Shimla to Spiti Itinerary : A Detailed Travel Plan

by Vargis.Khan

Continuing from the previous article explaining why and when you should chose to travel to Spiti valley from Shimla, in this article I will provide an example of a Shimla to Spiti itinerary that you can follow. The way I have worked through this itinerary is keeping in mind that you do not travel too much or too less on any given day and cover all the major tourist attractions. This itinerary can be followed irrespective of whether you are traveling alone, with friends or family.

Shimla to Spiti Itinerary

In my opinion, a minimum of 9-10 days must be given to truly enjoy the Spiti circuit. Any less than this and you will have to rush through the journey at several places. You can either follow the travel plan as I have drafted it if you have this number of days in hand or you can modify it as per your requirements but it should be good enough to get you started it. If you are however changing the plan, then there are a few things which you must consider which I will note down further in the article after the itinerary.

Also read: How to Plan a Trip to Spiti Valley – A Complete Travel Guide

Shimla to Kaza distance

Kaza, the headquarters of Spiti valley, is at a distance of about 450 kilometers from Shimla and 202 kilometers from Manali.

Shimla to Spiti bus

There is a regular bus from Shimla to Kaza. This is a 2 days journey that starts early morning from Shimla, halts for night at Pooh and continues to Kaza the next day.

Manali to Spiti Bus

There is regular bus service from Manali to Kaza. The bus start from Manali twice a day to reach Kaza the same day.

shimla to spiti itinerary

Shimla to Spiti itinerary

For the sake of this article, I would assume that you are starting your journey from Delhi. If you are traveling from elsewhere, then the journey for the first and last day will be different. The itinerary can be as mentioned below.

Day 1. Delhi to Shimla / Narkanda
Day 2: Shimla/Narkanda to Sarahan
Day 3: Sarahan to Chitkul
Day 4: Chitkul to Kalpa
Day 5: Kalpa to Nako / Tabo
Day 6. Nako/Tabo to Kaza
Day 7. Kaza to Kibber, Kaumik, Tashigang, to Kaza
Day 8. Kaza to Chandratal
Day 9. Chandratal to Manali
Day 10. Manali to Delhi

Below is a more detailed version of the itinerary about how you should follow this journey and what all places you should visit on the way.

Day 1 – Delhi to Shimla / Narkanda

Major part of this journey is more or less a monotonous drive until Chandigarh from where you will take the diversion towards Shimla. Please note that you do not have to go all the way to Chandigarh and need to take the turn on Himalayan Expressway, thus avoiding the congested towns of Pinjore and Kalka. Once at Shimla, you can either chose to stay here or if you still have some time left, go all the way to Narkanda which is another 3 hours journey from Shimla. Personally , I prefer to stay at Narkanda. It is a quiet and peaceful small village and a better option than crowded Shimla. Total distance covered on this day would be 350 kms if you are staying at Shimla and 430 kms if you plan to go to Narkanda. Travel time would be 8-10 hours. Road is mostly good all the way till Narkanda.

Also read: Spiti Circuit Route Guide and Road Map

Day2 – Shimla / Narkanda to Sarahan

Start a bit early if you stayed at Shimla on Day 1; If at Narkanda, you can start by 9-10 AM easily to reach Sarahan well in time. Take the road towards Rampur and a little after Narkanda, you will get your first view of Sutlej river. You will be traveling right alongside the river for rest of the day. Have your lunch at Rampur and from there, continue towards Jeori. At Jeori, leave the highway and take the 16 kms long bifurcation towards Sarahan. It is quite a steep climb and the bifurcation is right near the bus stand at Jeori. Sarahan is a small but beautiful town famous for 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.

Total distance traveled will be 165 kms if you stayed at Shimla and 100 kms if you stayed at Narkanda. Travel time will be 6-7 hours depending upon the breaks you take. Road conditions will be good until Rampur but will start to deteriorate as you get closer to Jeori.

Day 3- Sarahan to Chitkul

From Sarahan, return back to Jeori and continue on the highway again towards Karchham. At Karchham, leave the highway again and take the diversion towards Sangla. From here, you will enter the beautiful Sangla valley. Stay on the road until it ends at the small village of Chitkul. You will also cross Sangla on your way which is also quite a famous town. Lot of people chose to stay here but I will recommend Chitkul. There is an ATM at Sangla in case you want to withdraw cash.

Karchham is the site for a huge dam on river Sutlej which you will see as you go towards Chitkul. Sangla is famous for Nages god temple and Kamru Fort. Chitkul is a beautiful small village located right next to Baspa river.

Also read: How to Handle Acute Mountain Sickness in Spiti Valley

Road will mostly remain bad all the way till Chitkul. At several stretches, there will not be a road at all and you will end up driving on dirt trails. Total distance covered would be 125 kms approximately and will take 6-7 hours easily.

Day 4 – Chitkul to Kalpa

From Chitkul, return all the way till Karchham and continue towards Powari. From Powari, leave the highway once again and take the diversion towards Reckong Peo and continue towards Kalpa. Foreign nationals visiting Spiti need to obtain a permit here at Reckong Peo. Kalpa is famous for the majestic view of Kinner Kailash. If you are short on time, you can skip this day and continue towards Nako from Chitkul.

Total distance covered from Chitkul to Kapla would be about 70 kms and will not take more than 3-4 hours at most. Roads are bad throughout except for a few last kilometers around Reckong Peo and Kalpa. Reckong Peo has a petrol pump that you can tank up at.

Day 5 – Kalpa to Nako / Tabo

From Kalpa, return once again to Powari and take the highway towards Pooh. The next petrol pump is not until Kaza so you should definitely tank up your vehicle at Reckong Peo. Register yourself at the check post at Pooh and continue straight towards Nako. I would personally recommend staying at Nako but if you want to, you may continue all the way to Tabo and stay there for the night. There are a couple of hotels at Nako and also a PWD guest house right next to Nako Lake. 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. There are other hotels and hostels like Tashi Gangsar, Menthok Dumra at Tabo, including the monastery’s own guest houses.

Also read: Clothes for Spiti Trip – What to Pack?

See the confluence of Spiti and Satluj rivers at Khab. The bridge at Khab also offers a great view of Leo Purygal Peak.

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. Just before Nako is the much dreaded and famous Malling Nallah

Total distance until Nako is 100 kms and 150 till Tabo. Road is bad up until Pooh but after that it is mostly good all the way till Nako. As you start to get closer to Tabo, it is a mix of good and average. Reaching Nako will take about 4-5 hours and about 6-7 to reach Tabo.

Day 6 – Nako / Tabo to Kaza

Destination for today will be Kaza but you will be visiting the village of Dhankar as well on the way. Primary attraction at Dhankar are the two, Old and new, Dhankar monasteries. There is also a lake near Dhankar but to visit there, you will have to do a bit of trekking, a couple of hours.  Kaza is approximately 115 kilometers from Nako and 60 from Tabo. Road is a mix of good and average so you can do this journey at ease, no need to rush. At most a 4-5 hours journey from Nako.

Also read: Mobile Networks and Data Connectivity in Ladakh

Day 7 –   Kaza – Kibber – Tashigong – Langza – Koumik – Kaza

You will spend this day in Kaza, travelling the places around. Visit the famous Ki monastery and take a drive to the nearby villages of Kibber, Tashigong, Langza, Kaumik and return to Kaza by evening. This area is famous for some very old fossils that were found here. Tanggyud monastery in Koumik is worth a visit.  Langza offers a great view of Chau Chau Kang Nelda peak. There is also a large Buddha statue here which is quite magnificent. Please do note that if you are short on time, you can skip this day.

Day 8 – Kaza to Chandratal

After Kaza, the roads will start to get bad to the point that it will become a nightmare to cross. Chandratal is at about a distance of 60 kms from Kaza. Head towards Losar, then to Kunzum Pass which will be your first high altitude pass in the journey so far. After you cross the Kunzum Pass top, you will notice a signboard and small road going towards Chandratal, a stretch of 14 kms. Turn on this road to reach Chandratal and check in to one of the several camp sites here. All the camps however are at about 3 kilometers distance minimum from Chandratal and to reach the lake, you will have to cover this last bit of distance on foot as vehicles are not allowed after a certain point.

