Which is the best Car for Spiti Valley Trip?

by Vargis.Khan

One of the most frequent questions I get asked by people planning a trip to Spiti is about the vehicle they are traveling by; whether or not it is good enough for the trip. And if not, then which one can be considered as best car for Spiti trip. The queries are usually from three perspectives; first is if the vehicle is capable enough to travel through; second is about convenience and comfort; and the last question is whether or not the vehicle will survive this trip. Questions are definitely justified; taking one’s car to a terrain like Spiti is bound to get a person thinking.  If you too are planning a trip to Spiti valley and wondering the same; then in this article, I will detail some information that can help answer the questions above.

best car for spiti best car for spiti

No, by the pics above I am not saying that a Maruti 800 or Alto is the best car for Spiti trip. These pics are just for reference that even these cars travel through Spiti valley and nearby areas on day to day basis. Mostly people tend to consider the engine size when bringing a car to Spiti valley. Thinking that it will involve a lot of driving up steep ascent. A common notion is that stronger the car, better it would be. This is true indeed but not really the complete truth. Let me begin this by first explaining the region you are going to drive on.

Starting from Shimla side; Chandigarh to Narkanda is all uphill. After Narkanda, you climb down to the banks of Satluj River and from there, until Nako; the increase in altitude is so gradual that you will feel like you are driving on a straight road. Just before Nako, there is the steep climb of Kazigs, a series of hairpin bends like those of Gata Loops in Ladakh. After Nako however, you again go downhill to the banks of Spiti River and once again, until Losar, it mostly feels like a flat road.

The ascent of Kunzum Pass starts after Losar and then you descent down to Batal. From there, it is a badly broken road until Gramphoo and then you climb up to Rohtang Pass top. Once you reach there, it is all downhill till Chandigarh via Manali.

If places Sarahan, Reckong Peo, Kalpa, Giu, Kibber, Komik, Langza, Hikkim were part of your itinerary; then you will have to leave the main highway and take a diversion towards all these places. A visit to almost all these villages involves an uphill drive on bad road. Sarahan is about 16 kilometers, Kalpa about 15, Chitkul about 75 from the highway; and a day trip to Kibber, Komik, Langza and Hikkim would be about 100 to 120 kilometers total. You will cross only two high altitude passes on the way, and you will come across a lot of locals driving around in cars like Maruti 800 here. The uphill drive till Narkanda is on a good road and even the climb around Nako is mostly smooth. The drive to Kunzum top from Losar and then Rohtang top from Gramphoo is not that long in distance.

So does it mean that you have nothing to worry about and just about any car will do? The answer is a no. Apart from the engine size, several other factors come into consideration here like conditions of the road, ground clearance, length, boot space and leg room of the vehicle etc.  Let me explain further.

Road Conditions

Even though from what I explained above, it may sound like Spiti is easy; it actually is not. Road is just a relative term here and for most part of the journey, you will be driving around on a complete nightmare. Mud, slush, dirt trail, water crossings, boulder and big stones on the road, shooting stones, narrow steep climbs; this is what Spiti has gained notoriety for and quite rightly so.

Ground Clearance

Considering my above statement, your car’s ground clearance will play the most important part while driving through Spiti. You cannot risk the underbelly of your car hitting the ground every time you get across a water stream, or your car getting stuck as you try to take it through a rivulet, mud or slush. Driving through lose gravel will mean stones flying and hitting the belly of your car.  You need a car that has good GC and is capable of handling all this beating.

Engine Size

This comes next in the picture. Higher the CC count is, more the power it will be, making the ride hassle free. You will easily be able to handle the rough terrain, take it on any road and not worry about the how many people or luggage you are carrying.

Length of the vehicle

This too plays an important role to some extent. With long cars, the problem will be around those sharp turns. Due to its large turning radius, you will have to engage the reverse at several places. If the sharp turn is at a steep ascent, the problem will double and your driving skills will again come into picture while you maneuver the car through. I know people who have been to Spiti in a Fortuner or Ford Endeavor so it can definitely be done, just need to have a person on the wheel who knows how to drive around well.

Boot Space

A drive to Spiti is not a matter of just a weekend but usually an entire week at the least. Good Boot Space means that you will be able to tuck in that entire luggage without any problem.

Leg Room

Last but not the least; it is going to be a really long drive. You will be sitting in the car more than at the hotel. The entire trip consists of driving around for hours on a daily basis. Good leg space and comfortable seats are a must for a hassle free drive.

Which is the best car for Spiti Valley

With all the above being said, so which car will be perfect to bring it to Spiti? This is really hard if you try to take a look at it from Brand perspective. It should rather be taken a look at from what a car offers from the point of view of what I mentioned above. Any SUV will probably be the best car for Spiti Valley.  It doesn’t matter if it is a 2 wheel drive or 4×4 but the good ground clearance an SUV offers will be of great help while traveling through Spiti. You can pretty much take it to any area and it will be able to handle the terrain well.

If you are with a couple of friends out to have fun, an open Mahindra Thar will probably be the best for the trip; however if you are with family then any other 4X4 SUV like Fortuner, Safari, Scorpio will be the best. If you do not have a 4×4, then even a 2×4 SUV will do the job equally well.

Spiti Valley in a Hatchback or Sedan

Planning to bring your hatchback or Sedan to Spiti? It is not really something unusual and a lot of people do it. As a matter of fact, you will find most of the villagers or locals here driving around in a Maruti hatchback.  The only thing however is that they are the locals and well know how to handle the tough roads here. For city folks like you and I, Spiti is an entirely different experience. There are certain things that you will need to keep in mind most important of which is the Batal Gramphoo stretch. This road is not at all for a car with low GC because of the numerous water crossings en route; some of which are seriously deep. Below is a pic of an Indica stuck at such a water crossing.

Mentioned below are a few things you should keep in mind.


When traveling in a Sedan or hatchback, best would be to go via Shimla and return the same route. True that the road will be broken but you can still manage it if driving slow. Another challenging road will be from Karchham to Chitkul which is mostly a dirt trail and you will have to be extremely careful here.

Travel Light

Another thing I would recommend is to travel light. Do not stuff in 5-6 people in the car with their luggage. All the additional weight will just make it difficult for the car to go through; and more vulnerable to its belly hitting the ground underneath.

Stay on the Road

While this also means that you do not drive off a cliff; what I meant was to stay on the main road and do not try any shortcuts. At several places, you will come across a dirt path climbing up straight ahead. A lot of people take these shortcuts but you cannot afford to do so. Stay on the road and drive carefully.

Time of Travel

Very important. In months like May, June and July, the melting snow creates a lot of water streams. Come August and monsoon arrives, with a high chance of landslides and slush. If you are in a car with low GC or smaller engine, best would be to avoid these months. Travel in April, September or October; if you however want to cover the Manali route as well then best would be to plan in September or first week of October.


I hope the information above was helpful. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below or at our Community Forum and I will be glad to answer. If you have traveled to Spiti in your car and have some valuable tips or information to share; I would request you to please do so in order to help others.


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Saksham March 30, 2024 - 5:27 pm

I am planning in April 8-15, 2024. My car is Virtus GT+ (it is a sedan). Also I will go through Shimla Kaza route and return via same. I will be traveling alone.

Vargis.Khan March 31, 2024 - 7:49 am

It is doable. Just be careful around bad stretches of roads

Devendra Shrivastava May 25, 2023 - 4:17 pm

Hi Vargis thanks for valuable information
I want to come Spity from 10 June with my 7 family members by Mahin9 Xylo which is 14 years old but in OK condition
Should I come by this vehicle from Bhopal MP to Spity 1600 plus 1600 km

Vargis.Khan May 26, 2023 - 7:05 am

Devendra Bhai that is a call that you will have to make depending on the condition of your car. If you are condfident that it can manage bad roads and uphill climbs then yes, you can do it

Vaidehi vaidya May 22, 2023 - 10:29 am

Hi Vargis, this is vaidehi
We are planning road trip to spiti in June with parents. We have 10 year old Ford ecosport. Is it advisable to take old ecosport?

Vargis.Khan May 23, 2023 - 7:20 am

Hi Vaidehi – Shimla to Kaza is a good road, should not be a problem. Manali to Kaza is very bad and will not someone who has plenty of driving experience to make it across

Neha jain July 7, 2022 - 9:19 am

HiI, I am planning a trip next week in tata Tiago 2020, route manali-chandrataal-kibber-langza-nako-chutkul-narkanda

Is it ok if we travel with tata Tiago 2 people??

Your wellwisher November 4, 2022 - 8:30 am


Birender Yadav June 22, 2022 - 4:41 am

Hi Vargis,
We are four friends planning to travel to Delhi -> Manali-> spiti in first week of july 2022 on a Nexon petrol GC 210 mm.. would it be fine or should we hire a 4X4… plus would july be ideal time to travel ??

