Here is The Land Of Wanderlust’s blueprint to a road trip through Kinnaur & Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh, which is also known as the world within a world because of its absolute remoteness, rugged roads and high altitude villages.
Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi
ISBT Kashmere gate, Delhi
Our only road trip to Spiti valley which does not include the might chandartal lake, The only reason for excluding the moon lake is the fact that in the month of May the road to Chandartal is never open,
To make up for the loss of Chandartal we have added the handcraft village of Demul which is a village that follows a sustainable tourism method where everyone in the village houses tourist on a rotation basis.
The bus from Delhi to Rampur is the best in its class by HRTC on that particular route. The Kinnaur bit of the road trip is as interesting as Spiti with Sarahan, Chitkul & Nako all a different mix of what we usually don’t expect from Himalayan villages. Chitkul is also famous as the last village before the India China border.
Our trip has been planned in such a way that as each day passes the trip will keep getting better along the journey & by the end of it all you have actually travelled & lived in some of the highest villages inhabited in the world.
– Arrive at New Delhi by 16:00 HRS
– Reach ISBT Kashmiri Gate by 18:00 HRS.
-Board a Tata AC HRTC semi sleeper bus to Rampur at 19:00 HRS.
– Reach Rampur by 09:00 HRS & meet tlow lead backpacker.
– Hop onto our temp traveller to the temple town of Sarahan.
– Breakfast is Enroute to Sarahan. – Reach Sarahan by 11:00 HRS & check into our guest house for the night.
– Freshen up & relax it’s a day to acclimatise
– Spend the rest of the day relaxing on the banks of the River Sutlej.
– Post breakfast, leave for the border village of Chitkul. (22 km = 1 Hr)
– En-route explore the nomadic village of Rakcham.
– Visit the village temple and spend the rest of the day interacting with the friendly locals.
– Reach Chitkul around tea time and check into a guest house. (No Network Coverage)
– Spend rest of the day wandering through the village lanes and chill by the River Baspa.
– Post breakfast, leave for the tiny village of Nako. (129km = 4.5 hrs)
– Reach Nako by 11:00 HRS and check into our guest house.
– Visit the beautiful village of Nako, lake and monastery.
– Spend rest of the day at leisure.
– Early morning start for the village of Tabo.
– Enroute vist the Mummy village of Gue.
– Reach the village of Tabo by lunchtime, (63km = 2hrs)
– Check into our home stay for the night.
– Hike to the meditation caves, wander through the arid village of Tabo.
– Star gaze all night.
– Visit the Tabo Monastery & pack up post breakfast.
– At 10:00 HRS leave for the cliff village of Dhankar 32km drive.
– Reach Dhankar and check into a guest house.
– Visit the cliff monastery and the Dhankar village.
– Hike to the breathtaking Dhankar Lake – 2 hr hike
– Return back to the Guest house by sun down.
– Post breakfast drive to the handicraft village of Demul. (35km = 80 mins)
– Reach Demul & the village coordinator will assign 3 backpackers to one family.
– The group will be split into sets of three & each set will live with a different family.
– The village still has only organic toilets. (No water)
– spend the evening walking through the fields, talking to your host or
– Join the villagers in a evening game of Cricket or Vollyball.
– All meals will be provided by the home stay family & will cost ₹400/person (all meals)
– Post breakfast say goodbye to your family and drive to Komic.
– Reach Komic, the worlds highest village with a road in 60 minutes.
– Wander around the monastery & drive to the village of Hikkim.
– Hikkim houses the highest post office in the world at 14,440 ft.
– Post your tlow post cards & drive to the village of Langza.
– Reach Langza & check into our home stay for the night.
– Spend evening playing with the village children in the farm.
– Remember to watch the sky in the night. You’ll see a million stars.
– All meals will be provided by the home stay family & will cost a total of ₹400/person
– After breakfast, leave for the hill monastery Key Gompa.
– Later stop at a Kaza the worlds highest fuel station.
– Lunch at Kaza.
– Post lunch drive to Kalpa.( 212.5 km= 5h 45min)
– Check into a guest house and visit the local bazaar.
– Spend the rest of the evening at leisure.
– Leave by 9:30 HRS for the town of Rampur.
– Reach Rampur by 14:00 HRS.
– Board a TATA Ac HRTC night bus from Rampur to ISBT New Delhi at 17:00 HRS.
– Arrive at ISBT New Delhi by 09:00 HRS.
Where is Kinnaur and Spiti Valley located?
In Himachal Pradesh of North India.
Is Kinnaur and Spiti Valley safe?
Yes, Kinnaur and Spiti are an extremely safe region of Himachal Pradesh.
What about the Chinese issue?
The issues with China are an ongoing thing which is at the border where travellers are not allowed to go to. It’s the media who creates a mountain out of a molehill.
Q. Is there cell phone network in Kinnaur and Spiti Valley?
Yes, there is cell phone coverage in Kinnaur but not in Spiti Valley. BSNL, Airtel and Vodafone postpaid connection work in Kinnaur Valley up to Poh, BSNL and Airtel are the best. Only BSNL postpaid connections works in Spiti Valley.
