Spiti Valley In Winters: The Snow Leopard Trail
Spiti Valley Trip, Kaza, Himachal Pradesh, India
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Spiti in Winters looks like a beautiful canvas of white. The vast mountains, deep terrains, the stretch of barren landforms, and patches of green are entirely shrouded in a seamless sheet of snow. It’s a sea of white as far as your eyes can behold. It’s fun when you really don’t have much to do during the winter in Spiti and you can actually mingle with the locals, experience delectable Spitian cuisine, and learn to lead life the tougher way. And of course we plan to try our luck in spotting the elusive "Grey Ghost", the Snow Leopard. There are a number of places, where you can spot a snow leopard in the wild, however, no other destination is as good as Pin Valley National Park in Himachal Pradesh. With its altitude ranging between 3300 metres and 6632 metres, the 1825-sq km territory is an ideal home for snow leopards. Lippa Asrang and Kibber wildlife sanctuaries are two locations where locals claim to have spotted snow leopards. This itinerary is the perfect blend of vistas, wildlife and culture. Your time in serene hamlets of Kibber and Reckong Peo gives you ample opportunities to learn about the local people and their simple way of life. While hiking in the Himalayas, you get to admire nature from up-close. As you hike from one hill to another, you will come across the many flora and fauna species that live in the region.
Get ready for a beautiful drive of 250km 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. 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.
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.
Kibber is situated at 18km from Kaza at the height of 14200 ft (4205 meters) above sea level, it is claimed to be the highest motorable village in the world.There are more villages near Kibber, even at more height, but they are not inhabited throughout the year. In winter, people leave those villages and come down to the lower heights. This is why Kibber Village is known as highest continuously inhabited village. It is a small village with about 100 houses and all painted in white with red rooftops. Kibber will be our sweet home for next few days.
The next 3 – 4 days will be spent in and around the Kibber village (4170 M), in the high altitude Kibber Park. There will be no fixed itinerary and our days will be decided on by our expert wildlife guide, based on Weather condition and sighting possibilities. The Kibber reserve is situated at an altitude range of 4,000 M - 5,800m (Mt. Kanamo) and hosts an incredible range of wildlife. It is full of species including Snow Leopard(Panthera uncial), Tibetan Ibex(Capra sibirica), Bharal or Blue Sheep(Pseudois nayaur), Wolf (Canis Lupus chanco), Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes), yellow throated marten and the Pallas's Cat. We will spend most of the time exploring known wildlife trails around Kibber, Gete, Tashigang and Thinam, which are on a major Snow Leopard corridor. If we are lucky to get Snow Leopard Sighting with few days in hand, we will explore the villages around Kibber.
We start our travel back to Shimla via same route with an overnight stopover at Kalpa
We reach Shimla tonight. We can choose to stay back in Shimla or head off to Delhi/Chandigarh
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𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐉𝐎𝐘 𝐎𝐅 𝐓𝐑𝐀𝐕𝐄𝐋𝐈𝐍𝐆 Did you know that there is a village in Meghalaya where their inhabitants are called by tunes, not names? Or were you aware of a unique art form practiced in Kutcha, Gujarat, that isn’t practiced anywhere else on Earth? Or did you know that Bhutan’s GDP is determined by its people's Happiness? The joy of traveling is to wholly immerse yourself into the story of the place that you travel to and we at TGE Travels bring nothing less than that on the table. Our well thought out itineraries give a deeper insight into the culture and history of a place by getting our travelers closer to the local communities, their customs, cuisines and lifestyle. And it goes without saying that we are the queens of finding offbeat locations, stays and activities which we bring out in all our itineraries. TGE stands for The Great Escape and a trip with us is like pressing the “Escape” key from the mundane routine to an exciting and cherishable travel experience 𝐖𝐇𝐎 𝐀𝐑𝐄 𝐖𝐄? Established in the year 2016, TGE travels was founded by Reetu Yadav and Jamila Kapasi, two expert mountaineers who had more than 6+ years of experience in mountaineering and the outdoors. TGE Travels is infact one of the rare travel and outdoor companies wholly owned by women with a vision of adding more women leaders in the unconventional outdoor leadership roles. What started as just a trekking company, TGE Travels has evolved into a more wholesome style of traveling by adding experiential traveling as one of its primary services. Our team at TGE Travels are a bunch of travel experts who want to add a meaning to your excursions. We are a strong unit of on ground team leads, backend supports and partner vendors who work cohesively to make your trip smooth and memorable. 𝐖𝐇𝐘 𝐓𝐆𝐄 𝐓𝐑𝐀𝐕𝐄𝐋𝐒? Small Groups Even before Corona, we have firmly believed that traveling in small groups is the best way to form connections and gain experiences. Now more than ever, we are committed to limiting the group size. Our travelers might meet as strangers but we ensure that they leave as friends. Amazing Team Leads What makes TGE Travels awesome are our team leads. They are the reason why our travelers choose to travel with us again and again. Full of energy and enthusiasm, our team leads are the ones who bring the whole group together. Their energy bounces off our travelers and within no time, the entire group forgets that they were just strangers just sometime ago. But of course, our team leads are also very skilled in handling any situation and ensuring the trip goes as smoothly as possible. Well Thought Out Itineraries We have spent endless hours brainstorming on itineraries to bring out the unique stories of the place that we travel to. Not only that, while designing any itinerary our team personally travels to the location to identify experiences and off beat locations. We try to provide the best experience within the timeframe and budget and that has made us popular as one of the more thought driven travel itinerary planners. Choosing the Right Stays We select our accommodation partners meaningfully. Our stays should have a story to tell. This encourages us in going beyond the standard hotels and instead delving into a wide range of accommodation options where we can choose from authentic homestays, which to us is one of the best ways to learn about the culture of a place, to beautiful resorts that are situated at the perfect picturesque locations to boutique hotels that are elegant and charming. Safe Mode of Transport Just like our accommodation partners, we give a lot of importance in choosing the right transport partners. Most of our journey is on road and we ensure our travelers are comfortable in the vehicle. Our drivers become a part of the group and it's amazing to see how our travelers treat them as just one of their own. When it comes to bike trips or Scooty trips, we ensure the two wheelers are well serviced and maintained. Apart from that we always have a support vehicle with us throughout the journey Delicious Food Food is an integral part of our itineraries. Hence all meals are planned in advance allowing our travelers to taste the unique cuisines of the regions that they travel to. We encourage our travelers in trying out local delicacies but never hesitate to deliver something comfortable immediately if the local food does not suit their palette. Responsible Travel We firmly believe in responsible tourism. Apart from the standard no littering policy, we encourage our travellers to be sensitive to the local communities.
