to witness the morning rituals of the monks of the monastery. We also pay a visit to the iconic Chicham Khas (Bridge) and return to Kaza in the evening. Spend the evening exploring the market and the many cafes Kaza has to offer.
Travel: 2-3 hrs (Kaza > Key > Chicham)
Today we head to the Langza-Hikkim-Komik trail. After breakfast, our first stop will be Langza, The Fossil Village. These mountains were once beaches. (WHAAAT!) Yep. Owing to which this place boasts a very high number of fossils that you could find literally, just walking around. (Step aside, Ross Geller) From Langza we will take the trail to Hikkim, the home of the world’s highest post office. You can be hipster AF and bring your own stamps from home and whatnot. We'll end the trail in Komik; (apparently) the highest village in Asia. Back to our homestay and last night in Kaza.
Travel: 3-4 hrs (Kaza > Langza/Hikkim/Komic)
After an early breakfast and checking out of our rooms, we'll 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 this, we make our way into the Pin Valley National Park. We're going to the innermost village of the national park. Mudh (which also happens to be our favourite leg of the trip) is a hamlet surrounded by beautiful mountains on all sides. We'll check in at our homestays and spend the night gazing into the gorgeous Pin Valley.
Travel: 4-5 hrs (Kaza > Dhankar > Mudh)
Today is a day to relax! We'll be doing some nothing and following it up with some more nothing. Don't worry though, the view won't let you down. You can sit by the river, walk through the fields or just explore the village. You can also just sit in your room and read a book. You do you. This day is to relax! To put the ‘yay’ in ‘yay-cation’.
After breakfast, we check out of our rooms and go see the renowned mummy of Geu. This 650-year-old mummy is the only one of its kind in the world. From Geu, we'll head to the ancient town of Tabo and check in at our homestay. Tabo is most famous for housing 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. Experience local delicacies for dinner.
Travel: 2-3 hrs (Mudh > Geu > Tabo)
This is the last leg of our journey to Spiti. Tabo is a great place to see all that Spiti has to offer. From Spitian crafts to local delicacies, and meeting the locals to exploring the village, Tabo has it all covered. We leave for Losar after lunch. It is situated at the extreme end of Spiti. It's also the coldest region in this area coupled with the clearest skies. Who's in for some late-night stargazing?
Travel: 4-5 hrs (Tabo > Losar)
After breakfast, we bid farewell to the valley. We'll get into our vehicles and head on toward Chandratal. It is a rocky journey. But it will all be worth it when you see the magical moon lake. Spend a few hours here and we hit the road to Manali. Check in to our rooms and spend our last night together (cue tears)
Travel: 8-10 hrs (Losar > Chandratal > Manali)
You have the day to explore Manali as you wish. Visit the quaint side of old Manali or do your last-minute shopping at Mall Road. We regroup and catch the evening bus back to Delhi.
Travel: 12-13 hrs bus journey (Manali > Delhi)
We arrive back in the capital in the morning before 10:00 am. Back to reality. Back to the grind.
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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 :)
Next Upcoming On
Thursday - July 20, 2023
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-Bus fares from Delhi and Manali in semi-sleeper AC Volvo buses
-Accommodation in homestays/hotels at Manali, Kaza, Mudh,Tabo and Losar.
-Two meals a day i.e. breakfast and dinner (Veg & non-veg)
-Private internal transport during the trip (tempo traveler bus)
-All activities as per itinerary
-Visits to places as per itinerary
-Basic medical and first-aid kit
-All permits, tolls and parking charges
-Experienced local guide
-Experienced 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, 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 the sunlight there. Avoid jeans and other kinds of rigid/uncomfortable clothing.
Policy and Terms
-21 days prior to the date of departure: Rs 8,000 will be deducted
-Between 20 days and 14 days prior to the date of departure: Rs 15,000 will be deducted
-Between 13 days and 7 days prior to the date of departure: Rs 20,000 will be deducted
-6 days to the date of departure: No refund
(Please refer to the further Terms and Conditions mentioned in the footer of the website)
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.
Q: What region of north India are we traveling to?
A: 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.
Q: What will the stay be like?
A: Rooms will be on a double-sharing basis (Except at Losar). The home-stays will have a running hot water facility. Most of the rooms will have an attached toilet or one just outside the rooms. These are homestays and not hotels. Please treat the staff with respect and dignity.
Q: What food will be provided?
A: Vagabond will provide 2 meals a day. We will take care of breakfast and lunch or dinner every day. The food we're providing during the trip will be regular nutritious food (veg, non-veg and Jain will be available). The cuisines will be shuffling between Indian, Israeli, Continental, and Tibetan. You can try any of these cuisines at the restaurants near where we're staying. We urge you to go explore the various cuisines that they serve in Spiti.
Q: How will we be travelling?
A: We will be traveling from Delhi to Manali & back in AC semi-sleeper Volvo buses. The entire journey between Manali to Spiti and within Spiti will be in privately booked tempo traveler buses.
Q: Are there any ATMs where we're traveling?
A: There are close to few or no ATMs in Spiti Valley. Carry liquid cash.
Q: What altitude would we be traveling to?
A: Spiti is at an altitude of approximately 12,500 ft (3,800 meters)
Q: What will the temperature be like while we're there?
A: Temperatures rise to a maximum of 25°C during the day and can drop to a minimum of 13°C during the night
Q: Can I smoke/drink on this trip?
A: 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 (monasteries, sacred spaces etc). Indulge in these activities responsibly.
Q: Is there mobile connectivity in Spiti?
A: Only BSNL/MTNL networks get coverage in Spiti. However, all networks work between Delhi and Manali.
Q: What will the group size be?
A: We will be a maximum of 22 travelers including 1-2 Vagabond representatives.
Q: Is there any age limit to join this trip?
A: No, there is no age limit to join this trip. However, based on our previous experiences, the age group of travelers is usually between 18-30.
Q: Can I join this expedition solo?
A: Yes, of course, you can! We have a good number of solo travelers on almost every Vagabond experience.
Q: How physically fit do I need to be to join this trip?
A: 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 good physical condition. Those who have a low tolerance of cold should be prepared with temperature-appropriate clothing.
Q: How do I avoid altitude sickness?
A: 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.
Q: Are there doctors/hospitals in Spiti Valley?
A: Every town and village has its own health care.
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