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Hyderabad to Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh.


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A road trip to the cold desert mountain - Spiti Valley


Ever since I've become a travel junkie, I've always had a dream of exploring the Spiti valley. All those breath-taking pictures of the majestic Himalayas which I have surfed for an year until then, has urged me to take an extra inch and do this road trip. And I finally did it. It was seriously not an easy road trip for us after a lot of effort we had put in drafting our plan so cautiously. I henceforth, decided to make this log more like a guide than my travel story which would help all our 'India-Drive' members.

All the information that I showcase here is by the experience of my trip including the information that I've gathered before doing this trip.




Spiti valley is a cold desert mountain valley located high in the Himalayan mountains in the North-eastern part of Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The name "Spiti" means "The middle land". (i.e. The land between Tibet and India. This place is more surreal than how it looks in the photographs. It is just too beautiful to be described in words. For that span of 7 days in Spiti valley, seemed like we were in a different world altogether. In a world where there's no internet, local kids know more about life than any other urban kid of his age.


Say "Julley" (Hello in the local language of Spiti) to everyone and everyone would be happy to see you :)




Before you plan your Itinerary, know what you are getting into..

Spiti is not your regular hill-station. It is a high-altitude desert, with extreme terrain and weather. Driving here requires expert skills and full attention.

At an average altitude of above 4000m ASL, acute mountain sickness is a real threat.


When to plan your trip..

If you are planning a drive to Spiti for the first time, it's best to visit between the months of June and October. From the mid of October, the sub-zero temperature starts freezing the water pipes and hotels are forced to close making the accommodation difficult.




Those with experience of snow driving can make the trip in winter as well as the road from Kinnaur is usually kept open. Quite a few homestays take in guests through the winter but, expect barely minimum facilities. (For example: Don't expect running water or functional toilets) Plan a minimum of 10 days to enjoy the trip with all the beautiful detours in between.


Which route to take..

You can drive to Spiti in 2 routes. Either from Shimla or from Manali. It roughly takes about 8-9 hours to reach Kaza from Shimla. It is best to do a complete circuit starting from Delhi to Shimla, via Kalpa toTabo and Kaza before finally ending up at Manali. (We did this same route after a lot of survey).


Route taken:

Delhi - Narkand - Kalpa - Kaza - Rohtang - Prashar lake - Delhi


This is the best route to take:

  • No permits required.
  • No issues for self drive cars.
  • No altitude issues since the altitude gain is very gradual.



Route 1:

Delhi - Shimla - Narkand - Kalpa - Kaza


Road condition:

This route is comparatively better than the other route between Manali and Kaza. Only problem with the route are constant landslides. The drive starts getting adventurous after you cross Tapri. Road widening work is in progress and it is advised to leave your start point (Shimla or Narkanda) very early.





Foreigners need an Inner Line permit to visit many areas close to the international borders. Permits are issued by the District Magistrate Office in Reckong Peo, Kullu, Keylong and Shimla. Getting the permit at Reckong-Peo would be easier comparatively. (The office remains closed on public holidays and Sundays)

  • No permits required on this route. 
  • No issues for self drive cars.


Food options:

Quite a few food joints in these small towns or villages en-route exist. Narkanda, Tapri, Spillow, Nako, Hurling, Tabo (mostly Tibetan).


Stay options:

The drive from Shimla to Kalpa would be long if you are driving from Delhi. Try to choose Narkanda for your stay but it has limited options compared to Shimla.

Stay options in Narkanda: Tethys Ski Resort, Banjara Orchard Retreat, HPTDC guest house.

Stay options in Kalpa: HPTDC hotel Kinner Kailash, Hotel Kalpa Regency, Kinner Villa, Hotel The Grand Shamb-La


Route 2:

Delhi - Manali - Rohtang - Gramphoo (take a right) - Losar - Batal - Kaza

Manali to Kaza will approximately take you 10 hours for just 200 kms.


