Manali to Spiti in 5 days
Spiti valley is breathtakingly beautiful and is located in the North-eastern part of Himachal Pradesh, India. It comprises of several years old Buddhist Monasteries and some of the highest villages of Asia. The trip from Manali to spiti will be of 5 days, and one will go back to Manali on the 5th day. Kaza is the main town in Spiti and the entire valley hosts a variety of attractions.
Asia’s highest bridge, world’s highest post office, world’s third highest village, a treacherous terrain, dry and cold windy atmosphere, Chandratal lake, Kunzum Pass and a sight of millions of stars adorning the sky at night, along with peaks towering over 6,000 m. Spiti has all a wanderer can seek!!
Best time for Manali to Spiti circuit (Manali-Spiti-Manali)
June to September is the best season to do the circuit trip, as the roads will be in good condition. While monsoons might see some rain along the Rohtang Pass route, Spiti is mostly dry throughout the year.
Manali to Spiti circuit itinerary
Day 1: Manali to Kaza (200 Km; 8-9hrs)
The first day needs to be started out early as it’s a long journey ahead. On this day one will pass through two of the most beautiful place, i.e. Rohtang Pass and Kunzum Pass and it is suggested that one stops at these points and spend some time there. The roads, though, are in bad to terrible condition. Once in Gramphoo the ride from there to Batal is difficult, the roads are laid with dirt trails, huge stones, etc. so one needs to be very careful while driving on these roads. One has to descend towards Losar, from Batal and then drive straight to Kaza. Once in Kaza, AKA the headquarters of Spiti, one will spend the night here. There are many hotels available here for accommodation.
Bus route: An early morning 5 AM bus is available from Manali that’ll drop one to Kaza by evening.
Day 2: Kaza to Kibber, Tashigong, Langza, Komic – Kaza
The entire day can be spent on visiting the nearby Villages and places of Kaza. One will come back to their hotels so there is no need to carry a lot of things. This is one of the main parts of trip where one will get to see many beautiful places. One will visit Langza, Tashigong, Komic, Gette and Kibber village.
The kibber village has the famous “Kibber wildlife sanctuary” which is home to many rare animals. One can also visit Ki Monastery on the way, which is a 1000 year old monastery. One can have their food at Langza, the village famous for the presence of Marine fossils and the Buddha Statue overlooking the village.After a trip to all these villages, one goes back to their hotel in Kaza.
Bus route: The buses to various villages are not available every day, and it is not possible to cover all the villages in one day through bus. It is advisable to hire a private taxi for this day.
Day 3: Kaza to Tabo, Dhankar, Pin Valley – Kaza
To travel to Tabo and Dhankar village one has to take the route towards Shimla. One is going to visit some beautiful locations on this day. Near Tabo towards a village called Gue, a place is famous as the location of a 650 year old Mummy and it’s not something one should miss.
At Tabo, one can visit a 1000 year old Tabo monastery. Dhankar Lake and two of Dhankar Village’s famous Monasteries will be the next stop. Driving straight from Tabo, one will arrive at Dhankar village. A small trek is required to reach the village, and then visit its famous places. To reach the Mud village (Which is the main attraction of Pin Valley) one has to cross the Attargo Bridge. After seeing all these beautiful places, one has to go back to Kaza and stay there overnight.
Bus route:There are buses available from Kaza to go to the various villages. One has to take the bus going towards Shimla.
Day 4: Kaza to Chandratal Lake (51km; 4-5hrs)
The road to Chandratal Lake is not so good, it’s a dirt trail from a point. It is suggested to fill up the petrol from Kaza as there will be no more petrol Pump until Manali. One has to take the road to Kunzum Pass. As the descent from the top towards Batal starts, there will be a diversion that’ll lead one to Chandrataal. It is a breath-taking beauty, Chandrataal Lake. One can’t miss visiting this place once in Spiti. There are also Campsites (₹1500) available for accommodation as one has to spend the night here.
Bus route: From Kaza there is a direct bus (₹200-250) to Manali, it arrives every morning at 7 AM and one has to board this and get down at Chandrataal diversion. (Take a note of the time here as you’ll have to reach the place at the same time next day). From this point one can either hitchhike to the lake or walk or take a life, for 14 Kms.
Day 5: Chandrataal to Manali (48.5 km; 7-8 hrs)
This is the last day of the trip which will end in Manali. From Chandrataal one has to go back to Kunzum pass and drives towards Batal. Beware, the roads are in very bad condition from here on. The turn towards Rohtang pass has to be taken from Gramphoo, and then drive directly to Manali.
Bus Route: One has to again go back to Kunzum pass from Chandrataal to board a bus. One has to make sure to be present at the same spot and same time they got down a day before. This bus will directly go to Manali.
Why is Manali to Spiti route better?
- When compared to going to spiti from Shimla, the number of days taken for the journey would be less from Manali. One can reach Kaza from Manali in a day’s time as the roads are wide and well laid.
- There are many buses (HRTC) running from Manali to Kaza and they’re easily accessible unlike buses from Shimla. The availability of public transport makes travelling from Manali route cheaper and in budget.
- Being able to view the beautiful places like Kunzum and Rohtang pass is another advantage of travelling from Manali side.
- The route from Manali is less prone to landslides when compared to the roads from Kinnaur valley (Geo Physical disasters in Himachal Pradesh, Visha Bandhu Singh)