Roads  will remain mostly bad throughout the day.

Day 9 – Chandratal to Manali:

Manali is only at a distance of 122 kms from Chandratal but make no mistake; this journey will easily take 7-8 hours, even more. You will be driving through the worst patch of road that you have ever encountered in your life. From Chandratal, reach back to Kunzum Pass, then head towards Batal. At Batal, you will take the road towards Gramphoo and then start on your ascent to second high altitude pass of the journey, Rohtang La. From there, it is a straight run to Manali.

Also read: Budget Hotels in Spiti Valley

Day 10: Manali to Delhi:

Nothing too add here really except for a long monotonous drive back home. this drive can take anywhere between 12-15 hours depending on your mode of travel, speed and breaks you take.

This is a rough layout of the journey including the known tourist attractions that you should keep on your “to visit” list. If you have more time in hand, you can chose to either spend a day more at Kaza, or stay at Mud village and enjoy the beauty of PIN valley, or stay at Mane village and trek to beautiful Sopona Lake.

Total distance

From Delhi to Shimla to Kaza to Manali and back to Delhi will be about 1500 odd kilometers.

Average Kilometers per day

Per the above mentioned itinerary, you will be covering about 400 kms on first day and 550 on last day. Apart from these two days, average distance covered per day will be between 100 to 150.

Also read: Recommended Hotels in Spiti Valley

Average time of travel per day

Your first and last day journey will be long, 8 hours for first and 12 hours for last. Apart from this, you will be traveling about 6 hours a day at an average.

As I mentioned above, this is just a rough itinerary which of course not everyone will be able to follow because of time limitation. If you want to change the above mentioned travel plan,  you should keep in mind that When it comes to Spiti, it is not the distance but the road condition that matters. The entire circuit is notorious for bad roads so do not keep your distance greater than 150-200 kilometers on any given day.

I hope this article on Shimla to Spiti itinerary was helpful. If you have any further questions, or need any assistance drafting your itinerary different than the one mentioned above, please feel free to ask in the comments section below; or at our Community Forum; and I would be glad to answer.

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Puneet September 17, 2022 - 4:59 pm

Hi Vargis,
I am planing to go Spiti via Shimla in the end of October. First question is it a good time to visit?
Also since route from Manali to Spiti might not be open at that time of the year, so can I go till Chandratal and come back instead of completing the circuit.
What would you suggest?
Thanks in advance.

Vargis.Khan September 29, 2022 - 3:53 pm

Hi Puneet – Good time? Definitely not. Chandratal will be closed by then and so will be the Kaza – Manali route.

Radhika May 16, 2024 - 4:59 pm

Hi Vargis, your blog is super helpful I’ve gone through the whole thing and planned our trip.

We’re going to reach Manali on 4th June. Could we do Manali – Kaza – Chandratal – Manali or will the routes not support it?

Amal RoyChowdhury May 9, 2022 - 8:22 am

Hi Vargis,
I am planning a trip to Spiti in early July. Starting from Simla on 4th July by hired Innova. Reaching Kaza on 9th July. On 11th july if we start from Kaza after early breakfast, aprox. how many hours the car will take to reach to Chandratal? We will stay one night at camp there. But we want to trek to the lake after reaching at the camp.
My second query, if we start from Manali at 7 am, can we safely catch the evening flight from Chandigarh to Kolkata at 7.40pm? I am raising this issue, because four- laning of road from Manali to Mandi is in progress, and this is causing traffic congestion.
Please help me.

Vargis.Khan May 10, 2022 - 7:34 am

Hi Amal – Kaza to Chandratal is hardly 4 to 5 hours at most. You will easily get there in time. The same is the answer for Manali to Chandigarh as well. You will get there in time but I will still recommend that you push up your starting time. Maybe start by 5 or 6 am so you can make good time and avoid the traffic as much as you can.

Padmanava Roy January 26, 2022 - 8:11 am

I want to visit this circuit this march. Can it be done in around 7-8 days. Will be going with family. Can u pls help me with a adjusted itinerary??It can start from Delhi or Simla. Thanks in advance.

Vargis.Khan January 30, 2022 - 12:42 am

Do you mean the entire circuit from Shimla to Kaza to Manali? No, you cannot do it before May.

Varun Gupta February 10, 2023 - 5:21 am

Why can’t this be done before May? Are somethings closed till May? We are planning to do this circuit in April.

Vargis.Khan February 21, 2023 - 12:38 pm

Because Manali – Kaza route usually opens by early or Mid May. Depending on the weather, sometimes it remains closed until the end of May.

Mitesh Sanghrajka April 25, 2022 - 9:36 am

Dear Vargis
This is a great post, much helpful for everyone who is planning trip here. Please share more of your experience with other places too.

I want to know which one is more preferable to visit, Lahaul or Spiti????.

Vargis.Khan April 26, 2022 - 8:30 am

Thank you Mitesh. If you want to see Lush green valleys, Lahaul is the place to go. If you want to see a Ladakh like landscape, then it is Spiti.

Jolly Chatterjee May 20, 2022 - 1:43 pm

Hi Vargis, I’m planning a Spiti Valley trip by the end of Sept 2022, and early Oct. By Manali route. Don’t have much time to complete the circuit from Kalpa side. Can it be an issue to cross Kunzum La and staying at Chandratal? Also AMS ?
Thank you !

Badal sil October 30, 2020 - 2:25 pm

Dear virgis sir
I am eagar to complete the total circuit ‘by bus only’starting from shimla and end up to manali. Suggest low cost budget.number of days does not matter me. Pls ensure me low cost budget.
Thank you.

Badal sil October 30, 2020 - 2:22 pm

Dear virgins sir
I am eagar to complete the total circuit ‘by bus only’starting from shimla and end up to manali. Suggest low cost budget.number of days does not matter me. Pls ensure me low cost budget.
Thank you.

sanket March 14, 2020 - 12:14 pm

does it stands same for travelling via private self driven car?? or i can reduce days??
i planned my ladakh trip after reading your blog buddy, nice work…

Vargis.Khan March 14, 2020 - 6:39 pm

Yes, the same itinerary will apply for driving around in your own car.

Arpita March 2, 2020 - 1:49 pm

Hi Vargis

I found your website to be very informative and helpful. Thank you very much for posting such fantastic articles.We are planning to travel to Spiti in Mid of Aug for about 9 days. Our plan is to climb up from Shimla. I have heard that it is not advisable to travel in Aug due to rains. Is that correct?

SS October 7, 2019 - 4:56 am

Hi Vargis, what do you think about Kafnu ? Is it worth of adding to the itinerary if time permits and staying for 1N there ?

Vargis.Khan October 7, 2019 - 5:05 am

Hi SS,

You can go but there is nothing there though. Just a small village and only 1 hotel. There is a nearby glacier that you can visit in a single day after trekking but that is pretty much it.

SS October 7, 2019 - 6:07 am

Many thanks Vargis for your suggestion

Vargis.Khan October 7, 2019 - 6:36 am

You are welcome !!!

chazatlowang September 19, 2019 - 11:00 am

Hi Vargis, I wanted to do a solo trip (lady) in this circuit …how is the public transport facilities in this route that is Delhi to Shimla,kalpa,kaza,Manali . I was planning it in 8days first week October. Do let me know and thankyou for a lovely detailed blog.

Vargis.Khan September 19, 2019 - 12:14 pm

Thank you !!! There are regular buses on the route and you will have no problem completing the circuit by Bus.

