- Manali – Spiti – Kinnaur – Shimla – Chandigarh
- Season: July to October
- Duration: 10 days
- Regions: Manali, Spiti, Kinnaur and Shimla
Day 01 Manali to Keylong Pick up from Hotel and drive to Keylong 115 Km 05 Hrs. Overnight in Tashi Deleg.
As we start our journey, leaving the lush green countryside of Manali towards Rohtang pass (3,978 Mts.). Rohtang Pass – Few places on the Earth can mark so dramatic a change in landscape as the Rohtang Pass. To one side, the lush green head of Kullu Valley; to the other, an awesome vista of bare, chocolate – colored mountains, hanging glaciers and snowfields that shine in the dazzlingly crisp fight. As we cross to the pass other side and at place called Gramphu we follow the main Leh – Manali Highway and enter into another Valley the Chandra Bhaga. Wonderful views of high mountains (snow covered), beautiful villages, green peas and potatoes fields. We also see the confluence of Chandra Bhaga at Tandi. Few more (06) kilometres drive to reach the beautiful town of Keylong. Overnight in Hotel Tashi Deleg.
Day 02 Keylong: Sightseeing in Keylong (Visit to Kardang Gompa, Udaipur Mrikula Devi Temple and Trilokinath Temple. Back to Hotel Tashi Deleg
Day 03 Keylong – Kaza Over Rohtang Pass (3978 Mts) And Kunzum Pass (4551 Mts.) (200 Km 9-10 hrs.) As we start our journey, leaving the lush green countryside of Manali towards Rohtang pass (3,978 Mts.). Rohtang Pass – Few places on the Earth can mark so dramatic a change in landscape as the Rohtang Pass. To one side, the lush green head of Kullu Valley; to the other, an awesome vista of bare, chocolate – colored mountains, hanging glaciers and snowfields that shine in the dazzlingly crisp fight. As we cross to the other side and at place called Gramphu we leave the main Leh – Manali Highway and enter into another Valley (Chandra Valley) and continue driving on a non-metaled road, all along the Chandra River. Slowly the Valley opens and we get introduced to magnificent Himalayan Ranges of Chandra & Bhaga, famously called as CB Range. This area in particular is very popular for Mountain Expeditions.
The route veers to the left of the base of the immense Bara Shigri Glacier – Nearly 28-Km and several kilometers wide at its widest, the Bara Shigri is the largest glacier of the Lahaul Valley of Himachal Pradesh. It opens out onto the Chandra Valley and adds its waters to the River. It is located in a cirque on the middle slopes of the main Himalayan Range. Small tributary glaciers feed the main glacier. The entire track is devoid of a vegetative cover. High mountains surround this glacier on three sides. All around are the great peaks of Parvati headwaters – White Sail, Indrasan, further up the range, Kullu Makalu, and Parvati Peak itself. Further keeping the drive we reach Batal, the base of the Kunzum Pass (4,551Mts.), a nice place for a cup of tea. Then 12 Km of uphill drive gets us to the top of the Pass. There is a small temple with lot of prayer flags, dedicated to Kunzum Lamo (Local Deity) that is how the pass got its name. This Pass is the origin of Spiti River, Now the Spiti Valley begins and the landscape slowly embodies the desert look. We descend down the pass and reach the first Village of Spiti (Losar), the architecture of the houses surrounded by the fields of barley, peas and potato, and other vegetation has uncanny resemblance with Ladakh and Tibet.
We keep driving along the Spiti River and series of other Villages follow – Kyoto, Hansa, Morang, and Rangrik etc. We finally reach Kaza – The main town and headquarters of Spiti. The town lies in the core of the cold desert and hence is extremely arid. Arctic conditions prevail in winter and the Town remains under a thick blanket of snow. Subzero temperatures are experienced for long periods during the cold seasons. July, August, September & October are the warmest months, with maximum temperature not rising above 21 degrees Celsius at Kaza.
Overnight in a Hotel (Spiti Sarai) at Rangrik, 3 Kms before the Main township of Kaza, offering a nice view of Kye Monastery.
Day 02 Kaza: Drive to the villages of Langza (4400 mts), Hikkim – Komik (4500 mts), Kibber (4,205 mts) and Ki Monastery (5-6 hrs).
These Villages are all situated over the height of 4000 Mts. With striking locations and house some of the most interesting monasteries in the Spiti Valley. The ancient Monastery of Hikkim also known as the Tangyur Gompa is of unique importance as this is one of the two Sakya Pa Monasteries In Spiti Valley second being situated at Kaza. This Monastery was responsible for the revision or propagation of Tantra teachings during the 14th Century. Abundance of fossils, comprising of Shells etc. takes one 50 million years back when Indian subcontinent drifting northwards across the Ocean of Tethys on its tectonic plate slammed into the stationary mass of Asia and gave birth to the mighty Himalayas.
