Lahaul Spiti Route Guide

by Vargis.Khan

Like Ladakh, the valleys of Lahaul and Spiti are full of wonders that attract thousands of tourists each year. Full of  mesmerizing landscapes, challenging terrains, adventurous roads, this journey is bound to leave you speechless and crave for more. Lahaul and Spiti is definitely not a one time thing as anyone who travels here would definitely want to come back for more. If you are also planning either a drive or motorcycle ride through this mystical land, here is a little information on the route you will be taking.

At the link below is some information that can help you plan a better itinerary for your Spiti valley trip.

An Ideal Itinerary for Spiti Valley

If you are unsure what to see in Spiti, below is a list of places you must include.

Places of Interest in Spiti Valley

Unlike Ladakh, Spiti is accessible by road round the year and presents a different color in every season. If being traveled to in Summer, route of the journey will be as follows with a total distance of 800 to 900 kms covered, depending upon what all places you want to visit.

  • Shimla – Kufri – Fagu – Narkanda [63 kms]
  • Narkanda – Kumarsain – Kingal – Rampur [65 kms]
  • Rampur – Jhakri – Jeori [24 kms]
  • Jeori – Sarahan [ 16 Kms]
  • Sarahan – Jeori – Wangtu – Tapri – Chooling – Karcham [67 kms]
  • Karcham – Sangla [18 Kms]
  • Sangla – Chitkul [ 22 Kms]
  • Chitkul – Sangla – Karcham – Powari – Reckong Peo [60 Kms]
  • Reckong Peo – Kalpa [10 Kms]
  • Kalpa – Reckong Peo – Pooh – Khab – Nako [110 Kms]
  • Nako – Malling Nullah – Sumdo – Hurling – Tabo [67 Kms]
  • Tabo – Dhankar [33 Kms]
  • Dhankar – Kaza [34 Kms]
  • Kaza – Tashigong – Langza – Kaumik – Kaza [60 Kms]
  • Kaza – Losar [60 kms]
  • Losar – Kunzum Pass [ 25 Kms]
  • Kunzum Pass – Chandrataal [14 Kms]
  • Chandrataal – Batal – Gramphu [63 Kms]
  • Gramphu – Rohtang Pass – Marhi – Manali – [70 Kms]

I would also advise to take a look at the following link to one of my travlogues of Spiti Valley so you can gain more knowledge of the area.

Alternatively, You can also complete this journey the other way round, start from Manali and take the same route to reach Shimla. It is advisable however that you start from Shimla for 2 reasons. First because of high altitude acclimatization which is easier if traveled from Shimla and second due to a permit that is required to cross Rohtang. So if you started the journey from Manali, you will have to spend a day in Manali obtaining the permit from DC’s office. It is however not required to cross Rohtang from the other side to come to Manali.

In Winter, October till April, Rohtang La and Kunzum Pass remain closed so the valley is only accessible from Manali. Route will still remain open from Shimla but only till Losar from where you will need to turn around and take the same road for journey back home.

At the link below is information on when is the best time to visit Spiti valley.

Best time to travel to Spiti

Click on the link below to read about whether you need any permits for Spiti valley.

Do you need any permits for Spiti valley?

A more detailed description of this journey is provided below with a map of this entire route. Please save the map to your hard drive and zoom in to be able to read. Due to the large region that this map covers, text may not be visible here but will be once you zoom in. Right click and save image.

lahaul spiti route guide

Lahaul Spiti Route Guide

Shimla – Kufri – Fagu – Narkanda :

If you have never been to high altitude places and this is your first time, it is highly recommended that you spend a day or two in Shimla. It will give your body ample chance to adapt and get ready for the journey ahead. Shimla is a beautiful city and there are several places that you can visit during your stay there.

On 1st day of the journey, start early from Shimla and take the road towards Kufri and Fagu and continue towards Narkanda. Road is very scenic and in very good condition so it wont take you more than a couple of hours to reach Narkanda. Take a break here and have breakfast at either of the several restaurants available.

If you want to visit Manali from Spiti side, take a look at the article at the link below to gain more information.

Traveling to Spiti from Manali

Why it is better to travel to Spiti from Shimla

A road bifurcates towards the famous Hatu Peak at Narkanda. It is an 8 kms drive that will take you to the top of Hatu peak, which presents amazing view of the valley around. Located at the top of the peak is the very beautiful Hatu Mata temple. This is a very narrow road so caution is advised while riding / driving.

Return to Narkanda after visiting the Hatu Peak and continue on the road towards Rampur. Alternatively, if you are not short on time, you may also chose to spend the day in Narkanda though there isn’t much to do around here except to enjoy the natural beauty of the place. Narkanda has plenty of hotels and guests houses to fit into any budget.

You can review the article at the link below for information on various places where you can stay in Spiti valley.

Accommodation And Other Facilities In Spiti

Narkanda – Kumarsain – Kingal – Rampur :

Continue on the same highway from Narkanda to Kumarsain. After about 10-15 kms, you will come across the Sutlej View Point and this is the first view of mighty river. There is a bifurcation after Kingal. Keep going straight towards Rampur, do not take the left turn. Road is in good condition and quite scenic with Sutlej flowing on your left. There are several accommodation option at Rampur as well in case you want to stop here for the night.

Rampur – Jhakri – Jeori :

Continue straight on the highway after Rampur till Jeori. Road conditions may start to deteriorate a little but the journey will still remain smooth.

Jeori – Sarahan :

There is a bifurcation again at Jeori. While the highway straight will take you towards Spiti Valley, there will be a road on your right going uphill towards Sarahan. Its located at the main bus stand / chowk at Jeori and is a steep climb to Sarahan.

Sarahn has several hotels and guest houses and you can easily find one that will fit your budget and comfort. Primary attraction here is the famous Bhimakali temple, dedicated to the mother goddess Bhimakali. There is also a bird sanctuary at Sarahan that is worth a visit, but remains closed from April until late July due to bird mating season.