Q. Is there 3G/4G in Kinnaur and Spiti Valley?
As of October 2017, Kinnaur and Spiti Valley had only edge and edge plus (2G) in Tabo, Dhankar and Kaza. So basically, WhatsApp works. BSNL has the best and is the only data provider in Spiti Valley
Q. Does Airtel, BSNL or Vodafone work in Chandar Tal?
Only BSNL has a cellular connection near Chandar Tal.
Q. Where does the trip start in New Delhi?
The trip starts at ISBT Kashmiri Gate New Delhi bus station.
Q. What time should we reach ISBT Kashmiri Gate?
Around 60 minutes prior to the departure of the bus is a good time to reach ISBT Kashmiri Gate.
Q. How to reach ISBT Kashmiri Gate?
-From the airport take a direct AC bus which leaves every 30 minutes. Good options if you want to avoid the metro rush.
-Take a shuttle bus to the airport metro and then an express metro to New Delhi and finally take the yellow line to Kashmiri Gate. (Fastest way to reach ISBT)
Q. Where will we meet the tlow representative for the trip?
Our tlow representative will meet you at either Rampur or Tirtan Valley based on the start point of the trip.
Q. So we have to board the bus all alone?
You won’t be alone, you’ll be with the rest of the group and our WhatsApp group which is made 36-40 hours before the start of the trip will be used as the platform to co-ordinate.
Q. What kind of accommodation will be provided?
We will be using homestays and guesthouses all along the trip.
Q. Will the accommodation be clean?
Since no one in the world likes to keep their home untidy, it’s safe to say that every place we stay at will be clean and will give you a homely feel.
Q. Will we get a bed, blankets and pillows?
Yes, at every place we stay at you’ll get a blanket, a pillow and if not a bed then surely a mattress to sleep on.
Q. Will we get hot water for a bath?
Every guest house and home stay we stay at will have geysers so you’ll surely get to have a bath at least once a day.
Q. Will the rooms be based on gender or mixed?
It will be girls in a separate room and boys in a separate room, for all those backpacking solo.
Q. Why is food not included?
Since this is a backpacking trip, we want to leave the eating for you’ll to explore on your own. You’ll never go hungry in Spiti Valley.
Q. Do we need to carry food along?
Not needed. Every place we stay at will have either a cafe or a Spitian family who will cook for us.
Q. What kind of food should we expect to get?
In every town and village, you’ll get a variety of food options from pastas and to pizzas to choose from. There will also be home cooked meals in remote villages which the locals will prepare.
Q. Can we cook?
Yes, you can cook in our homestays. Provided you make the time.
Q. How to I avoid altitude sickness?
The only way to avoid altitude sickness is to rest well, keep yourself hydrated and have plenty of water.
Q. What about motion sickness?
Consult your local physician is the best for motion sickness.
Q. What about the oxygen level?
The oxygen is indeed very thin in Spiti Valley but if you remember to keep yourself hydrated with small sips of water, it should not bother you.
Q. Is there a hospital in Kinnaur and Spiti Valley?
Yes, every town and village of Spiti Valley has a health centre.
Q. Is it okay if I enroll solo for a trip?
Yes, it’s absolutely fine to enroll solo. All our trips have 70% solo travelers who enroll.
Q. What if I don’t get along with the other backpackers?
If no one talks to you, don’t worry our tlow team members will be your friend and give you an experience of a lifetime.
Q. What will be our mode of transportation?
While in Kinnaur and Spiti Valley we will be using a combination of HRTC Volvo buses and a tempo traveller (14 seater mini bus).
ISBT Kashmiri Gate to Rampur or Mandi
HRTC Volvo bus.
A 14 seater Tempo traveller.
Manali/Rampur to ISBT Kashmiri gate New Delhi
HRTC Volvo bus.
TLOW, based on the Cancellation Date, shall withhold the following amounts stated in the table below, from the Booking Amount or Trip Price as cancellation charges and refund the remainder to you. The refund shall be paid to you, within (21) calendar days from the Cancellation Date.
Cancellation Date is: Cancellation charges
– Before forty (40) calendar days prior to the date of commencement of Trip, 15% of the Trip Price
– On or after forty (40) calendar days but prior to thirty (30) calendar days day of commencement of Trip,
30% of the Trip Price
– On or after thirty (30) calendar days but prior twenty five (25) calendar days from day of commencement of Trip
50% of the Trip Price
– On or after twenty five (25) calendar days but prior to twenty (20) calendar days from day of commencement of Trip
75% of the Trip Price
– On or after twenty (20) calendar days but prior fifteen (15) calendar days from day of commencement of Trip
100% of the Trip Price
You may claim refund only in case of a confirmed booking where you have paid the entire Booking Amount. Where there is part payment of Booking Amount made the same shall be forfeited and there shall be no refund. The mode of payment of refund amount to you (whether through cash, e-wallets, bank transfers, or cheques), shall be determined at the sole discretion of TLOW.
Notwithstanding anything stated in the Terms & Conditions, there are no refunds of any kind, provided for ‘Camping Trips’.
For more information on cancellation & refund policy please read our T&C.