Details about the Spiti Valley tour

Details about the Spiti Valley tour

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Overview

Spiti is a high-altitude region in the northeastern part of Himachal Pradesh. In bhoti language, the place is spelt as “Piti”. It incorporates the valleys of the Spiti river. Spiti can be called “The Middle Land” i.e the land between India and Tibet. The regions of Spiti Valley are among the least populated regions of India. 

According to the 2011 census, the population of Spiti is 12,455 persons. One tiny village of Spiti consists of 35 to 200 individuals. According to the government of India, the entire population of Spiti Valley is categorized as Scheduled Tribe.

Spiti Valley has a cold desert environment and despite being so, it has a variety of animals and medicinal and aromatic plants. Spiti is also called the home of two protected areas, the Pin Valley National Park and the Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary.

The Weather of Spiti Valley

The place is extremely cold here, but in summer it is pretty pleasant as the temperature rises up to 0 to 15 degree Celsius. People usually avoid coming here in winter because of spine-chilling weather conditions and in monsoons due to the risk of landslides. The right time to visit Spiti Valley is October.

Transportation to Spiti Valley

  • By Road: Spiti is reachable through Manali and Shimla in the summer season. Roads from Manali are closed in winter for 6 months because of heavy snowfall. In winter through Shimla, one can have access to visit Spiti.

The most affordable way to Spiti is HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Corporation) Buses. They follow a reliable route but are limited. 

  • By Rail: The nearest railway station is in Kalka, from here one can take a toy train (mountain train) to Shimla. But then again one has to get a bus or hire a cab. If going through Manali then the nearest railway station is in Chandigarh. 
  • By Air: Nearest airports to Spiti Valley are Shimla and Kullu Manali. From there one will have to hire a cab or car or can get a bus.

Stay in Spiti Valley

  • Hotels and resorts – Hotels and resorts are expensive and lie in and around Kaza.

 

  • Homestays – They are present in almost every village. They are generally low in cost. One gets to experience local food, and get to know about their lifestyle and culture while staying with the families. 

 

  • Hostels and dorms – Just like hotels and resorts, one can find hostels and dorms in Kaza. Many hostels provide large and shared rooms.

Places to visit in Spiti Valley

The list is mentioned with most famous places where one should pay a visit 

  • Chicham Bridge
  • Dhadkan Lake
  • Chandra Taal Lake
  • Dhankar Lake
  • Dhankar Monastery 
  • Hikkim Village 
  • Demul Village
  • Kaza
  • Key Monastery 
  • Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary 
  • Komic Village 
  • Kunzum Pass
  • Buddha Statue 
  • Mud Village
  • Pin Valley National Park

And this list just goes on.

Activities to do in Spiti Valley

Visitors can make a choice of either taking a nature walk from here to experience and watch rare species and the beauty of nature or to participate in adventurous activities like river rafting, trekking, hiking, rappelling and camping. You can do both as well.

Many camping sites in Spiti provide trekking and winter sports like ice skating, skiing and ice climbing. Trekking on Kanamo peak which is 5960m high, Parang La Trek, Bhaba Pass Trek and Pin Parvati Pass Trek. Mountaineering in Gya peak which is the highest peak in Himachal Pradesh, Manirang Peak,  Shilla Peak and Chocho Kang Nilda. Cycling and running can also be done. People also consider driving cars and bikes as adventurous activity. 

Festivals of Spiti Valley

Experience the local festivals of Spiti like Guitar at Kyi Gonpa in July, Ladarch Fair in mid of August, Spiti Losar in November, Thuckchu in December, and Dachang and Mentok in February. All the traditional festivals are related to Spitis’ agriculture and seasonal shifts. 

Food and Beverages of Spiti Valley

Villagers and locals of Spiti prefer non-vegetarian food like chicken, mutton, lamb, fish and even yak. Only a few vegetables grow here like specific roots and tubers and green leafy vegetables. Food in Spiti is all organic and fresh whether you try it in hotels, restaurants or homestays. Some of the local dishes you should try are thukpa, tsampa, dumplings, chiltas, kyu and more, but mostly you will find dal, roti and rice as common food.

 And must try the famous alcoholic beverages chhaang and Arak prepared for festivals and other occasions like marriage, birth, success celebrations or death.

Type of clothes to wear in Spiti Valley

As the weather of Spiti is chilly throughout the year, one should carry and wear warm and woollen clothes and also which can be worn in layers only to keep oneself warm. 

Clothes in layers because, from noon till evening you might feel too warm to wear a jacket but too cold to wear a top/T-shirt, so it will help adjust according to the condition.

Also, as Spiti is a hilly area, one should wear sports shoes with warm socks under them. These precautions will help with mountain sickness and will also reduce the chances of getting a cold and fever.

Things to carry on the Spiti Valley Tour

  •   Change of clothes (include the thermals and woollens)
  •   Backpack
  • Trekking gears 
  •   Medical kit
  •  Sunscreen (50+ SPF suggested), cap
  •  Windcheater/raincoat
  •  Torch with extra batteries
  •   Water bottle and instant food
  •   Toiletries

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