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    A view of the gorgeous Spiti Valley

    With a terrain that is seriously challenging and a landscape that is drop dead gorgeous, the Spiti valley makes for an exceptional adventure destination. There are places in India that are outlined by treacherous alleys and lie buried under stiffened snow for most part of the year. Spiti Valley is one such place.

    Spiti is home to some of the highest villages, oldest monasteries and the most stunning landscapes you’ll ever see. A perfect example of nature’s surrealism, the Spiti Valley, at an altitude of 4000 m, is a barbed and unexplored gem in Himachal Pradesh.

    Prepare to get awestruck with the remarkably striking snow-capped mountains, explore rambling old monasteries, and savor the marvel of this ancient civilization in this detailed guide to the grit-testing Spiti valley trek.

    Why Spiti Valley Trek?

    Snow capped mountains overlooking the Spiti Valley

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    The Spiti Valley trek involves rigorous walking along the treacherous mountain paths, negotiating dangerous roads and staying with the locals. Trekking in Spiti Valley commands the next level endurance backed by a throbbing adrenaline rush. As you go ahead trekking, you’d find yourself amid nature’s sojourn comprising beauty, perseverance and thrill, all at once. While relishing them you’ll find yourself pushing to the next level of agility and that’s how the trekking in Spiti becomes one of the most daunting expeditions of all.

    Arguably, Spiti Valley is one of the most enduring treks, and I don’t hesitate to say that you’ll agree when you’re through this blog!


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    How to reach Spiti

    The road leading to Spiti Valley

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    Given the remoteness of the place, Spiti doesn’t have any airport or railway station. Great mountains, forests, and rivers envelop it from all sides. However, it can be accessed by roads from major cities like Kullu and Shimla. Here’s how to reach Spiti:

    By Train: Shimla is the nearest railway station. From the station, one can hire cabs and jeeps to reach Spiti. Buses are also available from the station.

    By Road: As there is no access to airport and railways in Spiti, it can only be reached by road. But some of the roads leading to Spiti are closed for as long as 6 months due to heavy snowfall, so it’s better do your homework before settling for an itinerary.

    Spiti Valley Trek – An overview

    An overview of the Spiti Valley Trek -

    Distance and duration: Spiti Valley Trek is a 55 km (approximately) trek that starts from Langza and ends at Dhankar spanning over 5 days. Trekking in Spiti Valley is done mostly on foot. About 13.5 km are covered by cab and the rest 41.5 km are done on foot. The detailed day wise itinerary is given below.

    Spiti Valley Trek Route: Kaza – Kibber – Langza – Hikkim – Komik – Chemai Lepcha Pass – Demul – Lalung – Dhankar – Tabo – Kaza

    Best time to take the Spiti Valley trek: June to September. During these months, the maximum temperature can touch 25 degrees with a minimum of 3-4 degrees thus making it best time to visit Spiti Valley.

    Reaching Kaza – the starting point of the trek

    The breathtaking view of Kaza

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    As mentioned above, there are two popular road routes to reach Spiti Valley, i.e Shimla-Kaza and Manali-Kaza. I propose the Manali to Spiti one for more than one reasons.

    • Though Manali-Kaza route isn’t as exciting as Shimla – Kaza route but it certainly is less susceptible to landslides as compared to roads in Kinnaur Valley especially in monsoons.
    • Also, the Manali to Spiti is the faster one, so better run through this route to save a day for you and also the fatigue level. Keep yourself afresh for the upcoming trek.
    • This route is cost-effective, thanks to the less distance that you’ve to traverse.
    • Finally, if you are someone who is fascinated by crossing over various high altitude passes, then it has to be the route to Spiti Valley from Manali. In this route you will be first crossing Rohtang Pass (3980 m) to enter Lahaul Valley from Kullu Valley and then Kunzum Pass (4551 m) to enter Spiti Valley from Lahaul Valley. The feeling of running over these passes is inexplicable!!

    So coming back, you can take a bus from Manali to Kaza – the district headquarters of Spiti district in Himachal – that runs every morning. There is only one government bus service from Manali to Kaza (a 5-hour ride) but the road is pretty inaccessible with frequent landslides along the way.

    As this lacks roads of good quality it is advisable to hire a private vehicle from Manali to Spiti (starting point Kaza). You can share the cab with fellow travellers so that the ride doesn’t cost you dearly.

    P.S.The Manali road via Rohtang and Kunzum passes is passable only in summer which is also the best time to venture the valley.

    Note: It is suggested to spend a night in Kaza before starting the trek. In the morning you start the expedition from Kaza.

    Day 1: Kaza to Langza via Ki Monastery in Kibber

     Ki Monastery in Kibber en route to Langza

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    First day of the trek is covered by cab. From Kaza, the cabbie would take you to Langza. Enroute you’d come across Ki Monastery – a 1000-year-old monastery in Kibber which is also the largest monastery in Spiti Valley. This majestic structure stands overlooking the winding turquoise green Spiti river with imposing mountains in the backdrop.

