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Trekking and Exploring in The Remote Himalayan Region of Spiti

Trek to Himalayan monasteries and home stays in the remote region of Spiti. Be part of conserving it. 10 days.

This trekking adventure explores the remote Himalayan region of Spiti in Northern India. Travel through the region by jeep with an experienced local guide visiting monasteries temples and villages. During 4 days of mountain trekking you’ll take in alpine meadows, rivers and mountain lakes. You will also discover the fascinating culture of the region staying with local people.

Your hassle-free adventure includes:

  • 9 nights accommodation
  • 4 days trekking
  • 3 days meals
  • 6 days with a guide
  • Transfers from the start point and to endpoint
  • Support staff and donkeys on trekking days
  • Trekking and camping equipment
  • Monastery fees
  • Lifestraw water purifier

Perfect for: Adventurers looking for an authentic Himalayan trekking experience. You need to be fit and healthy to trek.

Adventures for Good Your local hosts are an award winning social enterprise with a passion for conservation, community and culture in Spiti. See all of our ‘Adventures for Good’ here.

Need To Know

Not included in your adventure: - Flights - Transport to Shimla and from Manali - Insurance - Meals except where specified

You need to be reasonably fit to trek at altitude. No previous experience is required.

Yes absolutely. It’s a great way to meet likeminded people.

Your local host recommends:

  • Long sleeve shirts (To protect from the sun)
  • Caps, scarves and sunglasses (For sun protection)
  • Sun cream with a high SPF
  • Light jacket
  • Warm jumper
  • Thermals
  • Hiking boots
  • Technical sandals
  • Daysack

Camping equipment is included

Being a desert region the climate is usually very dry. June to October are the optimal months for travel with warm daytime temperatures and cool evenings. Being at altitude the sun can be powerful even when it does not feel that warm so make sure you bring adequate sun protection. Temperatures can drop below freezing.

Make sure you come prepared for both hot and cool weather.

The food is traditional Spiti and Indian cuisine

Please let your local hosts know of any dietary requirement once you have booked.

You are free to book any flights that fit with the start and end points to the trip.

Your local hosts are an award winning social enterprise collaboration between locals in the Spiti region and a group of professionals.

Your local hosts aim is to create sustainable development and encourage community in the Spiti region. One of the ways they achieve this is by generating income from sustainable tourism, such as this adventure.

Location

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During this adventure, you will start in Shimla, once the summer capital of British India, before journeying to the arid desert region of Spiti. Spiti is one of India’s least populated regions. The dramatic mountain landscape has been used as a cinematic backdrop by a number of Indian filmmakers over the years and it’s easy to see why.

Spiti is an important region for Buddhists and there are many ancient monasteries dotted about the region. Along the way you will visit Tabo Monastery, built by the Buddhist king Yeshe-O in 996 AD, one the Dali Llamas favourite monasteries.

You will trek through the Trans-Himalayan Deserts land of the snow leopard. These elusive creatures often evade dedicated biologists for months at a time. You may not see them but you do stand a good chance of seeing the impressive curved horns of a Himalayan Blue Sheep. You will also trek to three of the regions vast mountain lakes.

Start point? The start point for the trip is Shimla where your local host will meet you at the Victory Tunnel Bus Stand.

End point? The trip ends in Manali where your local host will drop you at the Government Bus Stand

Getting there and away?

By Air: There is an airport 22km from Shimla but there are very few flights. The next closest airport to Shimla is Chandigarh, a cab to Shimla from here is around 5 hours

The closest airport to Manali is Bhunter about an hour away. The next closest is Chandigarh, about 9 hours taxi away.

By Bus: There are regular buses from Dehli to both Shimla and Manali. These can be booked at www.hptdc.in, www.htchp.com and www.redbus.in

What to Expect

Day 1: Arrival and drive to Kalpa

Your adventure begins in Shimla where you will meet your local guide at Victory Tunnel Bus Stand. From there you will leave the hustle and bustle behind. Hopping aboard your transfer you’ll wind your way through the verdant terraced orchards the region is famous for, along the Satluj river, before ascending to the village of Kalpa.

Day 2: Drive to Nako

Today’s five-hour drive climbs to 3662m above sea level. The journey takes you back to the Satluj river and on to the Spiti River. Through the journey, the landscape changes gradually as the greenery fades into cold desert. The journey ends at Nako, the largest town in the region and home to a unique Buddhist monastery.

Day 3: Driving into the Spiti and mummified monks

Today it’s a short three-hour drive into the Spiti region. Along the way, you’ll stop at Giu to visit a self-mummified monk and onto Tabo to see their impressive 1000-year-old monastery.

Day 4: A quick drive, time to start trekking

An hours drive gets you to the start of the hiking, in one of the greenest villages in Spiti, Mane. Your first trek takes you up to Mane lake, on a clear day the mountain peaks that feed the lake reflect crisply off its surface. After a scenic packed lunch by the lake, it’s back to Mane for an hour’s drive to Dhankar.

Day 5: Monasteries, sustainable villages and trekking

It’s worth the effort to rise early and watch the sunrise over Dhankhar lake. After that, you’ll explore the ancient monastery and the impressive ruins of Dhankar fort. From there it’s a two-hour drive to the village of Demul. The village is in a spectacular mountain setting and has a reputation as one of the most sustainable villages in the region. If you feel up the challenge, there is an optional steep two-hour hike to a viewpoint at a dizzying 5000m above sea level.

Day 6: Trekking into the Trans-Himalayas

Today is the first big trekking day with 4-5 hours into the expanse of the Trans-Himalaya, the 1600 km long mountain range running parallel to the main Himalayan range. The day’s destination is your first campsite at a temporary settlement used by local herdsmen.

Day 7: Trekking deserts and pastures

Today’s five-hour trek takes you into the grazing pastures of the Trans-Himalayan desert. You’ll be venturing into the home of the Himalayan wolf and the snow leopard on today’s five-hour trek. Although glimpsing either of these elusive creatures is a tad unlikely, you stand a good chance of seeing a Blue Sheep or Himalayan Red fox.

Day 8: Trekking, villages and monasteries

Your trek continues for five hours, past the appealing symmetry of Chau Chau Kang Nilda’s snow-capped peak to the village of Langza. Spend a bit of time exploring the village and its temple before moving on to visit Kee monastery. From there it’s a one-hour drive to Kaza, the capital of the Spiti region.

Day 9: Drive to Chandratel

It’s time to bid a fond farewell to Spiti as you head over to the Chandratel region. After a five hour drive, you’ll spend the day at the Lake of the Moon Goddess. The rich blue waters of the vast lake contrast against the brown slopes of the mountains behind.

Day 10: Driving to Manali and departing

The last leg of your journey is a five-hour drive to Mali. Along the way, you will cross the Rohtang Pass at 3,978 m offering expansive views across the region. The road cuts along the steep craggy valley sides offering an exciting end to the trip. Your adventure ends at Government Bus Stand in Manali where you will bid farewell to your local hosts.

Note: This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, and weather conditions and forecasts.

Accommodation

Throughout your adventure, you will stay in three different types of accommodation.

Homestays are when you stay within a local home. Houses are basic but you will sleep in a clean and comfortable room. Local homes are equipped with squat composting toilets which are the most eco-friendly option in the region. If squatting is problematic for you do let your local hosts know in advance and they can provide a seat.

In guesthouses, you will be staying in clean comfortable en-suite rooms. On campsites, alpine tents equipped with sleeping bags are provided. While staying on campsites and homestays there is a limited amount of hot water available and baths/showers can be a challenging affair! It is all part of the adventurous experience though.

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Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

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