Rupesh June 1, 2022 - 8:05 am

Hello, excellent article. Wanted to check how the road conditions are now and if Honda City 2013 would be doable for Shimla -kaza+ manali

Ankit Aggarwal May 13, 2022 - 10:13 am

Hii Vargis,
Good article, is it advisable to take Kia Sonet Automatic to Delhi to Manali, Manali to spiti and back to delhi thereafter in the month of September.

Vargis.Khan May 15, 2022 - 1:24 pm

Thank you Ankit. Sonet has good GC so yes, you can drive it from Manali to Spiti.

iviz May 11, 2022 - 4:18 am

Hi Vargis,
I would like to know, we are planning a trip in the mid June, is a tempo traveler comfortable and safe for long journeys in Spiti valley via Shimla route to Narkanda-Chitkul-Kalpa-Tabo via Nako-Kaza-Chandratal Lake-Manali via Atal tunnel-Chandigarh??

Vargis.Khan May 11, 2022 - 11:03 pm

Hi Iviz – Yes, a tempo traveler would be a comfortable option. A lot of tourists opt for it

RP May 6, 2022 - 4:31 pm

Hi Vargis, Trust you are doing well. Your blog not just inform but inspires to travel to places beyond our plans! Thank you. We are planning to do a 10 day travel to Spiti by end of June 2022. I have Isuzu Mux 4×4. Would you recommend All Terrain tyres or the standard HT would do. Also, any fitness tips you can suggest for us to get the best out of this trip? Thanks a ton in advance.

Vargis.Khan May 10, 2022 - 7:56 am

Thank you RP Bhai. To be honest, the only minimum requirement for Spiti is good ground clearance, that is pretty much it. The rest is all easily manageable.

I will recommend planning your journey a little slow with enough breaks in between and not just rushing through the route. You should allow your body to acclimatize properly to minimize the risk of altitude sickness.

RP May 10, 2022 - 8:35 am

Thanks again bro! Will share my journey experience post the trip.
Keep inspiring our fellow trippers !

Vargis.Khan May 11, 2022 - 12:32 am

Thanks Bhai !!!

Piyush April 19, 2022 - 7:31 am

Hi sir. I find your information so so good so would definitely like to bother you with my queries. 🙂 I have a ford freestyle petrol top model and i am planning to do a full spiti circuit starting from shimla in July 2022 or late june 2022 and would like to touch remote places like chitkul,chandratal etc as well. So please please tell me if its possible to do that in my car? I am from Jammu and I have already driven to places like tirthan valley,dharamshala,manali,sissu,parashar,bir etc before so thats my experience. I wont say i am best but definitily not bad. Just that spiti feels like an unknown. So please let me know your suggestions. Eagerly waiting for your response.

Vargis.Khan April 24, 2022 - 4:54 am

It is doable Piyush Bhai but just be careful on the Manali-Kaza stretch. Freestyle has decent enough GC but it could still get stuck in the water crossings.

Jigarsh Ahuja February 21, 2022 - 10:53 am

Hi Mr Vargis ,

An amazing article, Can you Please guide if it will be sensible to drive an I20 automatic on the following route:

1. Chandigarh to Manali
2. Manali to Spiti
3. Spiti to Shangarh

Thank You in advance.

Vargis.Khan February 22, 2022 - 10:05 am

Hello Mr. Ahuha – I will strongly advise against bringing an i20 on Manali to Spiti stretch. Shangarh is Ok.

Jigarsh Ahuja February 22, 2022 - 2:22 pm

Thank You for your prompt response, Please if you can advise regarding Bir to Manali?

Vargis.Khan February 25, 2022 - 4:50 am

You are welcome. Bir to Manali is fine, easily doable in i20

Rahul February 16, 2022 - 6:40 am

Hi Vargis, we are a group of 4 planning from Delhi to Kaza in Mid March with Ertiga Petrol Model. Do you think it will be a feasible option for the trip considering we have 2 experienced drivers ?

Vargis.Khan February 22, 2022 - 10:21 am

Hi Rahul – Delhi to Kaza is fine. There is not a lot of snow anywhere on the route. There could still be some snow between Nako and Kaza and I will recommend keeping snow chains if the weather changed suddenly. March is still winter and it can still snow heavily.

Rahul February 16, 2022 - 6:38 am

Hi Vargis, we are a group of 4 planning till Kaza in Mid March with Ertiga Petrol Model. Do you think it will be a feasible option for the trip considering we have 2 experienced drivers ?

Vargis.Khan February 22, 2022 - 10:21 am

Hi Rahul – Delhi to Kaza is fine. There is not a lot of snow anywhere on the route. There could still be some snow between Nako and Kaza and I will recommend keeping snow chains if the weather changed suddenly. March is still winter and it can still snow heavily.

Vinay Panchang December 27, 2021 - 8:10 pm

I am planning a self drive trip from Pune to Spiti (Kaza)… I have a VW Jetta with 18″ alloys and wide tyres (245/45 R18). Diesel vehicle. It’s ground clearance has been increased due to upsizing of the wheels and now it is around 195mm. It has all features such as ABS, EBD, ESP, Traction control, etc. I have already driven to Ladakh in an Old Safari (90bhp 3.0 litre – 15 yrs old model) from Pune in 2019. So I have recent past experience of driving on mountainous terrains. Have more than 3 lakh kms driving experience across Indian roads from South to North- including Arunachal Pradesh.
My Question is – If I drive in April 2022 after 20th, what sort of roads should I expect and will my Jetta be able to cope up with the roads and is the terrain so bad that my car may experience any damage?

Vargis.Khan December 29, 2021 - 6:05 am

The road conditions in Spiti are better now. Since you may not be able to do the Manali Kaza stretch in April, you will have to return via Shimla only and that stretch is a mix of average and good now. The only ugly section will be between Karcham to Chitkul if you are planning to go that way but with 195mm GC, you should be able to manage it.

VIPUL R SHAH October 5, 2021 - 2:26 pm

Hello Mr. Khan,
Very useful article..
I had a query, We are travelling to kaza from Shimla in 1st week of April, 2022. Please suggest, Innova is fine till Kaza during this period?
We are 4 persons travelling.

Vekk Tanwar September 10, 2021 - 8:58 am

Are ther any restrictions on self drive cars in spiti valley and around ares like hikkim komic if one is considering coming from manali to losar side of the circuit.

Vineet S January 29, 2022 - 6:11 am

Hello Vargis, your article is really good and help me lots of time for multiple travel, this time in feb mid I am plaining to travel till Kaza via my own Innova car. Can innova reach kaza.
I herd that it ca definitely reach till kalpa and then to hire any 4×4 vehicle. Could u pls guide me with this.

Vargis.Khan January 30, 2022 - 12:34 am

Hi Vineet – You are right. Innova can go till Kalpa and a little further ahead but to reach Kaza, you will need a 4×4 vehicle with snow chains.

Priyanshu Tiwari July 22, 2021 - 4:36 am

We are group of 6 people all of the age group of 23-24 years . We are planning to do a round trip from shimla-kinaur-spiti-rohtang-manali-shimla
We have planned to hire a open gypsy for 9 days 4*4
3 of us are driving four wheelers since 4 years
We are planning to self driver with precaution and low speed .Then also is it safe to self drive the complete trip or we should think about taking a driver . We are interested in driving the same

Priyanshu Tiwari July 22, 2021 - 4:37 am

We are planning to visit in last Aug or first week of sep

Rahul Hans August 20, 2021 - 5:20 pm

Is New baleno diesel car is good option for Spiti valley with three persons !

Vargis.Khan July 25, 2021 - 7:03 am

It depends on your driving experience in the hills and bad roads Priyanshu. If you think you have sufficient enough, you can drive on your own as well

Priyanka July 14, 2021 - 11:00 am

Hey we are 4 people and planning to cover shimla kinnaur spiti manali route in 8 days. We have maruti brezza with us. Can u please help with the itinerary. And will it be suitable in pur car to travel after 20 july

Vargis.Khan July 16, 2021 - 7:06 am

Where are you starting from? I mean 8 days from where to where?

Sunny batta July 7, 2021 - 6:52 am

We r going 4 persons to kaza via shimla narkanda chitkul
In Verna is this ok

Vargis.Khan July 8, 2021 - 8:04 am

Kaza to Shimla – Yes if you are planning to come back on the same route
Chitkul – No

Gagan June 28, 2021 - 8:36 pm

Hi Vargis, very detailed information you have.. thanks for it.. one thing to ask.. if in hatchback , how’s the road conditions from shimla to kaza.. where and how much off-roading I can expect in that route?

Vargis.Khan June 29, 2021 - 10:31 am

Thank you Gagan. If you stay on the main highway, the road conditions are a mix of good and average now with a few bad stretches in between. You can manage it in a hatchback provided that you do not include Manali – Kaza route and return from Kaza to Shimla. Which card are you planning to go in?