Sarahan – Jeori – Wangtu – Tapri – Chooling – Karcham :

Backtrack from Sarahan until Jeori ( to the same highway that you left and turned right to Sarahan) and continue towards Karchham. Road conditions will worsen near Wangtu so much that it will bring your speed down to a mere 20 kms per hour. Caution is advised if you are riding a motorcycle as there are a lot of pebbles / stones on the road and you may slip.

Karcham is the site for a huge dam on river Satluj. Continue until you reach a bridge where the road again bifurcates. While turning left will take you towards Kalpa, the road straight leads to Sangla.

Karcham – Sangla :

A few kilometers up ahead and you will enter the beautiful Sangla valley, which starts at the town of Sangla and ends at Chitkul. The valley remains closed from December till may due to heavy snowfall. Until 1989 outsiders could not enter the valley without a special permit from the Government of India, due to its strategic position on the Indo-Tibet/China border. Baspa River flows right through the valley and the sight of surrounding lush green hills is enough to mesmerize anyone.

Karcham to Sangla is a very steep climb and road will continue to stay bad but will get a little better near Sangla. You will also start to feel the temperature dropping and increase in the pace of the wind. There is an ATM at Sangla in case you want to withdraw cash.

Below is information on where you can expect to find banks and ATMs while on your trip to Spiti valley.

Banks / ATM in Spiti Valley

Sangla has several guest houses and hotels if you would like to stay here for the night. While the primary attraction is the natural beauty of this place, the Nages god temple and Kamru Fort are also worth a visit.

Sangla – Chitkul : If you thought Sangla was scenic, Chitkul will sweep you off your feet. The beauty of this place is like no other. It is a very small village consisting of less than a 100 houses and is surrounded by the mighty Himalayas with River Baspa flowing right through the village. There are several hotels in Chitkul so finding an accommodation should not be a problem. There isn’t much to do here except to enjoy the scenic beauty of the place while the only sounds you hear will be of birds chirping and of water flowing in Baspa River.

One of the most important things you need to be ready for before embarking upon the journey is acute mountain sickness which you may have to deal with.

Dealing with Acute Mountain Sickness In Spiti

Chitkul – Sangla – Karcham – Powari – Reckong Peo :   Backtrack again to the main highway at Karcham and from there continue till Powari. Road is smooth but only for a few kms around the dam post which it again turns into a nightmare. After crossing Powari you will again have to leave the highway and turn left on a road going uphill towards Reckong Peo.

Reckong Peo is more of an army base and the only significance this place has in this journey is that foreign nationals are required to obtain a pass here that they will have to submit at a couple of checks posts in Spiti Valley. Indian citizens can just pass right through Reckong Peo without needing to worry about any pass.

Reckong Peo – Kalpa : Upon reaching Reckong Peo, you will come across a junction, more like the main market. There is a road that goes left, further uphill, at this junction. Turn on this road and this will take you to Kalpa, roughly another 10 kms from here.

Kalpa is a small town famous for its apple orchards. Primary attraction of Kalpa is that it presents a magnificent view of Kinner Kailash. Other places of interests are “Suicide Point” (Only because it gives a panoramic view of the valley, not because you want to die here) and Kothi, 3 km from Recong Peo. Kothi has a temple dedicated to the goddess Chanadika Devi. This temple has a: very unusual architectural style and fine sculpture. An exquisite gold image of goddess is enshrined in sanctum.

Kalpa – Reckong Peo – Pooh – Khab – Nako : Once again you will have to travel back on the same road to the point where you took the turn towards Reckong Peo. Do not forget to tank up at Reckong Peo. The next petrol station on this route is not until Kaza. Once back on the highway, head towards Pooh. Road will continue to be a disaster for now.

You will have to register yourself near Pooh at a check post before continuing the journey further. Keep your driving license handy as you will be required to produce it at the check post. After this the road will turn from a nightmare to a bliss and the journey once again will become smooth. Pretty soon you will find yourself on the ascent of Kazigs, numerous hair-pin bends just like the gata loops of Ladakh. From here its a straight run to Nako. Keep in mind that somewhere along the highway you will again come across a bifurcation and the small road on your right is the one to Nako. So yes, once again you will have to leave the main highway and take an alternate road to reach your destination but don’t worry, this time its only for a few kilometers
There are a couple of hotels at Nako and also a PWD guest house right next to Nako Lake.

There isn’t much to do or see around here but it is indeed a very nice and silent small village. If you are up for for trekking, then look out for a flag at one of the nearby hill. Trek up to that spot to see a panoramic view of the village and the mountains around it. It is also a great sunset viewing spot.

Nako – Malling Nullah – Sumdo – Hurling – Tabo : From Nako, its a smooth drive to Tabo. Road conditions will mostly remain good with a few bad patches here and there.

A few kilometers before Tabo, you will come across a cemented gate on your right and road heading towards Gue village. This site is famous for a 650 year old Mummy located here and is worth a visit. From the gate, it is an 8 kms drive to the village. The temple where the Mummy is placed is on a hilltop and is hard to miss once you have reached the village. You can also ask any of the locals and they can point you in the right direction. After visiting the temple, drive back 8 kms to the highway and continue towards Tabo.

Primary attraction at Tabo is the Tabo Monastery which is said to be over a thousand years old. In case you want to stay at Tabo for the night, there are a few hotels here, of which the Banjara Camps retreat is the most luxurious. The temperatures here plummet at night. There are other hotels and hostels like Tashi Gangsar, Menthok Dumra at Tabo, including the monastery’s own guest houses.

Tabo – Dhankar : Roughly 30 kms from Tabo is the small village of Dhankar. To reach here, you will again have to leave the main highway and take a road going uphill on your right. There are several signboards on the way and also on the road that goes to Dhankar so there is very little chance that you will miss it. There are 2 monasteries in Dhankar. The new Monastery is located right at the start of the village while the old one is located a few meters ahead.