Road condition:

This route is open from the mid of June and closed from the mid of October. The road actually exists only upto Rohtang pass (Manali to Rohtang is 50 kms). Take a right turn at Gramphoo (15  kms from Rohtang). Road from here is horrendous and almost a dirt track which makes it more adventurous. And this progressively becomes worse with several water crossings that requires some skill to cross this. You can hardly find any civilisation in this route. And the route between Batal and Chhatru has huge boulders on a riverbed on which one would be driving.

Note: Make sure you drive an SUV or any high ground clearance vehicle as it is impossible to avoid a scratch if you are driving a sedan. We have witnessed a Toyota Etios and a Suzuki Alto with hanging bumpers and exhausts en-route.





Foreigners taking this route will require an inner line permit. This can be easily gettable from the Special District Magistrate's office in Kaza.


  • If you take Route 2, you need to obtain permits to cross Rohtang pass.
  • Can be an issue with self-drive cars at Rohtang.


Self drive
People driving self drive cars, It is suggested to take Route 1 since you wont have any hassles with permits. 


Few tips and suggestions:

1) Spiti weather changes without giving you any prior warning. Even during peak summer between April-May, there are good chances of snow, landslides and blockages. Check with local authorities before heading out to explore any corner around.

2) Do buy a BSNL sim because nothing else works after Manali.

3) Do not go to Chandratal directly because it's really at a considerate height and we are not used to it. Suggest you to start with Kaza and take it smoothly.

4) Do not carry much luggage if you are doing a bike trip. Be prepared for the most pathetic roads.

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The beauty of Himachal is praise-worthy for its culture, holy sites, beautiful valley and it's seasonal behaviour towards nature. And to experience a small chapter in there, I had roped me my friends and started off from Hyderabad. We decided to drive down from Delhi and have rented a Toyota Fortuner (2x4) through MYLES for this trip.



Day 1 : Hyderabad - Delhi - Shimla - Narkand

Day 2 : Narkand - Rampur - Tapri - Kalpa

Day 3 : Kalpa - Pooh - Nako - Sumdo - Tabo - Kaza

Day 4 : Kaza , Kibber, Langza exploration

Day 5 : Kaza - Pangmo - Batal - Chhatru - Gramphoo - Rohtang - Manali

Day 6 : Manali Local tour

Day 7 : Manali - Mandi (Prashar) - Chandigarh

Day 8 : Chandigarh - Delhi

Day 9 : Delhi to Hyderabad




DAY - 01


Hyderabad - Delhi - Shimla - Narkand

Distance : 430 kms

Time taken : 12 hours (Including breaks)

Breakfast stop : Amrik Sukhdev, Sonipat (60 kms from Delhi airport) ****

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Lunch stop : Motel Golden Saras, Kurukshetra. *****

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Coffee stop : Don't remember the name but, we had some good coffee and snacks standing in a corridor over the clouds in Shimla.

Night stay hotel : Tethys Ski Resort, Narkand.

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We have started our drive from the airport around 7 AM in the morning towards Delhi after renting the Toyota Fortuner from 'MYLES'.



By noon we got on to the ghat section towards Shimla and the vistas started to get better and better as we moved up.





One of the breath-taking views which we had enjoyed during a coffee break just before entering Shimla.






DAY - 02


Narkand - Rampur - Tapri - Kalpa

Distance : 170 kms

Time taken : 9 hours (Including breaks)

Breakfast stop : Tethys Ski Resort ****

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Lunch stop : We bread, butter and jam to stop by a scenic location and have our lunch en-route.

Fuel stop : Near Karchham dam

Coffee stop : Near Karchham dam.

Night stay hotel : Hotel Rakpa Regency, Kalpa.

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Our stay at the Tethys Ski resort on the cliff side.





The next morning, post breakfast we started our drive towards the Kinnaur district from Tethys Ski Resort in Narkand.



Narkanda which is at 9000 feet high, has splendid towering tree and is famous for ski slopes, apple orchads and Hatu peak.



The roads throughout this Kinnaur valley are in a good condition.