Anil June 18, 2021 - 5:18 am

Will petrol automatic creta Do good with 4 passengers ??
Planning for next week

Manali Sheth April 13, 2021 - 7:01 pm

Hello ji,
Awesome detailed are ur itineraries and info for the trip. So , we are group of 10 ppl starting our trip from shimla to manali covering as much as possible of Kinnaur n spiti valley in the month of June. Can u suggest which car would be better 2 innova or 1 tempo traveller ??? Which ll be faster to lessen down traveling time

Vargis.Khan April 13, 2021 - 7:15 pm

Hello Manali Ji,

Thank you for your kind words. In terms of speed, the roads of Spiti will keep it pretty much the same for both Innova and Tempo Traveler. It all depends really on your budget and preference. If you are hiring 2 Innovas for 10 people, it will be more comfortable but costly. If you were thinking of just 1 Innova, then rather go for a Tempo Traveler.

MANAS KUMAR DAS May 8, 2021 - 6:33 pm

I am 64 years fit & fine and wish to travel spity valley as a solo traveller by public transport probably in the month of end sept/ early Oct ’21 subject to allowance of pandemic . Can you suggest a full itternary for the trip.

Vinola March 10, 2021 - 9:37 am

Hi Vargis,

You have an extremely helpful blog. One of the drivers I spoke (referred in your article) said we could hire a Sedan cab too for the entire Spiti valley roadtrip. We want to cover all the main areas: Kalpa, Nako, Tabo, Dhankhar, Mud, Langza, Chitkul etc. Please let me know if a Sedan works fine or should we go for a SUV which is the costlier option. We are a couple.

Thanks in advance!

dk sharma June 28, 2021 - 1:50 pm

2 persons going to sangla & chitkul from kalka in honda city automatic 2012 model.is it feasible

Vargis.Khan June 28, 2021 - 3:28 pm

I will not recommend Honda City on this route due to low GC

Luv Gupta February 7, 2021 - 6:36 am

Hi Vargis!
Thankyou for this amazing blog. It cleared many of my doubts. I understand that Innova Crysta is not a preferred vehicle for road trip to Kaza.
How about a trip to Reckong Peo/Kinnaur in Innova in April (2nd 3rd week)? I have no idea about the road conditions of this journey. Can you please share your opinion?

Kaushal December 6, 2020 - 9:40 am

Is Honda CR-V Good for spirit valley trip

rahul baviskar February 4, 2021 - 5:21 am

hii Vargis rahul here from pune i have my maruti suzuki s cross & ground clerance is 180mm . so it is ok to go by s cross car to spiti vally ?

Deepak February 18, 2021 - 12:14 pm

I am Deepak from Haridwar. I went to Kaza via Shimla on Maruti Zen 2002 model in 2016. Zen did well till Kaza except broken fuel line . I wanted to go to Manali via Kunjam pass but local drivers asked me not to do so . I was with my family so I did not took chance.

Arun kr September 27, 2020 - 4:52 am

Last yeat i did visit kaza via shimla -chitkul-kalpa ..on Honda city 2016 model car.
This year after 7th october i want to visit manali to kaza with stay at chandrataal in a tent or alternatively kaza to manali by Honda city 2016 model….

My question is …is it ok to drive honda city from manali to kaza or kaza to.manali? I previously used this route in suv in yr 2016.

I have good exposure of driving in mountains

Thanks in advance

Vargis.Khan September 28, 2020 - 12:05 pm

1. No, a Honday city cannot handle Manali to Kaza road.
2. Spiti is closed for tourism this year. You will have to push the plan for 2010

Dr viqar alam February 9, 2021 - 8:05 am

Hi mr Khan.
Can I go spiti (kaza) by Toyota Corolla sedan in moth of February last week or march 1st week.
Engin 1800 c.c
Automatic transmission.
2 – person .regards

R GAUTAM September 26, 2020 - 5:56 pm

FROM LATE OCTOBER TO EARLY NOVEMBER like from 28-29 of october to 3-4 of november .
Visit SPITI VALLEY GOING via shimla and return through manali will be good idea?

Vargis.Khan September 28, 2020 - 12:05 pm

Spiti is closed for tourism this year. You will have to plan for 2021

Prakash April 24, 2020 - 4:37 pm

Hi Vargis
Excellent articles I must say and very helpful.
I am planning a trip to Spiti via Shimla around mid June for 2 weeks using my Alto. This is a 2007 model in fine condition. Have done a few hill trips. Please let me know if it’s advisable based on your experience.


BBPANDHI September 3, 2020 - 6:22 am

Clear and specific information. Regards

Vargis.Khan September 7, 2020 - 4:12 pm

Thank you !!!

Ankit Mittal March 13, 2020 - 4:49 pm

Thank you man for your quick responses, this was reakky helpful

Vargis.Khan March 14, 2020 - 6:40 pm

you are welcome !!!

Sunpreet Dhillon March 12, 2020 - 6:12 pm

Hello vargis I came across your article. Information provided by you have cleared many queries that I was wondering about. We are 5 people planning to go to kalpa and cover chitkul via Shimla side jus need ur advice out of scorpio s11 and innova crysta which car wud be most reliable .please share your thoughts asap as we are goin to travel on 16th March 2020.

Vargis.Khan March 12, 2020 - 7:25 pm

Hi Sunpreet – Both cars are equally good but my personal preference will be Scorpio than Innova.

ankit mittal March 12, 2020 - 7:17 am

Hi Vargis,
we 2 guys are planning to visit spiti in the month of april. We have verna automatic what do you suggest will it be ok driving in this one or we should not take it.

and if yes then which route should we take it?

Vargis.Khan March 12, 2020 - 7:52 am

Hi Ankit – Low GC of Verna will post a problem at several places, especially if you encountered snow. When are you planning to go? Manali road is closed so you can only take the Shimla route.

ankit mittal March 12, 2020 - 8:34 am

In april first week mostly

ankit mittal March 12, 2020 - 8:37 am

also it would be amazing if you can tell us what all we can cover in a weeks time (includes the travel time as well), we are traveling from delhi

Vargis.Khan March 12, 2020 - 1:40 pm

See this article … details a 7 days trip


Vargis.Khan March 12, 2020 - 1:39 pm

You could find snow on the road in April 1st week and if that happened, you will be stuck with Verna. Better to postpone the trip by a couple of weeks

Rajat March 6, 2020 - 8:44 am

We are planning for Spiti by this May 2020 we are 5 people & planning to come by Audi Q3, so is safe to travel Audi Q3 4*4 wheel drive

Vargis.Khan March 6, 2020 - 4:01 pm

Low GC could be a problem on Kaza – Manali stretch so be careful. Other than that, there won’t be any problem anywhere.

Vyankatesh Mujumdar March 2, 2020 - 12:34 pm

I am planning for photography tour to Spiti. Professional photo tours are very costly so planning by Bike. Will it be good to take a bike or should I go with a group with four-wheeler? At last, I should get time for photography and should not get exhausted by bike driving. What will you suggest?

Aman Reyaz February 29, 2020 - 6:01 am

I am planning to take xuv300 to spiti circuit.
Is is a good choice?
Its a FWD compact suv with 180mm GC and torque of 200nm and 110bhp.

Vargis.Khan March 1, 2020 - 1:06 am

XUVs ground clearance may be a little tricky at some places but if you are careful, yes you can do the trip in an XUV

Shashank Karani February 7, 2020 - 2:00 pm

Am planning to drive a creta to spiti, will it be good to hold ground

Vargis.Khan February 8, 2020 - 2:40 am

Yes it will be good.

Anindita January 21, 2020 - 10:16 am

Hi, Vargis, is it safe to cover entire Spiti circuit in Tata Sumo? We are four people. We are going in June. We will be starting from Shimla and finish at Mandi via Rothang pass.

Vargis.Khan January 23, 2020 - 4:37 pm

Hi Anindita – Yes. Sumo will be great for the trip.

Pramod Arora January 15, 2020 - 9:57 am

Hi Varghis, I drove in an old Maruti Wagon R from Shimla to Chitkul and Jalori Pass, without any problem. Do you think it is possible to drive from Shimla to Keylong, via Kunzum Pass in such cars. I am planning to do the trip after Kunzum pass opens in July / August.

rajashyam gogoi December 24, 2019 - 9:16 am


Vargis.Khan December 25, 2019 - 1:22 pm

Hello Mr. Gogoi – Duster would be the best since it has the highest ground clearance. Creta has the lowest GC so definitely avoid that.

Karthik December 16, 2019 - 8:16 pm

Hello Vargis,

2 couples with a baby each (one is 4yrs & the other is jus 8 months), can we travel by Nexon from Bhiwani to kufri via kasauli?
Date of journey : 21st Dec stay in kasauli, then 22nd Dec to 25th Dec in Kufri.. if possible will visit few places in Shimla & Kufri (going there for the first time so will not risk going to unknown places)
I have heard there that due to snow fall vehicles skid, resulting in accidents.
Your advise please..thanks in advance

Karthik December 16, 2019 - 8:21 pm

It’s petrol (XM model) bought in Sep 2019.. does not have rear wipers or hill assist controls..
pls also consider the luggages for a family of 4+2 kids and advise on the safety measures as well..