Chail - A Complete Travel Guide to Offbeat Himachal - Vargis Khan August 21, 2019 - 3:38 pm

[…] last for a good 4 to 5 days as well. I have known some people who were headed towards Kinnaur and Spiti valleys and included a night stay at Chail in their […]

JASWANT SINGH August 8, 2019 - 6:58 am

Hello Vargis









Vargis.Khan August 8, 2019 - 12:58 pm

Theek hai Jaswant Bhai. Koi tension nahi hai.
Kaza se Manali Chandrtal hote hue aana

Peeyush June 16, 2019 - 1:26 pm

Can we go with our Sedan

Vargis.Khan June 17, 2019 - 1:50 pm

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

Madhur Varma May 2, 2019 - 5:16 am

Am planning a 40 odd day road trip from Pune to Spiti, Lahaul, and Leh beginning 16th Apr in my Ford Endevour.
Tentative plan is to go to Spiti from Shimla side and then proceed to Lahaul and Leh from Kunzum once it opens end May and come back from Rohtang. Plan on spending some time in Pin Valley as well during this trip
Proceed to Udhampur and go till Verinag thereafter. Coming back go to SriGanganagar, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Barmer, Runn of Kuch, Alang, and back to Pune
A few questions:
1. Since I dont have a defined itinerary, is it okay to just go through the region (availability of hotels, etc)?
2. Is it okay to camp in the car itself in this region?
3. Do you require permits for Pin Valley National Park and can you spend 3/4 days inside the park? If so, is there local help available in Mud
4. If you could help me with an itinerary for 30 days in this region please
Many thanks and regards


Viraj April 1, 2019 - 9:06 am

Hi Vargis,

I and My wife are planning to do Spiti Circuit on my Classic 350. We have around 7 days. I have prepared below itinerary.
Let me know if it is doable. Also suggest if Day 2 and Day 3 stops are good.

I have done Srinagar-Leh-Manali Circuit 3 years back on my bike.

Vargis.Khan April 1, 2019 - 5:43 pm

Hi Viraj – Your itinerary is fine brother. No change needed

Viraj April 2, 2019 - 5:31 am

Thank you very much..

Vargis.Khan April 2, 2019 - 10:57 pm

You are welcome !!!

Brooklyn Bose March 7, 2019 - 8:24 am

Hi Vargis,
Great travelogue and loads of useful information. Appreciate of helping out everyone.

I just want ask you, what’s your opinion on carrying Tent and sleeping bag? if its not useful there is no point in carrying both all the way. Im planing for solo travel with my 95 model royal enfield Machismo this year. and Im bit confused on the travelling month also. I love greenery. so which mouth do you suggest?

Vargis.Khan March 7, 2019 - 7:26 pm

Hi Brooklyn, I wouldn’t recommend carrying you own camping gear to be honest. September will be the best month to go.

Kartavya Choudhary November 30, 2018 - 6:58 pm

Can we travel in December end via shimla route by car.If we can then please provide details of any best car operator in your knowledge.

Vargis.Khan November 30, 2018 - 10:29 pm

Yes you can go via Shimla but I am sorry I do not have contact details of any car operators.

Seshadri Sarkar September 20, 2018 - 10:01 am

Hi Vargis Sir,

Your blogs are very informative. You have put great effort to share your experiences and knowledge for Himalayan trips.

I need a favor from you. I am planning to go Spiti valley from 13th to 21st oct on motorbike.

Here is my basic itinerary:
day 1: Delhi to Rampur (stay)
day 2: Rampur to Sangla (stay)
day 3: Sangla to Nako (stay)
day 4: Nako – Gue – Tabo (stay)
day 5: Tabo – Dhankar – mudh village (stay)
day 6: Mudh village – kaza – Hikkim & nearby places (stay at kaza or hikkim)
day 7: Kaza to Manali (if kumzum pass is open at that time) — else – Kaza to kalpa
day 8: manali (stay) — else – kalpa to chandigarh
day 9: manali to delhi back — else – chandigarh to Delhi

If you could guide me on this that would be really helpful for me..

Thanks in advance.

Vargis.Khan September 20, 2018 - 4:09 pm

Bhai when are you traveling? itinerary looks good. Only change I will recommend is to do Rampur to Chitkul rather than Sangla.

Seshadri Sarkar September 26, 2018 - 9:24 am

Thank you Sir.
I will be travelling from 13th October to 21st October.

Vargis.Khan September 26, 2018 - 12:20 pm

There have been a lot of snow recently. Kunzum Pass is already closed and even Rohtang is right now. They are currently working on rescuing tourists from Spiti and Chandratal as Shimla to Kaza road is blocked too. I will recommend putting your plan on hold as of now and see how the weather trends. Not really safe to be traveling towards Spiti right now.

Rj August 21, 2018 - 10:19 am

Hello Vargis,

Your blogs are very informative and helpful. Me and my husband, we are planning to do Himachal including Kasol, Spiti, and Dharamshal this October. We are landing at Chandigarh on September 28th, and are heading to Kashmir on October 12th for a friend’s wedding. So we will be reaching to Jammu via Dharamshala. Is this much time enough to cover Spiti, Kasol as well as Dharmashala? Kindly advice. We are a bit confused. It would be great if you suggest us a good itinerary to cover all these places. Also, we do not want to miss on Chandratal or places that can not be missed.

Thanks in advance.

Rj August 21, 2018 - 10:14 am

Hello Vargis,

Your blogs are very informative and helpful. Me and my husband, we are planning to do Himachal including Kasol, Spiti, and Dharamshal this October. We are landing at Chandigarh on September 28th, and are heading to Kashmir on October 12th for a friend’s wedding. So we will be reaching to Jammu via Dharamshala. Is this much time enough to cover Spiti, Kasol as well as Dharmashala? Kindly advice. We are a bit confused. It would be great if you suggest us a good itinerary to cover all these places.

Thanks in advance.

Gargi August 20, 2018 - 3:04 pm

Hey Vargis,
I have generally seen pooh in such itinaries.
Any specific reason to not include pooh?
Should I include Pooh or Sarahan?

indu July 29, 2018 - 5:34 am

Ah ok, got it…thank you.

Vargis.Khan July 29, 2018 - 5:45 am

You are welcome !!!

indu July 28, 2018 - 9:12 pm

Ok thank you,i will check that, but I am curious to know that why a flight till Shimla is not recommended.,

Vargis.Khan July 29, 2018 - 2:58 am

I am not saying it is “not recommended”, I was just suggesting an alternate option. If you want to then yes, flying directly to Shimla is also a choice.

Indu July 28, 2018 - 7:15 pm

Hi Vargis, have couple of queries……

1. I wiil be travelling from mumbai. is it a good idea to travel by flight till Shimla (Delhi stopover) or should i get down at Delhi airport and travel by bus or cab?

2. i would like to hire a cab , what would be the approax cab cost for this whole circuit of Shimla-Kaza-Manali ?

Vargis.Khan July 28, 2018 - 8:54 pm

Hi Indu – A better choice would be to land at Chandigarh, why not do that? Please have a word with Jamaica at 9418200183. He can arrange a taxi for your from Chandigarh and back. You can talk to him and see how much it will cost. In case you are unable to reach him on the phone due to connectivity issues in Spiti, drop a message on watsapp and he will call back.

Rafidah July 25, 2018 - 3:48 am

Hi Vargis, sorry Im a little confused. This journey is supposed to be Shimla to Spitti but your journey ends in Manali. How do I get to Spitti from Manali? Or is Spitti IN Manali? I’m from Singapore and I have no clue. Appreciate your help in advance! 🙂

Vargis.Khan July 25, 2018 - 3:54 am

Hi Rafidah – Kaza is spiti valley. So you reach spiti valley from Shimla and then exit taking a different route via Manali rather than traveling all the way back to Shimla.

Rafidah July 25, 2018 - 4:17 am

Understood! Just one more question – instead of Delhi my flight lands in Amritsar and I will also depart from Amritsar back to Singapore. Any suggestions as to which routes (i.e via public transport) I should take for my first day and last day?

Vargis.Khan July 25, 2018 - 5:03 am

From Amritsar, you can easily catch a direct bus from Shimla. If not then find one for Chandigarh and then reach Shimla from there.

