Mystics of Spiti
- Reviews 0 Reviews0/5
- Vacation Style Holiday Type
- Activity Level Challenging
- Group Size Medium Group
An extended slice of Tibet, the lesser known neighbor of Ladakh, the cold mountain desert and a place greatly influenced by Buddhism! Spiti is just not a valley offering breathtaking landscapes, lakes, and monasteries, but it’s a mysterious culture, a complete world in itself. The timeless mystic valley moves leisurely at its own rhythmic pace.
Let’s embark on a lifetime expedition to immerse ourselves into the simple and joyful Spitian rural life. We offer you a heartwarming sojourn to enrich your experiences by truly living like a native Spitian. Explore some of the unexplored settlements including some of the highest villages of Asia, wander through some unique landscapes, discover fossils of sea life over 500 million years old, listen to the captivating tales of monks while having countless cups of tea and a meal with them. Quietly embracing some of the medieval Buddhist monasteries and the oldest temples in the world, the valley is bound to immerse you deeply into Spitian life, culture, and the heritage. Spiti Valley is as close to nature as it can be especially with its clear dark blue night sky. Every single day of the trip is going to offer you an opportunity to star-gaze, where you can even recognize the Milky Way Galaxy. If you wish to go an extra mile, you have options to sign-up for more local experiences including Bhuchen dance performance, cooking class, meeting an Amchi, cultural dance, etc.
Kibber: Kibber, located at an altitude of 14, 200 feet, used to be the world’s highest village with a motorable road. It’s not just famous for its picturesque landscapes, monasteries, and wildlife sanctuaries, but it also resembles the villages of Tibet and Ladakh.
Demul: Apart from offering breathtaking views, Demul is fastly becoming Spiti’s model Sustainable village. People in this village have learned to harness solar energy and proper waste management.
Langza: Langza is located at an altitude of 14, 500 feet, making itself one of the highest villages in Asia. Green pastures, majestic views, snow-clad peaks, and barren landscapes are bound to leave you awe-struck.
World’s Highest Post-Office: World’s highest post-office is located in Hikkim village (14, 400 feet). While driving from Demul to Langza, we will stop at this post office for some time and send a postcard back home.
Chandratal Lake: The lake has derived its name from ‘moon’ and is also the source of Chandra River. On clear days, it becomes a perfect spot for sky-gazing.
Tabo Monastery: Also known as Ajanta of the Himalayas, Tabo Monastery was founded in 996 AD. Now, it’s more than 1000 years old. It’s definitely going to be the most unique monastery you’ll visit in your lifetime.
Dhankar Monastery: The monastery sits on a location which is just perfect for any monument in the world. It was built as a fort-monastery on the central Tibet pattern. The monastery was declared as one of the 100 Most Endangered sites in the World, by ‘The World’s Monument Fund’, as it’s in the urgent need of restoration.
Key Monastery: The 1000-year-old monastery, which is the oldest training centre for Lamas, is located on a picturesque hilltop at an altitude of 13, 668 feet. Extreme silence in the monastery makes it a perfect place to meditate and gain some positive energy.
Komic Monastery: Komic monastery also known as the Tnagyud Monastery is one of the world’s highest motorable monastery at 14, 830 feet overlooking the Komic village and mountain peaks.
Bhuchen Dance Performance*: It’s a rare Tibetan Buddhist dance performance to get rid of all evil spirits. In India, now it can only be found in Spiti valley. Not to mention that performance is going to be magically mystic.
Cooking Class*: Who would not want to take back some expert Spitian cooking skills back home? How about learning to make some delicious & spicy momos?
Meeting a Thangka Painter*: A Thangka is a Tibetan Buddhist painting on cotton or silk. These paintings are primarily used in meditation practices as they are a clear visualization of deities, helping individuals to strengthen their concentration.
