Spiti Valley is indeed not just a Place to travel but an entire experience in itself. My Spiti trip was a properly planned trip. I knew what all places I need to visit but there are some of them that I literally stumbled upon by chance. And trust me it was all worth it. Spiti valley is one of the closest to nature and rawest places that you will ever witness. And so are the Villages. Well! I have compiled a list of the Unforgettable Villages that you must VISIT in Spiti valley at high altitudes for an extraordinary experience.
Of course, there are other villages as well like Mane village, Kakti village, Chicham village, Pangmo & Mora in Spiti Valley that are not really visited. But the one’s mentioned in this article has my heart
6 Spiti Villages that you must visit during your Spiti Valley Circuit Trip for a memorable experience
- Gue village
Chitkul Village for being the last Spiti Valley Villages in India
Chitkul is said to be the Last Village in Kinnaur Valley beyond Sangla in Himachal Pradesh. As of now, It is in fact, the last motorable settlement on the border of India and Tibet. River Baspa flows on one side and on another side there are apple orchards and wooden houses. However, the road that leads to Chitkul is not that easy to travel. It has narrow lanes. And since Chitkul is at a height of 3450 m, you might want to not take chances of visiting this place during evenings.
Furthermore, take into consideration the oxygen level as well as the climate and the distance. Since it takes around 6 hours to reach from Sarahan which is one of the stops in the Spiti Circuit trip.
My Experience of Chitkul:
I reached Chitkul at around 6 pm in the evening, it wasn’t dark neither was it too cold. But Yes I could feel low oxygen and started to breathe heavily. I saw little children sitting on the benches, people taking their goats and sheep back to their homes. Food stations were already closed and even there were just a few tourists around.
The Houses were built of wood, the usual houses that you find in Himachal remote villages or any other houses in Spiti Valley. But the most thrilling sight for me was the view of the course and the mountains and river and flora and fauna. You will be mesmerized by the place.
You will find a couple of Places to Stay and Camp. But I visited it just for a couple of hours
Now, the months of May, June, and September are considered to be the best time to go to Chitkul. And it is not recommended to visit it during winter as the whole village gets buried under lots of snow and even the locals move out to lower areas.
Rakchcham is a village that will take to travel back in time- A Nomad village in Spiti Valley
Well! Rakcham is an accidental village that I visited and I fell in love with it that I decided to spend an entire day, even rescheduling my other visits in Spiti valley circuit trip. Some people prefer Sangla and Chitkul but I recommend Rakcham for many reasons. First of all, it is at 2900 m and it sits between Sangla and Chitkul in Himachal Pradesh. It is en route to chitkul village and beyond this point, you will be networkless.
There are a couple of temples nearby and Rakcham tends to be a village lost in time.
Again you will see the Baspa river and a peek at a boo view ok Mount Kailash. But now, You will be closer to the river, that you can actually go and sit near the stream and spend hours admiring mother nature
My Experience of Rakcham
I reached Rakcham at around 3 pm and this was the second stop since we started from Sarahan. I saw a beautiful Café named OSiya Shoshla Café and decided to take a small break. A wooden café surrounded by a river and mountain with friendly staff and yummy food. What else do you need? After a small conversation with the owner, he asked us whether we are staying in Rakcham or not, we stayed on, we plan to leave for Kalpa once we visit Chitkul.
He warned us saying, it would be too late as Kalpa is far from Chitkul and traveling on these roads at night would be dangerous. And he recommended we stay in Rakcham for the night and that’s how we ended staying a night in the very beautiful Rupin River View in Rakcham
Well! The next day, while going for a walk, I felt like I had traveled back In time. A group of women took out their sheep and goats for grazing and men took wooden logs for cooking.
I spent 4 hours near the River Stream, spoke to the villagers, and had really the best time of my life.
Tales of Rakcham :
There was a small bridge that lets you cross the river Baspa. There was another old burnt bridge that did the same thing. One of the villagers told that long back there lived a tailor and he had his electric tailoring machine which he forget to switch off one night. And the next morning the entire village got burnt and even this bridge due to a short circuit. Somehow, the people rebuilt this village and the bridge and got back their lives together.
