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Spiti winter expedition: Spiti in Winter is certainly a harsh and tough time to explore, but when Winter embraces Spiti Valley in the first week of November, and stays on until the fourth week of March, Every Inch of this Valley filled with white gold. A land rich in lore and legends. steeped in story and myth, Where fairy monasteries breaths under the blankets of white snow. Have You been planning to Spiti Valley in summers or autumn? Do this in Winter and you will always be in a state of wow.
As far as the eye can see, every house to hamlet, roads, and villages comes under flat cottony snow. you can not tell where the land ends and the skies begin. The horizon becomes a myth.
During these months, the famous Manali – Rohtang Pass – Kunzum La – Kaza road closes due to heavy snowfall. Hence, the only way of reaching Spiti Valley is through the Hindustan – Tibet Highway (Shimla – Kalpa – Kaza). You will be using this road both ways – to enter and exit Spiti Valley.
Here we have curated a special 8 Days Road Trip to Spiti for travelers who are looking for a perfect adventure in winter. Shared by some small like-minded group of travelers, this Spiti Winter Expedition includes traveling in a comfortable and safe vehicle to some of the most popular villages of Spiti Valley including Asia’s highest villages – Komik and Kibber. Marvel at the wondrous structures of the Ki Monastery and Tabo Monastery shrouded in snow.
Spiti Winter Expedition FAQs:
Q: What will be the expected temperature and weather?
A : Day temperature will hover around -5 to -15 degree Celsius, while night temperature can go down to -20 and at some places to -30 degree.
Q: Roads remains open in winter?
A: Yes, most of the roads inside Spiti region remains open, there could be a blockage due to snow fall, but gets cleared in a day or so.
Q: What is AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness)?
A: AMS is result of sudden exposure to reduced air pressure and lower oxygen level at high altitude. General symptoms are Headache, Fatigue, Nausea, and Loss of appetite, sleeplessness, heavy breathing. Descending down and inhaling oxygen can cure it faster. That is why we recommend to spend at least two days in Leh, so that you get some time to acclimatize.
Q: What are the precautions for photography gears?
A: You don’t need to worry much about the professional gears much, they are built to sustain such extreme weathers. For basic gears, just keep that battery at warm places like inner pocket and avoid sudden transition from cold to warm places. Battery tend to drain faster in colder conditions.
Q: I had no time to prepare, can I buy warm cloths in Kaza?
A: No, we suggest you buy it at home location and try it out couple of times.
Q: Is there some trekking involved in this?
Q: I have medical history related to breathing, blood pressure or anything significant, Can I travel at such height and low temperature?
A: Please consult your doctor for the same.
Q: What about the phone connectivity.
A: Only BSNL works with no guarantee of tower working.
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After breakfast in the morning we will start our road trip from Shimla. Pass through popular towns of Sarahan and Rampur-Bushahr before entering the spectacular Kinnaur Valley. Before entering Kalpa at 7549 feet, we catch a glimpse the famous Kinner Kailash Peak – said to be the summer adobe of Lord Shiva. At Kalpa, you will warm up with a piping cup of tea before checking into your warm hotel room.
After a comfortable night stay at Kalpa, travel on the famous Hindustan-Tibet Highway. Famed for its spectacular views and proximity to Tibet, this road snakes north into Nako, the last hamlet of Kinnaur district. Grab your hot lunch at Nako before entering the magical Spiti Valley. Here, we spend the night at a comfortable and authentic homestay in Tabo.
After Breakfast, We will start our exploration by visiting 1000 – year old Tabo Monastery, UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unlike other monasteries in Spiti Valley, the Tabo monastery is located at the bottom of the valley. From Tabo, we will drive to the spectacular Pin Valley. Imagine a national park with an abundance of animals and birds, with some rare plant varieties and a river that is frozen. Pin Valley promises all this. We first visit the Kungri Monastery and then the beautiful hamlet of Mudh – the last motorable village of the Pin Valley. Declared a national park in 1987, Pin Valley is home to at least 12 endangered snow leopards. In addition, other animals indigenous to the region and park are the Siberian ibex, bharal, weasel, red fox and marten. Birds such as the pika, griffon, golden eagle, bearded vulture, chukor and raven paint the skies a pretty picture. Overnight at a homestay in Kaza.
Begin the Fifth day, with a drive to renowned Ki Monastery. Over 1000 years old, Ki Monastery situated at a height of 13,668 feet was founded by a disciple of the famous Atisha. Belonging to the Yellow Hat or Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, this monastery is famous as a prominent center of learning as well as a refuge for Tibetans. Ki Monastery is an obvious choice for those seeking peace and calm. Then we will drive upto the picturesque village of Kibber. Located at a height of 4205 meters and 18 km from Kaza, this formerly highest permanently inhabited village in this region, is also a popular base camp to embark on adventure and treks to adjoining mountains of high altitude. The expanses of beautiful landscapes and immeasurable beauty of the snowy mountains make the place a haven for nature-lovers and photographers alike. From Kibber you can trek to Chicham Village, located across a sharp and precipitous canyon traversible only by a suspended wire cable basket system known as a Jula. We drive back to Kaza for the night. Overnight at a homestay in Kaza.
After breakfast, on sixth day of our Spiti Winter Expedition, we will drive to some of the highest inhabited regions of the world. The highest village in Asia, Komik, which is situated at a height of 4513 meters. This farming village has a population of 84 people, living in utter isolation, mostly cut-off from the rest of the world during this part of the year. If accessible during this tour, we will make the drive to Komik. Some of the common animals of the region are the Tibetan wolf, blue sheep, red fox, hare, snow cock, Himalayan griffin, rock pigeon etc. Later, we drive to Hikkim where we visit the world’s highest post office in the world. If possible, you might even meet the post-master and hear his stories. After that we will drive to Langza. This village is situated at an altitude of 4400 meters and belongs to the Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Langza houses a population of 137 in 33 households. Once you are here, you can walk around the frosty-white village and visit the ancient Lang (Temple) which is estimated to be around 1000 years old. At Langza, walk back to the prehistoric era when Spiti was submerged by the Tethys Sea, as you explore a land very rich with fossils of Marine animals and plants which were here millions of years ago.
After Helthy Breakfast, we will start our return journey. Along this journey, you can capture some scenic landscape that you might have missed out on your camera. After a scenic and memorable drive, we will end the journey at Kalpa. Overnight stay at a hotel in Kalpa. Meals: Breakfast, Dinner.
Grab your breakfast in the morning and we will start our return journey to Shimla. Reach Shimla in afternoon. Trip will concludes after arrival in Shimla.