Spiti Valley – A Guide – For Adventurers
Set about 12,500 feet above sea level, Spiti Valley is made up of a cold desert mountain valley near the north-eastern part of India. Spiti valley literally translates to “the middle land”. As it lies between the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh and Tibet. The valley offers tourists the best of nature with beautiful green valleys, lush snow-capped mountains, age-old monasteries. Not to mention the mouth-watering delicacies in the local cuisine.
When to visit Spiti Valley
The best time to visit Spiti Valley is during the summer (May to October). During these months the cold here will be pleasant enough (0-15 degrees Celsius). The winters become pretty cold as temperatures drop to below 0 degrees Celsius. Authorities block some of the roads during heavy snow. Spiti Valley is basically cut off to the rest of India during winter months. Hence tourist visit here only during summer months.
Also Read:A Travel Guide to Coorg, Karnataka
One can reach Spiti Valley through two roadways- the road from Shimla via the Kinnaur Valley which takes around 2 days journey while the other road from Manali will take up to 15 hours journey. A good option would be go via the Kinnaur Valley as more journey time will enable one’s body to adjust to the cold weather. However foreign tourists going through the Kinnaur valley will require permits as the road goes adjacent to the Tibet border. Visitors can obtain the inner line permits in a few hours from Reckong Peo near Kalpa.
Things to do in Spiti Valley
Spiti Valley is ideal for tourists who want adventure and for backpackers. The Valley offers some amazing opportunities for hiking, trekking and camping. Lying beside the Himalayas in your sleeping bag or in a tent staring up at the millions of stars that are visible here will be an unforgettable experience.
The wildlife Safari is also a chance to see some rare animal species. Such as the snow leopard, the snow wolf, the ibex and also blue sheep. Spiti Valley also has some old and beautiful monasteries. Visitor can enjoy the Key Monastery and the Tabo Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries in the world. A visit to the Pandava caves is a must. According to Mahabharatha, the Pandavas took refuge in the Pandava Caves in Pachmarhi when in exile.
Also Read: A TRAVEL GUIDE TO HAMPI
Accommodation and food
You can’t pre-book online most hotels and lodges in Spiti. So one must have the spirit of adventure to be able to face what may come. However many locals have opened up their homes for visitors as home stay. Locals here are very friendly towards visitors. They offer accommodation in their homes too. Beautiful views of the Himalayas in their balconies come as an added advantage.
Tibetian cuisine is the most prevalent in Spiti valley. However one can also find a variety of north indian dishes here and also some Israeli dishes. One must try the local beer, Chang and the local whiskey, Arkah.
Please Note: Please carry enough cash from Shimla or Manali. As Spiti Valley has no ATMs. AND, Network connectivity in Spiti Valley is non-existent. Only sim cards bought from Himachal Pradesh work here and only in the town of Kaza.
Here is a list of compelling reasons why you must pack your bags and travel now!