Vargis.Khan December 17, 2019 - 2:48 pm

Hello Karthik – Yes you can go. If there was too much snow, then leave your car in Shimla and rent a local taxi to drop you to Kufri.

Neeraj Shokeen September 28, 2019 - 10:02 am

Hi Mr. Khan, Thanks for all the information you put on your blog it is really helpful. Please answer my query as well.

We are planning a trip from Delhi to Rohtang and return via Sach Pass. Would it be feasible in an Innova? There will be 3 couple out of which only one person is heavy built. Is it advisable to take Innova to Sach Pass from Killar side and all the way to Dalhousie??

Vargis.Khan October 1, 2019 - 12:13 am

Hello Mr. Shokeen, When are you planning to go? Sach Pass will close anytime now.

Neeraj Shokeen October 6, 2019 - 11:45 am

Hello Brother, Thanks for your response. I was away from network.
I went to Killar but due to snowfall the very last night we reached, Sach Pass got closed for a day or two. We came via Killar Kishtwar road as there was only one option left to get back via Rohtang Pass.
So Innova did almost fine work, it was bumping into boulders on the road many a times. Killar-Kishtwar was its test and it almost passed, we made it through.
Local people advised of not taking it to Sach Pass, we followed.
I would not advise anyone to take Innova to these places. There were no roads after Udaipur, very bad conditions.

Vargis.Khan October 7, 2019 - 4:18 am

Thank you so much Neeraj Bhai. If it isn’t too much trouble, may I request you to share some pics of the Kishtwar road?

Neeraj Shokeen October 10, 2019 - 7:46 am

No Vargis bhai, there is absolutely no problem in sharing the pictures. Can I upload them here or to your personal email id??

Vargis.Khan October 10, 2019 - 11:21 pm

Thanks Neeraj Bhai. You can email to me at [email protected]

Mohit September 12, 2020 - 9:28 pm

Hi Vargis, your blogs are really helpful for planning the Spiti road trip. While I have read many comments in this section but wanted to ask that I am thinking of taking skoda rapid petrol which is 5 years old. There will be 4 people and luggage. We are planning to go in first week of October from shimla side and return by manali side. Is it doable?

Vargis.Khan September 14, 2020 - 4:09 pm

Thanks Mohit Bhai. I will strongly advise you against bringing Rapid on Manali Kaza road. Its GC is way too low to survive the route. Secondly, Spiti is closed for tourism this year. You will have to plan for next year.

Gyanendra Narayan September 25, 2019 - 6:31 pm

Hello Vargis,

I have few questions:

1) Can I travel to Spiti Valley from Delhi in between October 24-28?
2) Can I take Zoomcar (Hyundai Creta or Ford Ecosport / similar vechile) from Delhi and drive till Spiti and nearby places.
3) What all I can cover in 4 days of time?
4) Can we camp anywhere? Is it safe?


Vargis.Khan September 26, 2019 - 4:15 pm

Hi Gyanendra,

1. Yes
2. Creta and Ecosport are both good for the trip
3. 4 days from Delhi?
4. October is a bit tool cold to camp but you can do it if you have some experience.

ayush Malik September 12, 2019 - 5:11 pm

Can we take our santro car from delhi to kaza via shimla and back the same route, no kunjum la., from 2/10/19 to 12/10/19

Vargis.Khan September 12, 2019 - 5:17 pm

Yes you can provided that your car is not too badly beaten

Vaibhav Dhaka August 15, 2019 - 6:48 am

Hi Vargis,
Outstanding website and great knowledge. I am in a dilemma about going to Spiti as my bike’s engine needs repair and I have options of going as a pillion on my friend’s bike or taking my Tiago(Petrol). I’ll be leaving next Thursday 22nd, August. We are 3 friends. Need your suggestion for this. Rough patches are not a problem for us on a bike but don’t know how badly it is going to affect the car. We have experience in driving on rough patches in Himachal, Uttarakhand. . Not sure how bad conditions would be in Spiti. Need your suggestion.

Vaibhav Dhaka August 15, 2019 - 6:52 am

Would be doing Sangla – Chitkul – Kalpa – Nako – Tabo – Dhankar – Pin Valley – Kaza – Kibber – Tashigang – Langza – Hikkim – Kunzum – chandratal – rohtang – manali – delhi

Vargis.Khan August 15, 2019 - 11:04 pm

Thanks Vaibhav – If your bike’s engine needs repair then don’t take it to Spiti. The main problem is the stretch between Manali – Kaza and the water crossings there. Due to the rain, there is a lot of water in the streams and crossing in Tiago may become a problem. You will have to be very careful to not it the underbelly of the car. Which bike does your friend have?

Vaibhav Dhaka August 16, 2019 - 7:36 pm

He has a Royal Enfield Standard 500.

Vargis.Khan August 16, 2019 - 10:33 pm

Then give a thought about riding pillion. There are stretches on this road that a Tiago will not fare well on.

Vaibhav Dhaka August 17, 2019 - 8:00 am

Thank you. I’ll be doing that. Appreciate your help.

Vargis.Khan August 18, 2019 - 4:08 am

You are welcome !!!

Dhanesh August 14, 2019 - 10:07 am

Hi Vargis,
Please give contact number of good recommended transporter to provide vehicle for 4 …..Simla to Manali

Dhanesh August 14, 2019 - 10:10 am

Full Spiti circuit , 9 days

Vargis.Khan August 14, 2019 - 1:39 pm

Hi Dhanesh – Please speak with Binny Thakur @ 9816300804 or Jamaica @ 9418200183

Dhanesh August 14, 2019 - 2:10 pm


Vargis.Khan August 15, 2019 - 11:06 pm

You are welcome !!!

vipin June 27, 2019 - 7:52 am

Hi Vargis, I am planning to do spiti valley circuit tour i.e Dehradun – Shimla -spiti-manli-dehradun. i will leave dehradun on 30 june, 2019 and will return dehradun on 07 July, 2019. i have alto k10 and we are two people on it me and my wife. I have alto k10 car. can we do this. please advice me and also make a itinary for me. Thanks in advance.

Preetham Reddy June 18, 2019 - 6:01 pm

Hi vargis!
We are 4 people, planning the trip during mid July ( Chandigarh- shimla- spiti – Manali)
Could you tell me if kuv100 is suitable for the trip ?

Jatin June 17, 2019 - 3:35 am

We are plan to spiti by swift car is it suitable.

Vargis.Khan June 17, 2019 - 1:51 pm

I will not recommend it but if you must, then do only Shimla – Kaza – Shimla. Do not go towards Kaza Manali route.

kadwal June 12, 2019 - 5:50 pm

Hi Vargis,

I have chevrole Aveo and we are planning to spiti. we are 5 members me, my wife, driver and my two daughters. is it ok to take that vehicle. and we are planning from 16th to 22th Jun. is this time is sufficient to cover all the spots.

Please advice

Vargis.Khan June 12, 2019 - 10:57 pm

Hi Kadwal – Aveo is not a good car for the trip specially with 5 people in it and 6 days too is definitely not enough.

ARNAB CHARABORTY June 7, 2019 - 5:52 am

Hi Mr. Khan,

I am impressed to read you blogs. I have few questions with me and require you expert opinion.

1. Please let me know if I have to just pay congestion tax of Rs.50/- or complete Rohtang+Congestion Tax of Rs.550/- if I am driving from Manali to Leh.

2. Shall I take Baleno to leh in a 9 day trip from Delhi to Delhi? (Total 4 adults)

Vargis.Khan June 7, 2019 - 2:07 pm

Hello Mr. Chakraborty,

1. Just the congestion feee
2. I will advise against taking a Baleno to Spiti

Vikas June 4, 2019 - 2:10 am

Hi Vargis, I have a Skoda yeti (2 wheel drive), with about 180 mm ground clearance as per specs. I am planning to visit spiti from 15th to 30th. Do you think it can take the entire circuit. I am being advised to avoid Kaza to Manali stretch especially after Kunzum Pass. My friend who went last year in a Landcruiser said that he saw innovas stuck and despite high clearance of 210 his car went through some bashing on the underside. Request you to please advise. We have a friend joining us in Kodiaq.

Vargis.Khan June 4, 2019 - 2:38 am

Hi Vikas – Your friend is right. Even I have seen a lot of Innovas getting stuck on Manali Kaza stretch. With that being said, I have also seen locals driving on the same stretch in Maruti Alto and 800 like it was a joke. It all depends on how good you are at the wheel. If you have some experience on driving bad stretches and know how to maneuver the vehicle, bring it along. If not, best avoid it.