Ki MONASTERY – 13 Km from Kaza is situated Kye Monastery at an elevation of (3969 Mts.). The Monastery consists of large irregular heap of low ceilinged rooms and narrow corridors, interconnected by dark passages and tortuous staircases, built on what must have been a crater of an extinct volcano. This is one of the biggest and the oldest monasteries belonging to the Ge- Lug – Pa sect in Spiti. It dates back to around 14th Century and is famous for its murals, valuable books and fabulous collection of Thankas. The instrument here deserves mention. There are two trumpets, two or three small brass instruments, a pair of large cyabals, a big deep voiced drum, and a pair of smaller ones. The trumpet, which is about three meters in length, rests on a triangular block of wood, placed on the ground, and rises in a long sweeping curve to the mouth of the player, who remains standing and blows into it with all his might. The sound produced by this magnificent instrument is surprisingly feeble.
Day 03 Kaza –Tabo via Dhankar, Lhalung and Pinn valley (110 Km altogether):- Driving through the Spiti valley and its little villages we visit few ancient monasteries, situated in the middle of the beautiful village of Dhankar, Lhalung in the Lingthi Valley, and then continue to Tabo.
Dhankar (3890 mts) – About 30 km from Tabo through steep hillside. The road slowly winds its way up to the village Dhankar, located at a height of 3890 mts. There situated a 6th Century Gompa, though not well preserved still has some magnificent original Thankas tucked away in dark. There are some beautiful murals. Unfortunately a part of monastery was destroyed during severe winter of 1989. The location of the monastery is strikingly beautiful.
Lhalung: A small village in beautiful Lingthi Valley, consisting a cluster of 50 to 60 houses with a population over 300. The Gompa is situated on the top of the village, is invisible from the road. The main temple is decorated with unique Mandalas and statues with main statue of Bodhisattva in the center. A small but very attractive temple depicts the philosophy which originated in Western Tibet about 800 years ago. The monastery is over shadowed by a huge Fig tree. There is another small temple to the left of the main building, which houses a four headed clay idol of Buddha looking in to four different directions.
PIN: Cross the Spiti River by a solid concrete bridge and following the Pin River, one of the major tributaries of Spiti River. The Valley is famous for wild life – Ibex, Snow Leopard. There is also a Monastery called Kungri Monastery (3520 Mts.) is believed to be founded by Guru Padmasambhava. The Monastery must have remained an ancient monastic site of the Padmasambhava days. Generally the Tibetan monasteries are built in a compact layout with all temples and apartments put together. But the Kungri Monastery is formed of three detached rectangular blocks facing to east. The Lhakhang being on the higher terrace on the North followed by Sampup – Chos – Ling in the middle and compact structure Tangyur and Gokhang. This belongs to the Nigma Pa sect. Buddhist Tantra called Bhusang.
Day 04 Tabo – Kalpa – (7-8 Hrs) – Go via the little village of Kanam, ‘place of the sacred texts’, where the Kagyur temple was founded by the 10th century scholar Rinchen Zangpo. Follow the old Hindustan-Tibet road, if conditions allow. Overnight in Hotel Kalpa
Day 05 Kalpa – Sangla (2-3 Hrs) – Drive to Sangla, on the most adventurous road. Drive is wonderful and rewarding you Sangla Valley paradise in Himalayas. Valley is incredibly beautiful. Continue towards the Sangla Valley, visiting ancient villages like Sangla. In Sangla, Overnight in Hotel Royal Castle.
Day 06 Sangla Excursions – A day exploring beautiful villages with striking forts and temples and meeting villagers – Here we visit the beautiful villages of Baspa Valley such as Chhitkul (3450 mts), Batser, Rakchham and Sangla. the route in this stretch is very narrow and steep till Chitkul, the last and highest village in Baspa Valley. It is situated on the Right Bank of Baspa Valley; there is a temple dedicated to local Goddess, Mathi, which is said to have been constructed some 500 years ago. The location of Rackcham – another village in Baspa Valley is striking as rocky cliffs of granite rocks and forests surround it. One can visit Kamru Temple and fort in Kamru Village, situated on a top of Sangla Village. The whole day is spending visiting all these beautiful villages and meeting their beautiful inhabitants. Overnight in Hotel Royal Castle.
Day 07 Sangla – Sarahan (4-5 Hrs) – Traveling through the gorges of the Satluj and Baspa, we reach Sarahan, with its significant Bhima Kali temple. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 08 Sarahan – Shimla (7-8 Hrs) – Continue to drive down the Satluj valley visiting villages – at Nirth there is a sun temple, and Dutt Nagar is of archaeological significance. We reach the old Raj hill station of Shimla, today the state capital of Himachal Pradesh. Two nights in Wildflower Hall
Day 09 Shimla – Excursions. (4-5 Hrs) – Visit to famous Mall Road, Himachal Museum, Himachal Pradesh Institute of Advance Studies, Jakhu (Hanuman) Temple
Day 10 Shimla – Chandigarh Drop evening train Shatabadi Express to Delhi