There is also a lake near Dhankar, known as Dhankar Lake. You will have to trek on foot for a few kilometers to reach the lake. Dhankar does not have any hotels, nearest accommodation available is either at Kaza or Tabo.

There is a small museum in the Dhankar Monastery. Interestingly, In 2006, World Monuments Fund selected Dhankar gompa as one of the 100 most endangered sites in the world. A nonprofit group, Dhangkar Initiative, is attempting to organize its conservation.

Dhankar to Kaza : Next town on the route is Kaza, district headquarters of Spiti valley. Some of the major tourist attractions in and around Kaza is Tangyud Monastery, Key Monastery, Kibber village,Gette Village, Langza village famous for presents of marine fossils, the Pin Valley National Park, a protected area for Himalayan high altitude wildlife and the Losar village 60 km to the north of Kaza.

At least a day’s visit at Kaza is recommended. There are multiple hotels in Kaza so finding an accommodation is not a problem. Relax the first day you reach here and go for local sight seeing in the town.

Kaza – Tashigong – Langza – Kaumik – Kaza : Start early the next day from Kaza to visit the nearby villages of Gette, Tashigang, Kibber, Kaumik and Langza. Leave your luggage at the hotel and you will be returning to Kaza by evening. Drive to all these nearby villages is very scenic and will give you the real taste of Spiti.

To reach these villages, you will take the road towards Manali from Kaza. After a few kilometers you will come across a bridge and road will bifurcate in two. Taking left and crossing the bridge will take you towards Manali so the road straight, going uphill, is the one you will continue on to reach your destination. Located near the bridge is the Kye Monastery and is well worth a visit.

Near Key Monastery, road will again divide into two. One of the roads will take you to the village of Langza and the other one towards Kaumik.So if you decided to visit Langza first, you will have to return downhill all the way and then take the other road to visit the villages of Kibber and Kaumik.

Langza is famous for very old fossils found here however this is not something that you will find lying around, unless you are extremely lucky. You will have to ask the locals and they can show you some of the fossils they found. If you are interested, you can eve buy some. There is a restaurant at Langza where you can eat and see some of these fossils.

All these places are very small villages so do not get your hopes high. There is nothing in particular to visit here but to enjoy the natural beauty of Spiti valley, which i am sure is what you came on this journey for.

Kaza – Losar – Kunzum Pass – Chandrataal : Fill up your vehicle’s fuel tank before leaving Kaza as there is no other petrol pump till Manali. After Kaza lies the small village of Losar. This is a good place to grab a bite to eat if you are feeling hungry as you wont find a dhaba or restaurant until Chandrataal or Batal. You will also need to register at a check post at Losa before continuing further. Keep your driving license handy as you will be required to produce it at the check post.

After Losar, the ascent to Kunzum La starts. Tar will once again vanish and the roads will be no more than dirt tracks. From here until Rohtang lies the worst road you would have ever driven on, so get yourself ready for a joyride.

After crossing Kunzum Pass, a few kilometers downhill towards Batal, you will come across a small road barely wide enough for a car. This is a 14 kms road that will take you to Chandrataal. Caution is advised while driving here. This is a very narrow road and if you are in a car, please keep on the lookout for any vehicle coming from the other side. If you spot a car in the other direction, please look for a wide enough spot and wait there for the other vehicle to pass you by.

Click on the link below to read about where you can stay at Chandratal.

Accommodation at Chandratal – What are the options

Road that goes to Chandrataal.


Road to Chandrataal

As you get closer to Chandrataal, you will start coming across several camping sites and tenting accommodations. Here it will depend on what kind of accommodation you are looking for. While the first few camps that you will come across to are luxurious with proper toilet arrangements, these are way too costly [upto 2500 / head] and a few kilometers away from the lake. If budget is on your mind and you want to camp as near as possible to the lake, then keep going on this road until the very end. At the end of the road is a parking area where visitors are required to leave their vehicles and walk for a kilometer to the lake. There are 2 camping sites near this parking area , merely 10 mins of walk away from the lake and would only charge you Rs. 500 – 600 for a night for 1 camp which is wide enough to accommodate 2 people.

For information on other places you can camp in Spiti, please take a look at the article at the link below.

Where Can You Camp In Spiti?

Camping site at Chandrataal.


Campsite at Chandrataal

Chandrataal – Batal – Gramphu : Travel back 14 kms on the road that you took to reach Chandrataal till you are back on the highway towards Batal. If you are hungry, you can eat at one of the dhabas located at Batal.
After Batal comes the worst patch of road on this entire route. Your average speed would drop down to 10 kilometers / hr, thanks to the highly damaged road and numerous water streams flowing on it. Some of these water streams are slightly deep and Ii have personally seen vehicles getting stuck so if you are in a car, please stop, step out and get an idea of the depth before you try to take your car across. If you are on a motorcycle, please do not make the mistake of taking your shoes off. Chances are that you may have to put your feet down while crossing and can get hurt due to the big stones lying underneath the flowing water.

Gramphu – Rohtang Pass – Marhi – Manali : At Gramphu is the bifurcation where one road goes towards Spiti (that you just traveled 0n), another one to your right goes towards Leh and the one on your left will take you to mighty Rohtang Pass. I am going to assume that you will head towards Manali now so take the one on your left, cross Rohtang Pass and reach Manali to mark an end to this journey of a lifetime. Now no matter how many times you return to Spiti, there will never be a time like the first time.

Road conditions in Spiti valley are always in a terrible condition. Please review the the post at the link below to gain latest information on the road conditions in Spiti valley before you start on the trip.

Spiti Valley Road Status – 2016

Please take a look at the link below if you would like to read more about the valley or see some pics in order to gain some more knowledge before you start on your travel.

I hope this information was useful. If you have any further question, please feel free to comment and ask and I would be glad to answer.