Vikas June 5, 2019 - 12:49 pm

Thanks Vargis. This is helpful. I have driven through the entire circuit of Ladakh, so used to driving in the hills. However, would appreciate if you could kindly share any basic tips that would be helpful in maneuvering bad stretches on the Kaza Manali route.

Subhav June 1, 2019 - 1:01 pm

Hi Vargis. Im planning to go to Spiti Valley in second week of June and we have 4-5 people with us and

luggage also. So can we go with Maruti Suzuki Baleno petrol 2019 model and ground clearance is 170 mm.

Vargis.Khan June 1, 2019 - 7:54 pm

Hi Subhav – Baleno is same as Swift in terms of GC and I have myself done the circuit in a Swift so yes you can do it as well. With that being said, you will have to be EXTREMELY careful on Manali Kaza stretch else you may damage the underbelly of your car.

Subhav June 1, 2019 - 8:12 pm

So if Im going with Baleno then which route should I take ? And should I take a Baleno or should I take Suv or

sedan in rent ?

Vargis.Khan June 1, 2019 - 8:20 pm

If you have the option of taking an SUV then definitely opt for that.

Subhav June 1, 2019 - 8:28 pm

But in 1 comment you said that SUV cars is difficult for turning in hilly areas

Anubhuti May 25, 2019 - 11:49 am

Hi Varghis, we have Honda Amaze and we are 4 people including 60 year old parents. Is Amaze ok or should we look at hiring an SUV? We are planing the trip in June 2nd week. Any other precautions as we have parents travelling with us?

Vargis.Khan May 25, 2019 - 4:25 pm

Hi Anubhuti – I have an Amaze myself and there is no way that I will ever take it to Spiti valley

Anubhuti May 27, 2019 - 12:56 am

Ah! Thanks. This is helpful. I read through your posts. I guess I will rent a creta or a scorpio.
Thanks 🙂

Vargis.Khan May 27, 2019 - 6:17 am

You are welcome !!!

Ibrar Malik May 22, 2019 - 6:49 pm

Hi Vargis

I am planing a trip to spiti via Shimla in june. I have Creta 1.4 diesel… is it fine to travel in Creta, we are 3 persons.

Vargis.Khan May 22, 2019 - 7:08 pm

Yes its fine

Ibrar Malik May 22, 2019 - 8:30 pm

Thanku… there is nothing to worry about engine power and ground clearance

Vargis.Khan May 22, 2019 - 8:42 pm

Nothing that a Creta can’t handle

Ibrar Malik May 22, 2019 - 10:22 pm

Thanku very much

Vargis.Khan May 23, 2019 - 3:06 pm

You are welcome !!!

Aaquib Ali May 21, 2019 - 2:18 pm

Assalamu vargis bhai , we are traveling from Chandigarh to shimla , kalpa , kaza , spiti , manali , dharmshala and back to Chandigarh , my question is , do we have to take any permits as we take from manali while going rohtang pass ?? If we have to , which are the places from where we can get the permit , and how much does it cost per head , we are total 7 members travelling in a Scorpio , Will be waiting for your reply , Thank you

Vargis.Khan May 21, 2019 - 4:23 pm

Walaikum As-Salam Aaquib Bhai … No you do not need Rohtang Permit if you are coming from Spiti side to Manali.

Dhiraj (@dhirajwrites) May 17, 2019 - 6:51 am

Hi Vargis, Thanks for such a detailed post which I’m sure must have helped a lot of people. I have a few questions if you could answer it will be great.

We are 7 adults and 4 kids travelling to Narkanda, Chitkul, Kalpa and Sangla in June 2nd week.

1. What route is preferable?
2. Good places to stay considering kids and family.
3. We plan to take two cars. Since we will be hiring and self driving one car which one do you suggest. Innova/Scorpion/Creta or any other
4. Any other details which we should be taking care of.

Thanks so much. Dhiraj.

Vargis.Khan May 17, 2019 - 1:03 pm

Hi Dhiraj,

Shimla route will be preferable right now and Innova will be good. Do not book your stay anywhere. Just reach the place, fidn a hotel per your liking and negotiate an on the spot deal.

Vikas Kapoor May 16, 2019 - 12:38 pm

Hi Vargis,

First of all I really appreciate that you take out time and help out every individual possible with their queries. You are doing great work. Keep it up.

I have a question and this may sound a little stupid but I decided to go for it anyway.

I have a New Ford Freestyle with ground clearance of 190mm. 1.5 litre Diesel engine/100 BHP.

I have planned my trip from Delhi – Narkanda – Chitkul – Tabo – Kaza – Losar – Manali – Delhi

Now I have travelled from Manali to Rohtang pass only 2 years back in June in Swift and faced no issue with the roads. Surprisingly they were smooth. Have heard the route from Rohtang onwards till Losar is very bad. But I would still like to come back via this road on the way back from Losar to Manali.

Question: The initial plan was for 3 People inc me, and now It might be 4 in total. So I want to know whether its ok to include the 4th person ? Will it have any effect on ground clearance ? Will the car be able to take the load of 4 people on steep climbs including the luggage and will it by chance get stuck on the Losar- Manali route ?

I am planning the trip from 1-June – 8-June. And will Losar around 5:30 -6:00 in the morning for Manali.

What are your thoughts ? Please help me out.

Thanks !
God bless you !

Akash Deep November 25, 2019 - 10:22 pm

was this question ever answered? I am just curious because I happen to have the same car and we would be 3 people, planning to cover parts of Spiti in 4 days (thanks giving weekend). Your inputs on this would be really both life saving and highly appreciated mate!.
Thanks in advance. Cheers!!!!

Vargis.Khan November 26, 2019 - 6:55 pm

No I missed answering this. When are you planning to go?

Sreejith May 15, 2019 - 6:13 am

Hi Vargis, I gone through your posts and comments. Your post is really informative. Just few Questions:

1. I am planning to go to Ladakh this September with my wife? It it safe if I am going with out much people?

2. I am planning to go by my TATA Tiago via Shimla. Do you think its a wise option?

3. Few videos saying we need to pay entry toll in Ladakh near to 5K. Is it right?

4. Do you think while coming back I can take Kashmir route to Delhi?

5. What if car got some issues. Do you think I can find some mechanics?

Vargis.Khan May 15, 2019 - 1:02 pm

Hi Sreejith,

1. Yes
2. Yes
3. No. There is no entry toll, just the Inner Line Permit that you need after reaching Leh
5. Mechanics will be available but only at limited places

Gaurav kaushal May 14, 2019 - 1:20 pm

Hi, we are 4 adults going to Shimla -kaza-Shimla thru Skoda rapid car. If we drive the car carefully..will it ok to take this car..??

Vargis.Khan May 14, 2019 - 1:59 pm

Yes if you are avoiding the Manali Kaza route entirely.

Sugata Adhikari August 13, 2021 - 1:32 pm

Dear Vargiskhan
I love to read your blogs before planning any trip.
Last time you helped me plan my Ladakh trip.

I am planning to complete the Shimla – Kaza – Manali circuit between 14 September to 24 September 2021 with my family (wife and daughter).

I am 65 years old. I need to rent a good comfortable car with a well behaved good comptent driver.

Please suggest a car and also provide contact numbers of the suitable drivers.

Thanks in advance.

Sugata Adhikari

Tushar Sharma May 13, 2019 - 9:28 pm

Bro I have a Honda amaze 2018 edition…..if I install spacers in it and get the GC increased by a 10 or 15 mm….will I be able to do the kaza-manali road????

Vargis.Khan May 14, 2019 - 2:13 pm

Don’t take the risk Tushar Bhai, I will not advise so. When are you planning to go btw?

Tushar Sharma May 14, 2019 - 4:20 pm

Around mid June this year.

Vargis.Khan May 15, 2019 - 1:09 pm

I will strongly advise against it. Take a look at these posts and make the call.



Tushar Sharma May 15, 2019 - 2:41 pm

Ok bro.. thank you so much

Vargis.Khan May 16, 2019 - 3:11 pm

You are welcome !!!

SONI May 12, 2019 - 7:34 am

Hello Vargis Khan,
I with my 6 friends, planning to complete Shimla – Nako – Kaza – Chandertal – Manali circuit in Innova/Innova Crysta. Out of Innova/Innova Crysta which would be better for 7 people with luggage. Or Should I have to choose another option for 7 people.

Vargis.Khan May 12, 2019 - 7:51 am

I will say the old one. The third row seat was more spacious on the previous model.

Prof. Sejalkumar Patel May 5, 2019 - 4:10 pm

Hello vargis ji
I am visiting fagu – sangla – chitkul – kalpa – nako – tabo – mud – kaza ( kibbar, hikkim, langza, komic, key, gette, tashigang) – chandratal – rohtang pass – manali in 9 days during 2nd June to 10 June with my wife and 2 sons of age 20 and 14 years age. Total weight of our 4 person is 240 kgs.we don’t take much luggage. Our tour operator from shimla is giving us swift desire deisel with driver. He is asking extra 9k if I take innova.
Will it be ok if we travel by desire ? If not which car for us you will suggest with good GC ?