Watch out your speed on these ghats as there are steep curves throughout the ghat.



Beautiful view of the Kinnaur valley en-route Karchham dam.





Kinnaur valley is proud to have some hair raising roads offering unending views of breath taking sceneries all along.





Driving through these beautiful roads has been a real feast to eyes as every sight makes you go awe with it's beauty.









These roads in the Kinnaur valley are open during all the seasons and round the year barring few days of heavy snowfall.



From the month between the mid of July to August, due to monsoon, these mountains are prone to heavy landslides.





The best time to visit the Kinnaur valley is between May and July.





Kinnaur is basically a major stretch of road connecting the major towns of Chitkul and Kalpa in this region.





We have reached Kalpa driving up hill for about an hour on a narrow mud track by 5 PM and checked into the Rakpa regency hotel which had the best view of the Kinner Kailash mountain.



To be cont...

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DAY - 03


Kalpa - Pooh - Nako - Tabo - Kaza

Distance : 200 kms

Time taken : 16 hours (Including a breakdown because of a landslide)

Breakfast stop : Hotel Rakpa Regency, Kalpa***

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Lunch stop : We had snacks en-route.

Fuel stop : No Fuel filling stations until you reach Kaza

Coffee stop : None

Night stay hotel : Spiti Valley Hotel, New Kaza .

Google Map pointer


We had reached Kalpa late evening the previous night and stayed at the Rakpa Regency hotel which offered this beautiful view of the Mount Kinner Kailash from our balcony.



Breath-taking view of the Mount Kinner Kailash after sunset the next morning :)



Hotel Rakpa Regency, Kalpa. The rooms were decent and I would say really good compared to the very few options available in Kalpa. The food they served is also good with the resources available in the region :)



We started our drive towards Kaza our next destination after checking out from Kalpa.



Roads from this stretch reminded me that, the Spiti Valley Road is one of the toughest adventure roads left on this planet and more is yet to come our way.



We had come across quite a few falls, bridges and also landslides en-route Kaza.







We had clicked a few pictures at this Kasang Nalla bridge.



A small glimpse of the narrow route besides the flowing Sutlej river.



The roads includes gravel and asphalt sections. It’s terribly narrow, steep and very dangerous. 





 This seemed quite a challenging one than the famous Leh-Manali Highway as there was hardly any space for 2 vehicles coming in the opposite direction to cross by.



It has almost taken an hour for the traffic to get cleared at the narrow junction and we drove towards Nako.





There was continuous road work by the BRO on this deserted mountain. They deserve a salute for the best they are doing in this region.



One our way to Nako, somewhere near Pooh, we have witnessed a Landslide taking place. We literally thanked God for escaping this hurdle by a few minutes. This is our 2nd landslide of the trip after the one near Karchcham dam.



The road was blocked for the next 7 hours while the BRO tried doing their best to clear the path.



All we could do for those next 7 hours was click pictures and watch the men at work. It was difficult for the crane to clear the path because of those huge boulders and hence Dynamites were used to blast them.



We finally started our journey after a long delay and reached Nako. We still had a long way to go to reach Kaza. 



We took a short break to get some fresh air near Nako and enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the mountains and the Sutlej.



Few pictures of the splendid mountains in the Valley.





These are a few metaled road stretches between Nako and Tabo which we could capture during the daylight. Beyond this stretch the roads are very challenging and are absolutely gravel.





We couldn't get the pictures of the risky narrow mud tracks en-route Kaza due to lack of light and also as we were more focussed towards driving safe. This has been a very challenging track of the day as the Sutlej flowing by your side had heavy water currents throughout your drive. We had finally reached Kaza around 11 PM and checked in to the Spiti valley Hotel.


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DAY - 04


Kaza - Kibber (Exploration drive)

Time taken : Full day

Breakfast stop : Spiti Valley Hotel, New Kaza

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Lunch stop : Restaurant at the entrance of the Kibber village

Fuel stop : Kaza filling station (Highest fuel station in the world)

Night stay hotel : Spiti Valley Hotel, New Kaza .

