Trip Duration: 08 Nights / 09 Days (EX DELHI)
Trip Style: Active Adventure (Eco Tour)
Trekking Level: ModerateThese treks involve half day walks, usually 3-6 hours over rugged terrain with regular ascents and descents. The maximum altitude is 4500 m, so previous hill –walking experience and preparation would be beneficial.
Highest Alt: 4550 mt
Area: Spiti Valley , Himachal Pradesh
Best Season: June – Sep
The trip starts in Manali, and takes you up & over the majestic Rohtang and Kunzum passes, and through the enchanting valley of the Spiti River. This trekking holiday gives you a chance to experience Spitian culture through traditional homestays and folk performances and gives you a firsthand experience of a Buddhist way of life that has remained unchanged for centuries. You will interact closely with the local people as they go about the daily tasks of farming, water management and cooking. Some of the world’s most endangered species make their home in the Spiti valley and you may be lucky enough to encounter a Snow Leopard, Tibetan Wolf or Blue Sheep.
Trip at a Glance
03 Nights is Hotel
04 Nights in Home stays
01 Night is Camp site
Highlights & Itinerary
- Drive through some of the most amazing landscapes in one of the remotest regions in the Indian Himalayas.
- See and photograph the views from high passes of Rohtang and Kunzum La
- Visit the high altitude lake of Dhankar, trapped in the mountains at an altitude of 14,000 feet
- Camping in the heart of the mountains, near the clear blue expanse of Chandratal Lake surrounded by high peaks.
- Visit the Buddhist monastery more than 800 years old, which has followed an ancient tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
- Walk on the Fossil trails .
- Walk to the highest village in the world, Kibber (4205 mt) to be connected with road.
Day 01- DELHI- CHANDIGARH- MANALI, TRAIN 0700 / 1100 HRS, DRIVE 290 KMS
In the morning board Shatabdi Express from New Delhi Railway station to Chandigarh. Met on arrival at Chandigarh railway station and drive to Manali (1920 mt) via Kullu. On arrival, check-in at hotel for overnight stay.
Day 02- MANALI-KAZA, DRIVE 203 KMS
From the lush green Kullu Valley we travel along the winding road to reach the famous Rohtang pass at 3978m. This is the entry to Lahaul Valley. The landscape changes dramatically and is replaced by barren hillsides, blue skies and the route is dotted with green fields of barley, peas and potatoes. We cross the majestic Kunzum pass and drive further to reach Kaza.
Check-in and overnight stay in a guest house on arrival.
Day 03- KAZA- LANGCHA, TREK 4-5 HRS
The village of Langcha hangs over Kaza far below on the valley floor from an altitude of 4250m. Trekking to Langcha involves a journey along one of the world’s highest motorable roads. Winding along the mountain side above Kaza, the traveler gets a spectacular view of the meandering silver waters of the Spiti River on the valley floor. The route gradually snakes in to the Shilla Valley, a high altitude valley on the upper plateau where yakmen graze their herds. Langcha Village is divided into two parts, Lower And Upper Village and is home to a 900 Year old Buddhist Temple.
Arrive Langcha and overnight at a home stay .
Day 04- LANGCHA - KOMIC, TREK 4-5 HRS
It’s an easy half days walk from Langcha to Komic, famous for its monastery. On the walk you will pass the ruins of the last monastery, destroyed almost completely in an earthquake in 1971.
Komic is one of the principle monasteries of Spiti and home to an unlikely guest – the stuffed remains of a snow leopard who wandered into the village many years ago and who, after gorging himself on a farmers flock of sheep, fell asleep never to wake up as the frightened farmer killed the unfortunate creature. Now he hangs at the entrance to the monastery ( a reminder of the need for finding a balance between the needs of human and wildlife in the harsh terrains of the high altitude Himalayas)
Arrive Komic and stay for overnight at a village home.
Day 05- KOMIC- DEMUL, TREK 4 hrs
The walk from Komic to Dhemul takes you along the edge of the higher plateau overlooking the silvery Spiti river as it snakes through the valley far below. Straight across from you, you will see the endless rows of steep, sparsely populated mountains of the Trans-Himalaya and far away Tibet.
Overnight at a home stay .
Day 06- DEMUL- LALUNG, TREK 3-4 hrs
Today you come down from the high plateau and it is a nice downhill trek into the Lingti Valley. The Lingti River originates in Tibet and passes through the beautiful village of Lalung. The Lalung Monastery is famous for its statue of the Three Cornered Buddha, made with three sides to symbolize the Buddha looking in all directions at once. Legend has it that Rinchen Zangpo planted a willow tree in the soil above the village 1000 years ago and instructed the locals that should the tree survive, they must found a monastery. Today, in front of the 10th century monastery sits an ancient, gnarled and revered willow tree. Overnight stay at Lalung Village in a Home stay.
Day 07- LALUNG- CHANDRATAL, DRIVE / 110 kms
No matter what we say about this road, you’ll still be stunned when you see it so we’re just going to let you experience it without any attempt to describe it to you. Cross over the mighty Kunzum La (4553m) and then take the dirt road to Chandra Tal. The cars don’t go up to the lake so you’ll have to trek for 3 km to reach the beautiful lake.
The Moon Lake ( Chandratal) is stunning and worth every meter of bad road driven. The lake is situated at an altitude of about 4200 Mtrs. The water is crystal clear, and it boasts of different shades of blue as the day progresses. A small meadow at either side of the lake makes it a perfect location to enjoy and spend rest of the day.