Vargis.Khan May 5, 2019 - 5:31 pm

Hello Prof. Patel – yes the journey is doable by a Swift Dzire. If the driver is willing to bring a Dzire then let him. It is his car anyways, any damage will be his.

Prof. Sejalkumar Patel May 12, 2019 - 4:13 pm

Hello vargis , Innova will be ok or should I insist for scorpio ?

Vargis.Khan May 12, 2019 - 4:25 pm

Innova is fine Mr. Patel.

Vaibhav March 26, 2019 - 2:19 pm

Hello sir, we have two cars Baleno and Tata Nexon both petrol, and we are 2 children of 13 and 12 ages along with 3 adults. Planing to go to spiti in this june 2019. Suggest me which is the best car?

Vargis.Khan March 26, 2019 - 3:45 pm

Hello Vaibhav – Tata Nexon will be better

Vaibhav March 27, 2019 - 9:57 am

Would it be safe to go with children?

Vargis.Khan March 27, 2019 - 12:39 pm Reply
Abhishek gupta March 9, 2019 - 10:09 pm

Hello Vargis,

I am planning for Spiti this May with my Friends. I will be going in Hyundai Creta. I have been to khardung la in my Creta and it Easily crossed all the water Crossing with a little push via Manali Route. we are 4 people. Would you recommend creta for Spiti Route?


Vargis.Khan March 10, 2019 - 2:59 pm

Hi Abhishek – Yes, Creta is a great car for Spiti. You will have no trouble at all.

sachin sharma March 14, 2019 - 6:38 am

Hi vargis,

I’ll be going to Spiti this may in my Creta 1.6 petrol 3 ppl in total from Shimla what do u suggest? Will Creta take on the roads??

Vargis.Khan March 14, 2019 - 11:59 am

Hi Sachin – Yes it definitely will, won’t be a problem

Biswanath Chattopadhyay December 7, 2018 - 2:55 pm

Is tempo traveller safe for Spiti Valley trip?

Vargis.Khan December 7, 2018 - 3:58 pm

Yes. A lot of tourists travel that way.

Biswanath Chattopadhyay December 9, 2018 - 4:12 am

Hi Vargis ! Thanks for your reply. Actually we are 7 adult and 1 child in our team. We shall travel from Shimla to Manali via Nako Tabo Kaza Kunjum pass Rohtang Pass and shall start our journey from Shimla on 1st June 2019. Also we are to visit Chandratal and stay for a night over there. Some travel agency are suggesting us a 10 seaterTempo/ Force Traveller for the journey. Would it be safe to go through the entire route by aTempo/ Force Traveller ? Can it make through the road to Chandratal or from Baltal to Chatru. Of the best option which car do you suggest for us ?

Vargis.Khan December 9, 2018 - 5:08 am

A lot of people travel by Tempo Travelers specially large groups. So yes, you can actually plan by a Tempo Traveler as well, you definitely won’t be the only one.

Lakshmi Priya November 12, 2018 - 7:48 am

Hi vargis we are planing to go to spiti at nov 15
We are having a Figo car
Is it possible to go there without much trouble.
Which is the best route to go to spiti valley from kasol

Vargis.Khan November 12, 2018 - 6:08 pm

Hi Lakshmi – You can go but will have to be careful due to low ground clearance of Figo. Only Shimla roue is open as of now so from Kasol, you will first have to reach Shimla and then take the road via Rampur, Reckong Peo, Pooh, Nako, Tabo to reach Kaza.

Anushka Yadav May 4, 2019 - 4:29 am

Hi vargis, we have a Maruti Baleno can we make it to spiti?

Vargis.Khan May 4, 2019 - 6:57 am

Hi Anushka – You can but only cover the Shimla Kaza route. Skip the Kaza Manali road entirely

Subhan IamSubhan October 11, 2018 - 4:31 am

Hi Vargis Sir, your post are very inspirational. please continue to do what you do! i initially planned a trip to Ladakh. 2 of us . But i didn’t do my reserch properly and found out that some attractions will be closed due to cold weather. so we are now planning Shimla to Spiti from Oct 27 to Nov 3 instead. i’ve read from our post to not go to spiti from manali as the roads will be closed. i’ll heed that advice. thank you. i’m planning to do a self drive. but i’m finding it hard to get a rental company. and recommendations and also what would be the best type of car to take? also would try to go to kheerganga and kasol too

Vargis.Khan October 11, 2018 - 5:03 am

Any SUV with good ground clearance will do fine Shubhan, a Scorpio maybe. I am sorry but I do not have any recommendations for rentals

Subhan IamSubhan October 12, 2018 - 2:50 am

thank you very much Sir, i’ll probably get a self drive suv from chandigarh. do i need to take note of any permits , car passes driving up to Spiti?

Subhan IamSubhan October 12, 2018 - 4:04 am

also, i chose between, ford ecosport, duster and scopio and creta?

ecosport is small so i’m leaning towards it. whats your suggestion sir

Vargis.Khan October 12, 2018 - 1:59 pm

Scorpio will be the best but you can complete the trip in Ecosport as well if you are more comfortable in that.

Vargis.Khan October 12, 2018 - 1:58 pm

No permits needed brother.

Subhan IamSubhan October 13, 2018 - 10:26 am

thank you so much sir. it is safe to drive at night? what would be your recommendation?

Vargis.Khan October 14, 2018 - 4:53 am

No it is not and I would strongly advise you against it.

Subhan IamSubhan October 14, 2018 - 6:40 am

Thank you sir. I’ll drive in the day. Will the roads be ice or slippery during end October ?

Vargis.Khan October 14, 2018 - 6:59 am

Between Shimla to Kaza, no. Between Manali and Kaza, yes

and You are welcome !!! 🙂

Pushkar Awasthi September 19, 2018 - 4:35 pm

Sorry sir i didn’t write the name of the place in my query. it’s not about laddakh it’s about kaza(spiti vally) in full snow time so i paste my question again.
Here it is
Hello sir, i m planning a trip in winters(dec-jan). We have ford freestyle 2*4 top varient with 190mm GC,hill hold, traction control, Electronic stability program,ABS,EBD.
Can we do this and sir what are the accessories must be necessary in the trip(like snow chains or anything else).
Can you guide me which is best route and any suggestions we should know about sir

Vargis.Khan September 19, 2018 - 4:41 pm

Sorry Mr. Awasthi. I got confused between places. I will not recommend bringing freestyle to Spiti in January. If there was too much snow, your car will get stuck. You can plan this trip in early December though.

Manali route will remain closed so you will have to reach Kaza via Shimla and return the same way.

Pushkar Awasthi September 20, 2018 - 6:11 am

Thanks sir for telling the right route but i want to see the mesmerising kaza in a fully packed white sheet of snow so can we do this from any other vehicle or any other time.

Vargis.Khan September 20, 2018 - 4:12 pm

Sir it depends on the snow. If there is no or little snow like this year, then you can bring your own car as well. If it however snowed like the way it usually does in Spiti, then you will need a 4×4 SUV with snowchains.

Pushkar awasthi September 17, 2018 - 5:24 pm

Hello sir, i m planning a trip in winters(dec-jan). We have ford freestyle 2*4 top varient with 190mm GC,hill hold, traction control, Electronic stability program,ABS,EBD.
Can we do this and sir what are the accessories must be necessary in the trip(like snow chains or anything else).
Can you guide me which is best route and any suggestions we should know about sir

Vargis.Khan September 17, 2018 - 5:51 pm

Yes Mr. Awasthi. You can definitely bring your car to Ladakh. For suggestions on how to prepare and spares to carry, please see the following post.


Amaresh Patnaik September 11, 2018 - 6:02 pm

Hi Vargis
your inputs are very informative and I should say are very helpful
we are a group of three friends planning to go to Spiti Valley via Shimla. we want to start on 1st of October and be back by 8th of October.
can I take Hyundai creta petrol automatic from Shimla to Spiti and back to Shimla

Prashant September 12, 2018 - 6:49 am

Dear we also plan same days up to 6 oct if u want to join us. We have Tempo Traveller.

Vargis.Khan September 12, 2018 - 12:10 pm

Hi Amaresh – Thank you for your kind words. And yes, Shimmla to Kaza and back is definitely doable in a Creta. In fact you can even continue to Manali andd exit that way before 8th October.

CHANDAN GUPTA September 9, 2018 - 4:02 pm

Hi, We are planning to visit Spiti via Shimla route(Shimla-chitkul-kaza-manali) from 13th Oct to 20th Oct. Will Innova be a good option ?

Vargis.Khan September 9, 2018 - 6:49 pm

It may not be the best car for Kaza – Manali route but yes, you can comfortably complete the journey in it. Just be careful around water crossings.