Same way for return journey. Find a direct bus from Manali to Amritsar. If not available then board one for Chandigarh and then go to Amritsar from there.

Rafidah July 25, 2018 - 6:18 am

Thank you very much 🙂

Vargis.Khan July 25, 2018 - 1:00 pm

You are welcome !!!

alexandra le roy July 12, 2018 - 3:37 pm

Hello Vargis Khan! Thanks for such a well done blog, I’m impressed!
I had a question and I hoped you could help me.. Im planning a motorbike trip with my partner starting october 1st, from Shimla to Leh. aproximately 12 days.
Do you know if any of the passes on the way will be a problem at this time of the year?
I read that it is possible all year long to go from Shimla to Manali.. ?
What could be the issues from manali to Leh?
Thanks in advance for any help!

Vargis.Khan July 12, 2018 - 6:10 pm

Hello Alexandra – Thank you for your kind words.

Shimla to Manali all year via Spiti is not possible. Kunzum pass gets snowed out and blocked sometime towards late October or early November. In first half of the October, you should be able to complete the trip without any problems. Problem arises more in second half of the month. It will definitely however be very cold so prepare accordingly.

Niranjan July 5, 2018 - 5:45 am

Hello Vargis Bhai,

I am planning for a trip to Leh from Manali. The actual plan was to come back from Srinagar route. But now the plan is slightly changed as we have already covered Delhi-Manali-Leh-Srinagar-Delhi twice.

Now Planning to come back from Leh from the same route to Keylong and then follow the Spiti route to reach Shimla. I have 3 days to reach Shimla from Keylong and I am travelling in a Fortuner. Any advice/itinerary on this please.

Vargis.Khan July 5, 2018 - 2:16 pm

Niranjan Bhai for 3 days, do Keylong to Kaza, then Kaza to Kalpa and Kalpa to Shimla. Be prepared for extremely bad roads on Keylong to Kaza route and start early.

deepak sharma June 17, 2018 - 3:48 am

sir i am planning a trip to spiti valley on sept 9. we are 1 couple and a small child abt 1 yr old. i want to hire a taxi from shimla and have a total to 7 to 8 days and return back to shimla.does the weather ia gd from shimla to spiti.and temp also.kindly provide me the itinary and also sugest hotels and stay point.kindly add stay at chitkul also.

Vargis.Khan June 18, 2018 - 2:10 pm

Hi Deepak – Please take a look at the itineraries for 7 and 8 days at the links below. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Sanjoy C June 10, 2018 - 6:51 pm

Hello Vargis..i am from Bangalore and I must thank you for your outstanding effort to share your experiences and knowledge for Himalayan trips.
I have few questions for my upcoming Spiti trip from Shimla.
We are two couples with a 3 yrs old kid.
We will be starting our journey on 14th Oct from Shimla..and we will have roughly 8 days of time in hand till reaching to Delhi.
Our plan is to skip Chandra tal lake as we feel it would be difficult to walk the distance with a kid.
I have my plan like :
day 1 Shimla to Sangla
day 2 Sangla to Kalpa
day 3 Kalpa to Tabo
day 4kaza
day 5 Kaza local
day 6kaza to lossar
day 7 lossar to Manali

I want your detail opinion on this plan.
Will it be a very hectic?
If yes how should we alter?
Which one we should add or skip?
As we are bit rigid in timeline..may be another 1/2 days can be added.
Also it will be helpful if you can inform us for some pit stops for food and where to stay.
Starting from Shimla to Spiti and return, if you can share some drivers details who will be taking the responsibilities of this entire trip.
I will follow the link of the hotels as you shared.
Sorry for this big list of questions, but we really need your support as this is our first trio at Himachal and we want to make it a memorable one.
Waiting for your reply.

Saket May 25, 2018 - 1:43 am

Do we need a permit to go via Shimla ?

Krutarth Miyawara May 6, 2018 - 6:34 pm

Ohhhhhhh…Man… hell lot of information here… brother.. read all the questions and answer given by you.. I am planning trip to Spiti circuit.. by June 1st ’18.. for 10 days..
We’re planning to hire cab from delhi to delhi.. any suggestion on this? I’ll reach delhi around 22:00 hours on 1st of june and have return flight at 10th jun.. can you do me a favor? Can you make an Itinerary for me? It will be great help.

Vargis.Khan May 7, 2018 - 12:56 am

Hi Krutarth – For 10 days, follow the itinerary I suggested in this article. It will be the best travel plan and will cover majority of the tourist attractions in Spiti

Zahangir Alam May 4, 2018 - 2:55 pm

Hello Mr. Khan,
This is Zahangir from Bangladesh. We are three friends planing to visit Delhi -Shimla – Chitkul-Sarahan-kalpa-Delhi. It is 6 days tour during the first week of June. We are very much confused about our trip, accommodation, permit issues and transport. We tried to book some hotel from online but maximum hotel in Shimla said only for Indians. We will prefer hire car for whole trip. Could you please suggest us regarding this tour?
Eagerly awaiting for your kind reply.
Thank you so much.

Vargis.Khan May 4, 2018 - 3:18 pm

Hi Zahangir – Please contact Jamaica in Spiti Valley at 9418200183. He will assist you with the trip and hiring a car for the entire tour. He is a local from Kaza. Give my reference and he will take good care of you organizing the entire tour.

Zahangir Alam May 4, 2018 - 5:08 pm

Thank you so much for your prompt response and help. We will not be able to cover spiti Valley I think by 6 days tour. We are planing Delhi to Kalpa and kalpa to Delhi. Is he able to assist this tour ?

Thanks a lot again.

Vargis.Khan May 5, 2018 - 3:56 pm

You are welcome. He should be able to. Have a word with him.

Lavanya Ramakrishnan April 18, 2018 - 5:09 pm

Hello, Mr. Vargis. Thanks for such a wonderful and detailed insight. Has been very helpful.
We are group of 4 girls travelling between 20th-27th May 2018 from Delhi-Manali-Spiti. Actually, we have just been able to plan out this much and we need help with further planning. Spiti stay would be between 22nd -25th. Can you tell a little about buses from Spiti to Shimla if there are any? And whether it is suitable or would you suggest a trip back to Manali and an onward trip to Shimla? We will be travelling the whole route by public buses/private taxis.
Your views would be highly appreciated. Thank you once again.


Vargis.Khan April 18, 2018 - 5:44 pm

Hi Lavanya – Please see the two articles below. This should help you plan your trip by bus service.

vikas choudhary April 19, 2018 - 9:34 am

Hi lavanya, we are a group of 3 guys. we are also travelling from 23rd may to 31 may by own vehicle(Fortuner). keep us posted so that we can also have some idea about weather and roads.


Shubham Bhardwaj May 15, 2018 - 12:57 am

HI, I am travelling from 19th to 24th by own vehicle. Shimla-Kaza- Shimla/Manali ( Depending on road status). lets get in touch

Sahil Jain March 27, 2018 - 12:24 pm

Hi Vargis
We are a group of 6 friends from Indore. We want to complete the Spiti Valley Journey in June first week (the entire circuit from Shimla to Manali) in 8 days. Please advise us as to how it can be planned.
We have thought of the following itinerary:
Day 1 Indore to Delhi Flight –
Day 1 Delhi to Shimla 360 Km 8 Hrs

Day 2 Shimla to Chitkul 247 Km 8 Hrs
Chitkul to Sangla 24 Km 1 Hr

Day 3 Sangla to Nako 130 Km 4 Hrs
Nako to Tabo 64 Km 1 Hr

Day 4 Tabo to Dhankar 30 Km 1 Hr
Dhankar to Kaza 33 Km 1 Hr
Kaza to Pin Valley 50 Km 2.5 Hrs

Day 5 Pin Valley – Langza 65 KM 4 Hrs
Langza-Hikkim 9 Km 40 Mins
Hikkim-Comic 5 Km 10 Mins
Comic-Kaza 19 Km 1 Hr

