Whenever asked about which route should be followed for Manali to Spiti Valley trip you definitely get to hear a lot of mixed opinions from people who have already traveled to Spiti Valley or some who haven’t traveled but know about the place. Well, there are two ways where you can kickstart your itinerary for Spiti Valley. One route is from Manali to Spiti Valley and the other one is from Shimla-Kinnaur Side.
Well, in my opinion, an itinerary for Spiti valley starts from Shimla side. This way is more convenient than Manali to the Spiti Valley road trip. When you are traveling from the Shimla-Kinnaur side you get to avoid the hassle of obtaining permits to travel to or across Rohtang Pass. On the other hand, if you are traveling from the Manali side getting permits can sometimes be very hectic and because of this, you are forced to waste an entire day in Manali. The best option to avoid such a situation is to start your itinerary for Spiti Valley starting from the Shimla-Kinnaur side and take the exit from the Manali side.
Secondly, one more reason why people choose the Spiti valley road trip from Shimla. It is a better option is you get ample time to acclimatize because here there is a gradual rise in altitude whereas in case of Manali to Spiti valley road trip your body doesn’t get time to adapt to the changing weather conditions because one day you are in plains second day you are in Manali at a statue of 2,050 meters above ocean level, and the following day you are either at Chandratal at a tallness of 4,250 meters or at Kaza at a height of 3,800 meters. Every day there is a 2,000 meters gain in elevation with next to no time for your body to alter. Despite, all these facts people tend to prefer Manali to the Spiti Valley road trip. We will discuss a complete itinerary for Spiti valley. We will assume starting a Spiti Valley road trip from Manali for the sake of this article.
Day 1. Manali to Chandratal, 145 km, 8 to 10 Hrs
Day 2. Chandratal to Kaza, 90 km, 6 hours
Day 3. Kaza to Kibber, Kaumik, Tashigang, to Kaza
Day 4. Kaza to Tabo / Nako – 140 km, 6-8 hours
Day 5. Tabo / Nako to Kalpa, 120 km, 6-8 hours
Day 6. Kalpa to Chitkul, 80 km, 4-6 hours
Day 7. Chitkul to Sarahan, 110 km, 6-7 hours
Day 8. Sarahan to Narkanda / Shimla, 170 km, 8 hours
Day 9. Narkanda /.
Itinerary For Spiti Valley from Manali
Day1: Manali to Chandratal
This route involves Manali – Rohtang Pass – Gramphoo – Batal – Chandratal. As discussed earlier, you need to arrange permits to get to or across Rohtang Pass. You can either ask a hotel to do that for you and then you can book a room there to rest or another option is you yourself get into the hassle of arranging permits and so on. Now if you opt for option one this will be very time saving as your permits will be ready once you reach Manali. The road trip from Manali to Chandratal can take up to 8-10 hours. On your way to experience the mighty Himalayan Region, the serenity of picturesque views and of course the adventure you will have while riding on the treacherous and challenging roads. Plan to stay overnight at campsites in Chandratal.
Day2: Chandratal to Kaza
This route includes Chandratal – Kunzum Pass – Losar – Kaza. Chandratal to Kaza is a bit of a relaxed ride for about 5-6 hours. Wake up and take a stroll in Chandratal and feel the beauty of the place. Followed by that begin your road trip and along the way, you enjoy the beauteous Kunzum pass and then stay overnight at one of the many hotels available in Kaza.
Day3: Kaza to Kibber, Kaumik, Tashigang to Kaza
This route includes Kaza – Kibber – Tashigong – Langza – Koumik – Kaza. Now, this route is for those who wish to explore places in and around Kaza. Visit the well known Ki Monastery and take a drive to the adjacent villages of Kibber, Tashigang, Langza, Kaumik and come back to Kaza before supper. This region is celebrated for some exceptionally old fossils that were found here. Tagged monastery in Koumik merits a visit. Langza offers an extraordinary perspective on Chau Kang Nelda’s peak. If you are short on days and cannot afford to take a toll on your time you might skip this day.
Day4: Kaza to Tabo/Nako
This route involves Kaza – Dhankhar – Dhankhar Lake – Tabo – Giu – Sumdo – Chango – Nako. Start early from Kaza and on your way to Dhankar, you might wish to visit The Dhankar lake or monasteries in Dhankar. Now that you are going up till there make sure that you witness the 500-year-old mummy there. You can reach there by taking a diversion just before Sumdo. Now you can book a stay for you at Nako and make it a point to take a walk at the Nako lake in the evening and experience the elegance of mother nature.
Day5: Nako to Kalpa
Checkout Khab confluence of Spiti and Satluj rivers. Don’t miss out on the views of Leo Purygal Peak. It is approximately 8-9 hours of drive from here to Kalpa, solely dependent on the number of breaks you take on the way. Gaze at the lovely sunrise and sunset at Kalpa over Mountain Kinner Kailash. You can stay there overnight.
Day6: Kalpa to Chitkul
Leave early from Kalpa if you wish to spend some time in the village Chitkul. For this day you’ve to drive till Karchham and take the diversion from there towards Sangla. See the Kamru fort in Sangla and travel further until Chitkul village. The total ride this day is 4-5 hours. Depending on your choice you can stay overnight either at Sangla or at Chitkul and enjoy the enthralling beauty of either of the places.
Day7: Chitkul to Saharan
Drive once again from Chitkul to Karchham and from that point proceed towards Jeori. From Jeori, leave the highway and turn on to the 16 km significant stretch towards Sarahan. This town is well known for Bhimkali temple and a bird sanctuary, the two of which are worth a visit. If you don’t mind note that in the event that you are short on schedule, you can avoid this day and keep driving straight towards Shimla.
Day8: Saharan to Narkanada/Shimla
Now from Saharan drive down to Jeori and get down on the Highway to Shimla. Depending on your preferences you can prefer an overnight stay either at Narkanda or in Shimla.
The ride from Narkanda to Shimla is a mere 2 hours ride. You can sightsee in Shimla which includes majestic Himalayas, Ridge, Mall Road and Jakhu Temple. Now it will be a smooth ride in plains and you are just 8-10 hours away from your home.
The Manali to Spiti Valley road trip discussed above is a mere rough one and if you do not have any time constraints you might add some more days to your road trip. You will get to explore some more beautiful places like Mud Village, PIN Valley or trek the beautiful Sopona Valley. Hoping you found the information above helpful in planning out an itinerary for Spiti Valley yourself.