Deepak gupta September 6, 2018 - 12:27 pm

Can i take honda amaze in september via manali

Vargis.Khan September 6, 2018 - 7:25 pm

I wouldn’t recommend an Amaze for Spiti, specially via Manali

Amit jha August 27, 2018 - 3:02 am

hello Vargis,

We are three people with a 9 year old…will it be okay for Shimla-kaza-shimla in Tata Manza diesel.. I have driven in all the major hill stations of India…

Vargis.Khan August 27, 2018 - 1:32 pm

Hi Amit – Yes it should be fine if you are not planning to cover Manali route.

Sushank Sood August 28, 2018 - 1:12 pm

Varghis bhai I am planning a trip from bathinda to kaza by swift dzire. We’re 4members. We also plan to go to chandertaal lake. Kindly advise if it is feasible. We’ll be going in the third week of September.

Vargis.Khan August 28, 2018 - 1:55 pm

Sushank Bhai – As long as you have some decent enough driving skills then yes, you can travel in your Dzire. Friend of mine has done the same but you must know how to maneuver your car around.

Sushank Sood August 22, 2018 - 6:14 am

Varghis bhai I am planning a to kaza by swift dzire in the third week of September. We’re 4 members. Kindly advise.

hemant August 16, 2018 - 5:40 am

can I use duster amt to cover spiti circuit in mid September month ? I hope there are no issues with AMT variant

Vargis.Khan August 16, 2018 - 5:45 am

Yes you can as long as you have some decent enough driving experience in the hills.

Nitin Ramdas Patil August 1, 2018 - 9:38 am

Hi Vargis sir,
can I use celerio amt car with 2 men, for shimla- kalpa- tabo- kaza- manali circuit in mid September month ? Celerio is with 165mm GC .

Vargis.Khan August 1, 2018 - 2:54 pm

Nitin Bhai you can do it but would have to be extremely careful. I wouldn’t however recommend bringing Celerio on Spiti circuit.

Sudhanshu July 31, 2018 - 2:06 pm

Hi Vargis, I want to inquire about few things related to delhi shimla chandratal manali route.
1. How many days needed to complete this trip?
2. How much ground clearance is required for a car to take on this trip?
3. We are planning to go in last week of August. Is it ok?
Please reply me as early as possible.
Thank you.

Vargis.Khan July 31, 2018 - 3:24 pm

Hi Sudhanshu,

1. 6 – 7 days at least. 9 – 10 days if done leisurely.
2. Hard to say but 180MM can be considered good enough
3. Yes it is

Prashant Aychale July 23, 2018 - 2:14 pm

Dear Vergis Khan,
I am from Vadodara​ Gujarat plan to visit spiti Velly with my 7-8 friends in 29 sep to 5 oct 2018. My worries are about , which rental car, for Stay, Food, wether ,and How to plan with minimum effor and lots of journey with fun. And can we carry Photo shoot instrument easily. What about stay we bring out tant with us or any arrangements from Shimla &Manali

Srishant July 5, 2018 - 12:58 pm

Hi Vargis! We are driving Mum-Spiti-Mum (entering Spiti via Shimla) later this month. We will be driving Tata Nexon. What do you think of the car specially for this circuit?

Vargis.Khan July 5, 2018 - 1:57 pm

Hi Srishant – Nexon stands tall at 209MM GC so you are OK to go really.

sandeep singh June 21, 2018 - 1:30 pm

Hi Vargis , I have planned a road trip Delhi – Shimla – kalpa – Kaza – chandtra tal lake– Manail – Delhi from 24 june to 6July by RENAULT DUSTER. Is its good choice to go through duster? I have been there through bike only. Please guide

Vargis.Khan June 21, 2018 - 3:19 pm

Hi Sandeep – Yes Duster is definitely capable of the trip. Friend of mine did it last year in his Duster, the entire Shimla Kaza Manali circuit.

sandeep singh June 22, 2018 - 10:42 am

Thanks vargis khan. you are doing good job in guiding people

Vargis.Khan June 22, 2018 - 2:56 pm

Thanks Sandeep

Arpit Gupta June 8, 2018 - 7:44 pm

Hi Vargis, I am planning to take my Maruti Swift Hatchback to spiti in late September or Early October this year. Can you let me know if it would be fine to take Swift for this?
Also suggest a possible itinerary for the trip.
–Thanks Arpit

Vargis.Khan June 9, 2018 - 2:03 pm

Hi Arpit – Yes you can take it but will have to be extremely careful and slow between Manali and Kaza. How many days are you traveling for?

Sunil Thakur June 6, 2018 - 4:02 am

Hi Vargis, I have planned my trip to Kaza by Manali this Saturday on my own i20 ACTIVE. Kindly advice is it good to go ahead with i20 ACTIVE. Thanks!

Vargis.Khan June 6, 2018 - 7:39 pm

Hi Sunil – I must urge you to not punish your car on Manali – Kaza route. i20 will not stand that stretch without some damage to the underbelly.

ajay May 26, 2018 - 11:30 am

Vargis Bhai, I have planned a road trip Delhi – Shimla – Sahran – Kaza – Tabo – Keylong – Manail – Delhi from 02 – 10 June by diesel ecosport…hope will be through..? any advise please …?

Rajat Mehra May 18, 2018 - 7:55 am

Dear Vargis Bhai!

I must appreciate that I have found your portal the most authoritative resource on (driving to) Spiti!

We would be visiting Manali around 20th June for a week, and plan to visit Chandrataal and Kunzum Pass (via the Gramfu-Batal route) for a round-day-trip. My queries in this context are:

1. We’ll be travelling by our private car Honda City 2013. Kindly advise if it would be manageable. We prefer to travel by our own car, and we are counting out an alternative. But if you strictly advise against taking this car, saying that it would be nearly impossible, we may consider hiring a cab. (Having said that, we would really be reassured if you give could give us the confidence to travel by our car).

2. We would be putting up a hotel at Kothi (ahead of Palchan). We intend to start a 5 am, and finish off Rohtang Pass (with a an hour long halt there for snow activities) by 8 am.

Therefrom, we intend to visit Chandrataal (and Kunzum).
Kindly advise when could we expect to reach there.
Also, what would be the time taken to return back to Kothi (allowing for any jams at Rohtang Pass).

Your expert advice is solicited.

Thanks & Regards
Rajat Mehra

Vargis.Khan May 18, 2018 - 1:34 pm

Hello Rajat Bhai,

1. If you have even the slightest amount of love for your Honda City, then please do not take it on Manali to Kaza stretch. I strongly advise you against it. You will know what I meant when you reach there.
2. You cannot cross over Rohtang and come back the same day. First of all it is too long a journey to Chandratal for one day, nearly impossible to do. Secondly, once you take the permit to cross over Rohtang to other side, you MUST cross over and come back the next day or you will be fined heavily.

Sarthak May 17, 2018 - 11:33 am

I am traveling to spiti after 10 june.i have planned to go up from Shimla and down from Manali. Our car is xuv 500, will it be able to cross the losar -manali route please tell. I have done the Shimla route once in same car but not the Manali one.please help.

Vargis.Khan May 17, 2018 - 6:04 pm

Hello – Yes it will definitely be able to complete the Manali – Kaza route as well.

Dolly May 16, 2018 - 12:27 pm

hello ,
we are travelling to spiti from delhi on 21st may .We are 4 person nd 1 children and our car is hyundai verna .please suggest is it good to go ?

Vargis.Khan May 16, 2018 - 4:16 pm

Hello – If you are going by Hyundai Verna, then it is best to avoid the Manali route and travel via Shimla only. Even then, be mentally prepared that your car will still hit the ground underneath several and will also get hit by some lose rocks.

Sarthak Mann May 17, 2018 - 11:37 am

Do you know kunzum pass is opened for the first time in may.

Vargis.Khan May 17, 2018 - 6:02 pm

It will open in next 2-3 days.

Anjan Jha May 16, 2018 - 11:06 am

I’m Anjan from Delhi . I’m going to visit spiti via shimla and coming back via manali in mid-June. My tour operator is providing me Innova for this tour. Is it okay or should I ask for another vehicle?
If yes, which one?
Please, please, please let me know fast.

Vargis.Khan May 16, 2018 - 4:56 pm

Innova is OK if it is being provided by a tour guy with a local driver. I do not recommend people to take their own personal Innova because of low GC but with tour operator it is fine.

Kunal bansal May 15, 2018 - 6:25 am

Hi !!!!
We are 4 persons planning a trip to spiti via Shimla and back via same route by Etios (Liva) or i20 in the month of June. Is it safe to travel ???
Kindly suggest
Thanx in advance….

Vargis.Khan May 15, 2018 - 4:41 pm

You can travel but with both these cars, you will have to be extremely careful and be mentally prepared that the belly of your car will definitely hit the ground at several places and there will be lost stones that will jump and hit it throughout the journey.

