Sweta N Koul talks about her breathtaking adventurous trip to Spiti Valley that she took with her husband Nikkhil Koul. She elaborates on their adventures and tells us why taking this trip to the cold mountain desert was a great decision for them. Calling it a mesmerizing experience, Sweta and Nikkhil went on a group trip organized by TravelTriangle for INR 14,999 per person and it included their accommodation, transfers, meals, treks, and sightseeing.
Trip type: Couple on a group adventure!
Duration: 8 nights 9 days (More than a week of adventure, yay!!)
Budget: INR 14,999 per person + a little extra money for miscellaneous expenses
Destination: Spiti Valley and all the charming places that come before it (Delhi-Shimla- Kinnaur- Spiti- Manali-Delhi)
Distance from Delhi to Spiti: 734 km (total distance covered in the whole trip – more than 2500 km, woah!)
Travel time: 16 hours (the trip was planned in intervals, though!)
Inclusions: Accommodation, meals (breakfast and dinner at all hotel camps), transfers (tempo/Xylo/Innova), treks and walks, and bonfire dinner at select places
The prospect of doing a Spiti Valley adventure!
I had heard a lot about Spiti Valley but did not know much about it. It was one of those destinations that I always wanted to visit out of curiosity and wonder. And it would have stayed like that had I not previously been on a trip to Jim Corbett organized by TravelTriangle (a huge success!)
So this time again, it was TravelTriangle only that organized a group adventure trip to the valley and luckily we were able to be a part of it.
But before we had thought about doing Spiti Valley, my husband and I were looking for a trip to Leh-Ladakh however thankfully when I saw an advertisement for Spiti Valley Trip on TravelTriangle Facebook page, I started comparing the two.
Finding the latter one (Spiti) to be more value of money and equally if not more experiential, we decided to go for it.
To finally doing it!
But due to workload, we were not sure about going until the last moment and in fact made the payment in the morning of the trip date itself!
Due to this, we had very little time to do our packing but we managed. So finally when we were all set, both of reached Majnu ka Tilla (pickup point) on our own battling the traffic on the way!
Our time to experience a high altitude cold desert was here and we both were really excited about it.
Day 1: Boarding the bus of adventure!
(Friday) 12th August: Delhi to Shimla (360 km/ 10 hrs)
We boarded the bus at around 8 pm and after an hour or so, the journey began. Due to this being an Independence day week, we also faced a lot of delays due to security checks but in the end, it all worked out and we reached our destination Shimla a little later than the usual time by 10-11 am.
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Day 2: Welcome to the hills!
(Saturday) 13th August: Shimla to Sarahan (165 km / 6 hrs)
After reaching Shimla, we checked into a hotel to change and freshen up for our next ride to Saharan. We were given the option to choose from an Innova or a Tempo traveler and both my husband and I chose Innova. We were joined by another great couple and the journey began.
The roads leading to our destination were dangerous but we had a very skilled driver – ‘Banti’ with us so we were not worried. Traveling in the hills, I realised just like life, all the beautiful things only come to us when we overcome obstacles.
It was a nice journey to Saharan and both my husband and I during this time were in silent awe of the nature that surrounded us.
We had our lunch in Narkanda where we also visited the Hatu Temple and Tani Jubbar Lake. The lake was surrounded by apple orchards and the whole site was very beautiful and picturesque. We also met our guide – Manu bhaiya here who would accompany us for the rest of the trip.
Later upon our arrival in Saharan, we checked into our hotel and post freshening up, visited the Bhimakali temple. The temple was a great experience for everyone but especially for us since the panditji over there chose us and handed us a token out of the 10-15 people that were in the group. We truly felt blessed here and knew God was keeping a silent watch on us throughout the journey.
Day 3: Witnessing the grandeur of mountains!
(Sunday) 14th August: Sarahan to Sangla (95 km / 3 Hrs)
This day post breakfast, we set out for Sangla. On our way, we passed by many treacherous roads including Taranda Dhank (Rock cut roads). And although these roads were difficult, we could feel our destination being worthy of all the struggles of the journey. Looking out of the window and seeing smiling people going about their business, we could feel the contentment and happiness that they had in their life. Truly a simple life is the best life!
There were rivers, mountains, and breathtaking views on our way and in Sangla. We found Sangla to be beautiful, calm and serene. Upon checking into our hotel, we had dinner post which we called it a night.
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Day 4: Celebrating Independence Day at an elevation of 2700 metres with school kids!
(Monday) 15th August: Sangla – Chitkul – Kalpa (50 km/2 hrs)
This was an adventurous day for us! We got up early in the morning and proceeded on to visit the Kamru Fort. Making that steep climb to the fort was difficult for me and it was here that I realised I really needed to work on my fitness.
Upon reaching the top, we found out that the fort door was closed but there was a guard stationed there to help us. This guard gave us a traditional wrap around dress to wear before we could see the fort in all its glory. Overall, this experience was a great one and we could literally feel the clouds hanging over our heads here.