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Having done with our breakfast, we started our drive towards exploring Kaza, Langza, Kibber, Pinjoor and Thinam.



June - July are possibly the best months to visit the Spiti Valley considering the weather conditions in major.



Our drive continued towards exploring various places around Kaza.



We started off with one of the most prominent monasteries of the region - The Key Monastery



The Key Gompa is basically a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery located on top of a picturesque hilltop in Lahual and Spiti Valley district of Himachal at an altitude of 4,200 metres above sea level close to the Spiti river. This Monastery accommodates nearly 250 monks.



After visiting the 1000 year old Buddhist learning monastery, we drove down to explore the village of Kibber.





While we drove close to the Kibber village area, we found quite a bit of vegetation in the region.



We had stopped by a restaurant at the entrance of the village and had a sumptuous meal for lunch with a magnificent view. With a signature of the team on it's wall, we left the place.



At the entrance of the Kibber Village, which was once known as the highest motorable village in India. Off-late, it was dethroned after the Komic village took the name for being the highest one which isn't so far off from Kibber.



Kibber or Kyber village in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh is situated at an altitude of 4200 metres, 20 km from Kaza and 8 km from Ki or Kee or  Key Monastery.



This highest inhabited village offers a spectacular view of surrounding mountains in a cold desert region.



We have moved further into the interiors of the valley towards Pinjoor.



We were vulnerable to the might, the grandeur and the beauty of the vista.



The humongous scale of the mountains made us feel as small as ants and gave us a thorough reality-check by teaching us the insignificance of our chase.



The Spitian mountains took us to the primeval way of life as we struggled to find food, water, civilization and shelter in a scantily-populated region.





 I could only frame one sentence to describe the beauty of this valley. “It’s the place where luxury is Nature”.



Mostly all the link roads to various sightseeing places or remote villages in Spiti Valley are open in this period and you can plan your visit between June and August.



While travelling through such places, you start understanding life better - the virtues of patience, humility and tenacity is something that only you can feel when you move away from materialistic world and merge with nature.





What we achieved that day while exploring, was a deeper insight into nature as we walked in the midst of the heaven of the fauna of Spiti.







We started back to Kaza after all the exploration until the sun set.



We saw the most beautiful sun set in the valley and thanked god for letting us witness such miracles. :)




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DAY - 05


Kaza - Pangmo - Losar - Batal - Chhatru - Gramphu - Rohtang - Manali

Distance : 200 kms

Time taken : 14 hours (Including a Land slide break down time)

Breakfast stop : Spiti Valley Hotel, New Kaza

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Lunch stop : Quite a few small eateries in Batal

Fuel stop : Kaza filling station (Highest fuel station in the world)

Night stay hotel : Quality Inn River country Resort, Manali.

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The drive from the headquarter of Spiti valley - Kaza started the next day after a lazy shower. However, here the case we were equally excited as the other days as we knew that today will be a lot more than exploring another beautiful awe-inspiring creation of God.04BF9590-5642-4432-AA8F-BD9076C25618.jpeg.33554e12cf4741e6e1ca63437df97610.jpeg



Although we felt that the initial leg of our journey was pretty decent, the real test of mettle began once we were exposed to the revolting Spitian conditions.





A narrow road barely good enough to drive reminded that they are still connected with the world, and also gives them access to the terrain that almost feels uncharted.



Sections of these gravel road are narrow enough to barely let a car pass, and any error in judgment would only mean tumbling down the valley and into the fast flowing river. Yet, there are hardly any accidents, thanks to little traffic and the drivers who are used to these roads. 



The road is 140 kms long that connects Kaza and Gramphoo (Lahual and Spiti). It’s also known as Gramphu-Batal-Kaza road and 80% of the route has non metaled.





We had our lunch at the Batal village in a small eatery. Commonly available food are, bread and Omelette, Maggi and Paranthe. We then continued our drive further towards Gramphu.



