Kinnaur and Lahaul Spiti Trip Report September 2015

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#16 Dec 21st, 2015, 13:41
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#16
Good one..very informative indeed. By the way, the per day vehicle cost given are inclusive of everything ?
#17 Dec 21st, 2015, 14:50
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#17
Quote:
Originally Posted by drtejaschauhan View Post Hi saikat
I'm planning to do the sarahan kalpa sangla valley pin valley trip in April end 2016 in self driven car like scorpion with family and friends.
I'm not usedbto mountain drive but otherwise "good"/on plains!
do u think it will be safe for self driving in these regions ?
however I'm very keen for self driven trip
thanks
dr. TBC
Dear Dr. Chauhan,

Please do not take the risk of driving at Kinnaur and Spiti valley. I am also good in plain and I consider myself is also good to drive safely up to Shimla and not beyond that. Kinnaur roads are very bad. There are many stone shooting areas where driver needs to watch the front as well as the uphill side. I have seen one Kalka based driver get his Innova punctured three times during this tour however he have experienced in Shimla Kullu Manali area. He was first time in the tribal circuit.
#18 Dec 21st, 2015, 14:53
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#18
Very good TR. enjoyed it immensely.
#19 Dec 21st, 2015, 17:03
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#19
I have almost similar plan to visit this circuit in 2016. Our trip will be Simla-Narkanda-Sangla-Chitkul-Kalpa-Nako-Tabo-Kaza-Chandrataal-Manali which I wish to be a 10 days affair. It would be of help if the following questions are addressed :-

1. Which are places in this route where spending nights would be worthy ?
2. What are the nearby places to pay visit ?
3. What were the temperatures of different places during your visit ?
4. Is the vehicle charge mentioned by you is inclusive of everything ?

Look forward for your reply
#20 Dec 21st, 2015, 18:17
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#20
Really useful information. Thanks for sharing.
MEDIOCRITY IS WITHIN MY REACH
#21 Dec 22nd, 2015, 11:21
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#21
Hello Mr. Ghosal,
Please find my answer below.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosal View Post 1. Which are places in this route where spending nights would be worthy ?
Night stay would be worthy at Chitkul, Tabo, Rangrik. Now these are the worthy places amongst my visit. Honestly speaking, do not waste time at Kinnaur and send time in Spiti valley.

Do not consider Shimla if you have already been there and proceed up to Narkanda. But beyond that would be hectic. At Sarahan there is nothing other than Bhimakali temple and Rajbari. I would not recommend staying at Sangla rather stay at Chitkul. Yes, it Chitkul is chillier but the most beautiful part of Kinnaur IMO. One night at Kalpa is sufficient. I made a mistake spending two nights there.

Now regarding Spiti – all places are beautiful due to its color. I would recommend staying at Tabo over Nako. But keep in mind there are stone shooting areas and wind becomes stronger after 2.00 pm. So start from Kalpa as early as possible. I prefer Rangrik over Kaza as it has nothing other than one hotel named Spiti Sarai and of course I we were amazed to see such a facility at 13000 ft. If you want to visit Chandratal and want to reach Manali on same day then you have to start before sunrise which I thought would be really tough at freezing temperature and precede upto Losar knowing that there temperature is sub-zero and facilities are very basic. Hope you got a clearer view now.

N. B. - Don’t forget to keep extra day (may be at Manali) in case you need to re-plan in between of your tour.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosal View Post 2. What are the nearby places to pay visit ?
You should visit Komic (15049 ft) and Langza village in morning from Rangrik/Kaza. These two villages are awesome and very virgin. Also you may consider one night stay at Mudh (Pin Valley).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosal View Post 3. What were the temperatures of different places during your visit ?
At Kinnaur temperature was around 4 to 8 degree Celsius. At Tabo 2 – 6, Rangrik 0 – 5. At Losar we had problem as the water in tank were frozen
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosal View Post 4. Is the vehicle charge mentioned by you is inclusive of everything ?
Yes, everything except a toll on Himalayan Expressway which was not too much accountable.
#22 Dec 22nd, 2015, 12:07
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#22
Thank you very much for the detailing. Its a typical family trip and I've to stay in Shimla and you know why. However, I've been to Ladakh and have seen mountains with such colors. What attracts me is the lonlyness in Spiti valley. Are10 days enough considering 2 nights at Shimla and one night at Manali ?
#23 Dec 22nd, 2015, 14:11
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#23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosal View Post Thank you very much for the detailing. Its a typical family trip and I've to stay in Shimla and you know why. However, I've been to Ladakh and have seen mountains with such colors. What attracts me is the lonlyness in Spiti valley. Are10 days enough considering 2 nights at Shimla and one night at Manali ?
Without including up and down time in train it can be somehow managable in 10 days. In that case you can follow this -

D1 – Reach Shimla by 11.00 (assuming you will go by kalka mail from howrah). Visit Shimla Kalibari and church

D2 – Shimla - Naldehra - Kufri (remember in September there would be nothing) - Narkanda (Hatu peak). Night Stay at Narkanda.

D3 – Go to Sarahan from Narkanda.

D4 – Go to Chitkul (Lunch at Tapri/Sangla)

D5 – Start at 10 am for Kalpa. Lunch at Sangla or Tapri. Reach Kalpa. Visit Chini and Roghi village

D6 – Start early morning for Tabo. On the way visit Nako lake and have lunch there. Reach Tabo by 4 pm

D7 – Tabo – Dhankar – Kaza (stop for lunch) – Key – Kibber – Rangrik/Kaza

D8 – Rangrik/Kaza – Langza – Komic – Rangrik/Kaza (stop for lunch – if rangrik then pre-order) – Losar

D9 – Losar (start at 6.30) – Kunzum pass – Chandratal (try to reach as early as possible to get the great reflection) – Batal (Lunch) – Gramphoo (tea break) – Rohtang Pass – Manali (8 pm).