Day 6 Kaza-Key Monastery 15 Km 40 Mins
Key Monastery-Kibber 6 Km 20 Mins
Kibber-Chandratal 70 Km 4 Hrs

Day 7 Chandratal-Manali 140 Kms 6 Hrs
Leave Manali at Night for Delhi 556 Kms

Day 8 Delhi to Indore Flight

Vargis.Khan March 27, 2018 - 1:38 pm

Hi Sahil – Plan this way please,

1. Indore to Delhi to Shimla
2. Shimla to Chitkul to Sangla (Very long journey so ensure you get an early start by first light of the day)
3. Sangla to Tabo (Very Long journey again)
4. Tabo to Pin Valley to Kaza
5. Kaza to Kibber / Komik / Langza / Hikkim to Kaza
6. Kaza to Chandratal
7. Chandratal to Manali to Delhi
8. Delhi to Indore

1. How are you traveling?
2. I must strongly advise you to add at least 2 more days to the trip.

Sahil Jain March 27, 2018 - 3:38 pm

Thanks for the reply vargis
We are traveling from Indore-Delhi (round trip by air) and from Delhi/Shimla onwards, we are planning to go by a hired fortuner.
Also please suggest an 8 day itinerary as we have only 8 days time
If it will be too tiring or not possible to do, then we will go for the 10 day tour advised by you.

Vargis.Khan March 27, 2018 - 4:00 pm

8 days itinerary is as I suggested earlier Sahil. It is doable in a Fortuner but if you can then make it a 10 days trip. You will enjoy better that way.

Mohit Verma March 23, 2018 - 7:24 am

We are three person and 2 bikes, we are going from 25 march and we plan to travel from 25 march to 4april, so i want to ask can we visit all the places what you described here?

Vargis.Khan March 26, 2018 - 4:19 pm

You will have to plan via Shimla only. Cannot cover Manali route in March-April

Satya March 22, 2018 - 7:59 pm

Dear Mr. Khan,
I am planning to visit Spiti this April with my wife.

I have two options:
a) Travel from delhi – shimla by bus
b) Rent bike from shimla
c) Shimla to Chitkul
d) Chitkul to Nako
e) Nako to Kaza & Key
f) Kaza to Taboo
g) Taboo to Kalpa
h) Kalpa to Shimla

a) Travel from Delhi to Chandigarh by bus/train (which will be suitable)
b) Chandigarh to Narkanda (same Day, as I will be reaching delhi at midnight)
c) Narkanda to Chitkul
d) Chitkul to Nako
e) Nako to Kaza
f) Kaza – Kalpa – Shimla

Planning to cover whole circuit on bike, will that be suitable depending on the road condition ? can i get bike rentals in Shimla ? Give some contacts, if any. Can Kaza is doable by bus ?

What will be the cost if I travel from Shimla to Kaza by Taxi ?

Vargis.Khan March 26, 2018 - 4:33 pm

Hello Mr. Satya,

Going to Shimla by Bus and then renting a bike is a better choice. Hiring a private taxi for the entire trip will cost you several thousand and will be an expensive affair.

Sanjeet March 9, 2018 - 7:45 am

Hi Vargis,

Really appreciate the advice and effort taken to help people on their queries. Really selfless.

I am planning a trip from 19th March till 26th march 2018 from Chandigarh to Spiti/Kinnaur valley.

Few below queries.
1. Is the below route ok? and also are days sufficent as dont want to keep it too cramp–can extend for a day if needed so
1st Day- Chandigarh to Narkanda? Any other place you would suggest to have a stay
2nd Day – Narkhanda to Chitkul
3rd day- Chitkul to Nako
4th day – Nako to Kaza
5th day – Kaza to Taboo
6th Day- Taboo to Kalpa
7th day – Kalpa to Shimla

2. Can you share a link of the hotels/campsite where stay can be done?

3 I am going with my wife- so is it safe?

4 Since i am going in march , understand Chandratal will be close, but any chance we could explore that?

Since i am looking for a scenic view- anything that is missed from above itinerary that should be a definite visit?

Appreciate your response.


Vargis.Khan March 9, 2018 - 8:57 pm

Hello Sanjeet – Thank you for your kind words.

1. Your itinerary looks good.

2. For hotels, see the links below.

3. Yes, it is safe to go with your wife

4. Chandratal will be blocked completely. Cannot reach here unless you are ready to trek through all the snow for a few days.

5. No, you plan pretty much cover all the open places. May want to add Sarahan here if you have a day more. It is a scenic place to stay for a day.

Sanjeet March 10, 2018 - 1:44 am

Thanks Vargis for the quick reply.I would look to add Sarahan.
Couple of more qs

1. I was reading generally march its a bit chilly- i am ok to face cold conditions but is it really harsh that food and water supply is very limited. At the end of the day want to enjoy and dont want to make it a too adevnturous trip.
2. I was reading that you were planning a trip in feb, did you go. Since you have a great knowledge of that area what temperatures we could expect ( seeing that snowfall this time around was less).
3. A little bit off track- i have two options either do this 7 days trip to Kinnaur/Spiti or do 4 days Manali( including a day trek to Hamta) and 4 days Dharamshala including a two day trek to Triund. I want to know which would be more memorable in terms of scenic beauty, exploring intricacy of himachal and at the same time looking for a good adventure.

Appreciate your reaponse.


Vargis.Khan March 12, 2018 - 8:49 pm

Hello Sanjeet,

1. It will be cold in March yes. Food Supply will not be a problem but water may be. Pipes at this time freeze so there may not be any running water at all and hot water will be provided in buckets. You may also have to do morning business squatting over a dry pit.

2. I did not go because it did not really snow that much this year, just a little. I will plan again for next year Feb.

3. Do you mean 4 days at Manali and then 4 days at Mcleodgang; 8 days togther? If yes then let Spiti be for another time. TO be honest, this place is best visiting between July and September. Winter season is a time for people who have already been there once and want to see a different face of Spiti. For first trip, I will urge you to plan it in Summer and then maybe go there again next year in Winter. Who knows, maybe you and I can plan together next winter.

Sanjeet March 13, 2018 - 11:52 pm

Thanks for the reply Vargis!

Makes sense to plan a trip july- sept time. Yes for sure we can definately plan next year together.

Any good places to be visited in Manali, Macleodganj apart from below which i am planning to cover( sorry if i spamming this post of spiti)
– Manali local sight seen
– Gulaba, Solang Valley
– Day trek to Hamta Chika
– one day want to know if something adventure place can be explored?

– Bir Biling Paragliding
– Local Sight seen
– 2 day trek to Triund Top
– anything that can be explored?


Vargis.Khan March 14, 2018 - 2:43 pm

Hi Sanjeet – No you pretty much have it covered. This should take care of it all. For one day in Manali, you can make a day trip to Gurudwara Manikaran Sahib. It is quite scenic and the drive is good too.

Amit Sharma February 26, 2018 - 8:15 am

Hi Vargis,
As always a very informative post. We want to travel in the month of May (2018) on bikes taking the Shimla route. I want to know two things:
1. I want to add Pin valley to my itinerary. Not the trek per se, day hike and back to base camp for night stay and next day off to Tabo. The idea is to enjoy star gazing amidst greenery
2. I’d gone to Ladakh October last month, basis your itinerary. The map you’d provided went a long way in making my trip memorable. Would you have a map which would help me in my intended visit to Spiti?

Last but definitely not the least, never stop writing!

Vargis.Khan February 26, 2018 - 3:43 pm

Hi Amit,

For Pin Valley, you can either take a day ride from Kaza. Take a look at the posts below. Should give you an idea about Pin and also a map of Spiti.

Ishan February 14, 2018 - 8:29 pm

Hey, thank you for the detailed information,
I have one question
I am planning to start the trip on 17th march 2018,
Are the roads accessible?
The vehicle I have is a sedan.
Can i go there by car and between 18-28th march?