 The aerial view of the valley made me feel so composed. I would say, I was blessed by the nature. I had never seen something so magical.



We soon came across a high mountain pass in the eastern Himalayan pass called the Kunzum pass which ranges about 4600 metres above sea level.



Kunzum La as called by the locals or Kunzum Pass is one of the gateways to Lahaul and Spiti valleys.



 It is one of India’s highest motorable mountain passes.



The road switchbacks precipitously up to this pass and runs up the dramatic, glacier-carved Chandra Valley.







This painfully slow driving runs along some of the most treacherous terrains in the world so be careful while you drive. You might as well jump into a cloud of fog and go blind in sight. Hold you nerve tight and don't try to jump out of this in haste.





The vistas drastically change from time to time while you traverse along this route.



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The journey was of 100 Kms so far and we had taken more than 10 breaks by now to stretch our bones and enjoy the views as well.



Regular breaks in this track of first 150 kms is a mandate to flex your muscles as well as to get some time for yourself to connect well with mother nature.









We all were swinging in the car for every move looking at each other. Our back, ass & legs, everything were abusing us. The journey so far had made us half dead without any doubt but, yes it was also very heavenly and beautiful from one end. So, definitely do not miss this route.



After driving through these routes, we felt that we undoubtedly pushed our limits over our abilities.



This trip to Spiti was one of introspection and reincarnation. Every destination was glorified by the impulsive changes in sights we had come across throughout.








Those fabulous sceneries after we had crossed Batal changed into a new painting altogether.



The off-road track continued to take a troll on us but the huge mountains all around covered in green carpet has been a treat to our eyes.











All those huge trucks and vans seemed like ants besides the magnificent giant cliffs.



We had to cross a lot of bridges, flowing water streams and unpaved paths in this route while it rained continuously.



The route henceforth was very much ungripping the tyres which made our drive more cautious from causing any slip.



One of those many gushing water streams which cut the road had to be crossed on our way :)







Watch your speed and conditions of these bridges while crossing. I would rather recommend you to get down your car and check the bridge if you are unsure about the condition not being visible properly. These are of rusted iron sheets which are mostly corroded and might cause a cut to the tyres at times.




We were stranded here again for about 6 hours again due to a landslide, to be precise huge boulders rolled down a giant waterfall causing a cut to running road. We were initially told that it might take at least a day or 2 for the waterfall to stream down and then clear the boulders but fortunately we had dared to cross the streams after 6 hours passing over a highly overflowing rocky terrain.



All the while during our 6 to 7 hours of wait time, we just hiked in to the surrounding mountains and had the best of time getting close to nature. That feeling is ultimately not possible to express in words and worth an experience.



This has been the toughest part of the whole trip as we had to get lucky from getting washed down the cliff. We had just risked it and finally did it. If you can observe the size of a Tata Safari in the pic below besides the stream, we were just behind that to go next.

They called this stream 'Paagal Naala' which I felt had very much suited her after witnessing.



Crossing the toughest hurdle of the whole trip, we felt relieved to be back on track. :D







As the clouds got cleared, the views kept changing quite randomly offering more colours to the scene.








Our drive towards Gramphu paced up as the route just got better while we climbed uphill.





A few kms ahead and a left turn from Gramphu, we had got on to the metaled road and are on the top of the cliff towards Rohtang Pass.



The road and weather conditions are good and there's less traffic in Rohtang Pass area. B87272F2-D7C5-4147-BFA2-ED2CA7D62EBC.jpeg

A break for some fresh air & a few clicks at the deserted Rohtang La point



We reached our resort in Manali by 8 PM. Welcome back to noisy and crowded life again.


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DAY - 06


Manali - Solang - Manali (Local)


Night stay hotel : Quality Inn River country Resort, Manali.

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After a long hectic overdose of blissful adventure for those past 4 days, all of us demanded a break into the civilization :D We decided to rest for most of the day and decided to do a local tour during a leisure hour. 