Later after returning from the fort, we went on to celebrate the Independence day with adorable children at a local school. It was an unforgettable experience and I loved every bit of it. There were smiling children all around us and it was truly festive and a proud moment for all of us.
Post the celebration, we checked out of out hotel and then proceeded on to Chitkul, where we could also see the Indo-China border. Here also, we clicked a lot of photos with the police officers stationed and the whole scene soon turned quite patriotic for everyone!
Next, up, we proceeded on to Kalpa and upon our arrival at this place, could also catch a glimpse of the Kinnar Kailash peaks.
In the night, there was a bonfire dinner arranged for us and both my husband and I had a great time mingling with fellow travelers over good food.
Day 5: Feeling the charm of Nako, Tabo, and Kaza!
(Tuesday) 16th August: Kalpa – Nako – Tabo – Kaza (210 km/7 hrs)
We visited a lot of places today and did a lot of sightseeing. Right after we were done with our breakfast, we started for Nako, Tabo, & Kaza. Upon our arrival in Nako village, we visited its famous lake and it was a lovely experience. The whole village had houses made of stone and we even managed to get lost walking amidst the confusing similar looking stone buildings. I also tried the famous thukpa here but unfortunately did not like it much. Later, post our meal, we set off for the next destination – Tabo.
The monastery we visited in Tabo is now my favourite since it was 1000 years old and had great history attached to it.
Artificial lighting wasn’t allowed in this place and the only source of light that was present inside were the windows. Even the paintings in this monastery were more than 100 years old. The whole experience was fascinating beyond imagination.
I got very peaceful vibes at this place and even inquired the monks about their teachings and enrollment procedure. Overall, It was one of the most relaxing and peaceful experiences I had ever had!
After this, we reached Kaza and checked into our hotel.
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Day 6: Flying High! Highest Village, Highest Post Office, and more!
(Wednesday) 17th August: Local Kaza sightseeing
This day after breakfast at the hotel we proceeded on for sightseeing in Kaza. Our first stop was Key Monastery and it was an absolutely amazing experience. The whole place had a very peaceful vibe and being there, we could actually the positivity around us. Next was Kibber village which was also the highest village in the whole of Spiti Valley. This was a nice experience and being at such a unique place was really a privilege.
However what came next was even better since our next stop was the Komic village which was actually the highest village in the whole world. We even visited the highest post office in the world here and sent a letter to our family (which still hasn’t been delivered!) And although the climb to these places were tiring, these places themselves were worth visiting!
Day 7: The trek of a lifetime! Kunzum Pass and Chandratal lake trek
(Thursday) 18th August: Kaza – Kunzum Pass- Chandratal Lake (Trekking 5-6 hr)
This was the big day where we would be doing our trek to the Chandratal Lake. But before doing the trek, we visited a temple and here as per tradition there, we could try sticking a coin on a stone. A lot of people from our group tried doing it but it was only me who managed to do it. I felt really lucky and blessed at this point of time and a lot of people even complimented us for the same.
So with the blessings from God, we began our trek and although it was really tiring, we really loved the whole experience. There was an elderly couple in our group was the fastest among all and seeing them doing the trek so enthusiastically, I too got motivated and was soon on par with everyone. Our team headed by my husband Nikhil was the first one to reach the lake and it truly felt like a great achievement.
At Chandratal lake we spent a lot of time clicking photos and even though it was really cold there, everything felt refreshing! Later on, we moved into our tents that were set up near the lake.
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Day 8: Goodbye dear mountains! Till we meet again!
(Friday) 19th August: Chandra Tal – Batal – Rohtang Pass – Manali – Delhi (125 km/4 hrs)
This day, we checked out of the tents and proceeded back to Manali via the Rohtang Pass. From Manali, we boarded our bus to Delhi finally ending our trip on a great note.
Spiti Valley was a great experience for us. It was a refreshing escape from the work life that had engulfed us and we felt really happy in the hills. The beauty of the mountains and valleys had a surreal effect on us and doing so much sightseeing enriched our senses. We got to know a lot about the culture, traditions, and most importantly the people of the hills and in the end loved every bit/experience that the trip offered. This was a journey that included spirituality, nature, adventure, and culture – all in one package!
- The refreshing hilly ambience, sightseeing (especially the monasteries), culture, people, and the treks.
- This trip offered us a scintillating escape into the hills that not only rejuvenated our senses but also revitalized our souls.
- Trip management could have been better had there been more people from TravelTriangle to help.
- Rooms allotted in some of the hotels were below average.
- Trip organizer should try and make everyone stick to the timelines.
Experience amazing mountain adventures which will present unforgettable glimpses of the cold desert. Spiti valley offers some of the most beautiful and calm places to enjoy with your better half. Discover the mesmerizing view of the place that offers best of peace, adventure and nature by booking your holiday to Himachal.
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