Keep in mind Batal to Gramphoo would be the worst road (actually no roads) in your trip. There are several nullahs and the water increases as sun become stronger. Try to cross those as early as possible.

D10 – Manali sight seeing / Reserve day
#24 Dec 22nd, 2015, 14:35
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#24
Guidence appreciated...thanks once again
#25 Dec 22nd, 2015, 15:37
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#25
thanks saikat for quick reply..
I assume roads and terrain is difficult in spiti as compared to kinnaur..is it?
so can I do a self drive trip in sarahan kalpa and sangla valley at April end ?
I want to have 2nd trip in spiti circuit.
is it OK for self drive in kinnaur?
thanks
De. TBC
#26 Dec 22nd, 2015, 18:42
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#26
Quote:
Originally Posted by drtejaschauhan View Post thanks saikat for quick reply..
I assume roads and terrain is difficult in spiti as compared to kinnaur..is it?
so can I do a self drive trip in sarahan kalpa and sangla valley at April end ?
I want to have 2nd trip in spiti circuit.
is it OK for self drive in kinnaur?
thanks
De. TBC
Unfortunately some part of roads in Kinnaur are in real bad shape. Specially Tapri area where we saw one place where stones are continuously falling. After Karcham to Sangla the road it shooting prone and we have seen big stones on the road which might have fall a few minutes before we cross it. Sangla to Chitkul road is very narrow and have 2 3 water crossing. In april end there may be snow also after Rakcham. Again on the way to Kalpa there is a hydro power project is getting built up by Patel Group. This part of the road is like hell.

Overall I would not recommend a person to drive on Kinnaur roads who do not have any experience of driving on Himalayan roads.
#27 Dec 23rd, 2015, 00:09
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#27
thanks a lot saikat
I'll definitely consider your advice while planning my trip..
De. TBC
#28 Dec 23rd, 2015, 00:39
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#28
Nice!
#29 Feb 19th, 2016, 17:40
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#29
Hi Saikat,

I am planning for a Lahaul Spiti trip in mid September 2016. From what I gathered so far, (thanks to you and some other posts on IndiaMike), it seems to be a good time to visit the valley. I will be travelling from Kolkata. I wish I could do the entire circuit (Shimla-Kinnaur-Spiti-Manali). Unfortunately, I won’t get so many days for my vacation and going to such an intoxicating place, I do not want to rush. So, here is what I am thinking:

Day 1: Board Kalka mail
Day 2: on Traim
Day 3: Reach Chandigarh (at around 4 am) and proceed to Manali from there.
Day 4: Manali to Keylong
Day 5: Keylong
Day 6: Keylong to Losar (camping at Chandratal, if possible)
Day 7: Losar to Kaza
Day 8: Kaza sightseeing
Day 9: Around Kaza
Day 10: Kaza to Tabo
Day 11: Tabo to Manali
Day 12: Manali to Delhi and board Rajdhani Exp.

Is this a good itinerary? I did not find much info about Keylong-Losar-Kaza route. Also, let me know about the best way to reach Manali (should i get down at Chandigarh, or Kalka) Any other inputs will be of much help.
#30 Feb 19th, 2016, 18:16
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#30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joydtraveller View Post Hi Saikat,

I am planning for a Lahaul Spiti trip in mid September 2016. From what I gathered so far, (thanks to you and some other posts on IndiaMike), it seems to be a good time to visit the valley. I will be travelling from Kolkata. I wish I could do the entire circuit (Shimla-Kinnaur-Spiti-Manali). Unfortunately, I won’t get so many days for my vacation and going to such an intoxicating place, I do not want to rush. So, here is what I am thinking:

Day 1: Board Kalka mail
Day 2: on Traim
Day 3: Reach Chandigarh (at around 4 am) and proceed to Manali from there.
Day 4: Manali to Keylong
Day 5: Keylong
Day 6: Keylong to Losar (camping at Chandratal, if possible)
Day 7: Losar to Kaza
Day 8: Kaza sightseeing
Day 9: Around Kaza
Day 10: Kaza to Tabo
Day 11: Tabo to Manali
Day 12: Manali to Delhi and board Rajdhani Exp.

Is this a good itinerary? I did not find much info about Keylong-Losar-Kaza route. Also, let me know about the best way to reach Manali (should i get down at Chandigarh, or Kalka) Any other inputs will be of much help.
You can avoid Keylong - nothing much to see there, and directly go from Manali to Losar and spend the saved couple of days in Spiti - perhaps explore Pin valley, or the high villages of Langza, Komic etc.

Prefer spending 1st night at Solang valley instead of Manali to aid acclimatization (this, only if you plan to book a cab for yourself; if taking public transport, staying at Manali is more convenient).

Another possibility is to take the Kinnaur-Shimla route on onward journey, and through Manali during the return. This way you also see a different face of the Himalayan range - Kinnaur district without adding extra days. Going up through Kinnaur is also slightly better for acclimatization.

If you'd like to camp at Chandratal - go there while return leg when you'd be acclimatized.

Tabo to Manali in a day is doable, but it's a long haul by exclusive cab - and I think, not possible by public transport.
Better to make Kaza your base, and go for Tabo as a day trip.

To reach Manali, most volvos from Delhi start at 4-6 PM and reach in morning.
Most volvos from CDG start at 9-11 PM and reach Manali in morning. Ordinary ST buses ply throughout the day.
There are one or two volvos starting early in morning too.
Learning to be silent.
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