Manali is a lot spoilt than what I've heard of. All thanks to the huge irresponsible tourist crowd here. There's nothing much to do here. Costly food, costly accommodation and over populated places. Very much commercialised.


We have lazed around the resort pretty late and fell out post lunch to drive towards the Solang Valley.

We have observed everything to be a way too expensive. Even a cable car up the hill costed us about 800 INR per head which we felt was very pricey.



Solang is a high altitude valley that lies at the top of Kullu mountain. It is famous for many activities in summer such as paragliding, horse riding and Zorbing. These are again replaced by Skiing in winter.



These are a few pictures of the beautiful  Solang valley from the top.



Having spent some good time here, we drove around the local streets of Vashisht  and got back to our resort by the evening to get ready for the next day's drive.



DAY - 07


Manali - Kullu - Bhunter - Bajaura - Prashar - Mandi - Chandigarh

Distance : 350 kms

Time taken : 13 hours (Including break time)

Breakfast stop : Quality Inn River country Resort, Manali.

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Lunch stop : VISCO resorts, Mandi

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Night stay hotel : MAYA Hotel, Chandigarh

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The next morning we started our drive towards the beautiful Prashar lake which is around 100 kms from Manali. We travelled for about 4 to 5 hours for just 100 kms. I shall leave the road to your imagination :D



Throughout our drive, we could get the best views of the magnificent Dauladhar ranges of Kullu.



We have enjoyed every bit of the drive while we drive towards Prashar lake. We had come across another landslide, a forest drive in the rain and also roads covered in dense fog :)



It was quite disappointing that we couldn't get any view of the Prashar lake by the time we reached the final stop as it was all cloudy and we were covered in dense fog having all the sight around us invisible. We stayed there for about 45 mins and waited for it to get cleared. We left the place unseen in disappointment and started our drive towards Chandigarh.



A view that we came for and we missed. Courtesy: Dense Fog. Source



We had reached the Maya Hotel in Chandigarh around 10 PM to retire for the day. Day 08 was our drive to Delhi which was pretty smooth and back to Hyderabad to wrap it up :) 



These 8 days have ended in a moment giving every one of us some memorable moments. I would say, stop restricting Himachal only to Shimla or Manali. There are so many beautiful mountains, rivers & paths untraced around Himachal and Spiti valley is one such world where time seems to have stopped and happiness lingers in the wind.

It has been over an year and a half since I have returned to the chaos of the city life and I'm still struggling to get over my post-trip blues. Now when I look back at my trip, I often relate to the memory of a face that had the same expression of joy and exhilaration as I had throughout my travel. I strongly believe that one trip to this magical land can never be enough. If you have been postponing your trip to Spiti since forever, then I hope these photographs must have heightened your wanderlust for sure :) 

I hope this guide to Spiti would be helpful for everyone and l shall come back soon with my next log to Himalayas in Nepal until then. Cheers! Happy and Safe driving.

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Finally after two years.It is online.

Thank you Varunc for taking your time and updating the log.

Attention to details is very good.

It is the best trip, I have ever done.
Memories are still fresh. 
If time permits, hopefully I will visit Spiti this year.

Now waiting for the rest of the story.


Sharing a small video from my side.

I will try to compile all the videos, Once I get time. 

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On 5/30/2018 at 2:09 PM, Ranger said:

Thank you Varunc for taking your time and updating the log.


On 5/30/2018 at 3:10 PM, Sridhar Tandra said:

Wonderful write up and breathtaking pictures Varun! 


On 5/31/2018 at 1:27 PM, Pralay said:

Keep it coming..!


Thank you guys.
Will post Day three this weekend. 
Main details are yet to come out.

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Finally, The much awaited complete post of our Spiti circuit is out. All those pics have refreshed a lot of memories to rewind. @varunc Great stuff buddy. This is a sure shot guide for any person travelling to Spiti. Appreciate the tags of information on stays, hotels and fuel stations available in this stretch. Thanks a lot for sharing such useful log with our members. Cheers! And as you have said, We will be waiting for your log on Nepal :D


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  • 2 weeks later...
On ‎6‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 4:16 PM, RajG said:

Fantastic pictures and lovely report.

