The Spiti Valley and Chandrataal Expedition

Spiti-Valley

Located in the North-East section of Himachal Pradesh, Spiti Valley comprises a high-altitude cold desert surrounded by snowcapped peaks. It is separated from Lahaul valley by Kunzum pass and has the Spiti river flowing through it. The Spiti river meets the Satluj near Khab in Kinnaur district.

Chandratal

This stunning crescent shaped lake is located at an altitude of 4300 metres. The turquoise blue waters reflect the snow-capped peaks that surround it and as a result of its magnificience, there is quite a bit of folklore associated with it. Situated in Spiti, the lake is accessible either by crossing over Kunzum pass or Rohtang pass and you will also get to witness many glaciers that have formed between the passes.

This is a 7-day expedition that begins with a pick-up in Chandigarh and transfer to Manali. The drive will take 8-10 hours and we will arrange a hotel for the night, before we set off on our adventure. There are multiple ways to reach Chandigarh and we trust that you will be able to find the most convenient way for yourself so that you arrive at an appropriate time as the onward journey to Manali is fairly long.

Day 2 : Manali- Rohtang Pass –Kunzum Pass-Kaza

Setting out early with a packed breakfast, we will traverse over Rohtang pass into the desert like landscapesthat approach Chattru and Batal. Located at 14,931 feet, Kunzum Pass will be our second pass for the day from where we will descend into Losar Village. We will continue driving past Losar to arrive atKaza, where you spend the night at a hotel.

Day 3 :Kaza – Langza – Hikkim – Komik – Ki Monastery – Kibber-Chicham –Kaza

This is a particularly exciting day ofour expedition as we will drive to some of the highest inhabited regions of the world. The highest village in Asia, Komik, which literally translates to ‘eye of a snow cock’, is situated at a height of 4,513 meters. This farmvillage has a population of 84 people, who happen to be cut-off from the rest of the world for a lot of the year. Some of the common animals of the region are the Tibetan wolf, blue sheep, red fox, hare, snow cock, Himalayan griffon, rock pigeon etc.

Later, we will drive to Hikkimto visit the world’s highest post officeand, from there we will proceed to Langza. Langza village is situated at an altitude of 4,400 meters and belongs to the Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Langza houses a population of 137 in 33 households. Once you are here, you can walk into the village and visit the ancient Lang (Temple) which is estimated to be around 1000 years old. At Langza, you may also find fossils belonging to the prehistoric era when Spiti was submerged by the Tethys Sea.

After our visit to Langza, we will drive back down to Kaza for lunch, following which we will take a tour of the world-famous Ki Monastery, which is a spectacular site atop a mountain that overlooks the gorgeous Spiti Valley.With over a 1000 years’ worth of stories, the Ki Monastery situated at a height of 13,668 feet, was founded by a disciple of the famous Atisha, in the 11th century CE. Belonging to the Yellow Hat or Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, this monastery is famous as a prominent centre of learning as well as a refuge for Tibetans.

From Ki Monastery, we will proceed up the valley to the picturesque village of Kibber. Located at a height of 4,205 meters and 18 km from Kaza, this formerly highest, permanently inhabited village in this region, is also a popular base camp for many high-altitude treks. We will then drive back to Kaza in the evening to spend the night.

Day 4 :Kaza- Kungri – Mudh (Pin Valley)-Dhankar-Tabo

After breakfast we will embark on a drive towards Tabo. En route we will visit Kungri Monastery and then the beautiful hamlet of Mudh – the last motorable village of the Pin Valley. Declared a national park in 1987, Pin Valley has peaks ranging from 11,000 to 20,000 feet and is home to the endangered snow leopard. In addition, other animals indigenous to the region and park are the Siberian ibex, bharal, weasel, red fox, and marten. Birds such as the pika, griffon, golden eagle, bearded vulture, Chukor and Raven can lso be spotted if you’re lucky.

After visiting Mudh, we will drive towards Dhankar; perched high above the confluence of the Spiti and Pin River.Dhankar was the former capital of the Royals of Spiti Valley, also known as Nono. The 1200-year-old Dhankar Gompa which is positioned precariously between eroded rocks on the edge of a cliff is definitely a site to see. From Dhankar, we will drive to Tabo where we will check in at the hotel, leave our bags and proceed toTabo Monastery.

Tabo also known as the ‘Ajanta of the Himalayas’; the 1020-year-oldTabo Monastery is a UNESCO world heritage site and is famous for its ancient paintings that depict the life of The Buddha, and intricate portraits of gods and demons along with life-size statues of bodhisattvas, in a fusion of western Tibetan, Indian and Kashmiri styles

Day 5 :Tabo -Kaza –Chandertal

After breakfast, we will venture out to visit another wonder of the Spiti Valley– Chandratal Lake. The mystical and beautiful Chandratal Lake, which translates to Moon Lake, is located at a height of 14,100 feet. The Chandra Bhaga Mountain range forms a striking backdrop for the lake, which is perfectly reflected upon its turquoise blue water, especially on a still day. We will then drive to our camp site where you will be serveda hot dinner underneath the magical night sky.

Day 6: Chandertal-Batal-Rohtang Pass – Manali

After breakfast at the camp, we will start our journey back towards Manali, where we will spend the night before heading back to Chandigarh.

Day 7: Manali-Kullu-Chandigarh

An early morning departure will ensure we are in Chandigarh at a reasonable hour and from here we can help arrange a transfer to the airport or station if required.

 

Note: Need tariff details for this itinerary