It's always a pleasure travelling with TGE! The one thing I love most is their attention to detail, which ensures that your trip is a memorable one. Travelling with TGE is a wholesome experience, you see the larger more iconic places with no compromise on the little things. Travel with them if you want to interact with the people of the place, eat their food, in short experience their lives. These guys do a superb job of making everyone comfortable and everytime I travel with them I make beautiful bonds with all the other travellers. I would 100% recommend TGE to everyone who has the travel bug. It doesn't get better than this! ☺️❤️
I have known Reetu and Jamila for many years and have worked with them in the past. But this was the first time I decided to travel with them as a participant. When Reetu told me about exploring Spiti in winters I was completely on board. The itinerary sounded exciting and the pricing less. S my friend Manish and I immediately signed up for it. One of the best decisions I ever took. Spiti in winters in beautiful. The 7 days with the team was wonderful. We spent our days driving around the valley and our evenings dancing to pahadi songs. The planning was perfect with utmost care given in the choice of stay and comfort. Of course the highlight of the trip was spotting a snow leopard. Overall it was an amazing trip and I am looking forward to join many more with The Great Escape
Shravan Kumar Poshetty
Should I describe with “perfect planning” / “meticulous coordination”/ “cordial organiser”...might be with all of it.
Flawless execution is what makes them unique and organiser Reetu Yadav has let all of us experience it with her executional capabilities...
Clarity n flow of communication:-5/5
Comfort in Mode of Travel:-5/5
Action in Emergency:- very swift 5/5
Team has proved that its not all about the commercial trip but also the cause which is concealed in their carryings. What we pay at Flemingo Resort at Dholavira goes to educate and for taking care of more than 400 students and their boarding facilities as well.
Its not over yet, you will be pleased to meet the gifted souls from remote villages who are manifested in their respective disciplines like Rogan Art (Hon’le prime minister himself have gifted one to Barack Obama), Wood Art and Bell Art, Textile etc.
You will get to eat the delicious food made out of love from the local (A1 class food).
Off all, well planned itinerary and the execution is commendable. We RoK team who departed on 12th Dec’19 are truly happy with the onsite organiser Reetu Yadav and the offline backbone Jamila Kapasi who took good care of each of us at every stretch.
Their intact affirmative relation and proper delicacy in their execution makes then unique.
My best friend is much impressed with their proceedings and that makes me much happier than ever.
Last but not least, am fortunate to have rest 13 of the participants as part of my extended family. Again the credit goes to TGE.
Kudos to the team and i look for further association with “THE GREAT ESCAPE” ( you have already give our team a great escape from the routine.
Way to go TGE team!!!
Kumar Tarur Parameswaran
Such great detailed planning at micro level and being open and upfront about the tour details impressed me at the very start. They lived up to their promise in every which way.
TGE’s expression of their solidarity towards the cause of the villagers by getting travellers to interact with them in a lively way and help the villagers in their livelihood was one of the primary reasons I chose to travel with TGE.
TGE means immersive experiential travel and what you get in return and come away with are unforgettable lifetime memories.
Looking forward to many more tours with TGE. Reetu and Jamila pull your collars up. Way to go! You will go miles!
The great escape recently took care of my 10 days family trip to Bhutan. We were 9 of us, including 2 kids and 2 elderlies. Each detail of the trip was so beautifully planned and coordinated. Jamila was personally in touch with drivers, hotels and homestay owners to ensure we ar getting the best of experience. We never even had to look for directions, call hotel or tell driver about anything. Everything was already taken care of and we were just the guests in very true sense. Such a wonderful trip it was. Everything was so beautiful including all the places where we stayed.
Much thanks to Jamila and the great escape team to make it work like magic for us!
All expenses from Shimla to Shimla which include: - Travel in Innova/Tempo Traveller for whole tour . - Accommodation on Sharing Basis. (Hotel/Homestay) - All meals (Except during travel to and fro Kaza) - Facilitator Charges. - Campfire - Star gazing - Guide charges - Cooking class(optional) - Room heater/ hot water charges.
- Personal Expenses of any kind. - Personal Beverages of any kind. - Camera and equipments - All meals not mentioned in inclusion section.
Policy and Terms
20 days before the event start date: No Refund 20- 45 days before the event start date: 50% Refund Before 45 days of the event start date: 75% Refund