Can India-Drive team organise such a drive with self drives from Delhi.

@sagar and @Ranger


What are the major challenges?


Spiti Valley is a brilliant place on earth. It is a forbidden valley of beauty and challenges. It is one of the toughest adventure roads left on this planet. The roads are carved into the mountains which are very terrible.

This is arguably one of the world's most dangerous roads which is the most major challenge and one has to be extremely skilful in handling the tracks here.


The roads include gravel and asphalt sections which are very narrow and steep. This is more challenging than the Leh - Manali highway.

It's completely deserted with no people, no houses or hardly any vehicles. One has to be prepared to take up anything what nature offers during those days while you spend in the valley.

High chances that no plan of yours can be concrete as the landslides or heavy rains might make you stay for any number of days in that region where you might not find any habitats.


We always had a plan to organise this drive provided we need to know the persons skill in driving and handling those situations without panicking. Most importantly one has to be prepared to undergo any risk :) 

We shall definitely do this when have the perfect crew ready to break the ice :D 

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5 minutes ago, ksa171983 said:

I think sagar you did it right from Hyd to the valley ? So u are experienced emoji3.png..


Back in 2016, Due to lack of leaves at work we shortened it to doing it from Delhi and mission accomplished :D But, before we left the place we thought we should come back here driving down from Hyderabad especially during winter.

In 2017, we started our drive from Hyderabad and reached Chitkul. It was an adventure until Chitkul and received updates from Kaza that the winter situation at that time was even worse. We decided to explore the Kinner Kailash and started back to Hyderabad :) 

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3 minutes ago, sagar said:

Back in 2016, Due to lack of leaves at work we shortened it to doing it from Delhi and mission accomplished :D

Looking at the number of plans being made in multiple posts this spiti would need annual leave approval ... sick leave would not do ?.. 

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7 minutes ago, ksa171983 said:

Looking at the number of plans being made in multiple posts this spiti would need annual leave approval ... sick leave would not do ?.. 


A longer sick leave where you would have to produce a doctor's certificate would make it very much comfortable to do this :D 

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Doing it from Hyderabad in a group is very tough affair.(for people don't have leaves)

Delhi to Spiti will be more manageable.


How many do we require to properly explore Spiti?

I'm contemplating between Leh and Spiti. 


Leh has direct flights but Spiti looks adventurous. 



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On ‎7‎/‎5‎/‎2018 at 11:04 AM, RajG said:

Doing it from Hyderabad in a group is very tough affair.(for people don't have leaves)

Delhi to Spiti will be more manageable.


How many do we require to properly explore Spiti?

I'm contemplating between Leh and Spiti. 


Leh has direct flights but Spiti looks adventurous. 




Leh now-a-days has grown more towards the commercial end. But the beauty there still remains the same except for the crowd. Everything are available quite easily over there unlike Spiti. Spiti is almost a no man's land. Extremely adventurous.

Do go through the whole log above as it has everything which can be your absolute guide. Good 15 days would be sufficient to explore Spiti if you are planning to drive from Hyderabad. :) 

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16 hours ago, Sridhar Tandra said:

I have a solution to this now after the pre-monsoon drive




On 7/5/2018 at 11:04 AM, RajG said:

How many do we require to properly explore Spiti?


Usually to explore nice places leisurely it will take two weeks.
But you can do a full circuit in 8 days. 

Problem in 8 days? you wont be able to cover all the places. 


Roads in Spiti are unpredictable, you always should have a two days buffer. 

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2 hours ago, Ranger said:


Roads in Spiti are unpredictable, you always should have a two days buffer. 


Living there for a month will definitely change a man's perspective towards life. It will be the time of your life <3 .. I would recommend this if there's anyone looking to travel having no restrictions :D 

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  • 4 months later...



Excellent report complimented amazing pictures Varun. Very informative post. It has all the necessary information needed to do Spiti valley. 