Related Articles


raju January 28, 2021 - 12:12 pm

Hi Mr VK… That was wonderful writing…sharing your thoughts and insights.
We are planning to spiti in early march, please share your advice/suggestions.
We plan from Chandigarh to Chandigarh for 8-9 days.

Incredible India November 16, 2020 - 8:29 am

Lahaul and Spiti is one of the best place in Himachal Pradesh. The last village also near from Spiti, even world’s highest post office also situated in near Spiti

H K Sas March 2, 2020 - 4:33 pm

We are in late sixties. Not keen to stay in Chandratal. Wish to drive from Kaza to Keylong straight. Will it be possible, if it is how long will it take to reach Keylong. Will it be too hectic for us. Thank for your advice.

Himanshu October 7, 2019 - 3:24 am

Hi Sir,

Thank you for putting so much of information in such details. You are doing great job in helping travellers plan their trips.

Sir, I am planning to visit Spiti from 12th October to 19th October from Shimla side by bike.

I want to visit Chandratal also and then planning to return back via Manali route. Is it possible to do that around that time as I heard that many places will be covered in snow around that time.

Thanks in advance for your help .

Vargis.Khan October 7, 2019 - 4:12 am

Hi Himanshu – As of now you can but hard to predict how the weather will be at that time. Reach Kaza via Shimla and then find out about the road ahead. Chances are that it will be open though.

Priyam Chatterjee August 28, 2019 - 9:23 am

Hi Sir,

Kindly give me a trip plan for Shimla to Kaza. this is max 8 days trip plan on october.2109. 28th Sep I will take a flight from Kolkata to Delhi and the same day I will take night bus for Shimla. next day morning will reach shimla(29th sep). 29th stay in Shimla. now My plan starts from 30th Sep from Shimla. my returning flight from Delhi to kolkata on 8th October. ANd that time may be kunzum pass will be closed. so kindly make a plan for me.


Krishnandu Sarkar August 4, 2019 - 2:11 pm

Hello Sir, Thanks for such a lovely blog. Drafted this itinerary after reading several posts across several blogs. Would you mind verifying the same and correcting if something is wrong?

Day 1 : Kolkata – Chandigarh – Shimla
Day 2 : Shimla Sightseeing (Optional)
Day 3 : Shimla – Sarahan
Day 4 : Sarahan – Sangla / Chitkul
Day 5 : Sangla / Chitkul – Kalpa
Day 6 : Kalpa – Nako – Nako Lake – Geyu Mummy – Tabo
Day 7 : Tabo – Dhankar – Dhankar Lake – Mane Village (Optional)
Day 8 : Mane Village – Pin Valley (Mud Village)
Day 9 : Pin Valley (Mud Village) – Rama Valley and Lingti Valley (Demul, Lallung) – Kaza (Optional)
Day 10 : Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang – Kaza
Day 11 : Kaza – Hikkim – Komik – Langza – Kaza / Losar
Day 12 : Kaza / Losar – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal
Day 13 : Buffer Day
Day 14 : Chandratal – Kunzum Pass – Rohtang Pass – Manali
Day 15 : Manali – Delhi
Day 16 : Delhi – Kolkata

Vargis.Khan August 4, 2019 - 2:22 pm

Hello Mr. Sarkar – Yes, your itinerary looks great.

Harsh June 10, 2019 - 12:19 pm

Hello Vargis Bhai,

Hope you are well. Your help in planning my trip to Leh was really helpful and appreciated in making my trip memorable. This year I am planning bike trip to Spiti Valley from Delhi. I plan to leave from Delhi on 15th May around 12:00 midnight (14th night). I have planned itinerary as below. Can you please have a look and suggest if it is doable and suggest any change if required. I am confused in Day 3 and 4 also, how to utilize it. Please suggest if dya wise itinerary is possible and changes to utilise the route best:

Day 1- Delhi – Rampur
Day 2- Rampur – Nako
Day 3- Nako – Gue – Tabo
Day 4- Tabo – Dhankar- Pin Valley
Day 5- Pin Valley – Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Gette -Kaza
Day 6- Kaza – Hikkim – Kimik – Lanza – Kaza
Day 7- Kaza – Chicham – Chandratal
Day 8- Chandratal – Manali

Many thanks in advance

Vargis.Khan June 10, 2019 - 4:44 pm

Travel like this Harsh Bhai

Delhi to Narkanda – 1
Narkanda to Chitkul – 2
Chitkul to Nako – 3
Nako to Mudh Village (Pin) – 4
Pin Valley to Kaza – 5
Kaza ki, kibber, gette, langza, hikkim, tashigang etc – Kaza – 6
Kaza Chandratal – 7
Chandratal Manali – 8

Harsh June 11, 2019 - 9:00 am

Many thanks Bhai for your reply and suggestion, i will follow as suggested, just that i have recently visited Chitkul and Kalpa few months back and i can skip visiting them unless it is required. So what should be the best way to reach nako and after that i will follow as you have advised. Thanks.

Vargis.Khan June 11, 2019 - 8:55 pm

Then you can travel like this Bhai

Travel like this Harsh Bhai
Delhi to Rampur – 1
Rampur to Nako – 2
Nako to Mudh Village (Pin) – 3
Pin Valley to Kaza – 4
Kaza ki, kibber, gette, langza, hikkim, tashigang etc – Kaza – 5
Kaza Chandratal – 6
Chandatal to Jispa – 7
Jispa to Baralacha La to Jispa to Manali – 8

Harsh June 12, 2019 - 5:02 am

Many thanks bhai 🙂

Vargis.Khan June 12, 2019 - 12:35 pm

You are welcome !!!

negikapil May 9, 2019 - 7:52 am

Hey Vargis,

Enjoyed reading your article. You mentioned that road from Losar to Rohtang is the worst you have seen. I’m planning to travel the circuit around Mid/late June. I’ve a Ford Freestyle Petrol 1.2L. Can you please advice if it’s possible to complete the circuit (including Chandrataal) with the Car?