Kunal bansal May 16, 2018 - 4:24 am

thank u……

Vargis.Khan May 17, 2018 - 2:40 am

You are welcome !!!

Puneet arora May 12, 2018 - 10:30 am

hi, we are planning for spiti from delhi in the last week of may. We are travelling from an ecosport. Kindly suggest which route we should take.

1. Delhi – shimla – sarahan – nako – kaza.
2. Delhi – manali – grampu batal kaza.

Which route will be more easier and in return we have a plan for kasol as well.

Vargis.Khan May 12, 2018 - 9:10 pm

Puneet Bhai Shimla to Kaza is easier but if you want to go to Kasol then you will have to exit at Manali and cover both the routes. Going back to Shimla from Kaza and then coming to Kasol will be way too long.

Puneet arora May 13, 2018 - 3:06 pm

Thanks for your revert vargis. Actually we have less days for travel. We are planning to reach spiti in 15-16 hours direct from delhi. But what i found from the info that spiti is near by 420km from shimla and will be longest route i guess. And from manali its showing just 4 hours.

But the information given by you showing that from manali its quite tough drive and not confirmed yet that manali-spiti route will be open on 23rd may.

Still confuse what to do exactly. Your views will help us.


Vargis.Khan May 15, 2018 - 5:57 pm

Hi Puneet – Manali Kaza route may actually be open on 23rd. Friend of mine will be traveling tomorrow to Kaza and will update me once he reaches there. I will let you know if he finds the route open.

Vargis.Khan May 15, 2018 - 5:59 pm

And yes, Manali to Kaza is the tougher of the two routes but you can manage it in an EcoSport as long as you have decent enough driving skills.

Pritish Pallaw May 8, 2018 - 11:49 pm

I am planning trip in june first week
Will be starting from shimla & return from Manali

Suggest any one of these car :-


Vargis.Khan May 9, 2018 - 2:13 am

Duster definitely. It has the best ground clearance which you will need for Spiti roads. Avoid Innova.

Surender May 7, 2018 - 3:15 pm

Hi Vargis Khan

I’m planing manali-Chandertal-kaza and back to manali in Baleno with four member.
Please guide me it is safe in baleno or not.

Surender Thakur

Vargis.Khan May 7, 2018 - 4:40 pm

Hi Surender, You can take your Baleno but be very careful. The low ground clearance of a hatchback can be a bit of a problem specially while crossing the water streams which are in ample amount on Manali – Kaza stretch.

sourav shukla May 5, 2018 - 6:14 am

i’m planing to go to kaza (shimla – nakanda – kalpa – kaza – key gompa) and will come back from the same. i’ve good experience of driving on hills (i’m Basically from shimla). i’ve indica vista….is this a safe car for this trip?

Vargis.Khan May 6, 2018 - 2:58 am

Hi Sourav,

See the pictures I have posted at the link below. It should answer your question. That car stuck in one of the pictures in an Indica.


If you do Shimla to Kaza to Shimla than you will be OK. For Kaza Manali route an Indica may be a bit of a problem.

Sidharath Saini April 23, 2018 - 8:18 pm

Can i take Baleno on this route? Chandigarh to Spiti via Shimla and coming back to Chandigarh via Manali. The only stretch i guess which would be a problem is Batal to Gramphu. Please advise?

Vargis.Khan April 23, 2018 - 9:04 pm

Correct. Baleno should be able to manage the circuit. Only major concern will be the numerous water crossings on Batal – Gramphoo stretch. You will have to be extremely careful there.

Vargis.Khan April 24, 2018 - 7:25 pm

Correct. You can take Baleno but will have to be extremely careful at water crossings on Batal – Gramphoo stretch.

Rajat Bareja April 13, 2018 - 6:45 pm

Hi vargis.
I’ll be going for my trip in may mid, all I’ve planned is for spiti but I’ll be doing my trip on honda brio, suggest me either to go for that or make my trip upto chitkul ? Or is there any beautiful destination to target in himachal ?

Vargis.Khan April 13, 2018 - 6:54 pm

Hi Rajat – Low ground clearance of Brio will be a problem both for Spiti and Chitkul. I will suggest that you take to Spiti but do not attempt Manali Kaza route.

Sudipta March 27, 2018 - 9:08 am

Hi Vargis,
We are 4 people and 2 children travelling to spiti valley in May end june this year in ciaz through the shimla route both way…please confirm if it would be fine.

Vargis.Khan March 27, 2018 - 1:28 pm

Hi Sudipta – I would not really recommend a Ciaz for the trip due to its low ground clearance. If you do travel then be ready for the belly of the car hitting the ground at several palces, lose stones jumping and hitting it etc. Water crossing will be a problem at a whole another level. Do not take your Ciaz there.

Sudipta March 29, 2018 - 12:55 pm

Thanks Vargis. But will it be a problem even through the shimla route…if yes then which areas are more problematic.

Vargis.Khan March 29, 2018 - 9:03 pm

It depends on your itinerary really. If you want to stick to the Shimla – Kaza highway then the only problematic stretch will be between Reckong Peo and Pooh. If Chitkul is a part of the plan then the entire stretch is mostly a broken dirt trail.

Neha April 13, 2018 - 3:42 am

Our itinerary would be Shimla – sarahan – nako – kaza – kalpa – and return. Incase if the roads open from kaza to manali we might return to that road. would you recommend the same. we would travel in last week of May
Shimla – Sarahan – nako-kaza – chandratal – manali

Please suggest.

Vargis.Khan April 13, 2018 - 7:05 pm

How are you traveling Neha?

Pavmaan Dahiya March 11, 2018 - 11:18 am

Or you may suggest me a good place to hang around in the Ciaz without hurting it. Im gonna have four to five days to travel around in the end of March like 29th.

Vargis.Khan March 12, 2018 - 8:26 pm

For 5 days, why not drive to Srinagar and cover Kashmir. It is beautiful at this time of the year.

Pavmaan Dahiya March 11, 2018 - 11:12 am

Hi there ! I have Maruti Ciaz and i am planning a Trip to Manali from Hisar by the end of March and Is it also doable in the same car with 4 adults and i 5 yrs child to Spiti Valley from Manali side

Vargis.Khan March 12, 2018 - 8:25 pm

Hello Mr. Dahiya – Manali Kaza road does not open until late May or early June so you cannot reach Spiti valley from Manali in March. The low ground clearance of Ciaz will be a major issue in Spiti valley and I must discourage you from doing so.

ANIRUDH March 9, 2018 - 8:28 am

I am planning for a road trip to spiti from 17 march to 20 march this year. We are four in number. We are planning to rent a self driven car through zoomcar. These are the options:
Honda jazz
Ford figo
Mahindra Scorpio
Hyundai creta
Which one will be better and is this a good time for a road trip?
Thanks in advance.

Vargis.Khan March 9, 2018 - 8:47 pm

Definitely go for a Mahindra Scorpio. It will be much better for this trip than all other cars. Timing is OK. You may find some snow as well in Kaza.

Vinay March 1, 2018 - 3:44 pm

Is that creta 1.6 Diesal will be ok for spiti Valley

Vargis.Khan March 1, 2018 - 8:19 pm

Yes it will be

Aksh February 22, 2018 - 9:32 pm

Are ecosport, brezza or nexon suitable for spiti

Vargis.Khan February 23, 2018 - 12:41 am

Yes. They have the sufficient ground clearance to stand the Spiti terrain

Aditya September 2, 2017 - 7:31 pm

Hi Vargis,
We are three friends planning to travel to spiti from Delhi and complete the circuit from 29/9/17 to 07/10/2017 on a creta diesel.. would it be fine or should we hire a 4X4… plus would October be ideal time to travel ??

Vargis.Khan September 2, 2017 - 9:25 pm

Hi Aditya – Creta will definitely handle the trip well and your timing too is Ok. Just do not delay it any further than this.

avijits saha August 28, 2017 - 6:18 am

Hi. Vargis,

We are six person with a three year old baby want to go spiti in next june .We want to take a cab like innova ,what you think this car is ok ? as you know family tour means lot of luggage . Please help..


Vargis.Khan August 28, 2017 - 2:57 pm

Hi Avijit – Yes Innova will be fine for the trip as long as there is a good experienced person at the wheel.

avijits saha August 29, 2017 - 8:18 am

what will be the appx. cost for innova if i book for 9 days in next year? have you any contact with experience driver, if yes please share the name and contact details with us, which will be big help for us.

Vargis.Khan August 29, 2017 - 1:10 pm

It depends really. If you rent from Manali, it will be a bit costly as compared to renting from Shimla or Chandigarh. I am sorry but I do not have any contact with cab rentals.

avijits saha August 30, 2017 - 7:19 am

Ok, thanks for everything.

Vargis.Khan August 31, 2017 - 4:42 pm

You are welcome

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