Any Road Trip requires a lot of Planning and Research to ensure a smooth journey. And for that, you can either hire a Travel agent or follow Travel bloggers. One thing that I realized on my Spiti Road Trip was that a travel agent might just show you the all touristy places. And a travel enthusiast visits hidden and remote locations that are least visited by most people. But for your ease, I have created this 10-day free itinerary for a Spiti Valley road trip from Chandigarh in the month of September.
The reason I mentioned here the month is that Mountains are different in every Season and Month. So a free itinerary for the Spiti valley trip from Chandigarh or Delhi in September wont probably work for Spiti in November or December.
There are 2 routes to do a full Spiti Valley trip. The first one starts from Shimla and ends in Manali. And the other starts from Manali and ends in Shimla. This free 10-day itinerary for a full spiti valley circuit starts from Chandigarh to Shimla and ends in Manali. You can also start your Spiti Circuit trip from Delhi to Manali and then end in Chandigarh.
Your free 10-day Itinerary for a Spiti valley trip in September from Chandigarh or Shimla
Starting point Shimla – 1 Night in Shimla
If you have never been to been to Shimla, then I must tell you – You will absolutely love Shimla. It is said to be the Queen of hills and you will find Colonial architecture nicely maintained by the authorities.
The famous Mall Road: Mall road in Shimla is the major hangout point and shopping center. You will find beautiful cafes, Clubs, Restaurants, and a variety of shopping centers. Furthermore, You must also try street food like Chole Kulche and Babru which is like a kachori.
My Next stop was Sarahan which can totally be skipped. 1 night in Sarahan
Sarahan is a small town approximately 161 km away from Shimla. It might take you 7 hours to reach from Shimla. Near to Sarahan is another famous town called Rampur Bushahr which is famous for being the intermediary between Tibet and Central Asia for continuing trading. You can spend some time here before you start on your journey the next day.
Sangla- Rakcham- Chitkul – 2 nights in Rakcham
The next three destinations are the mandatory ones. You must keep at least 2 days reserved to visit Rakchamm, Chitkul, and Sangla. Now if you are skipping Sarahan and directly traveling to Rakcham from Shimla. Then you will be traveling for at least 9 hours. And if you are visiting Sarahan, then you will be traveling for 4-5 hours.
You will find Karcham Dam, Confluence of Baspa river with Sutlej river enroute to Sangla from Sarahan and Shimla. For a small break, you can stop at Hotel wadang Kamroo which is a small eatery where you will get snacks, tea, and Maggi.
Once you leave this spot, you can directly stop at Sangla which is just at a distance of 11 km. It is one of the most beautiful valleys in the Kinnaur district. And it is one of the must-visit places on your spiti circuit road trip. Sangla valley Carries a rich Tibetan influence, and it delights tourists with its mesmerizing Himalayan Mountains, thick oak and pine forests, majestic glacier streams, and the pristine Baspa River flowing through the valley.
Next on the list of free 10-day itinerary to Spiti valley road trip in September is Rakcham
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.
Chitkul – The last village in Kinnaur Valley
It is 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. You will be in awe once you reach this settlement at a height of 3450m.
Kalpa – 1 night in Kalpa
Remember, Kalpa is 70km away from Chitkul. The distance might seem less but it will take a little more than 4hours to reach Kalpa. Once you leave the Sangla – Chitkul Road, you will find properly maintained roads. You will love riding on these roads with River Flowing on one side and Mighty mountain on the other side.
Why you must visit Kalpa?
Kalpa is a beautiful town from where you can view the most beautiful Mount Kailash. I was taken aback at the stunning white Mountain which turned golden during sunrise. It was like a heavenly view. You will find apple orchards all over the place. Furthermore, you can also visit the Suicide point.
Once you leave Kalpa, next on the list are Nako Village and Nako Lake. Nako is 100km away from Kalpa. The village of Nako is a tiny group of houses made of stone and wood that makes a simple walk through the village a fun maze activity. Further, Nako Lake is a lake that sits at a height of 3662m
Tabo or Dhankar -1 night in Dhankar
If you have ample days then you can plan to stay at both Tabo as well as Dhankar. But my trip was for just 10 days I decided to skip Tabo and stay at Dhankar village instead.
Dhankar village is at an elevation of 3894m from sea level. A Village surrounded by Tall Mighty Golden Mountains, A Monastery, School, and even a high school.
You can visit the Dhankar Lake, Dhankar Monastery, and a ruined Dhankar fort.
Leave Dhankar village to visit Kaza in 8 hours – 2nights in Kaza
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 spend at least 2 days in Kaza and not get bored by all the beautiful places around it.
The last leg of this 10-day spiti valley road trip is the most dangerous and offbeat at the same time.Mountain Lover
The next on the list is of course the very famous Chandrataal. But there is a heavenly abode waiting for you that no other travel agent will tell you about.
Losar Village -Gem of Gems – 1 night
It is 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. 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.
Leave early to spend a full day in Chandrataal Lake – 1 night
You will bypass Kunzum Pass and the road to Chandrataal lake is completely offroad. Meaning it does not have roads, there are just stones, nullahs, waterfalls, river crossing, and narrow lanes. So prepared for this one ahead. Once you reach the top, you will find Camps, you can either pre-book camps or do on-the-spot bookings.
Chandrataal Lake is 1km away from the camps. So you will need to trek for a km to view the beautiful Lake. And at night, the Milky Way is visible with the naked eye. Be cautious of the weather and temperature dip because Mountains are unpredictable.
Chacha-Chachi Dhaba at Bataal
The last Dhaba and world-famous Dhaba is the Chacha -Chachi Dhaba. Take an hour or two to spend some time here. This couple has saved a lot of people who got stuck in the snow and they are known for their act of benevolence.
For emergencies at Bataal: You can stay at the PWD guest house. But you will need pre-bookings or sometimes the watchman might allow you in case it’s extremely critical.
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