    Spend some time exploring this village which serves as a base camp for many Himalayan treks. This place is truly a photographer’s paradise, so you can spend some capturing the locale in your camera. Driving further, you reach Langza where you can opt for a homestay.

    Altitude: 14,435 feet, Kaza to Langza- 13.5 km, 5-6 hours


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    Day 2: Langza to Komik

    A place with the highest post office in the world

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    The real journey begins on the second day as you start with a 3-4-hour moderate trek towards Komik – the highest inhabited village in all of Asia. On the way, stop over at Hikkim where you find the highest post office in the world. Hikkim also happens to be the highest polling station in the world as well.

    Keep walking higher and ascend 15,000 feet above sea-level to reach Komik. Gorge on freshly picked peas from the farms (it’s seasonal, so good luck with that). As the night approaches, and the mercury outside drops down to as low as 3-4 degrees (June-Sept), snug into the comforts of a mud home where the temperatures are comparably warmer. Enjoy a hot, freshly home cooked local meal and call it a day. Overnight stay at Komik.

    Altitude: 14,800 feet, Trek from Langza to Komik- 9 km, 3-4 hours

    Day 3: Komik to Demul via Chemai Lepcha Pass

    The picturesque Demul, traversing the Chemai Lepcha Pass

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    On the third day of the trek, you cover Komik to Demul on foot, traversing the Chemai Lepcha Pass. After spending a lot of time with barren mountains you stumble on the lush greens of Demul. Take a short, traditional yak safari and soak in the local vibes. Spend the night in the comforts of the homes of the local residents there.

    Altitude: 14,435 feet, Trek from Komik to Demul- 14 km, 5-6 hours

    Day 4: Demul to Lalung via Lingti Valley

    The evergreen Lalung in Lingti Valley

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    The fourth day of the Spiti Valley trek brings you lot of greenery as you move from the secluded Demul to the village of Lalung in Lingti Valley. It’s a breather for your weary body as you walk down a steep descent till Lingti.

    Lalung is located at the foot of the Tangmar Mountains. The locals believe their God lives in these mountains and the mountain changes its colors into reds, yellows, browns depending on the mood of their God. At Lalung, visit one of the oldest gompas in the Spiti Valley before calling it a day.

    Altitude: 12,300 feet, Trek from Demul to Lalung- 10 km, 4-5 hours

    Day 5: Lalung – Dhankar – Tabo – Kaza

    Tabo Monastery

    On the last day of the trek, you venture across an easy path towards the former capital of the Spiti Valley, Dhankar. Dhankar stands perched above the confluence of the Spiti and Pin river thus offering a panoramic view of the valley. It is till here that you cover the trek via foot.

    From Dhankar, you drive towards the 1000-year old Tabo monastery, renowned for being a UNESCO World Heritage site. Reach Kaza by evening and spend the night recollecting the unthinkable feats you’ve accomplished in the last week.

    Altitude: 12,800 feet, Trek from Lalung to Dhankar- 9 km, 4-5 hours

    Challenges you face while trekking in Spiti Valley

    The challenging Spiti valley

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    Some words of caution here! Spiti boasts of hostile weather which is underlined by the fact that it receives only 250 days of sunshine in a year, which also implies that winter in Spiti is harsh. The summer season is a perfect time to visit Spiti Valley when temperature on an average drops down to 18 degrees celsius during night hours while during the day it rarely exceeds 20-25 degrees.

    Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is another severe health condition often experienced by travelers. It can occur to anyone at an altitude of 10,000 feet – which is the average elevation of Spiti Valley. The common symptoms of AMS are headache, disturbed sleep, nausea, irregular breathing, breathlessness, lack of energy, difficulty in passing urine, lack of concentration and chest gurgles. A small medical kit with requisites is highly recommended.

    Also, you must take rest for at least a day before starting with the trek. That way you can get acclimatized to the conditions and the altitude.

    Things to Pack

    Spiti is also known as cold mountain desert, and given its uncertain climatic condition you must equip your backpack with essentials like:

    • Windproof Jackets (heavy / feather if you are coming before June and after October)
    • Pullovers / Sweatshirt
    • Thermals
    • Woollen caps, Mufflers, and Gloves
    • Raincoat (not necessary- but you never know when the need arises)
    • Waterproof / snow-proof trekking shoes
    • Sunscreen
    • A flashlight
    • Lip guard
    • Sunglasses

    Sunrays could be harsh, so you must cover yourself adequately and the exposed body part must be layered with sunscreen lotion. Proper trekking shoes are a must.

    Homestays In Spiti

    View from a home stay in Spiti

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    Homestay in Spiti is common these days. Some of the Spitian families in the remote villages have opened up their homes to travelers with the help of social enterprises. Try finding a good homestay

    Now that I have given you a detailed and elaborate download of the thrilling Spiti Valley trek, prepare to reach out for surreal sceneries and otherworldly experiences that remain veiled behind nature’s canvas. Reach for them and savor the every last drop of magnificence.


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