Overnight in camps situated few km’s away from the Lake. (camping has been banned near the lake).
Day 08- CHANDRATAL- ROHTANG PASS- MANALI, DRIVE (130 km), DURATION:0800HR
Continue on the stunning Kaza to Manali road and cross into Lahaul. We join the Manali – Keylong road behind the Rohtang Pass and cross the pass and descend back to civilization n traffic .
Check-in the hotel . Relax in hotel or walk around Manali
Day 09- MANALI- CHANDIGARH- DELHI, DRIVE (290 kms), TRAIN (dep: 1750 / arr: 2150)
Start early today and drive to Kalka railways station (Chandigarh). It will take around 7-8 hours to reach Kalka in time to board train back to Delhi. Arrive Delhi by night at around 10 pm.
The most fulfilling away of immersing yourself in the culture of Spiti is to live with a resident family in one of its many villages. The Himalayan Homestays program developed by Spiti villagers has a selection of homes in the villages that we’ll be staying in, which offers clean & basic rooms to travellers, together with the unique opportunity to bond with the home owners, and interact with the Spitian way of life.
Savour home-cooked Tibetan delicacies throughout your stay in village homes. But it’s going to be basic food cooked with hygiene.
PACKED LUNCH (DURING TREK): sandwich / puri-bhaji, Boiled egg / potatos, Fruity, one fruit, chocolate.
With the winter snow being the only source of water, Spitian’s rely heavily on snowfall for irrigation, drinking water and even for fodder. In the Spiti Homestays we ensure that we retain and promote the dry composting toilets that don’t use any water and in turn are eco-friendly and are used as manure in the fields.
Most people in reasonably good health should not have any problems with most of the activities through the tour. We will be trekking for around 4-5 hours a day (on an average), where you’ll just be carrying your small day pack having necessary things.
WHEN TO GO?
The best time to visit Lahaul & Spiti is during summer i.e. from mid May to mid October. The valley’s are snow bound from November – May and remains isolated from rest of the world. It’s a high altitude desert, monsoons that touch north from July – Aug doesn’t make a dent it this region and in fact that is the perfect time to visit Lahaul – Spiti.
While on the trip the temperatures expected during the day are as high as 20 -25 degree Celsius and average night temperatures expected are 10 – 08 degree Celsius. Except during bad weather when the temperature can go low.
MEDICAL & FIRST AID
This tour goes into the remote regions of Lahaul Spiti where very basic professional medical help may be available. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in good health and physically & mentally fit to join the trip.
The tour leader, though not qualified medically, is competent to give first-aid if and when required. In case you have an existing medical condition or disability you must inform us before making a booking with us.
DELAY & UNEXPECTED HINDRANCE
Delays are expected on account of roadblock & weather conditions. Our effort will be to continue with the trip as per the schedule & make you as comfortable as possible. But in such situations we may have to compromise on the campsite / hotels & adjust to these situations then & there.
The terrain and weather may be a bit harsh for small children. We accept kids over the age of 15 years for this trip.
It’s an Educational trip for the kids since it’s a Responsible Eco- friendly trip.
- The kids will learn how the locals are Conserving Spiti’s natural heritage , learn about the Organic practices in agriculture and educating locals on growing traditional crops to maintain ecology,
- Green Houses: The set up of greenhouses in the Spiti valley is another way of providing the locals with an additional source of income and also ensure availability of green vegetables even during the harsh and long winters.
- Seabuckthorn: Another source of income that Ecosphere has provided for the local community is Seabuckthorn (a medicinal fruit with immense economic and ecological value). Various products such as juices, teas, pulp, etc, made from Seabuckthorn provide the locals with a stable source of income.
- Fossils: Spiti’s geological history dates back to more that 500 million years, when it lay submerged under the ancient sea Tethys. Remnants of that distant past can still be witnessed in the Spiti valley, which is regarded as the most fossil rich area in the world, as per the Geological Society of America.
Family friendly: All home stays are family friendly and village homes can provide an additional mattress, if required.
Spiti is an Endeavour to promote ‘Responsible Eco-travel’ in the Spiti valley. The objective of this programe is to develop unique, authentic and reliable tourism products and activities, link them to community livelihoods and conservation of culture & nature. This not only provides the community with a sustainable source of income but also serves as an incentive to conserve this unique ecology and culture
Community ( Economic/Livelihood Generation) : All experiences that Spiti Home stays offers has an inbuilt conservation charge of 10% that is ploughed back into conservation, welfare and developmental activities. Spiti homestays have been developed on the principle of preserving the cultural integrity of the local community. These Home stays not only help in promoting the local culture, cuisine, architecture, etc, but are also a great way of involving the low income families in tourism related activities.
Guides, Cooks, Porters and Helpers: One of the most significant inroads that have been made in the Spiti valley in terms of providing quality eco-tourism services is the training of the local youth as naturalist guides by experts on Snow Leopards, flora and other aspects. Local youth are employed in tourist services like cooks, porters and helpers for trekking and camping groups.
Garbage Management: In some of the villages the conservation fund that is generated through the home stays and camping, is utilised towards garbage management in the villages. During treks the guides, porters and cooks have been adequately informed about the importance to follow the right ethics pertaining to sustainable garbage management.
Handicrafts: Handicrafts is one of the most prized possessions that travelers desire to carry back with them and if they can contribute to the local economy it makes it all the more worthwhile. Various women groups and individuals through the home stays earn a substantial income from the sale of local handicrafts while ensuring the conservation and revival of the crafts.