An epic road trip to Spiti Valley, the Land of Lamas in India

For the last three weeks I have been receiving lot of queries regarding travel to ‘Spiti Valley’. More so as we did the circuit with our 11 months old little baby ∞ The road trip that entails more than just planning your days, test of patience and display of mettle!!

So, I decided to share our story, experience and details again for the benefit of the fellow travelers. I have attempted to make this post as comprehensive as possible to serve like a helpful Travel Guide to Spiti. This post has actually been one of the most popular one on Untraveled Routes so far, it received 1000+ views within two days of posting 🙂 Finally here it is –

The Trans Himalayan voyage through Shimla – Kinnaur – Spiti Valley

We have done road trips before (Dainkund Peak, Betaab Valley, Mandhavgarh) but the one we were planning this time was totally different. We were bracing ourselves for the drive on one of the most treacherous and deadliest roads of the world. This time it was the thrill of NH-22 and Hindustan-Tibet road. This time we were going to be away in the majestic rocky deserted mountains, rugged terrains, vertical cliffs and cold desert valley.

And somehow our instincts convinced us that this was totally worth it.

Spiti was on our minds for a long time, an incessant zeal for travel gave us all the courage required to do this trip with our 11 months old baby boy – Aayansh. So we did it in April 2016!!! Gorgeous mountains, flawless cold desert valley, captivating culture, contagious love and warmth, beauty exuding from every quarter… Spiti Valley is a treat for soul.

Day 6 – The Ajanta of the Himalayas – TABO!!!

The changing landscape from luxurious green Kinnaur into white desert of Spiti valley will mesmerize you and leave impressions that will stay with you forever. Gradually, the tall green trees are substituted by gigantic rocks and tall mud structures; with the backdrop of Himalayas, it’s a sight to watch!!!

For hours we did not observe a single soul, it felt like we were on a different planet and landed there in our car for exploration. Though we crossed Himachal Tourism buses and almost every time it increased my heartbeat as the roads were so narrow!!!

Vibrant Spiti


The rocky mountains were striking beautiful, carved aesthetically by nature. Huge expanse of land adorned only by nature was so appealing that you would want it to never end. The roads are mostly well maintained with bad patches here and there. For us, it was very crucial to sustain a particular speed for two big reasons – with the baby we could not drive for a long time, it was just tough for Aayansh and secondly since Ashish himself was driving throughout, our objective was to reach some place safe before 5.00 pm. So that we could select a hotel, enjoy the stay and get prepared for the next day. From Kalpa to Tabo in one single stretch was something!!!

Glimpse of Tabo

Read – Totally Tabo-ed!!

Day 7 – Finally Kaza

The distance from Tabo to Kaza is not much plus the roads are awesome!!! You are going to fall in love with the scenic beauty. Kaza is presently the headquarters of Spiti sub division. You will not find a lot to enjoy in Kaza itself but there’s a lot to cover around Kaza including:

  • Dhankar Monastery and Kungri Monastery
  • The largest monastery in Spiti Valley – Ki Gompa (1008 CE)
  • Kibber village and Gete, one of the most highest inhabited village


Key1Dhankar LandscapeRoad to Dhankar

Read – The Sakya Tangyud Monastery at Kaza

Day 8 – Nako

Now we were on our way back, reluctantly though!!! Our next stop was Nako, we covered Kaza to Nako in a day. Nako is a tiny village, there’s not much to this place but the village is strategically located and therefore becomes a halting point. I remember vividly that when we were heading to Nako (while going to Spiti) the gigantic rocky mountains seemed unending and it was so windy that our car was literally shaking!!! And yeah while heading for Tabo we also spotted a Red Fox:) we tried to capture in the camera but couldn’t.

Buddha Nako Village

An idol of Buddha right outside the Monastery at Nako

Day 9 – Sangla

Nako to Sangla was again a tough journey; we had to encounter the dreadful bad patches again. While you are driving straight for some time at lower altitude till Karcham, to reach Sangla one again starts moving in circles, also the road is rock-strewn at few patches with blind turns. Sangla is located at an altitude of 2680 meters.


The Pink Sky at Sangla 🙂

Travel Quote

Day 10 – Chandigarh

This was the longest stretch. We covered Sangla to Shimla and then Shimla to Chandigarh in one single day. It was a drive of 10 – 12 hours, hats off to Ashish!!!

The bridge that connects to Rampur was closed because a truck broke down right on the bridge, this caused detour and slowed us down for at least by an hour. The next bottleneck was at Shimla city, it took us a long time to clear the traffic snarls.

Day 11 – Delhi

And we are back – Home Sweet Home!!!

We have more to share!!!

The story from this road trip does not end here:) We have so many amazing stories and wonderful pictures to share, so hope to see you again soon.

For 10 days we were in a life unimaginable in a metro!!! Away from all worldly affairs it seemed like different planet. It was intrepid and we are delighted to have done it.

Happy Exploring!!!

Suggested Reading

40 thoughts on “An epic road trip to Spiti Valley, the Land of Lamas in India

    • Thank you Raj ✌️✌️✌️ honestly after finishing the trip we were wondering how did we do it!! 😅😅 it was that tough!! But yes the memories we are going to cherish for life. And Aayansh is going to have so many stories to tell to have done the Spiti at 11 months😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thank you for sharing the story & the inspiration! My husband & I love to go on road trips whenever we get the chance since it gives you so much freedom to make your own itinerary along the way. I’d love to visit the Himalayan valleys & villages too someday…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Charua,

    Stunning. From the landscape to the textures to the color range of these photos, all amazes me. And that you took this journey with a little baby. Watching my little niece now in New Jersey; in a house, that is enough for me LOL. Thanks for sharing 🙂



  3. Ilike travelling a lot . It was nice to go with you to spitivalley through your article. Ihave travelled myself on these roads way back in 1977/ and your post is delightful of the majestic mountains.
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    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi there! Yes, you can do this without a guide… Lot of factors will come into play though like will you be traveling by your own vehicle or depending on public transportation etc. The area is well marked but you will need a Map for reference. You’re free to connect to us in case you actually plan to do this one..

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful pics ….road trip with baby is quite an adventure. Amazed by your travel spirit. I know, it requires lots of stuff when travelling with baby. I have 2yrs old twins & travelling with them is always a big project😉. Recently we had been to kerala for 8days with kids . I puplished one post also regarding travel essentials for babies.You might want to check

    Liked by 1 person

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