Looking forward to your reply.
Thank you 🙂

Vargis.Khan February 15, 2018 - 6:35 pm

Hello – The road is open between Shimla and Kaza but the Manali route is closed. You can travel but there is snow right now in Spiti and managing that with a Sedan on bad roads will get difficult. If the snow is gone by March then the bad roads and low GC of Sedan will still present some difficulties.

Subhasis Nandy February 11, 2018 - 5:51 pm

hiii Vargis

you Itinerary is really helpful but i need suggestion from you.

we have really short time and we friends want to do it via shimla

1. can i travel from narkand to Tabo in a day?

2. can you help me with a car booking from chandigarh?(will that be a good option to hire a car from chandigarh to chandigarh?)

3. how may days do i need for sightseeing in Kaza?

Vargis.Khan February 12, 2018 - 6:13 pm

Hello Subhasis,

1. Way too long, almost not doable.
2. I am sorry but I do not have any contact in Chandigarh
3. At least one day

vipul Kothari February 2, 2018 - 1:19 pm

hello Mr khan ,
I am a novice to HP , need your help , after reading your articles about Spiti, i am seriously planning to scarp my whole tour to shimla and manali , and just start for Spiti from Shimla .We are 2 couples , both boys can do biking , We will reach delhi on 11th Feb morning .
1] I start for shimla same day and by evening will be at shimla .
2] Next day morning can i start for kaza by bus .wat time will i get a bus for kaza .is it safe to travel as couples 3] .As u suggested its a over night stay , will we get decent rooms to stay at peo.
4] Next day morning do we have regular buses for kaza ,
5] by 14th Feb i will be in kaza , should we rent a bike for local tours at kaza.
6] Which all places shall we cover near spiti valley , pls guide in detail , considering us as NOVICE bikers and travllers

Vargis.Khan February 5, 2018 - 3:09 pm

Hello Mr. Kothari

1. Yes you can board the bus next morning for Kaza. It starts early, between 6-7 AM.
2. Yes it is quite safe for couples
3. There are plenty of decent hotels at Peo that you can chose form
4. Yes, you will easily get a bus from Peo to Kaza
5. Yes, rent a bike at Kaza for visiting nearby places
6. You can take a ride towards the villages of Kibber, Kaumik, Langza and Hikkim. Next day you can take a ride to Pin Valley and return to Kaza by evening. You can also ride towards Kunzum Pass for as far as the road is open.

Archisha Bhattacharjee September 26, 2017 - 7:01 pm

Hi Vargis! Hats off to what you do! So helpful!
I have a couple of questions I was hoping you would be able to help with. My friend and I are planning to do some part of Spiti coming october. Our travel dates are 30th to 8th of October. Firstly, are there direct buses from Shimla to Kaza? If so, do we reach on the same day or is there an overnight halt? I believe the overnight halt is in Reckong Peo, if so, are there any places you suggest one should say? The internet says that Peo is a little unsafe, Im not sure how believable that information is.
Also, is Kaza as a center point okay for us to be able to explore the eastern part of spiti?
We also wanted to include Chandratal on our list but we do have a tight schedule. We have to start back for Shimla on 6th so we aren’t sure as to how exactly should we manage that.
Awaiting a reply!

Vargis.Khan September 28, 2017 - 2:54 pm

Hello Archista,

Thank you for your encouraging words. Yes there is a direct bus from Shimla to Kaza with night halt at Peo. You should stay there, nothing to worry about. Peo is completely safe. Kaza as the center point makes sense to explore Spiti, there is no better place. Starting from Shimla on 30th, you will reach Kaza on 1st evening. For Chandratal, Just rent a bike from Kaza, go to Chandratal, stay there for the night and come back the next day.

ESHANI KAUL August 16, 2017 - 4:34 pm

Hi Vargis,

Thank you so much for sharing this information. I was planning a solo trip to spiti in mid October and was wondering if you had any suggestions for me? I guess the manali route will be shut by then, in which case do you suggest a different itinerary ?

Vargis.Khan August 21, 2017 - 2:03 pm

Hello Eshani – Yes the Manali route may be closed by mid October and you will have to reach via Shimla and come back the same way. How are you traveling and for how many days?

ESHANI KAUL August 21, 2017 - 4:54 pm

Thank you so much for your response Vargis. I will be traveling by public transport i.e. bus and maybe at times a cab. My dates are 13-22 October.

Vargis.Khan August 21, 2017 - 5:05 pm

In that case, you will have to travel by Shimla to Kaza bus and return back to Shimla because the Manali-Kaza bus would definitely be non-operational by then.

ESHANI KAUL August 21, 2017 - 5:16 pm

I hope that is achievable in the 09 days that i have

Vargis.Khan August 21, 2017 - 8:34 pm

I think it is doable. You will just have to match your timings with the bus.

Maninder August 13, 2017 - 4:44 am

Hi Vargis….wonderful article and a whale of info. Planning the Spiti circuit (enter Shimla exit Manali) in mid September. How will the weather and road conditions be during this time? I have a Pajero automatic 2wd. Will it be be able to take the ascents and descents? Regards

Vargis.Khan August 15, 2017 - 5:14 am

Hello Maninder Bhai – Thank you for your appreciating words. Road conditions are always bad in Spiti, no matter which time of the year you go. Weather however will be good, September is actually the perfect time to go this way. Pajero will do fine. There is no ascent there that it cannot handle (Chalta Phirta Ghar as I call it)

Maninder Juneja August 30, 2017 - 7:25 am

Thanks for the response Vargis.
The route I am planning is as follows: Dehradun to Narkanda [1st night]; Narkanda to Sangla [2nd night]; Sangla to Nako [3rd night]; Nako to Kaza [4th night]; Kaza to Chandra Taal [5th night]; Chandra Taal to Manali [6th night]; Manali to Dehradun. Do you think it is practical enough keeping in view the distances, travel time each day and the accommodation availability.

Do I need to carry extra fuel [jerrycan] in my chalta phirta ghar or I will be able to manage with the pumps on the way? Also should I book my accommodation in advance or can take a call wherever we reach [though my fellow travelers are finicky about the sleeping spaces, wash rooms and food].

Do I need to carry any kind of specific equipment / implements which we might need on the rigorous route?

As you seem to be seasoned traveler on this route and it would be my first time, so please allow me to pose more queries to you as they arise in my mind.

Thanks n regards

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

Hello Maninder Bhai, I will be glad to help you with any queries you may have. Please feel free to ask.

About carrying specific equipment, please take a look at the article below.

No need to carry spare fuel, you will easily be able to manage it. The only long stretches on the route without a gas station will be between Reckong Peo and Kaza and then between Kaza to Manali. Correct me if I am wrong but Pajero I believe has a 70 liters tank which will easily cover the gap.

About your itinerary, which route are you taking for Dehradun to Narkanda? Tiuni, Rohru or via Nahan?

To he honest, can you throw in a couple more days in the plan?

akansha June 21, 2017 - 4:31 pm

is it safe for girl(solo)

Vargis.Khan June 21, 2017 - 5:09 pm

I have seen a few women traveling there alone, but mostly foreigners.

Anuroop May 27, 2017 - 3:35 am

Hi Vargis.. Great itinerary! Gives you a lot of ideas for planning the trip and customising it..

Iam planning the Spiti trip, entry from Shimla and exit via Manali route in last week of June..i believe the route will be open by then.. I have a Toyota etios with a better ground clearance coz of upgraded tyres.. Do you think we can make the trip?? 02 people including me + minimum luggage + extra fuel will be travelling.. Plz advice..

Vargis.Khan May 28, 2017 - 2:21 am

Thank you Anuroop. Roads will be all open by last week of June. Regarding Etios, I would let you be the judge if you can manage the car through, take a look at some of the pics I posted in this article, should give you an idea what you are headed in to. If the car has good ground clearance, I do not see any problem but a lot depends on the person behind the wheel.

tole April 20, 2017 - 10:13 pm

Hi Vargis, Cannot thank you enough for the tons of valuable information that you have posted about this area. Can clearly see your great passion.
We are 4 bikers planning a trip from Shimla to Manali via spiti … possibly one way… can you please help guide us?
1. I am hoping roads will open by May 23 2017. we are planning to leave on may 23 and need to be back on may 29 to shimla. hoping rohtang would be open by then.
2. Is it possible to bike from Shimla to manali via Kaza in 3 nights? can you help with itinerary
3. How bad the road conditions are usually? we dont have a lot of biking experience…
4. we have total of 5 days from shimla to shimla… would you suggest any other option around the valley?