Gue Village – Visit this Mummy village in Spiti Valley
We left Kalpa at around 10:00 am in the morning and had plans to visit the Gue village which is famous for The Mummy of Monk Sangha Tenzin. As soon as I entered the village, I was spellbound yet again, as the village looked so beautiful. The houses were built of rocks and even though there were just a few people on the road. They exchanged greetings and smiles as we asked them for the directions of the Mummy.
Tales of Gue Mummy Village
One thing that I noticed was that these people feel really proud of themselves as they see people from other regions are paying a visit to their deity. On reaching the Monastery, I was thrilled to see a MUMMY which was 500 years old. And Gue villagers have known about this Gue Mummy since 1975. A Mummy with its teeth intact, mouth wide open, and hollow eyes.
Dhankar Village to visit the 1000 years old Gompa In Spiti valley
I must say these were the most dangerous roads that I had traveled until now. (Well! I didn’t know what was ahead of me). We left Gue Village at around 2:00 pm or so in the afternoon. It is just 65 km but don’t believe in Google for the travel time as it might mislead you.
Tales of Dhankar Village
We stopped just twice en route for lunch and snacks and still it was already dark by the time we reached Dhankar Village in Spiti. The night was scary and dark and the roads were narrow with no light. All we had to do was be totally attentive and cautious while driving.
It was pin-drop silence in the car and we had no idea about our fellow members who were riding on Bike.
We were just hoping that everyone was safe.
On reaching the hotel, we heaved a sigh of relief, as we spotted a known bike. The next morning, I woke up with this amazing view, right in front of me. A Village surrounded by Tall Mighty Golden Mountains, A Monastery, School, and even a high school. I was totally taken aback by this.
You can visit the Dhankar Lake, Dhankar Monastery, and a ruined Dhankar fort.
Kaza village to witness and experience the largest township in Lahaul- Spiti
Kaza is a well-articulated town Kaza is one of the coldest towns in India. The temperature varies greatly in different seasons and during a day. January is the coldest month of the year with an average temperature of -25 °C. While July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 10 °C.
First things first!
As soon as you reach Kaza, you will see the Spiti river calmly flowing parallelly to the road .And a cool breeze striking on your face. Kaza is an extremely well-planned town. It has a market, amazing cafes, a Health care station, Monasteries as well as some of the highest villages and post offices in the world.
You can easily spend at least 3 days in Kaza town in Spiti and not get bored. All the places to stay and eat, and places to visit near kaza can be found here
Losar village in Spiti valley for its unparalleled beauty
Next on the list is Losar village, another accidental village that I stopped by at. Once you leave Kaza, people normally take a halt in Losar and then continue for Chandrataal Lake. But I wanted to spend some more time in Losar.
Losar village in Spiti Valley is located adjacent to the Indo-Chinese border at an altitude of 4,085 meters. It has its own charm and beauty.
My Experience of Losar Village
I stayed at The Nomad’s Cottage and it is one of the best properties in Spiti, no doubt about it.
The comfort, coziness while keeping local aesthetics intact is world-class. The Caretaker’s team is amazing. It’s a home away home for you. It is Best for Travellers NOT for Tourists.
If you like to watch billions of stars at night this place is for you. If you want to sit idle and just watch mountains from your bed, this place is for you.
However, the nights can get scary as the oxygen level decreases and the cold increases. Keep a bottle of water infused with garlic to keep your oxygen high. Apart from this also keep the mandatory required items that you must carry on a Ladakh -Spiti valley road trip
All in all, Spiti circuit trip is an experience in itself. You will be amazed, scared, happy, and astonished at the same time. An adrenaline rush will always be there when you are riding on a bike or in a car. But, just keep you faith high and breathe normally as these villages in spiti valley are truly out of the world.
If you need any other information like Hotels, or to renting a car recommendation . Let me know in the comment or follow me on instagram ( @ummu012)