Posts Tagged With: Trans Himlayan voyage via Kinnaur

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

For the last three weeks I have 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 narrrow!!!

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
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These vibrant colors represent the Tangyud Monastery at Kaza

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.

Sangla

The Pink Sky at Sangla 🙂

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

Categories: Adventure, Tour Spiti, Traveling with a Baby, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

The road that leads to Spiti Valley (III)

This article is part of the series ‘The road that leads to Spiti Valley‘.

Finally! Spiti it is !!

I’m as much excited to write this post and share the captivating pictures with fellow travelers and readers. The best part about the ‘Road Trip to Spiti Valley‘ is that the surrounding views change in every few minutes leaving you with a feeling of surprise and appreciation for nature.

The 10 day long enduring road trip that we did to Spiti Valley seemed totally worth once we crossed Nako!!! From the Kinnaur route, one enters Spiti Valley via Sumdo.

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Heading to Tabo!!

The road is a bit rock strewn at intervals but mostly it’s a smooth ride. In April’16, lot of work was going on the roads till Tabo, I’m assuming by now the roads must be in perfect condition.

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Wondering what to do in Tabo village, just check out ‘Totally Tabo -ed‘, a detailed post on visit to Tabo Village!!!

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Tabo, here we come!!!

Road to Dhankar

Road to Dhankar, Spiti. This route happens to be my favorite, the landscape views of ice capped mountains in combination with chocolate hills and Spiti River flowing by, so divine!!!

Continue reading

Categories: Adventure, Offbeat Travel, Photography, Road Trip, Spiti Valley, Tour Spiti | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

The road that leads to Spiti Valley (I)

“Spiti Valley is the land defined as God’s abode”, this place is as unique and spectacular as it’s name. Spiti is a desert mountain valley – the middle land between Tibet and India.

We did a road trip to this magical place  in April 2016 with our 11 months old little love in tow. We covered the region in 10 – 11 days by our i10 Sportz 🙂

We took Shimla route (Firstly to keep ‘Acute Mountain Sickness’ at bay and secondly the Manali route was closed). Actually Shimla route helps the human body to acclimatize to the high altitudes in Spiti region. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) can really disturb your vacation, no body likes falling sick on a holiday!!!  Read ‘How to reach Spiti‘.

We have captured shots of roads till Spiti Valley, these awe-inspiring and formidable views will give our readers and fellow travelers a fair idea of scenic route via Kinnaur route; the National Highway 22 (NH -22) and the Hindustan Tibet Road.

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The road that leads to Spiti Valley – Shot while crossing Rampur

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The road that leads to Spiti Valley via Kinnaur and National Highway – 22

Road Cond

And the thrill continues with hairpin bends, broken fences and narrow dimensions on NH-22. We also came across a lot of monster faces carved naturally in the mountains.

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Encountered natural waterfalls at so many places, it felt great as the weather was otherwise very dry and harsh.

Post Tapri

The road right after crossing Tapri, the stretch becomes worst during rains.The patch becomes even riskier ahead but we could not capture that while driving.  It was drizzling the day we crossed this patch and it was slippery with all the mud on the narrow lane!!! Thankfully it’s a small stretch 🙂

The roads are known to have frequent landslides and patches with shooting stones. There are sign boards to inform the travelers at every dangerous place.These are managed by Border Roads Organization (BRO), hats off to BRO for doing a tremendous job. All the roads are two way roads it gets really scary when truck or huge bus crosses your vehicle. However, all the roads are mostly well maintained.

This series will continue to include more pictures of this amazing route from our recent Road Trip to Wonderland.

Happy Exploring!!!

The Road that leads to Spiti Valley (II)

The Road that leads to Spiti Valley (III)

 

 

 

Categories: Adventure, India, Offbeat Travel, Photography, Road Trip, Spiti Valley, Tour Spiti | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

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