I have stayed in Delhi for 6 years and i couldn't dare to do this till now. Now, after getting transferred to Hyderabad, I feel like doing this :) 

How are the weather conditions in Spiti in November/December ? Is it doable? Ofcourse on a 4X4 .. Planning to do it from Delhi..

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17 hours ago, mayank said:


How are the weather conditions in Spiti in November/December ? Is it doable? Ofcourse on a 4X4 .. Planning to do it from Delhi..


Yes, 4X4 is a must this season to do Spiti valley and it is definitely doable but not at all easy :) Are you planning to rent one and which car are you think of?

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19 hours ago, mayank said:

Spiti in November/December ?



  • Your vehicle should be 4x4 (preferably with chains)
  • Road blocks are unpredictable, be ready to stay back, keep at least 5+ days buffer. 
  • Going in a group is a must, if you are a first timer in winter. 
  • Very few accommodations are available. 
  • You cannot drive towards Chandratal. 
  • You cannot do a full circuit, you should come back via Shimla 


I would suggest you to visit during Summer,

Drive back during winter.


In summer itself, it is a great adventure.

There are many tracks to explore. 


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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/14/2018 at 4:54 PM, Ranger said:
  • Your vehicle should be 4x4 (preferably with chains)
  • Road blocks are unpredictable, be ready to stay back, keep at least 5+ days buffer. 
  • Going in a group is a must, if you are a first timer in winter. 
  • Very few accommodations are available. 
  • You cannot drive towards Chandratal. 
  • You cannot do a full circuit, you should come back via Shimla 


Looks too complicated. 

Plan purely relies on weather conditions. 


I want to visit Spiti in December.

But after discussing with Karthik and Ranger decided to drop out. 


May be I have to wait till i buy a proper 4x4.


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  • 2 months later...

Hi @mayank, It was raining very heavily during our drive to Chandrataal lake. For the kind of roads and terrains that we were driving, we could hardly see the road due to heavy downpour. We had returned back midway and continued our next bit of journey. We have done our enough bit of research about the Chandrataal lake and stayed at a host's place in Kaza who regularly announces his treks and camps on the banks of Chandratal lake. We will have to drive down till Batal and trek for about 14 kms to reach the camping spot

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This could be not just the trip of a lifetime but the experience of a lifetime.

@varunc You've managed to capture majesty, fearsomeness and grace, gentleness at the same time. Appreciate your patience for providing all the details. Stunning travelogue with gorgeous pictures.

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15 hours ago, KSK said:

This could be not just the trip of a lifetime but the experience of a lifetime.


This was truly the best road trip we have done. Out of may road trips in Himalayas, this stands tall on our list till date. One should explore this place leisurely soaking in all the beauty by having at least 15 days in their sac. :) 

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  • 2 weeks later...
2 hours ago, karthik said:

Between Leh and Spiti which is a better place for road tripping people like us. 


About 8 years ago when I had first done my Leh trip, I had felt that it going to get spoilt pretty soon because of the commercialisation. I hope they work towards preserving this jewel in Himalayas. I in fact loved the road trip to Leh as it is more scenic.

A couple of years later when I had done my Spiti drive, I went bonkers. It was heaven on earth and lot is there to be explored. Absolutely deserted and I had the time of my life. This place is pure magic and I'm afraid if this would lose it's charm like Leh again. The terrain is tough and the circumstances in this region are unpredictable and that's one reason why the beauty of this place still stays preserved.


If you want to enjoy the Himalayas irrespective of the little crowd it has which has decent amenities in reach, Leh is a place to do.

If  you are looking at pure exploration and when time is not the limit, hands down Spiti Valley :) 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 2/21/2019 at 5:07 PM, sagar said:

If you want to enjoy the Himalayas irrespective of the little crowd it has which has decent amenities in reach, Leh is a place to do.

If  you are looking at pure exploration and when time is not the limit, hands down Spiti Valley :) 


Well said. Spiti in winter is my dream drive!

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