Spiti Valley With Kids - What to Know Before You Go !! - Vargis Khan January 7, 2019 - 5:36 am

[…] Also Read: Spiti Valley Route Guide and Road Map […]

Rhea August 30, 2018 - 4:00 am

Hi Vargis ,
Indeed a very informative blog but I wanted to ask how could I travel from chatru to Kaza as I will be trekking to Hampta Pass and my base and the end of the trek will be chatru , is there any public transport because hrtc website shows no results and as I’ll be travelling solo I want to know if I could get proper transport to Kaza.
Thank you !

Vargis.Khan August 30, 2018 - 12:21 pm

Thanks Rhea. There is a daily bus from Manali to Kaza that you can board. If not the bus, then you will easily find a shared cab from Chhatru.

Dinesh Jangid July 3, 2018 - 8:37 am

Hi Vargis, I am planning to complete shimla spiti manali circuit in september. My travel days are from 1 sept to 15 sept. I am travelling by my own bike. Just wanted to know if something I should be aware of and road conditions during this period. Also what precautions should I take before starting my trip

Priya June 1, 2018 - 6:22 pm

Sir we r planning to go to sumdo.. can u tell me something about that place

Vargis.Khan June 16, 2018 - 9:58 pm

There is really nothing at Sumdo Priya. Any reason why you want to visit there?

shrikant yadav June 1, 2018 - 3:50 am

we have a permit for “beyond rohtang pass” of 2nd June,2018. So i will be reaching manali on 2nd morning, so at upto what time we can cross the check post of spiti where the permit will be shown and how much time it will take to reach the checkpost from manali?

Vargis.Khan June 16, 2018 - 9:59 pm

Sorry for late reply Shrikant. I guess now you already know that the check post at Rohtang is open all day.

raju paiginkar May 6, 2018 - 10:03 am

I would like to know if I can make a trip from Goa Simla Spiti Manali Ladak Srinagar Delhi Goa in three weeks. I will be traveling by Mahindra xuv 5oo in June 2018

Vargis.Khan May 7, 2018 - 1:11 am

It depends on how long you think it will take you to drive from Goa to Shimla and Shimla to Goa. If you can manage this in 6 days then yes, rest of the time can be utilized to explore Ladakh and Spiti

Anisha Jain April 1, 2018 - 3:33 am

Hello. Thanks for posting literally everything there is to know about travelling to Spiti. Been extremely helpful. Can you please suggest some tour guides who can do a full circuit from Shimla to Manali or vice versa. The tour packages I’m finding are quite expensive. I. At travel alone or hopefully find a group to join in with.

Vargis.Khan April 2, 2018 - 2:47 pm

Hello Anisha – Thank you for your kind words. I am sorry but I really do not have any contacts with any travel agents.

Shakti May 17, 2018 - 5:48 pm

Hello anisha
We four ladies have planned to travel to lahaul spiti via shimla _reckongpeo to sangla also.our journey starts Frm shimla on 25th may join us

Ajay Dhamija December 25, 2017 - 12:31 pm

I want to travel during 30 Dec to 2 Jan. Want to see snowfall. Which route should I take.

Vargis.Khan December 25, 2017 - 3:36 pm

You can only take Shimla to Kaza route, that is the only one open.

AJOY CHAKRABORTY September 7, 2017 - 5:54 am

I want to visit lahul & spiti during Sept’2018. My total no of days will be 15 from Simla to Manali. In this journey, I want to cover Jispa ( for two nights to see Baralachala pass ), Chandratal ( one night ), Chitkul (one night ) plus villages of spiti region. Please guide me what are the places to be visited and what to see including hotel accommodation at different places during my journey. On receipt of your reply, further query may be asked. Pl note I am a senior citizen and first time in this area.

Vargis.Khan September 9, 2017 - 8:44 pm

Hello Mr. Chakraborty – How will you be traveling Sir? By your own car?

VISHAL SWAIKA August 18, 2017 - 4:14 pm

hi vargis khan ji , my self is vishal swaika , i want to plan to come to chandratal and spiti valley in this durga puja vacation but not getting train tickets and flight i cannot avail there any otjer option or means ..can you please suggest and guide .. my email id – [email protected] or [email protected]

Vargis.Khan August 18, 2017 - 5:49 pm

Hello Vishal Bhai, I am not really sure how else you can travel. Catch connecting buses maybe?

vinay August 16, 2017 - 7:07 pm

Hlo sir ..we are going to spiti valley next week …plz suggest sth about weather condition …and if the roads are open or not

Vargis.Khan August 16, 2017 - 9:05 pm

The last I heard, there was a massive landslide near Nako and the road between Nako to Kaza is closed as of now. It should however reopen in another week or so.

PARTHA August 17, 2017 - 4:47 pm

hello sir… i want to visit lahul spiti valley from simla via kunzum pass and rotang pass in between september 7th to 11 september when i will reach manali…is it open now?? how are the road conditions now??? also if the tour is possible with my mother aged 50, with high ESR.thanx

Vargis.Khan August 21, 2017 - 1:56 pm

Hello Partha – Yes the roads are open and conditions are always terribly bad. About your mother, I am sorry but I do not feel qualified to answer that query. It would be best if you consulted a doctor before taking her on the trip.

gaurav ghosh August 10, 2017 - 9:37 am

hi Vargis, just planning a trip from delhi to keylong on 12 august?? can we get some snow over there?

Vargis.Khan August 10, 2017 - 3:09 pm

Hi Guarav – You may find a little snow at Rohtang Pass top while going to Keylong, nowhere else.

GauravGhosh August 10, 2017 - 3:14 pm

thanks very much for your valuable kunzum pass is open now??

Vargis.Khan August 10, 2017 - 3:19 pm

You are welcome. Yes, Kunzum Pass is open as of now.

GauravGhosh August 10, 2017 - 6:56 pm

can we stay in keylong or we have to halt in manali?