Meeting an Amchi*: A Tibetan doctor is known as Amchi. Tibetan Medicine, very much similar to Ayurvedic Medicine, is one of the most ancient and well-documented medical traditions in the world.
Lunch with Monks*: How about sharing a meal with monks and get some profound and heartwarming insights about their life?
- Day 1 Manali to Kaza
We’ll start our day early today as it’s going to be a long adventurous road trip from Manali to Kaza. Our taxis will drive over the Rohtang pass overlooking high snow capped mountains, dry and rugged terrain, some hidden waterfalls, and the rough Chandra river. While driving past Chhattru and Batal, the road leads to Kunzum Pass (15000 ft). We will take a halt at Kunzum pass to visit the Buddhist shrine, and some spend time with appreciating the breathtaking landscapes. We will reach Kaza in the evening and relax there. Overnight stay in Kaza Guesthouse
- Day 2 Key Monastery and Kibber Village
Today, we will leisurely wake up in the morning and take a walk around Kaza village. After breakfast, we’ll visit 1000-year-old Key Monastery which sits on the top of a mountain, overlooking Spiti Valley and a huge river bed. It’s the oldest training centre for Lamas and houses hundreds of monks. The monastery looks like a fort as it has been damaged multiple times in the past due to war, fire, and earthquakes. Continuous renovations have resulted in a haphazard growth of box-like structures. After this awe-inspiring visit to the monastery, we’ll climb a little further and visit Kibber village. Kibber used to be the world’s highest village with a motorable village. With an altitude of 14, 200 feet, it’s going to be an entirely different world in itself. Be ready to sip countless cups of tea in this cold desert! Overnight stay in Kaza Guesthouse
- Day 3 Monasteries in Tabo and Dhankhar
We’ll take the morning a little easy and head to Tabo, which houses Tabo Monastery also known as the “Ajanta of the Himalayas.” It celebrated 1000 years in 1996. Mythology says that Gods made the murals, Thangkas, and paintings in a single night. If time permits, we will have an optional hike to the meditation caves. Post this; we’ll visit Dhankar, which used to be the capital of Spiti. We will spend some time in Dhankar Monastery that actually hangs on a cliff overlooking the confluence of Spiti and Pin River. The cliff base of the monastery has become a little unstable due to the erosion caused by wind and rain. Hence, it’s in the urgent need of restoration. The monastery was declared as one of the 100 Most Endangered sites in the World, by ‘The World’s Monument Fund.' We will also pay a visit to Dhankar Fort which-which used to be Spiti’s king’s seat. Overnight stay in Dhankar guesthouse
- Day 4 Dhankar lake trek and Experiencing Demul
We will have an optional sunrise trek to Dhankar lake in the morning. The beauty of witnessing sunrise over this clear pristine lake is incredible. Post that, we will drive to Demul, which is becoming the Spiti’s model Sustainable village. Be ready to be amazed in Demul as you would witness natives using solar energy and greenhouses. A village so disconnected from the world, yet so progressive! We will spend our day in immersing ourselves in the community activities by walking along with Shepherds or lending a hand in farming. We will also have options to choose various paid activities such as Bhuchen dance performance, cooking class, meeting a Thangka Painter or an Amchi (Tibetan Doctor). Depending on your interest level, you can sign up for these activities. Overnight stay in Demul homestay
- Day 5 Khungri Monastery, Mudh and Langza
Today, we will head to Pin Valley which is home to Snow Leopards, Siberian Ibex and has a firm hold of Buchen Lamas. We shall visit Khungri Monastery on the way to Mudh – the last village in Pin Valley. We will spend some time around Mudh and then head to Langza for a homestay. Before Langza, we will also make a short stop at Hikkim. Hikkim is also one of the highest villages in Asia and the most interesting fact is that world’s highest office is located in Hikkim only. We’ll this post office and send off a postcard to our families.Langza is located at an altitude of 14500 feet making itself one of the highest villages in Asia. It’s famous for its fossils and a statue of Buddha overlooking the mountain ranges. What an adventure it will be to stay at this altitude and experience the life of locals. It’s unquestionably going to be beautiful and heartwarming. Overnight stay in Langza Homestay
