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Heaven Meets the Hills At Spiti

''A chunk of Tibet marooned in India, Spiti is a world within a world - isolated yet majestic.''

A wanderer’s delight, Spiti will disconnect you from the outside world. Spiti means "The Middle Land" - the land between Tibet and India and has almost the same terrain, vegetation & climate. This 150 km long valley is scattered with small villages and monasteries, and enclosed by soaring peaks crowned with snow and is one of the most sparsely populated regions of India. The major rivers of the valley are Lingti and Pin which combine to form the primary Spiti river.

Location : In Himachal Pradesh

When to Go : The area is accessible between 15th May and 15th Oct.

How to Go : Kaza is the administrative headquarter of Spiti and is the most developed township of this region. There are two routes to reach Kaza from Delhi. One is Delhi- Shimla- Kinnaur- Kaza (796 km) and the other is Delhi- Manali- Rohtang Pass- Kaza (777km). The difference in distance between the two routes is not much but the latter takes lesser time.

The total travel time from Delhi to Kaza is 18-20 hrs. Daily buses run between Manali and Delhi, tickets for which can be booked online on the following site www.hp.gov.in. For those of you who love adventure can return to Delhi via the Tabo- kinnaur Shimla route which is also known as the Old Hindustan- Tibet Highway.

Local Transport : From Manali, buses ply daily on Manali -Rohtang pass-Kunzum pass -Kaza route. The bus leaves Manali at 5 am. The other way to get to Kaza can be by sharing a taxi which will cost anywhere between Rs 500 and Rs 100. The rates are not fixed so the better your bargaining skills are, the lesser it will cost you. The conditions of the roads are not very good and is not for those having a the weak heart. Except the roads, every other thing is just as should be, untouched & pristine. On the route you will cross two high altitude passes, Rohtang Pass(3980mts) and Kuzjum Pass(4551mts). The journey is an unforgettable experience.

Word Of Caution : • If you suffer from any ailment, consult your doctor before planning this trip.
• One can also suffer from Acute Mountain sickness (AMS) so it is suggested to ascend slowly and rest at progressively higher altitudes, also carry necessary medicine.
• Only BSNL works in Kaza. There is one internet cafe to stay in touch with the outside world.
• Kaza only gets electricity for 3-4 hrs in a day. So carry extra batteries for your cameras

What to Expect : There is a lot to explore in Spiti valley. Finding transportation is not difficult in Kaza. You just have to book it a day in advance. The locals take you around and also serve as very good guides. Key Monastary, Kibber and Gette villages, Donkar Monastary and Pin valley are a must visit. You can also drive to Tabo which is only 47kms from Kaza but because of the road condition it can take anywhere between 2-4 hrs.


Source / Review By : Richa Dhasmana Dhiman

Richa, an insurance professional, is an avid traveller

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