Vargis.Khan August 15, 2017 - 4:20 am

You can stay at both places but Keylong is good at least 6-7 hours from Manali. You will have to halt at Manali anyways to arrange Rohtang Permits

MANOGNA June 19, 2017 - 6:32 pm

I am Planning to Make a circuit from shimla to manali from 26th of June to 30th june
We are planning to go on swift dezire ..will it be good to go on dezire on these roads… Plz do suggest me.. Thank you

Vargis.Khan June 19, 2017 - 9:22 pm

Only if you are confident that you will be able to manage your car across several water streams without the bellly of your car hitting the ground. Take a look at this post and be the best judge if you want to take a Dzire here.

Wasim Akram May 23, 2017 - 12:03 pm

Hi Vargis!
Planning to complete the Spiti -Lahaul-Pin Valley circuit from shimla to Manali in 1st to 3rd week of June as a solo traveller and most preferably via public transport or shared taxis.
This would be my 1st time on mountains so kindly advice the stops, accommodations, transportation options and the costs for the same.
And what should I pack for the trip as I would have to carry the Load while on treks.

Thanks in advance!

Vargis.Khan May 23, 2017 - 3:03 pm

Hello Wasim – I would suggest that you go through the below mentioned article that I wrote about traveling to Spiti by public transport. Let me know if you have any further questions.

Shubham Dangi September 15, 2016 - 9:39 pm

We are just planning to go to spiti via shimla route and planning to go by a self drive hatch back or sedan car. we can return back from the same route itself. Can you please tell us the possibility and problems we may face due to hatchback or sedan’s choice.

Vargis.Khan September 16, 2016 - 11:29 pm

With a hatchback or Sedan, your biggest problem would be low ground clearance. Spiti is notorious for bad roads, specially on Batal Gramphoo stretch and you may find the belly of your car kissing the ground at several places, especially at water crossings.

JS Powar August 25, 2016 - 4:38 am

Just finished the round-trip – Chandigarh-Shimla-Kaza-Manali-Chandigarh. Here is the latest update on the road conditions for those planning to travel in the near future.
Road is generally ok up to just short of Tapri but since it is raining in upper Shimla and lower Kinnaur, you could encounter a landslide or two. We were stuck in Neugalsari (just short of Bhabanagar) for about 4 hours. Road condition from Tapri to Pooh is bad (except for a few short stretches where widening and black-topping has been completed) as BRO is widening the road. The construction of multitude of hydro-power projects between Tapri and Karcham has not helped matters (tunneling for these projects has destabilized the mountain slopes). Pooh to Sumdoh stretch is generally quite good but beware of shooting stones in this area. Sumdoh to Kaza is again bad. Since the army and ITBP movement lessens on this stretch (Sumdoh is on the Tibet border), the traffic thins here.
Kaza to Losar is not bad, Losar to Kunzum top and then to Batal is not as good (I find that going up the Kunzum from the Spiti side is better than from the Manali side). Please remember to stop at Chacha-Chachi dhaba at Batal for breakfast or tea. I have known them since 1993. They are the last ones to close down in winters and have been known to help numerous tourists stuck in that area. You can see Chachi in one of the Incredible India ads of Aamir Khan (the one where an old lady helps a young female tourist who has missed her bus).
The real challenge is Batal to Rohtang top. I last drove on this road in 1993 and there has been absolutely no improvement in the condition of the road in 23 years. You will be driving on embedded rocks for almost 4-5 hours. However, the good news is that the nallahs on this stretch (especially between Chhatru and Gramphoo) have been bridged and are no longer a menace they used to be. Even the road leading to Rohtang top from Gramphoo is bad as that stretch is also being widened. The other side of Rohtang up to Manali has been widened and is good.
For those who have not travelled this side in the recent past, please note that the road from Parwanoo to Solan and also from Sundernagar (on Manali side) till Kiratpur is in a bad shape as both these highways are being four laned. So keep an extra time cushion for covering these stretches.
Happy driving.

Vargis.Khan August 25, 2016 - 4:51 am

Hi JS – Thank you so much for adding this valuable information. How was the trip? How did Duster perform? I would love to hear more of your trip and see some pictures as well, if possible.

JS Powar August 25, 2016 - 12:46 pm

Thanks Vargis. The trip was fabulous especially as it went exactly to plan. Duster did remarkably well. There were five adults in the car with a separate piece pf luggage for each. So you can imagine the load but not once did it stutter.
For those who have done both the Leh-Manali-Srinagar circuit and the Spiti circuit, it is natural to compare the two. While I find the Leh route more picturesque and having more variety in terms of landscape, the Kinnaur-Spiti circuit, though shorter, is more challenging. I remember that in late 80s and 90s, Malling nallah above Nako would claim multiple lives every year. The road then used to go through Yangthang and crossed Malling at much lower altitude than it does now. Now the Malling crossing is done almost at the mouth of the nallah after the road was realigned around 2005. And of course, as you have repeatedly pointed out in your posts, the Batal-Gramphoo stretch is dreadful. Amazingly, one sees the local Spitians and Lahaulis driving around in Alto K100s nonchalantly.
When I last visited Kaza, Kibber used to be the highest motorable village in the world. Now it is Koumic and I am sure that in another few years it would yield place to another one. What is striking is that the condition of these link roads (including the one to Koumic) is far better than the main road (NH-5!!) though the main road is part of Project Deepak of BRO. Kudos to HP PWD.
We also went to the Pin valley this time. We were keen to see the base of the Pin-Parbati pass, which takes you to Manikaran in the Kullu valley. It is only a drive to Mud (about 51 kms from Kaza) and there is nothing much to see but those who are interested could try it. There is an ancient Monastry at Kungri enroute.
I would be happy to post some pictures but am not sure of how to go about it.