Vargis.Khan April 21, 2017 - 2:25 am

Hello Tole – Thank you for your kind words, I really appreciate it.

1. There is a high possibility that Kunzum Pass may not open by that date. Manali to Kaza route is expected to open by late May or early June as of now.

2. Yes you can if you are ready to ride for about 12-13 hours per day on really bad broken roads. You can do Manali to Kaza on day 1, Kaza to Reckong Peo or Kalpa on Day 2 and Reckong Peo to Shimla on Day 3.

3. Road conditions will differ from super smooth, to good to average to bad to ugly to nightmarish. Gramphoo to Batal stretch in particular is one hell of a ride. Roads between Reckong Peo and Pooh can be really ugly.

4. If you have only 5 days then I would not recommend the complete circuit at all. You will just not be able to enjoy it. If I were you, I will just cover Kalpa and Chitkul or maybe go towards Jalori Pass.

tole April 21, 2017 - 3:08 pm

thank you sir for the valuable recommendations. If I am not doing the entire circuit, then starting manali, and hoping rohtaang pass would open by 24th may…what are my best options for 2-3 day biking?
1. how about we go to batal – chandratal and come back…? is it a 1 day comfortable ride to batal? how crowded would be that road in may end timeframe in terms of traffic?
2. other option is start towards leh side and stay in keylong and come back? how would you compare this to batal side? in terms of beauty, crowded, road condition?
3. last option is as you suggested, start from shimla , go to kalpa and come back.. again how is this route in terms of traffic, scenic etc?

thanks a ton sir…

Vargis.Khan April 22, 2017 - 2:30 am

Hello Tole,

1. Kunzum Pass and Chandratal may not be open by 24th May. It is a one day ride from Manali but it all depends on whether or not it is open. Chandratal is quite scenic and you will enjoy a night stay there at the camps.

2. Keylong will definitely be open.There will be a lot of snow at Baralacha La around that time which I am sure you will definitely enjoy. You can also go to Jispa and stay there.

3. Both Kalpa and Chitkul are quiet a scenic location. Chitkul is one of my personal favorite hill stations.

There won’t be much crowd anywhere on the routes so you do not have to worry about it.

If I was to chose, I would prefer going to Keylong and travel towards Baralacha La as far as I can go.

tole April 22, 2017 - 6:08 pm

so basically you are saying rohtang pass will defiantely be open by may 25 but the leh route may not be fully open and kumzum will definitely not open..

Vargis.Khan April 22, 2017 - 9:17 pm


Vargis.Khan April 21, 2017 - 2:26 am

Or you can also think about scaling Chanshal Pass. Easily doable in 5 days from Shimla.

PRASHANT KOUL April 20, 2017 - 1:01 pm

Hi Vargis,

Thank you so much for your post. It really helps a lot. I am planning Ride for Spitti and ladakh from Delhi on 12th May. Do u think Roads will be opened till 12th may. Also can u please suggest some itinerary especially from Delhi Shimla KAZA and Leh and then back to Delhi.

Can you please contact me if possible

Prashant Koul

PRASHANT KOUL April 20, 2017 - 1:03 pm

ALso if possible can u include chitkul route ….I have to reach delhi back on 23rd May. I can even leave before 12th May 2017

Vargis.Khan April 21, 2017 - 2:35 am

Hello Prashant – Thank you for your appreciating note brother.

You cannot go to Leh via Spiti that early in May. Kunzum Pass will be closed and so will be the entire Manali Leh highway. Expected opening date for both as of now is by late May or early July. You can either go to Spiti or Leh.

For Spiti you will have to do Delhi – Shimla – Chitkul – Kaza – Shimla – Delhi. Cannot exit from Manali as Kunzum Pass will be closed.

For Leh you will have to do Delhi – Srinagar – Leh – Sringar – Delhi. Cannot exit from Manali as Baralacha La will be closed.

moondil April 19, 2017 - 8:56 am


Thank you so much for such a useful post! I plan to visit Tabo Monastery in late May 2017. I plan to begin from Dharamsala. Since I do not own any vehicle and public bus service is my only option, my itinerary looks like this, as of now:

1. Dharamsala-Shimla (instead of spending the night at Shimla, would I be able to find overnight bus?)
2. Shimla-Kaza (via Rektong Peo)
3. Rektong Peo-Tabo

For return, if I want to exit through Manali, would taking Kaza-Manali-Kullu bus be a good idea?

Please let me know your thoughts about my itinerary. Also, do I need to book my tickets beforehand or would get a ticket at the bus stand on spot?


Vargis.Khan April 21, 2017 - 3:04 am

Hello Moon – Than you for your your appreciating words.

Your itinerary looks good. Yes, if you want to exit from Manali you can take the bus but it is not guaranteed that you will get it. Kunzum Pass is expected to open by late May but it is not yet confirmed if the bus service will be available that early. It may take a week or more for the bus service to start after the road opens.

If you are unable to find a bus and the road is open, you can also board a shared taxi. If the road is not open, you will have to return via Shimla.

There is no online or advance booking system available. You will easily get a ticket on spot, don’t worry about that.

I recommend that you take a look at the below mentioned article detailing how to travel through Spiti by Bus and taxi services.

kartik April 17, 2017 - 10:38 am

Hi Vargis,
First of all, thanks a ton for this informative blog.
Can you suggest any expedition company which provides for camping at Chandrataal ( late June ) for a single day ?
Thanks in advance.

Vargis.Khan April 17, 2017 - 9:38 pm

Hello Kartik – Thank you for your kind words.

Please take a look at the article below, let me know if this answers your question.

Rajiv Thukral April 12, 2017 - 10:53 am

Hi Vargis,
Your suggested itinerary appears concise yet elaborate.
We (2 adults, 2 children-15 & 13) have planned a road trip from Delhi (onwards via Simla & return via Manali) on our Innova starting the 16th June, more or less as you have suggested.
Day 1: Noida-Mashobra
Day 2: Mashobra-Sarahan
Day 3: Sarahan-Sangla/Chitkul
Day 4: Sangla/Chitkul-Kalpa
Day 5: Kalpa-Tabo
Day 6: Tabo-Lallung
Day 7: Lallung-Mud
Day 8: Mud-Kaza
Day 9: within Kaza
Day 10: Kaza-Losar
Day 11: Losar-Chandratal
Day 12: Chandratal-Manali
Day 13: within Manali
Day 14: Manali-Delhi
Please suggest if this is fine, should we let this itinerary be or reduce it a bit (for eg. Days 6 & 7, and Days 10 & 11, could be combined to single days?) Should we alter our stay at any point? Is the Innova (2-wheel, NOT 4-wheel drive) able to negotiate these roads/passes comfortably?
Also, would the Kunzum pass be open by the time we reach it?
Further, what places in each of these locations would you suggest as comfortable yet budget stays?
Many thanks

Vargis.Khan April 13, 2017 - 2:47 am

Hi Rajiv – You can reduce days at a few places. Do the following,

Day 1: Noida-Mashobra
Day 2: Mashobra-Sarahan
Day 3: Sarahan-Sangla/Chitkul
Day 4: Sangla/Chitkul-Kalpa
Day 5: Kalpa-Tabo
Day 6: Tabo-Mud (This is easily doable in one day, you do not need two days for this, barely a distance of sixty odd kilomteres which you can cover in 4-5 hours tops even if driving at ease with lots of breaks)
Day 7: Mud-Kaza
Day 8: within Kaza
Day 9: Kaza-Chandratal (Don’t stay at Losar, nothing and it is just one hour drive from Kaza)
Day 10: Chandratal-Manali
Day 11: within Manali
Day 12: Manali-Delhi

Mashobra – A few budget hotels here, if you do not find one per your taste then Fagu and Kufri are just a few kilomteres away, you can try there as well.