- Day 6 Camping at Chandra Tal Lake
Today, we will start our day early in the morning. Post breakfast, we will start driving towards Chandra Tal while taking a small halt at Komic Monastery, which is the highest monastery in the world with a motorable road. We shall cross Lohsar village and Kunzum Pass on our way to Chandra Tal. It will be a 20 minutes hike from the road to the lake. As the name suggests, Chandra Tal is named after the moon because of similar shape. In fact, the lake is also the source of Chandra River. The lake once used to be a temporary place of stay for traders from Tibet and Ladakh, who used to go to Spiti and Kullu. The beauty of Chandra Tal is tough to articulate in words. It offers a spectacular view in the night. On a bright day, it’s a perfect place to star gaze in the night. If you are lucky, you can also get an uninterrupted view of Milky Way galaxy. Overnight stay in Parasol Camps at lake
- Day 7 Back to Manali
This is going to be the last day of our trip. We will leave from Chandratal leisurely in the morning and reach Manali in the evening (later than 6 PM), where the tour will come to an end.
INR 23,000 from Manali to Manali.
- Before 60 days trip departure date: 10% of the trip cost
- Between 60-46 days before trip departure date: 20% of the trip cost
- Between 45-20 days before trip departure date: 40% of the trip cost
- Between 20-10 days before trip departure date: 80% of the trip cost
- Less than 10 days before the departure : No refund.
Please note that the cancellation percentage is deducted on the original trip cost, not on the discounted price.
- Please note that the cost of activities marked with asterisks (*) in Trip Highlights, isn’t included in the package cost. We have left them open so that our guests feel flexible in choosing and paying only for those experiences which they want.
- Please note that your stay has been arranged everywhere on twin sharing basis except Demul and Langza homestay.
- Please note that your stay in homestays is far from luxurious. Life is really tough at high altitudes and hence, even offering very basic facilities at such places is a challenging task especially in rural homestays. Let it be truly authentic. J
- You’ll find dry composting toilets in homestays. These are the eco-friendly toilets which are used by locals to utilize human waste.
- Spiti is a high altitude region. There are no specific factors that can determine if an individual is susceptible to altitude sickness or not. If you haven’t traveled to such altitudes before, we suggest you consult the doctor a few days before the trip. We usually advise to take a dose of Diamox two days before reaching Kaza, but talk to your doctor about any side-effects the tablet may have on your body.
- We encourage you to drink as much water as you can during the trip to stay hydrated.
- We strongly discourage consumption of alcohol and smoking during the trip as it leads to dehydration very fast. Dehydration and fatigue at such high altitudes lead to severe headaches and breathlessness.
- Please carry a water bottle that can refill. Being a Responsible Tourism Venture, we always motivate our guests not to leave any plastic behind.
- Rural Odyssey won’t be responsible for any extra expenses incurred in the change of plans due to any bad weather conditions or political disturbances.
- If someone wants to dropout from the trip at any point of time, we won’t be able to refund any amount. Guests have to bear their expenses due to an unexpected change of plans caused by whatsoever reasons. However, we would be more than happy to assist them in making their return travel arrangements.
- A Rural Odyssey facilitator with the group from Day 1 to Day 7
- A professional guide with the group from Day 2 to Day 6
- Breakfast and Dinner from Day 1 to Day 7
- Stay for six nights
- All transport from Manali to Manali from Day 1 to Day 7
- Lunch, any snacks or beverages except those given with the meals
- Any monument entry fees or camera fees
- Any personal expenses such as shopping, tipping to guide, medical expenses
- Any kind of travel insurance
- Any emergency expenses
- Any extra expense incurred due to bad weather or political disturbances
- Activities marked with an asterisk (*)