Vargis.Khan August 26, 2016 - 12:52 am

Thank you so much for all this information JS. If you wouldn’t mind, you can share your experience and some pics at the link below,

This is a recent forum that I started along with this blog, would be great if you too can join and help other fellow travelers.

vaashish007 August 9, 2016 - 10:08 pm

Hi bro

Thanks for such an exquisite post in first place. 🙂
We two people are planning to go on a bike trip to Spiti something around the last week of August 2016.
And we are planning to take rented bikes from Shimla/Manali.

Can you please suggest which route is more preferable at the time of our visit there?.
From where should we hire our bikes. Shimla or Manali.
Thanks in advance Vargis.

Vargis.Khan August 10, 2016 - 1:06 am

Thanks Bro. I would personally recommend starting from Shimla and ending at Manali but you can do it other way around as well. Bike rentals are available at both Shimla and Manali and there isn’t much of difference so it depends on where you are starting your journey from.

Atul Sharma August 8, 2016 - 9:12 pm

Hi Vargis,

First of all thanks for such a informative post, great work bro 🙂

Me and my friend are planning to visits spiti valley in August second week(i know monsoon but no other option) in Hyundai i20.


Day 1 :Delhi to Sangla
Day 2 : Sangla-Chitkul and rest
Day 3 : Sangla-Kaza
Day 4 : Kaza- stay and roam around
Day 5 : Kaza – chandertal
Day 6 : Chandertal-Manali

Couple of questions :
Itinerary is good ?
I20 is good enough for these roads (170 mm ground clearance) ?

Thanks in advance bro.

Vargis.Khan August 9, 2016 - 2:42 am

Hi Atul – Thanks for liking the blog brother.

Day 1 :Delhi to Sangla – Almost next to impossible unless you are planning to start from Delhi by midnight
Day 2 : Sangla-Chitkul and rest – Too short a distance. You will get to Chitkul from Sangla in no more than 2 hours. Or did you mean rest in Sangla?
Day 3 : Sangla-Kaza – Again way too long a distance, not possible.
Day 4 : Kaza- stay and roam around – Good enough.
Day 5 : Kaza – chandertal – Good enough
Day 6 : Chandertal-Manali – Good enough

You will have to add a couple days more in here brother if you want to enjoy the journey. Do not go by the distance, roads here will kill your average speed down to a bare 25 kms/hr. You will have to be EXTREMELY careful with I20, specially on Batal to Gramphoo stretch, specially in August when you are bound to cross endless streams of water.

Atul August 9, 2016 - 6:47 am

Thanks brother for the prompt reply.

Yes on first day we are starting at midnight.
Fine on second day after visiting chitkul will stay somewhere towards Kaza to save time for next day.

But i am still confused about taking i20 also its only 2 month old.

I think i might end up taking a bike(best option)

Vargis.Khan August 10, 2016 - 1:08 am

For day 2, start early from Sangla, visit Chitkul, then trackback to Karchham and head towards Kalpa. You can break the journey there or if there is still sun in the sky, you can continue further as well.

I would really advise against taking a 2 month old I20 here, that car is not really for the roads you will come across, why take the risk of damaging a brand new car so yeah, if you have a bike available too then go for it.

Vargis.Khan August 10, 2016 - 1:10 am

Another thing though, if you are taking a motorcycle, Sangla will again become difficult for just 1 day. If you are unable to make it, break the journey in Sarahan, there you can reach if you started early

Mohit July 20, 2016 - 8:21 am

Hi Vargis its very informative post Bro . I am planning to visit Spiti ( bike ride ) with my one friend on first week of September, we are very short on days please can you advice me how i can plan my trip so that i can complete it within minimum days.

Vargis.Khan July 20, 2016 - 4:17 pm

Mohit – How many days do you have in hand bro?

Vargis.Khan July 16, 2016 - 5:03 pm

JS – Actually even leaving early in the morning won’t work because the Batal Gramphoo stretch is full of these nallahs so you will be crossing these entire day

Rahul Bhatia July 14, 2016 - 1:49 am

Hi Vargis,

Thanks for your suggestions and advice …… is really helpful.

I need your advice on a extended weekend trip to Narkanda – Sangla – Chitkul from Delhi during august 3rd week end with a friend’s family, we would be four adults with two kids in SX4 1600cc petrol engine.

Do you suggest the overall feasibility of this itinerary with rainfall / landslide / bad weather ????


Vargis.Khan July 16, 2016 - 7:21 pm

Hi Rahul – Do you just plan to go to Chitkul and return the same route or are you planning to complete the Spiti circuit?

Rahul Bhatia July 17, 2016 - 1:58 am

Only till Chitkul from Narkanda and would return back to Delhi from same route.

Vargis.Khan July 17, 2016 - 12:10 pm

You should be able to complete the journey at that time, just be careful with the SX4 as the roads are really bad in Spiti. There is a steep climb after Karchham towards Chitkul and its all dirt road.

Nirav Pipalia July 10, 2016 - 5:24 am

Please suggest me most scenic villages for nights stays my 11 days kinnaur and spiti valley.

Vargis.Khan July 10, 2016 - 8:40 pm

The entire rout is quite scenic Nirav, most scenic would be Chitkul

JS Powar July 9, 2016 - 5:35 am

Hi Vargis,
We are planning a family round trip Shimla-Kaza-Manali from 14th August to 23rd August 2016. While I have done this round trip earlier on my own in the 90s in a bus, this time it will be only the family – including two ladies. We will driving in our renault duster, While I am quite familiar with the Kinnaur and Spiti terrain, I am slightly apprehensive about the Lahaul stretch (Kunzum top to Gramphoo) especially the nallah crossings. Any advice on what to keep in mind while negotiating this stretch. I also hope a loaded Duster would be able to negotiate the road.

Vargis.Khan July 9, 2016 - 6:22 am

Hello JS – May I ask, how many people are travelling and is the duster AWD or FWD?

