Kinnaur and Spiti look nothing less than otherworldly. While Kinnaur delights people with more than 50 shades of green, Spiti is largely deserted and takes us in like warm heaven. No trip to Himachal Pradesh can be complete without a few days in Kinnaur. It is one of the 12 districts in Himachal Pradesh. It is about 250 kilometres from Shimla. We will find Kinnaur on National Highway 22, better known as the Hindustan Tibet Road. It is located at an altitude ranging between 2320-6816 metres. The region is surrounded by Tibet to the east, offering spectacular views of the sacred Kinner Kailash.
Spiti is a desert mountain valley located in the Himalayas in northeast Himachal Pradesh. A road journey to this place is one of the most beautiful drives. One needs to be an adventure lover to enjoy the challenging journey. It includes driving on dangerous rocky terrains with no petrol pumps for hundreds of kilometres as well as coping with low oxygen levels due to high altitude. While driving to Spiti, we will be amazed to see how the green sceneries change to the Rocky Mountains and how the smooth drive becomes dangerous on rocky terrains.
Here are 8 nights and 9 days plan to fully enjoy the Kinnaur and Spiti road trip.
Day 1 – Chandigarh to Narkanda (173 km/6 hours)
We must arrive at Chandigarh Airport or Railway Station and proceed towards Narkanda. It is a place famous for its apple and peach plantations. If we reach the airport or station by noon then the evening will be free for our leisure.
Day 2 – Narkanda to Chitkul (190 km/6-7 hours)
After breakfast, we may check out from the hotel and proceed to Chitkul. On the way, we can visit Sarahan village popular for the Bhimkali Temple. It will be a long day. We can check in at Chitful for an overnight stay at a hotel.
Day 3 – Chitkul to Kalpa (70 km/3-4 hours)
Chitkul is the last inhabited village near the Indo-China border. It is a green, lush, tiny, beautiful and remote village. We can get up early and go for a nature walk. After breakfast, we may check out and leave for Kalpa. On the way, we can visit Karcham Dam, Kamru fort and Temple which is dedicated to goddess Kamakhya Devi. Later we will enter Recong Peo which is the headquarter of Kinnaur district. It is a small but vibrant town will all the facilities. We will reach Kalpa by the evening and we can check-in at the pre-booked hotel and rest.
Day 4 – Kalpa to Tabo (149 km/5 hours)
After breakfast, we may proceed toward Tabo. On the way, we can visit the natural scenery of Nako Lake. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. Then we may proceed to visit Mummy Gue Village that is almost on Indo-China border. Gue is known for the mummy of a Lama which is thousands of years old. The locals say that they gather once in a year at this temple when the local lama cuts the hair and nails of the mummy.
Then we can proceed to Tabo, where we can visit Tabo monastery that’s older than 1000 years. It is made of mud and wood and has wall paintings. Adjoining to this old monastery, we will see the newer version of this monastery that is modern and huge. Then we can check-in at a hotel or homestay for a leisurely evening.
Day 5 – Tabo to Kaza (47 km/1 hours)
After breakfast, we can proceed towards Kaza. On the way, we can visit that famous Dhankar Monastery. The highlight of the monastery is the statue of Vairochana or Dhayan Buddha. Later we can proceed towards Pin valley that is a beautiful valley where we see Pin River flowing lengthwise that later merges with the Spiti River. Then we go up to the last village of Mud. We must visit Kungri monastery and then head back to the main highway that leads to Kaza.
Day 6 – Kaza
After breakfast, we may proceed for a day trip to popular places of Kaza. First, we may head towards Langza village which is popular for Fossils. Then we head towards Hikkim village which is known for having the highest number of the post office in the world. Next, we can visit Komic village which is the highest village in the world at 4600 metres connected by a motorable road. Later we can proceed to Key Monastery. It is about 1000 year old and located at a height of 13668 ft above sea level. From here, we can go to Kibber village which is known for its wildlife sanctuary.
Day 7 – Kaza to Chandratal (51 km)
After breakfast, we can proceed to Chandratal Lake – Lake of the Moon. On the way, we will pass the small village of Losar that is known to be the chilliest village of Spiti. It is believed to be the last mountain range before one reaches China through India.
After Losar, we can go to Kunzum pass. A lot of trekkers like to trek from here to Chandratal Lake for approximately 9 km. The pass offers the picturesque landscape and stunning views of the snow-capped peaks.
Later we proceed towards Chandratal Lake. It is a crescent shape lake and is one the most stunning and beautiful lakes among trekkers and campers. It is popular for views if Milky Way.
Day 8 Chandratala to Manali (305km/9 hours)
After breakfast, we can proceed towards Manali. The road between the places is the roughest, toughest, real scenic and we will for sure skip a few breathes. Arriving at Manali, we can check-in at the hotel and rest.
Day 9 – Manali to Chandigarh (307 km/8-9 hours)
After breakfast, we may check out from the hotel and proceed towards the Chandigarh Airport or Railway Station.