Sarahan – Budget hotels here too

Chitkul – See if you can get the PWD guest house caretaken to lend you a room. Good place and charge will be no more than 500 tops. Last year I got a room here for 200 after negotiation.

Kalpa – Budget hotels here too

Tabo – Budget hotels here too

Mud – Budget hotels here too

Kaza – Plenty of hotels

Chandratal – No hotels, only camping sites. Charges will be Rs. 1500 and above per person including meals.

Manali – Numerous hotels

Check this link for camping at Chandratal. This is my favorite camp site here. Let him know you got the number from me and he will treat you well, may even give some discount.

Rajiv Thukral April 13, 2017 - 11:06 am

Thanks Vargis.
Will make necessary modifications as suggested by you.
Will also try booking these hotels/campsites with your reference.
Just one question again: will my 2-wheel drive Innova negotiate these passes and bad terrain easily?
Will get back to you for any further tips

Vargis.Khan April 14, 2017 - 4:15 am

You are welcome Rajiv. Innova will do just fine, no problems at all. Just one thing, from Chandartal to Manali, the Batal Gramphoo stretch is one nightmare of a road with a lot of water crossings, some of which can be deep with rocks in the water and if you are not careful, can damage the belly of your car; even with car like Innova with so much ground clearance. You may even get stuck trying to cross. My advice would be to stop, inspect carefully, find a spot that doesnt seem to deep and then drive across. Even better, wait for a local taxi to cross first if there is one around.

Just book the campsite. No booking required at any other place. If you do book in advance, you will end up paying more. Just go there, find a hotel that you like, negotiate a deal and check in.

Manu Jyoti April 11, 2017 - 7:09 am

Hi Vargis,
We are planning to go spiti on bikes starting from chandigarh on 29th april and back by evening on 6th may. Please suggest itinerary. Thanks in advance.

Vargis.Khan April 12, 2017 - 3:01 am

Hi Manu – You can follow the following itinerary.

29. Chandigarh to Sarahan (Start early, possibly by 4-5 AM)
30. Sarahan to Sangla
01 – Sangla to Tabo (this will be a long ride but will make things easier for rest of the days)
02 – Tabo to Kaza
03 – Kaza (Rest and explore the nearby areas)
04 – Kaza to Nako
05 – Nako to Kalpa
06 – Kalpa to Chandigarh

VIsh April 6, 2017 - 4:31 am

Thanks for that quick reply Vargis. That was too quick!
You are really a beacon in these hills! Sure, we will definitely do Chandertal then.

We wanted to do a relaxed trip from Delhi and back in about 10 days. The last time we did Manali-Delhi in one go on last day and it was too taxing. So planning to break the last day, maybe after we hit the plains on our way down from Manali. First day, push to Narkanda would also be best taken easy, I assume, given the traffic once we hit the hills. Is there any way to bypass Shimla-Narkanda and reach Sarahan?

Vish April 6, 2017 - 1:12 pm

Could you also comment if Chitkul is a must see? Can it be skipped and Sarahan to Kalpa be done directly? Thanks in Advance

Vargis.Khan April 8, 2017 - 5:37 am

Hi Vish – Your words are too kind brother. I really appreciate it. Glad I could help.

Coming to your questions,

1. No way to bypass Shimla Narkanda to reach Sarahan. You will have to go through these.
2. Do not skip Chitkul. If you are looking to adjust a day, then skip Sarahan.Chitkul is a far better place. Another place that you may skip is Kalpa. Or skip the stay in Kaza to visit Kibber, Komik etc.

Why not plan this way …

1. Delhi to Narkanda
2. Narkanda to Sarahan
3. Sarahan to Chitkul
4. Chitkul to Nako
5. Nako to Kaza
6. Kaza
7. Kaza to Chandratal
8. Chandratal to Manali to Sundernagar
9. Sundernagar to Delhi

Keep a day’s buffer in case you want to stop somewhere in between. Or a day to relax at home after you come back from 9 days of ride.

Or do this …

1. Delhi to Shimla
2. Shimla to Sarahan
3. Sarahan to Chitkul
4. Chitkul to Kalpa
5. Kalpa to Nako
6. Nako to Kaza
7. Kaza to Chandratal
8. Chandratal to Manali
9. Manali to Chandigarh
10. Chandigarh to Delhi

Or do this

1. Delhi to Shimla
2. Shimla to Rampur
3. Rampur to Chitkul
4. Chitkul to Kalpa
5. Kalpa to Nako
6. Nako to Kaza
7. Kaza to Chandratal
8. Chandratal to Manali
9. Manali to Chandigarh
10. Chandigarh to Delhi

Vish April 12, 2017 - 4:53 pm

Thanks a lot!
We want to ride easy and enjoy the views and not burn out by riding too much on a single day.(An important lesson we learnt from our Ladakh circuit)

.Keeping max 7hr ride a day, how does this look? Are the times indicated realistic?

Day 1 delhi solan. 313 km 7h
Day 2 solan rampur 170km. 6h
Day3. Rampur Chitkul. 122km 5h
Day 4. Chitkul Kalpa. 60km 5h
Day 5. Kalpa Nako. 100km 6h
Day 6. Nako Kaza. 90km 6h
Day 7. Kaza Ctaal. 40km 6h
Day8. Ctaal Manali. 120km 7h
Day9. Manali Rupnagar. 264km 7h
Day10. Rupnagar Delhi. 292km 7h

Vargis.Khan April 13, 2017 - 2:51 am

This looks good Vish. Solan to Rampur can be a bit of a stretch. If you are doing this, I would recommend that you go another 35 kms further and stay at Sarahan. It is much scenic than Rampur and you would enjoy your stay there.

Rest of the itinerary is good.

Vish April 13, 2017 - 6:08 am

By stretch you mean Solan Rampur would be longer drive ?
Then which stops would you suggest to even spread out– Delhi – Chitkul leg in 3 days?

Day 1. Delhi. ——?
Day. 2. ?—————-?
Day. 3. ? —————- -Chitkul

Vargis.Khan April 14, 2017 - 4:18 am

No I just meant as compared to rest of your itinerary in hills. This is easily doable in 7 hours at most.

Vish April 5, 2017 - 7:41 pm

Hi Vargis!
Great site and loads of useful info you got here. Thanks of helping out everyone. We are 2 guys planning to do Spiti circuit in Jun on 2 Enfields. We have done the Srinagar-Leh-Manali circuit a couple of years ago, and are excited to do Spiti now.
1. What about mobile coverage? Do we need BSNL sims to get any coverage in Spiti valley.? Are there any zones that are completely off the coverage grid still?
2. Your suggested itinerary above, looks perfect for us. Could you please suggest if Chandertaal can be skipped and we could push to Manali from Kaza (Across Kunzum and Rohtang on same day), if we were low on time? Must the detour to Chandertaal and overnight camp there be high on our priority lis in this circuit?

Thanks in advance.

Vargis.Khan April 6, 2017 - 3:47 am

Hi Vish,

Thanks for appreciating brother.

1. All networks will be in complete range till Kalpa post which, there will be no cell phone reception at all until you cross Rohtang Pass and approach Manali. Only BSNL works in Spiti but that too is not guaranteed. Sometimes you will get the signal and sometimes your phone will just be dead weight. If you do however get a BSNL connection, just assume that it will only work when you are in Kaza.

2. Yes you can skip Chandratal, Just ensure that you start really early from Kaza, by first light of the day. The Batal to Gramphoo stretch is a nightmare to ride on and will alone eat up good 4-5 hours.

On a personal note though, you MUST NOT miss Chandratal while visiting Spiti. The night stay here is memorable one and one of the best parts of the trip.

How many days do you have in hand? Let me know and I can suggest an itinerary where you can include Chandratal as well if you want to.


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