JS Powar July 9, 2016 - 9:18 am

Five adults in a FWD Duster RxZ (Diesel) 105 PSI

Vargis.Khan July 10, 2016 - 8:40 pm

You should be OK JS, only problem can be on the Batal Gramphoo stretch at the nallah crossings in a fully loaded Duster

JS Powar July 12, 2016 - 2:56 am

Thank you very much Vargis. I guess the trick is to cross the nallahs as early in the morning as possible, before the sun becomes strong causing flows in these nallahs to swell due to increased snow melt.

vasujayvasu July 2, 2016 - 12:52 pm

We are a senior couple 64 n 68 , in good health planning to go to Spiti in Sep 2016. Will we face altitude sickness? Last year, we were in Ladakh for eight days n everything was fine.

Vargis.Khan July 3, 2016 - 12:57 am

Sir if you were OK in Leh than you should not face any problem in Spiti as well. Take a look at the following post please and it will give you an idea of places where you may face AMS.

Malay Jiwani June 14, 2016 - 12:19 pm

That was very informative Vargis. I was actually thinking of the distances between all the places you mentioned so as to ascertain whether to stay a night or not at any particular place
We are 4 couples and plan to visit Spiti Valley around 2nd week of July. I would like to know if there are local buses to and fro Manali & Shimla on this route and if we can get down at any of the intermediate villages. If yes, I would appreciate if you can share some information on that. We plan to do a backpacking trip on a shoestring budget. We have 10 days in hand and so was wondering which are the places we can spend the night in. Thanks in advance.

Vargis.Khan June 14, 2016 - 10:48 pm

Spiti valley is a well connected region and you should not face any problem finding local transport. Yes there is regular bus service from both Shimla and Kaza plus in between areas as well. Then there is also the option of shared taxi services.

Malay Jiwani June 15, 2016 - 7:09 am

Thanks a lot for the information.
We plan to do the circuit from Delhi – Shimla – Kaza – Manali – Delhi. Starting from Delhi in the morning and take a bus to Shimla at around 10.30am. Overnight halt at Shimla after which we plan to stay a night or 2 (still undecided) each at Sarahan, Sangla, Chitkul, Nako, Tabo, Kaza, Chandratal & Manali depending on the timing of buses available and the time required to see each place. Could you please suggest the number of nights required to stay at each of these, if at all needed or any change you think we should accommodate.
Thanks once again.

Malay Jiwani July 18, 2016 - 6:29 am

thanks a lot vargis for all the information. I just returned yesterday from a 12 day long trip to kinnaur, spiti & lahaul. I am sure I will do the circuit more than once in the future.

Vargis.Khan July 18, 2016 - 7:31 pm

Hi Malay – How was your trip brother? Would love to hear more of ur experience and see some pictures. Would b great if you can join us at the link below and post a few pics…

Vargis.Khan February 11, 2016 - 1:52 pm

Hi Jaydhar,

There are local transport services from Kaza to surrounding villages of Kibber and Kaumik but you will have to be very careful with the timings, no bus, just the locals running a taxi kind of service once or twice in a day to commute. Make inquiries while you are in Kaza to ensure that you do not miss. No passes required for Kanmao peak but keep in mind that it is a minimum of 3 day trek and yes, you would need a guide and porters to carry your luggage.


Jaydhar Chowdhary February 10, 2016 - 3:40 pm

Hi Vargis grt post bhai, can u pls tell me whether local vehicles are available from Kunzum La to Kibber and do we need to get permission for Kanamo Peak? and is it compulsory to get a guide with us if yes then how / where we can get them??

Vargis.Khan February 11, 2016 - 1:53 pm

Hi Jaydhar,

There are local transport services from Kaza to surrounding villages of Kibber and Kaumik but you will have to be very careful with the timings, no bus, just the locals running a taxi kind of service once or twice in a day to commute. Make inquiries while you are in Kaza to ensure that you do not miss. No passes required for Kanmao peak but keep in mind that it is a minimum of 3 day trek and yes, you would need a guide and porters to carry your luggage.


Jaydhar Chowdhary February 11, 2016 - 5:26 pm

Hi Vargis, first of all thanks for your response. Our itinerary is like:
*Day 1: Manali to Batal (drive)
*Day 2: Batal to Chandratal (Trek)
*Day 3: Chandratal to Kunzum La (trek) and then Kunzum La to Kibber (drive)
****Vehicles are available at Kunzum La for Kibber or not??
*Day 4: Kibber to Kanamo Base camp (Trek)
*Day 5: Kanamo base camp to kanamo peak back to Kanamo base camp
*Day 6: Kanamo to Kibber (Trek) then Kibber to Kaza (Drive)
***vehicles are available or not??
*Day 7: Kaza to Manali (Drive)
***Vechicles are available or not
Few more questions:
1. Guides are available from Batal? where will we get guide for the trek?
2. Vehicles are available for Day 3 (for Kunzum La to Kibber) and Day 6 (for Kibber to Kaza) or not??

Vargis.Khan February 13, 2016 - 2:11 am

Hello Jaydhar,

You are welcome brother.

Day 3. No vehicles here brother, you will be in the middle of nowhere. Will have to make prior arrangements.
Day 6. You may find a shared taxi from Kibber to Kaza but not guaranteed. Better to make prior arrangements.
Day 8. You can catch a shared taxi

As for your questions,

1. Nothing at Batal. If you are thinking that it is a town or village then you are highly mistaken. Batal is nothing but a few chadar tents and dhabas.

If you want to, I can provide you my contact in Kaza. That guy lives there and runs a camp site at Chandra Taal. You can speak to him and see if he you can strike a deal for all the arrangements.

Jaydhar Chowdhary February 13, 2016 - 2:37 am

That will be grt, pls share ur contact number

Vargis.Khan February 18, 2016 - 2:10 am

His name is Jamaica and his number is 919418200183. Just tell him that I gave you the info.

Jaydhar Chowdhary February 18, 2016 - 6:11 am

Thanks Vargis Thank u very much

Vargis.Khan February 18, 2016 - 11:33 pm

You are welcome

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